20. The Descent to Pearl Harbor

On April 17, 1941, Japanese army and the navy planners concluded Japan should go to war in the event the U.S., Britain and Holland embargoed supplies or if the U.S. increased pressures "to contain the empire" in its contemplated drive south.1

An army study early in 1941 concluded the empire had oil and munitions for two years. The study warned that, if Japan lost too much marine transport, it would be unable to continue the war. This sobering conclusion did not change Japan's southern strategy. The army's war-preparations section, rather, came to a remarkable conclusion: "If military operations cannot be avoided, we will manage by one means or another."

The section also made an inexcusable error: it calculated the material power of Japan alone, without relating it to that of the U.S. and Britain. The army dismissed as "extremely arrogant" a message from Winston Churchill pointing out that the U.S. in 1941 would produce 75 million tons of steel and Britain 12.5 million tons. Churchill asked: "Would not the 7 million tons of steel production of Japan be inadequate for a single-handed war?"

* * * * * * * * * *

By spring, 1941, the U.S. embargoes on exports of iron and steel and other products to Japan were pinching the economy. Likewise, oil shipments nosedived as the U.S. made export licenses difficult to get. The Dutch, backed by Britain and the U.S., refused to increase oil sales and cut back on exports of tin, rubber and vegetable oils.2

Meanwhile the talks going on in Washington between Nomura Kichisaburo, the Japanese ambassador, and Cordell Hull were getting nowhere. Hull set out the U.S. conditions on April 16 when he listed his "four principles": respect for the integrity of all nations, noninterference in the affairs of other countries, equality of commercial opportunity and maintenance of the status quo.3 These implied that Japan should withdraw from China, renounce force and rely upon international agreements for trade and raw materials. Hull and Roosevelt were not surprised when Nomura countered on May 12 with a proposed joint Japanese-American overlordship of the Pacific and request that the U.S. bring the Nationalists to accept Japanese hegemony in China and arrange for Japan to get raw materials in southeast Asia.4

Meanwhile, Hitler overran the Balkans and ousted British empire troops from Greece. In Libya, German General Erwin Rommel, with ridiculously small mobile forces, drove the British back to the Egyptian border, erasing a recent British victory over a large Italian army.5 The U.S. and Britain began to fear German conquest of all north Africa. This could put Germany in control of west African ports like Dakar, threaten the Atlantic islands and give Germany domination of the vital south Atlantic shipping lanes. U.S. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, Frank Knox and Henry Stimson urged FDR to transfer most of the American fleet to the Atlantic to defend Dakar and the Atlantic islands.6 However, FDR felt moving the fleet would invite Japan to occupy the East Indies. As a compromise, he ordered a quarter of the Pacific fleet to the Atlantic and declared a national emergency to scare the American people, though he took no meaningful steps to follow up on it.7

Hitler's most dangerous move would have been to conquer north Africa, exactly as Roosevelt, Churchill and nearly every sensible strategist thought he would do. But Hitler turned his back on Africa and prepared to attack the Soviet Union. This saved not only Africa but a great deal more besides.8

Japan received reports about impending hostilities.9 On June 3-4, 1941, Hitler informed Ambassador Oshima Hiroshi that war with Russia probably couldn't be avoided amd he would welcome Japanese cooperation. The report set off a tense reexamination of policy that went on past the time the Germans actually struck on June 22. Matsuoka, though he'd just signed a neutrality pact with Russia, decided Japan should attack the Soviets. His was a powerful argument, because a Soviet Union conquered by Germany and Japan would give the Axis the same strategic position that a four-power entente would have established. Defeat of Russia would deliver all Eurasia to the Axis, make most of Africa untenable for Britain, cripple the British empire and force the United States to defend the western hemisphere with little chance of adventures in the western Pacific.

