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Full text of "Investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack. Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack, Congress of the United States, pursuant of S. Con. Res. 27, 79th Congress, a concurrent resolution to investigate the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and events and circumstances relating thereto, and additional views of Mr. Keefe, together with Minority views of Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Brewster .."

'^^ 



79th CoNGREsb SENATE jDocument 

M Session J 1 No. 244 



INVESTIGATION OF THE PEAEL HARBOR 

ATTACK 



REPORT 

OP THE 

JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE INVESTIGATION 

OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES 

PURSUANT TO 

S. Con. Res. 27, 79tli Congress 

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO INVESTIGATE THE 
ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR ON DECEMBER 
7, 1941, AND EVENTS AND CIRCUM- 
STANCES RELATING THERETO 

AND 

ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF MR. KEEFE 

TOGETHER WITH 

MINORITY VIEWS OF MR. FERGUSON AND MR. BREWSTER 




July 20 (legislative day July 5), 1946 — Ordered to be 
printed with illustrations 



79th Congress] ctj^i^t Arrti^ [Document 

2d Session j bJi^JNAlJi. [ No. 244 



INVESTIGATION OF THE PEARL HAEBOH 

ATTACK 



REPORT 

OF THE 

JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE INVESTIGATION 

OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES 

PURSUANT TO 

S. Con. Res. 27, 79th Congress 

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO INVESTIGATE THE 
ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR ON DECEMBER 
7, 1941, AND EVENTS AND CIRCUM- 
STANCES RELATING THERETO 

AND 

ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF MR. KEEFE 

TOGETHER WITH 

MINORITY VIEWS OF MR. FERGUSON AND MR. BREWSTER 




July 20 (legislative day July 5), 1946 — Ordered to be 
printed with illustrations 



UNITED STATES 

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

WASHINGTON : 1946 



JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE PEARL 
HARBOR ATTACK 

ALBEN W. BARKLEY, Senator from Kentucky, Chairman 
JERE COOI'ER, Representative from Tennessee, Vice Chairman 
WALTER F. GEORGE, Senator from Georgia JOHN W. MURPHY, Representative from 
SCOTT W. LUCAS, Senator from Illinois Pennsylvania 

OWEN BREWSTER, Senator from Maine BERTRAND W. GEARHART, Represcnta- 

HOMER FERGUSON, Senator from Michi- tive from California 

gan FRANK B. KEEFE, Representative from 

J. BAYARD CLARK, Representative from Wisconsin 
North Carolina 



COUNSEL 



(Through January 14, 1946) 

William D. Mitchell, General Counsel 
Gerhard A. Gesell, Chief Assistant Counsel 
JuLE M. Hannaford, Assistant Counsel 
John E. Masten, Assistant Counsel 

(After January 14, 1946) 

Seth W. Richardson, General Counsel 

Samuel H. Kaufman. Associate General Counsel 

John E. Masten, Assistant Counsel 

Edward P. Morgan, Assistant Counsel 

Logan J. Lane, Assistant Counsel 



II 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 



United States Senate and 
House of Representatives, 
Washington, D. C, July 20, 1946. 
Hon. Kenneth McKellar, 

President iiro tempore of the Senate. 
Hon. Sam Rayburn, 

Speaker oj the House oj Representatives. 
Dear Mr. President and Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to Senate Con- 
current Resolution No. 27 (as extended), Seventy-ninth Congress, 
first session, the Joint Congressional Committee on the Investigation 
of the Pearl Harbor Attack has completed its work with a view to a 
full and complete investigation of the facts relating to the events and 
circumstances leading up to or following the attack made by Japa- 
nese armed forces upon Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii on 
December 7, 1941. 

The committee has endeavored faithfully to discharge the duties 
assigned and respectfully submits herewith its report. 
Sincerely yours, 

Alben W. Barkley, 

Chairman. 
Jere Cooper, 

Vice Chairman. 

ni 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Foreword xi 

Introductory statement xiii 

Part I. Diplomatic background of the Pearl Harbor attack 1 

Japanese record of deceit and aggression 1 

Fundamental differences between American and Japanese policies 4 

Steps taken by the United States to meet the threat of Axis aggres- 
sion 10 

Initial United States- Japanese negotiations: 1941 13 

Japanese proposal of May 12 14 

Japanese reaction to German invasion of Russia 15 

Temporary cessation of negotiations 16 

Freezing of assets 18 

Resumption of negotiations and proposed meeting of President 

Roos3velt and Premier Konoye 19 

Japanese proposals of September 6 and 27 26 

Advent of the Tojo Cabinet 28 

Arrival of Saburo Kurusu 30 

Negotiations versus deadlines 32 

Japanese ultimatum of November 20 and the modus vivendi 32 

United States memorandum of November 26 38 

Fraudulent nature of Japanese diplomacy — November 28 to 

December 7 42 

Diplomatic and military liaison in Washington 43 

Conclusions 47 

Part II. The Japanese attack and its aftermath 53 

Formulation of the plan and date for execution 53 

Nature of the plan 54 

D jparture for the attack 56 

Execution of the attack 57 

Air ph^se 57 

Submarine phase 62 

Withdrawal of the striking force 63 

Damage to United States naval forces and installations as a result of 

t he attack 64 

Damage to United States Army forces and installations as a result of 

the attack 65 

Japanese losses 65 

Summary comparison of losses 65 

State of readiness to meet the attack 66 

Attack a surprise 66 

Personnel 66 

Antiaircraft 67 

Aircraft 68 

Action taken following the attack 68 

Defensive forces and facilities of the Navy at Hawaii 69 

Defensive forces and facilities of the Army at Hawaii 70 

Comparison of strength and losses: Japanese attacking force and 

Hawaiian defensive forces 70 

Part III. Responsibilities in Hawaii 75 

Consciousness of danger from air attack 75 

Admiral Kimmel's awareness of danger from air attack 75 

General Short's awareness of danger from air attack 79 

Plans for the defense of Hawaiian coastal frontier 81 

Concept of the war in the Pacific 87 

Conclusions with respect to consciousness of danger from air 

attack 88 

V 



VI CONTENTS 

Part III. Responsibilities in Hawaii— Continued Page 
Information supplied Admiral Kimmel by Washington indicating the 

imminence of war 89 

Information supplied General Short by Washington indicating the 

imminence of war 100 

Action taken by Admiral Kimmel pursuant to warnings and orders 

from Washington 103 

Dispatch of October 16 from Chief of Naval Operations 103 

Dispatch of November 24 from Chief of Naval Operations 104 

The "War warning" dispatch of November 27 104 

Evaluation of the "War warning" dispatch of November 27 107 

On where the attack might come 107 

Other dispatches received on November 27 108 

"Psychological handicaps" indicated by Admiral Kimmel 109 

The "War warning" and training 110 

The term "Defensive deployment" and failure to institute distant 

reconnaissance 110 

Action which was not taken upon receipt of the "War warning" 117 

Estimate and action taken bj' General Short with respect to the warn- 
ing dispatch of November 27 119 

No warning of attack on Hawaii 120 

Dispatches indicating threat of sabotage 121 

"Do-Don't" character of the November 27 dispatch and "Avoid- 
ance of war" 123 

Commanding general's reliance on the Navy 125 

Interference with training 125 

The order to undertake reconnaissance 126 

The Short reply 128 

Action which was not taken upon receipt of the November 27 dis- 
patch 129 

The "Code destruction" intelligence 130 

General Short's knowledge of destruction of confidential matter by 

Japanese consulate , 131 

The "Lost" Japanese carriers — Radio intelligence at Hawaii 133 

The "Mori" call 137 

Detection of Japanese submarine on morning of December 7 138 

Radar detection of Japanese raiding force 140 

Other intelligence received by Army and Navy in Hawaii 142 

Channels of intelligence 142 

The "Manila message" 142 

The Honolulu press 142 

The role of espionage in the attack 145 

Liaison between Admiral Kimmel and General Short 150 

Estimate of the situation 153 

Part IV. Responsibilities in Washington 159 

Basing the Pacific Fleet at Hawaii 159 

Defensive facilities available in Hawaii , 163 

Transfer of Pacific Fleet units to the Atlantic 167 

''ABCD" understanding? 168 

Avoidance of war 172 

Intelligence available in Washington 179 

The "Magic" 179 

Policv with respect to dissemination of magic 180 

"Ships in harbor" reports 181 

Nature of consular espionage 181 

Conclusions with respect to "Ships in harbor" reports 189 

The "Winds code" 191 

"Hidden word" code 192 

The "Deadline messages" J 93 

Dispatches indicating fraudulent nature of negotiations after Novem- 
ber 28, 1941 195 

Status of diplomatic negotiations and the Army dispatch of Novem- 
ber 27 198 

Failure to follow-up on the Short reply of November 28 201 

The "Berlin message" 204 

Code destruction intelligence- ._ 205 

The McCollum dispatch 206 



CONTENTS VII 

Part IV. Responsibilities in Washington — Continued Page 

Events of December 6 and 7, 1941 209 

The "Pilot message" 210 

Tlie fourteen part memorandum 211 

First thirteen parts 211 

Analysis and significance of first thirteen parts proper 212 

Military significance of "Pilot" and "13-part" messages 

apart from messages proper 219 

The fourteenth part 221 

"One o'clock" and final code destruction messages 222 

Events attending transmittal of the December 7 dispatch 224 

Choice of facililities 225 

Significance of the "One o'clock" and code destruction messages. _ 226 

Significant messages translated after the attack 228 

Intelligence concerning Hawaiian defenses 228 

Considerations responsible for delaj's in translations 230 

. Conclusions with respect to intelligence available in Washington which 

was not supplied Hawaii 232 

Estimate of the situation in Washington 234 

Nature of responsibilities 237 

Duties in Hawaii 237 

Duties in Washington .__ 238 

Unity of command 240 

General observations 245 

The ' ' Wvman Matter' ' 245 

The Philippine Attack 246 

Prior inquiries concerning the Pearl Harbor attack 246 

Part V. Conclusions and recommendations 251 

Conclusions with respect to responsibilities 251 

Recommendations 252 

Supervisory, administrative, and organizational deficiencies in our 
military and naval establishments revealed by the Pearl Harbor 

investigat ion 253 

Operational and intelligence work requires centralization of author- 
ity and clear-cut allocation of responsibility 254 

Supervisory officials cannot safely take anything for granted in the 

alerting of subordinates 254 

Any doubt as to whether outposts should be given information should 

always be resolved in favor of supplying the information 255 

The delegation of authority or the issuance of orders entails the duty 
of inspection to determine that the official mandate is properly 

exercised 255 

The implementation of official orders must be followed with closest 

supervision 256 

The maintenance of alertness to responsibility must be insured 

through repetition 256 

Complacency and procrastination are out of place where sudden and 

decisive action are of the essence 257 

The coordination and proper evaluation of intelligence in times of 
stress must be insured by continuity of service and centralization 

of responsibility in competent officials 257 

The unapproachable or superior attitude of officials is fatal: There 
should never be any hesitancy in asking for clarification of in- 
structions or in seeking advice on matters that are in doubt 258 

There is no substitute for imagination and resourcefulness on the 

part of supervisory and intelligence officials 259 

Communications must be characterized by clarity, forthrightness, 

and appropriateness 259 

There is great danger in careless paraphrase of information received 
and every effort should be made to insure that the paraphrased 

material reflects the true meaning of the original 260 

Procedures must be sufjlciently flexible to meet the exigencies of un- 
usual situations 261 

Restriction of highly confidential information to a minimum num- 
ber of officials, while often necessary, should not be carried to the 

point of prejudicing the work of the organization 261 

There is great danger of being blinded by the self-evident 262 

Officials should at all times give subordinates the benefit of signifi- 
cant information 262 



VIII CONTENTS 

Part V. Conclusions and recommendations — Continued Page 

Supervisory, administrative, and organizational deficiences in our 
military and naval establishments revealed by the Pearl Harbor 
investigation — Continued 

An official who neglects to familiarize himself in detail with his 

organization should forfeit his res-ponsihility 263 

Failure can he avoided in the long run only by preparation for any 

eventuality 263 

Officials, on a personal basis, should never countermand an official 

instruction 263 

Personal or official jealousy will ureck any organization — __ 264 

Personal friendship, without more, should never be accepted in lieu 
of liaison or confused therewith where the latter is necessary to the 

proper functioning of two or more agencies _ 264 

No considerations should be permitted as excuse for failure to perform 

a fundamental task 265 

Superiors must at all times keep their subordinates adequately in- 
formed and, conversely, subordinates should keep their superiors 

informed 265 

The administrative organization of any establishment must be de- 
signed to locate failures and to assess responsibility _ 265 

In a well-balanced organization there is close correlation of responsi- 
bility and authority 266 

Committee members signing the report 266 

Additional views of Mr. Keefe 266 

Appendix A. Pl-ior investigations concerning the Pearl Harbor attack 269 

The Roberts Commission 269 

The Hart Inquiry 269 

The Army Pearl Harbor Board 269 

The Navy Court of Inquiry 270 

The Clarke Inquiry 270 

The Clausen Investigation 270 

The Hewitt Inquiry — -- 271 

Appendix B. Names and positions of principal Army and Navy officials in 
Washington and at Hawaii at the time of the attack along with the lead- 
ing witnesses in the various proceedings 275 

Organization and personnel of War Department 275 

Army Air Forces 275 

Organization and personnel of Navy Department 276 

Organization and personnel of Hawaiian Department 276 

Hawaiian Air Force 277 

Staff of Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet and United States 

Pacific Fleet 277 

Organization and personnel of Fourteenth Naval District 278 

List of witnesses appearing before the Joint Committee and their as- 
signments as of December 7, 1941 278 

List of leading witnesses in prior proceedings who did not testify before 

the Joint Committee and their assignments as of December 7, 1941 . _ 279 
Appendix C. Communications from the President of the United States 

relating to the Pearl Harbor investigation 285 

Appendix D. Review of the diplomatic conversations between the United 
States and Japan, and related matters, from the Atlantic Conference in 

August 1941 through December 8, 1941 291 

Introductory statement ' 291 

Brief r6sum6 of the Japanese-American conversations prior to the 

Atlantic Conference 293 

The Atlantic Conference (August 10-14, 1941) 300 

Pre.' ident Roosevelt warns Japan against further aggression and at the 
same time offers to resume the Japanese-American conversations 

(August 17, 1941) 302 

Japan protests United States shipments of oil to Russia (August 27, 

1941) 305 

Premier Konoye sends a personal message to President Roosevelt 

urging the proposed "Leaders Conference" (August 28, 1941) 306 



CONTENTS IX 

Appendix D — Continued Paw 

Germany suspects treacher}^ (August 29-30, 1941) 307 

President Roosevelt replies to Premier Konoye's message (September 

3, 1941) 310 

Japan presents new proposals in a new form (September 6, 1941) 311 

Ambassador Grew supports the proposed "Leaders Conference" 

(August-September, 194 1) 314 

Japan determines its minimum demands and its maximum concessions 

in the negotiations with the United States (September 6, 1941) 316 

The United States asks Japan to clarify its new proposals (October 2, 

1941) 319 

Germany demands that Japan warn the United States that war be- 
tween Germany and Italy and the United States would lead to war 
between Japan and the United States pursuant to the Tripartite 
Pact (October 1941) 325 

The Konoye Cabinet falls, and Ambassador Nomura asks permission 
to return to Japan (October 16, 1941; October 18-November 5, 
1941) 326 

The Tojo Cabinet formulates its "Absolutely final proposal" (Novem- 
ber 5, 1941) 331 

Ambassador Grew warns that war with Japan may come with "Dra- 
matic and dangerous suddenness" (November 3, 1941) 335 

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek appeals to Great Britain and the 

United States for aid (October 28-November 4, 1941) 337 

Japan delivers its next-to-last proposal to the United States (November 

10, 1941) 344 

The Tojo Cabinet refuses to consider any suggestion less favorable to 

Japan than its" Absolutely final proposal" (November 18-19, 1941). 355 

Japan delivers its "Absolutely final proposal" to the United States and 

demands an agreement on that basis (November 20, 1941) 360 

The United States replies (November 26, 1941) 363 

The Tojo Cabinet makes a pretense of continuing the Japanese- 
American conversations and at the same time moves additional 
Japanese troops into southern Indochina (November 27-December 
7, 1941) 387 

The invasion of Thailand by Japanese forces from French Indochina 

appears imminent (December 1-7, 1941) 405 

Germany tells Japan the time is ripe to strike at the United States, 
and promises to join with Japan in war against the United States 
(November 29, 1941) 409 

President Roosevelt returns to Washington as the far eastern situation 

moves rapidly toward a climax (December 1, 1941) 411 

President Roosevelt asks the Japanese Government to explain its 
purpose in moving additional troops into southern Indochina 
(December 2, 1941) 415 

The Japanese Government claims its troop movements in French 
Indochina are for the purpose of defense against an attack by the 
Chinese (Decembers, 1941) 421 

The last hours (December 6-8, 1941) 424 

Appendix E. The "\Vinds Code" 469 

Establishment and nature of the "Winds Code" 469 

Efforts to monitor 471 

Considerations bearing on the possibility of a message in execution of 

the "Winds Code" having been received prior to December 7, 1941. 471 

Considerations militating against likelihood of "Winds Code" execute 

message having been received prior to December 7, 1941 475 

Appendix F. Geographical considerations and Navy and Army installa- 
tions 489 

Geographical considerations ., 489 

Navy and Army installations 490 

Navy 490 

Army 491 

Illustrations 492 



FOREWORD 

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the United States and 
Japan were at peace. Japanese ambassadors were in Washington in 
conversation with our diplomatic officials looking to a general settle- 
ment of differences in the Pacific. 

At 7:55 a. m. (Hawaiian time) over 800 Japanese planes launched 
from 6 aircraft carriers attacked the island of Oahu and the American 
Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor m the Territory of Hawaii. Within a 
period of less than 2 hours our military and naval forces suffered a total 
of 3,435 casualties in personnel and the loss of or severe damage to: 
188 planes of all types, 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, and 4 miscel- 
laneous vessels. 

The attack was well planned and skillfully executed. The Japanese 
raiders withdrew from the attack and were recovered by the carriers 
without the latter being detected, havmg suffered losses of less than 
100 in personnel, 29 planes, and 5 midget submarines which had been 
dispatched from mother craft that coordinated their attack with that 
of the planes. 

One hour after Japanese air and naval forces had struck the Territory 
of Hawaii the emissaries of Japan delivered to the Secretary of State a 
reply to a recent American note, a reply containing no suggestion of 
attack by Japan upon the United States. "W''ith the benefit of informa- 
tion now available it is knowai that the Japanese military had planned 
for many weeks the unprovoked and ambitious act of December 7. 

The Pyrrhic victory of having executed the attack with surprise, 
cunning, and deceit belongs to the war lords of Japan whose dreams of 
conquest were buried in the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. History 
will properly place responsibility for Pearl Harbor upon the military 
clique dominating the people of Japan at the time. Indeed, this 
responsibility Premier To jo himself has already assumed. 

We come today, over 4 years after the event, not to detract from 
this responsibility but to record for posterity the facts of the disaster. 
In another sense we seek to find lessons to avoid pitfalls m the future, 
to evolve constructive suggestions for the protection of our national 
security, and to determine whether there were failures in our o^vn 
military and naval establishments which in any measure may have 
contributed to the extent and mtensity of the disaster. 

XI 



INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT 

On November 15, 1945, the Joint Congressional Committee on the 
Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack held its first public hearings 
pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 27, Seventy-ninth 
Congress, first session, as follows: ^ 

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES 

September 6, 1945 

Mr. Barkley submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was 
considered, modified, and agreed to 

September 11, 1945 

House concurs 

Concurrent Resolution 

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That there is 
hereby established a joint committee on the investigation of tlie Pearl Harbor 
attack, to be composed of five Members of the Senate (not more than three of 
whom shall be members of the majority party), to be appointed by the President 
pro tempore, and five Members of the House of Representatives (not more than 
three of whom shall be members of the majority party), to be appointed by the 
Speaker of the House. Vacancies in the membership of the committee shall not 
affect the power of the remaining members to execute the functions of the com- 
mittee, and shall be filled in the same manner as in the case of the original selection. 
The committee shall select a chairman and a vice chairman from among its mem- 
bers. 

Sec. 2. The committee shall make a full and complete investigation of the 
facts relating to the events and circumstances leading up to or following the attack 
made by Japanese armed forces upon Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii 
on December 7, 1941, and shall report to the Senate and the House of Repre- 
sentatives not later than January 3, 1946, the results of its investigation, 
together with such recommendations as it may deem advisable. 

Sec. 3. The testimony of any person in the armed services, and the fact that 
such person testified before the joint committee herein provided for, shall not be 
used against him in any court proceeding, or held against him in examining his 
miUtary status for credits in the service to which he belongs. 

Sec. 4. (a) The committee, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is 
authorized to sit and act at such places and times during the sessions, recesses, and 
adjourned periods of the Seventy-ninth Congress (prior to January 3, 1946), to 
require by subpena or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the pro- 
duction of such books, papers, and documents, to administer such oaths, to take 
such testimonj^ to procure such printing and binding, and to make such expendi- 
tures as it deems advisable. The cost of stenographic services to report such 
hearings shall not be in excess of 25 cents per hundred words. 

(b) The committee is empowered to appoint and fix the compensation of such 
experts, consultants, and clerical and stenographic assistants as it deems necessary, 
but the compensation so fixed shall not exceed the compensation prescribed under 
the Classification Act of 1923, as amended, for comparable duties. 

(c) The expenses of the committee, which shall not exceed $25,000, shall be 
paid one-half from the contingent fund of the Senate and one-half from the con- 



I The authority of the committee is to be found in S. Con. Res. No. 27, 79th Cong., 1st sess., passed by 
the Senate on September 6, 1945, and concurred in by the House of Representatives on September 11, 1945, 
and as extended by both Houses under S. Con. Res. No. 49, 79th Cong., Ist sess., and by S. Con. Res. No. 
54, 79th Cong., 2d sess. 

XIII 



XIV INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT 

tingent fund of the House of Representatives, upon vouchers signed by the 
chairman. 

Passed the Senate September 6, 1945. 

Attest: Leslie L. Biffle, 

Secretary. 
Passed the House of Representatives September 11, 1945. 
Attest : 

South Trimble, 

Clerk. 

On 70 days subsequent to November 15 and prior to and including 
May 31, 1945, open hearings were conducted in the course of which 
some 15,000 pages of testimony were taken and a total of 183 exhibits 
received incident to an examination of 43 witnesses. 

Of assistance to the committee and its work were the testimony and 
exhibits of seven prior investigations concerning the Pearl Harbor 
attack, including inquiries conducted by the Roberts Commission,^ 
Admiral Thomas C. Hart,^ the Army Pearl Harbor Board,* the Navy 
Court of Inquiry,^ Col. Carter W. Clarke,^ Maj. Henry C. Clau- 
sen,^ and Admiral H. Kent Hewitt.^ For purposes of convenient 
reference there has been set forth in appendix A to this report a state- 
ment conceroing the scope and character of each of these prior pro- 
ceedings, the records of which total 9,754 printed pages of testimony 
from 318 witnesses and the attendant 469 exhibits. The records of 
these proceedings have been incorporated as exhibits to the record of 
the committee which encompasses approximately 10,000,000 words. 

All witnesses appeared under oath and were afforded the fullest 
opportunity^ to offer any and all information which was regarded as 
having any relationship whatever to the disaster. In the course of 
examination by committee counsel and the committee members 
themselves, an effort was made to elicit all facts having an immedi- 
ate or remote bearing on the tragedy of December 7, 1941. It is 
believed the committee has succeeded tluough its record in preserv- 
ing for posterity the material facts concerning the disaster. 

The figures and witnesses in the drama of Pearl Harbor ran the 
gamut of officials of the executive branch of the Government. The 
principal personalities in the picture were the President of the United 
States, Franklin D. Roosevelt; the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull; 
the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson; the Secretary of Navy, 
Franlv Knox'; the Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall; the Chief of 
Naval Operations, Harold R. Stark; the commander in chief of the 
Pacific Fleet, Husband E. Kimmel; and the commanding general of 
the Hawaiian Department, Walter C. Short. In appendix B to this 
report there are set forth the names and positions of the ranking Army 
and Navy officials in Washington and at Hawaii at the time of the 
attack along with the principal witnesses in the various proceedings. 

The committee's investigation has extended to the files of all 
pertinent branches of the Government. Instructions in this regard 
from the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, to various 
departments will be found in appendix C to this report. The com- 
mittee through its counsel requested Miss Grace Tully, custodian of 
the files of the late President Roosevelt, to furnish the committee all 

2 For proceedings of the Roberts Commission, see committee exhibit No. 143. 

' For proceedings of the Hart Inquiry, see committee exhibit No. 144. 

* For proceedings of the Army Pearl Harbor Board, see committee exhibit No. 145. 

' For proceedings of the Navy Court of Inquiry, see committee exhibit No. 146. 

9 For proceedings of the Clarke investigation, see committee exhibit No. 147. 

' For report of investigation conducted by Major Clausen, see committee exhibit No. 148. 

i For proceedings of the Hewitt inquiry, see committee exhibit No. 149. 



INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT XV 

papers in these files for the year 1941 relating to Japan, the imminence 
of war in the Pacific, and the general Far Eastern developments. 
She furnished such papers in response to this request as she considered 
might be involved and stood ready to testify before the committee at 
any time. 

All parties in interest have attested to the fact that they have been 
afforded a full, fair, and impartial public hearing before the committee. 
All witnesses who retained counsel — Admiral Stark, Admiral Kimmel, 
and General Short — were given the opportunity to be examined by 
their counsel if they so desired, and to submit questions to committee 
counsel to be asked other witnesses. 

The following action was not taken by the committee for the reasons 
indicated: 

(1) Former Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson was not called 
before the committee as a witness for the reason that his health would 
not permit. Mr. Stimson did, how^ever, submit a statement under 
oath for the committee's consideration and the answers supplied by 
him to interrogatories propounded w^ere considered by the committee. 
He supplied the portions of his personal diary requested by committee 
counsel and informed the committee that the portions of his diary 
now in evidence are the only portions thereof having any relationship 
to the Pearl Harbor investigation. 

(2) Former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew appeared before the 
committee as a witness and testified to material appearing in his 
personal diary having a relationship to the events and circumstances 
of the Pearl Harbor attack. On the basis of his personal representa- 
tion that no additional material pertinent to the subject of the com- 
mittee's inquiry appeared in his diary beyond that to which he had 
testified, the committee did not formally request or otherwise seek to 
require the production of Mr. Grew's complete diary. 

(3) A request by one member of the committee for the appearance 
of the former Prime Mmister of England, Mr. Winston Churchill, 
was disapproved by a majority of the committee. At the time Mr. 
Churchill was a guest in the United States and it was not felt that he 
should with propriety be requested to appear as a witness. 

(4) A request by one member of the committee for production 
by the State Department of all papers relating to the so-called Tyler 
Kent case w^as disapproved by a majority of the committee. The 
State Department had advised that these papers were in no way 
pertinent to the subject of the committee's inquiry, and, additionally, 
members of the committee had discussed the question with Mr. 
Kent who advised that he possessed no facts that w^ould in any way 
have relationship to the Pearl Harbor attack. 

Former Secretary of State Cordell Hull appeared before the com- 
mittee but w^as forced to retire by reason of failing health before 
completion of the examination by all members of the committee. 
Mr. Hull subsequently responded to interrogatories propounded by 
the committee. 

The committee has conceived its duty to be not only that of indicat- 
ing the nature and scope of responsibility for the disaster but also of 
recording the pertinent considerations relating to the greatest defeat in 
our military and naval history. Only through a reasonable amount 
of detail is it possible to place events and responsibilities in their proper 
perspective and give to the Nation a genuine appreciation of the 
salient facts concerning Pearl Harbor. For this reason our report is 



XVI INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT 

of somewhat greater length, than was initially believed necessary. It 
is to be recalled in this connection, however, that the over-all record 
of the committee comprehends some ten million words. It was felt 
therefore that the story of the antecedent, contemporaneous, and suc- 
ceedmg events attending the disaster could not be properly encom- 
passed within a report any more concise than that herewith submitted. 

We believe there is much to be learned of a constructive character 
as a result of the Japanese attack from the standpoint of legislation 
and, additionally, for guidance m avoiding the possibility of another 
military disaster such as Pearl Harbor. Accordingly, in the section 
devoted to recommendations there are set forth, in addition to the 
recommendations proper, a series of principles, based on errors re- 
vealed by the investigation, which are being commended to our mili- 
tary and naval services for their consideration and possible assistance. 

Our report does not purport to set forth or refer to all of the enor- 
mous volume of testimony and evidence adduced in the course of the 
Pearl Harbor investigation. It is believed, however, that the ma- 
terial facts relevant to the disaster have been outlined in the report. 
The committee's record and the records of all prior investigations 
have been printed and are available for review and study. It is to be 
borne in mind that the findings and conclusions are based on the 
facts presently in our record after an exhaustive investigation. 

We desire to acknowledge particular gratitude to those who have 
acted as counsel to the committee for their excellent work during the 
course of the investigation and for their magnificent assistance in 
compiling the facts for the committee in order that we might draw 
our conclusions, which are necessarily those of the committee only. 

In the following pages an effort has been made to present a review 
of the diplomatic and historical setting of the Pear) Harbor attack 
followed by a picture of the Japanese attack itself. Set forth there- 
after are separate treatments of responsibilities in Hawaii on the one 
hand and responsibilities in Washington on the other. Situations 
existing in our Army and Navy establishments having a proximate or 
causative relationship to the disaster have been distinguished from 
those which, while not to be condoned, are regarded as having no 
direct or reasonable bearing on the conditions prevailing at Hawaii, 
preceding and in the wake of the Japanese attack on Sunday morning, 
December 7, 1941. To assist in following and better appreciating 
the story of the attack there has been outlined in appendix F the 
geographical considerations and military installations playing a role 
in and relating to the disaster. 

Throughout the report italics have been freely employed to facilitate 
reading and to bring out more clearly matters regarded as of particular 
importance. 



Part I 

DIPLOMATIC BACKGROUND OF THE 
PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 



90179—40 2 



PART I. DIPLOMATIC BACKGROUND OF^THEl PEARL 

HARBOR ATTACK 

Japanese Record of Deceit and Aggression 

For several months prior to December 7, 1941, the Governments of 
the United States and Japan had been engaged in conversations with 
a view to settlement of fundamental differences existing in the Far 
East. To appreciate the realistic basis upon which the Government 
of the United States participated in the negotiations it is necessary to 
consider briefly the course of modern Japanese history in order to 
gauge her diplomatic and military purposes. These purposes become 
apparent through an outline review of Japanese aggression: ^ 

Upon the conclusion of a successful war against China in 1895 
Japan annexed Formosa and indicated her purpose, not then 
realized, of establishing herself in China. 

Following the Russo-Japanese War, Japan in 1905 effected a 
foothold in Manchuria through acquisition of a lease of the Kwan- 
tung territory and ownership of the South Manchuria Railway, 
at the same time acquiring southern Sakhalin. 

In 1910, after many years of encroachment, Japan annexed 
Korea. (In 1904 she had guaranteed Korea's independence and 
territorial integrity.) 

In the midst of the First World War Japan in 1915 took advan- 
tage of the situation to present to China her notorious Twenty- 
one Demands. 

In 1918 Japan entered into an inter- Allied plan whereby not 
exceeding some 7,000 troops of any one power were to be sent to 
Siberia to guard military stores which might subsequently be 
needed by Russian forces, to assist in organizing Russian self- 
defense, and to aid in evacuating Czechoslovakian forces in Si- 
beria. Seizing upon this opportunity the Japanese conceived the 
idea of annexing eastern Siberia, in which she was unsuccessful, 
and sent more than 70,000 troops. 

Japan participated in the Washington Conference of 1921-22 
and became a party to the agreements concluded. One of these 
agreements was the Nine Power Treaty which was designed to 
provide for China full opportunity to develop and maintain a 
stable government. Japan pledged herself to the principles and 
policies of self-restraint toward China which was the cornerstone 
of the Nine Power Treaty. Japan agreed to respect the sovereignty, 
independence, and territorial and administrative integrity of 
China, and agreed to use her influence to establish the principle of 
equal opportunity in that country. Following the advent of the 
Cabinet of General Tanaka in 1927 Japan adopted a positive 
policy toward China and manifested an increasing disposition 
to interfere in Chinese internal affairs. In 1931 Japan invaded 
Manchuria, subsequently establishing the puppet regime of Man- 
chukuo. (This action was a flagrant violation of her agreements 

SEE APPENDIX D FOR A DETAILED REVIEW OF THE DIPLOMATIC CONVERSATIONS 
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN FROM THE ATLANTIC CONFERENCE 
THROUGH DECEMBER 8, 1941 

' See committee record, pp. 1076-1085. Committee record references throughout this report are to paee 
numbers of the official transcript of testimony, which are represented in the printed Hearings of the Com- 
mittee by italic numerals enclosed in brackets. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

at the WashingtonfConference, and was in completc|[(lisregarcl 
of her obhgations under the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 for the 
renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.) ^ The 
Japanese delegate to the League of Nations had stated on No- 
vember 21, 1931: "We want no more territory." The end of 1932 
saw Japanese occupying the whole of Manchuria. Later they 
moved southward and westward occupying vast areas of China. 
When the League of Nations adopted the report of the Lytton 
Commission appointed by the League to investigate the Man- 
churian situation, Japan walked out of the Assembly on February 
24, 1933. On March 27 of the same year Japan gave notice of 
her intention to withdraw from the League.^ 

On February 21, 1934 the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs 
dispatched a note to the American Secretary of State expressing 
the conviction that no question existed between the United States 
and Japan "that is fundamentally incapable of amicable solu- 
tion".* Yet on April 17, 1934 a spokesman of the Japanese 
Foreign Office issued the "hands off China" statement making 
clear a purpose to compel China to follow the dictates of Japan 
and to permit only such relations with China by other countries as 
the Japanese Government saw fit. 

In a formal declaration Japan on December 29, 1934 announced 
her purpose to withdraw at the end of 1936 from the Naval Limita- 
tion Treaty signed at Washington on February 6, 1922.^ There- 
after she prepared her armaments with a view to launching the 
invasion of China. 

Conversations between Japan and Nazi Germany culminated 
in the Anti-Comintern Pact of November 25, 1936, to which 
Italy adhered in 1937. The pact marked the genesis of the 
"Axis." Thus the parallel courses of aggression being followed 
by these countries blended in an expression of their common de- 
signs in foreign policy.^ 

Seizing upon the negligible Marco Polo Bridge incident be- 
tween Japanese and Chinese forces near Peiping, Japan in July 
of 1937 began wholesale invasion of China. The lawless acts of 
the Japanese military in carrying forward the invasion was a 
disgusting and degrading episode of rape, theft, and murder. In 
the outrages attending the occupation of Nanking on December 
13, 1937, the Japanese military wrote a particularly ignoble page 
in history. Yet on July 27, 1937, the Japanese Premier, Prince 
Konoye, stated, "In sending troops to North China, of course, 
the Government has no other purpose, as was explained in its 
recent statement, than to preserve the peace of East Asia." 
Again on October 28, 1937, the Japanese Foreign Office said: 
"Japan never looks upon the Chinese people as an enemy." As 
observed by Secretary Hull: "Japan showed its friendly feeling 
for China by bombing Chinese civilian populations, by burning 
Chinese cities, by making millions of Chinese homeless and desti- 
tute, by mistreating and killing civilians, and by acts of horror 
and cruelty." 



' Peace and War, United States Foreign Policy, 1931-41 (State Department publication), p. 4, committee 
exl)ihit No. 28. 
» Id., at p. 7. 
' Id., at p. 18. 
« Id., at p. 12. 
'Id, at p. 41. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 3 

On December 12, 1937, Japanese aircraft bombed and sank the 
U. S. S. Panay in the Yangtze River/ 

(A proposal made b)^ the Japanese Prime Minister, Baron Hira- 
numa, on May 18, 1939 to the Secretary of State, contained the 
thesis that world peace could only be obtained through assuring 
to nations their "proper places in the world". It was suggested 
subsequently that Hiranuma was prepared to sound out Germany 
and Italy with regard to the holding of a conference if the Presi- 
dent were prepared at the same time to sound out Great Britain 
and France on the settling of European problems/'^ The pro- 
posal was received by the American Government with interest. 
The suggestion was made that Japan could assist in attaining the 
objective of world peace by setthng the "armed conflict and conse- 
quent political disturbances in the Far East today." This sug- 
gestion reminded the Japanese Government of "the methods of 
Japan in relations with China", which perturbed American 
opinion. In consequence, the proposal of Hiranuma withered with 
the Japanese refusal to settle her "incident" with China, and to 
mdicate her good faith in proposing a search for world peace.) 

On April 15, 1940, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs 
stated that the "Japanese Government cannot but be deeply 
concerned over any development * * * that may afl'ect the 
status quo of the Netherlands East Indies," But following the 
occupation of the Netherlands by Germany, Japan sent a com- 
mercial commission to the Indies asking far-reaching concessions, 
the effect of which, if acceded to, would have made the Indies a 
virtual Japanese colony. In August and September of 1940 with 
German assistance Japan extorted from Vichy France an agree- 
ment Avhereby Japanese forces moved into northern Indochina. 

On September 27, 1940, Japan entered into the Tripartite Pact 
along with Germany and Italy — an alliance pointed directly at the 
United States.^ As stated by Secretary Hull: "It was designed 
to discourage the United States from taking adequate measures 
of self-defense until both Japan and Germany had completed 
their program of conquest in Asia and Europe, when thej^ could 
turn on the United States "then standing alone." Commenting 
on the Tripartite Pact, Premier Konoye was quoted in the press 
of October 1940, as having said: 

If the United States refuses to understand the real intentions of Japan, Ger- 
many, and Italy and continues persistently its challenging attitude and acts 
* * * those powers will be forced to go to war. Japan is now endeavor- 
ing to adjust Russo-Japanese political and economic relations and will make 
every effort to reduce friction between Japan and Ilussia. Japan is now 
engaged in diplomatic maneuvers to induce Russia, Britain, and the United 
States to suspend their operations in assisting the Chiang regime. 

On July 30, 1941 Japanese aircraft bombed the U. S. S. Tutuila 
at Chungking and struck within 400 yards of the American 
Embassy at that place. On the following day Japan assured the 
Government of the United States that her military would dis- 
continue bombing the city area of Chungking. Yet only 11 daj's 
later on August 11 the American Embassy reported that during 



' Id., at pp. 52, 53. 

'» Committee exhibit No. 177. 

* The pact provided that Germany, Italy, and Japan would assist one another with all political, eco- 
nomic, and military means when one of the powers was attacked by a power not then involved in the European 
war or in the Chinese-Japanese conflict. Peace and War, p. 84. 



4 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

the preceding 4 days Chungking had been deHvered unusually 
heavy and prolonged Japanese air raids. Repeatedly Japan gave 
assurances that American lives and property in China would be 
respected. Despite her pledges ever increasing numbers of cases 
were reported of bombing of American property with consequent 
loss or endangering of American lives. Secretary Hull summar- 
ized the picture in the following words: "Time and again the 
Japanese gave assurances that American treaty rights in China 
would be respected. Unnumbered measures infringing those 
rights were put into effect in Japanese occupied areas. Trade 
monopolies were set up, discriminatory taxes were imposed, 
American properties were occupied, and so on. In addition, 
American nationals were assaulted, arbitrarily detained, and 
subjected to indignities." 

Fundamental Differences Between American and Japanese 

Policies 

The bold aggression launched by Japan in 1931 in complete violation 
and disregard of treaty obligations stands in irreconciliable conflict 
with the policy ^ voiced by the President-elect, Mr. Roosevelt, on 
January 17, 1933: 

I am * * * wholly willing to make it clear that American foreign policies 
must uphold the sanctity of international treaties. That is the cornerstone on 
which all relations between nations must rest. 

In his inaugural address on March 4, 1933, President Roosevelt dedi- 
cated the Nation to the policy of the good neighbor: 

* * * the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, 
respects the rights of others — the neighbors who respects his obligations and re- 
spects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors. 

From that time forward, despite repeated efforts and discussions 
on the part of the Government of the United States to incline the 
Government of Japan to a peaceful policy in the Orient, she 
proceeded in July of 1937 to invade China. In consequence of this 
policy of aggression by the Empire of Japan, the Secretary of State 
made public a statement of fundamental principles of international 
policy with a view to rallying all countries to the support of peaceful 
processes. The Secretary said on July 16, 1937:^^ 

I have been receiving from many sources inquiries and suggestions arising out 
of disturbed situations in various parts of the world. 

Unquestionably there are in a number of regions tensions and strains which 
on their face involve only countries that are near neighbors but which in ultimate 
analysis are of inevitable concern to the whole world. Any situation in which 
armed hostilities are in progress or are threatened is a situation wherein rights and 
interests of all nations either are or may be seriously affected. There can be no 
serious hostilities anywhere in the world which will not one way or another affect 
interests or rights or obligations of this country. I therefore feel warranted in 
making — in fact, I feel it a duty to make — a statement of this Government's 
position in regard to international problems and situations with respect to which 
this country feels deep concern. 

This country constantly and consistently advocates maintenance of peace. We 
advocate national and international self-restraint. We advocate abstinence by 
all nations from use of force in pursuit of policy and from interference in the in- 
ternal affairs of other nations. We advocate adjustment of problems in inter- 
national relations by processes of peaceful negotiation and agreement. We advo- 

» Committee record, pp. 1084-1094. 

1° Foreign Relations of the United States, Japan: 1931-41. (State Department publication), vol. 1, 
pp. 325-326. Committee exhibit No. 29. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 5 

cate faithful observance of international agreements. Upholding the principle 
of the sanctity of treaties, we believe in modification of provisions of treaties, 
when need therefor arises, by orderly processes carried out in a spirit of mutual 
helpfulness and accommodation. We believe in respect by all nations for the rights 
of others and performance by all nations of established obligations. We stand for 
revitalizing and strengthening of international law. We advocate steps toward 
promotion of economic security and stability the world over. We advocate 
lowering or removing of excessive barriers in international trade. We seek effec- 
tive equality of commercial opportunity and we urge upon all nations application 
of the principle of equality of treatment. We believe in limitation and reduction 
of armament. Realizing the necessity for maintaining armed forces adequate for 
national security, we are prepared to reduce or to increase our own armed forces 
in proportion to reductions or increases made by other countries. We avoid en- 
tering into alliances or entangling commitments but we believe in cooperative 
effort by peaceful and practicable means in support of the principles hereinbefore 
stated. 

The principles announced in the statement of July 16, 1937, were 
given express application to the Chinese situation in a statement of 
the Secretary of State on August 23, 1937: ^^ 

The situation in Shanghai is in many ways unique. Shanghai is a great cosmo- 
politan center, with a population of over three million, a port which has been 
developed by the nationals of many countries, at which there have prevailed 
mutually advantageous contacts of all types and varieties between and among the 
Chinese and people of almost all other countries of the world. At Shanghai 
there exists a multiplicity of rights and interests which are of inevitable concern 
to many countries, including the United States. 

In the present situation, the American Government is engaged in facilitating 
in every way possible an orderly and safe removal of American citizens from areas 
where there is special danger. Further, it is the policy of the American Govern- 
ment to afford its nationals appropriate protection primaril}' against mobs or 
other uncontrolled elements. For that purpose it has for many years maintained 
small detachments of armed forces in China, and for that purpose it is sending the 
present small reinforcement. These armed forces there have no mission of ag- 
gression. It is their function to be of assistance toward maintenance of order and 
security. It has been the desire and the intention of the American Government 
to remove these forces when performance of their function of protection is no 
longer called for, and such remains its desire and expectation. 

The issues and problems which are of concern to this Government in the present 
situation in the Pacific area go far beyond merely the immediate question of 
protection of the nationals and interests of the United States. The conditions 
which prevail in that area are intimately connected with and have a direct and 
fundamental relationship to the general principles of policy to which attention 
was called in the statement of July 16, which statement has evoked expressions 
of approval from more than 50 governments. This Government is firmly of the 
opinion that the principles summarized in that statement should effectively govern 
international relationships. 

When there unfortunately arises in any part of the world the threat or the 
existence of serious hostilities, the matter is of concern to all nations. Without 
attempting to pass judgment regarding the merits of the controversy, we appeal 
to the parties to refrain from resort to war. We urge that they settle their differ- 
ences in accordance with principles which, in the opinion not alone of our people 
but of most of the world, should govern in international relationships. We con- 
sider applicable throughout the world, in the Pacific area as elsewhere, the prin- 
ciples set forth in the statement of July 16. That statement of principles is 
comprehensive and basic. It embraces the principles embodied in many treaties, 
including the Washington Conference treaties and the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 
Paris. 

From the beginning of the present controversy in the Far East we have been 
urging upon both the Chinese and the Japanese Governments the importance of 
refraining from hostilities and of maintaining peace. We have been participating 
constantly in consultation with interested governments directed toward peaceful 
adjustment. The Government does not believe in political alliances or entangle- 
rhents, nor does it believe in extreme isolation. It does believe in international 
cooperation for the purpose of seeking through pacific methods the achievement 
of those objectives set forth in the statement of July 16. In the light of our weU- 

" Id., at pp. 355-356; 



6 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

defined attitude and policies, and within the range thereof, this Government is 
giving most solicitous attention to every phase of the Far Eastern situation, toward 
safeguarding the lives and welfare of our people and making effective the policies — 
especially the policy of peace — in which this country believes and to which it is 
committed. 

On October 6, 1937, a release by the Department of State stated, 
among other things: ^^ 

The Department of State has been informed by the American Minister to 
Switzerland of the text of the report adopted by the Advisory Committee of the 
League of Nations setting forth the Advisorj^ Committee's examination of the 
facts of the present situation in China and the treaty obligations of Japan. The 
Minister has further informed the Department that this report was adopted and 
approved by the Assembly of the League of Nations today, October 6. 

Since the beginning of the present controversy in the Far East, the Government 
of the L^nited States has urged upon both the Chinese and the Japanese Govern- 
ments that they refrain from hostilities and has offered to be of assistance in an 
effort to find some means, acceptable to both parties to the conflict, of composing 
by pacific methods the situation in the Far East. 

The Secretary of State, in statements made public on July 16 and August 23, 
made clear the position of the Government of the United States in regard to 
international problems and international relationships throughout the world and 
as applied specifically to the hostilities which are at present unfortunately going 
on between China and Japan. Among the principles which in the opinion of the 
Government of the L'nited States should govern international relationships, if 
peace is to be maintained, are abstinence by all nations from the use of force in 
the pursuit of policy and from interference in the internal affairs of other nations; 
adjustment of problems in international relations by process of peaceful negotia- 
tion and agreement; respect by all nations for the rights of others and observance 
by all nations of established obligations; and the upholding of the principle of the 
sanctitv of treaties. 

On October 5 at Chicago the President elaborated these principles, emphasizing 
their importance, and in a discussion of the world situation pointed out that 
there can be no stabilitj' or peace either within nations or between nations except 
under laws and moral standards adhered to by all; that international anarchy 
destroys every foundation for peace; that it jeopardizes either the immediate or 
the future security of every nation, large or small; and that it is therefore of vital 
interest and concern to the people of the United States that respect for treaties 
and international morality be restored. 

In the light of the unfolding developments in the Far East, the Government of 
the United States has been forced to the conclusion that the action of Japan in 
China is inconsistent with the principles which should govern the relationships 
between nations and is contrary to the provisions of the Nine Power Treaty of 
February 6, 1922, regarding principles and policies to be followed in matters 
concerning China, and to those of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of August 27, 1928. 
Thus the conclusions of this Government with respect to the foregoing are in 
general accord with those of the Assembly of the League of Nations. 

Pursuant to the provisions of the Nine Power Treaty of 1922, the 
United States in November of 1937 with 18 other nations participated 
in a conference convened at Brussels with a view to "study peaceable 
means of hastening the end of the regrettable confhct which prevails" 
in the Far East. The Government of Japan refused repeatedly to 
participate in the conference which prevented bringing the conflict 
in China to an end and resulted in the conference suspending its work 
on November 24.^^ 

The President late in 1937, exercising the discretion provided by 
law, refrained from applying the provisions of the Neutrality Act to 
the conflict between China and Japan. This position was assumed 
in recognition of the fact that the arms-embargo provisions of the 
act worked to the detriment of China and to the benefit of Japan. '^ 

12 Id., at pp. 396-397. 

" See statement of Secretary Hull, committee record, pp. 1087, 1088; also Peace and War, pp 51, 52 

'< See statement of Secretary Hull, committee record, p. 1088. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 7 

On July 26, 1939, the following notification was given the Japanese 
Ambassador by the Secretaiy of State : ^^ 

EXCELLENCY: During recent years the Government of the United States 
has been examining the treaties of commerce and navigation in force between 
the L^nited States and foreign countries with a view to determining what changes 
may need to be made toward better serving the purpose for which such treaties 
are concluded. In the course of this survey, the Government of the United Stales 
has come to the conchision that the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between 
the United States and Japan which was signed at Washington on February 21, 
1911, contains provisions which need new consideration. Toward preparing the 
way for such consideration and with a view to better safeguarding and promoting 
American interests as new developments may require, the Government of the 
United States, acting in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Article XVII 
of the treaty under reference, gives notice hereby of its desire that this treaty be 
terminated, and, having thus given notice, will expect the treaty, together with 
its accompanying protocol, to expire six months from this date. 

In explaining the foregoing action Secretary Hull testified ^^ that 
the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation was not affording adequate 
protection to American commerce either in Japan or in Japanese- 
occupied portions of China, while at the same time the operation of 
the most-favored-nation clause of the treaty was a bar to the adoption 
of retaliatory measures against Japanese commerce. With the termi- 
nation of the treaty on January 26, 1940, the legal impediment to 
placing restrictions upon trade with Japan was removed. 

In the face of widespread bombings of Chinese civilians by the 
Japanese, the Government of the United States placed into efrcct 
"moral embargoes," adopted on the basis of humanitarian considera- 
tions.^^ On July 1, 1938, the Department of State notified aircraft 
manufacturers and exporters that the United States Government 
was strongly opposed to the sale of airplanes and aeronautical equip- 
ment to countries whose armed forces were using airplanes for attack 
on civilian populations. In 1939 the "moral eml3argo" was extended 
to materials es^^.ential to airplane manufacture and to facilities for 
production of high-quality gasoline.^* Following passage of the act 
of July 2, 1941, restrictions were imposed in the interests of national 
defense on an ever-increasing number of exports of strategic materials. 
These measures had the additional purpose of deterring and express- 
ing the opposition of the United States to Japanese aggression. ^^ 

On April 15, 1940, when questioned by newspapermen concerning 
Japan's position with regard to possible involvement of the Nether- 
lands in the European war and its repercussion in the Netherlands 
East Indies, the Japanese Foreign Minister replied: ^° 

With the South Seas regions, especially the Netherlands East Indies, Japan is 
economicalh' bound by an intimate relationship of mutuality in ministering to 
one another's needs. Similarly, other countries of East Asia maintain close 
economic relations with these regions. That is to say, Japan, these countries 
and these regions together are contributing to the prosperity of East Asia through 
mutual aid and interdependence. 

Should hostilities in Europe be extended to the Netherlands and produce 
re])ercussions, as you say, in the Netherlands East Indies, it would not only 
interfere with the maintenance and furtherance of the above-mentioned relations 
of economic intcrdeijendence and of coexistence and coprosperity, but would also 
give rise to an undesirable situation from the standpoint of the peace and stability 
of East Asia. In view of these considerations, the Japanese Government cannot 

'5 Foreicni Relations, vol. II, p. 189; also committee record, p. 1088. 

1" Committee record, p. 1088. 

" Id. 

" Peace and War, p. 89. 

" See statement of Secretary Hull, Committee Record, pp. 1088, 1089. 

"> Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 281. 



8 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

but be deeply concerned over any development accompanying an aggravation of 
the war in Europe that may affect the status quo of the Netherlands East Indies. 

Referring to the foregoing statement the Secretary of State made 
the following comments on April 17, 1940: ^^ 

I have noted with interest the statement by the Japanese Minister for Foreign 
Affairs expressing concern on the part of the Japanese Government for the 
maintenance of the status quo of the Netherlands Indies. 

Any change in the status of the Netherlands Indies would directly affect the 
interests of many countries. 

The Netherlands Indies are very important in the international relationships 
of the whole Pacific Ocean. The islands themselves extend for a distance of 
approximately 3,200 miles east and west astride of the Equator, from the Indian 
Ocean on the west far into the Pacific Ocean on the east. They are also an 
important factor in the commerce of the whole world. They produce consider- 
able portions of the world's supplies of important essential commodities such as 
rubber, tin, quinine, copra, et cetera. Many countries, including the United 
States, depend substantially upon them for some of these commodities. 

Intervention in the domestic affairs of the Netherlands Indies or any alteration 
of their status quo by other than peaceful processes would be prejudicial to the 
cause of stability, peace, and security not only in the region of the Netherlands 
Indies but in the entire Pacific area. 

