Skip to comments.Did FDR Provoke Pearl Harbor?
Posted on 12/06/2011 3:32:36 PM PST by Kaslin
On Dec. 8, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt took the rostrum before a joint session of Congress to ask for a declaration of war on Japan.
A day earlier, at dawn, carrier-based Japanese aircraft had launched a sneak attack devastating the U.S. battle fleet at Pearl Harbor.
Said ex-President Herbert Hoover, Republican statesman of the day, We have only one job to do now, and that is to defeat Japan.
But to friends, the Chief sent another message: You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bit.
Today, 70 years after Pearl Harbor, a remarkable secret history, written from 1943 to 1963, has come to light. It is Hoovers explanation of what happened before, during and after the world war that may prove yet the death knell of the West.
Edited by historian George Nash, Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoovers History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath is a searing indictment of FDR and the men around him as politicians who lied prodigiously about their desire to keep America out of war, even as they took one deliberate step after another to take us into war.
Yet the book is no polemic. The 50-page run-up to the war in the Pacific uses memoirs and documents from all sides to prove Hoovers indictment. And perhaps the best way to show the power of this book is the way Hoover does it -- chronologically, painstakingly, week by week.
Consider Japans situation in the summer of 1941. Bogged down in a four year war in China she could neither win nor end, having moved into French Indochina, Japan saw herself as near the end of her tether.
Inside the government was a powerful faction led by Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoye that desperately did not want a war with the United States.
The pro-Anglo-Saxon camp included the navy, whose officers had fought alongside the U.S. and Royal navies in World War I, while the war party was centered on the army, Gen. Hideki Tojo and Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka, a bitter anti-American.
On July 18, 1941, Konoye ousted Matsuoka, replacing him with the pro-Anglo-Saxon Adm. Teijiro Toyoda.
The U.S. response: On July 25, we froze all Japanese assets in the United States, ending all exports and imports, and denying Japan the oil upon which the nation and empire depended.
Stunned, Konoye still pursued his peace policy by winning secret support from the navy and army to meet FDR on the U.S. side of the Pacific to hear and respond to U.S. demands.
U.S. Ambassador Joseph Grew implored Washington not to ignore Konoyes offer, that the prince had convinced him an agreement could be reached on Japanese withdrawal from Indochina and South and Central China. Out of fear of Maos armies and Stalins Russia, Tokyo wanted to hold a buffer in North China.
On Aug. 28, Japans ambassador in Washington presented FDR a personal letter from Konoye imploring him to meet.
Tokyo begged us to keep Konoyes offer secret, as the revelation of a Japanese prime ministers offering to cross the Pacific to talk to an American president could imperil his government.
On Sept. 3, the Konoye letter was leaked to the Herald-Tribune.
On Sept. 6, Konoye met again at a three-hour dinner with Grew to tell him Japan now agreed with the four principles the Americans were demanding as the basis for peace. No response.
On Sept. 29, Grew sent what Hoover describes as a prayer to the president not to let this chance for peace pass by.
On Sept. 30, Grew wrote Washington, Konoyes warship is ready waiting to take him to Honolulu, Alaska or anyplace designated by the president.
No response. On Oct. 16, Konoyes cabinet fell.
In November, the U.S. intercepted two new offers from Tokyo: a Plan A for an end to the China war and occupation of Indochina and, if that were rejected, a Plan B, a modus vivendi where neither side would make any new move. When presented, these, too, were rejected out of hand.
At a Nov. 25 meeting of FDRs war council, Secretary of War Henry Stimsons notes speak of the prevailing consensus: The question was how we should maneuver them (the Japanese) into ... firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.
We can wipe the Japanese off the map in three months, wrote Navy Secretary Frank Knox.
As Grew had predicted, Japan, a hara-kiri nation, proved more likely to fling herself into national suicide for honor than to allow herself to be humiliated.
Out of the war that arose from the refusal to meet Prince Konoye came scores of thousands of U.S. dead, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the fall of China to Mao Zedong, U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the rise of a new arrogant China that shows little respect for the great superpower of yesterday.