However, Prime Minister Konoe and army and navy chiefs failed to see this opportunity. Despite angry recriminations from Germany, they recommended remaining inactive in Manchuria and occupying southern Indochina to prepare for advances southward.10

At a crucial and history-making imperial conference on July 2, Japanese caution and opportunism won out over Matsuoka's strategic logic. Konoe and the military agreed to prepare for a military solution in the north if the opportunity came but to continue the southern advance. In that one decision, the leaders probably lost the war for Japan and Germany.11

The imperial conference agreed to wait forty or fifty days, moving into southern Indochina in the interim. If Russia then was reeling, Japan would strike north. Otherwise, it would continue to move southward. The army and navy began massive mobilization, calling up nearly two million reserves and conscripts and thoroughly alarming the U.S. and Russia.12

Japanese leaders decided, if the Kremlin transferred half its Far Eastern forces to the west, Japan would attack into Siberia. The Kremlin probably knew of this plan from its spy in Tokyo, Richard Sorge. In the next few weeks Joseph Stalin carried out one of the most decisive and hair-raising calculated risks ever attempted. Russia had thirty infantry divisions and 2,800 warplanes in the Far East, forces Stalin could well have used against the Germans.13 Despite the disastrous news from the western front, the Soviet command pulled out only a few troops and tanks from the entire Far East and around Manchuria itself actually strengthened defenses.

Stalin won the gamble. Japan maintained its neutrality and turned its gaze southward. The first casualty was Foreign Minister Matsuoka, whom Prime Minister Konoe got rid of on July 16 by resigning, thus forcing a reorganization of the government. Konoe himself and other supporters of a southern move returned. The new foreign minister was Admiral Toyoda Teijiro.14

On July 14 the government demanded of the Vichy French agreement for Japan to occupy eight air bases in southern Indochina and the use of France's naval base at Camranh bay. The French quickly capitulated.15

Japanese forces were already on the way toward southern Indochina. The United States was aware of this and also was aware of much (but by no means all) of what was going on in Tokyo because American army and navy crypanalysts by August, 1940, had discovered the secrets of the Japanese diplomatic encoding machine known as "Purple." With increasing accuracy they were reading many messages from Tokyo in the decoding program named "Magic." Although they were getting close, they had not broken the Japanese army and navy codes, however.16 U.S. eavesdroppers had deciphered most of the messages between Nomura and Tokyo ever since he had arrived in Washington and had picked up substantial indications of Japanese intentions in southeast Asia. Washington knew the only purpose of occupying southern Indochina was to support additional moves farther south.17

Hull said he could see no basis in pursuing further talks with Japan and called them off.18 This opened the way, on July 25, 1941, for Roosevelt to take the step he had shrunk from for over a year: he issued an executive order freezing all Japanese assets, a move that instantly ended all trade with Japan.19 Britain took similar action on July 26 and the Dutch East Indies and the British dominions followed quickly thereafter.

Roosevelt and Churchill thought Japan would await the outcome of the battle for Russia and Britain before venturing in overt attack.20 But the embargoes convinced the Japanese military leaders the die was cast for war, for without oil Japan's military operations could not long continue. As the first of 50,000 Japanese troops began to move into Indochina on July 28, the army and navy started seriously preparing for armed confrontation. Prime Minister Konoe, however, did not give up hope of a settlement.21

* * * * * * * * * *

Early in August Roosevelt held an important conference with Winston Churchill in Placentia bay, Newfoundland. Out of this historic meeting came the Atlantic Charter and the affirmation of an informal British-American alliance.22 Churchill pressed Roosevelt for the U.S., Britain and Holland to present an ultimatum that any further Japanese encroachment south might lead to war. But FDR responded that economic sanctions were the most he could approve.23

On September 6, the Japanese leaders decided at an imperial conference that the diplomats would continue negotiating until about October 10, 1941, but, if Japan did not get its way, the empire would go to war. The emperor accepted the decision unwillingly.24 Meantime, the army and navy worked on plans for various operations if the talks failed. Farthest along was the project of Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku for a strike against the American fleet at Pearl Harbor.25

On September 6, Ambassador Nomura told Hull that Japan refused to withdraw from Indochina. He also was evasive about Japan's response if the U.S. went to war with Germany.26 Nomura offered no concessions whatsoever to China. Japan called upon the U.S. to end its trade freeze and "suspend any military measures in the Far East and in the southwestern Pacific." Nomura pressed for an early decision. This concern about time disclosed that Japan had moves afoot, which Hull and FDR guessed were in the direction of the East Indies.27

