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

By Basil Rauch | Go to book overview

18.
Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor

THE FALL OF THE KONOYE GOVERNMENT LED ADMIRAL Stark to send a war warning on October 16, 1941, to Admiral Husband E. Kimmel in command of the Pacific fleet and to Admiral Thomas C. Hart in command of the Asiatic fleet. The first inference in this warning was that war between Japan and Russia was "a strong possibility." But, the warning continued:

Since the United States and Britain are held responsible by Japan for her present desperate situation, there is also a possibility that Japan may attack these two powers. In view of these possibilities, you will take due precautions, including such preparatory deployments as will not disclose strategic intention nor constitute provocative actions against Japan.1

This reflected the estimate of Washington authorities that Japan was most likely to attack Russia at the penultimate moment of Hitler's conquest, in like manner as Mussolini had attacked France. The Pacific commanders were given enough information regarding diplomatic developments to lead them to believe that they knew the situation, but not enough to judge it as effectively as the leaders in Washington. Magic intercepts, the best source of information regarding Japanese intentions, were not transmitted to the commanders. Copies went to only nine persons in Washington, including President Roosevelt, Secretaries Hull, Stimson and Knox, General Marshall and Admiral Stark. General Marshall later said this was necessary to guard a military secret of incalculable value.

-455-

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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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