If you would know the history that made our world, spend a week with Mr. Hoovers book.
The issue for the US was control of the Philippines and Hawaii (and at the time the Japanese owned outright hundreds of Pacific islands. They'd been collecting them for centuries. We had to be vigilant lest they decided they needed more Pacific islands).
Only to a liberal does not giving into a tyrant (a liberal) constitute provocation. Typical liberal tactics.
Exactly so —the Pacific War was very much about oil.
In fact as a Navy guy very much aware that oil was the lifeblood of a modern Navy, Yamamoto had done a big paper at Harvard regarding the US oil industry —he even had a convertible and spent a good deal of time driving around the USA checking out refineries and so on.
And that is why he paid a maximum of attention to speedily gaining control and re-establishing productive oil-rich places like the Dutch East Indies, etc.
Oil, oil, oil, oil, oil —the economy and Navy need it.
And...I don’t have a problem with it —in fact I think very little has changed.
As we will soon see in the Spraties, etc.
Your #46. Dead on.
I’ve been reading Homer’s threads for eons, and just recently checked the FR homepage.....”Homer” is a HEN, not a HE! Heh....
One must consider just how totally commited FDR was to saving the the Soviet Union and the british empire and just how equally opposed Americans were to be f#@k%d by the russians and brits again after just twenty years.
Spraties = Spratly Islands, South China Sea, etc.
Basically now we’re 1938, or so, all over again, but this time Japan is China, Japan is (sort of) China, and we are somewhat poorer.
No, I think it was the Gordon Lightfoot, that was rammed by the Cat Stevens.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the end of the war was the part played by Aristotle Onassis ~ he bought up Liberty ships, converted them to more civilian use, and shipped about 20 million Japanese people from Manchuria to Brazil for settlement in the South.
Anybody who tells you that you can't move 11 million illegal aliens from the US to Mexico is probably not aware of what Aristotle did.
I know a gentleman (Japanese American) who participated in relocating Japanese army units from throughout China to disembarkation areas in coastal cities.
For a short while he had effective command of the largest Japanese army under one "commander" in history. He had the name to go with that exalted status as well. His secret was simple ~ he could speak enough Japanese to tell the existing army field structure what to do, when to do it, and where to head.
After the war he devoted himself to the pursuit of peace ~
Spraties = Spratly Islands, South China Sea, etc.
Basically now we’re 1938, or so, all over again, but this time Japan is China, Japan is (sort of) China, and we are somewhat poorer.
Japan could not attack Malaya and/or the Dutch East Indies with the Philippines on their flank. We would have been in a position to strangle their supply lines with aircraft from the PI.
The US would have treated a Japanese attack on only Malaya and the DEI as a cause for war, it is still a direct threat to the Philippines.
They have nothing to gain from just occupying French islands, because they do not have any oil. Oil to feed the Army’s war in China was the reason for the war. Oil they lost when they provoked the US, Britain and The Netherlands by occupying French Indo-China
They had no reason to attack us only, because that still would have meant war with Britain and The Netherlands. If we are attacked, they then know who is next.
How about Roosevelt and Truman's working with USSR to leave them controlling Eastern Europe? That is more relevent.
Japan and Germany had to be stopped so second guessing that war start is non-productive.
This quote is taken out of context. The people at that meeting were discussing what their standing orders to various commanders at American installations around the Pacific theater based on the intelligence that indicated that their was a very strong likelihood that the Japanese might stage an attack. They therefore instructed that the posts should be put on high alert (I’m not sure if that’s the technical term), but to avoid firing the first shot in the case of aggressive action by the Japs so that America could claim the moral high ground. Having a clear-cut case to take to the American people was very important in those days.