At a crucial conference on October 12, Konoe declared he wanted to continue diplomatic negotiations. Tojo objected, saying it was foolish to continue hopeless talks and miss the opportunity to strike.28 Soon after, Tojo discerned a reluctance on the part of the navy to commit itself to war. He declared the September 6 decision on war was not tenable and it would be best for the cabinet to quit. Konoe saw no way around Tojo's challenge and the cabinet resigned on October 16.29 The emperor's lord privy seal, Marquis Kido Koichi, went to a group of senior statesmen and they, largely on Kido's advice, chose Tojo as prime minister. They believed Tojo was not necessarily committed to war. They were disastrously wrong.

Hirohito instructed Tojo to disregard the war decision of September 6 and reshape national policy after considering the situation at home and abroad. Tojo retained the war ministry so as to exert influence on the army and selected Togo Shigenori, former ambassador to Moscow, as the new foreign minister.

Kase Toshikazu, chief of the foreign office's American bureau, wrote afterward that the government and Ambassador Nomura both misunderstood the real issues separating the U.S. and Japan. These actually were Japan's expansion south and whether Japan would attack the U.S. if it entered the European war. However, Tokyo officials and Nomura believed the main U.S. goal was Japan's withdrawal from China. This indeed was a long-term American aim but not an immediate demand. "As our government missed this point," Kase said, "the conduct of negotiations was bound to be futile."

On November 2, Magic interceptors picked up a message referring to a major meeting on November 5. This was an imperial conference which resolved to pursue negotiations (though offering no new concessions) but also to prepare for war by early December if negotiations failed. Although the U.S. did not know the outcome of the conference, Tokyo flashed Nomura on November 5 that an agreement was necessary by November 25.30 Hull decided on the basis of the intercepts that "Japan had already set in motion the wheels of her war machine and she had decided not to stop short of war with the United States if, by November 25, we had not agreed to her demands."31

Ambassador Nomura presented the first of two proposals (Plan A) to Hull and FDR on November 10. They already had it through Magic. Japan would not agree to withdraw from the tripartite pact. It would keep troops in Indochina until signing a peace treaty with China and then would demand continued occupation of north China, Inner Mongolia and Hainan island.32 A Magic intercept showed even this was a deception. The intercept said: "We will call it evacuation; but...in the last analysis this will be out of the question."33 Hull told Nomura this proposal offered no solution.34

With a true emergency in effect, Tokyo sent another envoy, Kurusu Saburo, by Pan American Clipper seaplane to assist Nomura in his talks. He arrived on November 15. Hull didn't like him. "I felt from the start that he was deceitful." Moreover, Kurusu's only function was clearly to get the U.S. to accept the latest Japanese proposals instead of war.35

On the evening of November 17 Admiral Yamamoto held a send-off sake party aboard the flagship of Admiral Nagumo Chuichi, commander of the Pearl Harbor strike force. The next morning, Nagumo sailed for the Kurils, northeast of Hokkaido. Other ships of the armada departed the Inland Sea in twos and threes and moved secretly and in radio silence to the assembly point. The heart of the force was the six newest and largest aircraft carriers in the Imperial Navy carrying 423 combat aircraft.36

Elsewhere other task forces of Japanese navy ships and army troops were preparing for different assignments, all in great secrecy. In the event negotiators in Washington came to a successful conclusion, the strike forces were to receive stop orders from Tokyo and were to turn around and retreat.

On November 20, Nomura and Kurusu presented Tokyo's Plan B, Japan's last offer, which would require the Dutch East Indies to provide raw materials to Japan, both sides to stop troop and ship advancements (except Japan's move into southern Indochina) and the U.S. to supply Japan necessary oil and give Japan a free hand in China. This plan was completely unacceptable and was an open invitation to American rejection and a Japanese decision for war.37

Kurusu and Nomura got permission to extend the November 25 deadline four days but Tokyo warned that beyond November 29 "the deadline absolutely cannot be changed. After that things are automatically going to happen."38 Hull and Roosevelt got the deciphered message on November 22 and knew time was running out.