This conclusion, based on a doctrine which has universal application and for 
which the United States unequivocally stands, is embodied in notes exchanged 
on November 30, 1908, between the United States and Japan in which each of 
the two Governments stated that its policy was directed to the maintenance of 
the existing status quo in the region of the Pacific Ocean. It is reaffirmed in the 
notes which the United States, the British Empire, France, and Japan — as parties 
to the treaty signed at Washington on December 13, 1921, relating to their 
insular possessions and their insular dominions in the region of the Pacific Ocean — 
sent to the Netherlands Government on February 4, 1922, in which each of those 
Governments declared that "it is firmly resolved to respect the rights of the 
Netherlands in relation to their insular possessions in the region of the Pacific 
Ocean." 

All peaceful nations have during recent years been earnestly urging that policies 
of force be abandoned and that peace be maintained on the basis of fundamental 
principles, among which are respect by every nation for the rights of other nations 
and nonintervention in their domestic affairs, the according of equality of fair and 
just treatment, and the faithful observance of treaty pledges, with modification 
thereof, when needful, by orderly processes. 

It is the constant hope of the Government of the United States — as it is no 
doubt that of all peacefully inclined governments— that the attitudes and policies 
of all governments will be based upon these principles and that these principles 
will be applied not only in every part of the Pacific area, but also in every part of 
the world. 

The situation existing during 1940 was summarized by Secretary 
Hull in his testimony before the committee: ^^ 

Throughout this period the United States increasingly followed a policy of 
extending all feasible assistance and encouragement to China. This took several 
different forms, including diplomatic actions in protest of Japan's aggression 
against China and of Japan's violation of American rights. Loans and credits 
aggregating some $200,000,000 were extended in order to bolster China's economic 
structure and to facilitate the acquisition by China of supplies. And later lend- 
lease and other military supplies were sent to be used in China's resistance against 
Japan. 

During the winter of 1940 and the spring of 1941 I had clearly in mind, and I 
was explaining to Members of Congress and other Americans with whom I came 
in contact, that it was apparent that the Japanese military leaders were starting 
on a mission of conquest of the entire Pacific area west of a few hundred miles of 
Hawaii and extending to the South Seas and to India. The Japanese were out 
with force in collaboration with Hitler to establish a new world order, and they 
thought they had the power to compel all peaceful nations to come in under that 
new order in the half of the world they had arrogated to themselves. 



2" Id., at p. 282. 

22 Committee Record, pp. 1089-92. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 9 

I was saying to those Americans that beginning in 1933 I had commenced a 
systematic and consistently earnest effort to work out our relations with Japan. 
I had been trying to see whether it was humanly possible to find any new way to 
approach the Japanese and prevail on them to abandon this movement of con- 
quest. We had been urging the Japanese to consider their own future from the 
standpoint of political, economic, and social aspects. The people of China were . 
living on a very low standard. Japan, if it should conquer China, would keep 
China bled white and would not have the capital to aid in restoring purchasing 
power and social welfare. It meant everything for the development of that half 
of the world's population to use the capital of all nations, such as the United States 
and other countries, in helping China, for example.Ho develop'internal improve- 
ments and increase its purchasing power. We had reminded the Japanese of our 
traditional friendship and our mutually profitable relations. 

During these years we had kept before the Japanese all these doctrines and 
principles in the most tactful and earnest manner possible, and at all times we had 
been careful not to make threats. I said that I had always felt th.at if a govern- 
ment makes a threat it ought to be ready to back it up. We had been forthright 
but we had been as tactful as possible. 

I was pointing out in these conversations that if we had not, by previously 
modifying our Neutrality Act, been in a position to send militar^'^ aid to Great 
Britain in the early summer of 1940 there might well have been a different story. 
Our aid assisted Britain to hold back the invaders for 7 months, while we had that 
7 months in which to arm, and everybody knew that no country ever needed time 
in which to arm more than we did in the face of the world situation. 

In his address to Congress on January 6, 1941, President Roosevelt 
declared ^^ that "at no previous time has American security been as 
seriously threatened from without as it is today." He observed that 
the pattern of democratic Ufe had been blotted out in an appalling 
number of independent nations with the aggressors still on the march 
threatening other nations, great and small. The national policy of 
the Government of the United States was outlined by the President 
as committed to an all-inclusive national defense, to full support of 
resolute peoples everywhere who were resisting aggression and thereby 
were keeping war away from our hemisphere, and to the proposition 
that principles of morality and considerations for our own security 
would "never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors." 

In a statement on January 15, 1941, in support of the Lend-Lease 
Act before the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, Secretary Hull said: ^* 

It has been clear throughout that Japan has been actuated from the start by 
broad and ambitious plans for establishing herself in a dominant position in the 
entire region of the Western Pacific. Her leaders have openly declared their 
determination to achieve and maintain that position by force of arms and thus 
to make themselves master of an area containing almost one-half of the entire 
population of the world. As a consequence, they would have arbitrary control 
of the sea and trade routes in that region. 

As Secretary Hull testified ^^ — 

I pointed out that mankind was face to face with an organized, ruthless, and 
implacable movement of steadily expanding conquests and that control of the 
high seas by law-abiding nations "is the key to the security of the Western Hemi- 
sphere.'" 

The hope of the United States, therefore, for mediation and concili- 
ation based on peaceful processes was ovei'shadowed by an uncompro- 
mising and relentless aggressor who had cast her lot with the Axis in 
the Tripartite Pact of September 1940 and voiced her slogan of domi- 
nation by force in the "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere." 

" See Committee record, pp. 1092, 1093. 

« Committee record, p. 1093. 

«Id. 



10 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The backdrop of activity by Japan's partners left little doubt as to 
the program and methods of the Axis: ^^ 

On October 14, 1933, Germany with di'ew from the^Disarmament 
Conference coinciden tally giving notice of withdrawal from the 
League of Nations. 

On October 3, 1935, Italian armed forces invaded Ethiopia. 

In violation of the Locarno Pact Hitler proceeded in March of 
1936 to occupy and fortify the demilitarized Rhineland. 

On March 11, 1938, German forces entered Austria and 2 days 
later proclaimed the union of Germany and Austria. 

At Munich on September 29, 1938, Hitler and Mussolini ex- 
torted a settlement by which Germany acquired the Sudeten- 
land. 

In violation of pledges given at Munich, Germany invaded 
Czechoslovakia on March 14, 1939. 

With further German aggression, war broke out in Europe on Sep- 
tember 1, 1939, which as Secretary Hull stated "weakened the posi- 
tion of all countries, including the United States, opposed to Japanese 
banditry in the Pacific." He presented the picture in the following 
terms: 

In the early summer of 1940 France's effective resistance collapsed. Britain 
was virtually under siege. Germany's vast and powerful military machine 
remained intact. 

Nazi submarines and long-range bombers were taking a heavy toll of ships and 
materials in the North Atlantic. Shipping was inadequate. The countries 
resisting aggression desperately needed supplies to increase their defenses. 

It was clear that any aggravation of the situation in the Far East would have a 
serious effect on the already dangerous situation in Europe, while conversely, an 
easement of the Far Eastern tension would aid enormously the struggle against the 
Nazis in Europe. 

Steps Taken by the United States To Meet the Threat of Axis 

Aggression 

With each threatened "annexation" or "occupation" of countries 
bordering on Germany up to the invasion of Poland, President Roose- 
velt had made an appeal for the settlement of differences without 
recourse to force or the threat of force; but the United States in line 
with its traditional aloofness in European affairs had adopted no 
positive measures to deter Hitler's course of aggression. In the face 
of the inexorable trend of Axis militarism, however, progressive steps 
were taken by the Government of the United States to build our 
defenses and throw our weight on the side of France and Great Britain. 
For purposes of convenient reference it would be well to review 
briefly these steps. 

Addressing the Congress in extraordmary session on September 21, 
1939, the President recommended that the arms embargo be repealed 
and that our citizens and our ships be restricted from dangerous areas 
in order to prevent controversies that might involve the United States 
in war. On November 4 the arms embargo was repealed, thereby 
permitting large shipments of ah'craft and other implements of war, 
much of which had been ordered by Great Britam and France before 
the outbreak of war, to be shipped across the Atlantic for use in 
combating Nazi aggression.^^ 

'* See committee record, pp. 1093-1095. 
»' Peace and War, pp. 69, 70. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK H 

In an address on June 10, 1940, at Charlottesville, Va., the Presi- 
dent announced the policy of extending the material resources of the 
United States to the opponents of force. He said: 

We will extend to the opponents of force the material resources of this Nation 
and, at the same time, we will harness and speed up the use of those resources in 
order that we ourselves in the Americas may have equipment and training equal 
to the task of any emergency and every defense.^* 

With a view to strengthening the defenses of the Western Hemi- 
sphere an agreement was made on September 2, 1940, between the 
United States and Great Britain whereby the latter received 50 over- 
aged destroyers and the United States acquu-ed the right to lease 
naval and air bases in Newfoundland, in British Guiana, and in the 
islands of Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and 
Antigua. Referring to this agreement, the President stated that the 
value to the Western Hemisphere "of these outposts of security is 
beyond calculation." He considered them essential to the protection 
of the Panama Canal, Central America, the northern portion of South 
America, the Antilles, Canada, Mexico, and our eastern and Gulf 
seaboards. ^^ 

On September 16, 1940, the Selective Training and Service Act was 
enacted, marking another important step for national defense. The 
act included a provision that persons inducted into the land forces 
should not be employed beyond the Western Hemisphere except in 
United States Territories and possessions. It marked, for the first 
time in the history of the United States, the adoption of compulsory 
military training of manpower when the Nation was not at war.^° 

President Roosevelt, in an address of December 29, 1940, observed 
that the Nazi masters of Germany had made it clear they intended 
not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country but 
also to enslave the whole of Europe and to use the resources of Europe 
to dominate the rest of the world. He pointed out that although some 
of our people liked to believe that wars in Europe and Asia were of no 
concern to us, it was a matter of most vital concern that European 
and Asiatic war makers should not gain control of the oceans which 
led to the Western Hemisphere. He pointed out that if Great Britain 
went down the Axis Powers would control the continents of Europe, 
Asia, Africa, and the high seas, and would then be in a position to 
bring enormous military and naval resources against this hemisphere. 
Warning of the danger ahead, the President stated the Government 
was planning our defense with the utmost urgency and in it we must 
"integrate the war needs of Britain and the other free nations resisting 
aggression." Referring to the need for increased production, the 
President said we must have more ships, more guns, more planes; 
we must be the great "arsenal of democracy." ^^ 

With the signature of the President on Mai'cli 11, 1941, the lend- 
lease bill became law. This bill provided the machinery enabling 
the United States to make the most effective use of our resources for 
our own needs and for those whom, in our own self-defense, we were 
determined to aid. Secretary Hull expressed the belief that this act 
would make it possible for us to allocate our resources in ways best 

"Id., at p. 70. 
M Id., at p. 83 
'» Id., at p. 84. 
" Id., at pp. 86, 87. 



12 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

calculated to provide for the security of the United States and of this 
continent.^^ 

On April 10, 1941, the Department of State announced an agree- 
ment regarding Greenland, recognizing that as a result of a European 
war there was danger that Greenland might be converted into a point 
of aggression against nations of the American Continent. This agree- 
ment accepted the responsibility on behalf of the United States of 
assisting Greenland in the maintenance of its existing status, and 
granted to the United States the right to locate and construct aii'plane 
landing fields and facilities for the defense of Greenland and this 
continent.^^ 

In an address on Alay 27, 1941, the President declared an "unlimited 
national emergency," stating that our whole program of aid for the 
democracies had been "based on a hard-headed concern for our owii 
security and for the kind of safe and civilized world in which we mshed 
to live." He stated that every dollar of material that we sent helped 
to keep the dictators away from our o^^^l hemisphere and every daj^ 
they were held off gave us time in which to build more guns and 
tanks and planes and ships.^* 

On July 7, 1941, the President announced that in accordance with 
an understanding reached with the Prime Minister of Iceland, forces 
had arrived in Iceland in order to supplement and eventually to 
replace the British forces which had been stationed there to insure 
the adequate defense of that country. The President pointed out 
that the United States could not permit the occupation by Germany 
of a strategic outpost in the Atlantic to be used as air or naval bases 
for eventual attack against the Western Hemisphere. ^^ Subsequently, 
there was instituted an escort to Iceland of United States and Iceland 
shipping.^^ , 

In a joint declaration by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
Churchill, the principles of the Atlantic Charter were enunciated on 
August 14, 1941.37 

In a message of August 15, 1941, in which he was joined by Prime 
Ivlinister Churchill, the President advised Premier Stalin that the 
United States and Great Britain had consulted together as to how 
best they could help the Soviet Union; that they were cooperating to 
provide the Soviet Union with the very maximum of supplies most 
urgently needed and that many shiploads had already left for the 
Soviet Union and more would leave in the immediate future.^^ 

On September 11, 1941, as a result of several incidents fully demon- 
strating a grave menace to the vital interests of the United States, 
the President warned that from that time forward, if German or 
Italian vessels of war entered the waters the protection of which was 
necessarv for American defense, they would do so "at their own 
peril." 39' 

Despite the announcement of the "shooting orders", ships of the 
United States and other American Republics continued to be sunk in 
the Atlantic Ocean by Nazi submarines. In view of this situation and 
in view of the fact that the Neutrality Act of 1939 prohibited the arm- 

" Id., at p. 100. 

33 Id., at pp. 103, 104. 

3« Id., at p. 111. 

3« Id., at p. 111. 

39 See committee record, p. 6111. 

3' "Peace and War," p. 111. 

»* Id., at p. 113. 

» Id., at pp. 113-115. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 13 

ing of United States merchant ships engaged in foreign commerce and 
prevented United States merchant ships from carrying cargoes to 
belHgerent ports, it became increasingly difficult to obtain shipping 
for the carriage of lend-lease supplies to Great Britain and other na- 
tions whose defense was considered vital to the defense of the United 
States. Accordingly, on October 9, 1941, the President asked 
Congress to modify the Neutrality Act. On November 17, 1941, in a 
joint resolution of the Congress, sections of the act were repealed per- 
mitting United States vessels to be ai'med and to carry cai'goesto bellig- 
erent ports anywhere.^" 

In contrast with our historic aloofness in European affairs, it was the 
traditional policy of the United States, based upon territorial, com- 
mercial, and humanitarian interests, to maintain a concern in the 
Pacific. This policy had its inception in the enunciation of the Hay 
open-door policy towajrd China in 1899 which formed the cornerstone 
of the Nme-Power Treaty, adopted concurrently with the Washington 
Naval Treaty of 1922. « 

To implement this policy Japan's course of aggression was countered 
by a series of deterrent measures in addition to those relating generally 
to the Axis or applying more specifically to the European situation. 
These measures mcluded material aid to China, curtailment of trade 
with Japan, and basing of the Pacific Fleet at Hawaii. 

Initial United States-Japanese Negotiations, 1941 

Admiral Nomura, the new Japanese Ambassador, was received by 
the President on February 14, 1941, at which time reference was made 
to the progressive deterioration of relations between Japan and the 
United States. President Roosevelt suggested that Ambassador 
Nomura might desire to reexamine and frankly discuss with the 
American Secretary of State important phases of American- Japanese 
relations. Secretary Hull made the following observations concerning 
the initial conversations with the Japanese Ambassador: *^ 

On March 8 (1941) in my first extended conversation with the Japanese Am- 
bassador I emphasized that the American people had become fully aroused over 
the German and Japanese movements to take charge of the seas and of the other 
continents for their own arbitrary control and to profit at the expense of the 
welfare of all of the victims. 

On March 14 the Japanese Ambassador saw the President and me. The 
President agreed with an intimation by the Ambassador that matters between 
our two countries could be worked out without a military clash and emphasized 
that the first step would be removal of suspicion regarding Japan's intentions. 
With the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka on his way to Berlin, talking 
loudly, and Japanese naval and air forces moving gradually toward Thailand, 
there was naturally serious concern and suspicion. 

On April 16, I had a further conversation with the Japanese Ambassador. I 
pointed out that the one paramount preliminary question about which our 
Government was concerned was a definite assurance in advance that the Japanese 
Government had the willingness and power to abandon its present doctrine of 
conquest bj' force and to adopt four principles which our Government regarded as 
the foundation upon which relations between nations should rest, as follows: 

(1) Respect for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each and all 

nations ; 

(2) Support of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other 

countries; 

« Id., at pp. n5-117. 

" Id., at p. 168. 

« Committee record, pp. 1103, 1104. 



14 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

(3) Support of the principle of equality, including equality of commercial 

opportunity; 

(4) Nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status quo 

may be altered by peaceful means. 
I told the Japanese Ambassador that our Government was willing to consider 
any proposal which the Japanese Government might offer such as would be con- 
sistent with those principles. 

Japanese Proposal of May 12 

The Japanese Ambassador on May 12 presented a proposal for a 
general settlement the essence of which was (1) that the United States 
should request Chiang Kai-shek to negotiate peace with Japan and, 
if the Generahssimo should not accept the advice of the United States, 
that the United States should discontinue its assistance to the Chinese 
Government; (2) that normal trade relations between Japan and the 
United States should be resumed; and (3) that the United States 
should help Japan acquire access to facilities for the exploitation of 
natural resources (including oil, rubber, tin, and nickel) in the South- 
west Pacific area.'*^ This proposal contained an affirmation of Japan's 
adherence to the Tripartite Pact with specific reference to Japan's 
obligations thereunder to come to the aid of any of the parties thereto 
if attacked by a power not at that time in the European war or in the 
Sino-Japanese conflict, other than the Soinet Union which was expressly 
excepted. In referring to the proposal Secretary Hull said:** 

The peace conditions which Japan proposed to offer China were not defined 
in clear-cut terms. Patient exploring, however, disclosed that they included 
stipulations disguised in innocuous-sounding formulas whereby Japan would retain 
control of various strategic resources, facilities, and enterprises in China and 
would acquire the right to station large bodies of Japanese troops, professedly 
for "joint defense against communism," for an indefinite period in extensive key 
areas of China proper and inner Mongolia. 

Notwithstanding the narrow and one-sided character of the Japanese proposals, 
we took them as a starting point to explore the possibility of working out a broad- 
gage settlement, covering the entire Pacific area, along lines consistent with the 
principles for which this country stood. 

The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs advised Ambassador 
Grew on Maj^ 14, 1941, that he and Prince Konoye were determined 
that Japan's southward advance should be carried out only by peace- 
ful means "unless circumstances render this impossible." Replying 
to the inquiry as to what circumstances he had in mind the Foreign 
Minister referred to the concentration of British troops in Malaya 
and other British measures. When it was pointed out by Ambassador 
Grew that such measures were defensive in character, the Japanese 
Minister observed that the measures in question were regarded as 
provocative by the Japanese public which might bring pressure on 
the Government to act.*^ 

President Roosevelt on May 27, 1941, as has been indicated, pro- 
claimed the existence of an "unlimited national emergency" and 
declai'ed in a radio address on the same day that our whole program 
of aid for the democracies had been based on concern for our owti 
security.**^ 

« There were also other provisions, which Japan eventually dropped, calling for jomt guaranty of Phil- 
ippine independence, for the consideration of Japanese immigration to the United States on a nondiscrim- 
inatory basis, and for a joint effort by the United States and Japan to prevent the further extension of the 
European war and for the speedy restoration of peace in Europe. 

« Committee record, pp. 1104-U06. 

« See committee record, pp. 1106, 1107. 

«Id., atp. 1107. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 15 

Secretary Hull commented as follows with respect to preliminary 
conversations with Ambassador Nomura: *'' 

During the next few weeks there were a number of conversations for the pur- 
pose of clarif3'ing various points and narrowing areas of difference. We repeatedly 
set forth our attitude on these points — the necessity of Japan's making clear its 
relation to the Axis in case the United States should be involved in self-defense 
in the war in Europe; application of the principle of noninterference in the internal 
affairs of another country and withdrawal of Japanese troops from Chinese terri- 
tory; application of the principle of nondiscrimination in commercial relations in 
China and other areas of the Pacific; and assurance of Japan's peaceful intent in 
the Pacific. I emphasized that what we were seeking was a comprehensive agree- 
ment which would speak for itself as an instrument of peace. 

The Japanese pressed for a complete reply to their proposals of May 12. Ac- 
cordingly, on June 21, the Ambassador was given our views in the form of a ten- 
tative redraft of their proposals. In that redraft there was suggested a formula 
which would make clear that Japan was not committed to take action against 
the United States should the latter be drawn by self-defense into the European 
war. It was proposed that a further effort be made to work out a satisfactory 
solution of the question of the stationing of Japanese troops in China and of the 
question of economic cooperation between China and Japan. There also was 
eliminated any suggestion that the United States would discontinue aid to the 
Chinese Government. Various other suggested changes were proposed in the 
interest of clarification or for the purpose of harmonizing the proposed settlement 
with our stated principles. 

Japanese Reaction to German Invasion of Russia 

In violation of the August 23, 1939, nonaggression pact, Germany 
attacked the Soviet Union on Juno 22, 1941. The invasion of Russia 
removed the restraining influence on the western flank of Japan and 
the life-and-death struggle of the Soviet Union for existence was 
seized upon by the Government of Japan to realize its dreams of empire 
in the Far East. 

In an intercepted message of July 31, 1941, from Tokyo to its Wash- 
ington Embassy the reaction of Japan to the war between German}'' 
and Russia was unequivocally expressed:*^ 

Needless to say, the Russo-German war has given us an excellent opportunity 
to settle the northern question, and it is a fact that we are proceeding with our 
preparations to take advantage of this occasion. 

The opportunist disposition of Japan was cogently expressed much 
earlier in a dispatch of September 12, 1940, from Ambassador Grew 
to the State Department :^^ 

Whatever may be the intentions of the present Japanese Government, there 
can be no doubt that the army and other elements in the country see in the present 
world situation a golden opportunity to carry into effect their dreams of expansion; 
the German victories have gone to their heads like strong wine; until recently 
they have beheved implicitly in the defeat of Great Britain; they have argued 
that the war will probably (*) in a quick German victory and that it is well to 
consolidate Japan's position in greater East Asia while Germany is still acquies- 
cent and before the eventual hypothetical strengthening of German naval power 
might rob Japan of far-flung control in the Far East ; they have discounted effec- 
tive opposition on the part of the United States although carefully watching our 
attitude. The ability of the saner heads in and out of the Government to control these 
elements has been and is doubtful. * * * 

Diplomacy may occasionally retard but cannot effectively stem the tide. Force 
or the display of force can alone prevent these powers from attaining their objec- 
tives. Japan today is one of the predatory powers; she has submerged all moral 
and ethical sense and has become frankly and unashamedly opportunist, seeking at 
every turn to profit by the weakness of others. Her policy of southward expansion 

« Id., at pp. U08, 1109. 

<s Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 9. 

«• Committee exhibit No. 26. 

90179 — 46 3 



16 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

is a definite threat to American interests in the Pacific and is a thrust at the 
British Empire in the, east. 

Following an Imperial Conference at Tokyo on July 2 at which "the 
fundamental national policy to be taken toward the present situation 
was decided" Japan proceeded with military preparations on a vast 
scale. From one to two million reservists and conscripts were called 
to the colors. Japanese merchant vessels operating in the Atlantic 
Ocean were suddenly recalled; restrictions were unposed upon travel 
in Japan; strict censorship of mails and communications was effected; 
and conditions were generally imposed throughout the Empire pre- 
saging a major military effort. The Japanese press dwelt constantly 
on the theme that Japan was being faced with pressure directed against 
it never before approached in its history. The United States was 
charged with using the Philippine Islands as a "pistol aimed at Japan's 
heart." The Japanese press warned that if the United States took 
further action in the direction of encircling Japan, Japanese-American 
relations would face a final crisis. ^° This false propaganda was 
clearly designed to condition the Japanese public for further military 
aggression. 

In an intercepted dispatch of July 2, 1941, from Tokyo to Berlin for 
the confidential information of the Japanese Ambassador and staff, 
the policy of Japan was expressed in the following terms: ^' 

1. Imperial Japan shall adhere to the policy of contributing to world peace by 
establishing the Great East Asia Sphere of Coprosperity, regardless of how the 
world situation may change. 

2. The Imperial Government shall continue its endeavor to dispose of the 
China incident, and shall take measures with a view to advancing southward in 
order to establish firmly a basis for her self-existence and self-protection. 

In a second part of the same message Japan outlined the "principal 
points" upon which she proposed to proceed: 

For the purpose of bringing the Chiang Regime to submission, increasing 
pressure shall be added from various points in the south, and by means of both 
propaganda and fighting plans for the taking over of concessions shall be carried 
out. Diplomatic negotiations shall be continued, and various other plans shall 
be speeded with regard to the vital points in the south. Concomitantly, prepara- 
tions for southward advance shall be reenforced and the policy already decided upon 
with reference to French Jndo-China and Thailand shall he executed. As regards 
the Russo-German war, although the spirit of the Three-Power Axis shall be 
maintained, every preparation shall be made at the present and the situation shall 
be dealt with in our own way. In the meantime, diplomatic negotiations shall be 
carried on with extreme care. Although ever}' means available shall be resorted to 
in order to prevent the United States from joining the war, if need be, Japan shall 
act in accordance with the Three-Power Pact and shall decide when and how force will 
he employed. 

Temporary Cessation of Negotiations 

During July of 1941 reports were received that a Japanese militarj'- 
movement into southern Indochina was imminent. The Government 
of the United States called to the attention of Japan the incompati- 
bility of such reports with the conversations then under way looking 
to an agreement for peace in the Pacific. Asked concerning the facts 
of the situation, the Japanese Ambassador on July 23 explained the 
Japanese movement into southern as well as northern Indochina by 
observing that Japan feared, first, that vital supplies including rice, 
foodstuffs, and raw materials from Indochina might be cut off by 

M Foreign Relations, vol II, pp. 339, 340. 
«' Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 1, 2. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 17 

de Gaullist French agents and Chinese agitators in southern Indochina 
and, second, that Japan beheved certain foreign powers were deter- 
mined to encircle Japan mihtarily and for that reason occupation of 
southern Indochina was undertaken purely as a precautionary 
measure/^ 

The explanation of Ambassador Nomura is in interesting contrast 
with an intercepted dispatch of July 14, 1941, from Canton to Tokyo: *^ 

Subsequent information from the military officials to the Attaches is as follows: 

1. The recent general mobilization order expressed the irrevocable resolution 
of Japan to put an end to Anglo-American assistance in thwarting her natural 
expansion and her indomitable intention to carry this out, if possible, with the 
backing of the Axis but, if neccessary, alone. JFormalities, such as dining the 
expeditionary forces and saying farewell to them, have been dispensed with. 
That is because we did not wish to arouse greatly the feelings of the Japanese 
populace and because we wished to face this new war with a calm and cool attitude. 

2. The immediate object of our occupation of French Indo-China will be to 
achieve our purposes there. Secondly, its purpose is, when the international situa- 
tion is suitable, to launch therefrom a rapid attack. This venture we will carry out 
in spite of any difficulties which may arise. We will endeavor to the last to 
occupy French Indo-China peacefully but, if resistance is offered, we will crush 
it by force, occupy the country and set up martial law. After the occupation of 
French Indo-China, next on our schedule is the sending of an ultimatum to the Nether- 
lands Indies. In the seizing of Singapore the Navrj will play the principal part. 
As for the Army, in seizing Singapore it will need only one division and in sefzing 
the Netherlands Indies, only two * * *^ 

In commenting on the observations made by Ambassador Nomura, 
Acting Secretary of State Sumner Wells on July 23, 1941, pointed out 
that any agreement which might have been concluded between the 
French Government at Vichy and Japan could only have resulted from 
pressure exerted on Vichy by Germany; and in that consequence this 
agreement could only be looked upon as offeiing assistance to Ger- 
many's policy of world domination and conquest. He further observed 
that conclusion of the agreement under discussion by the Secretary of 
State and Ambassador Nomura would bring about a far greater meas- 
ure of economic security to Japan than she could secure through occu- 
pation of Indochina; that the policy of the United States was the 
opposite of an encirclement policy or of any policy which would be a 
threat to Japan; that Japan w^as not menaced by the policy of Great 
Britain and if an agreement had been concluded, Great Britain, the 
British Dominions, China, and the Netherlands would have joined the 
United States and Japan in support of the underlying principles stood 
for by the United States. He pointed out that the United States could 
only regard the action of Japan as constituting notice that the Japanese 
Government intended to pursue a policy of force and conquest, and, 
since there was no apparent basis calling for fillmg Indochina with 
Japanese military and other forces as a measure for defending Japan, 
the United States must assume that Japan was taking the last step 
before proceeding on a policy of expansion and conquest in the region 
of the South Seas. Finally, the Acting Secretary said that in these 
circumstances the Secretary of State — with whom he had talked a few 
minutes before — could not see any basis for pursuing further the con- 
versations in which the Secretary and the Ambassador had been en- 
gaged." 

On July 24 Mr. Welles made a statement to the press in which he 
characterized the Japanese action in Indochina in substantially the 

M Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 340. 

M Committee exhibit No. l, p. 2. 

** See Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 341. 



18 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

same terms as in his statement of the previous day to the Japanese 
Ambassador. He further pointed out that the actions of Japan en- 
dangered the use of the Pacific by peaceful nations ; that these actions 
tended to jeopardize the procurement by the United States of essential 
materials such as tin and rubber, which were necessary in our defense 
program; and that the steps being taken by Japan endangered the 
safety of other areas of the Pacific, including the Philippine Islands.^^ 
Also, on July 24, 1941, in the face of a progressive movement by 
Japan into southern Indochina, the President proposed to the Japanese 
Government that French Indochina be regarded as a "neutralized" 
country. This proposal contemplated that Japan would be given the 
fullest and freest opportunity of assuring for itself a source of food 
supplies and other raw materials which on the basis of Japan's own 
representations she was seeking to obtain. The Japanese Government 
did not accept the President's proposal. The answer of Japan was 
characteristically pragmatic and well described in the following 
language: ^^ 

Large Japanese forces, however, soon were moved into southern Indochina. 
Japan's constant expansion of her miUtary position in the southwest Pacific 
had already substantially imperiled the security of the United States along with 
that of other powers. By this further expansion in southern Indochina, Japan 
virtually completed the encirclement of the Philippine Islands and placed its 
armed forces within striking distance of vital trade routes. This constituted an 
overt act directly menacing the security of the United States and other powers that were 
at peace with Japan. It created a situation in Avhich the risk of war Ijccame so 
great that the United States and other countries concerned were confronted no 
longer with the question of avoiding such risk but from then on with the problem 
of preventing a complete undermining of their security. No sooner were Japanese 
military forces moved into southern Indochina than there began to appear evi- 
dence that there was in progress a vigorous under-cover movement of Japanese 
infiltration into Thailand. With Japan's armed forces poised for further attacks, 
the possibility of averting armed conflict lay only in the bare chance that there 
might be reached some agreement which would cause Japan to abandon her policy 
and procedure of aggression. Under those circumstances and in the light of 
those considerations, the Government of the United States decided at that point, 
as did certain other governments especially concerned, that discontinuance of 
trade with Japan had become an appropriate, warranted and necessary step — 
as an open warning to Japan and as a measure of self-defense. 

With the unsuccessful attempt to bring to a halt Japanese aggres- 
sion in Indochina no further conversations were held on the subject of 
an agreement until August of 1941. 

Freezing of Assets 

It was clear that positive action must be taken under the circum- 
stances for reasons well expressed by Secretary Hull in his testimony: " 

The hostilities between Japan and China had been in progress for four years. 
During those years the United States had continued to follow in its relations 
with Japan a policy of restraint and patience. It had done this notwithstanding 
constant violation by Japanese authorities or agents of American rights and 
legitimate interests in China, in neighboring areas, and even in Japan, and not- 
withstanding acts and statements by Japanese officials indicating a policy of 
widespread conquest by force and even threatening the United States. The 
American Government had sought, while protesting against Japanese acts and 
while yielding no rights, to make clear a willingness to work out with Japan by 
peaceful processes a basis for continuance of amicable relations with Japan. It 
had desired to give the Japanese every opportunity to turn of their own accord 
from their program of conquest toward peaceful policies. 

»»Id. 

M Id., at p. 342. 

w Committee record, pp. 1111-1113. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 19 

The President and I, in our effort to bring about the conclusion of an agree- 
ment, had endeavored to present to the Japanese Government a feasible alterna- 
tive to Japan's indicated program of conquest. We had made abundantly clear 
our willingness to cooperate with Japan in a program based upon peaceful 
principles. We had repeatedly indicated that if such a program were adopted 
for the Pacific, and if thereafter any countries or areas within the Pacific were 
menaced, our Government would expect to cooperate with other governments in 
extending assistance to the region threatened. 

While these discussions were going on in Washington, many responsible 
Japanese officials were affirming in Tokyo and elsewhere Japan's determination 
to pursue a policy of cooperation with her Axis allies. Both Mr. Matsuoka and 
his successor as Minister for Foreign Affairs had declared that the Three Power 
Pact stood and that Japanese policy was based u[)on that pact. Large-scale 
preparati(jn by Japan for extension of her military activities was in progress, 
especially since early July. Notwithstanding our efforts expressly to impress 
upon the Japanese Government our Government's concern and our objection 
to niovonient by Japan with use or threat of force into Indochina, the Japanese 
Government had again obtained by duress from the Vichy Government an 
authorization and Japanese armed forces had moved into southern Indochina, 
occupied bases there, and were consolidating themselves there for further south- 
ward movements. 

Confronted with the implacable attitude of Japan, President 
Roosevelt issued an Executive Order on July 2G, 1941, freezing 
Japanese assets in the United States. This order brought under 
control of the Government all financial and import and export trade 
transactions in which Japanese interests were involved. The effect 
of the order was to bring to virtual cessation trade between the 
United States and Japan. ^^ 

It should be noted that shortly before large Japanese forces went into 
French Indochina, late in July, a change was effected in the Japanese 
Cabinet whereby Admiral Toyoda took over the portfolio of Foreign 
Affairs from Mr. Matsuoka. Thereafter the Japanese Prime Minister, 
the new Japanese Foreign Minister and Ambassador Nomura made 
emphatic and repeated protestations of Japan's desire for peace and 
an equitable settlement of Pacific problems. Despite these represen- 
tations of peaceful intentions, the Japanese Government continued 
with mobilization in Japan, and dispatched increasing numbers of 
armed forces to Manchuria, Indochina, and south China. Bombing 
of American property in China continued, including bursts which dam- 
aged the American Embassy and the U. S. S. Tutuila at Chungking.^^ 
An intercepted message of July 19, 1941, from Tokyo to Berlin pre- 
sented a candid estimate of the change in the Japanese Cabinet: ®° 

The Cabinet shake-up was necessary to expedite matters in connection with 
National Affairs and has no further significance. Japan's foreign policy will not 
be changed and she will remain faithful to the principles of the Tripartite Pact. 

Resumption of Negotiations and Proposed Meeting of 
President Roosevelt and Premier Konoye 

The Japanese Government did not reply to the President's proposal 
of July 24, but on August 6 the Japanese Ambassador presented a 
proposal which, so he stated, purported to be responsive to that of the 
President. This proposal provided among other things: 

(1) For removal of restrictions which the United States had imposed 
upon trade with Japan; 

M Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 343. 

" Id., at p. 343. 

M Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 3. 



20 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

(2) For "suspension of its (the United States') military measures 
in the southwest Pacific area"; 

(3) For the exercise of good offices by the United States for the 
initiation of direct negotiations between Japan and China; 

(4) For withdrawal of Japanese troops from Indochina after a 
settlement between Japan and China; 

(5) For recognition by the United States of Japan's special position 
in Indochina even after the withdrawal of Japanese troops. 

Throughout the negotiations it had been specified or implied that 
Japan would expect the United States, in the proposed exercise of its 
good offices between China and Japan, to discontinue aid to 
China. The Japanese proposal of August 6 completely ignored the 
proposal of the President to which it was allegedly responsive. It 
asked either expressly or by implication that the United States remove 
the restrictions it had imposed upon trade with Japan; suspend its 
defensive preparations in the Philippines ; discontinue furnishing mili- 
tary equipment to Great Britain and the Netherlands for the arming 
of their far eastern possessions; discontinue aid to the Chinese Govern- 
ment; and acquiesce in Japan's assertion and exercise of a special 
mihtary position and a permanent preferential political and economic 
status in Indochina, involving, as this would, assent to procedures and 
disposals which menaced the security of the United States and which 
were contrary to the principles to which this Government was com- 
mitted. The Japanese Government in return offered not to station 
Japanese troops in regions of the southwestern Pacific other than 
Indochina. It proposed to retain its military establishment in Indo- 
china for an indeterminate period. There thus would still have re- 
mained the menace to the security of the United States, already 
mentioned, as well as the menace to the security of British and Dutch 
territories in the southwestern Pacific area. 

On August 8 Secretary Hull informed Japan's Ambassador that the 
Japanese proposal was not responsive to the President's proposal of 
July 24. Ambassador Nomura thereupon inquired whether it might 
be possible for President Roosevelt and Premier Kono3''e to meet with 
a view to discussing means for reaching an adjustment of views be- 
tween the two Governments.^^ This suggestion was made pursuant 
to a dispatch from Tokyo to Ambassador Nomura which related in 
pertinent part:*^^ 

We are firm in our conviction that the only naeans by which the situation can 
be relieved is to have responsible persons representing each country gather to- 
gether and hold direct conferences. They shall lay their cards on the table, 
express their true feelings, and attempt to determine a way out of the present 
situation. 

In the first proposal made by the United States mention was made of just such 
a step. If, therefore, the United States is still agreeable to this plan. Prime 
Minister Konoye himself will be willing to meet and converse in a friendly manner 
with President Roosevelt. 

Will you please make clear to them that we propose this step because we sin- 
cerely desire maintaining peace on the Pacific. 

The sincerity of Japan's desire for peace and the appraisal of any 
hopes for a satisfactory settlement from such a meeting necessarily 
had to be viewed in the light of a statement only 7 days earlier in an 
intercepted dispatch from Tokyo to Ambassador Nomura:®^ 

•' Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 344, 
" Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 12. 
« Id., at p. 10. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 21 

Thus, all measures which our Empire shall take will be based upon a determination 
1.0 bring about the success of the objectiues of the Tripartite Pact. That this is a fact 
is proven by the promulgation of an Imperial rescript. We are ever working 
toward the realization of those objectives, and now during this dire emergency 
is certainly no time to engage in any light unpremeditated or over-speedy action. 

On August 18, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs orally 
observed to Ambassador Grew that the only way to prevent the 
strained relations between the United States and Japan from further 
deterioration would be through a meeting of President Roosevelt and 
the Japanese Prime Minister. Strict secrecy concerning the proposal 
was urged upon our Ambassador for the reason that premature an- 
nouncement of the meeting would result in the project being "tor- 
pedoed" by certain elements in Japan. The Japanese Government's 
concern for presenang the secrecy of the proposed meeting between 
the President and Premier Konoye is fully evinced in an intercepted 
dispatch from Tokyo to Washington on September 3, 1941:^* 

Since the existence of the Premier's message was inadvertently made known 
to the public, that gang that has been suspecting that unofficial talks were taking place, 
has really begun lo yell and wave the Tripartite Pact banner. 

In the midst of this confusion at home Fleisher's story in the Herald-Tribune 
relating the rumor of a proposed conference between the Premier and the President 
broke, which was unfortunate, to say the least, as you can well imagine. 

The government is not afraid of the above-mentioned confusion; nor does it 
feel that that condition will destroy the fruits of the said conference. It is only 
that the government wished to keep the matter a secret until the arrangements 
had been completed. I am sure that you are aware that such a policy is not limited 
to just this case. 

Because of the circumstances being what they are, we would like to make all 
arrangements for the meeting around the middle of September, with all possible 
speed, and issue a very simple statement to that effect as soon as possible. (If 
the middle of September is not convenient, any early date would meet with our 
approval.) 

Will you please convey this wish of the government to Hull and wire us the 
results. If an immediate reply is not forthcoming, we plan to issue a public 
statement describing our position in this matter. We feel that this should be done 
from the viewpoint of our domestic situation. Please advise the United States of 
this plan. 

The fact that the Konoye Cabinet desired the suggested meeting 
between the President and the Japanese Premier to be strictly secret 
for the reason that premature disclosure would result in frustration of 
the move by hostile elements in Japan would indicate beyond doubt 
that there existed in Japan a formidable opposition to efforts designed 
to achieve an improvement m relations with the United States.^^ Fur- 
ther, secrecy with respect to such a meeting would accomphsh the 
additional purpose from the Japanese viewpoint of disguising from her 
Axis partners, Germany and Italy, the fact that steps might be under- 
taken which would in any way compromise Japan's commitments 
under the Tripartite Pact. 

[There will he found in Appendix D a detailed and comprehensive 
review of the diplomatic conversations between the United States and 
Japan, and related matters, during the critical period from the Atlantic 
Conference through December 8, 1941, in the light of the facts made 
public by this committee, to which reference is hereby made.] 

In connection with the proposed meeting it should be noted that 
President Roosevelt returned to Washington on August 17 from the 

«< Id., at p. 25. 

" See Memoirs of Prince Futnluiaro Konoye, committee exhibit No. 173. 



22 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Atlantic Conference at which the far eastern situation had been dis- 
cussed with Mr. Churchill. It had been agreed by both the Presi- 
dent and Prime Minister Churchill that more time was needed by 
both the United States and Britain to prepare their defenses against 
Japanese attack in the Far East. It was further agreed that steps 
should be taken to warn Japan against new moves of aggression. 
The President and Mr. Churchill were in agreement that this Govfrn- 
ment should be prepared to continue its conversations with the 
Government of Japan and thereby leave open to her a reasonable and 
just alternative to the aggressive course which she had mapped out 
for herself. 

Upon his return to Washington from the Atlantic Conference, the 
President on August 17 handed the Japanese Ambassador two docu- 
ments, one pointing out that the principles and policies under discus- 
sion in conversations between the two Governments precluded expan- 
sion by force or threat of force and that if the Japanese Government 
took any further steps in pursuance of a program of domination by 
force or threat of force of neighboring countries, the Government of 
the United States would be compelled to take any and all steps neces- 
sary toward insuring the security of the United States.^^ In the 
second document reference was made to the desire expressed earlier 
in August by the Japanese Government to resume conversations and 
to the Ambassador's suggestion of August 8 that President Roosevelt 
and the Japanese Minister meet with a view to discussing means for 
adjustment of relations between the United States and Japan. Re- 
affirmation was made of this Government's intention not to consider 
any proposals affecting the rights of either country except as such 
proposals might be in conformity with the basic principles to which 
the United States had long been committed and of its intention to 
continue to follow its policy of aiding nations resisting aggression. 

It was pointed out that informal conversations with the Japanese 
Government relative to a peaceful settlement would naturally en- 
visage the worldng out of a progressive program involving the 
application to the entire Pacific area of the principle of equality of 
commercial opportunity and treatment, thus making possible access 
by all countries to raw materials and other essential commodities; 
and that such a program would contemplate cooperation by all nations 
of the Pacific toward utilizing all available resources of capital, 
technical skill and economic leadership toward building up the 
economies of each country and toward increasing the purchasing power 
and raising the standards of living of the nations and peoples con- 
cerned. The opinion was expressed that if Japan was seeking what 
it affirmed to be its objectives the program outlined was one. that 
could be counted upon to assure Japan satisfaction of its economic 
needs and legitimate aspirations with a far greater measure of certainty 
than could any other program. The statement was made that, in 
case Japan desired and was in a position to suspend its expansionist 
activities, to readjust its position, and to embark upon a peaceful 
program for the Pacific along the lines of the program and principles 
to wliich the United States was committed, the Government of the 
United States was prepared to consider resumption of the informal 
exploratory discussions which had been interrupted in July and 
would be glad to endeavor to arrange a suitable time and place to 

M Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 556. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 23 

exchange views. It was also stated that, before renewal of the 
conversations or proceeding with plans for a meeting of the heads of 
the two Governments, it would be helpful if the Japanese Govern- 
ment would furnish a clearer statement than had as yet been given 
of its present attitude and plans. If the Japanese Government 
continued its movement of force and conquest, "we could not," the 
President said to the Ambassador, "think of reopening the conver- 
sations." 

On August 28 the Japanese Ambassador handed the President a 
message from Premier Konoye urging a meeting between the heads of 
the Governments of the United States and Japan to discuss all impor- 
tant problems in the Pacific. This message was accompanied by a 
statement of the Japanese Government in which assurances were given, 
with several qualifications, of Japan's peaceful intentions and her de- 
sire to seek a program for the Pacific area consistent with the principles 
to which the United States had long been committed. The qualifica- 
tions were voiced in the following terms: the Japanese Government was 
prepared to withdraw its troops from Indochina "as soon as the China 
incident is settled or a just peace is established in east Asia"; Japan 
would take no military action against the Soviet Union as long as the 
Soviet Union remained faithful to the Soviet-Japanese neutrality 
treaty and did "not menace Japan or Manchukuo or undertake any 
action contrary to the spirit of said treaty"; the Japanese Government 
had no intention of using "without provocation" military force against 
any neighboring nation.^^ 

On September 3 the President handed the Japanese Ambassador the 
following "oral statement." ^* 

Reference is made to the proposal of the Japanese Government communicated 
on August 28, 1941, by the Japanese Ambassador to the President of the United 
States that there be held as soon as possible a meeting between the responsible 
heads of the Government of Japan and of the Government of the United States to 
discuss important problems between Japan and the United States covering the 
entire Pacific area in an endeavor to save the situation and to the reply of the 
President of the United States, in which the President assured the Prime Minister 
of the readiness of the Government of the United States to move as rapidly as 
possible toward the consummation of arrangements for such a meeting and sug- 
gested that there be held preliminary discussion of important questions that would 
come up for consideration in the meeting. In further explanation of the views 
of the Government of the United States in regard to the suggestion under referencp 
observations are offered, as follows: 

On April 16, at the outset of the informal and exploratory conversations which 
were entered into by the Secretary of State with the Japanese Ambassador, the 
Secretary of State referred to four fundamental principles which this Government 
regards as the foundation upon which all relations between nations should properly 
rest. These four fundamental principles are as follows: 

1. Respect for the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of each and all 
nations. 

2. Support of the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other 
countries. 

3. Support of the principle of equality, including equality of commercial 
opportunity. 

4. Nondisturbance of the status quo in the Pacific except as the status quo may 
be altered by peaceful means. 

In the subsequent conversations the Secretary of State endeavored to make it 
clear that in the opinion of the Government of the United States Japan stood to 
gain more from adherence to courses in harmony with these principles than from 
any other course, as Japan would thus best be assured access to the raw materials 
and markets which Japan needs and ways would be opened for mutually bene- 
ficial cooperation with the United States and other countries, and that only upon 

" Id., at pp. 346, 347. 
«8Id.,atpp. 58&-591. 



24 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

the basis of these principles could an agreement be reached which would be 
effective in establishing stability and peace in the Pacific area. 

The Government of the United States notes with satisfaction that in the state- 
ment marked "Strictly Confidential" which was communicated by the Japanese 
Ambassador to the President of the United States on August 28 there were given 
specific assurances of Japan's peaceful intentions and assurances that Japan 
desires and seeks a program for the Pacific area consistent with the principles to 
which the Government of the United States has long been committed and which 
were set forth in detail in the informal conversations already referred to. The 
Government of the United States understands that the assurances which the 
Japanese Government has given in that statement exclude any policy which 
would seek political expansion or the acquisition of economic rights, advantages, 
or preferences by force. 

The Government of the United States is very desirous of collaborating in 
efforts to make effective in practice the principles to which the Japanese Govern- 
ment has made reference. The Government of the United States believes that 
it is all-important that preliminary precautions be taken to insure the success of 
any efforts which the Governments of Japan and of the United States might 
make to collaborate toward a peaceful settlement. It will be recalled that in the 
course of the conversations to which reference has already been made, the Secre- 
tary of State on June 21, 1941, handed the Japanese Ambassador a document 
marked "Oral, Unofficial, and Without Commitment" which contained a redraft 
of the Japanese Government's proposal of May 12, 1941. It will be recalled 
further that in oral discussion of this draft it was found that there were certain 
fundamental questions with respect to which there were divergences of view 
between the two Governments, and which remained unreconciled at the time the 
conversations were interrupted in July. The Government of the United States 
desires to facilitate progress toward a conclusive discussion, but believes that a com- 
munity of view and a clear agreement upon the points above-inentioned are essential 
to any satisfactory settlement of Pacific questions. It therefore seeks an indication 
of the present attitude of the Japanese Government with regard to the funda- 
mental questions under reference. 

It goes without saying that each Government in reaching decisions on policy 
must take into account the internal situation in its own country and the attitude 
of public opinion therein. The Government of Japan will surely recognize that 
the Government of the United States could not enter into any agreement which 
would not be in harmony with the principles in which the American people — in 
fact all nations that prefer peaceful methods to methods of force — believe. 

The Government of the United States would be glad to have the reply of the 
Japanese Government on the matters above set forth. 

The formal reply of the President to the Japanese Prime Minister 
was handed Ambassador Nomura on September 3, and follows: ^^ 

I have read with appreciation Your Excellency's message of August 27, which 
was delivered to me by Admiral Nomura. 

I have noted with satisfaction the sentiments expressed by you in regard to the 
solicitude of Japan for the maintenance of the peace of the Pacific and Japan's 
desire to improve Japanese-American relations. 

I fully share the desire expressed by you in these regards, and I wish to assure 
you that the Government of the United States, recognizing the swiftly moving 
character of world events, is prepared to proceed as rapidly as possible toward 
the consummation of arrangements for a meeting at which you and I can exchange 
views and endeavor to bring about an adjustment in the relations between our 
two countries. 

In the statement which accompanied your letter to me reference was made to 
the principles to which the Government of the United States has long been com- 
mitted, and it was declared that the Japanese Government "considers these prin- 
ciples and the practical application thereof, in the friendliest manner possible, are 
the prime requisites of a true peace and should be applied not only in the Pacific 
area but throughout the entire world" and that "such a program has long been 
desired and sought by Japan itself." 

I am very desirous of collaborating with you in efforts to make these principles 
effective in practice. Because of my deep interest in this matter I find it neces- 
sary that I constantly observe and take account of developments both in my own 
country and in Japan which have a bearing upon problems of relations between 
our two countries. At this particular moment I cannot avoid taking cognizance 
of indications of the existence in some quarters in Japan of concepts which, if 



«» Id., at pp. 591, 592. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 25 

widely entertained, would seem capable of raising obstacles to successful collabo- 
ration between you and me along the line which I am sure we both earnestly 
desire to follow. Under these circumstances, I feel constrained to suggest, in the 
belief that you will share my view, that it would seem highly desirable that we 
take precaution, toward ensuring that our proposed meeting shall prove a success, by 
endeavoring to enter immediately upon preliminary discussion of the fundamental and 
essential questions on which we seek agreement. The questions which I have in 
mind for such preliminary discussions involve practical application of the prin- 
ciples fundamental to achievement and maintenance of peace which are mentioned 
with more specification in the statement accompanying your letter. I hope that 
you will look favorably upon this suggestion. 

The decision to defer any meeting between the President and the 
Japanese Prime Minister pending prehminary discussions of funda- 
mental and essential questions was deliberate and well considered. 
Secretary Hull testified fully concerning the considerations attending 
the decision:^'* 

A meeting between the President and Prince Konoe ^"^ would have been a' sig- 
nificant step. Decision whether it should be undertaken by our Government 
involved several important considerations. 

We knew that Japanese leaders were unreliable and treacherous. We asked 
ourselves whether the military element in Japan would permit the civilian element, 
even if so disposed, to stop Japan's course of expansion by force and to revert 
to peaceful courses. Time and again the civilian leaders gave assurances; time 
and again the military took aggressive action in direct violation of those assur- 
ances. Japan's past and contemporary record was replete with instances of 
military aggression and expansion by force. Since 1931 and especially since 
1937 the military in Japan exercised a controlling voice in Japan's national policy. 

Japan's formal partnership with Nazi Germany in the Tripartite Alliance was 
a hard and inescapable fact. The Japanese had been consistently unwilling in 
the conversations to pledge their Government to renounce Japan's commitments 
in the alliance. They would not state that Japan would refrain from attacking 
this country if it became involved through self-defense in the European war. 
They held on to the threat against the United States implicit in the alliance. 

Our Government could not ignore the fact that throughout the conversations 
the Japanese spokesmen had made a practice of offering general formulas and, 
when pressed for explanation of the meaning, had consistently narrowed and made 
more rigid their application. This suggested that when military leaders became 
aware of the generalized formulas they insisted upon introducing conditions which 
watered down the general assurances. 

A meeting between the President and the Japanese Prime Minister would have 
had important psychological results. 

It would have had a critically discouraging effect upon the Chinese. 

If the proposed meeting should merely endorse general principles, the Japanese 
in the light of their past practice could have been expected to utilize such general 
principles in support of any interpretation which Japan might choose to place 
upon them. 

If the proposed meeting did not produce an agreement, the Japanese military 
leaders would then have been in a position to declare thdt the United States was 
responsible for the failure of the meeting. 

The Japanese had already refused to agree to any preliminary steps toward 
reversion to peaceful courses, as, for example, adopting the President's proposal of 
July 24 regarding the neutralization of Indochina. Instead they steadily moved 
on with their program of establishing themselves more firmly in Indochina. 