My uncle was on the aircraft carrier, USS Lexington in 1941. It was stationed at Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. All at once they were ordered to leave on Dec. 5 together with 2 other carriers. My uncle was planning on going out to diner when he got word to report back to the ship. This was totally unexpected and considering what happened on Dec. 7 he has always wondered if somebody did know something was up.
there were government-inspired demonstrations in Japan when the TR-brokered treaty ended the Russo-Japanese War. The Japanese understood that the US saved the Russians from a total KO in the Far East. Like a boxing referee calling a standing eight the TR administation guaranteed a hostile Russia would remain at Japan's back.
I know practically nothing about this person, but I have a feeling he's an old time U.S. history revisionist, not of the pro-America crowd.
Can anyone add a bit of history? I avoid the pro-revisionist google sources.
*THAT* was far easier said, than done, Mr. Knox...
Nagumo did not have the fuel to stay for a third strike. Not with the US Navy’s carriers lurking about somewhere.
Even had he launched a third strike and successfully gotten through the now alert AA fire. He would have only bought Japan a few extra months, at best.
It does not take that long, using three shifts, to fabricate new oil storage tanks and pipes and rush them to Hawaii. Not when they are the number one priority for the US Navy.
I’ll put it this way, Japan could have sunk every US Navy ship in the Pacific and we would have come back three years later with a fleet four times as big.
Take a look at this page comparing shipbuilding and aircraft construction figures for 1941-1945:
Japan lost the war the moment she decided to go to war.
USS Lexington (CV-2) was ordered on December 5th to rush Marine aircraft to Midway because of the deteriorating situation with Japan and the expected attacks on The Dutch East Indies, Malaya, and The Philippines.
The Japanese needed access to the closest oil supply located in the Dutch East Indies. That meant they needed bases in French Indochina, the Kra Peninsula (Thailand-Burma) & Singapore. That meant war with the Britsh Commonwealth and probably the US because their oil shipments would go right by the US bases in the Philippines.
War Plan Orange was built around a naval relief of the Philippines staged through the Hawaiian Islands. Yamamoto in true Samurai fashion flipped War Plan Orange on its head by attacking PH first, buying time for everything else.
He was a navigator aboard a USN patrol bomber - a big flying boat (Martin Mariner / PBM). The squadron was activated late in the war and most of the men had low rotation points by VJ Day, so instead of being mustered-out, they were sent into China to help preserve the truce between the Nationalists and the Communists. There were Marines sent into China as well... don't know about Army.
That effort apparently didn't last long, but one of the things that squadron did while there was send a plane into Vietnam to rescue a French diplomat, right around the end of the year.
my grandmother, Ohio Taft supporter, believed we did by cutting off their oil supply
Historians daintily sidestep the fundamental question of exactly WHEN the Japanese code was broken. If the War Dept. knew the exact details of the attack, then FDR did indeed sacrifice the lives of our men in Hawaii to get into the war. He covered his tracks well and still has people and institutions running interference for him..
Reading any good history of Imperial Japan after WW I would present clearly that Japan had determined to follow a military expansionist policy for their future development. The only controversy was who they were going to pick a fight with. The Strike North faction thought it should be the Soviet Union and the Strike South faction thought it should be U.S., Netherlands, and Great Britain. The outside world was still uncertain enough about how the issue had been resolved that the Soviet Union required confirmation from its spy in Japan Richard Sorge that they were not planning to attack before Stalin released his Eastern divisions to oppose Hitlers invasion. In this country ever more overt signs of their belligerency called forth ever more stringent diplomatic responses. Pat Buchanan joins the Strike South faction in interpreting these as provocations.
The other four American carriers were in the Atlantic.
USS Lexington was close enough to the Japanese strike force so that it might conceivably on a longshot have spotted or been spotted by the Japanese, but neither force was launching recon patrols. The Lexington's deck was full of Marine aircraft that could fly off, but whose flight crews were not trained to land on carriers. The Japanese weren't flying recon because they were trying to sneak up on Pearl Harbor, and any American warship or merchantmen spotting and reporting a Japanese aircraft in the middle of nowhere would have tipped their hand.
If your uncle is still with us, pass along my thanks for his service to our country.
Read your book and like it, and understand the context of the liberal lies.