FDR attempted a last-minute modus vivendi in which Japan would withdraw from southern Indochina and the U.S. would modify the July freeze order slightly. However, Chiang Kai-shek falsely claimed this would threaten the collapse of China and Winston Churchill, who wanted the U.S. in the war by whatever means possible, supported Chiang's hysterical outburst. The result was that Cordell Hull never submitted the proposal to Nomura and Kurusu, especially after he learned that five divisions of Japanese troops had been sighted on ships headed south from Taiwan. Roosevelt "fairly blew up" and said this changed the entire situation.39

At this critical juncture, therefore, Hull and Roosevelt decided to "kick the whole thing over" and draw a hard line when a softer line would almost certainly have caused the Japanese cabinet to back off immediate hostilities and have given the United States at least three months (and probably longer) to increase its defenses. Hull delivered a harsh ten-point proposal to Nomura and Kurusu on November 26 after getting FDR's approval but without consulting the army and navy.40

Although the proposal called on Japan in effect to renounce the tripartite pact and to recognize the Nationalists as the only government in China, the key demand was for Japan to withdraw all troops from both China and Indochina, something that Japan could not possibly undertake, especially as regards China, without a complete reversal of national policy. It was an almost open invitation for war. Kurusu and Nomura were shocked. "If this is the idea of the American government," Kurusu said, "I do not see how any agreement is possible."41

On November 25, the Pearl Harbor strike force departed the Kurils, traversing a part of the north Pacific generally avoided by merchant shipping. Admiral Naguno had orders to strike Pearl Harbor only when he received the prearranged order: "Climb Mount Niitake."42

In Tokyo the news of Hull's note played into the hands of military leaders who were itching for a fight.43 Roosevelt told his cabinet on November 28 that negotiations were at an end and hostile Japanese action was possible at any moment.44

Both the army and navy departments in Washington sent out warning messages to stations in the Pacific but none mentioned danger to Hawaii specifically.45 Nevertheless, American military leaders in Hawaii and in Washington were remarkably obtuse. In war games in 1932 American carriers had launched a successful Sunday morning attack on Pearl Harbor and other games had shown Pearl's vulnerability from the north. Also, Ambassador Grew had reported in January, 1941, that Japan would open hostilities with an attack on Pearl Harbor.

In Tokyo, Emperor Hirohito had become alarmed.46 But on December 1 an imperial conference decided officially on war. Meanwhile the various Japanese task forces were steaming toward their destinations. On December 2, Admiral Yamamoto sent off the prearranged signal to Admiral Nagumo: "Climb Mount Niitake." Other coded signals went out to other strike forces.47

By 9 p.m. on December 6 the Japanese armada had reached a point about 490 miles north of Oahu. Early that morning the Japanese consulate at Honolulu confirmed that on this Saturday most of the Pacific battle fleet was docked at Pearl Harbor, except for three major omissions: the three aircraft carriers in the Pacific. Unknown to the Japanese, the Pacific fleet commander, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, had sent Enterprise to deliver marine fighter planes to Wake island, Lexington to deliver scout bombers to Midway island and Saratoga back to the west coast of the U.S. for repairs.48

On that day, the naval strength of Japan and the Western powers of the U.S., Britain and Holland in the Pacific were seemingly fairly balanced. The great disparity was in aircraft carriers. Japan had ten, the U.S. three. The other three U.S. carriers were in the Atlantic. Britain had planned to send an aircraft carrier to support the battleship Prince of Wales and the battle cruiser Repulse at Singapore but it had run aground in Jamaica and the two big British ships had to depend upon a few shore-based fighters.49 The U.S. had nine battleships in the Pacific, eight of them lined up in "battleship row" at Pearl Harbor. Japan had ten battleships, all in some respects superior to their American and British counterparts. In other vessels the balance was close.

On the night of December 6, officers made speeches, everyone cheered and, on the flagship Akagi, sailors raised the flag Admiral Togo Heihachiro had flown from his flagship at the battle of Tsushima against the Russians in 1905. It would have been more appropriate if the Japanese had used the flag Admiral Togo had flown on his warship when it sank without warning a Chinese troopship in 1894, setting off the first Sino-Japanese war (see chapter 1).