It was clear to us that unless the meeting produced concrete and clear-cut commit- 
ments toward peace, the Japanese would have distorted the significance of the meeting 
in such a xoay as to weaken greatly this country's moral position and to facilitate their 
aggressive course. 

The acts of Japan under Konoe's Prime Ministership could not be overlooked. 

He had headed the Japanese Government in 1937 when Japan attacked China 
and when huge Japanese armies poured into that country and occupied its 
principal cities and industrial regions. 

He was Prime Minister when Japanese armed forces attacked the U. S. S. Panay 
on the Yangtze River on December 12, 1937. 

"> Committee record, pp. 1120-1124. For a thoroughgoing discussion of events and circumstances attend- 
ing the proposed meeting between President Roosevelt and Prince Konoye, see Appendix D. 

'»» It is to he noted that except in tho.'io instances where the name appears in direct quotations, the Jap- 
anese Prime Minister's name is spelled Konoye, rather than Konoe. 



26 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

He was Prime Minister when Japanese armed forces committed notorious out- 
rages in Nanking in 1937. 

He as Prime Minister had proclaimed in 1938 the basic principles upon which 
the Japanese Government, even throughout the 1941 conversations, stated that 
it would insist in any peace agreement with China. Those principles in applica- 
tion included stationing large bodies of Japanese troops in North China. They 
would have enabled Japan to retain a permanent stranglehold on China. 

He had been Prime Minister when the Japanese Government concluded in 1940 
with the Chinese Quisling regime at Nanking a "treaty" embodying the strangle- 
hold principles mentioned in the preceding paragraph. 

Prince Konoe had been Japanese Prime Minister when Japan signed the 
Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in 1940. 

As a result of our close-up conversations with the Japanese over a period of 
months, in which the}' showed no disposition to abandon their course of conquest, 
we were thoroughly satisfied that a meeting with Konoe could only result either in 
another Munich or in nothing at all, unless Japan was ready to give some clear 
evidence of a purpose to move in a peaceful direction. I was opposed to the first 
Munich and still more opposed to a second Munich. 

Our Government ardently desired peace. It could not brush away the realities 
in the situation. 

Although the President would, as he said, "have been happy to travel thou- 
sands of miles to meet the Premier of Japan," it was felt that in view of the factors 
mentioned the President could go to such a meeting only if there were first 
obtained tentative commitments offering some assurance that the meeting 
could accomplish good. Neither Prince Konoe nor any of Japan's spokesmen 
provided anything tangible." 

Japanese Proposals of September 6 and 27 

On September 6 Ambassador Nomura handed Secretary Hull the 
following proposal:" 

The Government of Japan undertakes: 

(a) that Japan is ready to express its concurrence in those matters which were 
already tentatively agreed upon between Japan and the United States in the 
course of their preliminary informal conversations; 

(b) that Japan will not make any military advancement from French Indo- 
china against any of its adjoining areas, and likewise will not, without any 
justifiable reason, resort to military action against any regions lying south of 
Japan; 

(c) that the attitudes of Japan and the United States towards the European 
War will be decided by the concepts of protection and self-defense, and, in case 
the United States should participate in the European War, the interpretation 
and execution of the Tripartite Pact by Japan shall be independently decided; 

(d) that Japan will endeavour to bring about the rehabilitation of general and 
normal relationship between Japan and China, upon the realization of which 
Japan is ready to withdraw its armed forces from China as soon as possible in 
accordance with the agreements between Japan and China; 

(e) that the economic activities of the United States in China will not be 
restricted so long as pursued on an equitable basis; 

» The Konoye Memoirs reflect that the Japanese Navy approved the idea of a meeting between the 
Prasident and the Japanese Prime Minister whereas the Army viewed such a meeting as of questioned 
desirability. After outlining his ideas with respect to such a meeting Prince Konoye observed: "Both 
the War and Navy Ministers listened to me intently. Neither could give me an immediate reply but 
before the day (August 4, 1941) was over, the Navy expressed complete accord and, moreover, anticipated 
the success of the conference. The War Minister's reply came in writing, as follows: 

" 'If the Prime Minister were to personally meet with the President of the United States, the existing 
diplomatic relations of the Empire, which are based on the Tripartite Pact, would unavoidably be weak- 
ened. At the same time, a considerable domestic stir would undoubtedly be created. For these reasons, 
the meeting is not considered a suitable move. The attempt to surmount the present critical situation by 
the Prime Minister's offering his personal services is viewed with sincere respect and admiration. If, 
therefore, it is the Prime Minister's intention to attend such a meeting, with determination to firmly support the 
basic principles embodied in the Empire's revised plan to the N plan and to carry out a war against America 
if the President of the United States still fails to comprehend the true intentions of the Empire even after this final 
effort is made, the army is not necessarily in disagreement. 

" 'However, (1) it is not in favor of the meeting if after making preliminary investigations, it is learned 
that the meeting will be with someone other than tne President, such as Secretary Hull or one in a lesser 
capacity; (2) you shall not resign your post as a result of the meeting on the grounds that it was a failure; rather, 
you shall be prepared to assume leadership in the war against America.' 

"The War Minister was of the opinion that 'failure of this meeting is the greater likelihood.' " See 
committee exhibit No. 173, pp. 30, 31. 

n Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 608, 609. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 27 

(f) that Japan's activities in the Southwestern Pacific Area will be carried on 
by peaceful means and in accordance with the principle of nondiscrimination in 
international commerce, and that Japan will cooperate in the production and 
procurement by the United States of natural resources in the said area which it 
needs; 

(g) that Japan will take measures necessary for the resumption of normal trade 
relations between Japan and the United States, and in connection with the above- 
mentioned, Japan is ready to discontinue immediately the application of the 
foreigners' transactions control regulations with regard to the United States on 
the basis of reciprocity. 

The Government of the United States undertakes: 

"(a) that, in response to the Japanese Government's commitment expressed in 
point (d) referred to above, the United States will abstain from any measures 
and actions which will be prejudicial to the endeavour by Japan concerning the 
settlement of the China Affair; 

"(b) that the United States will reciprocate Japan's commitment expressed in 
point (f) referred to above; 

"(c) that the United States will suspend any military measures in the Far 
East and in the Southwestern Pacific Area; 

"(d) that the United States will immediately [upon settlement] reciprocate 
Japan's commitment expressed in point (g) referred to above by discontinuing 
the application of the so-called freezing act with regard to Japan and further by 
removing the prohibition against the passage of Japanese vessels through the 
Panama Canal." 

Secretary Hull made the following comments with respect to the 
foregoing Japanese proposal: ^^ 

On September 6 the Japanese Ambassador presented a new draft of proposals. 
These proposals were much narrower than the assurances given in the statement 
communicated to the President on August 28. In the September 6 Japanese 
draft the Japanese gave only an evasive formula with regard to their obligations 
under the Tripartite Pact. There was a qualified undertaking that Japan would 
not "without any justifiable reason" resort to military action against any region 
south of Japan. No commitment was offered in regard to the nature of the terms 
which Japan would offer to China; nor any assurance of an intention by Japan to 
respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty, to refrain from interference 
in China's internal affairs, not to station Japanese troops indefinitely in wide areas 
of China, and to conform to the principle of nondiscrimination in international 
commercial relations. The formula contained in the draft that "the economic 
activities of the United States in China will not be restricted so long as pursurd on 
an equitable basis" [italics added] clearly implied a concept that the conditions 
under which American trade and commerce in China were henceforth to be con- 
ducted were to be a matter for decision by Japan. '^ 

From time to time during September of 1941 discussions were held 
between Secretary Hull and the Japanese Ambassador. On Septem- 
ber 27, Ambassador Nomura presented a complete redraft of the 
Japanese proposals of September 6, following the form of the American 
proposals of June 21. On October 2, Secretary Hull replied to the 
proposals made by the Japanese Ambassador during September, 
handing the Ambassador an "oral statement" reviewing significant 
developments in the conversations and explaining our Government's 
attitude toward various points in the Japanese proposals which our 
Government did not consider consistent with the principles to which 
this country was committed. He said: ^^ 

Disappointment was expressed over the narrow character of the outstanding 
Japanese proposals, and questions were raised in regard to Japan's intentions 
regarding the indefinite stationing of Japanese troops in wide areas of China and 
regarding Japan's relationship to the Axis Powers. While welcoming the Jap- 
anese suggestion of a meeting between the President and the Japanese Prime 

" Committee record, pp. 1118, 1119. 

'< The Konoye Memoirs reveal that on September 6 an imperial conference was held at which were [deter- 
mined the basic principles of the Japanese Empire's national policy. Among these principles was the under- 
standing that in case there was no way found for attainment of Japanese demands by early in October of 
1941, the Empire should at once determine to make up its mind to get ready for war against the United 
States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. Committee exhibit No. 173. 

'• Committee record, pp. 1124-1126. 



28 PEAEL HARBOR ATTACK 

Minister, we proposed, in order to lay a firm foundation for such a meeting, 
tliat renewed consideration be given to fundamental principles so as to reach a 
meeting of minds on essential questions. It was stated in conclusion that the 
subject of the meeting proposed by the Prime Minister and the objectives sought 
had engaged the close and active interest of the President and that it was the 
President's earnest hope that discussion of the fundamental questions might be 
so developed that such a meeting could be held. 

During this period there was a further advance of Japanese armed forces in 
Indochina, Japanese military preparations at home were increased and speeded 
up, and there continued Japanese bombing of Chinese civilian populations, 
constant agitation in the Japanese press in support of extremist policies, and the 
unconciliatory and bellicose utterances of Japanese leaders. For example, 
Captain Hideo Hiraide, director of the naval intelligence section of Imperial 
Headquarters, was quoted on October 16 as having declared in a public speech: 

"America, feeling her insecurity * * * , is carrying out naval expansion on 
a large scale. But at present America is unable to carry out naval< operations 
in both the Atlantic and Pacific simultaneously. 

"The imperial navy is prepared for the worst and has completed all necessary 
preparations. In fact, the imperial navy is itching for action, when needed. 

"In spite of strenuous efforts by the government, the situation is now approach- 
ing a final parting of the ways. The fate of our empire depends upon how we 
act at this moment. It is certain that at such a moment our Navy should set 
about on its primary mission." 

It is of interest to note the Japanese estimate of Secretary Hull's 
position in the negotiations, reflected in an intercepted message of 
September 15 from Nomura to Tokyo :^® 

Whatever we tell to Secretary Hull you should understand will surely be passed 
on to the President if he is in Washington. It seems that the matter of prelimi- 
nary conversations has been entrusted by the President to Secretary Hull, in fact 
he told me that if a matter could not be settled by me and Secretary Hull it would 
not be settled whoever conducted the conversations. Hull himself told me that 
during the past eight years he and the President had not differed on foreign 
policies once, and that they are as "two in one." 

Advent of the Tojo Cabinet 

The Konoye Cabinet fell on October 16, 1941, and was replaced on 
the following day by a new cabinet headed by General Hideki Tojo.^^^ 
On October 17 a dispatch from Tokyo to Washington was inter- 
cepted manifesting a disposition by the Tojo Cabinet to continue the 
negotiations: " 

The Cabinet has reached a decision to resign as a body. At this time I wish to 
thank Your Excellency and your entire staff for all the efforts you have made. 

The resignation was brought about by a split within the Cabinet. It is true 
that one of the main items on which opinion differed was on the matter of station- 
ing troops or evacuating them from China. However, regardless of the make-up 
of the new Cabinet, negotiations with the United States shall be continued along 
the lines already formulated. There shall be no changes in this respect. 

Please, therefore, will you and your staff work in unison and a single purpose, 
with even more effort, if possible, than before. 

The situation existing from the advent of the Tojo Cabinet to the 
arrival of Saburo Kurusu in Washington on November 15 to assist 
Ambassador Nomura in the conversations was depicted by Secretary 
Hull as follows: ^* 

On October 17 the American press carried the following statement by Maj. 
Gen. Kiyofuku Okamoto: 

"Despite the different views advanced on the Japanese-American question, 
our national policy for solution of the China affair and establishment of a common 
coprosperity sphere in East Asia remains unaltered. 

" Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 27. 

"» For a complete discussion of the fall of the Konoye Cabinet, see Appendix D. 

" Id., at p. 76. 

" Committee reoord, pp. 1127-34. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 29 

"For fulfillment of this national policy, this country has sought to reach an 
agreement of views with the U. S. by means of diplomatic means. There is, 
however, a limit to our concessions, and the negotiations may end in a break 
with the worst possible situation following. The people must therefore be 
resolved to cope with such a situation." 

Clearly the Japanese war lords expected to clinch their policy of aggrandize- 
ment and have the United States make all the concessions. 

On October 30, the Japanese Foreign Minister told the American Ambassador 
that the Japanese Government desired that the conversations be concluded 
successfully without delay and he said that "in order to make progress, the 
United States should face certain reahties and facts," and here thereupon cited 
the stationing in China of Japanese armed forces. 

The general world situation continued to be very critical, rendering it desirable 
that every reasonable effort be made to avoid or at least to defer as long as possible 
any rupture in the conversat ons. From here on for some weeks especially 
intensive study was given in the Department of State to the possibility of reach- 
ing some stopgap arrangement with the Japanese so as to tide over the immediate 
critical situation and thus to prevent a break-down in the conversations, and 
even perhaps to)pave the way for a subsequent general agreement. The presenta- 
tion to the Japanese of a proposal which would serve to keep alive the conversa- 
tions would also give our Army and Navy time to prepare and to expose Japan's 
bad faith if it did not accept. We considered every kind of suggestion we could 
find which might help or keep alive the conversations and at the same time be 
consistent with the integrity of American principles. 

In the last part of October and early November messages came to this Gov- 
ernment from United States Army and Navy officers in China and from General- 
issimo Chiang Kai-shek stating that he believed that a Japanese attack on 
Kunming was imminent. The Generalissimo requested that the United States 
send air units to China to defeat this threat. He made a similar request of the 
British Government. He also asked that the United States issue a warning to 
Japan. 

At this time the Chinese had been resisting the Japanese invaders for 4 years. 
China sorely needed equipment. Its economic and financial situations were very 
bad. Morale was naturally low. In view of this, even though a Chinese request 
might contain points with which we could not comply, we dealt with any such 
request in a spirit of utmost consideration befitting the gravity of the situation 
confronting our hard-pressed Chinese friends. 

I suggested that the War and Navy Departments study this Chinese appeal. 
In response, the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations sent a memo- 
randum of November 5 to the President giving an estimate concerning the Far 
Eastern situation. At the conclusion of this estimate the Chief of Staff and the 
Chief of Naval Operations recommended: 

"That the dispatch of United States armed forces for intervention against 
Japan in China be disapproved. 

"That material aid to China be accelerated consonant with the needs of Russia, 
Great Britain, and our own forces. 

"That aid to the American Volunteer Group be continued and accelerated to 
the maximum practicable extent. 

"That no ultimatum be delivered to Japan." 

I was in thorough accord with the views of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of 
Naval Operations that United States armed forces should not be sent to China 
for use against Japan. I also believed so far as American foreign policy consider- 
ations were involved that material aid to China should be accelerated as much 
as feasible, and that aid to the American Volunteer Group should be accelerated. 
Finally, I concurred completely in the view that no ultimatum should be delivered 
to Japan. I had been striving for months to avoid a show-down with Japan, and 
to explore every possible avenue for averting or delaying war between the United 
States and Japan. That was the cornerstone of the effort which the President 
and I were putting forth with our utmost patience. 

On November 14 the President replied to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, in 
line with the estimate and recommendations contained in the memorandum of 
November 5 of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations. The 
Generalissimo was told that from our information it did not appear that a Jap- 
anese land campaign against Kunming was immediately imminent. It was in- 
dicated that American air units could not be sent and that the United States 
would not issue a warning but there were outlined ways, mentioned in the mem- 
orandum of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations, in which the 
United States would continue to assist China. 



30 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

On November 7, I attended the regular Cabinet meeting. It was the President's 
custom either to start off the discussion himself or to ask some member of the 
Cabinet a question. At this meeting he turned to me and asked whether I had 
anything in mind. I thereupon pointed out for about 15 minutes the dangers in 
the international situation. I went over fully developments in the conversations 
with Japan and emphasized that in my opinion relations were extremely critical 
and that we should be on the lookout for a military attack anywhere by Japan at 
any time. When I finished, the President went around the Cabinet. All con- 
curred in my estimate of the dangers. It became the consensus of the Cabinet 
that the critical situation might well be emphasized in speeches in order that the 
country would, if possible, be better prepared for such a development. 

Accordingly, Secretary of the Navy Knox delivered an address on November 11, 
1941, in which he stated that we were not only confronted with the necessity of 
extreme measures of self-defense in the Atlantic, but we were "likewise faced with 
grim possibilities on the other side of the world — on the far side of the Pacific"; 
that the Pacific no less than the Atlantic called for instant readiness for defense. 

On the same day Under Secretary of State Welles in an address stated that 
beyond the Atlantic a sinister and pitiless conqueror had reduced more than half 
of Europe to abject serfdom and that in the Far East the same forces of conquest 
were menacing the safety of all nations bordering on the Pacific. The waves of 
world conquest were "breaking high both in the East and in the West," he said, 
and were threatening, more and more with each passing day, "to engulf our own 
shores." He warned that the United States was in far greater peril than in 1917; 
that "at any moment war may be forced upon us." 

Early in 'November the Japanese Government decided to send Mr. Saburo 
Kurusii to Washington to assist the Japanese Ambassador in the conversations. 

On November 7,?the Japanese Ambassador handed me a document containing 
draft provisions relating to Japanese forces in China, Japanese forces in Indo- 
china, and the principle of nondiscrimination. That proposal contained nothing 
fundamentally new or offering any real recessions from the position consistently 
maintained bv the Japanese Government. 

In telegrams of November 3 and November 17 the American Ambassador in 
Japan cabled warnings of the possibility of sudden Japanese attacks which might 
make inevitable war with the United States. 

In the first half of November there were several indeterminate conversations 
with the Japanese designed to clarify specific points. On November 15 I gave 
the Japanese Ambassador an outline for a possible joint declaration by the 
United States and Japan on economic policy. I pointed out that this represented 
but one part of the general settlement we had in mind. This draft declaration of 
economic policy envisaged that Japan could join with the United States in leading 
the way toward a general application of economic practices which would give 
Japan much of what her leaders professed to desire. 

On November 12 the Japanese Foreign Office, both through Ambassador Grew 
and through their Ambassador here, urged that the conversations be brought to a 
settlement at the earliest possible time. In view of the pressing insistence of the 
Japanese for a definitive reply to their outstanding proposals, I was impelled to 
comment to the Japanese Ambassador on November 15 that the American 
Government did not feel that it should be receiving such representations, sugges- 
tive of ultimatums. 

On November 15 Mr. Kurusu reached Washington. On November 17 he and 
the Japanese Ambassador called on me and later on the same day on the President. 

Arrival of Saburo Kurusu 

Mr. Kurusu in his initial conversation with President Roosevelt and 
Secretary Hull indicated that Prime Minister To jo desired a peaceful 
adjustment of differences. At the same time it was clear that Kurusu 
had nothing new to suggest concerning Japan's participation in the 
Tripartite Pact or the presence of her troops in China. The President 
reiterated the desire of the United States to avoid war between the two 
countries and to effect a peaceful settlement of divergent positions in 
the Pacific. The Secretary of State, setting forth his comments at the 
conference, stated: ^^ 

« Foreign Relations, vol. 11, pp. 740, 741. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 31 

Ambassador Kurusu made some specious attempt to explain away the Tripartite 
Pact. I replied in language similar to that which I used in discussing this matter 
with Ambassador Nomura on November fifteenth, which need not be repeated 
here. I made it clear that any kind of a peaceful settlement for the Pacific area, 
with Japan still clinging to her Tripartite Pact with Germany, would cause the 
President and myself to be denounced in immeasurable terms and the peace 
arrangement would not for a moment be taken seriously while all of the countries 
interested in the Pacific would redouble their efforts to arm against Japanese 
aggression. I emphasized the point about the Tripartite Pact and self-defense 
by saying that when Hitler starts on a march of invasion across the earth with ten 
million soldiers and thirty thousand airplanes with an official announcement that 
he is out for unlimited invasion objectives, this country from that time was in 
danger and that danger has grown each week until this minute. The result was 
that this country with no other motive except self-defense has recognized that 
danger, and has proceeded thus far to defend itself before it is too late; and that 
the Government of Japan says that it does not know whether this country is thus 
acting in self-defense or not. This country feels so profoundly the danger that 
it has committed itself to ten, twenty-five, or fifty billions of dollars in self-defense; 
but when Japan is asked about whether this is self-defense, she indicates that she 
has no opinion on the subject — I said that I cannot get this view over to the Ameri- 
can people; that they believe Japan must know that we are acting in self-defense 
and, therefore, they do not understand her present attitude. I said that he was 
speaking of their political difficulties and that I was thus illustrating some of our 
difficulties in connection with this country's relations with Japan. 

In a further conversation with Ambassador Nomura and Mr. 
Kurusu on November 18, Secretary Hull's observations were related 
in the following terms: *° 

The Secretary of State conferred again with the Japanese Ambassador and Mr. 
Kurusu on November 18. The Secretary expressed great doubt whether any 
agreement into which we entered with Japan while Japan had an alliance with 
Hitler would carry the confidence of our people. He said that a difficult situation 
was created when, for example, telegrams of congratulation were sent to Hitler 
by Japanese leaders when he commits some atrocity, and he emphasized that we 
would have to have a clear-cut agreement making clear our peaceful purpose, for 
otherwise there would be a redoubled effort by all nations to strengthen their 
armaments. He pointed out that we were trying to make a contribution to the 
establishment of a peaceful world, based on law and order. He said that this is 
what we want to work out with Japan; that we had nothing to offer in the way of 
bargaining except our friendship. He said that frankly he did not know whether 
anything could be done in the matter of reaching a satisfactory agreement with 
Japan; that we can go so far but rather than go beyond a certain point it would 
be better for us to stand and take the consequences. 

During the discussion Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Kurusu sug- 
gested the possibility of a modus vivendi or a temporary arrangement 
to tide over the abnormal situation.^^ They offered as a possibility 
return to the status prevailing prior to July 26, 1941, when Japanese 
assets in the United States were frozen following Japan's entry into 
southern French Indochina. To this iuggestion, Secretary HuU 
replied: ®^ 

I said that if we should make some modifications in our embargo on the strength 
of such a step by Japan as the Ambassador had mentioned, we would not know 
whether the troops to be withdrawn from French Indochina would be diverted to 
some equally objectionable movement elsewhere. I said that it would be difficult 
for our Government to go a long way in removing the embargo unless we believed 
that Japan was definitely started on a peaceful course and had renounced pur- 
poses of conquest. I said that I would consult with the representatives of other 
countries on this suggestion. On the same day I informed the British IMinister 
of my talk with the Japanese about the suggestion of a temporary limited arrange- 
ment. 



Mid., at p. 363. 

" See committee record, p. 1135. 
«Id. 

90179—46 4 



32 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Negotiations versus Deadlines 

In a conversation with the Secretary of State on November 19, 
the Japanese emissaries made it clear that Japan could not abrogate 
the Tripartite Alliance and regarded herself as bound to carry out its 
obligations. Through all of the discussions it was evident that Japan 
was pressing for an early decision. In a series of "deadlines" (now 
known to have been keyed to the contemplated departure of the task 
force that struck Pearl Harbor) contained in intercepted messages 
from Tokyo to Washington the urgency of the negotiations was 
explained: 

November 5, 1941, circular No, 736.^^ 

Because of various circumstances, it is absolutely necessary that all arrangements 
for the signing of this agreement be com-pleted by the 25th of this month. I realize 
that this is a difficult order, but under the circumstances it is an unavoidable one. 
Please understand this thoroughly and tackle the problem of saving the Japanese- 
U. S. relations from falling into chaotic condition. Do so with great determination 
and with unstinted effort, I beg of you. 

This information is to be kept strictly to yourself only. 

November 11, 1941, circular No. 762.^^ 

Judging from the progress of the conversations, there seem to be indications 
that the United States is still not fully aware of the exceedingly criticalness of the 
situation here. The fact remains that the date set forth in my message #736 is abso- 
lutely immovable under present conditions. It is a definite dead-line and therefore 
it is essential that a settlement be reached by about that time. The session of Parlia- 
ment opens on the 15th (work will start on [the following day?]) according to the 
schedule. The government must have a clear picture of things to come, in pre- 
senting its case at the session. You can see, therefore, that the situation is nearing 
a climax, and that time is indeed becoming short. 

I appreciate the fact that you are making strenuous efforts, but in view of the 
above mentioned situation, will you redouble them. When talking to the Secre- 
tary of State and others, drive the points home to them. Do everything in your 
power to get a clear picture of the tJ. S. attitude in the minimum amount of time. 
At the same time do everything in your -power to have them give their speedy approval 
to our final proposal. 

We would appreciate being advised of your opinions on whether or not they will 
accept our final proposal A. 

November 22, 1941, circular No. 812.^5 

To both you Ambassadors. 

It is awfully hard for us to consider changing the date we set in my No. 736. 
You should know this, however, I know you are working hard. Stick to our fixed 
policy and do your very best. Spare no efforts and try to bring about the solution 
we desire. There are reasons beyond your ability to guess why we wanted to settle 
Japanese-Americah relations by the 25th, but if within the next three or four days 
you can finish your conversations with the Americans; if the signing can be com- 
pleted by the 29th (let me write it out for you— twenty-ninth) ; if the pertinent 
notes can be exchanged; if we can get an understanding with Great Britain and 
the Netherlands; and in short if everything can be finished, we have decided to 
wait until that date. This time we mean it, that the dead line absolutely cannot 
be changed. After that things are automatically going to happen. Please take this 
into your careful consideration and work harder than you ever have before. This, 
for the present, is for the information of you two Ambassadors alone. 

Japanese Ultimatum of November 20 and the Modus Vivendi 

During a conversation with Secretary Hull on November 20 the 
Japanese Ambassador presented a proposal which was in fact an 
ultimatum, reading as follows: ®^ 

B Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 100. 

8< Id., at p. 116. 

»5 Id., at p. 165. 

M Foreign Relations, vol. II, pp. 366, 367. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 33 

1. Both the Governments of Japan and the United States undertake not to 
make any armed advancement into any of the regions in the Southeastern Asia 
and the Southern Pacific area excepting the part of French Indo-China where the 
Japanese troops are stationed at present. 

2. The Japanese Government undertakes to withdraw its troops now stationed 
in French Indo-China upon either the restoration of peace between Japan and 
China or the estabhshment of an equitable peace in the Pacific area. 

In the meantime the Government of Japan declares that it is prepared to remove 
its troops now stationed in the southern part of French Indo-China to the northern 
part of the said territory upon the conclusion of the present arrangement which 
shall later be embodied in the final agreement. 

3. The Government of Japan and the United States shall cooperate with a view 
to securing the acquisition of those goods and commodities which the two countries 
need in Netherlands East Indies. 

4. The Governments of Japan and the United States mutually undertake to 
restore their commercial relations to those prevailing prior to the freezing of the 
assets. 

The Government of the United States shall supply Japan a required quantity of 
oil. 

5. The Government of the United States undertakes to refrain from such meas- 
ures and actions as will be prejudicial to the endeavors for the restoration of general 
peace between Japan and China. 

In his testimony Secretary Hull observed with respect to the fore- 
going proposal: ^^ 

On November 20 the Japanese Ambassador and Mr. Kurusu presented to me a 
proposal which on its face was extreme. I knew, as did other high officers of the 
Government, from intercepted Japanese messages supplied to me by the War and 
Navy Departments, that this proposal was the final Japanese proposition — an 
ultimatum. 

The plan thus offered called for the supplying by the United States to Japan 
of as much oil as Japan might require, for suspension of freezing measures, for 
discontinuance by the United States of aid to China, and for withdrawal of moral 
and material support from the recognized Chinese Government. It contained a 
provision that Japan would shift her armed forces from southern Indochina to 
northern Indochina, but placed no limit on the number of armed forces which 
Japan might send to Indochina and made no provision for withdrawal of those 
forces until after either the restoration of peace between Japan and China or the 
establishment of an "equitable" peace in the Pacific area. While there were stipu- 
lations against further extension of Japan's armed force into southeastern Asia 
and the southern Pacific (except Indochina), there were no provisions which would 
have prevented continued or fresh Japanese aggressive activities in any of the 
regions of Asia lying to the north of Indochina — for example, China and the 
Soviet Union. The proposal contained no provision pledging Japan to abandon 
aggression and to revert to peaceful courses. 

There can now be no question that Japan intended her proposal of 
November 20 as an ultimatum. It was their final proposal ^* and a 
deadline of November 25, subsequently changed to November 29, had 
been set for its acceptance. It was a proposal which the Government 
of Japan knew we could not accept. It was the final gesture of 
the To jo Cabinet before launching the vast campaign of aggression 
which the military overlords of Japan had long before decided upon. 

The critical situation culminating in consideration of a modus 
Vivendi was revealed by Secretary Hull: ^^ 

On November 21 we received word from the Dutch that they had information 
that a Japanese force had arrived near Palao, the nearest point in the Japanese 
Mandated Islands to the heart of the Netherlands Indies. Our Consuls at Hanoi 
and Saigon had been reporting extensive new landings of Japanese troops and 
equipment in Indochina. We had information through intercepted Japanese 
messages that the Japanese Government had decided that the negotiations must 

s'Com] ittee record, pp. 1136-U38. 

M In an intprcepted dispatch from Tokyo to Washington on November 19, the Jaiianese Government 
stated, in referrinp; to the ultimatum presented to the United .Stales on the following day: "If the United 
States consent to tliis cannot bo secured, the negotiations will have to be broken otY: therefore, with the 
above we!) in mirid put fortli your very best ellorts." Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 155. 

8» Committee record, pp. 1138-1141. 



34 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

be terminated by November 25, later extended to November 29. We knew from 
other intercepted Japanese messages that the Japanese did not intend to make 
any concessions, and from this fact taken together with Kurusu's statement to 
me of November 21 making clear that his Government had nothing further to 
offer, it was plain, as I have mentioned, that the Japanese proposal of November 
20 was in fact their "absolutely final proposal." 

The whole issue presented was whether Japan would yield in her avowed movement 
of conquest or whether we would yield the fundamental principles for which we stood 
in the Pacific and all over the world. By midsummer of 1941 we were pretty well 
satisfied that the Japanese were determined to continue with their course of ex- 
pansion by force. We had made it clear to them that we were standing fast by 
our principles. It was evident, however, that they were playing for the chance 
that we might be overawed into yielding by their threats of force. They were 
armed to the teeth and we knew they would attack whenever and wherever they 
pleased. If by chance we should have yielded our fundamental principles, Japan 
would probably not have attacked for the time being — at least not until she had 
consolidated the gains she would have made without fighting. 

There was never any question of this country forcing Japan to fight. The question 
was whether this country was ready to sacrifice its principles. 

To have accepted the Japanese proposal of November 20 was clearly unthink- 
able. It would have made the United States an ally of Japan in Japan's program 
of conquest and aggression and of collaboration with Hitler. It would have meant 
yielding to the Japanese demand that the United States abandon its principles 
and policies. It would have meant abject surrender of our position under in- 
timidation. 

The situation was critical and virtually hopeless. On the one hand our Govern- 
ment desired to exhaust all possibilities of finding a means to a peaceful solution and 
to avert or delay an armed clash, especially as the heads of this country's armed forces 
continued to emphasize the need of time to prepare for resistance. On the other hand, 
Japan was calling for a showdown. 

There the situation stood — the Japanese unyielding and intimidating in their 
demands and we standing firmly for our principles. 

The chances of meeting the crisis by diplomacy had practically vanished. We 
had reached the point of clutching at straws. 

Three possible choices presented themselves. 

Our Government might have made no reply. The Japanese war lords could 
then have told their people that the American Government not only would make 
no reply but would also not offer any alternative. 

Our Government might have rejected flatly the Japanese proposal. In that 
event the Japanese war lords would be afforded a pretext, although wholly false, 
for military attack. 

Our Government might endeavor to present a reasonable counter-proposal. 

The last course was the one chosen. 

Full consideration was given by officials of our Government to a 
counterproposal to the Japanese note of November 20, including 
the thought of a possible modus vivendi. It was recognized that such 
an arrangement would demonstrate the desire of the United States for 
peace and at the same time afford a possible opportunity for the Army 
and Navy to continue its preparations. From November 22 to 26 the 
President, State Department, and the highest military authorities dis- 
cussed a modus vivendi, a first draft being completed on November 22. 
Revised drafts were prepared on November 24 and 25. The final draft 
of November 25, which is being set forth in its entirety in view of the 
testimony that has been adduced concerning it, was as follows: ^° 

The representatives of the Government of the United States and of the Gov- 
ernment of Japan have been carrying on during the past several months informal 
and exploratory conversations for the purpose of arriving at a settlement if pos- 
sible of questions relating to the entire Pacific area based upon the principles of 
peace, law and order, and fair dealing among nations. These principles] include 
the principle of inviolability of territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and 
all nations; the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other coun- 
tries; the principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity and 

•0 See Committee Exhibit No. 18. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 35 

treatment; and the principle of reliance upon international cooperation and con- 
ciliation for the prevention and pacific settlement of controversies and for im- 
provement of international conditions by peaceful methods and processes. 

It is believed that in our discussions some progress has been made in reference 
to the general principles which constitute the basis of a peaceful settlement cover- 
ing the entire Pacific area. Recently, the Japanese Ambassador has stated that 
the Japanese Government is desirous of continuing the conversations directed 
toward a comprehensive and peaceful settlement in the Pacific area; that it would 
be helpful toward creating an atmosphere favorable to the successful outcome of 
the conversations if a temporary modus Vivendi could be agreed upon to be in effect 
while the conversations looking to a peaceful settlement in the Pacific were con- 
tinuing; and that it would be desirable that such modus vivendi include as one of 
its provisions some initial and temporary steps of a reciprocal character in the 
resumption of trade and normal intercourse between Japan and the United States. 

On November 20, the Japanese Ambassador communicated to the Secretary 
of State proposals in regard to temporary measures to be taken respectively by 
the Government of Japan and by the Government of the United States, which 
measures are understood to have been designed to accomplish the purposes above 
indicated. These proposals contain features which, in the opinion of this Gov- 
ernment, conflict with the fundamental principles which form a part of the general 
settlement under consideration and to which each Government has declared that 
it is committed. 

The Government of the United States is earnestly desirous to contribute to the 
promotion and maintenance of peace in the Pacific area and to afford every 
opportunity for the continuance of discussions with the Japanese Government 
directed toward working out a broad-gauge program of peace throughout the 
Pacific area. With these ends in view, the Government of the United States 
offers for the consideration of the Japanese Government an alternative suggestion 
for a temporary modus vivendi, as follows: 

Modus Vivendi 

1. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan, both 
being solicitous for the peace of the Pacific, affirm that their national policies are 
directed toward lasting and extensive peace throughout the Pacific area and 
that they have no territorial designs therein. 

2. They undertake reciprocally not to make from regions in which they have 
military establishments any advance by force or threat of force into any areas in 
Southeastern or Northeastern Asia or in the southern or the northern Pacific 
area. 

3. The Japanese Government undertakes forthwith to withdraw its forces now 
stationed in southern French Indochina and not to replace those forces; to reduce 
the total of its force in French Indochina to the number there on July 26, 1941; 
and not to send additional naval, land, or air forces to Indochina for replacements 
or otherwise. 

The provisions of the foregoing paragraph are without prejudice to the position 
of the Government of the United States with regard to the presence of foreign 
troops in that area. 

4. The Government of the United States undertakes forthwith to modify the 
application of its existing freezing and export restrictions to the extent necessary 
to permit the following resumption of trade between the United States and Japan 
in articles for the use and needs of their peoples: 

(a) Imports from Japan to be freely permitted and the proceeds of the sale 
thereof to be paid into a clearing account to be used for the purchase of the exports 
from the United States listed below, and at Japan's option for the payment of 
interest and principal of Japanese obligations within the United States, provided 
that at least two-thirds in value of such imports per month consist of raw silk. 
It is understood that all American-owned goods now in Japan, the movement of 
which in transit to the United States has been interrupted following the adoption 
of freezing measures shall be forwarded forthwith to the United States. 

(b) Exports from the United States to Japan to be permitted as follows: 

(i) Bunkers and supplies for vessels engaged in the trade here provided for 
and for such other vessels engaged in other trades as the two Governments 
may agree. 

(ii) Food and food products from the United States subject to such limita- 
tions as the appropriate authorities may prescribe in respect of commodities 
in short supply in the United States. 

(iii) Raw cotton from the United States to the extent of $600,000 in value 
per month. 



36 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

(iv) Medical and pharmaceutical supplies subject to such limitations as 
the appropriate authorities may prescribe in respect of commodities in short 
supply in the United States. 

(v) Petroleum. The United States will permit the export to Japan of 
petroleum, within the categories permitted general export, upon a monthly 
basis for civilian needs. The proportionate amount of petroleum to be ex- 
ported from the United States for such needs will be determined after con- 
sultation with the British and the Dutch Governments. It is understood 
that by civilian needs in Japan is meant such purposes as the operation of the 
fishing industry, the transport system, lighting, heating, industrial and agri- 
cultural uses, and other civilian uses. 

(vi) The above-stated amounts of exports may be increased and additional 
commodities added b}' agreement between the two Governments as it may 
appear to them that the operation of this agreement is furthering the peace- 
ful and equitable solution of outstanding problems in the Pacific area. 
The Government of Japan undertakes forthwith to modify the application of 
its existing freezing and export restrictions to the extent necessary to permit the 
resumption of trade between Japan and the United States as provided for in 
paragraph 4 above. 

6. The Government of the United States undertakes forthwith to approach the 
Australian, British, and Dutch Governmients with a view to those Governments 
taking measures similar to those provided for in paragraph 4 above. 

7. With reference to the current hostilities between Japan and China, the 
fundamental interest of the Government of the United States in reference to any 
discussions which may be entered into between the Japanese and the Chinese 
Governments is simply that these discussions and any settlement reached as a 
result thereof be based upon and exemplify the fundamental principles of peace, 
law, order, and justice, which constitute the central spirit of the current con- 
versations between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United 
States and which are applicable uniformly throughout the Pacific area. 

8. This modus vivendi shall remain in force for a period of 3 months with the 
understanding that the two parties shall confer at the instance of either to ascer- 
tain whether the prospects of reaching a peaceful settlement covering the entire 
Pacific area justify an extension of the modus vivendi for a further period. 

The tentative modus vivendi was submitted [for consideration to the 
Governments of Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, and China. 
The ultimate decision to abandon it was made for reasons best set 
forth in Secretary Hull's testimony: ^^ 

On the evening of November 25 and on November 26 I went over again the 
considerations relating to our proposed plan, especially the modus vivendi aspect. 

As I have indicated, all the successive drafts, of November 22, of November 24, 
and of November 25, contained two things: (1) The possible modus vivendi; and 
(2) a statement of principles, with a suggested example of how those principles 
could be applied — that which has since been commonly described as the 10-point 
proposal. 

I and other high officers of our Government knew that the Japanese military 
were poised for attack. We knew that the Japanese were demanding — and had set 
a time Umit, first of November 25 and extended later to November 29, for — accept- 
ance by our Government of their extreme, last-word proposal of November 20. 

It was therefore my judgment, as it was that of the President and other high 
officers, that the chance of the Japanese accepting our proposal was remote. 

So far as the modus vivendi aspect would have appeared to the Japanese, it 
contained only a Kttle chicken feed in the shape of some cotton, oil, and a few 
other commodities in very limited quantities as compared with the unlimited 
quantities the Japanese were demanding. 

It was manifest that there would be widespread opposition from American 
opinion to the modus vivendi aspect of the proposal especially to the supplying to 
Japan of even limited quantities of oil. The Chinese Government violently opposed 
the idea. The other interested governments were sympathetic to the Chinese view and 
fundamentally were unfavorable or lukewarm. Their cooperation was a part of the 
plan. It developed that the conclusion with Japan of such an arrangement would 
have been a major blow to Chinese morale. In view of these considerations it became 
clear that the slight prospects of Japan's agreeing to the modus vivendi did not 
warrant assuming the risks involved in proceeding with it, especially the serious 

f I Committee Record, pp. 1145-1147. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 37 

risk of collapse of Chinese morale and resistance, and even of disintegration of 
China. It therefore became perfectly evident that the modus vivendi aspect woiild 
not be feasible. 

The Japanese were spreading propaganda to the effect that they were being 
encircled. On the one hand we were faced by this charge and on the other by 
one that we were preparing to pursue a policy of appeasing Japan. In view of 
the resulting confusion, it seemed important to restate the fundamentals. We 
could offer Japan once more what we offered all countries, a suggested program 
of collaboration along peaceful and mutually beneficial and progressive lines. It 
had always been open to Japan to accept that kind of a program and to move in 
that direction. It still was possible for Japan to do so. That was a matter for 
Japan's decision. Our hope that Japan would so decide had been virtually 
extinguished. Yet it was felt desirable to put forth this further basic effort, in 
the form of one sample of a broad but simple settlement to be worked out in our 
future conversations, on the principle that no effort should be spared to test and 
exhaust every method of peaceful settlement. 

In the light of the foregoing considerations, on November 26 I recommended 
to the President — and he approved — my calling in the Japanese representatives 
and handing them the broad basic proposals while withholding the modus vivendi 
plan. This was done in the late afternoon of that day. 

The very serious reaction of the Chinese to the suggested modus 
vivendi is clearly set forth in a dispatch dated November 25, 1941, from 
an American adviser to GeneraUssimo Chiang Kai-shek in Chung- 
king: ^^ 

After discussion with the Generalissimo the Chinese Ambassador's conference 
with the Secretary of State, I feel you should urgently advise the President of the 
Generalissimo's very strong reaction. I have never seen him really agitated 
before. Loosening of economic pressure or unfreezing would dangerously increase 
Japan's military advantage in China. A relaxation of American pressure while 
Japan has its forces in China would dismay the Chinese. Any "modus vivendi" 
now arrived at with Japan would be disastrous to Chinese belief in America and 
analogous to the closing of the Burma Road, which permanently destroyed 
British prestige. Japan and Chinese defeatists would instantly exploit the 
resulting disillusionment and urge oriental solidarity against occidental treachery. 
It is doubtful whether either past assistance or increasing aid could compensate 
for the feeling of being deserted at this hour. The Generalissimo has deep 
confidence in the President's fidelity to his consistent policy but I must warn you 
that even the Generalissimo questions his ability to hold the situation together 
if the Chinese national trust in America is undermined by reports of Japan's 
escaping military defeat by diplomatic victory. 

There is no possibility whatever that the modus vivendi would have 
been accepted by the Japanese. In an intercepted dispatch of 
November 19 ^^ the Japanese Ambassadors suggested to Tokyo that 
there were three courses open to the Empire: (1) maintain the 
status quo, (2) break the '-'present deadlock" by an advance under 
force of arms, or (3) devise some means for bringing about a mutual 
nonaggression arrangement. In favoring the third alternative it was 
stated: 

* * * as I view it, the present, after exhausting our strength by 4 years of 
the China incident following right upon the Manchuria incident, is hardly an 
opportune time for venturing upon another long-drawn-out warfare on a large 
scale. I think that it would be better to fix up a temporary "truce" now in the 
spirit of "give and take" and make this the prelude to greater achievement to 
come later * * *_ 

Replying to the foregoing suggestion, Tokyo advised on November 
20 ^^ that "under the circumstances here, we regret that the plan 
suggested by you, as we have stated in our message would not suffice for 

" Communication from Owen Lattimore in Chungking to Lauchlin Currie, Presidential Assistant 
handling Chinese matters, in Washington. See committee exhibit No. 18. 
•3 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 158. 
»* Id., at p. 160. 



38 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

saving the present situation. We see no prospects for breaking the 
deadlock except for you to push negotiations immediately along the 
lines of the latter part of our No. 798.^^ Please understand this. 
The Premier also is absolutely in accord with this opinion." 

It is significant to note that when Mr. Kurusu suggested the 
possibility of a modus vivendi to Secretary Hull on November 18, the 
Japanese ambassadors very obviously had not consulted their Tokyo 
superiors. When they did on November 19, Tokyo replied the 
following day rejecting the idea completely, as indicated above. 

Writing in his diary for November 25, 1941, Secretary Stimson, in 
referring to the tentative draft of a modus vivendi, clearly indicated 
an appreciation of the fact that it would not be acceptable to the 
Japanese: ^® 

At 9:30 Knox and I met in Hull's office for our meeting of three. Hull showed 
us the proposal for a 3 months' truce, which lie was going to lay before the 
Japanese today or tomorrow. It adequately safeguarded all our interests, I 
thought as I read it, but / don't think there is any chance of the Japanese accepting 
it, because it was so drastic. In return for the propositions which they were to 
do, namely, to at once evacuate and at once to stop all preparations or threats of 
action, and to take no aggressive action against any of her neighbors, etc., we 
were to give them open trade in sufficient quantities only for their civilian popula- 
tion. This restriction was particularly applicable to oil. 

Had our Government submitted the tentative modus vivendi, it is 
clear that Japan would have rejected it, and Chinese morale and 
resistance would very probably have been seriously impaired if not 
destroyed. 

United States Memorandum of November 26 

The modus vivendi was designed to accompany a statement of princi- 
ples with a suggested example of how the principles could be applied. 
With the decision not to propose a modus vivendi, the Secretary of 
State on November 26 presented to the Japanese Ambassador its 
accompanying material which was as follows: ^^ 

The representatives of the Government of the United States and of the Govern- 
ment of Japan have been carrying on during the past several months informal and 
exploratory conversations for the purpose of arriving at a settlement if possible 
of questions relating to the entire Pacific area based upon the principles of peace, 
law and order and fair dealing among nations. These principles include the prin- 
ciple of inviolability of territorial integrity and sovereignty of each and all nations; 
the principle of noninterference in the internal afEairs of other countries; the prin- 
ciple of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity and treatment; 
and the principle of reliance upon international cooperation and conciliation for 
the prevention and pacific settlement of controversies and for improvement of 
international conditions by peaceful methods and processes. 

It is believed that in our discussions some progress has been made in reference 
to the general principles which constitute the basis of a peaceful settlement cover- 
ing the entire Pacific area. Recently the Japanese Ambassador has stated that 
the Japanese Government is desirous of continuing the conversations directed 
toward a comprehensive and peaceful settlement in the Pacific area; that it would 
be helpful toward creating an atmosphere favorable to the successful outcome of 
the conversations if a temporary modus vivendi could be agreed upon to be in 
effect while the conversations looking to a peaceful settlement in the Pacific were 
continuing. On November 20 the Japanese Ambassador communicated to the 
Secretary of State proposals in regard to temporary measures to be taken respec- 

»» See committee exhibit No. 1, p. 155. 
'8 See committee record, pp. 14417, 14418. 
" Foreign Relations, vol. H, pp. 766-770. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 39 

tively by the Government of Japan and by the Government of the United States, 
which measures are understood to have been designed to accomplish the purposes 
above indicated. 

The Government of the United States most earnestly desires to contribute to the 
promotion and maintenance of peace and stability in the Pacific area, and to afford 
every opportunity for the continuance of discussions with the Japanese Govern- 
ment directed toward working out a broad-gauge program of peace throughout the 
Pacific area. The proposals which were presented by the Japanese Ambassador 
on November 20 contain some features which, in the opinion of this Government, 
conflict \\ith the fundamental principles which form a part of the general settle- 
ment under consideration and to which each Government has declared that it is 
committed. The Government of the United States believes that the adoption of 
such proposals would not be likely to contribute to the ultimate objectives of ensur- 
ing peace under law, order and justice in the Pacific area, and it suggests that 
further effort be made to resolve our divergences of views in regard to the practical 
application of the fundamental principles already mentioned. 

With this object in view the Government of the United States offers for the con- 
sidcrat ion of the Japanese Government a plan of a broad but simple settlement 
covering the entire Pacific area ss one practical exemplification of a program 
which this Government envisages as something to be worked out during our further 
conversations. 

The plan therein suggested represents an effort to bridge the gap between our 
draft of June 21, 1941, and the Japanese draft of September 25 by making a new 
approa.ch to the essential problems underlying a comprehensive Pacific settlement. 
This plan contains provisions dealing with the practical application of the funda- 
mental principles which we have agreed in our conversations constitute the only 
sound basis for worthwhile international relations. We hope that in this way 
progress toward reaching a meeting of mind^ betw^een our two Governments may 
be expedited. 

« 

Outline of Proposed Basis for Agreement Between the United States 

AND Japan 

SECTION I draft MUTUAL DECLARATION OF POLICY 

The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan both being 
solicitous for the peace of the Pacific affirm that their national policies are directed 
toward lasting and extensive peace throughout the Pacific area, that they have no 
territorial designs in that area, that they have no intention of threatening other 
countries or of using military force aggressively against any neighboring nation, 
and that, accordingly, in their national policies they will actively support and 
give practical application to the following fundamental principles upon which 
their relations with each other and with all other governments are based: 

"(1) The principle of inviolability of territorial integrity and sovereignty of 
each and all nations. 

"(2) The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. 

"(3) The principle of equality, including equality of commercial opportunity 
and treatment. 

"(4) The principle of reliance upon international cooperation and conciliation 
for the prevention and pacific settlement of controversies and for improvement of 
international conditions by peaceful methods and processes." 

The Government of Japan and the Government of the United States have 
agreed that toward eliminating chronic political instability, preventing recurrent 
economic collapse, and providing a basis for peace, they will actively support and 
practically apply the following principles in their economic relations with each 
other and with other nations and peoples: 

"(1) The principle of nondiscrimination in international commercial relations. 

"(2) The principle of international economic cooperation and abolition of 
extreme nationalism as expressed in excessive trade restrictions. 

"(3) The principle of nondiscriminatory access by all nations to raw-material 
supplies. 

"(4) The principle of full protection of the interests of consuming countries and 
populations as regards the operation of international commodity agreements. 

"(5) The principle of establishment of such institutions and arrangements of 
international finance as may lend aid to the essential enterprises and the continuous 
development of all countries and may permit payments through processes of trade 
consonant with the welfare of all countries." 



40 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

SECTION II STEPS TO BE TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES 

AND BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN 

The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan propose 
to take steps as follows: 

1. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will 
endeavor to conclude a multilateral nonaggression pact among the British Em- 
pire, China, Japan, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Thailand, and the United 
States. 

2. Both Governments will endeavor to conclude among the American, British, 
Chinese, Japanese, the Netherlands, and Thai Governments an agreement where- 
under each of the Governments would pledge itself to respect the territorial 
integrity of French Indochina and, in the event that there should develop a 
threat to the territorial integrity of Indochina, to enter into immediate con- 
sultation with a view to taking such measures as may be deemed necessary and 
advisable to meet the threat in question. Such agreement would provide also 
that each of the Governments party to the agreement would not seek or accept 
preferential treatment in its trade or economic relations with Indochina and 
would use its influence to obtain for each of the signatories equality of treatment 
in trade and commerce with French Indochina. 

3. The Government of Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air, and police 
forces from China and from Indochina. 

4. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will 
not support — militarily, politically, economically — any government or regime in 
China other than the National Government of the Republic of China with capital 
temporarily at Chungking. 

5. Both Governments will give up all extraterritorial rights in China, including 
rights and interests in and with regard to international settlements and conces- 
sions, and rights under the Boxer Protocol of 1901. 

Both Governments will endeavor to obtain the agreement of the British and 
other governments to give up extraterritorial rights in China, including rights in 
international settlements and in concessions and under the Boxer Protocol of 1901. 

6. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will 
enter into negotiations for the conclusion between the United States and Japan 
of a trade agreement, based upon reciprocal most-favored-nation treatment and 
reduction of trade barriers by both countries, including an undertaking by the 
United States to bind raw silk on the free list. 

7. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will, 
respectively, remove the freezing restrictions on Japanese funds in the United 
States and on American funds in Japan. 

8. Both Governments will agree upon a plan for the stabilization of the dollar- 
yen rate, with the allocation of funds adequate for this purpose, half to be sup- 
plied by Japan and half by the United States. 

9. Both Governments will agree that no agreement which either has concluded 
with any third power or powers shall be interpreted by it in such a way as to 
conflict with the fundamental purpose of this agreement, the establishment and 
preservation of peace throughout the Pacific area. 

10. Both Governments will use their influence to cause other governments to 
adhere to and to give practical application to the basic political and economic 
principles set forth in this agreement. 

The foregoing reply was clearly not an ultimatum from the stand- 
point of the Goverimient of the United States. On the contrary it 
was an admirable statement of every honorable principle for which 
the United States has stood for many years in the Orient. Ambas- 
sador Grew characterized the November 26 note of Secretary Hull as 
follows : ^8 November 29, 1941. 

Our Government has handed to the Japanese a 10-point draft proposal for ad- 
justing the whole situation in the Far East. It is a broad-gauge objective, and 
statesmanlike document, offering to Japan practically everything that she has 
ostensibly been fighting for if she will simply stop her aggressive policy. By 
adopting such a program she would be offered free access to needed raw materials, 
free trade and commerce, financial cooperation and support, withdrawal of the 
freezing orders, and an opportunity to negotiate a new treaty of commerce with 
us. If she wants a political and economic stranglehold on the countries of East 
Asia (euphemistically called the New Order in East Asia and the East Asia 

«8 Grew, Ten Years in Japan (1944), pp. 482, 483. Committee exhibit No. 30. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 41 

Co-Prosperity Sphere) — which most of her extremists do want — and if she pursues 
her southward advance by force, she will soon be at war with all of the A B C D 
powers and will unquestionably be defeated and reduced to the status of a third- 
rate power. But if she plays her cards wisely, she can obtain without further 
fighting all of the desiderata for which she allegedly started fighting — strategic, 
economic, financial, and social security. 

