A. P. U. S. History – Period 4
May 30, 2014
Hawaii was Surprised; FDR was Not
It is the evening of December 6th, 1941. Most Americans sleep peacefully in their beds with the knowledge that their country is free from the war that now plagues much of the world. U.S. intelligence decodes a message pointing to Sunday as a date for some sort of Japanese military action. This message is delivered to Washington 4 hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and, for whatever reason, this message wasn’t forwarded to the commanders at Pearl Harbor, and they didn’t receive it until after the attack had already begun. At 7:55 AM on December 7th, the first wave of Japanese aircraft began the attack and the fighting raged on for two hours and twenty minutes. By the end of it, more than 2400 Americans had lost their lives and another 1200 were wounded, 18 ships had been sunken or damaged, and more than 300 aircraft had been destroyed or damaged. This tactical victory for Japan marked a turning point for the war, and it left many Americans shocked and appalled. This unexpected event, as Roosevelt put it, was “a date that will go down in infamy.” But was this event really as unexpected as FDR would have liked us to believe? Many decisions made by the U.S. Government during the time say otherwise, such as it's shifting relationship with Japan and the denial of information to Hawaii. FDR would have had plenty of motive to cover up information. Though this theory hasn't moved a majority of historians, that doesn't make it wrong, and it's a theory with much to be analyzed.
Motives for the