At 6 a.m. December 7 the force was 275 miles north of Pearl Harbor and Admiral Nagumo launched the first 183 aircraft of a total of 360 aircraft employed. They sped off toward Oahu.

Meanwhile Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu were trying to get a message decoded and delivered, as instructed by Tokyo, before the bombs actually began falling on Pearl Harbor. However, clerks ran into decrypting delays. Meantime, the Japanese aircraft arrived over Oahu at 7:55 a.m., five minutes early, and commenced their attack. Nomura and Kurusu didn't deliver their message to Hull until 2:20 p.m. Washington time (55 minutes after the attack started). By then Hull knew the attack was already under way.50

The assault was shattering. Not only was surprise of great significance but the Japanese torpedoes and aerial bombs were incredibly effective. The torpedoes were fitted with fins which permitted them to work in the shallow (30-45 feet) depth of Pearl Harbor. The high-level bombers carried 15- and 16-inch armor-piercing artillery shells fitted with fins to fall like bombs. Dropped vertically, no deck armor could withstand them. Of the eight American battleships, the Japanese sank four and severely damaged the others. They sank three destroyers and four smaller vessels and badly damaged three light cruisers and a seaplane tender. They destroyed 188 American aircraft, most of them on the ground, and damaged sixty-three others. They killed 2,327 American servicemen and wounded 1,143, plus killing seventy civilians. Japanese losses were only 29 aircraft and not many more men.

Admiral Nagumo now made a fatal error. Only a few American aircraft were available to attack the Japanese carriers, even if they could be located. The two American carriers were out of range, although Nagumo didn't know it. The commanders clamored with Nagumo to launch another strike with all aircraft to knock out the enormous American oil tanks and American repair installations which represented the only fleet base the United States possessed west of San Diego. If these were destroyed the American fleet could not operate except under devastating handicaps. With Pearl out of service, the Japanese would have full control of the central and western Pacific. Yamamoto had been willing to lose three carriers to complete the destruction of the American fleet and base. But Nagumo, worried about the missing American carriers, decided to turn back with the job half done. Yamamoto's plan for a preemptive strike to destroy the possibility of American resistance came within one air strike of succeeding.51

The destruction at Pearl Harbor had been immense. But Yamamoto's great plan was an enormous blunder. The wrong admiral had led the strike force and had not completed the job. Far more important, December 7 became for the American people "a date which will live in infamy," as Roosevelt told Congress. Pearl Harbor unified the American people in a single day and established an unquenchable resolve to destroy Japan. Most Americans fervently agreed with Roosevelt when he said: "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory."52 The psychological effect on Americans was exactly the opposite of what the Japanese expected. Japanese triumphs dismayed but never defeated the American people. The evidence of wanton Japanese brutality against American and other prisoners, combined with the perception of Japanese as sneaks after Pearl Harbor, created a hatred in Americans that led not only to the sweeping of thousands of innocent Japanese-Americans from the Pacific coast into concentration camps but to something very like a racial war against the Japanese as a people.53

As shocking as was the loss of battleships at Pearl Harbor, plus the sinkings on December 10 of the British Prince of Wales and Repulse by land-based aircraft off Malaya, the lasting effect on the Allies was not as shattering as might have been expected. The battleships had been proved to be mortally vulnerable to aerial bombs and torpedoes.54 This instantly made the aircraft carrier the central capital ship. The tremendous American manufacturing capacity permitted naval planners to begin a massive construction program focused on large, fast fleet carriers and smaller escort carriers.55 Japan had nothing like U.S. capacity to build new carriers and had to depend largely upon its fleet in being, a fleet heavily weighted with battleships which were largely unusable. Thus the silhouette of Japan's defeat appeared dimly as a result of its own astonishing naval victories in the first four days of the war.