Referring to the November 26 note Secretary Stimson said: ^^ 

I personally was relieved that we had not backed down on any of the funda- 
mental principles on which we had stood for so long and which / felt we could not 
give up without the sacrifice of our national honor and prestige in the world. I sub- 
mit, however, that no impartial reading of this document can characterize it as 
being couched in the terms of an ultimatum, although the Japanese were of course 
only too quick to seize upon it and give that designation for their own purposes- 

As suggested by Mr. Stimson, Japan did choose to regard it as an 
ultimatum consistent with her purposes. Her note of November 20, 
it is appai'ent, was the final diplomatic move and failing to secure the 
concessions demanded the November 26 reply of the United States 
was seized upon by the war lords of Japan in subsequent propaganda 
as their excuse for the attack on Pearl Harbor which they had 
planned for many weeks. It is to be noted in this connection that 
the Japanese task force was enroute for its attack on Pearl Harbor 
before the American note of November 26 was delivered to the Gov- 
ernment of Japan. At the time of receiving the note from Secretary 
Hull, Kurusu stated the Japanese Government would be likely "to throw 
up its hands" when it received the proposal; that he felt the response 
which had thus been given to the Japanese proposal of November 
20 could be interpreted as tantamount to meaning the end of the 
conversations. ^°° A dispatch from Ambassador Grew to the State 
Department on December 5 reflected the strong reaction in Japan.^°^ 

Secretary Hull said: ^°^ 

It is not surprising that Japanese propaganda, especially after Japan had 
begun to suffer serious defeats, has tried to distort and give false meaning to 
our memorandum of November 26 by referring to it as an "ultimatum." This 
was in line with a well-known Japanese characteristic of utilizing completely 
false and flimsy pretexts to delude their people and gain their support for mil- 
itaristic depredations and aggrandizement. 

In press conferences on November 26 and 27, Secretary Hull out- 
lined the status of American-Japanese relations. ^''^ 

The decision to stand by basic American principles was the only 
honorable position under the cu-cumstances.^°'* To have acceded to 
the Japanese ultimatum of November 20 would have been indefensible. 
Firmness was the only language Japan understood. As Ambassador 
Grew had stated in his celebrated "green light" dispatch of Septem- 
ber 12, 1940, to the State Department: i°^ 

Force or the display of force can alone prevent these powers (including Japan) 
from attaining their objectives * * *. 

If then we can by firmness preserve the status quo in the Pacific until and if 
Britain emerges successfully from the European struggle, Japan will be faced with 
a situation which will make it impossible for the present opportunist philosophy 
to maintain the upper hand * * *_ 

In the present situation and outlook I believe that the time has come when 
continued patience and restraint on the part of the United States may and prob- 
ably will lead to developments which will render Japanese-American relations 
progressively precarious. 

«» Soe CTmmittee record, p. 14393. 

100 Foreign Relations, vol. U, p. 375. 

lO" Committee Record, p. 1821-24. 

1" Committee Record, p. 1153. 

'»3 See statement of Secretary Hull, Committee Record, pp. 1153 et seq. 

iwid.,p. 1155. 

io» Committee exhibit No. 26. 



42 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

That firmness, the only language the Japanese understood, failed to 
dissuade them cannot redound to our regret but only to the ignominy 
of the Empu-e of Japan. 

Fraudulent Nature of Japanese Diplomacy — November 28 to 

December 7 

An intercepted dispatch No. 844 from Tokyo to its Washington 
Embassy on November 28 left little doubt of the fraudulent character 
of the negotiations thereafter and is a classic example of Japanese 
deceit and duplicity: '°^ 

Well, you two Ambassadors have exerted superhuman efforts but, in spite of 
this, the United States has gone ahead and presented this humiliating proposal. 
This was quite unexpected and extremelj^ regrettable. The Imperial Government 
can by no means use it as a basis for negotiations. Therefore, with a report of the 
views of the Imperial Government on this American proposal which I will send 
you in two or three days, the negotiations will be de facto ruptured. This is in- 
evitable. However, I do not wish you to give the impression that the negotiations are 
broken off. Merely say to them that you are awaiting instructions and that, 
although the opinions of your Government are not yet clear to you, to your own 
way of thinking the Imperial Government has always made just claims and has 
borne great sacrifices for the sake of peace in the Pacific. Say that we have alwaj'^s 
demonstrated a long-suffering and conciliatory attitude, but that, on the other 
hand, the United States has been unbending, making it impossible for Japan to 
establish negotiations. Since things have come to this pass, I contacted the man 
you told me to in your #1180 "*' and he said that under the present circumstances 
what you suggest is entirely unsuitable. From now on do the best you can. 

The following dispatch, while the attack force was en route to Pearl 
Harbor, was sent from Tokyo to Washington on December 1:'°* 

The date (November 29) set in my message #812 ^"^ has come and gone, and the 
situation continues to be increasingly critical. However, to prevent the United 
States from becoming unduly suspicious we have been advising the press and 
others that though there are some wide differences between Japan and the United 
States, the negotiations are continuing. (The above is for only your information) 
* * * 

After November 26 Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Kurusu con- 
ferred with the President and Secretary Hull on several occasions but 
with nothing new being developed looking to a peaceful settlement. 

On the morning of December 6 a dispatch from Tokyo to Washing- 
ton was intercepted advising that the Japanese reply to the American 
note of November 26 was being transmitted: 

I will send it in fourteen parts and I imagine you will receive it tomorrow. 
However, I am not sure. The situation is extremely delicate, and when you 
receive it I want you to please keep it secret for the time being. 

This dispatch indicated that subsequent instructions would be 
forthcoming concerning the time for presenting the reply to the 
Government of the United States. By approximately 9 p. m. on the 
evening of December 6 the first 13 parts of the 14-part Japanese 
memorandum had been intercepted, decoded, and made ready for 
distribution to authorized recipients by our military. These 13 parts 
were a long recapitulation of the negotiations with the purposes 
of Japan colored with pious hue and those of the United States per- 
verted into a base and ulterior scheme "for the extension of the war." 
The thirteenth part concluded on the note that — 

therefore, viewed in its entirety, the Japanese Government regrets that it cannot 
accept the proposal (American proposal of November 26) as a basis of negotiations. 

ics Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 195. 

10' See committee exhibit No. 1, p. 181. 

188 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 208. . 

"" '«' See committee exhibit No. 1, p. 165, setting the date November 29 as the deadline for eflecting an 
understanding. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 43 

The fourteenth part was intercepted early on the morning of 
December 7 and was available for distribution at approximately 
8 a. m. It stated that — "" 

obviously it is the intention of the American Government to conspire with Great 
Britain and other countries to obstruct Japan's efforts toward the establishment 
of peace through the creation of a New Order in East Asia, and especially to 
preserve Anglo-American rights and interests by keeping Japan and China at war. 

With the observation that this intention had been revealed during 
the course of the negotiations and the "earnest hope of the Japanese 
Government * * * to preserve and promote the peace of the 
Pacific thi'ough cooperation with the American Government has 
finally been lost", the Japanese memorandum closed with the 
statement: 

The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American 
Government that in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot 
but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further 
negotiations. 

Nowhere in the memorandum was there any indication or intima- 
tion of an intention to attack the United States nor, indeed, that 
formal diplomatic relations were to be broken — merely that it was 
impossible to reach an agreement tlu-ough the then current negotia- 
tions. Coincident with the receipt of the full reply, instructions were 
issued to Japan's representatives for its delivery to the American 
Government at an hour keyed to the time set for the assault on Pearl 
Harbor. On the previous evening. President Roosevelt had dispatched 
an earnest appeal to the Emperor of Japan for the preservation of 
peace in the Pacific. ^^^ The infamous character of the Japanese reply 
was voiced by Secretary Hull to the Japanese ambassadors who were 
making delivery 1 hour after ^^^ the first bombs had fallen on 
Pearl Harbor:"' 

I must say that in all my conversations with you (the Japanese ambassador) 
during the last nine months I have never uttered one word of untruth. This is 
borne out absolutely by the record. In all my fifty years of public service I 
have never seen a document that was more crowded with infamous falsehoods 
and distortions — infamous falsehoods and distortions on a scale so huge that I 
never imagined until today that anj^ Government on this planet was capable of 
uttering them. 

Diplomatic and Military Liaison in "Washington 

With a view to effecting the fullest liaison between the diplomatic 
and military arms of the Goverimient, there was created in the light 
of the approaching emergency a body familiarly referred to as the 
War Council. This Council consisted of the President, the Secretary 
of State, the Secretarj^ of War, the Secretary of Navy, the Army Chief 
of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, and, on occasion, the Chief of 
the Army Air Forces."* It met at the call of the President, and dur- 
ing the fall of 1941 it was in frequent session. Secretary Hull said: 

"o See committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 239-245. 

Ill See Foreign Relations, vol. H, pp. 784-786. Several hours after the Pearl Harbor attack had begun 
Ambassador Grew was informed by the Japanese Foreign Minister that the Japanese 14-part memorandum 
replying to the American note of November 26 was to be regarded as the Emperor's reply to the President's 
appeal. See Pence and War, p. 148. 

'" The Japanese Ambassadors were instructed to deliver the Japanese note to the American Secretary of 
State at 1 p. m. on Sunday, December 7. They made the appointment pursuant to the instruction; how- 
ever, they later postponed for 1 hour their previous appointment, stating the delay was due to the need of 
more time to decode the message they were to deliver. 

«'3 Foreign Relations, vol. II, p. 787. 

i'« For a rather full discussion of liaison between the various departments, see testimony of Secretary 
Stlmson, Army Pearl Harbor Board Record, p. 4041 et seg. 



44 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

"The War Council, which consisted of the President, the Secretaries 
of State, War, and Navy, the Chief of Staff, and the Chief of Naval 
Operations, was a sort of clearing house for ail the information and 
views which we were currently discussing with our respective contacts 
and in our respective circles. The high lights in the developments 
at a particular juncture were invariably reviewed at those meetings." ^'^ 
In addition to the War Council, another liaison body, consisting of 
the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of 
Navy, was created during 1940, with a view to holding weekly meet- 
ings, which were scheduled for 9:30 each Tuesday morning. Secretary 
Stimson said:"* 

They were perfectly informal and unofficial meetings, but they were very 
regular, and we met once a week regularly; and * * * ^^^i before Pearl 
Harbor, we had extra meetings. In fact, we were in such a meeting on the 
Sunday morning that the Japanese attacked. The meetings took place in the 
State Department, Mr. Hull's office, and during that time the Secretary of 
State, the Secretary of Navy, and myself were in constant contact. 

And again:"^ 

During this entire period I kept in constant and close touch with Mr. Hull and 
Mr. Knox, as well as having frequent meetings with the President. 

During 1941 Rear Adm. R. E. Schuirmann was the Director of the 
Central Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and had as 
one of his duties liaison with the State Department. He made the 
following observations concerning State Department Haison:"^ 

A "Liaison Committee" consisting of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief 
of Staff, U. S. Army, and the Under Secretary of State was set up while Admiral 
Leahy was Chief of Naval Operations. This Committee was mainly occupied 
with questions other than the Far East, but occasionally questions relating to the 
Far East were discussed. About the middle of May 1941, the practice of having a 
stenographer present to record the discussion was commenced; prior to that time 
I would take notes of the meetings in order to be able to follow up such matters as 
required action, and I believe one of Mr. Welles' assistants made a precis of the 
meetings. At times there were "off the record" discussions at these liaison com- 
mittee meetings. I made notes of some of these "off the record" discussions. 
Aside from the meetings of the Liaison Committee, Secretary Hull held meetings 
with various officials of the Navy Department, and I maintained liaison with 
Dr. Hornbeck and Mr. Hamilton of the Far Eastern Division of the State Depart- 
ment by visit and by telephone. I know of no official record of these meetings 
and discussions. Fragmentary notes of some are in the files of the Central 
Division as are such records of the Liaison Committee as are in the possession of 
the Navy Department. It is possible that the State Department representatives 
may have made notes of some of these meetings and discussions with Secretary 
Hull and other State Department officials. 

Admiral R. K. Turner, Director of War Plans Division in the Office 
of the Chief of Naval Operations, summarized the liaison with the 
State Department as follows: "^ 

The Chief of Naval Operations had a close personal association with the Secre- 
tary of State and Under Secretary of State. He consulted them frequently and 
they consulted him, I might say invariably, before making any particular diplomatic 
move. In the Office of Naval Operations, the Chief of the Central Division was 
appointed as liaison officer with the State Department. He visited the State 
Department and discussed problems with them practically every day. There 
was a weekly meeting in the State Department conducted by the Under Secretary 
of State, Mr. Welles, usually attended by the Chief of Naval Operations, the 
Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of the War Plans of the Army, Chief of War 

11' Committee record, p. 114*1. 

ii« Robert' record, pp. 4051^053, 4078-4079. 

11' Committee record, p. 14386. 

118 Hart record, p. 405. 

>« Id., at p. 257. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 45 

Plans of the Navy, the Chief of the Central Division of the Office of Naval Oper- 
ations, an officer of the General Staff not in the War Plans Division, and two or 
three representatives of the State Department. The matters discussed at these 
meetings usually related to events in Western Hemisphere countries. The Army 
was building a lot of air fields in the Caribbean and South America. The Navy 
and the Army, both, had sent missions to those countries and at the meetings 
with the Under Secretary it was chiefly American affairs that were discussed. 
Occasionally, possibly once a month, the Secretary of State would hold a con- 
ference with representatives of the War and Navy Departments, and at these 
meetings events outside of the Americas were discussed. From time to time the 
Secretary of State would call individuals from the War and Navy Departments 
to discuss particular aspects of world events. There were other unscheduled 
conferences between the State and War and Navy Departments. I participated 
in a great many such conferences. From time to time, informal memoranda 
were exchanged between individuals of the State and Navy Departments or 
exchanged between the Secretary of State and the Chief of Naval Operations. 
/ would say that relations between the State and War and State and Navy Depart- 
ments were very close and were characterized by good feeling. 

At a regular Cabinet meeting on November 7 the President inquired 
of Secretary Hull as to whether he had anything in mind. In replying 
Secretary Hull testified: ^^° 

I thereupon pointed out for about 15 minutes the dangers in the international 
situation. / went over fully developments in the conversations with Japan and 
emphasized that in my opinion relations were extremely critical and that we should 
be on the lookout for a military attack anywhere by Japan at any time. When I 
finished, the President went around the Cabinet. All concurred in my estimate 
of the dangers. It became the consensus of the Cabinet that the critical situation 
might well be emphasized in speeches in order that the country would, if possible, 
be better prepared for such a development.'^' 

Secretary Stimson stated: ^^^ 

On Friday, November 7, we had the usual weekly Cabinet meeting. The 
Far Eastern situation was uppermost in many of our minds. Mr. Hull informed 
us that relations had become extremely critical and that we should be on the 
outlook for an attack by Japan at any time. '^* 

At a meeting of the war council on November 25 Secretary Hull 
pointed out that the leaders of Japan were determined and desperate, 
and, in his opinion, the Japanese military was already poised for 
attack; that they might attack at any time and at any place. He 
emphasized the probable element of surprise in Japanese plans, that 
"virtually the last stage had been reached and that the safeguarding 
of our national security was in the hands of the Army and Navy." ^^* 

At the same meeting of the council the President warned that we 
were likely to be attacked, perhaps as soon as the following Monday, 
for "the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without 
warning." *^^ 

On the morning of November 26, Secretary Hull advised Secretary 
Stimson that he had about decided not to make the proposition of 
the 3-month truce, the modus vivendi, that he had discussed with 
Secretaries Knox and Stimson on November 25 — "the Chinese, for 

'20 Committoo record, p. 1131. 

'21 In an address delivered on November 11, 1941, Secretary Knox warned that the Nation was confronted 
not only hy the necessity for extreme measures of self-defense in the Atlantic but was "likewise faced with 
grim possibilities on the other side of the world— on the far side of the Pacific." See committee record at 
pp. 1131, 1132. 

'22 Committee record, pp. 14387, 14388. 

123 In an address on November 11, Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles stated that beyond the Atlantic 
a sinister and pitiless conqueror had reduced more than half of Europe to abject serfdom and that in the Far 
East the same forces of conquest were menacing the safety of all nations bordering on the Pacific. He said 
that the waves of world conquest were "breaking high both in the East and in the West" and were threaten- 
ing "to engulf our own shores": that the United States was in far greater peril than in 1917 and "at any 
moment war may be forced upon us." See committee record, p. 1132. 

12* Id., at p. 1144. See also statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14390. 

i*» See statement ot Mr, Stimson, committee record, p. 14390. 



46 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

one thing, had pointed out strong objections to the proposal, par- 
ticularly the effect on the morale of their own people." ^^^ Secretary 
Stimson said: *^^ 

Early that morning (November 27) I had called up Mr. Hull to find out what 
his final word had been with the Japanese — whether he had handed them the 
proposal for three months' truce, or whether he had told them he had no other 
proposition to make. He told me that he had broken the whole matter off. His 
words were: "/ have washed my hands of it, and it is noto in the hands of you and 
Knox — the Army and the Aavy." I then called up the President, who gave me a 
little different view. He said that it was true that the talks had been called off, 
but that they had ended up with a magnificient statement prepared by Hull. 
I found out afterwards that this was the fact and that the statement contained a 
reaffirmation of our constant and regular position without the suggestion of a 
threat of any kind. 

With reference to his remarks before the War Council on November 
28, Secretary Hull stated: ^^s 

* * * I reviewed the November 26 proposal which we had made to the 
Japanese, and pointed out that there was practically no possibility of an agree- 
ment being achieved with Japan. / emphasized that in my opinion the Japanese 
were likely to break out at any time with new acts of conquest and that the matter of 
safeguarding our national security was in the hands of the Army and the Navy. 
With due deference I expressed my judgment that any plans for our military 
defense should include an assumption that the Japanese might make the element 
of surprise a central point in their strategy and also might attack at various points 
simultaneously with a view to demoralizing efforts of defense and of coordination. 

Addressing a public rally in Japan on November 30, Premier Tojo 
stated: ''^ 

The fact that Chiang-Kai-shek is dancing to the tune of Britain, America, and 
communism at the expense of able-bodied and promising young men in his futile 
resistance against Japan is only due to the desire of Britain and the United States 
to fish in the troubled waters of East Asia by putting [pitting?] the East Asiatic 
peoples against each other and to grasp the hegemony of East Asia. This is a 
stock in trade of Britain and the United States. 

For the honor and pride of mankind we must purge this sort of practice from 
East Asia with a vengeance. 

Following a conference with military leaders concerning the Jap- 
anese Premier's address, Secretary Hull called the President at Warm 
Springs, Ga., urging him to advance the date set for his return to 
Washington. The President accordingly returned to Washington on 
December 1.^^° 

In testifying before the Navy inquiry conducted by Admiral Hart, 
Admiral Schuirmann stated in reply to a query as to whether the 
State Department's estimate of the situation vis-a-vis Japan as con- 
veyed to the Navy Department was in accord with the statements 
contained "on page 138 of the book Peace and War": ^^^ 

I was not present at any meeting that I recall where the Secretary expressed 
the element of surprise so strongly or if at all, or the probability of attack at 
various points. However, the particular meetings which he mentioned, I do not 
know if I was present. I cannot make any positive statement that he did not make 
such a statement. However, on Wednesday or Thursday before Pearl Harbor, 
Secretary Hull phoned me saying in effect, "7 know you Navy fellows are always 
ahead of me but I want you to know that I don't seem to be able to do anything more 
with these Japanese and they are liable to run loose like a mad dog and bite anyone." 
I assured him that a war warning had been sent out. I reported the conversation 
to Admiral Stark. 



126 Committee record, pp. 14391, 14392. 

1" Id., at pp. 14392, 14393. 

"8 Committee record, pp. 1160, 1161. 

1" See committee record, p. 1162. 

»« Id., at p. 1163. 

"1 Halt record, p. 412. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 47 

Referring to a meeting at the State Department on the morning of 
December 7, Mr. Stimson said: ^^^ 

On December 7, 1941, Knox and I arranged a conference with Hull at ten- 
thirty, and we talked the whole matter over. Hull is very certain that the Japa 
are planning some deviltry, and we are all wondering where the blow will strike. We 
three stayed together in conference until lunchtime, going over the plans for what 
should be said and done. 

Considering all of the observations made by Secretary Hull to Army 
and Navy Officials in the days before December 7, 1941, it is difficult 
to imagine how he could have more clearly and forcefully depicted 
the manner in which relations between the United States and Japan 
had passed beyond the realm of diplomacy and become a matter of 
cold military reality. ^^^ This thought was expressed by General 
Marshall when he testified to a distinct recollection of Air. Hull's saying: 
" These fellows mean to fight; you will have to he prepared." ^^^* 

That there was the fullest exchange of information between the 
diplomatic and military arms of the Government is further indicated 
by the manner in which intercepted and decoded Japanese diplomatic 
messages were distributed. These messages, familiarly referred to as 
"Magic" and discussed in detail elsewhere in this report, contained 
detailed instructions and proposals from Tokyo to its Washington 
Embassy and the comments concerning and contents of American 
proposals as forwarded to Tokyo by its ambassadors. This material 
not only indicated what Japan and her ambassadors were saying but 
literally what they were thinking. This material was available to the 
Secretaries of War and Navy, the Chief of Staff, the Chief of Naval 
Operations, the Directors of War Plans in both the Army and Navy, 
and the heads of the intelligence branches of both the services, among 
others. 

Conclusions 

Beginning in 1931 Japan embarked on a career of conquest no less 
ambitious nor avowed than that of the Nazis. Despite American 
protests she overran and subjugated Manchuria. In 1937, bulwarked 
by her Anti- Comintern Pact with Germany of the preceding year, she 
invaded China. In 1940 she seized upon the struggle for survival of 
the western powers against Hitler's war machine to conclude an iron- 
clad alliance with Germany and Italy aimed dnectly at the United 
States. Thereupon she set about to drive the "barbarians" from the 
Orient and to engulf the Far East m her Greater East Asia Co- 
prosperity Sphere which was to be her bastion for world conquest. 
As early as January of 1941 the dominatuig military clique prepared 
for wai' on the United States and conceived the attack on Pearl 
Harbor. 

Hailing the German invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941, as a 
"divine wind" securing her northern flank, Japan within a period of 
20 days adopted a crucial policy followed by an all-out mobilization 
for war. Almost immediately thereafter she invaded Southern French 
Indochina for the purpose "when the international situation is suit- 
able, to launch therefrom a rapid attack." She boldly declared m an 
intercepted dispatch of July 14, 1941: 

1" Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 4081. See also committee record, p. 14428. 

iM For a record of Mr. Hull's conferences, consultations, and telephone conversations (as entered in 
engagement books) with representatives of the War and Navy Departments, November 20 to December 7, 
1941, and arrangements for contacts between the Departments of State, War, and Navy In 1940 and 1941, 
see committee record, pp. 1166-1176. See also committee record, p. 1180. 

iii« Committee record, p. 3079. 

00179—46 5 



48 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

After the occupation of French Indochina, next on our schedule is the sending 
of an ultimatum to the Netherlands Indies. In the seizing of Singapore the Navy 
will play the principal part. 

The invasion of southern Indochina resulted in the freezing of assets 
and virtual cessation of trade between the United States and Japan. 

On November 20, 1941, the Empii-e of Japan delivered an ulti- 
matum to the Government of the United States. It required that 
the United States supply Japan as much oil as she might require; 
that we discontinue aid to China, %\itlidra\Aing moral and rnaterial 
support from the recognized Chinese Government. It contained no 
provision pledgmg Japan to abandon aggression and to resort to 
peaceful methods. The ultimatum contamed no tenable basis for an 
agreement, a fact well known to and contemplated by the Tojo 
Cabinet. 

During all of the negotiations, Japan qualified and restricted every 
intimation of her peaceful purposes. With each succeeding proposal 
it became abundantly apparent that she did not intend to com- 
promise in any measure the bellicose utterances and plans of conquest 
of her military masters. She uniformly declared her purpose to 
fulfill her obligations under the Tripartite Pact — aimed directly at the 
United States. She refused to relinquish the preferential commercial 
position in the Orient which she had arrogated to herself. She 
demanded a victor's peace in China and would give no effective recog- 
nition to the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of 
other countries. Her clear purpose was to maintain a military and 
economic overlordship of China. 

The story of our negotiations with the Empire of Japan during the 
year 1941 epitomizes the traditional purpose of the United States to 
seek peace where compatible with national honor. Conversations 
were carried forward with the representatives of that nation in the hope 
of bringing to an end the frightful aggression that had brought sorrow, 
death, and degradation to the Orient for almost a decade. At the 
same time it was realistically recognized that the negotiations afforded 
precious time to improve our own capacity for self-defense, the appall- 
ing need for which was becoming daily more apparent as the Axis 
dreams of world conquest pushed relentlessly toward realization. 

That there were elements in Japan who desired peace is unques- 
tioned. But for many years the Government of that nation had been 
divided into two schools of thought, the one conceivably disposed to 
think in terms of international good will with the other dominated by 
the militarism of the war lords who had always ultimately resolved 
Japanese pohcy.^^* It was this monstrous condition which, from the 
time of Japan's emergence as a power in world affairs, resulted in her 
military acts invariably belying her diplomatic promises. The United 
States therefore in looking to any final settlement had properly before 
it the substantial question of whether those in Japan who might wish 
peace possessed the capacity and power to enter a bindmg and effec- 
tive agreement reasonably designed to stabilize conditions in the Far 
East. It was for this reason that our Government insisted Japan offer 
some tangible proof of her honest purpose to abandon a pohcy of ag- 
gression. No such proof or disposition to provide it was at any time 
forthcoming. 

iM See testimony of Mr. Hull, committee record, p. 1120. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 49 

In considering the negotiations in their cntii"ety the conclusion is 
inescapable that Japan had no concessions to make and that her 
program of aggression was immutable. When the Konoye Cabinet 
could not secm-e an agreement giving Japan an um^estrained hand in 
the Orient it was replaced by a Cabinet headed by General Tojo. 
Tojo made one gestm^e in the form of an ultimatum to realize Japan's 
ambitions without fighting for them. When he realized such a price 
for peace was too high even for the United States, his Government 
launched the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor while instructing her 
ambassadors in characteristic duplicity to maintain the pretense of 
continuing negotiations .^^^ 

It is concluded that the diplomatic actions of the United States 
provided no provocation whatever for the attack by Japan on Pearl 
Harbor. It is further concluded that the Secretary of State fully 
informed both the War and Navy Departments of diplomatic de- 
velopments and that he in a timely and forceful manner clearly 
pointed out to these Departments that relations between the United 
States and Japan had passed beyond the stage of diplomacy and were 
in the hands of the military. 

1" The Japanese force to strike Pearl Harbor actually left Hitokappu Bay for the attack at 7 p. m., No- 
vember 25, Washington time, before the United States note in reply to the Japanese ultimatum of Novem- 
ber 20 was delivered to Japan's ambassadors on November 26. 



Part II 
THE JAPANESE ATTACK AND ITS AFTERMATH 



61 



PART II. THE JAPANESE ATTACK AND ITS AFTERMATH 

Formulation of the Plan and Date for Execution ^ 

The evidence tends to indicate that a surprise attack on Pearl 
Harbor was originally conceived and proposed early in January of 1941 
by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander in chief of the combined 
Japanese Fleet, who at that time ordered Admiral Onishi, chief of 
staff of the Eleventh Air Fleet, to study the operation. Admiral 
Yamamoto is reported to have told Onishi about February 1,^ "If we 
have war with the United States we wiU have no hope of winning unless 
the United States Fleet in Hawaiian waters can be destroyed." ^ 
During the latter part of August 1941, all fleet commanders and other 
key staft' members were ordered to Tokyo by Yamamoto for war 
games preliminary to formulation of final operation plans for a Pacific 
campaign which included a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. A war 
plans conference was held continuously at the Naval "War College, 
Tokyo, from September 2 to 13, and on September 13 an outline incor- 
porating the essential points of a basic operation order, which was later 
to be issued as Combined Fleet Top Secret Operation Order No. 1, was 
completed. On November 5, 1941, this operation order, which in- 
cluded detailed plans for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, was 
promulgated to aU fleet and task force commanders. The date, 
November 5, is in consequence properly to be regarded as the date on 
which the plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor was completed. 

Under the heading " Preparations for the outbreak of war," opera- 
tion order No. 1 provided that "when the decision is made to complete 
over-all preparations for operations, orders will be issued establishing 
the approximate date (Y-day) for commencement of operations and 
announcing 'first preparations for war.' " The order further provided 
that "the time for the outbreak of war (X-day) will be given in an 
imperial general headquarters order." The details of the plan with 
respect to the Pearl Harbor attack were worked out by members of 
the naval general staff operations section, combined fleet operations 
staff, and first air fleet operations staff. 

Admiral Yamamoto on November 7 issued combined fleet top 
secret operation order No. 2 relating: "First preparations for war. 
Y-day wiU be December 8." Consistent with the definition of Y-day 
as given in operation order No. 1, December 8 (December 7, Hono- 
lulu time) was thus established only as the approximate date for 
commencement of operations. The imperial general headquarters, 

' The chief sources of information concerning the attack are translations of captured Japanese documents, 
interrogations of prisoners of war, and reports submitted by general headquarters, supreme commander for 
the Allied Powers, comprising questionnaires filled out since VJ-day by former members of the Japanese 
naval high command. See committee exhibits Nos. 8, 8A, 8B, 80, and 8D. 

For purposes of convenience, the term Hawaii is used throughout this report as synonymous with the 
Territory of Hawaii. 

» Unless otherwise stated the time indicated is Tokyo time. To obtain the corresponding time in Wash- 
ington and Honolulu, 14 hours and 19}^ hours, respectively, should be subtracted from Tokyo time. See 
committee exhibit No. 6, item 4. 

' See committee exhibit No. 8D. 

53 



54 PEAKL HARBOR ATTACK 

however, issued an order on December 2 stating, "The hostile actions 
against the United States of America shall be commenced on Decem- 
ber 8," thereby announcing X-day as defined in operation order No. 1. 
The tentative approximate date for the attack selected on November 7 
and defined as Y-day in consequence became the final precise date, 
X-day. 

The Japanese imperial headquarters navy section, in discussions 
prior to November 7, generally recognized December 8 as a propitious 
date from an operational viewpoint and decided upon this date in 
conjunction with the leaders of the combined fleet. It was noted that 
from the standpoint of a dawn attack in the Hawaiian area Decem- 
ber 10 would have been suitable in view of the dark of the moon. But 
it was expected the United States Pacific Fleet, in accordance with 
its custom during maneuvers, would enter Pearl Harbor on Friday 
and leave on Monday. Sunday, December 8, was therefore decided 
upon with the understanding that, to assure the success of the attack 
and still avoid a night attack, the take-off time of the attacking planes 
was to be set as near to dawn as possible; that is, approximately 
1 hour before sunrise. An imperial naval order issued on December 1 
stated: ^' Japan * * * f^as reached a decision to declare war on 
the United States of America, British Empire, and the Netherlands.'^ * 

Nature of the Plan 

Three possible avenues in approaching Hawaii for the attack pre- 
sented themselves: The northern course, which was used; a central 
course which headed east following the Hawaiian Islands; and a 
southern route passing through the Marshall Islands and approaching 
from the south. Because of the absolute requu*ement that the element 
of surprise be a factor in the attack, the northern course was selected 
since it was far from the United States patrol screen of land-based 
aircraft, and there was little chance of meeting commercial vessels. 

Screening destroyers were to be sent ahead of the Japanese Fleet 
and in the event any vessels were encountered the main body of the 
force was to make a severe change in course and endeavor to avoid 
detection. If the striking force was detected prior to the day before 
the attack, it was planned to have the force return to Japanese waters 
without executing the attack. On the other hand, should the force be 
detected on the day before the attack, the question of whether to carry 
home the attack or to return was to be resolved in accordance with 
local conditions.^ If the attack should fail, the main force of the 
Japanese Navy, located in the Inland Sea, was to be brought out to the 
Pacific in order to return the striking force to home waters. 

According to Japanese sources interviewed since the defeat of 
Japan, the sources of information employed in planning the attack 
included public broadcasts from Hawaii; reports from naval attaches 
in the Japanese Embassy, Washington; public newspapers in the 
United States; reconnaissance submarines in Hawaiian waters prior 
to the attack; and information obtained from crews and passengers 

* See committee exhibit No. 8D. 

• Had the American Fleet left port it is reported that the Japanese force would have scouted an area of 
about 300 miles around Oahu and was prepared to attack. If the American Fleet could not be located the 
striking force wus to withdraw. See committee exhibit No. 8. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 55 

of ships which had called at Honolulu in mid-November.^ It also 
appears that Japan was receiving the same type of espionage infor- 
mation from its Honolulu consul as from other Japanese diplomatic 
establishments/ 

The Japanese plan of operation was predicated on certain assump- 
tions with respect to the United States Pacific Fleet: (1) That the 
main body of the fleet would be at anchor within Pearl Harbor on 
Sunday, December 7, Hawaii time; (2) that a carrier could be moved 
from Japanese home waters across the Pacific to within striking dis- 
tance of the main islands of the Hawaiian group without undue risk 
of detection by American defensive reconnaissance; (3) that should 
the two foregoing assumptions be in error, a reserve group of heavy 
naval units could sortie from the Inland Sea to give support to the 
carrier striking force in a decisive engagement with the American Fleet ; 
(4) that a powerful carrier air strike against the American forces based 
in Hawaii could, if tactical surprise were effective, achieve the strategic 
result of crippling the American Fleet, and (5) that such a strike could 
achieve also the destruction of American land-based air power and 
thus permit the Japanese stril^ing force to withdraw without damage. 

Incident to preparations and discussions on September 6 and 7 re- 
lating to operation order No. 1, it was decided that no landing on the 
island of Oahu should be attempted since (1) it would have been im- 
possible to make preparations for such a landing within less than a 
month after the opening of hostilities; (2) it was recognized that the 
problems of speed and supply for an accompanying convoy would have 
rendered it unlikely that the initial attack could be accomplished with- 
out detection; and (3) insuperable logistic problems rendered landings 
on Oahu impractical. In formulating the final plans it was deter- 
mined that a torpedo attack against ships anchored in Pearl Harbor 
was the most effective method of putting the United States Pacific 
Fleet in the Hawaiian area out of action for a long period of time. 
Two obstacles to a torpedo attack were considered: The fact that 
Pearl Harbor is narrow and shallow; and the fact that it was prob- 
ably equipped with torpedo nets. In order to overcome the first 
difficulty it was decided to attach stabilizers to the torpedoes and 
launch them from extremely low altitude. Since the success of an 
aerial torpedo attack could not be assured because of the likelihood 
of torpedo nets a bombing attack was also to be employed. 

• It is reported that Japanese agents in Hawaii played no part In the attack. See committee exhibit 
No. 8. 

The location of the anchorages shown on the maps recovered from the attacking force was determined 
on the basis of the indicated sources beginning in the early part of 1941. 

It has been reported that the intelligence section of the Japanese naval general staff was having a most 
difficult time judging the habits, strength, and security situations of the American Fleet in the Hawaiian 
area. Because of this, the intelligence section had been for years compiling material by carefully collecting, 
making into statistics, and analyzing bits of information obtained from naval ofTicers at Washington, news- 
papers and magazines published in America, American radio broadcasts, signal intelligence, passengers and 
crews of ships stopping over at Honolulu, other foreign diplomatic establishments, commercial firms, and 
similar sources. According to the signals of the American ships, the number of ships and small crpft of the 
Pacific Fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor or out on training was deduced. By combining the flying time 
(judged according to signal situations) of airplanes shuttling between bases and aircraft carriers out on 
training missions, and the location of United States Fleet units as seen by passengers and crews of ships 
stopping over at Honolulu, the training areas of the fleet were determined. The zone, time, etc., of air- 
planes at Hawaii were deduced in the same way. From newspapers and magazines published in the United 
States, material was obtained for deduction of America's war preparation, progress and expansion of mili- 
tary installations, location and capabilities of warships and airplanes. Army strength at Hawaii, Panama, 
the Philippines, and other places. 

It is reported from Japanese sources that the reports from foreign diplomatic establishments and com- 
mercial firms in foreigri countries were regarded as not important enough from the standpoint of intelligence 
to have a "special write-up, and were considered on their own merits." See committee exhibit No. 80 

' See committee exhibit No. 2. 



56 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The complete plan of the attack was known in advance to members 
of the Navy general staff, the commander in chief and chiefs of staff, 
and staff members of the combined fleet headquarters and first air fleet 
headquarters. Portions of the plan were known to the Navy Minister, 
the Navy Vice Minister, and other ranking naval officers. It has been 
reported that the Japanese Emperor loiew in advance only the general 
outline of the plan and that none of the Japanese officials in the United 
States, including Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu, knew anything 
concerning the plan prior to the attack. 

The aims of the entire Japanese campaign, including the attack on 
Pearl Harbor, were based on the desire for military conquest, security, 
and enhancement of the Empire by occupation of areas rich in natural 
resources. With respect to the Pearl Harbor attack, operation Order 
No. 1 stated: "In the east the American Fleet will be destroyed and 
American lines of operation, and supply lines to the Orient, will be cut. 
Enemy forces will be intercepted and annihilated. Victories will be 
exploited to break the enemy's will to fight." * 

Departure for the Attack 

On or about November 14 ^ units of the Pearl Hai'bor attacking 
force Avere ordered to assemble in Hitokappu Bay, located in the 
Kurile Islands,^'' this operation being completed by November 22. 
On November 25 the commander in chief of the combined Japanese 
Fleet issued the following order: ^^ 

(a) The task force, keeping its movements strictly secret and maintaining 
close guard against submarines and aircraft, shall advance into Hawaiian waters 
and upon the very opening of hostilities, shall attack the main force of the United 
States Fleet in Hawaii and deal it a mortal blow. The first air raid is planned 
for dawn of X-day (exact date to be given by later order). 

Upon completion of the air xaid the task force, keeping close coordination and. 
guarding against enemy counterattack, shall speedily leave the enemy waters 
and then return to Japan. 

(b) Should it appear certain that Japanese-American negotiations will reach 
an amicable settlement prior to the commencement of hostile action, all the 
forces of the combined fleet are to be ordered to reassemble and return to their 
bases. 

(c) The task force shall leave Hitokappu Bay on the morning of November 26 
and advance to 42° N. and 170° E. (standing-by position) on the afternoon of 
December 4, Japan time, and speedily complete refueling. (The actual time of 
departure was 9 a. m., November 26, Japan time — 1:30 p. m., November 25, 
Hawaii time.) 

Since the American Fleet and air power based in the Hawaiian area 
were the only obstacles of consequence, a major task force built 
around a carrier striking group was considered essential to conducting 
a successful surprise attack. Accordingly, the striking force con- 
sisted of 6 aircraft carriers, including the Akagi, the flagship of 
Admiral Nagumo; 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 9 destroyers, 3 
submarines, 8 train vessels, and approximately 360 planes, which 

• other factors included (1) rendering impotent the United States Pacific Fleet in order to gain time and 
maintain freedom of action in the South Seas operation, including the Philippine Islands, and (2) the defense 
of Japan's mandated islands. See committee exhibit No. 8. 

• Other information obtained indicates that the commander in chief of the combined fleet issued the fol- 
lowing order on November 7: "The task force, keeping its movements strictly secret will assemble in 
Hitokappu Bay by November 22 for refueling." Committee exhibit No. 8. 

10 Also referred to as Tankan Bay (Etorfu Islands, Kuriles), and Tankappu-Wan. 

•1 See committee exhibit No. 8. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 57 

participated in the attack. Other submarines had proceeded from 
the Inland Sea independent of the striking force. '^ 

At 9 a. m., November 26/^ the Japanese Fleet departed under 
complete radio silence from Hitokappu Bay for its destination 200 
miles north of Oahu. Held down by the low speed of the train vessels 
and the need for fuel economy, the force cruised eastward at 13 knots. 
Lookouts were posted, but no searches or combat air patrols were 
flown. ^* The anticipated difficulty in refueling at sea because of 
weather conditions did not materialize, since the weather proved 
uniformly calm. On or about December 2 all ships were darkened, and 
on December 4 the rendezvous point (42° north; 170° east) was reached 
and the combat ships fueled to capacity from the tankers. The 
cruise had been entu'ely uneventful, no planes or ships having been 
sighted. "^^ 

The green light to execute the attack had been sent by Admiral 
Yamamoto from his flagship, the Yamato, on December 2. The mes- 
sage was "Niita Kayama Nobore," translated "'Climb Mount 
Niitaka," which was the code phrase meaning "proceed with 
attack." '^ 

Execution op the Attack " 

air phase 

On the night of December 6-7 (Hawaii time) the "run-in" to a 
point 200 miles north of Oahu was made at top speed, 26 knots. 
Beginning at 6 a. m. and ending at 7:15 a. m., December 7, a total of 
360 planes were launched in three waves. The planes rendezvoused 
to the south and then flew in for coordinated attacks. In addition 
to the attack planes, it is reported that two type Zero reconnaissance 

'2 The following allocation of forces for the attack was made (see committee exhibit No. 6, item 17): 

STRIKING FORCE 

Commanding Officer: CinC 1st Air Fleet, Vice Admiral Chuichi NAGUMO> 

BatDiv 3 (1st Section) (HIEI, KIRISHIMA), 2 BB. 

CarDiv l (KAGA. AKAOI). 

CarDiv 2 (HIRYU, SORYU). 

CarDiv 5 (SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU), 6 CV. 

CruDiv 8 (TONE, CHIKUMA), 2 CA. 

DesRon 1 (ABUKUMA, 4 DesDivs), 1 CL, 16 DD. 

8 Train Vessels. 

ADVANCE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 

Commanding Officer: CinC 6th Fleet, Vice Admiral Mitsumi SHIMIZU. 

ISUZU, YURA, 2 CL. 

KATORI, 1 GL-T. 

I-class submarines (including SubRons 1, 2, 3) (I-l, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22-24, 68, 69, 74), 20 SS. 

Midget submarines, 5 M-SS. 

6 Train Vessels. 

IS The corresponding time in Washington would be 7 p. m. November 25. 

1* A very close watch was kept on Hawaiian broadcasts by Commander Ono, staff communication officer 
of the striking force. Admiral Nagumo and his staff believed that they could sense from these broadcasts 
whether or not the forces on Oahu had an inKling of the impending attack. They felt they could judge the 
tenseness of the situation by these broadcasts. Since stations KGU and KGMB were going along in their 
normal manner. Admiral Nagumo felt that American forces were still oblivious of developments. For 
several days prior to the attack the Jap force had been intercepting messages from our patrol planes. They 
had not broken the code, but they had been able to plot in their positions with radio bearings and knew the 
number of our patrol planes in the air at all times and that they were patrolling entirely in the southwestern 
sector from Oahu. Committee exhibit No. 8D. 

'5 To disguise the move against Pearl Harbor the main Japanese force in the Inland Sea area and the land- 
based air miits in the Kyushu area carried on deceptive communications, and deceptive measures were taken 
to indicate that the task force was stOl in training in the Kyushu area. See committee exhibit No. 8 

" Committee exhibit No. 8D. 

" The time hereafter indicated Is Hawaiian time unless otherwise specified. 



58 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

seaplanes were launched at approximately 5 a. m., December 7, to 
execute reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor and Lahaina Anchorage just 
before the attack, reaching their destination about 1 hour before 
arrival of the attack planes. ^^ 

The Japanese aircraft participating in the operation included 81 
fighters, 135 dive bombers, 104 horizontal bombers, and 40 torpedo 
bombers. Five distinct phases were noted in the execution of the 
attack, as recounted from the Navy point of view: ^^ 

Phase I: Combined torpedo plane and dive bomber attacks lasting 
from 7:55 a. m. to 8:25 a. m. 

Phase II: Lull in attacks lasting from 8:25 a. m. to 8:40 a. m. 

Phase III: Horizontal bomber attacks extending from 8:40 a. m. 
to 9:15 a. m. 

Phase IV: Dive bomber attacks between 9:15 a. m. and 9:45 a. m. 

Phase V: Warning of attacks and completion of raid after 9:45 a. m. 

The primary objectives of the Japanese during the raid were the 
heavy combatant ships and aircraft. Damage to the light forces and 
the industrial plant was incidental to the destruction or disablement 
of the heavy ships and aircraft based ashore. In the statement 
submitted for the consideration of the committee and in his testimony, 
Rear Adm. R. B. Inglis set forth a review of the various phases of the 
attack: -« 

Phase I: 7:55-8:25 a. m. — Combined Torpedo Plane and Dive Bomber Attacks 

The beginning of the attack coincided with the hoisting of the preparatory 
signal for 8 o'clock colors. At this tiiBe (namely, 7:55 a. m.) Japanese dive 
bombers appeared over Ford Island, and within the next few seconds enemy 
torpedo planes and dive bombers swung in from various sectors to concentrate 
their attack on the heavy ships moored in Pearl Harbor. It is estimated that 
nine planes engaged in the attack on the naval air station on Ford Island and 
concentrated on the planes parked in the vicinity of hangar No. 6. 

At the time of the attack Navy planes (patrol flying boats, float planes, and scout 
bombers, carrier type) were lined up on the field. These planes caught fire and 
exploded. Machine-gun emplacements were set up hastily and manned, although 
the return fire from shore on Ford Island was pitifully weak. Then, as suddenly 
as thej' had appeared, the Japanese planes vanished. No further attack on this 
air station was made during the day. Except for 8 direct hit on hangar No. 6 
resulting from a bomb which was apparently aimed at the battleship California 
and which fell short, the damage to the station itself was comparatively slight. 
However, 33 of the Navy's best planes out of a total of 70 planes of all types 
were destroj-ed or damaged. 

As soon as the attack began, the commander of patrol wing 2 broadcasted from 
Ford Island the warning: "Air raid. Pearl Harbor. This is not drill." This 
warning was followed a few minutes later by a similar message from the com- 
mander in chief, United States Fleet. 

At approximately the same time that the Japanese dive bombers appeared over 
Ford Island, other low-fl.ving planes struck at the Kaneohe Naval Air Station on 
the other side of the island. The attack was well executed, with the planes 
coming down in shallow dives'and inflicting severe casualties on the seaplanes 
moored in the water. Machine guns and rifles were brought out, and men dis- 
persed to fire at will at the low-flying planes. After a period of 10 to 15 minutes, 
the attacking planes drew off to the north at a low altitude and disappeared from 
sight. Several other contingents of bombers passed over, but none dropped 
bombs on Kaneohe j Bay. 

About 25 minutes after the first attack, another squadron of planes, similar to 
one of the Navy's light bomber types, appeared over Kaneohe and commenced 
bombing and strafing. No. 3 hanger received a direct hit during this attack, and 

" See committee exhibit No. 155. 

1' For a description of the attack as obtained from Japanese sources since VJ-day, see committee exhibits 
Nos. Sand 8B, p. 10. 
" Committee record,[pp. 85-103. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 59 

four planes in the hangar were destroyed. The majority of the casualties suffered 
at Kaneohe resulted from this attack. Most of the injured personnel were in the 
squadrons attempting either to launch their planes or to save those planes not as 
yet damaged. When the enemy withdrew, some 10 to 15 minutes later, salvage 
operations were commenced, but it was too late to save No. 1 hangar, which 
burned until only its steel structural work was left. Only 9 out of the 36 planes 
at Kaneohe escaped destruction in this attack; 6 of these were damaged, and 3 
were in the air on patrol south of Oahu, 

Meanwhile, the Marine air base at Ewa was undergoing similar attack. Appar- 
ently the attack on Ewa preceded that at Pearl Harbor by about 2 minutes. It 
was delivered by 2 squadrons of 18 to 24 single-seater fighter planes using machine- 
gun strafing tactics, which came in from the northwest at an altitude of approxi- 
mately- 1,000 feet. These enemy planes would descend to within 20 to 25 feet of 
the ground, attacking single planes with short bursts of gunfire. Then they 
would pull over the treetops, reverie their course, and attack from the opposite 
direction. Within less than 15 minutes, all the Marine tactical aircraft had been 
shot up or set on fire. Then the guns of the enemy fighters were turned upon 
Navy utility aircraft, upon planes that had been disassembled for repair, and 
upon the marines themselves. 

Effective defense measures were impossible until after the first raid had sub- 
sided. Pilots aching to strike at the enemy in the air viewed the uTeckage which 
until a few minutes before had been a strong air group of Marine fighters and 
bombers. Altogether 33 out of the 49 planes at Ewa had gone up in smoke. 
Some marines, unable to find anything more effective, had tried to oppose fighter 
planes with pistols, since the remaining 16 planes were too badly damaged to fly. 

Although in phase I of the attack on the ships at Pearl Harbor Japanese dive 
bombers were effective, the torpedo planes did the most damage. They adhered 
strictly to a carefully laid plan and directed their attacks from those sectors which 
afforded the best avenues of approach for torpedo attack against selected heavy 
ship objectives. Thus they indicated accurate knowledge of harbor and channel 
depths and thejberths ordinarily occupied by the major combatant units of the 
fleet. At least in the great majority of cases, the depth of water in Pearl Harbor 
did not prevent the successful execution of this form of attack. Shallow dives 
of the torpedoes upon launching were assured by the use of specially constructed 
wooden fins, remnants of which were discovered on enemy torpedoes salvaged 
after the attack. 

Four separate torpedo plane ftttacks were made during phase I. The major 
attack was made by 12 planes, which swung in generally from the southeast 
over the tank farm and the vicinity of Merry Point. After splitting, they launched 
their torpedoes at very low altitudes (within 50 to 100 feet of the water), and from 
very short distances, aiming for the battleships berthed on the southeast side of 
Ford Island. All the outboard battleships (namely, the Nevada, Arizona, West 
Virginia, Oklahoma, and California) were effectively hit by one or more torpedoes. 
Strafing was simultaneously conducted from the rear cockpits. A recovered 
unexploded torpedo carried an explosive charge of 1,000 pounds. 

During the second of these attacks, the Oklahoma was struck by three torpedoes 
on the port side and heeled rap dly to port, impeding the efforts of her defenders 
to beat off the attackers. 

The third attack was made by one torpedo plane which appeared from the 
west and was directed against the light cruiser Helena and the minelayer Oglala, 
both of which were temporarily occupying the berth previously assigned to the 
battleship Pennsylvania, flagship of the Pacific Fleet. One torpedo passed under 
the Oglala and exploded against the side of the Helena. The blast stove in the 
side plates of the Oglala. Submersible pumps for the Oglala were obtained from 
the Helena but could not be used since no power was available because of damage 
to the ship's engineering plant. 

The fourth wave of five planes came in from the northwest and attacked the 
seaplane tender Tangier, the target ship Utah, and the light cruisers Raleigh and 
Detroit. The Raleigh was struck by one torpedo, and the Utah received two hits 
in succession, capsizing at 8:13 a. m. At first it was feared that the Raleigh 
would capsize. Orders were thereupon given for all men not at the guns to 
jettison all topside weights and put both airplanes in the water. Extra manila 
and wire lines were also run to the quays to help keep the ship from capsizing. 

The Utah, an old battleship converted into a target ship, had recently returned 
from serv ng as a target for practice aerial bombardment. As soon as she re- 
ceived her torpedo hits, she began listing rapidly to port. After she had listed 
to about 40 degrees, the order was given to abandon ship. This order was 



60 PEARL HAEBOR ATTACK 

executed with some difficulty, as the attacking planes strafed the crew as they 
went over the side. Remnants of the crew had reached Ford Island safely. 
Later knocking was heard within the hull of the Utah. With cutting tools 
obtained from the Raleigh a volunteer crew succeeded in cutting through the 
hull and rescuing a fireman, second class, who had been entrapped in the void 
space underneath the dynamo room. 

An interesting sidelight on Japanese intentions and advance knowledge is 
suggested by the fact that berths F-10 and F-11 in which the Utah and Raleigh 
were placed, were designated carrier berths and that a carrier was frequently 
moored in nearby F-9. 

The Detroit and Tangier escaped torpedo damage, one torpedo passing just 
astern of the Detroit and burying itself in the mud. Another torpedo passed 
between the Tangier and the Utah. 

It is estimated that the total number of torpedo planes engaged in these 4 
attacks was 21. 

In the eight dive-bomber attacks occurring during phase I, three types of bombs 
were employed — light, medium, and incendiary. 

During the second of these attacks, a bomb hit exploded the forward 14-inch 
powder magazme on the battleship Arizona and caused a ravaging oil fire, which 
sent up a great cloud of smoke, thereby interfering with antiaircraft fire. The 
battleship Tennessee in the adjacent berth was endangered seriously by the oil 
fire. 

