Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy

By Basil Rauch | Go to book overview

17.
Roosevelt and Konoye

WHILE THE PRESIDENT BY NOVEMBER, 1941, HAD PROVEN that American losses in the Battle of the Atlantic would not lead him to break his antiwar pledge, the Axis leaders gave him no chance to show whether he would also adhere to his pledge if Japan attacked territory of the Netherlands or Great Britain.

Ample evidence exists to prove that Roosevelt feared a Pacific war because it would interfere with the primary task of defeating Hitler by aiding Britain and Russia. He and Hull faced the final diplomatic encounters with the Japanese determined to avoid giving Japan any justification for war. But they were equally firmly determined to avoid appeasement of aggression at the expense of the territories and rights of third powers. The Hull-Nomura talks prior to the Atlantic Conference had convinced Roosevelt that the Japanese government would be satisfied with nothing less than American diplomatic, political, economic and moral cooperation with Japan in its program of domination over China and conquest of territories to the south. Therefore the most that could be hoped for in the new round of talks was postponement of new Japanese aggressions.


Raid or Sabotage?

As for administration estimates of where the blows were likely to fall, it appears certain that a transpacific raid to Hawaii was considered to be less likely than undercover sabotage of the fleet there by Japanese agents, while main blows were directed against Thailand and Singapore. On June 17, 1940, when the Fall of France caused fear in Washington that Japan would burst out in

-431-

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Roosevelt, from Munich to Pearl Harbor: A Study in the Creation of a Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Basil Rauch ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Roosevelt and the "New Neutrality 13
  • 4 - The Primacy of Foreign Danger 80
  • 5 - The Fight Against the Arm Embargo: Failure 102
  • 6- The Fight Against the Arms Embargo: Success 128
  • 7 - The "Phony" War 160
  • 8 - "Behind Walls of Sand" 193
  • 9 - "Because America Exists" 227
  • 10 - The Vichy Policy 272
  • 11 - Lend Lease 289
  • 12 - The Convoy Conundrum 314
  • 13 - America and Russia 347
  • 14 - The Atlantic Conference 358
  • 15 - Roosevelt and Japan 375
  • 16 - "Shoot on Sight" 409
  • 17 - Roosevelt and Konoye 431
  • 18 - Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor 455
  • Epilogue 494
  • Reference Notes 497
  • Index 515
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