A Pearl Harbor timeline

I found this timeline which addresses the lead-up to what Franklin D. Roosevelt knew would be a day to live on in infamy. His.
Japanese attempt at SHOCK AND AWE, our permission slip to go to war

1904 – The Japanese destroyed the Russian navy in a surprise attack in undeclared war.

1932 – In the Grand Joint Army-Navy Exercises, 152 aircraft carrier planes caught the defenders of Pearl Harbor completely by surprise. It was a Sunday

1938 – Admiral Ernst King led a carrier-born airstrike from the USS Saratoga successfully against Pearl Harbor in another exercise.

1940 – FDR ordered the fleet transferred from the West Coast to its exposed position in Hawaii and ordered the fleet remain stationed at Pearl Harbor over complaints by its commander Admiral Richardson that there was inadequate protection from air attack and no protection from torpedo attack. Richardson felt so strongly that he twice disobeyed orders to berth his fleet there and he raised the issue personally with FDR in October and he was soon after replaced. His successor, Admiral Kimmel, also brought up the same issues with FDR in June 1941.

7 Oct 1940 – Navy IQ analyst McCollum wrote an 8 point memo on how to force Japan into war with US. Beginning the next day FDR began to put them into effect and all 8 were eventually accomplished.

11 November 1940 – 21 aged British planes destroyed the Italian fleet, including 3 battleships, at their homeport in the harbor of Taranto in Southern Italy by using technically innovative shallow-draft torpedoes.

In a letter of January 24, 1941, the Secretary of the Navy advised the Secretary of War that the increased gravity of the Japanese situation had prompted a restudy of the problem of the security of the Pacific Fleet while in Pearl Harbor. The writer stated: “If war eventuates with Japan, it is believed easily possible that hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the Fleet or the Naval base at Pearl Harbor. . . . The dangers envisaged in their order of importance and probability are considered to be: 1) air bombing attack; 2) air torpedo plane attack; 3) sabotage; 4) submarine attack; 5) mining; 6) bombardment by gunfire.” The letter stated the defenses against all but the first two were then satisfactory.

The Secretary of War replied February 7, 1941. Admiral Kimmel and General Short received copies of these letters.

11 February 1941 – FDR proposed sacrificing 6 cruisers and 2 carriers at Manila to get into war. Navy Chief Stark objected: “I have previously opposed this and you have concurred as to its unwisdom. Particularly do I recall your remark in a previous conference when Mr. Hull suggested (more forces to Manila) and the question arose as to getting them out and your 100% reply, from my standpoint, was that you might not mind losing one or two cruisers, but that you did not want to take a chance on losing 5 or 6.” (Charles Beard PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AND THE COMING OF WAR 1941, p 424)

March 1941 – FDR sold munitions and convoyed them to belligerents in Europe — both acts of war and both violations of international law — the Lend-Lease Act.

23 Jun 1941 – Advisor Harold Ickes wrote FDR a memo the day after Germany invaded the Soviet Union, “There might develop from the embargoing of oil to Japan such a situation as would make it not only possible but easy to get into this war in an effective way. And if we should thus indirectly be brought in, we would avoid the criticism that we had gone in as an ally of communistic Russia.” FDR was pleased with Admiral Richmond Turner’s report read July 22: “It is generally believed that shutting off the American supply of petroleum will lead promptly to the invasion of Netherland East Indies…it seems certain she would also include military action against the Philippine Islands, which would immediately involve us in a Pacific war.” On July 24 FDR told the Volunteer Participation Committee, “If we had cut off the oil off, they probably would have gone down to the Dutch East Indies a year ago, and you would have had war.” The next day FDR froze all Japanese assets in US cutting off their main supply of oil and forcing them into war with the US. Intelligence information was withheld from Hawaii from this point forward.

14 August – At the Atlantic Conference, Churchill noted the “astonishing depth of Roosevelt’s intense desire for war.” Churchill cabled his cabinet “(FDR) obviously was very determined that they should come in.”

On October 16, 1941, the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department [Short], and the Commander in Chief of the Fleet [Kimmel], were advised by the War and Navy Departments of the changes in the Japanese Cabinet, and of the possibility of an attack by Japan on Great Britain and the United States.

18 October – diary entry by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes: “For a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan.”

November 24, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a message to Admiral Kimmel in which he stated that in the opinion of the Navy Department, a surprise aggressive movement … by the Japanese . . . was a possibility.

November 27, 1941, the Chief of Staff of the Army informed the Commanding General that hostilities on the part of Japan were momentarily possible.

On the same day (November 27, 1941) the Chief of Naval Operations sent a message to the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, which stated in substance that the dispatch was to be considered a war warning.

November 28, 1941, the Commanding General received from the Adjutant General of the Army a message stating that the critical situation required every precaution to be taken at once against subversive activities.

The Navy Department sent three messages to the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet; the first of December 3, 1941, stated that it was believed certain Japanese consulates were destroying their codes and burning secret documents; the second of December 4, 1941, instructed the addressee to destroy confidential documents and means of confidential communication; and the third of December 4, 1941, directing that in view of the tense situation the naval commands on the outlying Pacific islands might be authorized to destroy confidential papers.

On December 6, the Japanese government began sending a long message to its diplomats in Washington. The last part of that message arrived in the early-morning hours of December 7. Japanese diplomats Nomura and Kurusu prepared for a final meeting with Secretary of State Hull, knowing that they were being ordered to break off all negotiations with the U.S. What they didn’t realize was that the same message had been decoded and rushed to President Roosevelt and to the high commanders of the U.S. Army and Navy. The U.S. was now aware that Japan might strike somewhere in the Pacific, but a warning did not reach Pearl Harbor until nearly 8:00 a.m., Hawaii time. By then, Nomura and Kurusu were in Secretary Hull’s office, and Japanese bombs were falling onto the neat lines of U.S. warships in Pearl Harbor’s “Battleship Row.”

At about noon E.S.T. (6:30 a.m. Honolulu time) December 7, an additional warning message indicating an almost immediate break in relations between the United States and Japan, was dispatched by the Chief of Staff. . . . The delivery of this urgent message was delayed until after the attack.

The Commanding General [Short], the Commander in Chief of the Fleet [Kimmel] and their principal staff officers considered the possibility of air raids. Without exception they believed that the chances of such a raid while the Pacific Fleet was based upon Pearl Harbor was practically nil.

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