The West Virginia was hit during the third of these attacks by two heav}' 
bombs as well as by torpedoes. Like the California, she had to be abandoned 
after a large fire broke out amidships. Her executive officer, the senior survivor, 
dove overboard and swam to the Tennessee, where he organized a party of West 
Virginia survivors to help extinguish the fire in the rubbish, trash, and oil which 
covered the water between the Tennessee and Ford Island. 

The total number of dive bombers engaged in this phase is estimated at 30. 
While a few fighters were reported among the attackers in the various phases, 
they were no doubt confused with light bombers and accordingly are not treated 
as a distinct type. 

Although the major attack by high-altitude horizontal bombers did not occur 
until phase III, 15 planes of this type operating in 4 groups were active during 
phase I. 

Most of the torpedo damage to the fleet had occurred by 8:25 a. m. All out- 
board battleships had been hit by one or more tdrpedoes; all the battleships had 
been hit by one or more bombs with the exception of the Oklahoma, which took 
four torpedoes before it capsized, and the Pennsylvania, which received a bomb 
hit later. By the end of the first phase, the West Virginia was in a sinking condi- 
tion; the California was down by the stern; the Arizona was a flaming ruin; the 
other battleships were all damaged to a greater or lesser degree. 

Although the initial attack of the Japanese came as a surprise, defensive action 
on the part of the fleet was prompt. All ships immediately went to general quarters. 
Battleship ready machine guns likewise opened fil-e at once, and within an esti- 
mated average time of less than 5 minutes, practically all battleship and anti- 
aircraft batteries were firing. The cruisers were firing all antiaircraft batteries 
within an average time of about 4 minutes. The destroyers, although opening 
up with machine guns almost immediately, averaged 7 minutes in bringing all 
antiaircraft guns into action. 

During this phase of the battle there was no movement of ships within the 
harbor proper. The destroyer Helm, which had gotten under way just prior to 
the attack, was just outside the harbor entrance when, at 8:17 a. m., a submarine 
conning tower was sighted to the right of the entrance channel and northward of 
buoy No. 1. The submarine immediately submerged. The Hehn opened fire 
at 8:19 a. m., when the submarine again surfaced temporarily. No hits were 
observed. 

Phase II: 8:25-8:40 a. m. — Lull in Attacks 

This phase is described as a lull only by way of comparison. Air activity con- 
tinued, although somewhat abated, with sporadic attacks by dive and horizontal 
bombers. During this phase an estimated total of 15 dive bombers participated 
in 5 attacks upon the ships in the navy yard, the battleships Maryland, Oklahoma, 
Nevada, and Pennsylvania, and various light cruisers and destroyers. 

Although three attacks by horizontal bombers occurred during the lull, these 
appear to have overlapped into phase III and are considered under that heading. 

At 8:32 a. m. the battleship Oklahoma took a heavy list to starboard and 
capsized. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 61 

During phase II there was still relatively little ship movement within the 
harbor. The ready-duty destrover Monaghan had received orders at 7:51 a. m. 
(Pearl Harbor time) to "proceecf immediately and contact the Ward in defensive 
sea area." At about 8:37, oVjscrving an enemy submarine just west of Ford 
Island under fire from both the Curtiss and Tangier, the Monaghan proceeded at 
high speed and at about 8:43 rammed the submarine. As the enemy vessel had 
submerged, the shock was slight. The Monaghan thereupon reversed engines and 
dropped two depth charges. 

The Curtiss had previously scored two direct hits on the conning tower. This 
submarine was later salvaged for inspection and disposal. The Monaghan then 
proceeded down the channel and continued her sortie. At the same time that 
the Monaghan got under way, the destroyer Henley slipped her chain from buoy 
X-11 and sortied, following the Monaghan down the channel. 

Phase III: 8:40-9:15 a. m. — Horizontal Bomber Attacks 

The so-called "lull" in the air raid was terminated by the appearance over the 
fleet of eight groups of high-altitude horizontal bombers which crossed and fe- 
crossed their targets from various directions, inflicting serious damage. Some 
of the bombs dropped were converted 15- or 16-inch shells of somewhat less explo- 
sive quality, marked by very little flame. According to some observers, many- 
bombs dropped by high-altitude horizontal bombers either failed to explode or 
landed outside the harbor area. 

During the second attack (at 9:06 a. m.) the Pennsylvania was hit by a heavy 
bomb which passed through the main deck amidships and detonated, causing a 
fire, which was extinguished with some difficulty. 

The third group of planes followed very closely the line of battleship moorings. 
It was probably one of these planes that hit the California with what is believed 
to have been a 15-inch projectile equipped with tail vanes which penetrated to the 
second deck and exploded. As a result of the explosion, the armored hatch to the 
machine shop was badly sprung and could not be Closed, resulting in the spread- 
ing of a serious fire. 

Altogether, 30 horizontal bombers, including 9 planes which had participated 
in earlier attacks, are estimated to have engaged in phase III. Once more it was 
the heavy combatant ships, the battleships and cruisers, which bore the brunt Of 
these attacks. 

Although phase III was largely devoted to horizontal bombing, approximately 
18 dive bombers organized in 5 groups also participated. 

It was probably the second of these groups which did considerable damage to 
the Nevada, then proceeding down the South Channel, and also to the Shaw, 
Cassin, and Downes, all three of which were set afire. 

During the fifth attack, a Japanese dive bomber succeeded in dropping 1 
bomb on the seaplane tender Curtiss which detonated on the main deck level, 
killing 20 men, wounding 58, and leaving 1 other unaccounted for. 

During this same phase, the Curtiss took under fire one of these bombers, which 
was pulling out of a dive over the naval air station. Hit squarely by the Curtiss' 
gunfire, the plane crashed on the ship, spattering burning gasoline and starting 
fires so menacing that one of the guns had to be temporarily abandoned. 

Considerable ship movement took place during phase III. At 8:40 a. m. the 
Nevada cleared berth F-8 without assistance and proceeded down the South 
Channel. As soon as the Japanese became aware that a battleship was trying to 
reach open water, they sent dive bomber after dive bomber down after her and 
registered several hits. In spite of the damage she had sustained in the vicinity of 
floating drydock No. 2. and although her bridge and forestructure were ablaze, 
the ship continued to fight effectively. At 9:10, however, while she was attempt- 
ing to make a turn in the channel, the Nevada ran aground in the vicinity of buoy 
No. 19. 

Meanwhile the repair ship Vestal, also without assistance, had gotten under way 
at about 8:40, had cleared the burning Arizona, and at about 9:40 anchored well 
clear northeast of Ford Island. 

Soon after the Nevada and Vestal had cleared their berths, tugs began to move 
the Oglala to a position astern of the Helena at 10-10 dock. The Oglala was finally 
secured in her berth at about 9, but shortly thereafter she capsized. 

At 8:42, the oiler Neosho cleared berth F-4 unaided and stood toward Merty 
Point in order to reduce fire hazard to her cargo and to clear the way for a possible 
sortie by the battleship Maryland. 



62 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Phase IV: 9:15-9:45 — Dive Bomber Attacks 

During phase IV an estimated 27 dive bombers conducted 9 strafing attacks 
directed against ships throughout the entire harbor area. In all probability the 
planes were the same ones that had conducted previous attacks. These attacks 
overlapped by about 10 minutes the horizontal bomber attacks described in phase 
III. 

Phase V: 9:45 — Waning of Attacks and Completion of Raid 

By 9:45 all enemj'^ planes had retired. Evading Navy aerial searches, both 
shore-based and from carriers at sea, the Japanese striking force retired to its 
home waters without being contacted by any American units. 

An outline review of the Japanese attack on Army planes and in- 
stallations is as follows :^^ 

Hicham Field 

(Army planes at the time of the attack w^ere lined up on the warming-up aprons 
three or four abreast with approximately 10 feet between wing tips, and approxi- 
mately 135 feet from the tail of one plane to the nose of another.) 

First attack (lasting about 10 minutes): At about 7:55 a. m. nine dive bombers 
attacked the Hawaiian Air Depot buildings and three additional planes attacked 
the same objectives from the northwest. Several minutes later nine additional 
bombers bombed Hickam Field hangar line from the southeast. Immediately 
thereafter, seven more dive bombers attacked the hangar line from the east. 

Second attack (lasting between 10 and 15 minutes) : At about 8:25 a. m. between 
six and nine planes attacked the No. 1 Aqua System,*'* the technical buildings, 
and the consolidated barracks. During and immediately after this bombing 
attack. Army planes on the parking apron were attacked with gunfire. About 
8:26 a. m. a formation of five or six planes bombed the baseball diamond from a 
high altitude, possibly believing the gasoline storage system to be in that area. 

Third attack (lasting about 8 minutes) : At 9 a. m. from six to nine planes 
attacked with machine gun fire tlie technical buildings behind the hangar lines 
and certain planes which by then were dispersed. At about the same time from 
seven to nine planes bombed the consolidated barracks, the parade ground and 
the post exchange. 

Wheeler Field 

(Army planes were parked in the space between the aprons in front of the 
hangars, generally in a series of parallel lines approximately wing tip to wing tip, 
the lines varying from 15 to 20 feet apart.) 

First attack (lasting approximately 15 minutes): At 8:02 a. m. 25 planes dive- 
bombed the hangar lines; machine-gun fire was also employed during the attack. 

Second attack (lasting less than 5 minutes) : At 9 a. m. seven planes machine- 
gunned Army planes being taxied to the airdrome. 

Bellows Field 

(The P-40's were parked in line at 10 to 15 feet intervals; the reconnaissance 
planes were also parked in a line at slightly greater intervals.) 

First attack: At 8:30 a single Japanese fighter machine-gunned the tent area. 

Second attack (lasting about 15 minutes) : At about 9 a. m. nine fighters 
machine-gunned the Army planes. 

Haleiwa Field was not attacked and after 9:45 a. m. there were no 
further attacks on Army installations. The evidence indicates that a 
maximum of 1 05 planes participated in the attacks on the airfields, it 
being noted that some of the planes included in this number may have 
taken part in more than one attack. 

SUBMARINE PHASE 

Prior to completion of the surprise attack the advance Japanese 
expeditionary force of submarines was under the command of the 
striking force commander, Admiral Nagumo. The precise move- 

»• See testimony of Col. Bernard Thielen, Committee Record, pages 104-111. 

"» A hydrostatic pass for the fuel-pumping system. See committee record, p. lOS. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 63 

ments of the participating submarines are not known, but it is believed 
that most of these units departed from Japanese home waters in late 
November and proceeded to the Hawaiian area by way of Kwajalcin. 
A few of the submarines, delayed in leaving Japan, proceeded dii'ectly 
to Hawaii. The functions assigned to the submarines in operations 
order No. 1 were:^^ 

(a) Until X-day minus 3 some of the submarines were to 
rccomioiter important points in the Aleutians, Fiji, and Samoa, 
and were to observe and report on any strong Ajnerican forces 
discovered. 

(6) One element was assigned to patrol the route of the striking 
force in advance of the movement of that force to insure an un- 
detected approach. 

(c) UntU X-day minus 5, the remainuig submarines were to 
surround Hawaii at extreme range while one element approached 
and reconnoitered without being observed. 

{d) On X-day the submarines in the area were to "observe 
and attack the American Fleet in the Hawaii area; make a surprise 
attack on the channel leading into Pearl Harbor and attempt to 
close it; if the enemy moves out to fight, he will be pursued and 
attacked." 
With orders not to attack until the task force strike was verified, 
the force of I-class submarines took up scouting positions on the 
evening of December 6 in allotted patrol sectors covering the waters 
in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor. Between 50 and 100 miles off Pearl 
Harbor, five midget submarines were launched from specially fitted 
fleet submarines as a special attacking force to conduct an offensive 
against American ships within the harbor and to prevent the escape 
of the Pacific Fleet through the harbor entrance during the scheduled 
air raid. Available data indicates that only one of the five midget 
submarines penetrated into the harbor, discharging its torpedoes 
harmlessly. None of the five midget submarines rejoined the Japa- 
nese force.^^ 

The I-class submarines maintained their patrols in the Hawaiian 
area after the attack and at least one of the group (the 1-7) launched 
its aircraft to conduct a reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor to ascertain 
the status of the American Fleet and installations. In the event of 
virtual destruction of the American Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the opera- 
tion plan provided that one submarine division or less would be placed 
between Hawaii and North America to destroy sea traffic. At least 
one submarine (the 1-7) was dispatched to the Oregon coast on or 
about December 13. 

Withdrawal of the Striking Force 

Upon completion of the launchings of aircraft at 7:15 a. m., De- 
cember 7, the fleet units of the Japanese striking force withdrew at 
high speed to the northwest. Plane recovery was efl'ected between 
10:30 a. m. and 1:30 p.m., whereupon the force proceeded by a 
circuitous route to Kure, arriving on December 23. En route two 
carriers, two cruisers, and two destroyers were detached on December 
15 to serve as reinforcements for the Wake Island operation. The 

" See committee exhibit No. 8. 

" All midget submarine personnel were prepared for death and none expected to return alive. Tommittee 
exhibit No. 8. 

i)ni79 -4<i G 



64 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 



original plans called for the retiring force to strike at Midway if 
possible but this strike was not made, probably because of the 
presence of a United States task force south of Midway.^* 

Damage to United States Naval Forces and Installations as a 
Result of the Attack 

Of the vessels in Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7,^^ 
the following were either sunlv or damaged: ^^ 



Type 



Battleships. 



Light cruisers 

Destroyers 

Repair ship 

Minelayer 

Seaplane tender 

Miscellaneous auxiliaries 



Name 



Arizona 

California 

West Virginia 

Oklahoma 

Nevada 

Maryland 

Pennsylvania 

Tennessee 

Helena 

Honolulu 

Raleigh 

Shaw. 

Cassin 

Downes 

Vestal. 

Oglala 

Curtiss 

Utah 



Extent of damage 



Simk. 

Do. 

Do. 
Capsized. 
Heavily damaged. 
Damaged. 

Do. 

Do. 
Heavily damaged. 
Damaged. 
Heavily damaged. 

Do. 
Heavily damaged (burned). 

Do. 
Badly damaged. 
Sunk. 
Damaged. 
Capsized. 



The Navy and Marine Corps suffered a total of 2,835 casualties, of 
which 2,086 officers and men w^ere killed or fatally wounded. Seven 
hundred and forty-nine w^ounded survived. None were missing.^^* 

A total of 92 naval planes (including 5 scout planes from the carrier 
Enterprise) were lost and an additional 31 planes damaged. ^^ At the 
Ford Island Naval Air Station one hangar was badly damaged by fire 
and another suffered minor damage. A complete hangar, in which 
planes were stored, was destroyed at Kaneohe Naval Aii* Station along 
with the planes therein and the seaplane parking area was damaged. 
x4.t the marine base at Ewa a considerable amount of damage was 
suffered by material, installations, machinery, tentage, and buildings. 
Damage at the base to au"craft was extremely heavy inasmuch as the 
primaiy objective was aircraft on the ground, the attacks being made 
on individual aircraft by enemy planes using explosive and incendiary 
bullets from extremely low altitudes.^ 

24 The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor cannot be separated from the wide-scale operations of which it 
was a part. On the evening of December 7, Japanese forces struck Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippine 
Islands, Wake and, on the morning of December 8, Midway. . „ ^ , 

25 The vessels in Pearl Harbor included 8 battleships; 2 heavy cruisers; 6 light cruisers; 29 destroyers; 
5 submarines; 1 gunboat; 8 destroyer minelayers; 1 minelayer; 4 destroyer minesweepers; 6 minesweepers, 
and 24 auxiliaries. Committee exhibit No. 6. , • , j j /,^ rr. , -n- o j 

Units of the Pacific Fleet not in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack included: (1) Task Force 8 under 
Admiral Halsey, consisting of one aircraft carrier, the Enterprise, three heavy cruisers, and Bine destroyers, 
was about 200 miles west of Oahu en route to Pearl Harbor after having ferried Marine Corps fighter planes 
to Wake Island. (2) Task Force 12 under Admiral Newton, consisting of one aircraft carrier, the Lexington, 
three heavy cruisers, and five destroyers, was about 4C0 miles southeast of Midway en route to Midway 
from Pearl Harbor with a squadron of Marine Corps scout bombers. (3) Task Force 3 under Admiral 
Wilson Brown, consisting of one heavy cruiser and five destroyer minesweepers, had just arrived on Johnston 
Island to conduct tests of a new type landing craft. (4) Other units of the fleet were on isolated missions 
of one type or another. See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, pp. 52-55. 

26 See committee exhibit No. 6. 

2ea See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, p. 131. 

2' See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, pp. 128, 135, 136. 

" See committee exhibit No. 6. 



pearl harbor attack 65 

Damage to United States Army Forces and Installations as a 
Result of the Attack 

The Army suffered a total of 600 casualties, including 194 killed in 
action and 360 wounded.** 

A total of 96 Army planes were lost as a result of enemy action, 
this figure including aircraft destroyed in depots and those damaged 
planes which were subsequently stripped for parts.^° 

In addition, extensive damage was inflicted on Army installations as 
reflected by photographic evidence submitted to the committee.^^ 

Japanese Losses 

It has been estimated by our own sources, that the Japanese lost a 
total of 28 planes, most of them being dive-bombers and torpedo planes, 
as a result of Navy action. Three Japanese submarines of 45 tons 
each, carrying two torpedoes, were accounted for; two were destroyed 
by Navy action and one was grounded off Bellows Field and recovered. 
From reports available it is estimated that the) Japanese lost, due 
solely to Navy action, a minimum of 68 killed. One officer, an 
ensign, was taken prisoner when he abandoned the submarine which 
grounded oft" Bellows Field. ^^ 

General Short reported that 11 enemy aircraft were shot down by 
Army pursuit planes and antiaircraft fire.^^ 

Information developed through Japanese sources indicates, however, 
that a total of only 29 aircraft were lost and all of the 5 midget sub- 
marines.^* 

Summary Comparison of Losses 

As a result of the December 7 attack on Hawaii, military and naval 
forces of the United States suffered 3,435 casualties; Japan, less than 
100. We lost outright 188 planes; Japan, 29. We suffered severe 
damage to or loss of 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, 3 destroyers, and 
4 miscellaneous vessels; Japan lost 5 midget submarines. The as- 
toundingly disproportionate extent of losses marks the greatest 
military and naval disaster in our Nation's history .^^ The only com- 
pensating feature was the many acts of personal valor during the 
attack.^^ 

» In addition 22 were missing in action, 2 died (nonbattle), 1 was declared dead (Public Law 490), and 21 
died of wounds. Committee exhibit No. 5. 

^ See testimony of Colonel Thlelen, committee record, p. 130. In a statement by General Short concern- 
ing events and conditions leading up to the Japanese attack, a total of 128 Army planes are indicated as 
having been damaged in the raid. See Roberts (Army) exhibit No. 7. 

3' See committee record, p. 130; exhibits Nos. 5 and 6. 

52 See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, p. 128. 

53 See testimony of Colonel Thielen, committee record, p. 130. 
'» Committee exhibit No. 8B. 

" The Japanese estimate of losses inflicted was: 4 battleships, 1 cruiser, and 2 tankers sunk; 4 battle- 
ships heavily damaged; 1 battleship lightly damaged; and 260 planes destroyed. Committee exhibit No. 8. 

36 In the accounts of some 90 ships tmder attack, commanding officers have recorded hundreds of acts of 
heroism in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service. No instance is recorded in which the 
behavior of crews or individuals left anything to be desired. 

References to individual valor are replete with such acts as: 

(1) Medical officers and hospital corpsmen rendering aid and treatment while they themselves 
needed help. 

(2) Officers and men recovering dead and wounded through flame and from flooded compartments' 

(3) Fighting tires while in actual physical contact with the flames. 

(4) Handling and passing ammunition under heavy fire and strafing. 

(5) Repairing ordnance and other equipment under fire. 

(G) Remaining at guns and battle stations though wounded or while ships were sinking. 

(7) Reporting for further duty to other ships after being blown off their own sinking vessels. 

For deeds of extreme heroism on December 7, 15 Medals of Honor have been awarded and 60 Navy 
crosses. (Testimony of .\dmiral Inglis, committee record, pp. 131, 132.) 

On the Army side, too, acts of heroism were numerous. Five Distinguished Service Crosses and 65 
Silver Stars were awarded to Army persoimel for heroism displayed during the December 7 attack. 
(Testimony of Colonel Thielen, committee record, p. 133.) 



66 pearl harbor attack 

State op Readiness to Meet the Attack 

ATTACK A surprise 

The Japanese attack came as an utter surprise to the Army and 
Navy commanders in Hawaii. The Army was on an alert against 
sabotage only with the planes, which were on 4 hours' notice, lined 
up side by side as perfect targets for an attack. The state of readi- 
ness aboard naval vessels was the usual state of readiness for vessels in 
port. Fifty percent of the Navy planes were on 4 hours' notice. 
Although the Hawaiian forces were completely surprised, two sig- 
nificant events occurred on the morning of December 7 which indicated 
a possible attack. 

The first indication came at 3:50 a. m. when the United States 
coastal minesweeper Condor reported sighting the periscope of a 
submerged submarine while approximately 1% miles southwest of 
the Pearl Harbor entrance buoys, an area in which American sub- 
marines were prohibited from operating submerged.^^ The Navy 
destroyer Ward was informed and, after instituting a search, sighted 
the periscope of an unidentified submarine apparently trailing a 
target repair ship en route to Honolulu harbor. This submarine was 
sunk shortly after 6:45 a. m. No action was taken apart from dis- 
patching the ready-duty destroyer U. S. S. Monaghan to proceed to 
sea, to close the net gate to Pearl Harbor, and to attempt to verify 
the submarine contact report. The presence of the submarine was 
not interpreted as indicating the possibility of an attack on Pearl 
Harbor.^^ 

The second indication of an attack came at approximately 7:02 a. m., 
December 7, when an Army mobile radar unit detected a large number 
of planes approaching Oahu at a distance of 132 miles from 3° east 
of north. ^^ These planes were the Japanese attacking force. The 
aircraft warning information center, which closed do\vn at 7 a. m. 
on the morning of December 7, was advised of the approaching planes 
at 7:20 a. m. An Army lieutenant, whose tour of duty at the informa- 
tion center was for training and observation and continued until 
8 a. m., took the call and instructed the radar operators in effect to 
"forget it." His estimate of the situation appears to have been 
occasioned by reason of a feeling that the detected flight was either 
a naval patrol, a flight of Hickam Field bombers, or possibly some 
B-17's from the mainland that were scheduled to arrive at Hawaii on 
December 7. 

PERSONNEL 

A summarized statement of Navy personnel actually on board ship 
at the beginning of the attack is as foflows:*" 

On board 

Commanding officers of battleships 5 out of 8. 

Commanding officers of cruisers 6 out of 7. 

Commanding officers of destroyers 63 percent. 

;e control officers of battlesliips 6 out of 8. 



3' See committee exhibit No. 112, p. 96. 

38 See discussion, infra, of the submarine contact'on the morning of December 7. 

" See committee exhibit No. 155. 

*" See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, p. 103. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 



67 



Average percentage of officers: On board 

Battleships (approximate) 60 to 70 percent. 

Cruisers, battle force (approximate) 65 percent. 

Destroyers, battle force (approximate) 50 percent. 

Average percentage of men: 

Battleships 95 percent. 

Cruisers, battle force 98 percent. 

Destroyers, battle force 85 percent. 

There were ample personnel present and ready to man all naval 
shore installations. 

In the case of the Army, a summary report compiled by the Adju- 
tant General of the Hawaiian Department indicates that at least 
85 percent of the officers and men were present with their units at 
•8 a. m., December 7.*^ 

ANTIAIRCRAFT 

All naval antiaircraft batteries, consisting of 780 guns, were 
ship-based; that is, located on the ships in Pearl Harbor. At the time 
of the attack, roughly one-fourth of all antiaircraft guns were manned, 
and within 7 to 10 minutes, all antiaircraft batteries were manned and 
firing. It appears that all naval batteries were in operating condi- 
tion; the number of temporary gun stoppages during action was so 
low as to be negligible. All ships had the full service allowance of 
ammunition on board, except in a few instances where removal was 
necessary because of repairs in progress, and ammunition was ready 
at the guns in accordance with existing directives. Keady antiair- 
craft machine guns opened fii-e immediately and within an average esti- 
mated time of under 5 minutes practically all battleship anti- 
aircraft batteries were firing; cruisers were firing all antiaircraft 
batteries within an average time of 4 minutes; and destroyers, though 
opening up with machine guns almost immediately, averaged 7 
minutes in bringing all antiaircraft guns into action. Minor com- 
batant types had all joined in the fire within 10 minutes after the 
beginning of the attack.*^ 

In the case of the Army, the following table reflects the places and 
times at which antiaircraft units were in position:*^ 



Regiment 



Sixty-fourth (alerted at 8:15 a. m.)- 



Ninety-seventh (alerted between 
7:55 and 8:10 a. m.). 



Ninety-eighth. 



Battery 



A (searchlight) at Honolulu 

B (3-inch) at Aiea 

C (3-inch) at Aliamanu 

D (3-inch) south of Aliamanu ... 

E (searchlight) at Ewa-Pearl Harbor 

F (3-inch) at Pearl City 

G (3-uich) at Ahua Point.. ___ 

H (3-inch) at Fort Weaver 

I (37-mm.) at .\!iamanu.. 

K (37-mm.) at Hickam Field 

L (37-mm.) at Hickam Field 

M (37-mm.) at Wheeler Field 

A (searchlight) at Fort Kamehameha 

F (3-inch) at Fort Kamehameha 

G (3-mch) at Fort Weaver 

H (3-inch) at Fort Barrett 

A (searchlight) at Schofleld Barracks. 

B (3-inch) at Schoficld Barracks 

C (3-inch) at Scholield Barracks 

D (3-inch) at Puuloa dump, south of Ewa... 

F (3-inch) at Kaneohe Naval Air Station 

O (3-inch) at Kaneohe Naval Air Station 

H (3-inch) at Waipahu High School 



In position and ready 
to fire 



10:00 a. m. 

10:00 a. m. 

10:30 a. m. 

11:00 a. m. 

(Time not known.) 

11:05 a. m. 

10:30 a. m. 

11:45 a. m. 

[(Known only that bat- 
•j teries were in pusi- 
l tion before 11 :45a.m.) 

11:55 a. m. 

8:34 a. m. 

8:55 a. m. 

8:30 a.m. 

10:20 a. m. 

(Time not known.) 

9:55 a. m. 

10:30 a. m. 

11:45 a. m. 

1:15 p. m. 

1:15 p. m. 

1:30 p. m. 



" See testimony of Colonel Thielen, committee record, p. 114. 
** See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, pp. 123, 124 
" See committee exhibit No. 5. 



68 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 



Regiment 


Battery 


In position and ready 
to fire 


Two Hundred and Fiftv-first.. 


A (searchlifrht) at Ewa 


(Time not known.) 




B (3-inch) at West Loch- 


11:45 a. m. 




C (3-inch) at Ewa Beach. 


11:45 a. m. 




D (3-inch) at South of Ewa.. . 


11:45 a. m. 




E (50-caliber) at Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor.. 

F (37-mm.) at Navy recreation area 

Q (37-mm.) at tank farm, Schofleld Barracks. 
H (37-mm.) at Navy Yard 


12:41 p.m. 
12:30 p. m. 
11:00 a. m. 
12:05 p. m. 



One antiaircraft detachment was located at Sand Island when the 
attack started and engaged the enemy with 3-inch guns at 8:15 a. m., 
shooting do^\m two enemy planes at that time. 

The foregoing table reflects that of 31 army antiaircraft batteries, 
27 were not in position and ready to fire untU after the attack and in 
several instances not for a considerable period of time after the attack. 

The extraordinary lack of readiness of Army antiaircraft units 
appears to have been occasioned largely by the time required for 
moving into position and the fact that ammunition was not readily 
accessible to the mobile batteries.'** 



AIRCRAFT 

Seven Navy patrol flying boats were in the air at the time of the 
attack. Three of these planes were engaged in a routine search of 
the fleet operating area approximately 120 miles south of Oahu and 
the remaining four were engaged in intertype tactical exercises with 
United States submarines near Lahaina Roads. Eight scout bombers 
that had been launched from the carrier Enterprise, which was 200 
miles west of Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack, for the purpose 
of searching ahead of the ship and then landing at Ewa, arrived during 
the attack and engaged Japanese aircraft. Three of these planes 
landed after the attack while the remaining five were lost.*^ The 
majority of the Navy planes were on 4 hours' notice.'*^ 

In the case of the Army, planes were generally on 4 hours' notice. 
Between 25 and 35 planes, these being fighters, took off after the 
attack began and before it was concluded." 

Action Taken Following the Attack 

An effort was made in the course of and after the attack, through 
planes already in the air and those that could get into the air during 

" Colonel Thielen stated: "* • * only a limited amount of ammunition was in the hands of troops of 
the Hawaiian Department. The Coast Artillery Command had'previously been authorizedito draw, and 
had drawn, ammunition for its fixed positions only, including antiaircraft. However, at these installations, 
the shells were kept in boxes in order to keep the ammunition from damage and deterioration. The ammu- 
nition for the mobile guns and batteries was in storage chiefly at Aliamanu Crater and Schofleld Barracks. 
The Infantry and Artillery units of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Divisions had only a small amount 
of machine gun and rifle ammunition. All divisional artillery ammunition, grenades, and mortar shells 
were in the ordnance storage depots, principally at Schofleld Barracks." Committee record, pp. 119, 120. 
► The situation with respect to artillery ammunition was testified to by General Burgin as follows: "They 
were all ready to go into action immediately, with the exception that the mobile batteries did not have the 
ammunition. The fixed batteries along the seacoast, those batteries bolted down to concrete, had the 
ammunition nearby. I had insisted on that with General Short in person and had gotten his permission 
to take this antiaircraft ammunition, move it into the seacoast gun battery positions, and have it nearby 
the antiaircraft guns. It was, however, boxed up in wooden boxes and had to be taken out. The ammu- 
nition for the mobile guns and batteries was in Aliamanu Crater, which, you may know'or may not, is about 
a mile from Fort Shafter, up in the old volcano. The mobile batteries had to send there to get ammunition. 
In addition to that, the mobile batteries had to move out from the various posts to their field positions. 
They were not in field positions." Roberts Commission Record, pp. 2604-2605. 

" See committee record, pp. 71, 72. 

« Admiral Bellinger stated that of 62 patrol planes at Oahu, 2 were on 15-minute notice, 8 on 30-minute 
notice, 9 were imdergoLng repairs, and 42 were on 4 hours' notice. Committee record, p. 9303. 

*' See committee exhibit No. 5. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 



69 



and following the attack, to locate the Japanese carrier force but to 
no avail. The attacking planes withdrew and were recovered by the 
fleet units without the latter being detected. 

While it appears some planes under Navy direction were assigned 
to search the sector to the north of Oahu, generally regarded as the 
dangerous sector from the standpoint of an air attack, they were 
diverted to the southwest by reason of a false report that the Japa- 
nese carriers were in that direction.*^ 

The deplorable feature of the action following the attack was the 
failure of the Navy and Army to coordinate their efforts through 
intelligence at hand. The same Army radar unit that had tracked 
the Japanese force in, plotted it back out to the north.^^ Yet this 
vital information, which would have made possible an effective search, 
was employed by neither service.^" 

Defensive Forces and Facilities of the Navy at Hawaii 

The principal vessels in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack were 
8 battleships, 8 cruisers, and 29 destroyers. Inasmuch as there were 
no naval antiaircraft shore batteries in or around Pearl Harbor at the 
time of the Japanese attack, these warships provided the chief anti- 
aircraft defense. The ship-based antiaircraft batteries totaled 780 
guns, 427 of which had an effective range of from 500 to 2,500 yards 
and the remainder from 5,000 to 12,000 yards.^' 

The Navy is indicated to have had a total of 169 planes at Hawaii 
prior to the attack, 71 of which were patrol bombers and 15 fighter 
planes,^^ It is to be noted, however, that Admiral Bellinger in a 
report to Admiral Kimmel on December 19, 1941, concerning the 
availability and disposition of patrol planes on the morning of Decem- 
ber 7 indicated 69 patrol planes as being at Hawaii. His tabulation 
was as follows: ^^ 





In commis- 
sion 


Top available 
for flight 


Under repair 


Ready at 
base 


In air 


At Kaneohe 


36 
33 
12 


33 
28 
11 


3 

5 

1 


30 

24 
4 




3 


At Pearl 


4 


At Midway . 


7 






Total 


81 


72 


9 


58 




14 







It thus appears that a total of 61 patrol planes were available for flight 
as of December 7. Fifty-four of the patrol planes were new PBY-5's 
that had been recently ferried to Hawaii between October 28 and 
November 23, 1941. Admiral Bellinger indicated that the new 



<8 Admiral Smith, Chief of Staff to Admiral Kimmel, said he did not get the information as to the prob- 
able location from which the Japanese carriers launched the attack for some 2 days. There was a great 
deal of confusion including false civilian reports of troop parachute landings and a false report from one of 
our own planes concerning an enemy carrier to the south. A chart showing the position of the Japanese 
carriers was taken from a Japanese plane by the Army on December 7 but was not shown the Navy until 
the afternoon. See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 564. 

With further respect to the confusion that prevailed, Captain Rochefort stated that when the attack 
began his communications unit at Pearl Harbor lost all contact with the "direction finder" stations, 
located at Lualualei and Alea, and that in consequence no bearings on the attacking Japanese force were 
received by his unit. He commented that the failure of communications was the result of an accident, 
caused by Army personnel setting up new circuits. See Hewitt inquiry record, pp. 63, 64. 

" See committee exhibit No. 155 for original radar plot of Opana station, December 7, 1941. 

w Admiral Kitts said that on December 8 while in conference with General Davidson he was shown a 
plot showing planes coming in to Oahu and going out again. This plot was not reported to the Navy 
until Kitts saw it on December 8; See Hewitt inquiry record, p. 520. 

" See testimony of Admiral IngUs, committee record, p. 122. 

w See committee exhibit No. 6. 

« See committee exhibit No. 120 



70 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

PBY-5's were experiencing the usual shake-down difficulties and were 
hampered in maintenance by an absence of spare parts. He pointed 
out that 12 of the patrol planes indicated as available for flight had 
returned from Midway on December 5 after an arduous tour of duty 
at Midway and "Wake since October 17, and were in relatively poor 
material condition because of the extended operations.^^ 

"WhUe radar equipment was available on three of the battleships and 
on one seaplane tender, it was not being manned inasmuch as the height 
of the land surrounding Pearl Harbor rendered ships' radar ineffective.^^ 

Defensive Forces and Facilities of the Army in Hawaii 

As of December 6, 1941, General Short had a total of 42,959 officers 
and men under his command. The principal elements of the Hawaiian 
Department were 2 infantry divisions and supporting ground troops 
composing the beach and land defense forces; the Coast Artillery 
Command, consisting of the seacoast and antiaircraft defense forces; 
and the Hawaiian Air Force."''^ 

The Hawaiian Coast Artillery Command had a total of 213 anti- 
aircraft guns." Eighty-six were 3-inch antiaircraft guns (70 percent 
mobile); 20, 37-millimeter; and 107 caliber .50. 

The Army on December 7, prior to the attack, had a total of 227 
planes ^' located principally at Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows Fields. 
They consisted of 12 heavy bombers; 36 medium bombers (obsoles- 
cent); 14 light bombers (2 obsolescent); 152 pursuit planes (53 obsoles- 
cent); and 13 observation planes.^^ Eighty-seven of these planes for 
one reason or another were not available for flight, including 6 of the 
heavy bombers and 58 of the pursuit planes. Ninety-four pursuit 
planes (including 30 of the obsolescent craft) were available for flight. 

In addition, the Army had six mobile radar units which were avail- 
able and in operating condition.^" 

Comparison of Strength and Losses: Japanese Attacking Force 
AND Hawaiian Defensive Forces 

The Japanese attacking force brought to bear 360 planes incident 
to the attack; whereas the Army and Navy together had a total of 
402 planes of all types, not taking into account those not available for 
flight on the morning of December 7. The operating strength of the 
opposing forces by comparison follows: 

"Id. 

•• The only ships In Pearl Harbor equipped with ship search radar on December 7 were the battleships 
Pennsylvania, California, and West Virginia and the seaplane tender Curtiss. The radar equipment on 
these ships was not manned since the height of the land around Pearl Harbor would have made it ineffec- 
tive. The equipment of the Curtiss was put into operation at the beginning of the first attack and that 
on the Pennsylvania began to operate 15 minutes later, both with negative results. There were no naval 
radar stations on shore in Hawaii. See testimony of Admiral Inglis, committee record, p. 82. 

«' See testimony of Colonel Thielen, committee record, p. 64; also committee exhibit No. 5. 

" The principal weapons of the Hawaiian Coast Artillery Command included: 4 16-Lnch guns, 2 14-inch 
guns (obsolescent), 4 12-inch guns (2 obsolescent), 4 3-inch seacoast guns, 36 155-millimeter guns, 86 3-inch 
antiaircraft guns (70 percent mobile), 20 37-millimeter antiaircraft guns, and 107 caliber .50 antiaircraft guns. 
Committee exhibit No. 5. 

•' The statement of General Short of events and conditions leading up to the Japanese attack, Roberts 
(Army) exhibit No. 7, reflected the status of planes as follows: Pursuit planes in commission, 80; pursuit 
planes out of commission, 69; reconnaissance planes in commission, 6; reconnaissance planes out of com- 
mission, 7; bombers in commission, 39; bombers out of commission, 33. 

«' See committee exhibit No. 5. 

M Three additional radar units calling for permanent installation were not as yet in operating condition. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 71 

Japanese attacking force 

Fighters "81 

Dive bombers 135 

Horizontal bombers 104 

Torpedo planes - 40 

Defending forces Available for Not avattdblc 

•' " •' flight for flight 

Fighters (30 obsolescent) 108 59 

Army bombers (21 obsolescent) 35 27 

Navy patrol bombers 61 8 

Navy scout bombers 36 1 

Army observation planes 11 2 

Miscellaneous Navy planes 45 1 

(Planes from carrier Enterprise which joined the defense) 8 

Army-Navy antiaircraft 993 guns 

A comparison of losses or severe damage in sunmiary form is as 
follows: 

Japanese attacking force Defending force '^ 

Personnel (less than) 100 3, 435 

Planes 29 188 

Ships -18 

Submarines (midget) 5 

Facilities. (Extensive damage to Army and Navy installations on Oahu.) 
• 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, 3 destroyers, and 4 miscellaneous vessels. 

The extreme disproportion of Ai-my and Navy losses to equip- 
ment and facilities at hand is traceable to the complete surprise of 
the commanders in Hawaii when the Japanese struck on the morning of 
December 7. The Japanese employed, it is true, a powerful attack- 
ing force, much more powerful than they had been thought capable of 
utilizing in a single tactical venture. They executed the attack with a 
skill, daring, and military know-how of which we thought them incapa- 
ble. However, as reflected by the comparison of relative strength, the 
Hawaiian commanders had formidable defensive forces which if 
properly coordinated and brought into play should have been capable 
of inflicting severe damage on the Japanese raiders and repelling the 
attack to a degree. How great the losses that might have been 
inflicted on the attacking force and the extent to which the attack 
might have been repulsed will forever remain a matter of conjecture — 
the real power of the defenses of Hawaii was not brought into the 
fight.«2» 

There can be no question that some damage would have been in- 
flicted irrespective of the state of alertness that might have prevafled ; 
for as a military proposition it is agreed that some attacking planes 
will invariably get through the screen of defense and carry home the 
attack. This is largely true no matter how fuUy equipped and how 
alert a garrison may be.^^ But this fact does not draw forth the con- 

•' It Is reported that of the Japanese fighter planes, 39 were kept around the carriers as interceptors in case 
the American planes got in the air and made an attack. Committee Exhibit No. 8D (Enclosure 1, p. 2). 

" It is interestinsr to note that Admiral Bloch testified that had the Japanese attacked the oil supply at 
Oahu, the drydocks, repair shops, barracks and other facilities instead of the airfields and ships of the fleet, 
the United States would have been hurt more so far as the prosecution of the war was concerned even though 
we did have a terrific loss of life. He pointed out that the oil storage was in tanks above the ground or visible 
from the air. See Hart Inquiry Record, p. 94. 

•'• It is interesting to note that the Japanese had estimated the air strength in Hawaii at roughly twice 
the actual strength and had expected to lose one-third of the striking force, including two of the aircraft 
carriers. See discussion "The Role of Espionage in the Attack", Part III, infra. 

•» It appears agreed as a military proposition that carrit-r-borne planes must be caught before they are 
launched in order to repel successfully a carrier attack. See, for example, testimony of Admiral Bellinger, 
Navy Court of Inquiry Record, p. 680; also Admu-al Stark, Id., pp. 1023, 1024. 

As stated by the Navy Court of Inquiry: "An attack by carrier aircraft can be prevented only by inter- 
cepting and destroying the carrier prior to the launching of planes. Once launched, attacking planes can 
be prevented from inflicting damage only by other planes or antiaircraft gunfire or both. Even when a 
determined air attack is intercepted, engaged by aircraft, and opposed by gunfire, some of the attacking 
planes rarely fail to get through and inflict damage." See Navy Court of Inquiry Report, committee 
eihibits^Nos. 157 and 181. 



72 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

elusion that the attackers cannot and must not be made'to pay and 
pay heavily. 

The disaster of Pearl Harbor lies in the failure of the Army and' 
Navy in Hawaii to make their fight with the equipment at band- 
it was not that they had no equipment, for they did, but that they did 
not utUize what they had. This failure is attributable to the complete 
surprise with which the attack came. It is proper, therefore, to 
inquire at this point to determine whether the Hawaiian commanders 
should thus have been surprised and, more particularly, whether 
they were justified in employing their defensive facilities in a manner 
least calculated to meet the Japanese on the morning of December 7. 

{The responsibilities relating to the disaster affecting both Hawaii and 
Washington vnll be found treated in Parta III and IV, respectively, 
infra.) 



Part III 
RESPONSIBILITIES IN HAWAII 



73 



PART III. EESPONSIBILITIES IN HAWAII 
Consciousness of Danger From Air Attack 

ADMIRAL KIMMEl's AWARENESS OF DANGER FROM AIR ATTACK 

The Japanese raiding force approached the island of Oahu with 
virtually no danger of detection and executed its treacherous attack 
at a time when only a minimum state of readiness prevailed to meet 
it.^ One of the causes of the disaster in consequence must He in the 
failure to employ facilities available to detect the attacking force in 
suflBcient time to effect a state of readiness best designed to repel or 
minimize the attack. That the attack on Pearl Harbor surprised 
the defending Army and Navy establishments is indisputable. The 
question therefore becomes, as previously indicated: Under all of the 
circumstances should the responsible commanders at Hawaii have 
been surprised or, more particularly, were they justified in failing to 
employ adequately the defensive facihties available to them on the 
morning of December 7, 1941? ^ 

The estimate of both Admirals Richardson ^ and Kimmel * in a letter 
which they jointly prepared and dispatched to the Chief of Naval 
Operations on January 25, 1941, pointed out that if Japan entered the 
war or committed an overt act against the United States our position 
would be primarily defensive in the Pacific.^ There were outlined in 
the letter certain assumptions upon which the action of the Pacific 
Fleet would be predicated, including: 

(a) United States is at war with Germany and Italy; (b) war with Japan immi- 
nent; (c) Japan may attack without warning, and these attacks may take any 
form — even to attacks by Japanese ships flying German or Italian flags or by sub- 
marines, under a doubtful presumption that they may be considered German or 
Italian; and (d) Japanese attacks may be expected against shipping, outlying 
positions, or naval units. Surprise raids on Pearl Harbor, or attempts to block 
the channel are possible. 

It was pointed out that the tasks to be undertaken by the fleet with 
respect to these assumptions included the taking of full security 

' See section "State of Readiness," Part II. supra. 

' The Army Pearl Harbor Board said: "Therefore, the situation on December 7 can be summed up as 
follows: No distant reconnaissance was being conducted by the Navy; the usual four or five PBY's were 
not out: the antiaircraft artillery was not out on its usual Sunday maneuvers with the Fleet air arm; the 
naval carriers with their planes were at a distance from Oahu on that Sunday; the aircraft were on the 
ground, were parked, both Army and Navy, closely adjacent to one another; the Fleet was in the harbor 
with the exception of Task Forces 9 and 12, which included some cruisers, destroyers, and the two carriers 
Lexington and FJiiterprise. Ammunition for the Army was, with the exception of that near the fixed anti- 
aircraft guns, in ordnance storehouses, and the two combat divisions as well as the antiaircraft artillery 
were in their permanent quarters and not in battle positions. Everything was concentrated in close con- 
fines by reason of antisabotage Alert No. 1. This n;ade of them easy targets for an air attack. In short, 
everything thai iras done made the situation perfect for an air attack and the Japanese look full advantage of it." 
See Report of Army Pearl Ilarbor Board, Committee Exhibit No. 157. 

' Admiral James O. Richardson, who preceded Admiral Kimmel as commander in chief of the Pacific 
Fleet. 

* Admiral Uusband E. Kimmel assumed command of the United States Pacific Fleet on February 1, 1941, 
and served in that capacity until December 17, 1941. The evidence clearly indicates that while Admiral 
Kimmel was promoted over several other ofllcers with more seniority, his selection was made because he was 
regarded as preeminently qualified for the position of commander in chief. 

» See Navy Court of Inquiry exhibit No. 70. 

75 



76 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

measures for the protection of the fleet in port and at sea. There- 
after there were set forth observations concerning the existing de- 
ficiencies in the defenses of Oahu. 

Under date of January 24, 1941, the Secretary of Navy addressed a 
communication to the Secretary of War, with copies designated for the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and the commandant of the 
Fourteenth Naval District, observing among other things: ® 

The security of the U. S. Pacific Fleet while in Pearl Harbor, and of the Pearl 
Harbor Naval Base itself, has been under renewed study by the Navy Depart- 
ment and forces afloat for the past several weeks. This reexamination has been, 
in pait, prompted by the increased gravity of the situation with respect to Japan, 
and by reports from abroad of successful bombing and torpedo plane attacks on 
ships while in bases. // 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. 

In my opinion, the inherent possibilities of a major disaster to the Fleet or 
naval base warrant taking every step, as rapidly as can be done, that will increase 
the joint readiness of the Army and Navy to withstand a raid of the character 
mentioned above. 

The dangers envisaged in their order of importance and probability are con- 
sidered to be: 

(1) Air bombing attack. 

(2) Air torpedo plane attack. 

(3) Sabotage. 

(4) Submarine attack. 

(5) Mining. 

(6) Bombardment by gun fire. 

Defense against all but the first two of these dangers appears to have been pro- 
vided for satisfactorily. The following paragraphs are devoted principally to a 
discussion of the problems encompassed in (1) and (2) above, the solution of 
which I consider to be of primary importance. 

Both types of air attack are possible. They may be carried out successively, 
simultaneously, or in combination with any of the other operations enumerated. 
The maximum probable enemy effort may be put at twelve aircraft squadrons, 
and the minimum at two. Attacks would be launched from a striking force of 
carriers and their supporting vessels. 

The counter measures to be considered are: 

(a) Location and engagement of enemy carriers and supporting vessels 
before air attack can be launched; 

(b) Location and engagement of enemy aircraft before they reach their 
objectives; 

(c) Repulse of enemy aircraft by antiaircraft fire; 

(d) Concealment of vital installations by artificial smoke; 

(e) Protection of vital installations by balloon barrages. 

The operations set forth in (a) are largely functions of the Fleet but, quite 
possibly, might not be carried out in case of an air attack initiated without warning 
prior to a declaration of war. Pursuit aircraft in large numbers and an effective 
warning net are required for the operations in (b). It is understood that only 
thirty-six Army pursuit aircraft are at present in Oahu, and that, while the organ- 
ization and equipping of an Anti-Air Information Service supported by modern 
fire control equipment is in progress, the present system relies wholly on visual 
observation and sound locators which are only effective up to four miles. * * * 

The foregoing communication was seen by Admiral Kimmel shortly 
after he assumed command.'' 

The Secretary of War on February 7, 1941, replied to the letter of 
the Secretary of Navy in the following terms: ' 

1. In replying to your letter of January 24, regarding the possibility of surprise 
attacks upon the Fleet or the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, I wish to express com- 
plete concurrence as to the importance of this matter and the urgency of our mak- 
ing every possible preparation to meet such a hostile effort. The Hawaiian 

« Committee Exhibit No. 10. 

' Admiral Kimmel testified: "* • * I saw the letter of the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of War 
dated January 24, 1941, early in February 1941." Navy Court of Inquiry Record, p. 286. 
• Navy Court of Inquiry exhibit No. 24. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 77 

Department is the best equipped of all our overseas departments, and continues to 
hold a high priority for the completion of its projected defenses because of the 
importance of giving full protection to the Fleet. 

2. The Hawaiian Project provides for one hundred and forty-eight pursuit 
planes. There are now in Hawaii thirty-six pursuit planes; nineteen of these are 
P-36's and seventeen are of somewhat less efficiency. I am arranging to have 
thirty-one P-36 pursuit planes assembled at San Diego for shipment to Hawaii 
within the next ten days, as agreed to with the Navy Department. This will 
bring the Army pursuit group in Hawaii up to fifty of the P-36 type and seventeen 
of a somewhat less efficient type. In addition, fifty of the new P-40-B pursuit 
planes, with their guns, leakproof tanks and modern armor will be assembled at 
San Diego about March 15 for shipment by carrier to Hawaii. 

3. There are at present in the Hawaiian Islands eighty-two 3-inch AA guns, 
twenty 37 mm AA guns (en route), and one hundred and nine caliber .50 AA 
machine guns. The total project calls for ninety-eight 3-inch guns, one hundred 
and twenty 37 mm AA guns, and three hundred and eight caliber .50 AA machine 
guns. 

4. With reference to the Aircraft Warning Service, the equipment therefor 
has been ordered and will be delivered in Hawaii in June. All arrangements for 
installation will have been made by the time the equipment is delivered. Inquiry 
develops the information that delivery of the necessary equipment cannot be 
made at an earlier date. 

5. The Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, is being directed to give 
immediate consideration to the question of the employment of balloon barrages 
and the use of smoke in protecting the Fleet and base facilities. Barrage balloons 
are not available at the present time for installation, and cannot be made available 
prior to the summer of 1941. At present there are three on hand and eighty-four 
being manufactured — forty for delivery by June 30, 1941, and the remainder by 
September. The Budget now has under consideration funds for two thousand 
nine hundred and fifty balloons. The value of smoke for screening vital areas 
on Oahu is a controversial subject. Qualified opinion is that atmospheric and 
geographic conditions in Oahu render the employment of smoke impracticable 
for large-scale screening operations. However, the Commanding General will 
look into this matter again. 

6. With reference to your other proposals for joint defense, I am forwarding 
a copy of your letter and this reply to the Commanding General, Hawaiian 
Department, and am directing him to cooperate with the local naval authorities 
in making those measures effective." 

In a letter to the Chief of Naval Operations dated January 27, 
1941,^ Admiral Kimmel stated he thought the supply of an adequate 
number of Army planes and guns for the defense of Pearl Harbor 
should be given the highest priority. 

It should be noted at this point m considering the letter of the 
Secretary of Navy dated January 24, 1941, that the following dis- 
patch dated February 1, 1941, was sent the commander in chief of 
the Pacific Fleet from the Chief of Naval Operations'ooncerning the 
subject "Rumored Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor": ^° 

1. The following is forwarded for your information. Under date of 27 January 
the American Ambassador at Tokyo telegraphed the State Department to the 
following effect: 

"The Peruvian Minister has informed a member of my staff that he has heard 
from many sources, including a Japanese source, that in the event of trouble break- 
ing out between the United States and Japan, the Japanese intend to make a 
surprise attack against Pearl Harbor with all of their strength and employing all 
of their equipment. The Peruvian Minister considered the rumors fantastic. 
Nevertheless he considered them of sufficient importance to convey this informa- 
tion to a member of my staflF." 

2. The Division of Naval Intelligence places no credence in these rumors. 
Furthermore, based on known data regarding the present disposition and employ- 
ment of Japanese Naval and Army forces, no move against Pearl Harbor appears 
imminent or planned for in the foreseeable future. 

• Committee exhibit No. 106. 

" This dispatch is indicated to have been dictated by Lt. Comdr. (now Captain) A. H. MqCoUum on 
January 31, 1941. See committee exhibit No. 15. 



78 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The estimate made concerning the information supplied by the 
Peruvian Minister with respect to a rumored Japanese surprise attack 
on Pearl Harbor and a copy of the Secretary of the Navy's letter of 
January 24 were received by Admiral Kimmel at approximately the 
same time and are in apparent conflict. However, the dispatch of 
February 1 was an estimate of the rumor concerning the Japanese 
plan to make a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor based on the then pres- 
ent disposition and employment of Japanese forces, whereas the Sec- 
retary's letter relates to the dangers of the Pearl Harbor situation in 
contemplation of future conflict with Japan. The communications 
apparently were so interpreted by Admiral Kimmel for in a letter 
dated February 18, 1941, to the Chief of Naval Operations he said: " 

I feel that a surprise attack (submarine, air, or combined) on Pearl Harbor is 
a possibility. We are taking immediate practical steps to minimize tbe damage 
inflicted and to ensure that the attacking force will pay. 