However, beyond the marxist/liberal bent on this, there has been several scholarly works on military intel (particulary British codebreaking of jap naval codes and the comm, and lack of comm, with FDR and others in our military) with various facts that point to intentional neglect on the part of FDR.
Without going into a lot of detail, had family in the know in submarine service at the time— they had shoot to kill orders in Oct. 1941- and a whole host of other orders and negligent behaviour of DC Navy command/FDR convinced him that this was all manipulated to occur, and to cost lives. Also placed it firmly at the feet of the “limeys” and their knowledge of the jap fleet, supplied to FDR and not acted upon.
To his dying day he said this was what happened, and clearly knew why. Went through a lot as a result as many did. Now rests with full honors at Arlington, and will be remembered tomorrow.
The Japanese we’re more forward thinking than people give them credit for. They realized that industry was changing and mineral resources, not just oil, were required to be a major power. They have no resources. They made an expected attempt to gain them. No different, imho, than when Europe conquered the Americas. It was an attempt at a land/resource grab and they lost. It’s been done countless times. This time it was done to us. We still won. Convincingly.
You are so right. FDR was some serious scum, as was that ugly b**ch he was married too. He was no match for Stalin, even though he was an American dictator.
Reference my post below #79 to LS. My family member said the brits had broken the early codes prior to late 1941 (was cleared to ‘know’ this), knew where the jap fleet was, may or may not have reported it to our command (who then sat on it if they did receive it). There are several excellent books on the code stuff and quite clear now what happened.
FDR embargoed oil to Japan— they had 30 days worth, and used it to get to the Malaya fields from the Dutch. Japs believed the US would act if Brits were attacked and thus attacked Pearl to stop this potential— this was not true since US politics were not pro-Brit at the time (thanks to stalin’s agents in FDR’s cabinet, and the german/russian pact in 1939).
Churchill and FDR, both devious men, cooked this up- Britain was on the ropes and after the war we inherited all of the crap from the old empire, places like— Iran. Lucky us. Thanks FDR.
Respectfully, it is not ****. And it is not just “hearing it”. It is the proven truth.
Knowing the facts of a devious bastard like FDR and the progressive socialists who devastated several generations of Americans for their own power and our loss of freedom, puts us all on solid footing for defeating the lying devious bastard currently in the WH. Perhaps for some, ignorance and applied situational ethics substitutes for intellect.
If one wants to beat the demonrats and fellow travellers one could learn how the US got maneuvered into war, forcing our best and brightest to give their lives so that 60 plus years later an uninformed lazy tv millenial electorate can elect the mack daddy of jivepunka**, coke snorting, marxist-socialist progressives.
Given Buchanan’s political wanderings maybe I understand turning a blind eye. I mean, why even try to learn from those who were there (Hoover)? Why not just give up now and relive the glory days of FDR with a marxist finish, eating rodents in an obamaville?
Let it all be traitorous gamesmanship and destruction, not a true victory for freedom. Sort of cheapens the sacrifice of all those who came before. Deo Vindice.
For a personal snapshot of FDR’s first term and his first appt. of an ambassador to Germany, a good read is
“In the Garden of Beasts” Erik Larson. Is available online for free, I think through Glenn Beck.
FDR and many fascist/commie/anti-semites in his State Dept. didn’t give a damn about Hitler (this was prior to Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, but russian agents were throughout his admin and it was fashionable in the depression era to be a commie), or about jews.
The book is non-fiction written from the personal recollections of the ambassador and his family (his daughter was sleeping with the head of the gestapo—slut that she was, and later became a commie agent- imagine that).
Could not put it down, for this and the reason of the many parallels to the nationalist socialist we have in the WH now. Like Reagan said, freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. Deo Vindice.
The same way it did turn out, only a little longer. Japan couldn't hope to match U.S. industrial power as Yamamoto knew quite well. What they hoped for was a quick acquiescence by America. That wasn't in the cards. Any American pol who would have tried to make peace with Japan right after Pearl Harbor would probably been forced to leave the country.