Chapter 21: The Long Road to China >>

1. The narrative on Japan's analysis of the repercussions of a southern advance is drawn from Morely, Choice, "The Navy's Role in the Southern Strategy," by Tsunoda Jun (translation by Robert A. Scalapino), pp. 287-95, appendix 3. See also Road, p. 191; Liddell Hart, World War, p. 682.

2. Morely, Choice, "Economic Demands on the Dutch East Indies," by Nagaoka Shinjiro, pp. 148-3; "The Drive into Southern Indochina and Thailand," by Nagoaka Shinjiro (translations by Robert A. Scalapino), pp. 223-34; FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, p. 301; Road, pp. 151-2, 189.

3. The narrative on the Washington talks between Japan and the U.S. in the spring and early summer, 1941, is drawn from FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 325-42. A full record of the negotiations from February 14, 1941, to December 7 is contained in pp. 325-795. See also Road, pp. 191-5, 199-201.

4. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 333-4, 427-34; Road, pp. 202-04; Reynolds, pp. 230-1.

5. Liddell Hart, World War, pp. 118-20, 135-6.

6. Dallek, p. 264.

7. Ibid., p. 266; Road, pp. 197-8, 204.

8. Morley, Choice, "The Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact," by Hosoya Chihiro (translation by Peter A. Berton), pp. 87-88.

9. Ibid., p. 90; Hoyt, pp. 199-202.

10. Road, pp. 214-5.

11. Kase, pp. 47-48; Road, pp. 215-6. A strike at the Soviet Union was a recipe for victory, however, only if the United States continued to allow oil and other raw materials to be shipped to Japan.  This was certain not to happen if the Japanese invaded Siberia.  The U.S. had been on the verge of ending all trade with Japan for a year.  If Japan attacked the Soviet Union, the Americans would close off trade and induce Britain and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) to follow.  Without imports, an offensive into Siberia would run out of oil and raw materials within months.  This reality slowly dawned on the Japanese leaders, and influenced their decision to turn instead to southeast Asia and seize the oil and other materials they needed by force.

12. Road, pp. 217-8.

13. Liddell Hart, World War, pp. 157-66.

14. Borton, p. 367; FRUS, Japan, vol. 1, p. vi. The story of Matsuoka's opposition to the southern strategy and the process by which Konoe and the military leaders got rid of him is given in Road, pp. 223-5.

15. Morley, Choice, pp. 237-8; Road, pp. 224, 226, 230.

16. Wohlstetter, pp. 171-8; Lewin, pp. 59-60.

17. The U.S. knew Japan planned to take over British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies even at the risk of war. See Riley & Sunderland, Mission, p. 22; Road, pp. 219, 227, 236.

18. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 315-7, 340-1, 522-30; Road, p. 234.

19. Ibid., pp. 266-7, 532-4; Lowe, pp. 233-40. Road, pp. 227-50; Dallek, p. 275; Reynolds, p. 234.

20. Road, p. 241; Churchill, Alliance, p. 587.

21. Morley, Choice, p. 240; Hoyt, pp. 209-10; Borton, pp. 367-8.

22. Roosevelt and Churchill brought along their top military and civilian leaders for the four-day talks, which began on August 9, 1941. The Atlantic charter, created after two days of discussions between Churchill, Roosevelt and Sir Alexander Cadogan, permanent British undersecretary for foreign affairs: 1) eschewed Anglo-American aggrandisement; 2) opposed imposed territorial changes; 3) affirmed sovereign rights for all people; 4) offered access on equal terms (but "with due respect for their existing obligations" as a sop to the British empire preference system) to trade and raw materials for all states; 5) offered international collaboration to improve labor standards, economic advancement and social security; 6) called for postwar peace assuring safety of all nations and "freedom from fear and want for all men"; 7) offered freedom of the seas; 8) promised disarmament of aggressor nations "pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security." Public response to the charter was not great and disappointed Roosevelt. See Dallek, pp. 283-5, 299-300; Pratt, pp. 640-1; Churchill, Alliance, pp. 427-50; Road, pp. 255-60.

23. While the Atlantic conference was going on the House of Representatives on August 12, 1941, barely extended the selective-service (draft) act, approving the measure by one vote. See also FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 345-6, 351-3, 554-9, 571-92; Road, pp. 259-60; Barnes, pp. 304-05.