In a letter of February 15, 1941 ^^ the Chief of Naval Operations 
wrote Admiral Kimmel concerning antitorpedo baffles for protection 
against air-torpedo attack on Pearl Harbor. He stated that the con- 
gestion in the harbor and the necessity for maneuverability limited 
the practicability of the then present type of baffles. Further, the 
letter indicated that the shallow depth of water in Pearl Harbor limited 
the need tor torpedo nets; that a minimum depth of water of 75 feet 
might be assumed necessary to drop torpedoes successfully from 
planes and that the desirable height for dropping is 60 feet or less. A 
similar communication was sent Admiral Bloch, the commandant of 
the Fourteenth Naval District, among others, requesting his recom- 
mendations and comments concerning the matter.^^ 

In a letter of March 20,^* Admiral Bloch replied, stating that the 
depth of water at Pearl Harbor was 45 feet and for this reason among 
others he did not recommend antitorpedo baffles. Admiral Kimmel 
was in agreement with this recommendation untfl such time as a hght 
efl&cient net was developed.^* 

However, in June of 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations directed a 
communication to the commandants of naval districts as foUows: ^° 

J * * * Commandants were requested to consider the employment of, and 
to make recommendations concerning, antitorpedo baffles especially for the pro- 
tection of large and valuable units of the fleet in their respective harbors and 
especially at the major fleet bases. In paragraph 3 were itemized certain limita- 
tions to consider in the use of A/T baffles among which the following was stated: 

"A minimum depth of water of 75 feet may be assumed necessary to success- 
fully drop torpedoes from planes. About two hundred yards of torpedo run is 
necessary before the exploding device is armed, but this may be altered." 

2. Recent developments have shown that United States and British torpedoes 
may be dropped from planes at heights of as much as three hundred feet, and in 
some cases make initial dives of considerably less than 75 feet, and make excellent 
runs. Hence, it may be stated,that it cannot be assumed that any capital ship or 
other valuable vessel is safe when at anchor from this type of attack if surrounded 
by water at a sufficient run to arm the torpedo. 

3. While no minimum depth of water in which naval vessels may be anchored 
can arbitrarily be assumed as providing safety from torpedo-plane attack, it may 

«» Committee exhibit No. 106. 

" Id., No. 116. 

" Letter from Chief of Naval Operations dated February 17, 1941. Committee exhibit No. 116. 

i« Committee exhibit No. 116. 

>• Letter to the Chief of Naval Operations dated March 12, 1941. Committee exhibit No. 116. 

i« Letter dated June 13, 1941, from Chief of Naval Operations to commandants of all naval districts. Com- 
mittee exhibit No. 116. This communication made reference to the observations set forth in the letter of 
February 17, 1941 (committee exhibit No. 116), pointing out certain limitations with respect to air torpedo 
attack. Note 13, supra. 



PEAKL HARBOR ATTACK 79 

be assumed that depth of water will be one of the factors considered by any attack- 
ing force, and an attack launched in relativelj' deep water (10 fathoms "" or more) 
is much more likely. 

4. As a matter of information the torpedoes launched by the British at Taranto 
were, in general, in thirteen to fifteen fathoms of water, although several torpedoes 
may have been launched in eleven or twelve fathoms.'^ 

The foregoing communication clearly indicated that preconceived 
views concerning the invuhierability of Pearl Harbor to air- torpedo 
attack were in error. 

Admiral Kunmel himseK stated that during his visit to Washington 
in June of 1941 he told the President and Admiral Stark of certain 
dangers to the fleet at Pearl Harbor including air attack, blocking of 
the harbor, and similar matters. ^^ 

GENERAL SHORT's AWARENESS OF DANGER FROM AIR ATTACK 

On February 7, 1941, General Short ^^ assumed command of the 
Hawaiian Department of the Army. Upon his arrival he had the 
benefit of conversations with General Herron,-° his predecessor, with 
respect to problems prevaihng in the Department. Significantly, 
Genera] Herron had been directed by the War Department on June 
17, 1940, to institute an alert against a possible trans-Pacific raid.^^ 
This alert was an all-out endeavor with full equipment and ammu- 
nition and lasted 6 weeks. It was suspended after the 6-week period 
and thereafter resumed for some time. Planes had been dispersed 
and gun crews alerted with the ammunition available. The Com- 
manding General had the benefit of all the plans and operations inci- 
cent to the so-called "Herron alert" as a guide in estimating the steps 
to be taken on the occasion of a threat of enemy attack. 

General Short saw both the letter from the Secretary of Navy dated 
January 24 and the reply of the Secretary of War dated February 7, 
set forth in the preceding section, concerning the danger of attack 
from the air.^^ 

Under date of February 7, 1941, General Marshall directed a letter 
to General Short relating in utmost clarity the problems and responsi- 
bility of General Short in his new command."^ This letter, which 
referred to a conversation with Admiral Stark, pointed out that there 
was need for additional planes and antiaircraft guns; that the fullest 
protection for the Pacific Fleet was the rather than a major consider- 
ation of the Army; that the risk of sabotage and the risk involved in 
a surprise raid by air and by submarine constituted the real perils of 
the situation; and, again, that they were keeping clearly in mind that 
the first concern is to protect the fleet. 

On February 19, 1941, General Short wrote General Marshall-^ 
pointing out, among other things, the great importance of (1) coopera- 
tion with the Navy; (2) dispersion and protection of aircraft and of the 
repair, maintenance, and servicing of aircraft; (3) improvement of the 

'•» A fathom is 6 feet. 

" The evidence reflects repeated efforts by the Chief of Kaval Operations to secure from the Bureau of 
Ordnance more efficient light-weight baflSes. See committee exhibit Xo. 116. 

'8 Xavy Court of Inquiry record, p. 367. 

" Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short served eis commanding general of the Hawaiian Department from February 
7, 1941, to December 17, 1941. 

M Maj. Gen. Charles D. Herron. 

" See Army Pearl Harbor Board record, pp. 213-215. 

M Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 237. 

" Committee exhibit No. 53, pp. 1-3. 

»* Id., at pp. 4-9. 

90179 — 16 7 



80 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

antiaircraft defense; (4) improvement of the situation with reference to 
searchlights; and (5) bombproofing of vital installations such as com- 
mand posts and communication centers. General Short advised the 
Chief of Staff that he was taking the necessary steps in line with the 
important needs of the Department. 

On March 5, 1941, the Chief of Staff wrote General short: ^^ 

I would appreciate your early review of the situation in the Hawaiian Depart- 
ment with regard to defense from air attack. The establishment of a satisfactory 
system of coordinating all means available to this end is a matter of first priority. 

In a letter to the Chief of Staff dated March 6, 1941,^6 General Short 
observed that the Au'craft Warning Service was vital to the defense of 
the Hawaiian Islands and referred to delays in construction and 
establishment of sites. In a subsequent letter ^^ General Short again 
referred to the necessity for the dispersion and protection of aircraft as 
well as to the matter of coordinating antiaircraft defense. A letter 
dated March 28, 1941,^^ from General Marshall made reference to 
General Short's proposal for relieving congestion by the construction 
of an additional airfield and by the dispersion of grounded aircraft in 
protected bunkers at existing airfields with the observation that the 
proposal was undoubtedly sound. He also indicated his hopefulness of 
arranging for the early augmentation of the antiaircraft garrison. 

On April 14, 1941, General Short wrote the Chief of Staff, as fol- 
lows: ^ 

Knowing that you are very much interested in the progress that we are making 
in cooperating with the Navy, I am enclosing the following agreements made with 
them: s" 

1. Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan, Hawaiian Department, and Four- 
teenth Naval District, Annex No. VII, Section VI, Joint Security Measure. 

2. Agreement signed by the Commander of the Hawaiian Air Force and 
Commander, Naval Base Defense Air Force, to implement the above agree- 
ment. 

3. Field Orders No. 1 NS (Naval Security) putting into effect for the Army 
the provisions of the joint agreement. 

I have found both, Admiral Kimmel and Admiral Bloch very cooperative and 
we all feel steps have been taken which make it possible for the Army and Navy 
air forces to act together and with the unity of command as the situation requires. 

We still have some detail work to do with reference to coordinating the air force 
and the antiaircraft defense. I hope we shall arrive at something on that in the 
near future. The more I go into the details the more I am becoming convinced 
that it will be necessary for us to set up an air defense command. Some months 
before my arrival this matter was considered and at that time the conclusion was 
reached that it was not necessary. On this account I ara anxious that both General 
Martin and General Gardner attend the West Coast Air Defense Exercise in the 
Fall. 

Everything is going along extremely well although there is a great deal to be 
done as rapidly as possible. The Navy has felt very much encouraged by the 
increase in our Air and Antiaircraft defense. I shall write you from time to time 
as matters come up which I think will interest you. 

In a letter to the Chiei of Staff dated May 29, 1941, Genei'al Short 
made the following comments concerning the first phase of their 
recent maneuvers: ^^ 

The maneuver was divided into three phases. The first phase consisted of the 
air action and the actual issue of one day's fire and of Engineer Supplies for Field 

25 Id., at p. 10. 

26 Id., at pp. 11, 12. 

27 Letter dated March 15, 1941. Committee exhibit No. 53, pp. 15-17. 
»8 Committee exhibit No. S3, p. 18. 

" Id., at pp. 19. 20. 

'» See section "Plans for Defense of Hawaiian Coastal Frontier", infra. 

8> Committee exhibit No.. 53, pp. 35, 36. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 81 

Fortifications and of Engineer tools. During the air phase our bombers acted 
under navy command in cooperation with the Naval Patrol Squadrons and 
actually located and bombed airplane carriers 250 miles out at sea. The move- 
ment of the carrier was entirely free so that the navy patrol planes had the mission 
of locating the ship and notifying our bombers and they then made the attack. 
Pursuit attacked enemy bombers represented by naval planes and our own 
bombers when they came in to attack ground defenses. Upon receipt of the 
warning for this phase our bombers were sent to fields on outlying islands and 
pursuit planes were dispersed. The Navy cooperated very fully during this 
phase and I believe we learned more about the coordination of Army Air Force, 
Navy Air Force, and Antiaircraft than we had during any previous exercise. 

On August 19, 1941, General Marshall addressed a letter to General 
Short setting forth his reasons for deciding to establish an airfield 
base for the Fifteenth Pursuit Group at Kahuku Point and stated: 

I feel sure that the Naval authorities comprehend fully the importance of 
adequate air defense of the Oahu Naval installation and accordingly, will enter- 
tain favorably any proposal which will implement the efficiency of such defense.'* 

The Chief of Staff on October 10, 1941, sent the following letter to 
General Short: 33 

The mimeographed standard operating procedure for the Hawaiian Depart- 
ment, dated July 14, has just come to my attention and I am particularly con- 
cerned with missions assigned to air units. For instance, the Hawaiian Air 
Force, among other things, is assigned the mission of defending Schofield Barracks 
and all air fields on Oahu against sabotage and ground attacks; and with providing 
a provisional battalion of 500 men for military police duty. 

This seems inconsistent with the emphasis we are placing on air strength in Hawaii, 
particularly in view of the fact that only minimum operating and maintenance 
personnel have been provided. As a matter of fact, we are now in process of 
testing the organization of air-base defense battalions, consisting tentatively of 
a rifle company and two antiaircraft batteries, designed for the specific purpose 
of reheving the air maintenance people from ground missions of this kind at 
locations where there are no large garrisons for ground defense, as there are in 
Hawaii. 

On October 28, 1941, General Marshall wrote General Short 
stating that he appreciated the reasons General Short had assigned 
for giving ground defense training to Air Corps personnel ^^ but that 
it appeared the best policy would be to allow them to concentrate on 
technical Air Corps training until they have completed their expansion 
program and have their feet on the ground as far as their primaj-y 
mission is concerned. ^^ 

From the foregoing correspondence there can be no doubt that 
General Short was adequately apprised of his responsibility to defend 
the fleet from attack and that he was conscious of the necessity of 
building up the defense against air attack. 

PLANS FOR THE DEFENSE OF HAWAIIAN COASTAL FRONTIER 

There is nowhere, however, a better expression of the keen under- 
standmg of the danger of a surprise air attack upon Oahu than is 
manifested in the plans which the Army and Navy jointly effected 
for the defense of the Hawaiian coastal frontier. 



"Id., at pp. 40, 41. 

'3Id.,at p. 42. 

" In this connection General Short had written General Marshall on October 14, 1941, in part: "At the 
time our tentative Standing Operating Procedure was put out the Air Corps had 7,229 men. Full Com- 
bat details and all overhead required only 3,885 men for the planes and organizations actually on hand. 
This left a surplus of 3,344 men with no assigned duties during Maneuvers. One of the main reasons for 
the assignment was to give these men something to do during the Maneuvers. Another reason was the 
belief that any serious threat of afi enemy ground attack of oiiu could come only after destruction of our 
Air Forces." See committee exhibit No. 53. 

w Committee exhibit No. 63, pp. 44, 45. 



82 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The Hawaiian coastal frontier was listed in defense category D. 
This category covered coastal frontiers that may be subject to major 
attack. The war plans "Joint Action of the Army and Navy, 1935," 
the basic document controlling the relationship of the Army and Navy 
in the formulation of defense plans for the Hawaiian Islands, contains 
the following with respect to category D: ^ 

Coastal frontiers that may be subject to major attack. Under this category, 
the coastal defense areas should, in general, be provided with the means of defense, 
both Army and Navy, required to meet enemy naval operations preliminary to 
joint operations. All available means of defense will generally find application, 
and a stronger outpost and a more extensive patrol, inshore and offshore, than 
for Category C (coastal frontiers that in all probability will be subject to minor 
attack) wiU'be required. Under this category certain defensive sea areas will be 
established. In addition, an antiaircraft gun and machine-gun defense of impor- 
tant areas outside of harbor defenses should be organized; general reserves should 
be strategically located so as to facilitate prompt reinforcement of the frontiers; 
and plans should be developed for the defense of specific areas likely to become 
theaters of operations. Long-range air reconnaissance will be provided and 
plans made for use of the GHQ air force. 

As a basic responsibility ("Joint Action Army and Navy 1935") 
under contemplation of normal circumstances responsibility for the 
defense of Pearl flarbor was that of the Armv.^^ It was recognized 
that— 38 

* * * The strategic freedom of action of the Fleet must be assured. This 
requires that coastal frontier defense be so effectively conducted as to remove 
any anxiety of the Fleet in regard to the security of its bases * * *_ 

The basic allocation of Army and Navy responsi})ility for coastal 
defense was not possible under conditions prevailing in Hawaii during 
1941. Fundamental deficiencies in equipment, particularly shortage 
of sufficient Army patrol planes, confronted the responsible com- 
manders. As Admiral Kimmel stated shortly after assuming com- 
mand at Pearl Harbor — ^^ 

There is a definite line of demarcation between this objective and longer range 
planning. The IJitter has its proper sphere and must be continued as an essential 
basis for determining and stressing improved readiness requirements. This 
planning will naturally include the more effective schemes of employment that 
improved readiness, when attained, will permit. 

Current readiness plans, however, cannot be based on any recomnaendation for, 
or expectation of, improved conditions or facilities. Such plans must be based only 
on hard fad. They must be so developed as to provide for immediate action, based 
on facilities and materials that are now available. 

A subject emphatically calling for attention in line with the foregoing is maxi- 
mum readiness in the Hawaiian area, particularly for Pearl Harbor defense, of all 
available aviation components. As is well kno-wn, much remains to be done for 
adequate future effectiveness in this respect. Much, however, can now be done 
with means now available, to make arrangements for local employment of aviation 
more effective than they now are. 

In realistic recognition of this situation, plans were conceived early 
in 1941 known as "The Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan, Hawaiian 
Coastal Frontier". *° This plan was signed and placed in effect on 
April 11, 1941, by General Short and Admiral Bloch, commandant 
of the Fourteenth Naval District. The plan was based on the joint 

3« "Joint Action of the Army and Navy, 1935", Navy Court of Inquiry exhibit No. 6. 
^Id. 

38 Id., at p. 42. 

" Letter of February 4, 1941, from Admiral Kimmel to Pacific Fleet personnel. See committee record, 
pp. 14511,14512. 

♦• See committee exhibit No. 44; also Navy Court of Inquiry exhibit No. 7. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 83 

Army and Navy basic war plans *' and was to constitute the basis 
on which all subsidiary peace and war projects, joint operating plans, 
and mobilization plans would be based. The method of coordination 
under the plan was by mutual cooperation which was to apply to all 
activities wherein the Army and the Navy would cooperate in coor- 
dination until and if the method of unity of command were invoked. 
Under the Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan the following tasks 
of the Army and Navy were recognized: 

a. JOINT TASK. To hold OAHU as a main outlying naval base, and to 
control and protect shipping in the Coastal Zone. 

b. ARMY TASK. To hold OAHU against attacks by sea, land, and air 
forces, and against hostile sympathizers; to support the naval forces. 

c. NAVY TASK. To patrol the Coastal Zone and to contol and protect 
shipping therein; to support the Army forces. 

One of the most significant features of the plan was the assumption 
of responsibility by the Navy for distant reconnaissance, a normal 
task of the Army. In this regard, the plan provided: "The Com- 
mandant, Fourteenth Naval District, shall provide for: * * * 
i. Distant Reconnaissance.'' 

On March 28, 1941, an agreement, incorporated as an annex to the 
Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan,^- was prepared and approved by 
General Short and Admiral Bloch on April 2 dealing with joint security 
measures and protection of the fleet and the Pearl Harbor base. This 
agreement was entered into — 

in order to coordinate joint defensive measures for the security of the Fleet and for 
the Pearl Harbor Naval Base for defense against hostile raids or air attacks 
delivered prior to a declaration of war and before a general mobilization for war. 

It was recognized that — 

when the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department and the Naval Base 
Defense Officer (the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District) agree that 
the threat of a hostile raid or attack is sufficiently imminent to warrant such action, 
each commander will take such preliminary steps as are necessary to make avail- 
able without delay to the other commander such proportion of the air forces at 
his disposal as the circumstances warrant in order that joint operations may be 
conducted * * *_ 

Joint air attacks upon hostile surface vessels were to be executed under 
the tactical command of the Navy. When naval forces were insuffi- 
cient for long-distance patrol and search operations and Army aircraft 
were made available, these aircraft were to be under the tactical 
control of the Navy. It was contemplated that the Army would 
expedite the installation and operation of an Aircraft Warning 
Service through use of radar. 

On March 31, 1941, Admiral Bellinger, as commander. Naval Base 
Defense Air Force, and General Martin, commanding Hawaiian Air 
Force, prepared a joint estimate covering joint Army and Navy air 
action in the event of sudden hostile action against Oahu or fleet units 
in the Hawaiian area. The situation was sumimarized in the following 
terms: " 

(1) Relations between the United States and Japan are strained, 
uncertain, and varying. 

(2) In the past Japan has never preceded hostile actions by a 
declaration of war. 

♦' See Navy Court of Inquiry exhibits Nos. 4 and 5. 
« Annex VII, sec. VI. See committee exhibit No. 44. 
« See committee exhibit No. 44. 



84 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

(3) A successful, sudden raid against our ships and naval in- 
stallations on Oahu might prevent effective offensive action by 
our forces in the Western Pacific for a long period. 

(4) A strong part of our fleet is now constantly at sea in the 
operating areas organized to take prompt offensive action against 
any surface or submarine force which initiates hostile action. 

(5) It appears possible that Japanese submarines and/or a 
Japanese fast raiding force might arrive in Hawaiian waters with 
no prior warning from our intelligence service. 

The estimate embracing a "Survey of Opposing Strength" indicated, 
among other things, that Japan might send into the Hawaiian area 
one or more submarines and one or more fast raiding forces composed 
of caiTiers supported by fast cruisers; that the most difficult situation 
to meet would be when several of the above elements were present 
and closely coordinating their actions; and that the aircraft available 
in Hawaii were inadequate to maintain for any extended period from 
bases on Oahu a patrol extensive enough to insure that an air attack 
from a Japanese carrier could not arrive over Oahu as a complete 
surprise. It was elsewhere observed in the estimate that it would 
be desirable to run daily patrols as far as possible to Seaward through 
360° but that this could only be effectively maintained with "present 
personnel and material" for a very short period, and as a practical 
measure could not therefore be undertaken unless other intelligence 
indicated that a surface raid was probable within narrow limits of 
time.** 

The outline of possible enemy action as set forth in the Martin- 
Bellinger estimate is a startling harbinger of what actually occurred:*^ 

(a) A declaration of war might be preceded by: 

1. A surprise submarine attack on ships in the operating area. 

2. A surprise attack on OAHU including ships and installations in 

Pearl Harbor. 

3. A combination of these two, 

(b) It appears that the most likely and dangerous form of attack on OAHU would 

be an air attack. It is believed that at present such an attack would 
most likely be launched from one or more carriers which would probably 
approach inside of 300 miles. 

(c) A single attack might or might not indicate the presence of more submarines 

Or more planes awaiting to attack after defending aircraft have been 
drawn away by the original thrust. 

(d) Any single submarine attack might indicate the presence of a considerable 

undiscovered surface force probably composed of fast ships accompanied 
by a carrier. 

(e) In a dawn air attack there is a high probability that it could be delivered as a 

complete surprise in spite of any patrols we might be using and that it 
might find us in a condition of readiness under which pursuit would be 
slow to start, also it might be successful as a diversion to draw attention 
away from a second attacking force. The major disadvantage would be 
that we could have all day to find and attack the carrier. A dusk attack 
would have the advantage that the carrier could use the night for escape 



** In a statement submitted to the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel referred to this portion 
of the estimate and stated: "This plan was on file with the Departments in Washington. They knew of 
this decision. They had done nothing to change or alter the basic deficiencies in personnel and material which 
required thai decision." 

This statement, it should be noted, is not strictly accurate. The number of Navy patrol bombers adapt- 
able for distant reconnaissance was increased appreciably after the Martin-Bellinger estimate was prepared. 
As will subsequently appear, there were suiScient patrol planes at Oahu to conduct a distant reconnaissance 
for a considerable period of time after receipt of the November 27 "war warning" (detailed reference will 
be made to this warning, infra). The estimate made by Admiral Bellinger and General Martin was pre- 
pared in March of 1941 and was necessarily in contemplation of patrol planes then available. As indicated, 
the number of Navy planes available for this purpose was substantially increased before December 7. See 
committee exhibit No. 120. 

" Committee exhibit No. 44. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 85 

and might not be located the next day near enough for us to make a 
successful air attack. The disadvantage would be that it would spend 
the day of the attack approaching the islands and might be observed. 
Under the existing conditions this might not be a serious disadvantage 
for until an overt act has been committed we probably will take no 
offensive action and the only thing that would be lost would be complete 
surprise. Midday attacks have all the disadvantages and none of the 
advantages of the above. After hostilities have commenced, a night 
attack would offer certain advantages but as an initial crippling blow 
a dawn or dusk attack would probably be no more hazardous and 
would have a better chance for accomplishing a large success. Sub- 
marine attacks could be coordinated with any air attack. 

Pacific Fleet Confidential Letter No. 2CL-41 from Admiral Kimmel 
to the Pacific Fleet, concerning the security of the fleet at base and in 
operating areas, was issued in February 1941 and reissued in revised 
form on October 14, 1941.^^ This fleet order was predicated on two 
assumptions, one being — -^^ 

That a declaration of war may be preceded by — 

(1) A surpri" attack on ships at Pearl Harbor. 

(2) A surprise submarine attack on ships in operating area, 

(3) A combination of these two. 

Among the provisions of this letter concerning action to be taken if 
a submarine attacked in the operating area it was pointed out — 

It must be remembered that a single attack may or may not Indicate the 
presence of more submarines waiting to attack — 

that — 

it must be remembered too, that a single submarine attack may indicate the 
presence of a considerable surface force probably composed of fast ships accom- 
panied by a carrier. The Task Force Commander must, therefore, assemble 
his task groups as quickly as the situation and daylight conditions warrant in 
order to be prepared to pursue or meet enemy ships that may be located by air 
search or other means. 

A letter dated August 20, 1941, to the commanding general, Army 
Air Forces, Washington, prepared by General Martin, and transmitted 
through General Short, submitted as an enclosure a plan for the em- 
ployment of long-range bombardment aviation in the defense of Oahu. 
Several observations set forth in this plan are of particular perti- 
nence: ** 

The Hawaiian Air Force is primarily concerned with the destruction of hostile 
carriers in this vicinity before the approach within range of Oahu where they can 
launch their bombardment aircraft for a raid or an attack on Oahu. 

Our most likely enemy, Orange (Japan), can probably employ a maximum of 
six carriers against Oahu. 

:^ :{: :{c :je :f: :^ :,£ 

* * * The early morning attack is, therefore, the best plan of action open to 
the enemy. 

******* 



"Id. 

«' Referring to Admiral Kimmel's letter of October 14, 1941, to the fleet 2CL-41 (revised) wherein it was 
stated that a declaration of war may be preceded by a surprise attack on ships in Pearl Harbor (see com- 
mittee exhibit No. 44) , he was asked what form of surprise attack on ships in Pearl Harbor he contemplated 
by this statement. Admiral Kimmel replied: 

'An airplane attack. This was an assumption upon which to base our training. The probability of an air attack 
on Pearl Harbor was sufficient to justify complete training for this purpose. I felt, as the situation developed, 
the Fleet might move away from Pearl Harbor, and in such a contingency the possibility of a quick raid on 
the installations at Pearl Harbor might be attempted. I thought it was much more probable that the Japs 
would attempt a raid on Pearl Harbor if the Fleet were away than if it were there. However, at no time did 
I consider it more than a possibility, and one which ordinary prudence would make us guard against." 
See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 287. 

«• See committee exhibit No. 13. 



86 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

It is the opinion of some individuals that a late afternoon attack is highly 
probable since it permits an enemy carrier to escape under cover of darkness. 
This presupposes that search operations are impracticable. This headquarters 
cannot subscribe to this opinion for the following reasons: 

(1) A minor surprise raid such as a single carrier is not a logical method of 

attack to reduce the defenses of Oahu. 

(2) It permits us to operate against him for a long period on D-Day at close 

range. 

(3) The enemy will be more concerned with deliverying a successful attack 

than he will be with escaping after the attack. He will have carefully 
considered the cost of the enterprise, will probably make a determined 
attack with maximum force and will wilUngly accept his losses if his 
attack is successful. 

:^ % :f: % :^ % :(: 

The most favorable plan of action open to the enemy, and the action upon 
which we should base our plans of operation is the early morning attack in which 
the enemy must make good the following time schedule: 

(1) Cross circle 881 nautical miles from Oahu at dawn of the day before the 

attack. || 

(2) Cross circle 530 nautical miles from Oahu at dusk of the day before the 

attack. 

(3) Launch his planes 233 nautical miles from Oahu at dawn the day of the 

attack. 

(4) Recover his planes 167 nautical miles from Oahu 2:30 after dawn the' day 

of the attack. 

He (Japan) will not have unlimited avenues of approach for his attack. 

a. He must avoid the shipping lanes to negate detection. 

h. Any approach to Oahu which is made from east of the 158th meridian 
materially increases his cruising distance and the probability of detection by 
friendly surface vessels. It seems that his most probable avenue of approach is the 
hemisphere from 0° {due north) counterclockwise to 180° around Oahu; the next 
probable, the quadrant 180° counterclockwise to 90°; the least probable, 90° to 0° 

Admiral Kimmcl and General Short were both fully familiar with 
all the provisions of the Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan. The 
plans effected for the defense of the Hawaiian coastal frontier viewed 
in their entirety were fully adequate under the circumstances and 
represent a commendable recognition by the Hawaiian commanders 
of the realities of their situation.^^ The unfortunate fact is that features 
of the plan designed to meet an air attack were not invoked prior to 
the actual attack in view of the imminence of hostile Japanese action. 
It is clear that the plans with respect to joint air operations was to be 
operative when the commanding general of the Hawaiian Department 
and the naval base defense officer "agree that the threat of a hostile 
raid or attack is sufficiently imminent to warrant such action." *° It 
is equally clear that the joint security measures for the protection of 
the fleet and the Pearl Harbor base were designed in order to coordi- 
nate joint defensive measures for defense against hostile raids or air 
attacks delivered frior to a declaration oj war and before a general 
mohilization for war. The plan agamst air attack was prepared in 
Hawaii; it was designed to meet the peculiar problems existing in 

<» Before the Army Pearl Harbor Board, Admiral Kimmel stated that "he (Admiral Bloch) accepted 
responsibility for distant reconnaissance, because he couldn't do anything else and be sensible." See 
Army Pearl Harbor Board Record, p. 1753. 

He commented: "There weren't any general headquarters Army aircraft available in Hawaii, and we 
knew that there weren't going to be any." Id. 

so Committee exhibit No. 44. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 87 

Hawaii; its invocation, implementation, nnd execution was essentiallj'^ 
a responsibility resting; in Hawaii/^ 

From a review of the defense plans prepared in Hawaii the con- 
clusion is inescapable that the Army and Navy commanders there 
not only appreciated the dangers of an air attack on Pearl Harbor 
but had also prepared detailed arrangements to meet this threat. 

CONCEPT OF THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC 

It is to be recalled that from January 29 to March 27, 1941, staff 
conversations were held in Washington between Army and Navy 
officials of Great Britain and the United States to determine the best 
methods by which the armed forces of the United States and the 
British Commonwealth, with its allies, could defeat Germany and the 
powers allied with her should the United States be compelled to resort 
to war}" The report of these conversations, dated March 27, 1941, 
and referred to by the short title "ABC-1," reflected certain prm- 
ciples governing contemplated action, including: ^^ 

Since Germany is the predominant member of the Axis Powers, the Atlantic 
and European area is considered to be the decisive theater. The principal United 
States military effort will be exerted in that theater, and operations of United 
States forces in other theaters will be conducted in such a manner as to facilitate 
that effort. 

In recognition of the foregoing principle that the Atlantic and 
European area was to be considered the decisive theater, the concept 
of military operations as respecting Japan was expressed as follows :^^ 

Even if Japan were not initially to enter the war on the side of the Axis Powers, 
it would still be necessary for the Associated Powers to deploy their forces in a 
manner to guard against eventual Japanese intervention. If Japan does enter 
the war, the military strategy in the Far East will be defensive. The United States 
does not intend to add to its present military strength in the Far East but will 
employ the United States Pacific Fleet offensively in the manner best calculated 
to weaken Japanese economic power, and to support the defense of the Malay 
barrier by diverting Japanese strength away from Malaysia. The United States 
intends so to augment its forces in the Atlantic and Mediterranean areas that the 
British Commonwealth will be in a position to release the necessary forces for the 
Far East. 

Pursuant to the principles and plans visualized in ABC-1, the 
Army and Navy prepared "Joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan — • 
Rainbow No. 5," which was approved by the Secretary of the Navy 
on May 28, 1941, and by the Secretary of War on June 2, 1941. ^^ Qn 
July 21, 1941, United States Pacific Fleet Operating Plan Rainbow 
Five was distributed to the Pacific Fleet by Admiral Kimmel. This 

" The Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson, expressed this thought in the following terms: "* * * each 
theater commander is charged with the preparation of his own local defense plan, including the working 
out of any defense operations with the local naval authorities. Such plans are submitted to the appropri- 
ate division of the General Staff in Washington and are subject to any changes or modifications that might 
emanate from that source. The primaTy responsibility for such plans and their execution, however, rests on 
the commanding officer familiar with the local situation and conditions. Before December 7, 1941, detailed 
plans for the defense of the Hawaiian Department had been devised and worked out by General Short as 
well as a joint agreement with the local naval authorities for joint action in the event of an emergency, 
and he and the Navy commanding officer had the primary responsibility of putting into effect these plans or such 
portions thereof as the occasion demanded." See statement of Secretary of War with respect to the report of 
the Army Pearl Harbor Board; committee exhibit No. 157. 

" Committee exhibit No. 49. See section "ABCD Understanding?", Part IV, infra, this report. 

" Committee exhibit No. 49, p. 5. 

"Id., at pp. 5, 6. 

w See Navy Court of Inquiry exhibit No. 4. This plan is also referred to as "WPL-46." 



88 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

plan was designed to implement the Navy basic war plan (Rainbow 
Five) insofar as the tasks assigned the United States Pacific Fleet were 
concerned and was approved by the Chief of Naval Operations on 
September 9, 1941. ^"^ It assumed, consistent with "ABC-1" and the 
United States Pacific Fleet Operating Plan Rainbow Five, that the 
principal military efforts of the Associated Powers would be in the 
Atlantic and European areas, and that operations in other areas 
would be so conducted as to facilitate that effort. 

In estimating the likely enemy (Japanese) action it was observed, 
among other things, that it was believed Japan's initial action would 
be toward "possibly raids or stronger attacks on Wake, Midway, and 
other outlying United States positions" and "raiding and observation 
forces widely distributed in the Pacific, and submarines in the Ha- 
waiian Area." One of the tasks formulated to accomplish assigned 
missions contemplated by the plan under phase I (Japan not in the 
war) was to "guard against surprise attack by Japan." 

■Under phase I A (initial tasks — Japan in the war) the Pacific Fleet, 
among other things was to "make reconnaissance and raid in force on 
the Marshall Islands." Among the tasks under phase II (succeeding 
tasks) was "to capture and establish a protected fleet base anchorage 
in the Marshall Island area." 

From the Army standpoint, as stated by General Marshall, the 
fullest protection for the Pacific Fleet was the rather than a major 
consideration." The function of the Army, therefore, was primarily 
that of protecting Hawaii because it was the sea and air base of the 
fleet and to render protection to the fleet proper when it was in har- 
bor,^^ Aside from these purposes, the protection of the Hawaiian 
Islands was secondary and necessary only to the extent of making 
it possible for the Army to execute its primary mission. 

CONCLUSIONS WITH RESPECT TO CONSCIOUSNESS OF DANGER PROM 

AIR ATTACK 

Considering all of the information made available to the command- 
ing officers of the Army and Navy in Hawaii from the time of their 
assuming command until December 7, 1941, it must be concluded 
that both General Short and Admiral Kimmel knew that if Pearl 
Harbor was to be attacked the danger of a Japanese air attack upon 
that base was the greatest peril of their situation and that the neces- 
sity of taking steps to provide the best possible defense to this most 
dangerous form of attack was clearly indicated. It is further con- 
cluded that both responsible officers appreciated the fact that Japan 
might strike before a formal declaration of war. 

It is clear that the function of both the Army and the Navy in the 
Pacific was essentially a defensive one, particularly in the early stages 
of the war. "W hile diversionary and sporadic raids were envisaged for 
the fleet, naval operations were to be fundamentally defensive in 
character. Pending imminence of war against Japan both servico-b 
were engaged in preparation and training for this eventuality. 

'6 Id., exhibit No. 5. This plan is referred to as "U. S. Pacific Fleet Operating Plan, Rainbow 5, Navy 
Plan 0-1, Rainbow Five (WPPac-46)." 

« Committee exhibit No. 53, pp. 1-3. 

" As stated by the Navy Court of Inquiry: "The defense of a permanent naval base is the direct responsi- 
bility of the Army. The Navy is expected to assist with the means provided the naval district within whose 
limits the permanent naval base is located and the defense of the base is a joint operation only to that ex- 
tent." See Navy Court of Inquiry report, committee exhibit No. 157. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 89 

The next point of inquiry is to determine whether Admiral Kimmel 
and General Short, through information available to them, were 
adequately informed concerning the imminence of war in such manner 
as reasonably to contemplate they would employ every facility at their 
command in defense of the fleet and the fleet base. 

Information Supplied Admiral Kimmel by "Washington 
Indicating the Imminence of War 

In a letter to Admiral Stark dated February 18, 1941, Admiral 
Kimmel set forth the following comments in a postscript: ^^ 

I have recently been told by an officer fresh from Washington that ONI con- 
siders it the function of Operations to furnish the Commander-in-Chief with in- 
formation of a secret nature. I have heard also that Operations considers the 
responsibility for furnishing the same type of information to be that of ONI. 
I do not know that we have missed anything, but if there is any doubt as to whose 
responsibility it is to keep the Commander-in-Chief fully informed with pertinent 
reports on subjects that should be of interest to the Fleet, will you kindly fix 
that responsibility so that there will be no misunderstanding? 

In reply the Chief of Naval Operations advised that the Office of 
Naval Intelligence was fully aware of its responsibility to keep the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet adequately informed concern^ 
ing foreign nations, activities of these nations, and disloyal elements 
within the United States; that information concerning the location of 
Japanese merchant vessels was forwarded by air mail weekly and if 
desired could be issued more frequently. 

On February 25 Admiral Stark wrote Admiral Kimmel, forwarding 
a copy of a memorandum for the President, dated February 11, 1941, 
discussing the possibility of sending a detachment to the Philippines by 
way of the "southern route." ^"^ Also enclosed was a copy of another 
memorandum for the President of February 5, 1941, setting forth an 
analysis of the situation in Indochina, prepared by Admiral Stark. 
This expressed Admiral Stark's view that Japan had some fear that 
the British and the United States would intervene if Japan moved into 
southern Indochina and Thailand; and that the size of Japanese land 
forces in Formosa and Hainan was insufficient for occupying Indo- 
china and Thailand, for attacking Singapore, and for keeping an 
expeditionary force ready to use against the Philippines. It observed 
that insofar as Admiral Stark could tell, an insufficient niunber of 
transports was assembled for a major move; that, as he saw the situa- 
tion, Japan desired to move against the British, tlie Dutch, and the 
United States in succession, and not to take on more than one at a 
time; and that at present she desired not to go to war with the United 
States at all. 

The following significant dispatch was sent on April 1, 1941, from 
the Chief of Naval Operations addressed to the commandants of all 
naval districts: ^^ 

PERSONNEL OF YOUR NAVAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE SHOULD 
BE ADVISED THAT BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT FROM PAST EX- 
PERIENCE SHOWS THE AXIS POWERS OFTEN BEGIN ACTIVITIES 



" Committee exhibit No. 106. 

Mid. 

" Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 1. 



90 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

IN A PARTICULAR FIELD ON SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS OR ON 
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS OF THE COUNTRY CONCERNED, THEY 
SHOULD TAKE STEPS ON SUCH DAYS TO SEE THAT PROPER 
WATCHES AND PRECAUTIONS ARE IN EFFECT. 

In a letter of April 3, 1941/^ AdmiraJ Stark expressed his observa- 
tions on the international situation to the commanders in chief, Pacific 
Fleet, Asiatic Fleet, and Atlantic Fleet, including a discussion of the 
preparation of Navy Basic War Plan Rainbow No. 5. Admiral 
Stark stated that the basic idea of this plan contemplated that the 
United States would draw forces from the Pacific Fleet to reenforce 
the Atlantic Fleet; that the British, if necessary, would transfer naval 
forces to the Far East to attempt to hold the Japanese north of the 
Malay barrier; and that the United States Asiatic Fleet would be 
supported through offensive operations of the United States Pacific 
Fleet. He then discussed the dangers facing Britain and stated that 
the Japanese attitude would continue to have an extremely important 
bearing on the future of the war in the Atlantic. He observed that 
for some time Japan had been showing less inclination to attack the 
British, Dutch, and the United States in the Far East. Admiral 
Stark instructed the addressees to watch this situation closely. He 
expressed the feeling that beyond question the presence of the Pacific 
Fleet in Hawaii had a stabilizing efl'ect in the Far East but that the 
question was when and not v)hether we would enter the war. Admiral 
Stark's personal view was that we might be in the war against Ger- 
many and Italy within about 2 months, but there was a reasonable 
possibility that Japan might remain out altogether. However, he 
added, we could not act on that possibility. In the meaiitime, he 
suggested that as much time as available be devoted to training. 

Under date of April 18, 1941, instructions were given various naval 
observers to include the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet as an 
information addressee in all dispatch reports and to furnish one copy 
of all intelligence reports directly to him.^^ 

In a memorandum dated May 26 to the Chief of Naval Operations 
the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet suggested that he be 
guided by broad policy and objectives rather than by categorical 
instructions; and that it be made a cardinal principle that he be 
immediately informed of all important developments as soon as they 
occur and by the quickest secure means possible.®^ 

M Committee exhihit No. 106. 

«3 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 3. 

•* Admiral Kimmel said: 

"Tlie Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, is in a very difficult position. He is far removed from the 
seat of government, in a complex and rapidly changing situation. He is, as a rule, not informed as 
to the policy, or change of policy, reflected in current events and naval movements and, as a result, is 
unable to evaluate the possible effect upon his own situation. He is not even sure of what force will be 
available to him and has little voice in matters radically affecting his ability to carry out his assigned 
tasks. The lack of information is disturbing and tends to create uncertainty, a condition which 
directly contravenes that singleness of ptu'pose and confidence is one's own course of action so necessary 
to the conduct of military operations. 

"It is realized that, on occasion, the rapid developments in the international picture, both diplomatic 
and military, and, perhaps, even the lack of knowledge of the mUitary authorities themselves, may 
militate against the furnishingof timely information, but certainly the present situation is susceptible 
to marked improvement. Full and authoritative knowledge of current policies and objectives, even 
though necessarily late at times, would enable the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to modify, 
adapt or even reorient his possible courses of action to conform to current concepts. This is particu- 
larly applicable to the current Pacific situation, where the necessities for intensive training of a par- 
tially trained Fleet must be carefully balanced against the desirability of interruption of this training 
by strategic dispositions, or otherwise, to meet impending eventualities. Moreover, due to this same 
factor of distance and time, the Department itself is not too well informed as to the local situation, 
particularly with regard to the status of current outlying island development, ihvs making it even more 
necessary that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, be guided by broad policy and objectives rather than 
by categorical instructions. 

"It is suggested that it be made a cardinal principle that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, be imme- 
diately informed of ail important developments as they occur and by the quickest secure means available." 
See committee exhibit No. 106. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 91 

In June of 1941 Admiral Kimmel visited Washington at which time 
matters of naval policy were reviewed with him.®^ 

On July 3, 1941, Admiral Kimmel, among others, was advised "for 
action" by the Chief of Naval Operations,^^ that the unmistakable 
deduction from information obtained from numerous sources was that 
the Japanese Govcrimient had determined upon its future policy, sup- 
ported by all principal Japanese political and military groups; that 
this policy probably involved war in the near future. It was pointed 
out that an advance by Japan against the British and Dutch could 
not be entirely ruled out but that the Chief of Naval Operations held 
to the opinion that Japanese activity in "the south" would be con- 
fined for the present to seizure and development of naval, army, and 
air bases in Indochina. The dispatch stated that the Japanese neu- 
trality pact with Russia would be abrogated and the major military 
effort on the part of Japan against Russia would be toward the latter's 
maritime provinces probably toward the end of July, although the 
attack might be deferred until after the collapse of European Russia. 
It was pointed out that all Japanese vessels in United States Atlantic 
ports had been ordered to be west of the Panama Canal by August 1 ; 
that the movement of Japanese "flag shipping" from Japan had been 
suspended and additional merchant vessels were being requisitioned. 
With an admonition to secrecy, instructions were issued to inform 
the principal army commanders and the commander in chief's own 
immediate subordinates. 

In another dispatch of July 3,^^ Admiral Kimmel was advised for 
action that definite information had been received indicating that 
between July 16 and 22 the Japanese Government had issued an 
order for 7 of the 11 Japanese vessels then in the North Atlantic and 
Caribbean areas to pass through the Panama Canal to the Pacific, and 
that under routine schedules three of the remaining ships were to 
move to the Pacific during the same period. It was suggested that 
in Japanese business communities strong rumors were current that 
Russia would be attacked by Japan on July 20, and that a definite 
move by the Japanese might be expected during the period July 20 
to August 1, 1941. 

On July 7 the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet was advised 
for information of the substance of three intercepted dispatches, 
including one of July 2 from Tokyo to Berlin, stating: ^^ 

JAPAN IS PREPARING FOR ALL POSSIBLE EVENTUALITIES RE- 
GARDING SOVIET IN ORDER (TO) JOIN FORCES WITH GERMANY 
IN ACTIVELY COMBATTING COMMUNIST (SIC) AND DESTROYING 
COMMUNIST SYSTEM IN EASTERN SIBERIA. AT SAME TIME 
JAPAN CANNOT AND WILL NOT RELAX EFFORTS IN THE SOUTH 
TO RESTRAIN BRITAIN AND THE UNITED ;STATES. NEW INDO- 
CHINA BASES WILL INTENSIFY RESTRAINT |AND BE VITAL CON- 
TRIBUTION TO AXIS VICTORY. 

And another of July 2 from Berlin to Tokyo: ^^ 

OSHIMA DELIVERS ABOVE NOTE AND TELLS RIBBENTROP IN 
PART, "MATSUOKA WILL SOON SUBMIT A DECISION. IF YOU 
GERMANS HAD ONLY LET US KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO FIGHT 

w See Navy Court of Inquiry record, page 113. 
M Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 4. 
"Id., at p. 5. 
•• Id., at p. 6. 

" Id. This dispatch and that indicated, note 68, supra, were base/i on the so-called Magic For a dis- 
cussion of Magic, see Part IV, this report. 



92 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

RUSSIA SO SOON WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN READY. WE WERE PLAN- 
NING TO SETTLE SOUTH SEAS QUESTIONS AND CHINA INCIDENT 
HENCE DECISION CANNOT BE REACHED IMMEDIATELY, BUT 
JAPAN WILL NOT SIT ON FENCE WHILE GERMANY FIGHTS." 

The Chief of Naval Operations in a dispatch of July 15/° sent 
Admiral Kimmel for information, supplied intelligence received to the 
effect that within "the next day or two," Japan would begin com- 
mercial negotiations with Vichy France at which time she would 
propose "in the name of mutual defense" Japan's taking over southern 
French Indochina naval and air bases; and that at the same time 
Japan would attempt to station army and navy air forces peacefully 
with French agreement, if possible. It was pointed out that if Vichy 
objected Japan had decided to use force; and that Japan did not intend 
to move farther south or interfere with colonial government. On the 
basis of the information received it was observed that the Japanese 
move was necessary to guarantee supplies from "Colony and Thailand" 
and to prevent "Syrian type British action"; and that while Tokyo 
wished to avoid friction with Britain and particularly the United 
States, if possible, the risk was regarded as necessary. 

In a dispatch sent Admiral Kimmel on July 17 for his information, 
he was advised of a six-point ultimatum sent by Tokyo to Vichy re- 
quiring an answer by July 20.^^ The six points were specified as: 

(1) Japan to send necessary Army and Navy air forces to 
southern French Indochina; 

(2) Vichy to turn over certain naval and air bases; 

(3) Japanese expeditionary force to have right to maneuver 
and move about freely; 

(4) Vichy to withdraw forces at landing points to avoid pos- 
sible clashes; 

(5) Vichy to authorize French Indochina military to arrange 
details with Japanese either before or after landing; 

(6) Colony to pay Japan 23,000,000 piastres annually to meet 
cost of occupation. 

This same dispatch advised of intelligence received on July 14 that 
the Japanese Army was planning its advance on or about July 20 and, 
of intelligence received on July 14, thal^ Japan intended to carry out 
its plans by force if opposed or if Britain or the United States inter- 
fered. 

On July 19 Admiral Kimmel was advised for his information con- 
cerning the substance of an intercepted Japanese dispatch from 
Canton to Tokyo, as follows: " 

the recent general mobilization order expresses 
japan's irrevocable resolution to end anglo-american 
assistance in thwarting japan's natural expansion and 
her indomitable intention to carry this out with the 
backing of the axis if possible but alone if necessary, 
formalities such as dining the expeditionary forces 
and saying farewell to them were dispensed with to 
avoid alarm and because we wished to face this new 
War with a calm and cool attitude. * * * immediate 
object will be to attempt peaceful french indochina 
occupation but will crush resistance if offered and 



'"> Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 8. This dispatch was based on Magic. 

" Id., at page 9.' This dispatch was also based on Magic. 

" Id,, at p. 10. This dispatch was likewise based on Magic, see committee exhibit No. 1, p. 2, 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 93 

SET UP MARTIAL LAW. SECONDLY OUR PURPOSE IS TO LAUNCH 
THEREFROM A RAPID ATTACK WHEN THE INTERNATIONAL 
SITUATION IS SUITABLE. AFTER OCCUPATION NEXT ON OUR 
SCHEDULE IS SENDING ULTIMATUM TO NETHERLANDS INDIES. 
IN THE SEIZING OF SINGAPORE THE NAVY WILL PLAY THE PRIN. 
CIPAL PART. ARMY WILL NEED ONLY ONE DIVISION TO SEIZE 
SINGAPORE AND TWO DIVISIONS TO SEIZE NETHERLANDS INDIES 
WITH AIR FORCES BASED ON CANTON, SPRATLEY, PALAU, SINGORA 
IN THAILAND, PORTUGUESE TIMOR AND INDOCHINA AND WITH 
SUBMARINE FLEET IN MANDATES, HAINAN, AND INDOCHINA WE 
WILL CRUSH BRITISH AMERICAN MILITARY POWER AND ABILITY 
TO ASSIST IN SCHEMES AGAINST US. 

On July 19 Admiral Kimmel was advised of an intercepted dispatch 
from Tokyo informing that although the Japanese Cabinet had 
changed there would be no departure from the principle that the 
Tripartite Pact formed the keystone of Japan's national policy and 
that the new Cabinet would also pursue the policy of the former 
Cabinet in all other matters. ^^ In another dispatch, supplying infor- 
mation concerning an intercepted Tokyo message to Vichy, Admiral 
Kimmel was advised on July 20, that the Japanese Army had made all 
preparations and had decided to advance regardless of whether Vichy 
France accepted her demands.^* 

Admiral Stark wrote to Admiral Hart on July 24, 1941,^^ sending 
a copy of the letter to Admiral Kimmel, concerning among other 
things, a 2-hour conversation between Admiral Stark and Ambas- 
sador Nomura. Admiral Stark expressed* the thought that Nomura 
was sincere in his desu-e that the United States and Japan avoid 
open rupture; stated they had a very plain talk; and observed that 
he. Admiral Stark, liked Nomura. He advised that Nomura discus- 
sed at length Japan's need for the rice and minerals of Indochina. 
Admiral Stark said his guess was that with the establishment of bases 
in Indochina, Japan would stop for the time being, consolidate her 
positions and await world reaction; that no doubt the Japanese 
would use their Indochina bases from which to take early action 
against the Burma Road. He said that, of course, there was the 
possibility that Japan would strike at Borneo, but that he doubted 
this in the near future unless we were to embargo oil shipments to 
them. Admiral Stark also said that he talked with the President 
and hoped no open rupture would come but that conditions were not 
getting better. 

On July 25, 1941, Admiral Kimmel was advised that beginning 
July 26 the United States would impose economic sanctions against 
Japan and that it was expected these sanctions would embargo all 
trade between Japan and the United States, subject to modification 
through a licensing system for certain material. ^^ It was further 
pointed out that funds in the United States would be frozen except as 
they may be moved under licensing. In estimating the situation it 
was observed: 

Do not anticipate immediate hostile reaction by Japan through the use of military 
means but you are furnished this information in order that you may take appropriate 
precautionary measures against hostile eventualities. 

'3 Committeo exhibit No. 37, yi. 11. 

"< Id., at p. 12. 

" Committee exhibit No. 106. 

"• Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 14. 



94 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

In a letter to Admiral Kimmel dated July 31, 1941/^ Admiral Stark 
discussed the over-all international situation, and stated that "after 
the Russian situation broke" he proposed to the President that they 
should start escorting immediately and that we should consider, along 
with the British, a joint protectorate over the Dutch East Indies. He 
stated he thought it fah'ly safe to say that the opinion was generally 
held that Japan would not go into the N. E. I.^^ but that Admiral 
Turner thought Japan would go into the maritime provinces in August. 
He commented that Turner might be right and usually was. Ad- 
mhal Stark said his thought had been that while Japan would 
ultimately go into Siberia she would delay doing so until she had the 
Indochma-Thailand situation more or less to her liking and until 
there was some clarification of the Russian-German clash. He also 
said that we would give aid to Russia. A postscript to this letter 
stated, among other things, that — 

obviously, the situation in the Far East continues to deteriorate; this is one thing that is 
^actual. 