The JN-25 Naval code was not broken until January 1942. Prior to December 7th,1941 most US codebreakers were concentrating on the “Purple” diplomatic code. The naval code was a lower priority. Also, The Imperial Japanese Navy had changed the code in the fall of 1941. So JN-25 was only about 3% broken in early December 1941. After the attacks on Hawaii, the Phillippines and Malaya, priorities shifted and the code was mostly broken by January.
Besides, the attack plans were kept under the strictest security and Kido Butai was under radio silence until the attack was launched.
We were preparing since the fall of France in June, 1940. The Two-Ocean Navy Act, giving the Navy a blank check, was passed right after that.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks decimon for the link, and thanks Kaslin for the topic.
To Greenlantern, detailed information about the time and date of the attack might very well have been intercepted thru non-navel codes. The radio silence only applied to the fleet after it sailed to attack Pearl. Japanese diplomats and military leaders were aware in advance of the attack and war declaration and told to prepare for a war footing.
Plenty of time and sources for FDR to scheme our entry into the war.
To those of us who read our history that answer to the headline’s question is a resounding YES!
FDR had much to answer to as his wheelchair was pushed up the ramp to hell! Probably Harry Hopkins was doing the pushing.
How did this all come about? It is fascinating:
The British aided the Japanese Navy at Port Arthur, so they could enter and destroy the Russian Fleet. The British also tried to keep the Russians in WWI after the Bolshevik Revolution. They treated with Lenin to stay in WWI. And King V would not lift a hand to stop his cousin Tsar Nicholas II and his family from being executed— all to keep good stead with whatever government was in control in Russia.
The underlying reason for all of this, and the US complicity in it: the Russian government owed them money. Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution, the Russian State Bank received credit from France and Great Britain, and partner banks (Chase,Warburg,Morgan) in exchange for gold bullion shipped to both countries, in a significant amount (the Russian national treasury had in Petrograd in 1905 value, 65 million British Pounds of physical gold). All this to finance Russia staying in WWI.
TR was President at this time, 1905, and then Taft and then Wilson (a Progressive socialist disaster who enabled the Bolsheviks to fully take over from Kerensky).
It was the series of progressives who continued to support Russia/Soviet Union, in support of these debts due Bank of England and the French Exchequer. Despite the period of vain attempts to keep us away from the horrors of the fallout of WWI (Coolidge, Harding, Hoover)— the progressives continued, and perpetuated the Depression, and thanks to the comintern/Stalinist agents in FDR’s regime and within Churchill’s- the US went to war having embargoed the Japanese from oil they needed to hold Mongolia/China.
Looking back to the Russo-Japanese war is very instructive, especially as to how the Chinese vast territory and resources featured. The Soviets “beat” the Japanese (recall they only declared war on Japan after Germany invaded them, and right after we dropped the A-Bomb in Aug. 1945) and then helped their future comintern partners, the Chinese.
It’s been pointed out many times on FR, that US policy in these times was “played like a violin” by the Soviets, at the behest of the progressives who to this day always trot out the Nazis— failing to mention that the Nazis were themselves progressive national socialists, or the financing of the Bolsheviks by German banks to bring down their Russian enemies government. The net result- decades of horror and destruction— thanks to the comintern. They have a lot to answer for as they continue to peddle their crap to this day.
The underlying commodity, at the risk of sounding like “occupy” types- was oil (see The Prize). Sorry for the long comment- this day features rather strongly in my family’s history and our beloved country. Deo Vindice.
To clarify, the Port Arthur events happened in 1904 with the Japanese aided by the British in both land and sea attacks. The entire Russian Pacific Fleet was destroyed.
The loans to Russia were extended in 1915, to keep Russia in WWI. And the Prussians/German banks financed Lenin and the Bolsheviks to bring down the Tsar and defeat Russia.
Tsar Nicholas II was in power through this time, until his abdication in 1917. His cousin, King George V of Great Britain would not (or could not) intervene to prevent his and his family’s execution by the communists. The connections between the royal families were very close, and honored to this day by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guard.