24. Road, pp. 264-7; Kase, pp. 46-47. Kase Toshikazu was a member of the Japanese foreign office and was one of the eleven Japanese who went aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, to sign the Japanese surrender.

25. Road, pp. 264, 267-70; Pratt, p. 655; Borton, p. 368; Hoyt, pp. 211-3, 215-7.

26. Japan's language on this point: "In case the United States should participate in the European war, the interpretation and execution of the tripartite pact by Japan will be independently decided."

27. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 348-51, 353-6, 604-09, 645-61; Kase, p. 50; Road, pp. 274-5.

28. Kase, pp. 50-51; Hoyt, p. 217.

29. The narrative on the breakup of the Konoe government and the decision for war is drawn from Kase, pp. 51-60; Pratt, p. 655; Borton, 369; FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 689-706; Road, p. 278, 282-7, 291-2.

30. Wohlstetter, pp. 187-211; Lewin, pp. 67-68; Dallek, pp. 305-05; Road, pp. 262-3, 299-302.

31. Hull, vol. 2, pp. 1056-62.

32. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 715-9; Road, pp. 303-04.

33. Dallek, p. 306.

34. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 719-37; Road, p. 305.

35. Hull, vol. 2, p. 1062; Road, pp. 307-08.

36. Morison, p. 46; Road, p. 303; Hoyt, pp. 219-20.

37. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 744-56, 762-4; Road, pp. 307-11.

38. Wohlstetter, pp. 189-90; Road, p. 313.

39. Dallek, pp. 307-08; Churchill, Alliance, pp. 596-7; Hull, vol. 2, p. 1081; Barnes, pp. 306-07; Road, pp. 314-8.

40. Wohlstetter, pp. 246-8.

41. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 764-70; Road, pp. 320-1. The ten points were as follows: 1) U.S. and Japan will conclude nonaggression pacts with Britain, China, Holland, Soviet Union, Thailand; 2) affected countries will guarantee the territorial integrity of French Indochina and share equal economic opportunities there; 3) Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air and police forces from China and Indochina; 4) the U.S. and Japan "will not support, militarily, politically, economically, any government or regime in China other than the Nationalists; 5) the U.S. and Japan will give up all extraterritorial rights in China; 6) the U.S. and Japan will negotiate for a trade pact with reduced tariff barriers; 7) the U.S. will remove its freeze of Japanese assets; 8) both governments will stabilize the dollar-yen rate; 9) no Japanese agreement with third powers (the tripartite pact) shall affect peace throughout the Pacific; 10) both governments will seek to get other governments to adhere to the economic and political principles set forth in the proposal. Kase, p. 63, mentions the criticism of Charles A. Beard, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War 1941, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1948, p. 517: "Is this the foreign policy, the official program of the United States for the Far East?...At no time in the history of American diplomatic relations with the Orient...had the government of the United States proposed to Japan such a sweeping withdrawal from China under the veiled threat of war and under the pressure of economic sanctions likely to lead to war."

42. Morison, p. 46; Hoyt, p.220.

43. Kase, pp. 60-62; Road, p. 327.

44. Dallek, p. 308; Wohlstetter, pp. 248-50; Road, pp. 323-4.

45. Wohlstetter, pp. 259-60, 336; Morison, pp. 49-50; Road, pp. 324-5. I am not going to pursue the question of whether there was a conspiracy by President Roosevelt to get the U.S. into war by withholding information about the impending Pearl Harbor attack. It is clear from the excellent studies on the subject that human error and nothing more caused the failure of the Pearl Harbor defenders to be alerted. For a brilliant analysis of the issue, see Wohlstetter's book. As Wohlstetter says in her forward (p. vii), "Pearl Harbor was neither a Sunday-morning, nor a Hawaiian, phenomenon. It was just a dramatic failure of a remarkably well-informed government to call the next enemy move in a cold-war crisis." She adds: "Rarely has a government been more expectant. We just expected wrong. And it was not our warning that was most at fault, but our strategic analysis. We were so busy thinking through some 'obvious' Japanese moves that we neglected to hedge against the choice that they actually made." Also Lewin, chapters 2 and 3, examines recent evidence thoroughly, and reaches a similar conclusion. See also the cogent summary by Pratt, p. 659-62. To answer the claim by John Toland that Roosevelt and his closest advisors had advance knowledge Japanese carriers were headed toward Hawaii, I have relied on the rebuttal by Spector, pp. 97-98. Toland's book is Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company, 1982.