Admiral Kimmel was advised on August 14 that the Japanese were 
rapidly completing withdrawal from world shipping routes, that 
scheduled sailings were canceled, and that the majority of ships in 
other than China and Japan Sea areas were homeward bound. ^^ 

The following dispatch of August 28 was sent to Admiral Kimmel, 
among others, for action: *" 

CERTAIN OPERATIONS PRESCRIBED FOR THE ATLANTIC BY 
WPL 51 ARE HEREBY EXTENDED TO AREAS OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN 
AS DESCRIBED HEREIN 'iN VIEW OF THE DESTRUCTION BY 
RAIDERS OF MERCHANT VESSELS IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN WITHIN 
THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE NEUTRALITY ZONE AS DEFINED IN 
THE DECLARATION OF PANAMA OF OCTOBER 3, 1939. FORMAL 
CHANGES IN WPL 51 WILL BE ISSUED, BUT MEANWHILE ACTION 
ADDRESSES WILL EXECUTE IMMEDIATELY THE FOLLOWING 
INSTRUCTIONS. CINCPAC CONSTITUTE THE SOUTHEAST PACIFIC 
FORCE CONSISTING OF TWO 7,500-TON LIGHT CRUISERS AND DIS- 
PATCH IT TO BALBOA. FOR TASK PURPOSES THIS FORCE WILL 
OPERATE DIRECTLY UNDER CNO " AFTER ENTERING THE SOUTH- 
EAST PACIFIC SLB AREA AS DEFINED IN WPL 46 PAR. 3222 EXCEPT 
WESTERN LIMIT IS LONGITUDE 100° WEST. WITHIN THE PACIFIC 
SECTOR OF THE PANAMA NAVAL COASTAL FRONTIER AND WITHIN 
THE SOUTHEAST PACIFIC SUB AREA THE COMMANDER. PANAMA 
NAVAL COASTAL FRONTIER AND COMMANDER SOUTHEAST 
PACIFIC FORCE WILL IN COOPERATION AND ACTING UNDER THE 
STRATEGIC DIRECTION OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS 
EXECUTE THE FOLLOWING TASK: DESTROY SURFACE RAIDERS 
WHICH ATTACK OR THREATEN UNITED STATES FLAG SHIPPING. 
INTERPRET AN APPROACH OF SURFACE RAIDERS WITHIN THE 
PACIFIC SECTOR OF THE PANAMA NAVAL COASTAL FRONTIER OR 
THE PACIFIC SOUTHEAST SUB AREA AS A THREAT TO UNITED 
STATES FLAG SHIPPING. FOR THE PRESENT THE FORCES CON- 
CERNED WILL BASE BALBOA, BUT CNO WILL ENDEAVOR TO MAKE 
ARRANGEMENTS FOR BASING ON SOUTH AMERICAN PORTS AS 

" Committee exhibit No. 106. 

" Netherlands East Indies. 

" Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 15. 

" Id., at p. 16. 

" Chief of Naval Operations. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 95 

MAY BE REQUIRED. ACTION ADEES 82 AND COMMANDER SOUTH- 
EAST PACIFIC FORCE INFORM CNO WHEN THESE INSTRUCTIONS 
HAVE BEEN PLACED IN EFFECT. 

In a letter to Admiral Kimmel, also on August 28, 1941.®^ Admiral 
Stark discussed, among other things, the status of the Japanese 
situation and observed that the Japanese seemed to have arrived at 
another one of their indecisive periods; that some very strong mes- 
sages had been sent to them, but just what they were going to do he 
did not know. He said he had told one of Japan's statesmen that 
another move, such as the one into Thailand, would go a long way 
toward destroying before the American public what good will still 
remained. Admiral Stark said he had not given up hope of continuing 
peace in the Pacific, but he wished the thread hj which it continued to 
hang were not so slender. 

Admiral Kimmel raised specific questions in a letter to Admiral 
Stark of September 12, 1941 ^* such as whether he should not issue 
shooting orders to the escorts for ships proceeding to the Far East. 
Admiral Kimmel also raised the question o^ what to do about sub- 
marine contacts off Pearl Harbor and vicinity. He said: 

As you knoAv, our present orders are to trail all contacts, but not to bomb 
unless thej' are in the defensive sea areas. Should we now bomb contacts, without 
waiting to be attacked? 

Admhal Stark answered on September 23, 1941,^^ and stated, among 
other things, that at the time the President had issued shooting orders 
only for the Atlantic and Southeast Pacific submarine area; that the 
longer they could keep the situation in the Pacific in status quo, the 
better for all concerned. He said that no orders should be given to 
shoot, at that time, other than those set forth in article 723 of the 
Navy Regulations.^^ The letter also stated, in connection with the 
question of submarine contacts, that they had no definite information 
that Japanese submarines had ever operated in close vicinity to the 
Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, or our Pacific coast; that existing orders, 
i. e., not to bomb suspected submarines except in the defensive sea 
areas, were appropriate, and continued: 

If conclusive, and I repeat conclusive, evidence is obtained that Japanese sub- 
marines are actually in or near United States territory, then a strong warning and 
a threat of hostile action against such submarines would appear to be our next 
step. Keep us informed. 

Going on, Admiral Stark said that he might be mistaken, but he did 
not believe that the major portion of the Japanese Fleet was likely 
to be sent to the Marshalls or the Caroline Islands under the circum- 
stances that then seemed possible; and that m all probability the 
Pacific Fleet could operate successfully and effectively even though 
decidedly weaker than the enthe Japanese Fleet, which certainly 
could be concentrated in one area only with the greatest difficulty. 
In this letter, Admiral Stark inquired: 

* * * would it not be possible for your force to "carefully" get some pictures 
of the Mandated Islands? 

In a postscript to this letter, Admii-al Stark stated that Secretary Hull 
had informed him that the conversations with the Japanese had 

«- Addressees. 

*^ Committee exhibit No. 100. 
»Md. 
•'Id. 

'• These regulations providp for Mio iisp of force in self-pn'.'-ervation, in the sound judgment, of responsible 
officers, as a last resort. 

00179- 4<] S 



96 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

practically reached an impasse. He said that, as he saw it, we could 
get nowhere toward a settlement and peace in the Far East mitil there 
was some agreement between Japan and China, which seemed to be 
remote. A second postscript to the letter, in making reference to a 
conversation between Admiral Stark and Nomura, said that Ambas- 
sador Nomura usually came in when he began to feel near the end of 
his rope, and that there was not much to spare at that end then. 
Admiral Stark observed that conveisations without results could not 
last forever and that if the conversations fell tlu'ough, which looked 
likely, the situation could only grow more tense. Admiral Stark 
said he had again talked to Secretary Hull and thought the Secretary 
would make one more try. He said that Secretary Hull kept him. 
Admiral Stark, pretty fully informed; and, if there was anything of 
moment, he would of course hasten to let Kimmel Imow. 

With this letter there was enclosed a copy of a memorandimi from 
General Marshall to Admiral Stark setting forth what was being done 
to strengthen the Philippines. The memorandum indicated, among 
other things, that on September 30, 26 Flying Fortresses would leave 
San Francisco for Hawaii en route to the Philippines. 

The following dispatch of October 16, 1941. was sent to the com- 
mander in chief, Pacific Fleet, for action: ^^ 

THE RESIGNATION OF THE JAPANESE CABINET HAS CREATED A 
GRAVE SITUATION. IF A NEW CABINET IS FORMED IT WILL PROB- 
ABLY BE STRONGLY NATIONALISTIC AND ANTI-AMERICAN. IF 
THE KONOYE CABINET REMAINS THE EFFECT WILL BE THAT IT 
WILL OPERATE UNDER A NEW MANDATE WHICH WILL NOT IN- 
CLUDE RAPPROCHEMENT WITH THE U. S. IN EITHER CASE HOS- 
TILITIES BETWEEN JAPAN AND RUSSIA ARE A STRONG POSSI- 
BILITY. SINCE THE U. S. 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. SECOND AND THIRD 
ADEES INFORM APPROPRIATE ARMY AND NAVAL DISTRICT 
AUTHORITIES. ACKNOWLEDGE. 

Referring to the dispatch of October 16 concerning the resignation 
of the Japanese Cabinet, Admiral Stark stated in a letter of October 
17 to Admiral Kimmel: ^^ 

Personally I do not believe the Japs are going to sail into us and the message 
I sent you merely stated the "possibility"; in fact I tempered the message handed 
to me considerably. Perhaps I am wrong, but I hope not. In any case after 
long pow-wows in the White House it was felt we should be on guard, at least 
until something indicates the trend. 

In a postscript to this letter Admiral Stark said: 

Marshall just called up and was anxious that we make some sort of a reconnais- 
sance so that he could feel assured that on arrival at Wake, a Japanese raider 
attack may not be in order on his bombers. I told him that we could not assure 
against any such contingency, but that I felt it extremely improbable and that, 
while we keep track of Japanese ships so far as we can, a carefully planned raid 

8' Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 18. 
88 Committee exhibit No. 106. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 97 

on any of these Island carriers in the Pacific might be difficult to detect. However, 
we are on guard to the best of our ability, and my advice to him was not to worry.*' 

On October 17, 1941, Admiral Kimmel was advised for his informa- 
tion that, effective immediately, all trans-Pacific[. United States flag 
shipping to and from the Far East, India, and East India area was to 
be routed through the Torres Straits, keeping to the southward and 
well clear of the Japanese Mandates.^° On the same day he was 
advised for action that — 

BECAUSE OF THE GREAT IMPORTANCE OF CONTINUING TO RE- 
ENFORCE THE PHILIPPINES WITH LONG-RANGE ARMY BOMBERS 
YOU ARE REQUESTED TO TAKE ALL PRACTICAL PRECAUTIONS 
FOR THE SAFETY OF THE AIRFIELDS AT WAKE AND MIDWAY.ai 

Admiral Kimmel was advised, among other things, on October 23 
that until further orders all Ai-my and Navy ''trans-Pacific troop 
transports, ammunition ships and such others with sufficiently impor- 
tant military cargo" would be escorted both ways between Honolulu 
and Manila.^^ 

On November 4, 1941, Admiral Kimmel was informed that complete 
withdrawal from Western Hemisphere waters of Japanese merchant 
vessels appeared in progress. ^^ 

A letter to Admiral Kimmel from Admiral Stark on November 7 
commented, among other things: ^* 

Things seem to be moving steadily towards a crisis in the Pacific. Just when it 
will break, no one can tell. The principle reaction I have to it all is what I have 
written you before; it continually gets "worser and worser!" A month may see, 
literally, most anything. Two irreconcilable policies cannot go on forever — 
particularly if one party cannot live with the set-up. It doesn't look good. 

On November 14, Admiral Stark wrote Admiral Kimmel, stating 
among other things :^^ 

The next few days hold much for us. Kurusu's arrival in Washington has 
been delayed. I am not hopeful that anything in the way of better understanding 
between the United States and Japan will come of his visit. I note this morning in 
the press despatches a listing of a number of points by the Japan Times and 

8» Transmitted as an enclosure to this letter was an estimate dated October 17 prepared by Admiral 
Schuirmann with respect to the change in the Japanese Cabinet, stating: 

"I believe we are inclined to overestimate the importance of changes in the Japanese Cabinet as indicative 
of great changes in Japanese political thought or action. 

"The plain fact is that Japanese politics has been ultimately controlled for years by the military. Wheth- 
er or not a policy of peace or a policy of further military adventuring is pursued is determined by the military 
based on their estimate as to whether the time is opportune and what they are able to do, not by what 
cabinet is in power or on diplomatic maneuvering, diplomatic notes or diplomatic treaties." 

After recounting that Konoye cabinets had time and again expressed disapproval of the acts committed 
by the Japanese military but remedial action had not been taken; that Konoye himself had declared Japan's 
policy was to beat China to her knees; that while the Konoye cabinet may have restrained the extremists 
among the military it had not opposed Japan's program of expansion by force; that when opportunities 
ari.se during the "coming months" which seemed favorable to the military for further advance, they would 
be seized; and that the same "bill of goods," regarding the neces.'ity of making some concession to the 
"moderates" in order to enable them to cope with the "extremists" had been offered to the United States 
since the days when Mr. Stimson was Secretary of State and Debuchi Ambassador, Admiral Schuirmann 
concluded: 

"Present reports are that the new cabinet to be formed will be no better and no worse than the one which 
has just fallen. Japan may attack Russia, or may move southward, but in the final analysis this vill be 
determined liy the military on the basis of opportunity, and what they can get away with, not by what cabinet is 
in pmrer" ((^ommittcc exhibit No. 106). 

•o Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 21. 

»i Id., at p. 22. 

MId.,at p. 23. 

Mid., at p. 24. 

«< Committee exhibit No. 106. 

»' Id. As an enclosure to this letter. Admiral Stark forwarded a copy of a joint memorandum for the 
President which he and General Marshall had prepared dated November ,'i and bearing caption "Estimate 
concerning Far Eastern Situation." This memorandum was prepared with respect to dispatches received 
indicating it to be Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's belief that a Japanese attack on Kunming was immi- 
nent and that military sufiport from outside sources, particularly by the use of Cnitcd States and British 
air units, was the sole hope for defeat of this threat. The Chief of Stall and Chief of Naval Operations op- 
posed dispatching American military assistance to meet this suppo.sed threat. For a dis('ii,<!sion of this 
memorandum, se« Part IV, infra, this report. 



98 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Advertiser upon which concessions by the United States are necessary for the 
"solution of the Pacific Crisis". Complete capitulation by the United States on 
every point of difference between the Japanese and this country was indicated as 
a satisfactory solution. It will be impossible to reconcile such divergent points 
of view. 

On November 24, 1941, Admiral Kimmel received the following 
message marked for action: ^^ 

CHANCES OF FAVORABLE OUTCOME OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH 
JAPAN VERY DOUBTFUL. THIS SITUATION COUPLED WITH STATE- 
MENTS OF JAPANESE GOVERNMENT AND MOVEMENTS THEIR 
NAVAL AND MILITARY FORCES INDICATE IN OUR OPINION 
THAT A SURPRISE AGGRESSIVE MOVEMENT IN ANY DIRECTION 
INCLUDING ATTACK ON PHILIPPINES OR GUAM IS A POSSIBILITY. 
CHIEF OF STAFF HAS SEEN THIS DESPATCH CONCURS AND RE- 
QUESTS ACTION ADEES TO INFORM SENIOR ARMY OFFICERS 
THEIR AREAS. UTMOST SECRECY NECESSARY IN ORDER NOT 
TO COMPLICATE AN ALREADY TENSE SITUATION OR PRECIPI- 
TATE JAPANESE ACTION. GUAM WILL BE INFORMED SEPA- 
RATELY. 

The postscript of a personal letter dated November 25 from Admiral 
Stark to Admiral Kimmel read: ^' 

I held this up pending a meeting with the President and Mr. Hull today. I 
have been in constant touch with Mr. Hull and it was only after a long talk with 
him that I sent the message to you a day or two ago showing the gravity of the 
situation. He confirmed it all in today's meeting, as did the President. Neither 
would be surprised over a Japanese surprise attack. From many angles an attack 
on the Philippines would be the most emba/rassing thing that could happen to us. 
There are some here who think it likely to occur. I do not give it the weight 
others do, but I included it because of the strong feeling among some people. 
You know I have generally held that it was not time for the Japanese to proceed 
against Russia. I still do. Also I still rather look for an advance into Thailand, 
Indo-China, Burma Road areas as the most likely. 

I won't go into the pros or cons of wh^t the United States may do. I will 
be damned if I know. I wish I did. The only thing I do know is that we may 
do most anything and that's the only thing I know to be prepared for; or we may 
do nothing — I think it is more likely to be "anything." 

On November 27, 1941, the following dispatch was sent Admhal 
Kimmel for action: ^^ 

THIS DESPATCH IS TO BE CONSIDERED A WAR WARNING. NEGO- 
TIATIONS WITH JAPAN LOOKING TOWARD STABILIZATION OF 
CONDITIONS IN THE PACIFIC HAVE CEASED AND AN AGGRESSIVE 
MOVE BY JAPAN IS EXPECTED WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. 
THE NUMBER AND EQUIPMENT OF JAPANESE TROOPS AND THE 
ORGANIZATION OF NAVAL TASK FORCES INDICATES AN AMPHIBI- 
OUS EXPEDITION AGAINST EITHER THE PHILIPPINES THAI OR KRA 
PENINSULA OR POSSIBLY BORNEO. EXECUTE AN APPROPRIATE 
DEFENSIVE DEPLOYMENT PREPARATORY TO CARRYING OUT THE 
TASKS ASSIGNED IN WPL46. INFORM DISTRICT AND ARMY 
AUTHORITIES. A SIMILAR WARNING IS BEING SENT BY WAR 
DEPARTMENT. SPENAVO o" INFORM BRITISH. CONTINENTAL 
DISTRICTS GUAM SAMOA DIRECTED TAKE APPROPRIATE MEA- 
SURES AGAINST SABOTAGE. 



»6 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 32. This dispatch was also sent for action to commander in chief Asiatic 
Fleet and commandants of the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Naval Districts. 

" Committee exhibit No. 106. . , j ■ u- / » 

«s Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 36. This dispatch v/as also sent for action to the commander m chief ol 
the Asiatic Fleet. It has been referred to throughout the proceedings as the "War Warning." 

" Special naval observer. , 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 99 

The following dispatch dated November 28, 1941, referring to the 
November 27 warning, was supplied Admiral Kimmei for his informa- 
tion: ^o" 

* * * ARMY HAS SENT FOLLOWING TO COMMANDER WESTERN 
DEFENSE COMMAND "NEGOTIATIONS WITH JAPAN APPEAR TO BE 
TERMINATED TO ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES WTTH ONLY THE 
BAREST POSSIBILITIES THAT THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT MIGHT 
COME BACK AND OFFER TO CONTINUE. JAPANESE FUTURE AC- 
TION UNPREDICTABLE BUT HOSTILE ACTION POSSIBLE AT ANY 
MOMENT. IF HOSTILITIES CANNOT REPEAT NOT BE AVOIDED 
THE UNITED STATES DESIRES THAT JAPAN COMMIT THE FIRST 
OVERT ACT. THIS POLICY SHOULD NOT REPEAT NOT BE CON- 
STRUED AS RESTRICTING YOU TO A COURSE OF ACTION THAT 
MIGHT JEOPARDIZE YOUR DEFENSE. PRIOR TO HOSTILE JAPA- 
NESE ACTION YOU ARE DIRECTED TO UNDERTAKE SUCH RECON- 
NAISSANCE AND OTHER MEASURES AS YOU DEEM NECESSARY 
BUT THESE MEASURES SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT SO AS NOT 
REPEAT NOT TO ALARM CIVIL POPULATION OR DISCLOSE INTENT. 
REPORT MEASURES TAKEN. A SEPARATE MESSAGE IS BEING SENT 
TO G TWO NINTH CORPS AREA RE SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES IN UNI- 
TED STATES. SHOULD HOSTILITIES OCCUR THEY WILL CARRY 
OUT THE TASKS ASSIGNED IN RAINBOW FIVE SO FAR AS THEY 
PERTAIN TO JAPAN. LIMIT DISSEMINATION, OF THIS HIGHLY 
SECRET INFORMATION TO MINIMUM ESSENTIAL OFFICERS." 
WPL 52 IS NOT APPLICABLE TO PACIFIC AREA AND WILL NOT BE 
PLACED IN EFFECT IN THAT AREA EXCEPT AS NOW IN FORCE IN 
SOUTHEAST PACIFIC SUB AREA AND PANAMA NAVAL COASTAL 
FRONTIER. UNDERTAKE NO OFFENSIVE ACTION UNTIL JAPAN 
HAS COMMITTED AN OVERT ACT. BE PREPARED TO CARRY OUT 
TASKS ASSIGNED IN WPL 46 SO FAR AS THEY APPLY TO JAPAN IN 
CASE HOSTILITIES OCCUR. 

On December 1 the Chief of Naval Operations sent Admu-al Kim- 
mei a dispatch for information describing a Japanese intrigue in 
Malaya. The dispatch indicated that Japan planned a landing at 
Khota Baru in Malaj^a in order to entice the British to cross the fron- 
tier from Malay into Thailand. Thailand would then brand Britain 
an aggressor and call upon Japan for aid, thereby facilitating the 
Japanese entry into Thailand as a full-fledged ally and give Japan air 
bases on the Kra Peninsula and a position to carry out any further 
operations along Malaya. ^°°* 

"oo Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 38. This dispatch was sent for action to the naval commanders on the 
west coast. 

icoa This dispatch, No. 0114C0 which was addressed to the ccmmander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet for 
action, read: "AMBASSADOR TSUBOKAMI IN BANGKOK ON TWENTY NINTH SENT TO 
TOKYO AS NUMBER EIGHT SEVEN TWO THE FOLLOWING QUOTE CONFERENCES 
NOW IN PROGRESS IN BANGKOK CONSIDERING PLANS AIMED AT FORCING BRITISH 
TO ATTACK THAI AT PADANG BESSA NEAR SINGORA AS COUNTER MOVE TO JAPA- 
NESE LANDINGAT KOTA BHARU. SINCE THAI INTENDS TO CONSIDER FIRST INVADER 
AS HER ENEMY, ORANGE BELIEVES THIS LANDING IN MALAY WOULD FORCE BRIT- 
ISH TO INVADE THAI AT PADANG BESSA. THAI WOULD THEN DECLARE WAR AND 
REQUEST ORANGE HELP. THIS PLAN APPEARS TO HAVE APPROVAL OF THAI CHIEF 
OF STAFF BIJITTO. THAI GOVERNMENT CIRCLES HAVE BEEN SHARPLY DIVIDED 
BETWEEN PROBRITISH AND PROORANGE UNTIL TWENTY FIVE NOVEMBER BUT 
NOW WANITTO AND SHIN WHO FAVOR JOINT MILITARY ACTION WITH ORANGE 
HAVE SILENCED ANTI ORANGE GROUP AND INTEND TO FORCE PREMIUR PIBUL 
TO MAKE A DECISION. EARLY AND FAVORABLE DEVELOPMENTS ARE POSSIBLE 
UNQUOTE." See committee exhibit No. 112, p. 67. 



100 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

On December 3, 1941, Admiral Kimmel was supplied the following 
information for action: ^'^^ 

HIGHLY RELIABLE INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED THAT 
CATEGORIC AND URGENT INSTRUCTIONS WERE SENT YESTERDAY 
TO JAPANESE DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS AT HONGKONG, 
SINGAPORE, BATAVIA, MANILA, WASHINGTON AND LONDON TO 
DESTROY MOST OF THEIR CODES AND CIPHERS AT ONCE AND TO 
BURN ALL OTHER IMPORTANT CONFIDENTIAL AND SECRET 
DOCUMENTS. 

And, again, on December 3, 1941, he received the following message 
for his information: ^"^ 

CIRCULAR TWENTY FOUR FORTY FOUR FROM TOKYO ONE 
DECEMBER ORDERED LONDON, HONGKONG, SINGAPORE AND 
MANILA TO DESTROY MACHINE. BATAVIA MACHINE ALREADY 
SENT TO TOKYO. DECEMBER SECOND WASHINGTON ALSO DI- 
RECTED DESTROY, ALL BUT ONE COPY OF OTHER SYSTEMS, AND 
ALL SECRET DOCUMENTS. BRITISH ADMIRALTY LONDON TODAY 
REPORTS EMBASSY LONDON HAS COMPLIED. 

On December 4, 1941, a dispatch ^°^ was suppHed the commander in 
chief of the Pacific Fleet, for his information, instructing Guam to 
destroy all secret and confidential publications and other classified 
matter except that essential for current purposes, and to be prepared 
to destroy instantly, in event of emergency, all classified matter. 

A dispatch to Admh-al Kimmel of December 6 ^°^ for action stated 
that "in view of the international situation and the exposed position 
of our outlying Pacific islands" he was authorized to order the destruc- 
tion in such outlying islands secret and confidential documents "now 
or under later conditions of greater emergency." It was pointed out 
that means of communication to support "our current operations and 
special intelligence" should be maintained until the last moment. 

From a review of dispatches and correspondence sent Admual 
Kimmel it is concluded that he was fully informed concerning the 
progressive deterioration of relations with Japan and was amply 
warned of the imminence of war with that nation. 

Information Supplied General Short by Washington 
Indicating the Imminence of "War 

The accepted practice in the Navy whereby the Chief of Naval 
Operations supplemented official dispatches by personal correspond- 
ence does not appear to have been followed by the "War Department. 
The letters sent by the Chief of Staft" to General Short, heretofore dis- 
cussed, related largely to the latter's responsibility, steps necessary to 
improve the Army defenses in Hawaii, and suggestions and comments 
with respect thereto. It does not appear that such correspondence 
was employed to acquaint the commanding general of the Hawaiian 
Department with the international situation generally nor to convey 
the personal estimates and impressions of the Chief of Staff. The 

101 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 40. This dispatch was also sent for action to the commander In chief of 
the Pacific Fleet and the commandants of the Fourteenth and Sixteenth Naval Districts. 

iM Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 41. This dispatch was sent for action to the commander in chief Asiatic 
Fleet and the commandant of the Sixteenth Naval District. 

iM Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 44. 

i«< Id., at p. 45. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 101 

evidence indicates that the Army did not forward the substance of 
any intercepted Japanese dispatches to field commanders because of 
the feeUng that the Army codes were generally not so secure as those 
of the Navy.'°^ General Short, however, was supplied either directly 
from the War Department or by reference from his naval ppposites in 
Hawaii adequate information concerning the critical international 
situation and the impendmg likelihood of war with Japan. 

The dispatch of July 3, 1941, to iVdmiral Kimmel, advising among 
other things that the unmistakable deduction from information re- 
ceived from numerous sources was to the effect that Japan was agreed 
on a policy involving war in the near future, carried instructions to 
advise General Short.^°^ 

Admiral Kimmel was instructed to supply General Short the in- 
formation contained in the dispatch of July 25 advising of economic 
sanctions against Japan and possible Japanese reaction.^"'^ 

The following Navy message of October 16, 1941, was received by 
General Short through reference from Admiral Kimmel: ^°^ 

THE FOLLOWING IS A PARAPHRASE OF A DISPATCH FROM THE 
C. N. O. WHICH I HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TO PASS TO YOU. QUOTE: 
"JAPANESE CABINET RESIGNATION CREATES A GRAVE SITUA- 
TION. IF A NEW CABINET IS FORMED IT WILL PROBABLY BE ANTI- 
AMERICAN AND EXTREMELY NATIONALISTIC. IF THE KONOYE 
CABINET REMAINS IT WILL OPERATE UNDER A NEW MANDATE 
-WHICH WILL NOT INCLUDE RAPPROACHMENT WITH THE UNITED 
STATES. EITHER WAY HOSTILITIES BETWEEN JAPAN AND RUSSIA 
ARE STRONGLY POSSIBLE. SINCE BRITAIN AND THE UNITED 
STATES ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE BY JAPAN FOR HER PRESENT 
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 PREPARA- 
TORY DEPLOYMENTS AS WILL NOT DISCLOSE STRATEGIC INTEN- 
TION NOR CONSTITUTE PROVOCATIVE ACTION AGAINST JAPAN." 

In a radiogram of October 20 signed "Adams" ^°^ the War Depart- 
ment advised the commanding general of the Hawaiian Department 
of its estimate of the situation in the following terms: 

TENSION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN REMAINS 
STRAINED BUT NO ABRUPT CHANGE IN JAPANESE FOREIGN 
POLICY APPEARS IMMINENT.^o 

Admiral Kimmel was instructed to advise General Short concerning 
the dispatch of November 24 from the Chief of Naval Operations ^" 
advising, among other things, that "chances of favorable outcome of 
negotiations with Japan very doubtful" and movements of Japanese 
forces "indicate in our opinion that a surprise aggressive movement 
in any direction including attack on Philippines or Guam is a possi- 
bility." General Short expressed the belief that he had seen this 
dispatch. ^^^ 

1" See committee record, pp. 2220-2222. 

"8 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 4; also. No. 32, p. 1. 

10? Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 14; also No. 32, p. 2 

109 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 18; also, No. 32, p. 3. See Army Pearl Harbor board record, p. 279. 

'«» Ma}. Gen. Emory S. Adams, Adjutant General. 

"0 Committee e.xhibit No. 32, p. 4. See also Army Pearl Harbor board record, p. 4258. 

Ill Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 5. 

'1' See Army Pearl Harbor board record, p. 4258. 



102 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

A dispatch of November 26 signed "Adams" was sent General Short 
reading in part as follows: "^ 

* * * IT IS DESIRED THAT THE PILOTS BE INSTRUCTED TO 
PHOTOGRAPH TRUK ISLAND IN THE CAROLINE GROUP JALUIT IN 
THE MARSHALL GROUP. VISUAL RECONNAISSANCE SHOULD BE 
MADE SIMULTANEOUSLY. INFORMATION DESIRED AS TO THE 
NUMBER AND LOCATION OF NAVAL VESSELS INCLUDING SUB- 
MARINES * * * INSURE THAT BOTH B-TWENTY FOUR AIR- 
PLANES ARE FULLY EQUIPPED WITH GUN AMMUNITION UPON 
DEPARTURE FROM HONOLULU.'" * 

The November 27 dispatch from the Chief of Naval Operations to 
Admiral Kimmel beginning "This despatch is to be considered a war 
warning" "^ contained instructions that General Short be informed 
and he did in fact see this warning. 

On November 27 the following dispatch signed "Marshall" "^ was 
sent General Short by the War Department: ^^'' 

NEGOTIATIONS WITH JAPAN APPEAR TO BE TERMINATED TO 
ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES WITH ONLY THE BAREST POSSIBILITIES 
THAT THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT MIGHT COME BACK AND 
OFFER TO CONTINUE. JAPANESE FUTURE ACTION UNPREDICT- 
ABLE BUT HOSTILE ACTION POSSIBLE AT ANY MOMENT. IF 
HOSTILITIES CANNOT, REPEAT CANNOT, BE AVOIDED THE UNITED 
STATES DESIRES THAT JAPAN COMMIT THE FIRST OVERT ACT. 
THIS POLICY SHOULD NOT, REPEAT NOT, BE CONSTRUED AS RE- 
STRICTING YOU TO A COURSE OF ACTION THAT MIGHT JEOPARD- 
IZE YOUR DEFENSE. PRIOR TO HOSTILE JAPANESE ACTION YOU 
ARE DIRECTED TO UNDERTAKE SUCH RECONNAISSANCE AND 
OTHER MEASURES AS YOU DEEM NECESSARY BUT THESE MEAS- 
URES SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT SO AS NOT, REPEAT NOT, TO 
ALARM CIVIL POPULATION OR DISCLOSE INTENT. REPORT 
MEASURES TAKEN. SHOULD HOSTILITIES OCCUR YOU WILL 
CARRY OUT THE TASKS ASSIGNED IN RAINBOW FIVE SO FAR AS 
THEY PERTAIN TO JAPAN. LIMIT DISSEMINATION OF THIS 
HIGHLY SECRET INFORMATION TO MINIMUM ESSENTIAL 
OFFICERS. 

The following dispatch signed "Miles", "^ and also dated November 
27, was sent the commanding general, Hawaiian Department:^^^ 

JAPANESE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE COME TO PRACTICAL STALE- 
MATE HOSTILITIES MAY ENSUE. SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES MAY 
BE EXPECTED. INFORM COMMANDING GENERAL AND CHIEF 
OF STAFF ONLY. 

On November 28 a dispatch signed "Adams" was directed to 
General Short, as follows :^^° 

CRITICAL SITUATION DEMANDS THAT ALL PRECAUTIONS BE 
TAKEN IMMEDIATELY AGAINST SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES WITHIN 
FIELD OF INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSIBILITY OF WAR DEPARTMENT 
(SEE PARAGRAPH THREE MID SC THIRTY— FORTY FIVE). ALSO 



"3 Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 6. 

"< This recomiaissance was not flown inasmuch as the Army planes were not made ready prior to the 
December 7 attack, 
in Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 36. 
lis Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff. 
117 Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 7. 

"8 Brig. Gen. Sherman Miles, Chief of Q-2, Army Intelligence. 
ii« Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 10. 
i2i> Id., at p. 13. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 103 

DESIRED THAT YOU INITIATE FORTHWITH ALL ADDITIONAL 
MEASURES NECESSARY TO PROVIDE FOR PROTECTION OF YOUR 
ESTABLISHMENTS, PROPERTY, AND EQUIPMENT AGAINST SABO- 
TAGE, PROTECTION OF YOUR PERSONNEL AGAINST SUBVERSIVE 
PROPAGANDA AND PROTECTION OF ALL ACTIVITIES AGAINST 
ESPIONAGE. THIS DOES NOT REPEAT NOT MEAN THAT ANY 
ILLEGAL MEASURES ARE AUTHORIZED. PROTECTIVE MEASURES 
SHOULD BE CONFINED TO THOSE ESSENTIAL TO SECURITY, A- 
VOIDING UNNECESSARY PUBLICITY AND ALARM. TO INSURE 
SPEED OF TRANSMISSION IDENTICAL TELEGRAMS ARE BEING 
SENT TO ALL AIR STATIONS BUT THIS DOES NOT REPEAT NOT 
AFFECT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY UNDER EXISTING INSTRUC- 
TIONS.i^O" 

Again on November 28 another dispatch from the War Depart- 
ment was sent the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, as 
follows :^^^ 

ATTENTION COMMANDING GENERAL HAWAIIAN AIR FORCE. 
THAT INSTRUCTIONS SUBSTANTIALLY AS FOLLOWS BE ISSUED 
TO ALL ESTABLISHMENTS AND UNITS UNDER YOUR CONTROL 
AND COMMAND IS DESIRED: AGAINST THOSE SUBVERSIVE ACTIV- 
ITIES WITHIN THE FIELD OF INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSIBILITY 
OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT (SEE PARAGRAPH THREE MID SR 
30—45) THE PRESENT CRITICAL SITUATION DEMANDS THAT 
ALL PRECAUTIONS BE TAKEN AT ONCE. IT IS DESIRED ALSO 
THAT ALL ADDITIONAL MEASURES NECESSARY BE INITIATED 
BY YOU IMMEDIATELY TO PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING: PROTEC- 
TION OF YOUR PERSONNEL AGAINST SUBVERSIVE PROPAGANDA, 
PROTECTION OF ALL ACTIVITIES AGAINST ESPIONAGE, AND 
PROTECTION AGAINST SABOTAGE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT, PROP- 
ERTY AND ESTABLISHMENTS. THIS DOES NOT REPEAT NOT 
AUTHORIZE ANY ILLEGAL MEASURES. AVOIDING UNNECESSARY 
ALARM AND PUBLICITY PROTECTIVE MEASURES SHOULD BE 
CONFINED TO THOSE ESSENTIAL TO SECURITY. 

IT IS ALSO DESIRED THAT ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER FIVE THIS 
YEAR REPORTS BE SUBMITTED TO THE CHIEF ARMY AIR FORCES 
OF ALL STEPS INITIATED BY YOU TO COMPLY WITH THESE IN- 
STRUCTIONS. SIGNED ARNOLD. 

A dispatch dated December 5 and signed "Miles"/^^ was sent the 
assistant chief of staff headquarters, G-2 Hawaiian Department, to — 
CONTACT COMMANDER ROCHEFORT IMMEDIATELY THROUGH 
COMMANDANT FOURTEENTH NAVAL DISTRICT REGARDING 
BROADCASTS FROM TOKYO REFERENCE WEATHER.'^^ 

Action Taken by Admiral Kimmel Pursuant to Warnings 
AND Orders from Washington 

DISPATCH OF OCTOBER 16 FROM CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS 

In the dispatch of October 16 ^-■' Admiral Kimmel was advised that 
the resignation of the Japanese Cabinet had created a grave situation; 

180a For the reply of General Short to this message from the Adjutant General, see committee exhibit 
No 32, p. 17. 

'" Id., at p. 14. This message was also signed "Adams." 

iM Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 20. 

•2' This dispatch refers to the so-called winds code which will be found discussed in detail in Part IV, infra, 
this report. 

iM Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 18. 



104 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

that there was a strong possibihty of hostilities between Japan'and 
Russia and there also was a possibility Japan might attack the United 
States and Great Britain; and that he should- — • 

take due precautions including such -preparatory deployments ^^^ as will not disclose 
strategic intention nor constitute provocative actions against Japan. 

Pursuant to the order Admu-al Kimmel ordered submarines to 
assume a "war patrol" off both Wake and Midway; he reinforced 
Johnston and Wake with additional marines, ammunition, and stores 
and also sent additional marines to Palmyra Island; he ordered the 
commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District to direct an alert 
status in the outlying islands; he placed on 12 hours' notice certain 
vessels of the fleet which were in west-coast ports, held 6 submarines 
in readiness to depart for Japan, and delayed the sailing of 1 battle- 
ship which w^as scheduled to visit a w^est-coast navy yard; he dis- 
patched 12 patrol planes to Midway with orders to carry out daily 
patrols within 100 miles of the island and placed in effect additional 
security measures in the fleet operating areas. ^^* 

On October 22, Admiral Kimmel reported by letter ^^ these disposi- 
tions to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark. By letter 
dated November 7 Admiral Stark wrote the commander in chief of 
the Pacific Fleet: '^^ 

OK on the disposition which you made in connection with the recent change 
in the Japanese Cabinet. The big question is — what next? 

DISPATCH OF NOVEMBER 24 FROM CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS 

In the dispatch of November 24 ^^^ Admiral Kimmel was advised 
that the chances of a favorable outcome of negotiations with Japan 
were very doubtful and that the movements of Japanese naval and 
military forces — - 

indicate in our opinion that a surprise aggressive movement in any direction in- 
cluding attack on Philippines or Guam is a possibility. 

This dispatch carried no orders for the commander in chief of the 
Pacific Fleet ^^° and would appear designed to acquaint him with the 
mounting tenseness of the situation as well as to supply him with an 
estimate of probable Japanese action. *^^ No action appears to have 
been taken by Admiral Kimmel pursuant to this dispatch and he has 
stated that he felt the message required no action other than that 
which he had already taken.^^^ 

"W^AR warning" dispatch OF NOVEMBER 27 

The dispatch of November 27 began with the words:'^^ "This dis- 
patch is to be considered a war warning." ^^* It stated that negotia- 
tions wnth Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the 

'2« Admiral Kimmel said: "The term 'preparatory deployments' used in this dispatch is nontechnical. 
It has no especial significance other than its natural meaning." Committee record, pp. 6708, 6709. 

>2« See testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, p. 6709. 

'" Committee exhibit No. 106. 

'28 Id. 

i2« Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 32. 

"0 See Navy court of inquiry record, pp 50-53. 

wi Admiral Turner testified: "The dispatch of the ZJ,th ive did not consider reguired any immediate action, 
except to get ready plans for pulling into effect when rue gave them another warning." Committee record, p. 5159. 

'32 See Navy court of inquiry record, pp. 298, 299. 

133 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 36. 

i3« Admiral Kimmel observed: "The phrase 'war warning' cannot be made a catch-all for all the contin- 
gencies hindsight may suggest. It is a characterization of the specific information which the dispatch con- 
tained." Committee record, p. 6717. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 105 

Pacific had ceased and "an agp'essive move by Japan is expected 
witliin the next few days," and that "the number and equipment of 
Japanese troops and the oganization of naval task forces indicates an 
amphibious expedition against either the PhiUppines, Thai or Kra 
Peninsula, or possibly Borneo," Admiral Kimmel was ordered "to 
execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying 
out the tasks assigned in WPL-46." 

After receiving this warning Admiral Kimmel made the deliberate 
decision not to institute long-range reconnaissance from Pearl Harbor 
against possible air attacks for reasons which will subsequently ap- 
pear."^ Between the warning and the attack on December 7 the 
following deployments were made and action taken: 

1. On November 28, Admiral Halsey left Pearl Harbor en route to 
Wake in command of Task Force 8, consisting of the carrier Enterprise, 
three heavy cruisers and nine destroyers. He carried out morning 
and afternoon searches to 300 miles for any sign of hostile shipping.'^^ 
The sending of this force to Wake was piu-suant to a dispatch dated 
November 26 to Admiral Kimmel stating, in part — 

in order to keep the planes of the 2nd marine aircraft wing available for expedi- 
tionary use OpNav "^ has requested and Army has agreed to station 25 Army 
pursuit planes at Midway and a similar number at Wake provided you consider 
this feasible and desirable. It will be necessary for you to transport these planes 
and ground crews from Oahu to these stations on an aircraft carrier.'^^ 

Admii'al Halsey knew of the war warning dispatch and held a lengthy 
conference with Admiral Kimmel and other officers on November 27. 
He stated that when he prepared to depart with the task force for 
Wake Island, he asked Admiral Kimmel how far the latter wanted 
him to go; that Admkal Kimmel replied "Use your common sense." ^^^ 
Admiral Smith said that before Admkal Halsey left in the Enterprise, 
he asked Admnal Kimmel what he should do in case he met Japanese 
forces, to which Admiral Kimmel replied he should use his own 
discretion. Admu-al Smith stated that Admu'al Halsey commented 
these were the best orders he had received and that if he found even 
a Japanese sampan he would sink it.^*° 

2. On December 5, Admiral Newton left Pearl Harbor en route to 
Midway in command of Task Force 2, consisting of the carrier Lexing- 
ton, three heavy cruisers, and five destroyers. Like Halsey, Newton 
conducted scouting flights with his planes to cover his advance. ^*^ 
Despite the fact, however, that Admiral Newton was leaving Pearl 
Harbor with some of the most powerful and valuable units of the 
Pacific fleet he was not even shown the war warning, had no knowl- 
edge of it, and indeed had no knowledge of the dispatches of October 

'3» The Navy court of inquiry found: "It was the duty of Rear Admiral Bloch, when and if ordered by the 
commander in chief. Pacific Fleet, to conduct long-range reconnaissance. The commander in chief, 
Pacific Fleet, for definite and sound reasons and after making provision for such reconnaissance in case of 
emergency, specifically ordered that no routine long-range reconnaissance be undertaken and assumed full 
responsibility for this action. The omission of this reconnaissance was not due to oversight or neelcct. 
It uas the result of a militaTy decision, reached after much deliberation and consultation with experienced officers, 
and after tieighing the information at hand and all the factors involved." Navy court of inquiry report,' com- 
mittre exhibit No. 1.57. 

"8 Testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, p. 6750. See also testimony of Admiral Halsey, 
Hart inquiry record, p. 299. 

'3' Office of Naval Operations. 

139 Dispatch from Chief of Naval Operations to commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, No. 270038, dated 
November 26, 1941. Committee exhibit No. 112. See also committee record, pp. 1614, 1615; also Hart Inquiry 
record, p. 299. 

•" Hart inquiry record, pp. 297, 298. 

"»Id., at p. 43. 

'*' Testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, p. G750; see also testimony of Admiral Newton, 
Hart inquiry record, p. 318. 



106 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

16 and November 24 or the December 3 dispatch concerning the 
destruction of codes to which reference will hereafter be made. 
Except for what he read in the press, Admiral Newton received no 
information concerning the increasing danger of our relations with 
Japan. He was given no special orders and regarded his departure 
from Hawaii as a mission with no special significance other than to 
proceed to Midway for the purpose of flying off the Lexington a squad- 
ron of planes for the reinforcement of the island. In consequence, 
no special orders were given for the arming of planes or making prep- 
aration for war apart from ordinary routine. ^*^ The failure to supply 
Admiral Newton any orders or information is m marked contrast with 
the "free hand" orders given Admiral Halsey. In his testimony 
Admiral Kimmel stated that Admii'al Newton's orders and information 
would have come through Admiral Brown, who was Newton's 
superior. ^^2* 

3. Admiral Wilson Brown on December 5 left Pearl Harbor en 
route to Johnston Island with Task Force 3 to conduct landing exer- 
cises."^ 

4. On November 28, orders were issued to bomb unidentified sub- 
marines found in the operating sea areas around Oahu. Full security 
was invoked for the ships at sea, which were ordered to bomb sub- 
marine contacts.^'" However, no change was made in the condition 
of readiness in port except that a Coast Guard patrol was started off 
Pearl Harbor and they began sweeping the harbor channel and 
approaches.^''* 

5. Upon receipt of the war warning Admiral Kimmel ordered a 
squadron of patrol planes to proceed from Midway to Wake and 
search the ocean areas en route. While at Wake and Midway on 
December 2 and 3 they searched to a distance of 525 miles. "^ 

6. A squadron of patrol planes from Pearl Harbor was ordered to 
replace the squadron which went from Midway to Wake. This 
squadron of patrol planes left Pearl Harbor on November 30. It 
proceeded from Johnston to Midway, making another reconnaissance 
sweep on the way. Upon reaching Midway, this squadron of patrol 
planes conducted distant searches of not less than 500 miles of varying 
sectors from that island on December 3, 4, 5, and 6. On December 7, 
five of these Midway based patrol planes were searching the sector 
120° to 170° from Midway, to a distance of 450 miles. An additional 
two patrol planes of the Midway squadron left at the same time to 
rendezvous with the Lexington at a point 400 miles from Midway. 
Four of the remaining patrol planes at Midway, each loaded with 
bombs, were on 10-minute notice as a ready striking force. "^ 

Admii-al McMorris, Dii-ector of War Plans under Admiral Kimmel, 
testified before the Hewitt inquhy with respect to what defensive 
deployment was executed, stating — 

there was no material change in the disposition and deployment of the fleet 
forces at that time other than the movement of certain aircraft to Midway and 



'« See Hart inquiiv record, pp. 316-318. 

i<2» In this regard, the testimony of Admiral Brown indicates that he was not shown the "war wammg . 
See testimony of Rear Admiral Brown beiore the Roberts Commission, Committee exhibit No. 143. 

1" Testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, p. 6751. 

>" See Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 299, 300; see also committee exhibit No. 112, p. 96. 

i« See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 395. 

M« Testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, p. 0751. 

H7 See testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, page 6752; also testimony of Admiral Bellmger 
Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 684. .... 

It should be noted that Admiral Inglis stated, " There is no written record available of any searches hamngoeen 
made on December 6, either from the Hawaiian area or from Midway." For further testimony of Admiral 
Inglis concerning the matter of reconnaissance see committee record, pp. 70-73. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 107 

Wake aud of the carriers with their attendant cruisers and destroyers, to those 
locations to deliver aircraft. '^^ 

While the dispatch of the three task forces does not appear to have 
been primarily made by Admiral Kimmcl as a result of the implications 
of the war warning/'^^ this action combined with the other steps above- 
mentioned had the effect of providing reconnaissance sweeps of the 
patrol-plane squadrons moving from Midway to Wake; from Pearl 
Harbor to Johnston and from Johnston to Midway; from Wake to 
Midway and Midway to Pearl Harbor covering a distance of nearly 
5,000 miles. Each squadron as it proceeded would cover a 400-mire 
strand of ocean along its path, bring under the coverage of air search 
about 2,000,000 square miles of ocean area. In addition, submarines 
of the Fleet on and after November 27 were on war patrols from 
Midway and Wake Islands continuously.^^" The southwest ap- 
proaches to Hawaii were thereby to a degree effectively screened by 
reconnaissance from a raiding force bent on attacking Pearl Harbor 
by surprise. ^^^ Nothing was done, however, to detect an approaching 
hostile force coming from, the north and northwest, recognized as the most 
dangerous sector, and it is into the justification for this nonaction that we 
shall inquire}^^ 

Evaluation of the "War Warning" Dispatch of November 27 
on where the attack might come 

Admiral Kimmel stated that the war warning dispatch of November 
27 did not warn the Pacific Fleet of an attack in the Hawaiian area 
nor did it state expressly or by implication that an attack in the 
Hawaiian area was imminent or probable. ^^^ 

The warning dispatch did not, it is true, mention Pearl Harbor as a 
specific point of attack, and gave the estimate that the number and 
equipment of Japanese troops and the organization of naval task forces 
indicated an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines, 
Thailand or the Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo. '^^* It is to be re- 
called in this connection, however, that the November 24 dispatch ^^^^ 
to Admiral Kimmel warned of "a surprise aggressive movement in any 
direction including attack on Philippines or Guam is a possibility'" . 
The latter dispatch while indicating that an attack would possibly 
come in the vicinity of the Philippines or Guam did nevertheless 
indicate, by use of the words "w any direction,^' that just where the 
attack might come could not be predicted.^" 

1" Hewitt inniiiry record, pp. 321, 32?. 

1" See committee record, pp. 9312, 9313. 

'M Testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, p. 6752. 

'" In this connection, sec testimony of Admiral Bellinger, committee record, pp. 9321, 9324. 

'" See testimony of Admiral Bellinpcr, committee record, pp. 9324, 9325: also 9436, 9437. 

'53 .\dmiral Kimmel testified: "The so-called "war warning' dispatch of November 27 did not warn the 
Pacific Fleet of an attack in the Hawaiian area. It did not state expressly or by implication that an attack 
in the Hawaiian area was imminent or probable." Committee record, p. 6715. For a detailed statement 
by Admiral Kimmel concerning where the attack might come based on the "war warning." see Navy Court 
of Inquiry record, p. 301. 

iM» For the full text of the "war warning" dispatch, see p. 98, supra, 

143b For the full text of the November 24 dispatch, see p. 98, supra. 

'" .\dmiral Kimmel stated that in the November 24 dispatch the words "in any direction" did include, 
so far as his estimate was coneerned, a possible submarine attack on the Hawaiian Islands but not an air 
attack. See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 299. 

It has been'pointed out that tlie estimate of enemy action referred to in the "war warning" — an amphibious 
operation to the South — is to be distinguished from a surprise aggressive movement in any direction mentioned 
in the November 24 warning; that the distinction between an amphibious expedition and a surprise aggres- 
sive movement is such that a war warning in making reference to such an expedition in no way superseded 
the estimate'of surprise aggressive action mentioned in the November 24 dispatch. See in this regard the 
testimony of Admiral Tomer, Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 997, 1020. 



108 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The fact that Admiral Kimmel was ordered to take "an appropriate 
defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in 
WPL-46" indicated that his situation was subject to possible danger 
requiring such action.^" It was Washington's responsibility to give 
Admiral Kimmel its best estimate of where the major strategic 
enemy effort would come.^^^ It was Admiral Kimmel's responsibility 
as commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet to be prepared for the worst 
contingency^ and when he was warned of war and ordered to execute 
a defensive deployment it was necessarily in contemplation that such 
action would be against all possible dangers with which the Hawaiian 
situation was fraught.^" 

OTHER DISPATCHES RECEIVED ON NOVEMBER 27 

Admu-al Kimmel stated that two other dispatches which he received 
on November 27 were affirmative evidence that the War or Navy 
Departments did not consider hostile action on Pearl Harbor imminent 
or probable.^^^ The first of these dispatches read:^^^ 

Army has offered to make available some units of infantry for reenforcing 
defence battalions now on station if you consider this desirable. Army also 
proposes to prepare in Hawaii garrison troops for advance bases which you may 
occupy but is unable at this time to provide any antiaircraft units. Take this into 
consideration in your plans and advise when practicable number of troops desired 
and recommended armament. 

The second read:^^° 

In order to keep the planes of the second marine aircraft wing available for expedition- 
ary use Op Nav has requested and Army has agreed to station 25 Army pursuit planes 
at Midway and a similar number at Wake provided you consider this feasible and desir- 
able. It will be Inecessary for you to transport these planes and ground crews from 
Oahu to these stations on an aircraft carrier. Planes will be flown off at destination 
and ground personnel landed in boats; essential spare parts, tools, and ammunition 
will be taken in the carrier or on later trips of regular Navy supply vessels. Army 
understands these forces must be quartered in tents. Navy must be responsible 
for supplying water and subsistence and transporting other Army supplies. 
Stationing these planes must not be allowed to interfere with planned movements 
of Army bombers to Philippines. Additional parking areas should be laid prompt- 
ly if necessary. Can Navy bombs now at outlying positions be carried by Army 
bombers which may fly to those positions for supporting Navy operations? 
Confer with commanding general and advise as soon as practicable. 

Both of these dispatches, however, were dated November 26, the 
day before the war warning dispatch. The latter dispatch was not to 
be controlled by messages which antedated it. The reinforcing of 
Wake and Midway was left up entu-ely to Admiral Kimmel both as to 
feasibility and desirability.'^^ The fact that other outposts needed 
reinforcements and steps were outlined in that direction did not elim- 

'« In this connection it is to be noted that the "war warning" dispatch was directed /or action to the eom- 
mander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet and the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet (committee exhibit 
No. 37, p. 36). This would appear to be an indication to Admiral Kimmel that the same defensive action 
was expected of him as of Admiral Hart in the Philippine area who was located in the path of the Japanese 
move to the south; that the message of November 27 placed in the same category— exposed to the same 
perils and requiring the same action — the Asiatic and the Pacific Fleets. 

"» See testimony of Admiral Ingersoll, Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 839-842. 

•w See discussion regarding "Admiral Kimmel's awareness of danger from air attack," Part III, p. 75 
et seq, supra. 

'" Testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, pp. 6716, 6717. 

iM Committee exhibit No. 112, p. 54. 

'M Id., at p. 55. 

'•' Admiral Kimmel testified before the Nay Court of Inquiry that he regarded the proposal from the 
Chief of Naval Operations to transfer Army pursuit planes to Midway and Wake in order to conserve the 
marine planes for expeditionary duty as a suggestion and not a directive. See Navy Court ollnquiry rec- 
ord, p. 307. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 109 

mate the necessity for the defense of Hawaii, the best-equipped out- 
post the United States possessed, nor remove it as a possible point of 
attack. The same is true with respect to the use of Hawaii as a cross- 
roads for dispositions going to the Philippines or elsewhere; Hawaii 
was the only point we controlled in the Pacific which had adequate 
facilities to be such a crossroads. 

"psychological handicaps" indicated by admiral kimmel 

In his testimony Admiral Kimmel has suggested that one can 
appreciate the "psychological handicaps" that dispatches he received 
placed upon the Navy in Hawaii, He stated: 

In effect, I was told: 

"Do take precautions" '^^ 

"Do not alarm civilians" "^ 

"Do take a preparatory deployment" **** 

"Do not disclose intent" "^ 

"Do take a defensive deployment""* 

"Do not commit the first overt act." '" 

In this connection, however, it is to be noted that the only cautions 
mentioned, which were contained largely in Army messages, were not 
to alarm civilians, not to disclose intent, and not to commit the first 
overt act. To have deployed the fleet; to have instituted distant 
reconnaissance; to have effected a higher degree of readiness, on a 
maneuver basis if necessary — none of these steps would have alarmed 
the civilian population of Hawaii/^^ have disclosed intent, or have 
constituted an overt act against Japan. 