46. Kase, pp. 60, 63-64; Road, ppp. 328-30.

47. Hoyt, pp. 220-1; Road, pp. 330-1; FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 784-6.

48. The narrative on Pearl Harbor is drawn from Morison, pp. 39, 46-76; Hoyt, pp. 222-33; Liddell Hart, World War, pp. 207-19; Spector, pp. 93-100.

49. Liddell Hart, World War, p. 225.

50. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 786-92. For the timing disparities between Honolulu and Washington, see Liddell Hart, World War, p. 217. See also Road, p. 332.

51. Washington quickly removed the Pacific fleet commander, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, and the Hawaiian army commander, Lieutenant General Walter C. Short. A commission of inquiry headed by Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts reported in January, 1942, that Kimmel and Short were derelict in their duty for failing to take "appropriate measures of defense required by the imminence of hostilities." Both were subsequently retired from the service. Morison criticizes this decision and says that, though both were so shaken by the attack that they had to be relieved anyway, they might have been allowed, with justice, to have honorable commands elsewhere. See Spector, pp. 93-94; Morison, p. 75.

52. FRUS, Japan, vol. 2, pp. 793-4. Students of events leading from the Manchurian incident in 1931 to Pearl Harbor will find useful the scholarly monographs in Dorothy Borg and Shumpei Okamato, editors (assisted by Dale K.A. Finlayson), Pearl Harbor as History, Japanese-American Relations 1931-1941, New York: Columbia University Press, 1973.

53. By January, 1942, alarmists along the Pacific coast of the U.S. were charging falsely that Japanese residents, most of them American citizens born in the U.S., were engaged in espionage. They raised an outcry that the Japanese should be removed to the interior. Roosevelt knew such a decision would rest on shaky constitutional grounds, and also be suspect as racial discrimination, since no one seriously proposed that German- or Italian-Americans similarly be sent inland. Officials in the War Department panicked and said "military necessity" and public demand for action required uprooting the Japanese. In February, 1942, Roosevelt gave the War Department full authority to do what it thought necessary. The army moved in quickly and relocated 110,000 Japanese in "concentration camps," as FDR called them. Most lived in discomfort and suffered psychological distress throughout the war. The American Civil Liberties Union called the removal of the Japanese "the worst single wholesale violation of civil rights of American citizens in our history." Roosevelt was not a strong civil libertarian. He pressed Francis Biddle, U.S. attorney general, for judicial action against critics of his war policies, which Biddle was unwilling to do except in clear cases of sedition. FDR also asked J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to root out foreign waiters in the dining rooms of Washington hotels on the premise that many of them were spies. Because he feared the Nazi spies were using them to send messages, FDR also closed down private transatlantic telephone calls to the neutral European states, Sweden, Switzerland, Vichy France, Spain and Portugal and had agents monitor official calls to these countries. See Dallek, pp. 334-6.

54. Liddell Hart, World War, pp. 212, 377-9.

55. In 1942 U.S. shipyards delivered three new fleet carriers, three light fleet carriers and fifteen escort carriers. In 1943 they built five fleet carriers, six light fleet carriers and twenty-five escort carriers. In 1944 they produced nine fleet carriers and thirty-five escort carriers. Japanese shipyards came nowhere close to matching these figures. At least as important, American production of suitable naval aircraft to use the carriers and air crews to fly the planes kept pace with shipyard construction, whereas the Japanese failed to replace with similarly skilled men the many losses of the highly trained pilots and crewmen they had at the start of the war. See Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000, New York: Random House, 1987, p. 383. He quotes H.P Willmott, Empires in the Balance, Annapolis, Md.: 1982, p. 98.