Admiral Kimmel's contention must be judged in light of the fact 
that on November 28 on his own responsibility,^^^ he instructed the 
fleet to depth bomb all submarine contacts expected to be hostile in 
the fleet operating areas. ^^° The Office of Naval Operations ac- 
quiesced in this order to depth bomb submarine contacts. 

Admiral Halsey, prior to departing for Wake Island on November 
28, received orders from Admiral Kimmel which he interpreted as 
permitting him to sink "even a Japanese sampan" if he found it.^^^ 
Asked by Admiral Halsey as to how far he "should go" Admiral 
Kimmel replied, "Use your common sense." ^^^ 

W2 Referring to the dispatch of October 16 advising of the resignation of the Japanese Cabinet and stating 
in part, "You will take due precautions including such preparatory deployments as will not disclose stra- 
tegic intention nor constitute provocative action against Japan." See committee exhibit No. 37. 

163 Referring to a portion of the dispatch of November 28 sent Admiral Kimmel for information and incor- 
porating a portion of an Army message sent the commanding general of the Western Defense Command, 
which latter message stated in part, "The United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act 
* * * . Measures should be carried out so as not to alarm civil population or disclose intent." See 
committee exhibit No. 37. 

iM Referring to the dispatch of October 16, note 162, supra. 

1" Referring to the dispatches of October 16 and November 28, notes 162 and 163; supra. 

iM Referring to the "war warning" dispatch of November 27. Committee exhibit No. 37. 

>«' Referring to the dispatch of November 28, note 163, supra. 

i»9 There had been air raid drills at Pearl Harbor on April 24, May 12, 13; June 19; July 10, 26; August 1, 
20; September 5, 27; October 13, 27; and'November 12, 1941.*^ Committee exhibit No. 120. 

iM As stated by the Navy court of inquiry: " * • • hee(Admiral Kimmel) has issued, on his own 
responsibility, orders that all unidentified submarines discovered in Hawaiian waters were to be depth- 
charged and sunk. In so doing he exceeded his orders from higher authority and rav the risk of committing 
an overt act against Japan, but did so feeling that it is best to follow the rule 'shoot first and explain after- 
wards'." See Navy Court of Inquiry report, committee exhibit No. 157. 

"0 See dispatch No. 280355 from Admiral Kimmel to the Pacific Fleet with a copy for information to the 
Office of Naval Operations; committee exhibit No. 112, p. 96. For a description of the fleet operating 
sea areas, see committee exhibit No. 6, Item 3. 

'" See Hart inquiry record, p. 43. 

"' Id., at pp. 297, 298-1; 



110 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The "war warning" dispatcli of November 27 to tlie commander in 
chief of the Pacific Fleet contained no cautions, admonitions, or 
restraints whatever. '^^ 

THE "war warning" AND TRAINING 

It has been pointed out by Admiral Kimmel that had he effected 
all-out security measures upon receiving each alarming dispatch from 
Washington, the training program would have been curtailed so dras- 
tically that the fleet could not have been prepared for war.^^* To 
appraise the merit of this observation it is necessary to consider the 
nature of instructions with respect to training under which the fleet 
operated. Admiral Kimmel has stated he was under a specific in- 
junction to continue the training program, referring in this connection 
to a letter from the Chief of Naval Operations dated April 3, 1941. \" 

In this letter, however, the Chief of Naval Operations had stated 
the question was when and not whether we would enter the war and 
that in the meantime he would advise that Admiral Kimmel devote 
as much time as may be available to training his forces in the parti- 
cular duties which the various units might be called upon to perform 
under the Pacific Fleet operating plans. Clearly the suggestion that 
training be conducted was made pending a more critical turn indicat- 
ing the imminence of war. The dispatch of November 27 with vivid 
poignance warned of war with Japan. It stated that negotiations 
with Japan looking to stabilization of conditions in the Pacific had 
ceased and that an aggressive move by Japan was expected within the 
neot jew days. The time for training for a prospective eventuality 
was past — ^the eventuality, war, was at hand.^'^^ In none other of the 
dispatches had the commander in chief been so emphatically advised 
that war was imminent. Indeed the November 27 dispatch used the 
words "war warning," an expression which Admiral Kimmel testified 
he had never before seen employed in an official dispatch in all of his 
40 years in the Navy. Manifestly the commander in chief of the 
United States Fleet and the Pacific Fleet would not expect that it 
would be necessary for the Navy Department to advise him to put 
aside his training now that war was imminent. The "war warning" 
provided adequate indication that the primary function thereafter was 
not training but defense against a treacherous foe who had invariably 
struck without a declaration of war. 

THB TERM "DEFENSIVE DEPLOYMENT" AND FAILURE TO INSTITUTE 
DISTANT RECONNAISSANCE 

Admiral Kimmel has made particular reference to the fact that the 
term "defensive deployment" was nontechnical and that it was to be 

I" Referring to the November 27 warning, Admiral Stark said: "This message begins with the words 
'This dispatch is to be considered a war warning.' These words were carefully weighed and chosen after 
considerable thought and discussion with my principal advisors and with the Secretary of the Navy. The 
words 'war warning' had never before been used in any of my dispatches to the commander in chief, Pacific 
Fleet. They were put at the beginning of the message to accentuate the extreme gravity of the situation. 
We considered the picture as we saw it and we felt that there was grave danger of JapaJi strilcing anywhere. 
We wanted our people in the Pacific to know it, and we used language which we thought would convey what 
we felt." Committee record, pp. 5650, 5651. 

>"« Committee record, p. 6703; see also testimony of Admiral Bellinger, Committee record, p. 9350. 

«'i Committee record, p. 6702. For letter see committee exhibit No. 106. 

nt Before the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel stated, after outlining the circumstances attending 
the decision, testifle'd: "» • • i made the decision on the 27th of November not to stop training in the 
Fleet but to continue until further developments." Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 285. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK HI 

effected "preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in 'WPLr46." 
This plan called for a raid upon the Marshall Islands by the Pacific 
Fleet very shortly after hostilities with Japan should begin. Admiral 
Kimmel has pointed out that the prime purpose of the raids was to 
divert Japanese strength from the Malay Barrier, He has observed 
that the only patrol planes of consequence at Pearl Harbor were 
assigned to the fleet and that these planes would be required in the 
raid on the Marshalls. He further pointed out that he had only 49 
patrol planes in flying condition, an insufficient number to conduct 
each day a 360° distant reconnaissance from Oahu. In this connection 
he observed that to insure an island base against a surprise attack 
from fast carrier-based planes, it was necessary to patrol the evening 
before to a distance of 800 miles and that this required 84 planes on 
one flight of 16 hours to cover the 360° perimeter. He testified that, 
of course, the same planes and the same crews cannot make a 16-hour 
flight every day and therefore for searches of this character over a 
protracted period 250 patrol planes would be requhed. He observed 
that a search of all sectors of approach to an island base is the only 
type of search that deserves the name and that he manifestly had an 
insufficient number of planes for this purpose."^ In consequence of 
this situation. Admiral Kimmel decided to undertake no distant recon- 
naissance whatever from Pearl Harbor and regarded the deployment 
of the task forces and other measures already indicated as an adequate 
defensive deployment within the terms of the order contained in the 
war warning. ^^* 

In this connection, as heretofore pointed out, Admiral McMorris, 
Director of War Plans under Admiral Kimmel, testified before the 
Hewitt Inquiry with respect to what defensive deployment was exe- 
cuted, stating — 

there was no material change in the disposition and deployment of the fleet forces 
at that time other than the movement of certain aircraft to Midway and Wake 
and of the carriers with their attendant cruisers and destroyers, to those locations 
to deliver aircraft."' 

He further stated that the language with respect to a defensive 
deployment in the war warning was a "direction" and that he consid- 
ered the action taken constituted an appropriate defensive deploy- 
ment; that it was a major action in line with the measure to execute 
an appropriate defensive deployment; and jthat the major portion of 
the fleet was disposed in Hawaiian waters and reinforcements were 
sent to Midway and Wake, He said, however, that the establishing 
of an air patrol from Oahu to guard against a surprise attack by 
Japan would have been an appropriate act but that — 

no one act nor no one disposition can be examined independent of other require- 
ments.'^ 

Admiral Smith, Chief of Staff to Admiral Kammel, said that follow- 
ing the war warning of November 27 the establishment of aircraft 
patrols from Oahu would have been an appropriate defensive deploy- 
ment to carry out the initial tasks assigned by the Pacific Fleet war 
plans. ^^^ 

>" See testimony of Admiral Kimmel, committee record, pp. 6752-6759. 

"« See committee record, pp. 6759-6761; also Navy Court of Tnquirv record, pp. 1144, 1145. 

"» Hewitt Inquiry record, pp. 321, 322. 

iM Id., at pp. 323, 324. 

IS' Hewitt Inquiry record, pp. 372, 373. 

90179 — 46 9 



112 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Admiral Turner, Director of War Plans, who had a principal part in 
preparing the November 27 war warning, testified as follows with 
respect to the term defensive deployment :^^'' 

Before coming to the meat of the answer, I invite attention to the fact that 
this dispatch has a multiple address. It goes to the commander in chief of the 
Asiatic Fleet for action and it goes to the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet for 
action. It is as if it were the Army practice, with two dispatches, one addressed 
to each, but both in identical terms. 

A "deployment" is a spreading out of forces. A naval deployment means to 
spread out and make ready for hostilities. To get into the best positions from 
which to execute the operating plans against the enemy. The defensive deploy- 
ment as applied to Hawaii, which is of chief interest, was for the defense of Hawaii 
and of the west coast of the United States, because one of the tasks of WPL46 is 
to defend the territory and coastal zones, our own territory and coastal zones, 
and to defend our shipping. 

Instead of being in a concentrated place, or instead of being off in some distant 
region holding exercises and drills, it meant that the forces under the command 
of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet could take station for the most 
probable attack against them or against the Hawaiian Islands, keeping in mind 
their responsibilities for covering the United States and Panama. 

The deployment in the vicinity of Hawaii, if wide enough, would in itself 
constitute a formidable barrier against any attempt further east, and we definitely 
did not expect an attack, that is, the Navy did not, an attack on the west coast 
or in Panama, as is indicated by a dispatch going out the same day to the com- 
mandants of districts to take precautions against subversive activities, but we 
did not tell them to make any defensive deployment. 

The deployment from Hawaii might have been made in a number of different 
ways. Certainly I would expect that in accordance with the plans that should 
have been drawn up, and they were, that airplanes would have been sent to 
Midway, if not already there, to Wake, to Johnston Island, to Palmyra, the 
reconnaissance planes as well as defensive planes, and that a reconnaissance 
would have been undertaken. The movement of those planes and forces to those 
positions constituted part of the defensive deployment. 

The battleships, of course, were of no use whatsoever against undamaged fast 
ships. Naturally, it was not to be expected that the Japanese would bring over 
slow ships unless they were making their full and complete effort against Hawaii, 
so that a proper deployment for the battleships would have been in the best 
position to do what was within their power, which was only to defend Hawaii 
against actual landings. In other words, if they had been at sea and in a retired 
position even, such that if actual landings were attempted on the Hawaiian 
Islands and at such a distance that they could arrive prior to or during the landings, 
they would have been most useful indeed to have interfered with and defeated 
the landings. 

Since, as has been pointed out previously, the danger zone, the danger position 
of Hawaii was to the north, because there were not little outlying islands there 
from which observation could have been made, since there was no possibility of 
detecting raiders from the north except by airplanes and ships, an appropriate 
deployment would have been to have sent some fast ships, possibly with small 
seaplanes, up to the north to assist and possibly to cover certain sectors against 
approach, which the long-range reconnaissance could not have done. Of course, 
these ships would naturally have been in considerable danger, but that was what 
they were there for, because fighting ships are of no use unless they are in a dan- 
gerous position so that they can engage the enemy and inflict loss on them. 

Another part of a deployment, even where airplanes would not be moved, would 
have been to put them on operating air fields scattered throughout the islands so 
that they could be in a mutual supporting position with respect to other fields 
and to cover a somewhat wider arc. 

Another part of the deployment would have been to have sent submarines, as 
many as were available, out into a position from which they could exercise either 
surveillance or could make attacks against approaching vessels. 

It is to be noted that there was no offensive action ordered for submarines. 
The offensive action, of course, would have been to send them into Japanese 
waters. 



'w Commlttea record, pp. 5168-5172. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 113 

With respect to the same matter, Admiral Stark said that he had 
anticipated that full secmity measures would be taken, that the 
Army would set a condition of readiness for aircraft and the aircraft 
warning service, that Admiral Kimmel would invoke full readiness 
measures, distant reconnaissance and anti-submarine measures, and 
that the plans previously agreed on with the Army would be imple- 
mented.^*^ 

In considering the validity of Admiral Kimmel's position that the 
order to execute an appropriate defensive deployment is inseparable 
from the language "preparatory to carrying out the task assigned in 
WPLr-46" it is necessary to consider what the piu-port of the message 
would have been without the words "execute an appropriate defensive 
deployment." In such case Admiral Kimmel might conceivably 
have been partially justified in making all preparations with a view- 
to carrying out the tasks assigned after war began. But under the 
terms of the dispatch as received by him he was to do something else. 
He was to execute a defensive deployment preparatory to carrying 
out these tasks — a defensive deployment before war broke. 

Furthermore, Admiral Kimmel received for his information the 
message of November 28 directed for action to the naval commanders 
on the west coast.^** After quoting the Army dispatch of November 
27 to the commander of the Army Western Defense Command, this 
message stated: "* * * Be prepared to carry out tasks assigned 
in WPL-46 so far as they apply to Japan in case hostilities occur." 
The west coast commanders were not ordered to effect a defensive 
deployment, only to be prepared to carry out the tasks assigned in 
WPL-46. Here was a clear indication to the Commander of the 
Pacific Fleet that he was to do sometliing significantly more than 
merely getting prepared to carry out war tasks. He was to execute 
a defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out such tasks. 

Ajid among Admiral Kimmel's tasks under the war plans, prior to 
outbreak of war, were the maintenance of fleet security and guarding 
"against a surprise attack by Japan." As has already been seen in 
the plans for the defense of the Hawaiian coastal frontier it was 
recognized that a declaration of war might be preceded by a surprise 
submarine attack on ships in the operating areas and a surprise 
attack on Oahu including ships and installations in Pearl Harbor; 
that it appeared "the most likely and dangerous form of attack on 
Oahu would be an air attack." ^** 



■M See Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 54-62, 84. Asked what was meant by the "defensive deploy- 
ment" in the message of November 27, Admiral Stark said: "My thought m that message about the de- 
fensive deployment was clear all-out security measures. Certainly, having been directed to take a defensive 
deployment, the Army having been directed to make recomiaissance, but regardless of the Army, our 
message to Admiral Kimmel, that the natural thing — and perhaps he did to it — was to take up with the Army 
right away in the gravity of the situation, the plans that they had made, and then make dispositions as best 
he could against surprise for the safety not only of the ships which he decided to keep in port but also for 
the safety of the ships which he had at sea. He had certain material which he could use for that and we 
naturally expected he would use it." 

"* * * a defensive deployment would be to spread and to use his forces to the maximum extent to avoid sur- 
prise and, if he could, to hit the other fellow and in conjunction with the Army, to implement the arrangemknts 
which had previously been made for just this sort of thing." Committee record, pp. 5705, 5706. 

iM Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 38. 

'M See committee exhibit No. 44. 

Admiral Bellinger testified that in hi"! opinion an air attack was the most likely form of attack on Pearl 
Harbor. Committee record, p. 9355. He further testified that the Martin-Bellinger estimate was not an 
estimate of the strategy that the Japanese would employ in starting the war but rather an estimate cover- 
ing the event of sudden hostile action against Oahu: in other words, that it was not an estimate which in- 
dicated that Japan was gomg to strike against Oahu as riert of their national strategy but rather if they 
were ^oing to strike Oabu this was the estimate of how it would be done. Committee record, p. 9382. 



114 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

With the clear recognition that Japan might attack before a declara 
tion of war and with a war warning carrying an order to execute an 
appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to performing tasks 
dming war, it is difficult to understand why Admii-al Elimmel should 
have concluded that no distant air reconnaissance should be con- 
ducted, 'particularly in the dangerous sector to the north. Apart from 
radio intelligence which will be later discus'sed, distant reconnaissance 
admittedly was the only adequate means of detecting an approaching 
raiding force in sufficient time to avoid a surprise attack. Certainly 
the sector from the west to the south was covered, partially at least, 
by the tliree task forces. And yet the most dangerous sector the 90° 
counterclockwise from due north to due west, the sector through which 
the Japanese strildng force approached, was given no attention what- 
gygp 186 Admiral Bellinger testified that had distant reconnaissance 
been conducted it would have been to the north ^*' and, although he 
was responsible fol* Navy patrol planes. Admiral Bellinger was not 
even shown the war warning.^®^ 

Admiral Kimmel has suggested that under the Joint Coastal Frontier 
Defense Plan Admiral Bloch was responsible for distant reconnaissance 
and had the latter desired planes he could have called upon the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. '^^ This suggestion, apart 
from being incompatible with Admiral Kimmel's stating he made 
the decision not to conduct distant reconnaissance, is not tenable. 
Admiral Bloch had no planes with which to conduct distant patrols 
and Admiral Kimmel knew it.^^*^ While he was on the ground, it was 
the responsibility of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet to 
take all necessary steps in line with a defensive deployment and in 
recognition of the realities at Hawaii to protect the fleet. ^^^ 

Admiral Kimmel's assertion that only a 360°-distant reconnaissance 
is worthy of the name ignores the fact that a 90° arc to the southwest 
was being partially covered, a fact concerning which he Las made a 
point in testifying before the committee. Manifestly, to have con- 
ducted reconnaissance to any extent v/ould have been more eft'ective 
than no reconnaissance at all.^^^ And Admiral Kimmel had adequate 

188 See testimony of Admiral Bellinger, Committee record, pp. 9369, 9370; also section "Plans for the 
Defense of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier," Part III, this report. 

1" Committee record, pp. 9324, 9325; also Hewitt Inquiry record, pp. 506, 507. 

In testifying before the Navy Court of Inquiry Admiral Kimmel was asked what he could consider the 
most probable areas of approach for a surprise attack launched from carriers against Pearl Harbor. He 
replied: "I testified before the so-called Roberts Commission that I thought the northern sector was the 
most probable. I thought at the time that the aircraft had come from the north — the time I testified I 
mean — and I didn't wish to make alibis. However, I feel that there is do sector around Oahu which is 
fnuch more dangerous than any other sector. We have an island which can be approached from any direc- 
tion. There is no outlying land which prevents this, and you have got a 360° arc, minus the very small line 
which runs up along the Hawaiian chain. From the southern, we have observation stations, Johnston and 
Palmyra, and the closest Japanese possession is to the southwcstward in the Marshalls, and these Japanese 
carriers were fuel eaters and short-legged. I would say that while all sectors are important, if I were re- 
stricted, I would probably search the western 180° sector first." Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 305. 

'88 Committee record, pp. 9305, 9306; also 9362, 9363. 

•89 Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 1125. , 

19' See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 1125. 

The Navy Court of Inquiry found: "The Naval Base Defense Officer (Admiral Bloch) was entirely 
without aircraft, either fighters or patrol planes, assigned perm.anently to him. He was compelled to rely 
upon Fleet aircraft for joint eSort in conjunction with Army air units." See Navy Court of Inquiry report, 
committee exhibit No. 157. 

"" Admiral Bollinger testified that in the absence of definite information as to the probability of an attack, 
it was the responsibility of Admiral Kimmel to order long-range reconnaissance. Hart Inquiry record, 
p. 125. 

192 Admiral Bellinger testified that covering certain selected sectors was a possible and feasible operation. 
Hewitt inquiry record, p. 477. 

Admiral Kimmel admitted that "Of course, any patrol run has some value. I will admit that as far as 
surface ship." Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 1125. 

Admiral Stark testified: "When you haven't got enough planes to search the entire area which'you would 
like to search, whether it is planes or what not, you narrow down to where you think is the most likely 
area of travel, and your next study is how can you cover that or how much of it can you cover." Com- 
mittee record, p. 5702. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 115 

patrol planes to conduct distant reconnaissance for an extended period 
thi'oughout the most dangerous sectors. The evidence reflects that 
there were 81 planes available to the commander in chief of the Pacific 
Fleet which were capable of performing distant reconnaissance. ^^^ 
Estimates of the number which can properly be regarded as in a state 
of readiness to conduct reconnaissance flights from Oahu as of Decem- 
ber 7 range from 48 to 69. In addition the Army had six long-range 
bombers ^^* which were available to the Navy under the plans for joint 
air operations at Hawaii. Even with the minimum estimate of 48 and 
the conservative basis of emi)loying each plane only once every 3 
days/^^ a sector of 128° could have been covered daily for several^ 
weeks. ^^^ This fact, when considered with the reconnaissance sweeps 
from Midway and by the task forces, leaves clear that the most dan- 
gerous sectors could have been fully covered. ^^^ "In all events it would 
have been entirely possible and proper to have employed aii'craft to any 
extent available for distant reconnaissance in the more dangerous sec- 
tors, using submarines, destroyers, or other vessels in the less dangerous 
approaches to Oahu.^^^ That substantial and effective distant recon- 
naissance could have been conducted is demonstrated by the fact that 
it, was instituted immediately after the attack despite the fact that 
over half the available planes were rendered inoperative by the 
attack.1^9 

Yet Admii'al Kimmel contends that use of all his available planes 
would have unduly impaired his ability to carry out the offensive 
measures assigned the Pacific Fleet in the event of war."™ The 
evidence establishes, however, that his plans for the conduct of 

'W See committee exhibit No. 120. 

"< Admiral Bellinger stated, however, that the Army reported 8 B-17's avaOable for December 6, 1941. 
Committee record, p. 9307. 

"5 See tpstiraony of Admiral Bellinger, committee record, pp. 9328, 9329. 

'•' Id., Hewitt inquiry record, pp. 480-507. See also committee record, p. 9330 where Bellinger stated 
the patrol could be maintained for 11 days to 2 weeks, perhaps longer. Admiral Bellinger testified that 1 
patrol plane could cover 8° to 700 miles. Committee record, p. 9325. 

1" Admiral Davis, fleet aviation officer, said that the entire 360° circumference was not of equal impor- 
tance; that a considerable arc to the north and west and another arc to the south and west were the most 
important. lie said that although there were not enough planes and pilots to have established and main- 
tained a long-range 360° search indefinitely, there were enough to have made searches using relatively 
short-range planes in the least dangerous sectors and by obtaining some assistance from available Army 
aircraft. Hart Inquiry record, pp. 98, 99; 240, 241. 

'•* The evidence before the committee contradicts the following conclusion of the Navy Court of Inquiry: 
"Neither surface ships nor submarines properly may be employed to perform this duty (reconnaissance), 
even if the necessary number be available. The resulting dispersion of strength not only renders the fleet 
incapable of performing its proper function, but exposes the units to destruction in detail. A defensive 
deployment of surface ships and submarines over an extensive sea area as a means of continuotasly guarding 
against a possible attack from an unknown quarter and at an unknown time, is not sound mfiitary procedure 
either in peace or in war." The committee regards the employment of surface vessels for the purpose of recon- 
naissance as sound military procedure where reconnaissance is imperative and the more adaptable facilities, 
patrol planes, are not sufficiently available. See also note 192, supra. 

It is highly significant that the Commandant of the loth Naval District (Panama) was taking the following 
action, as reported by General Andrews to the War Department under date of November 29, 1941: "In the 
Panama Sector, the Commandant of the 15th Naval District is conducting continuous surface patrol of the area 
included ivithin the Panama Coastal Frontier, supplemented, within the limits of the aircraft at his disposal, by 
an air patrol. In ray opinion, the Commandant of the 15th Naval District, does not have sufficient aircraft 
or vessels within his control for adequate reconnaissance." See Committee Exhibit No. 32, p. 18. 

iw See testimony of Admiral Bellinger, committee record, pp. 9371, 9372. 

2<» In his statement submitted to the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel said: "Having covered 
the operating areas by air patrols it was not prudent in my judgment and that of my staff to fritter away our 
slim resources in patrol planes m token searches and thus seriously impair their required availability to carry 
out their functions with the Fleet under approved War Plans." 

When questioned concerning the time that Admiral Kimmel would be expected to start a raid against the 
Marshall Islands after war began. Admiral IngersoU stated that Admiral Kimmel "could have chosen any 
date, and we did not expect him to move on any particular date, we expected him to move to carry out that task when 
he was ready." If I can digi'ess a Mttle bit on that, I do not know that Admiral Kimmel, or anybody, knew 
what was the state of the Japanese fortifications and defenses in the Marshall IsUmds. Any movement of 
that kind I have no doubt would have been preceded by reconnaissance, possibly from carrier planes or 
possibly from some of the long-range Army planes which were fi.xed up for photographic purposes, and they 
would undoubtedly have made a reconnaissance to determine where the Japanese strength was, what 
islands were fortified, and so forth, and upon the receipt of that mtcUigence base their plans. As a matter of 
fact, I think we were trying to get out of the Army a recoimaissance of those islands in coimections with the 
flight of Army planes from Hawaii to Australia. I believe it did not take place until after Pearl Harbor." 
Committee record, p. 11457. 



116 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

ofiFensive operations, after outbreak of war, contemplated the use of 
a maximum of 24 patrol planes.^°^ Even if this number were deducted 
from those available, there were still sufficient planes to have covered 
at least the entire dangerous northwest sector. The offensive tasks 
of the future did not justify disregarding the danger that the Pacific 
Fleet might be caught by surprise while still in port and before 
offensive operations could begin. 

In making the decision not to conduct distant reconnaissance, Admi- 
ral Kimmel erred. ^°^ In determining whether making the decision 
that he did evinced poor judgment consideration must be given his 
'responsibility as commander in chief and the realities of his situation. 
It was essentially his duty to protect the Pacific Fleet from all dangers 
to the utmost of his ability. He knew that the primary function of 
the Pacific Fleet in the early stages of the war was a defensive one, 
save for sporadic raids and limited offensive operations, in recognition 
o' the fact that our Pacific Fleet was inferior to that of Japan. He 
was ordered to effect an appropriate defensive deployment. This 
was a general directive consistent with his specific suggestion that 
the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet be guided by broad policy 
and objectives rather than by categorical instructions. ^°^ He was 
given free rein to effect defensive security, in line with his more inti- 
mate knowledge of the detailed and peculiar problems affecting the 
Pacific Fleet, prior to carrying out the tasks assigned in the Pacific war 
plans. He knew that one of the tasks before the outbreak of war was 
guarding against a possible surprise attack by Japan. He knew that 
the only effective means of detecting a surprise raiding force in ade- 
quate time to combat it was by distant reconnaissance. He knew 
the Japanese reputation for deceit and treachery. He knew the great- 
est danger to the Fleet at Pearl Harbor was the possibility of an air 
raid. He knew that the maintenance and protection of the Fleet 
while in its base constituted a fundamental element in making military 
dispositions at Pearl Harbor. He had been categorically warned of 
war. He knew or must have known that the necessity of Japan's 
striking the first blow required of him greater vigilance consistent with 
his fundamental duty as commander in chief to prepare for the worst 
contingency. He had adequate facilities to patrol the most dangerous 
approaches to Pearl Harbor. The decision was not a simple one, but, 
failing to resolve his dilemma by seeking advice from the Navy De- 
partment,'^"* Admiral Kimmel displayed poor judgment in failing to 

21" See committee record, r- £316 et seq. 

As to the use of long-distance patrol planes by Admiral Kimmel in prospective raids on the Marshall 
Islands under the war plans, Admiral Ingersoll stated: "The radius of patrol planes out there was about 
600 miles, or somewhere in the neighborhood of a 1,200-mile flight. They could not have been used in that 
operation to cover actual operations in the Marshalls area, unless he was able to establish a base m the 
Marshalls from which the planes could operate. They could, however, cover the movement of vessels to 
the westward of Johnston and Palmyra and Wake to the extent that their radius could take them; that is, 
600 miles from those positions." Committee record, p. 11450. 

S02 There is no substantial evidence of any specific discussions between Admiral Kimmel and members of 
his staff on or after the receipt of the "war warning" concerning the advisability or practicability of distant 
reconnaissance from Oahu. Admiral TvIcMorris, war plans officer, thought that the subject must have 
been discussed, but could recall no specific discussion. The commander of the fleet patrol planes, Admiral 
Bellinger, who had not been informed of any of the significant warning messages, testified that Admiral 
Kimmel had no discussion with him concerning the maac.'. 

813 See memorandum from Admiral Kimmel to the Chief of Naval Operations, dated May 26, 1941, com- 
mittee exhibit No. lOo 

Admiral Stark testified that the handling of the Pacific Fleet was up to the commander in chief: "* * • 
it was then up to the Commander in Chief on the spot. I would not have presum.ed, sitting at a desk in 
Washington, to tell him what to do with his fleet. There w'ere many factors involved, of which he was the 
only person who had the knowledge, and once I had started, if I had started, to give him directives, I would 
have been handling the fleet. That was not my job." Committee record, p. 5705. 

29* Referring to the order to execute an appropriate "defensive deployment," Admiral Kimmel stated: 
"This appropriate defensive deployment was a new term to me. I decided that what was meant was some- 
thing similar to the disposition I had made on October 16, which had been approved by the originator of 
both these dispatches (Chief of Naval Operations), and I therefore made the dispositions which I have out- 
lined." See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 305, 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 117 

employ every instrumentality at his command to defend the fleet.^°* 
Conceding for purposes of discussion that Admiral Kimmel's 
decision to employ none of the fleet patrol planes for distant recon- 
naissance was a reasonable military decision under the circumstances, 
the very fact of having made such decision placed upon him the 
affirmative responsibility of determining that every other available 
means for reconnaissance was being employed to protect the fleet. 
His determination not to conduct long-range reconnaissance is of 
itself a recognition by him that it was his obligation to provide 
such reconnaissance. He knew that the Army was depending upon 
him for certain defensive measures.*"^ Further, the fact that there 
was an agreement with the Army at Hawaii whereby the Navy was 
to perform distant reconnaissance placed upon Admiral Kimmel the 
obligation of advising General Short that he had decided not to conduct 
such reconnaissance. Indeed, General Short, who saw the war warn- 
ing, testified that in his opinion the "defensive deployment" which 
the Navy was directed to execute "would necessarily include distant 
reconnaissance." ^°^ Admiral Kimmel's clear duty, therefore, in the 
absence of Navy reconnaissance was to confer with General Short 
to insure that Army radar, antiaircraft, and planes were fully utilized 
and alerted. None of these things were done. And there appears to 
be no substantial reason for failure to call upon the Army, consistent 
with the joint plans, for the six long-range bombers which were 
admittedly available to the Navy at Hawaii for the asking.^°^ 

Action Which Was Not Taken Upon Receipt of the "War 

Warning" 

As has been seen, following the warning dispatch of November 27 no 
distant reconnaissance as such was instituted.^°^' This meant that 
there was no adequate means whatever taken by the Navy to detect 

'o» The Navy Court of Inquiry found: "It is a fact that the use of fleet patrol planes for daily long-range, 
all-around reconnaissance was not justified in the absence of information indicating that an attack was to 
be expected within narrow limits of time." The committee is in essential disagreement with this conclu- 
sion. Admiral Kimmel was warned in categorical fashion of war on November 27, 2 days after the Japanese 
Task Force had left Ilitokappu Bay and while on the way to Pearl Harbor. It is difficult to imagine how 
it would have been possible from Wash.ingt07i to have narrowed the limits of time in which Japan might strike in 
any more timely fashion, particularly inasmuch as Radio Intelligence had lost track completely of substantial 
carrier units of the Japanese Fleet. This being true, distant reconnaissance was the only possible means of 
detecting the striking force within adequate time to prepare to meet the attack. There was no other channel 
for indicating that an attack was to he e.xpected within narrow limits of time or otherwise. 

Going on, the Navy Court of Inquiry stated: "It is a further fact that, even if justified, this was not 
possible with the inadequate number of fleet planes available." The court is here of course referring to 
all-around reconnaissance from Oahu. As has been clearly indicated, there were adequate facilities for patrol- 
ling the more dangerous stctors, a procedure t hit was practical, feasible, and desirable. 

»<" As stated by the commander in chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral 
King: "In the case of Pearl Harbor, where local defenses were Inadequate, the commander in chief of the 
Pacific Fleet could not, and did not, evade responsibility for assisting in the defense, merely because, in 
principle, this is not normally a fleet task. It appears from the record that Admiral Kimmel appreciated 
properly this phase of the situation. His contention appears to be that Pearl Harbor should have been 
strong enough for self-defense. The fact that it was not strong enough for self-defense hampered his arrange- 
ments for the employment of the fleet, but, nevertheless, he was aware of, and accepted the necessity for, 
employing tha fleet in the defensive measures." See "Second Endorsement" to report of Navy Court of 
Inquiry, committee exhibit No. 157. 

Admiral King also observed, "I think » ♦ » that Admiral Kimmel was fully aware that, in view of 
the weakness of local defenses, the fleet had to be employed to protect Pearl Harbor and the Hawaiian 
Islands in general." Id 

s" Committee record, pp. 7926, 7927. 

*"* See in this connection testimony of Admiral Bellinger, committee record, p. 9310. 

:o8a When questioned as to any reason why Admiral Kimmel .should not have had long-range reconnais- 
sance operating from November 27 on through to the time Japen struck, with whatever planes we had even 
if it were only "three," Admiral Ingersoll replied: "I had e\cry reason to expect that he would do that, 
and I was suri'rised that he had not done it. As I stated the other day, 1 was very much surprised that the 
attack had gotten in undetected • * * I expected that it would be done not only because the planes 
were there, but because this (WPL-46) plan inferred that it was gomg to be done. It never occurred to me 
that it was not being done." Committee record, p. 11420. 



118 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

the approach of a raiding force in sufficient time to repel it or effec- 
tively minimize the force of an attack. The Pacific Fleet patrol planes 
which were under the control of Admiral Kimmel were operating in 
accordance with schedules prepared as of November 22, 1941, stressing 
training operations. These schedules were not changed prior to the 
attack. 

No effort was made to secure the available long-range bombers of 
the Army for reconnaissance. 

No change was made in the condition of readiness of vessels in 
Pearl Harbor which had been in effect for a considerable period of time 
preceding November 27.^"^ This condition of readiness has been 
referred to as "an augmented Navy No. 3," the No. 3 condition being 
the lowest state of readiness.^^" The three conditions of readiness 
established for the Navy were: 

No. 1. Entire crew, officers and men at battle stations. Action 
imminent. 

No. 2. Provides the means of opening fire immediately with one- 
half the armament. Enemy believed to be in vicinity. 

No. 3. Provides a means of openmg fire with a portion of the second- 
ary and antiaircraft batteries in case of surprise encounter. 

While it appears that condition No. 3 prevailed subsequently during 
wartime at Pearl Harbor and is the condition normally maintained in 
port, there nevertheless was an extensive distant reconnaissance de- 
signed to alert the fieet to a higher condition of readiness prior to pos- 
sible attack and to afford a considerable measure of protection. This 
means of protection was not available to the fleet on the morning of 
December 7.^^^ 



2M In testifying before the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel was asked: "On the morning of 7 
December 1941, preceding the attack, can you tell the court what the material condition of readiness was in 
effect on ships of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor?" Admiral Kimmel replied: "The condition of readiness 
No. 3, as laid down in 2CL-41 had been prescribed some time before by Vice Admiral Pye, and that was in 
effect on the day of the attack. In addition to that, the Commander of Battleships, Battle Force, had 
issued an order requiring two 5-inch guns and two 50-calibre guns on each battleship to be manned at all 
times. These were, to the best of my knowledge and belief, manned on the date in question." p. 278. 

The three conditions of readiness with respect to naval base defense, as set forth in 2CL-41 follow: 

Condition I. General quarters in all ships. Condition of aircraft as prescribed by naval base defense 
oflficer. 

Condition II. One-half of antiaircraft battery of all ships in each sector manned and ready. Condition 
of aircraft as prescribed by naval base defense officer. 

Condition III. Antiaircraft battery (guns which bear in assigned sector) of at least one ship in each sector 
manned and ready (minimam of four guns required for each sector). Condition of aircraft as prescribed 
by naval base defense officer. 

See committee exhibit No. 44. 

Admiral Kimmel was asked whether, upon receipt of the November 27 war warning, he consulted with 
the commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District on any measures of security to be adopted in the 
Fourteenth Naval District that were different from any then in effect. He replied that he discussed the 
message with the commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District but no additional measures of security 
were deemed advisable as a result of the conversation. See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 303. 

2" While virtually all antiaircraft guns aboard ship were firing within 10 minutes, only about one-fourth 
were "ready machine guns" available to fire immediately. Inasmuch as by far the greatest damage was 
effected by the torpedo planes in the first wave, a higher degree of readiness would have reduced beyond 
question the effectiveness of this initial thrust. Admiral Kimmel said: "Had it not been for the torpedoes I 
think the damage would have been enormously less." Roberts record, p. 547. 

For the indicated reason the conclusion of Navy Court of Inquiry that "a higher condition of readiness 
could have added httle, if anything to the defense" is in error. See Navy Court of Inquiry report, commit- 
tee exhibit No. 157. 

'" In its report, the Navy Court of Inquiry has observed: "It has been suggested that each day all naval 
planes should have been in the air, all naval personnel at their stations, and all antiaircraft guns manned. 
The Court is of the opinion that the wisdom of this is questionable when it is considered that it would not 
be known when an attack would take place and that, to make sure, it would have been necessary to impose 
a state of tension on the personnel day after day, and to disrupt the maintenance and operating schedules 
of ships and planes beginning at an indefinite date between 16 October and 7 December. 

This statement contains within itself the certain proof of its invalidity. It was foi the very reason that 
it could not be known when an attack would take place that it was essential a higher degree of readiness 

grevail. If it were possible to know with definitiveness when the attack would come the necessity for a 
igher state of readiness would be obviated until the time for the attack had approached. Furthermore, 
the extreme state of readiness suggested by the court is a far cry from the lowest conditions of readiness 
which prevailed at the time of the attack in both the Army and Navy Commands. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 119 

No change was effected in the state of readiness of naval aircraft. 
The aircraft on the ground and the patrol planes moored on the water 
were not in condition to take to the air promptly. Approximately 50 
percent of the planes on December 7 were on 4 hom-s' notice. 

Having elected to institute no distant reconnaissance by aircraft, 
no effort was made to inaugurate patrols by surface or subsurface craft 
to compensate and partially serve in heu of distant reconnaissance by 
planes.^^^ The evidence shows there were 29 destroyers and 5 sub- 
marines in Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7.^^' While 
the employment of surface craft or submarines in lieu of distant air 
reconnaissance is not altogether satisfactory or fully effective, it none- 
theless would have provided a measure of protection more to be desired 
than no reconnaissance whatever. 

No effort was made to maintain a striking force at sea in readiness 
to intercept possible raiding forces approaching through the danger- 
ous northern sector.^^* 

No change was made in the schedules of ships proceeding to Pearl 
Harbor with a view to maintenance of a minimum force at harbor 
with provision for entry into port at irregular intervals. 

After the decision to institute no distant reconnaissance, the Navy 
did not check or otherwise maintain effective Haison with the Army as 
to the readiness of Army antiaircraft defense and aircraft warning 
installations. 

Estimate and Action Taken by General Short With Respect 
TO THE Warning Dispatch of November 27 

The commanding general of the Hawaiian Department does not 
appear to have taken any appreciable action, apart from his normal 
training operations, on the basis of any information received by him 
with respect to our critical relations with Japan prior to the warning 
of November 27 from the Chief of Staff, General Marshall. 

This dispatch, No. 472,^'^ advised that negotiations with Japan 
appeared terminated to all practical purposes with only the barest 
possibilities that the Japanese Government might come back and offer 
to continue; that Japanese future action was unpredictable but hostile 
action was possible at any moment. It stated that if hostilities could 
not be avoided the United States desired that Japan commit the first 
overt act. It pointed out, however, that this policy should not be 
construed as restricting General Short to a course of action that might 
jeopardize his defense. It ordered the commanding general, prior to 
hostile Japanese action, to undertake such reconnaissance and other 
measures as he deemed necessary but admonished that these measures 
should be carried out so as not to alarm the civil population or dis- 
close intent. It instructed that should hostilities occur. General 
Short should carry out the tasks assigned in the war plans insofar 
as they applied to Japan. He was to limit the dissemination of "this 
highly secret information to minimum essential officers" and to report 
measures taken. 



'•> See note 192, supra. 

»" Committee exhibit No. 6. 

»» Id. 

«« Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 7. 



120 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Within 30 minutes of receiving this dispatch and after consulting 
only with his chief of staff, Colonel Phillips,^'^ General Short replied 
to the War Department as follows: ^" 

Reurad four seven two 27th. Report Department alerted to prevent sabotage. 
Liaison with the Navy. 

Short. 

As a result of the November 27 dispatch General Short decided to 
institute alert No. 1, the lowest of three alerts provided for the 
Hawaiian Department. The three alerts were: "^ 

No. 1. Defense against sabotagie and uprisings. No threat from 
without. 

No. 2. Security against attacks from hostile subsurface, surface, 
and aircraft, in addition to No. 1. 

No. 3. Requires occupation of all field positions by all units, pre- 
pared for maximum defense of Oahu and the Army instal- 
lations on outlying islands. 
At the same time that he ordered alert No. 1, the commanding general 
directed that the Interceptor Command, including the Aircraft 
Warning Service (Radar) and Information Center, should operate 
from 4 a. m. to 7 a. m. daily. In addition, it should be noted that 
the six mobile radar stations operated daily except Sunday from 7 
a. m. to 11 a. m. for routine training and daily, except Saturday and 
Sunday, from 12 noon until 4 p. m. for training and maintenance 
work.*'^ In explaining his reasons and the considerations responsible 
for his instituting an alert against sabotage only, General Short has 
stated: (1) That the message of November 27 contained nothing 
directing him to be prepared to meet an air raid or an all-out attack 
on Hawaii ; "° (2) that he received other messages after the November 
27 dispatch emphasizing measures against sabotage and subversive 
activities; "^ (3) that the dispatch was a "do-don't" message which 
conveyed to him the impression that the avoidance of war was para- 
mount and the greatest fear of the War Department was that some 
international incident might occur in Hawaii which Japan would 
regard as an overt act ; "^ (4) that he was looking to the Navy to 
provide him adequate warning of the approach of a hostile force, 
particularly through distant reconnaissance which was a Navy 
responsibility; "^ and (5) that instituting alerts 2 or 3 would have 
seriously interfered with the training mission of the Hawaiian 
Department."* 

NO WARNING OF ATTACK ON HAWAII 

The first statement by General Short that there was nothing direct- 
ing him to be prepared to meet an air raid or an all-out attack on 
Hawaii will be considered. Implicit in this contention is the assump- 
tion that, despite the known imminence of war between the United 
States and Japan and the fact that he commanded a Pacific outpost, 

s" Colonel Walter C. Phillips. See committee record, pp. 7945, 7946. 
»" Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 12. 

'" See committee exhibit No. 44. See also testimony of General Short, committee record pp. 7944, 7945. 
"« Testimony or General Short, committee record, p. 7946. 

"' General Short said, "There was nothing in the message directing me to be prepared to meet an air 
raid or an all-out attack." Committee record, p. 7929. 
"' Committee record, p. 7929. 
'" Id., at p. 7927. 
»" Id., at p. 7946 et teg. 
»M Id., at pp. 7948-7951. 



PEARL- HARBOR ATTACK 121 

it was not his duty to be on the alert against a threat from without. 
This assumption docs not appear to be supported by miUtary doctrine 
or the logic of the Hawaiian situation prior to the attack.^^* 

The wording of the November 27 dispatch indicated the possibility 
of an attack from without in ordering General Short to undertake 
reconnaissance. The only conceivable reconnaissance which could 
have been undertaken by the Army was through employment of air- 
craft or radar, either or both of which would be in contemplation of 
an attack from without. General Marshall had told the command- 
ing general of the Hawaiian Department much earlier, with emphasis 
and clarity, that the function of the Army in Hawaii was to defend 
the fleet base. Despite this fact, when warned that Japan's future 
action was unpredicta,ble but hostile action was possible at any mo- 
ment andwhcn his attention was called to the necessity for reconnais- 
sance, General Short proceeded to institute an alert against sabotage 
only. This was done although there had not been one single act of 
sabotage on the islands up to that time; for that matter, there were 
no acts of sabotage thereafter, although this danger in Hawaii had 
been recognized by both the Hawaiian Department and Washing- 
|.Qj^ 225a However, in all of General Short's correspondence with 
General Marshall the subject of sabotage was not emphasized and 
scarcely discussed. Quite to the contrary, the letters referred re- 
peatedly to aircraft and antiau'craft defense. 

DISPATCHES INDICATING THREAT OF SABOTAGE 

We will now consider the contention made by General Short that 
he received other messages emphasizing measures against sabotage and 
subversive activities, which to his mind confirmed the accuracy of his 
judgment in instituting an alert against sabotage only. All of these 
messages, however, were received after the warning dispatch of Novem- 
ber 27 and ajter he had replied there to. ^^® They could not, therefore, 
have influenced in any way his decision to institute an alert against 
sabotage only. 

The first of the messages concerning possible subversive activities 
was signed by General Miles and was dated November 27. It pointed 
out that hostilities may ensue and that subversive activities may be 
expected. This message made definitely clear that subversive activi- 
ties and sabotage were not all that might be expected but hostilities 
as well. In this connection, however. General Short has referred to 
the fact that sabotage was a form of hostile action."' 

On November 28 the Hawaiian Department received two dispatches 
from the War Department specifically warning of the danger of sabo- 
tage and subversive activities. ^^* To the first of these dispatches 
which was signed by General Adams, the Adjutant General, the 

'-' As expressed by Secretary Stimson in his statement submitted for the committee's consideration: 
"The outpost commander is like a fentinel on duty in the face of the enemy. His fundamental duties are 
clear and precise. He must assume that the enemy will attack at his particular post; and that the enemy 
will attack at the time aii'i in the way in which it will be most difficult to defeat him. It is not the duty 
of the outpost commander to speculate or rely on the possibilities of the enemy attacking at some other 
outpost instead of his own. It is his duty to meet him at his post at any time and to make the best possible 
fight that can be made against him with the weapons with which he has been supplied." Committee record, 
pp. 14405, 14406. 

2«a See in this connection an aide memoire concerning "Defense of Hawaii" prepared by the War Depart- 
ment and presented to the President bv Qenoral Marshall in May of 1941. Part IV, Note 42, infra. 

"« Committee exhibit No. 32, pp. 10, 13, and 34. 

'27 General Short said: " 'Hostile action at any moment' meant to me that as far as Hawaii was concerned 
the War Department was predicting sabotage. Sabotage is a form of hostile action." Committee record, 
p. 7929. 

»» For the full text of these two dispatches see pages 102 and 103, supra. . 



122 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

following reply (directed to the Adjutant General) was made on 
November 29:229 

Re your secret radio four eight two twenty eighth, full precautions are being 
taken against subversive activities within the field of investigative responsibility 
of War Department (paragraph three MID SC thirty dash forty five) and military 
estabhshments including personnel and equipment. As regards protection of 
vital installations outside of miltary reservations such as power plants, telephone 
exchanges and highway bridges, this headquarters by confidential letter dated 
June nineteen nineteen forty one requested the Governor of the Territory to use 
the broad powers vested in him by section sixty seven of the organic act which 
provides, in effect, that the Governor may call upon the commanders of military 
and naval forces of the United States in the territory of Hawaii to prevent or 
suppress lawless violence, invasion, insurrection, etc. Pursuant to the authority 
stated the Governor on June twentieth confidentially made a formal written 
demand on this headquarters to furnish him and to continue to furnish such ade- 
quate protection as may be necessary to prevent sabotage, and lawless violence in 
connection therewith, being committed against vital installations and structures in 
the Territory. Pursuant to the foregoing request appropriate military protection 
is now being afforded vital civilian installations. In this connection, at the 
instigation of this headquarters the City and County of Honolulu on June thirtieth 
nineteen forty one enacted an ordnance which permits the commanding general 
Hawaiian Department, to close, or restrict the use of and travel upon, any high- 
way within the City and County of Honolulu, whenever the commanding general 
deems such action necessary in the interest of national defense. The authority 
thus given has not yet been exercised. Relations with FBI and all other federal 
and territorial oflScials are and have been cordial and mutual cooperation has been 
given on all pertinent matters. 

The reply (directed to General Ai-nold) to the second dispatch was 
not received in the War Department until December 10, 1941. ^^^ 

General Short, as heretofore indicated, has referred to the two dis- 
patches from the War Department of November 28 warning of the 
danger of sabotage and subversive activities as confirming his original 
decision to institute an alert against sabotage only. It is significant, 
however, that the army commanders at Panama, on the West Coast, 
and in the Philippines received these same dispatches warning of 
subversive activities that were received by the Hawaiian command- 
gp 230a They did not deter the commanders at these other places from 
taking full and complete measures to alert theu commands or convey 
to their minds that defense against sabotage was the only action 
required. •^°'' 

The November 27 warning to General Short concerning possible 
hostile action at any moment was signed by General Marshall — a 
command directive^ — whereas the dispatches relating to sabotage and 
subversive activities were signed by subordinate officials of the War 
Department. Inasmuch as General Marshall's message contained no 
reference to sabotage whatever, it would seem fair to suggest that 
upon receiving subsequent dispatches from subordinate War Depart- 
ment officials warnings of this danger there should have been aroused 
in the Commanding General's mind the thought that perhaps he had 
misjudged the purport of the original warning. The evidence reflects 
that any reference to sabotage or subversive activities was deliberately 
omitted from the warning message sent General Short (and the com- 
manders at Panama, on the West Coast, and in the Philippines) on 
November 27 in order "that this message could be interpreted only as 

22» Committee exhibit No. 32, pp. 17, 18. 
«« Id., at pp. 19, 20. 

«•« See Committee exhibit No. 35, p. 2. 

230b For dispatches reflecting the full and complete measures taken by these commanders (ranama, 
West Coast, the Philippines) see Committee exhibit No. 32 pp. 11, 15, 15a, 16, 18, 18a, and 18b. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 123 

warning 'the"commanding^generaliJ,n^Hawaii againstCan' attack from 
without." 230° 

General Short stated that he assumed the Navy would conduct 
distant reconnaissance ^^^^ and that he was relying on the Navy to 
give him timely warning of an attack, indicating thereby that he 
realized the warning messages required precautionary measures against 
all possible contingencies. It naturally follows that his failure to take 
the action required by the November 27 warning was not due to the 
subsequent emphasis on the specific danger of subversive activities 
but rather by reason of his failure to institute liaison with the Navy — 
failure to determine what the Navy was really doing^ — as he advised 
the "VVar Department he had done, and his unwarranted assumption 
that even though he did not himself institute precautionary measiu"es 
against the danger of an air attacK, the Navy would do so. 

"dO-DON't" CHARACTER OF THE NOVEMBER 27 DISPATCH AND 

"avoidance of war" 

As earlier indicated, General Short has referred to the November 
27 dispatch as a "do-don't" message which conveyed to him the 
impression that the avoidance of war was paramount and the greatest 
fear of the War Department was that some international incident 
might occur in Hawaii which Japan would regard as an overt act. 
To test the merits of this contention it is necessary to aline the direc- 
tives and intelligence beside the prohibitions and admonitions: 

Negotiations with the Japanese ap- 
pear to be terminated to all practical 
purposes with only the barest possibil- 
ities that the Japanese Government 
might come back and offer to continue. 
Japanese future action unpredictable 
but hostile action possible at any 

moment. If hostilities cannot be avoided the 

United States desires that Japan com- 
mit the first overt act. 
This policy should not be construed 
as restricting you to a course of action 
that might joepardize your defense. 
Prior to hostile Japanese action, you are 
directed to undertake such recon- 
naissance and other measures as you 

deem necessary but these measures should be carried 

out so as not to alarm the civil popula- 
tion or disclose intent. 
Report measures taken. Should hos- 
tilities occur, you will carry out the 
tasks assigned in Rainbow Five so far 

as they pertain to Japan. Limit the dissemination of this highly 

secret information to minimum essential 
officers. 

The j&rst admonition appearing in the foregoing dispatch is a state- 
ment of traditional American policy against the initiation of war — 
ij hostilities cannot be avoided the United States desires the prospective 
enemy to commit the first overt act. This General Short already knew. 
Certainly he did not have in mind committing an overt act against 
Japan. There was nothing here to restrict the commanding general's 

«ii« See testimony of General Gerow, Committee record, pp. 2696-2698. 
»•<• See committee record, p. 7927. 



124 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

contemplated plan of action. Indeed, the dispatch itself clearly 
pointed out that the policy should not be construed as restricting 
General Short to a course of action that might jeopardize his defense.^^' 
The very fact that Japan must commit the first overt act emphasized 
the need for greater vigilance and defenseive effort. 

The prohibition in the dispatch was that reconnaissance and "other 
measures" should not be carried out so as to alarm the civil population 
or disclose intent. This was incorporated in the message because of 
the large number of Japanese inhabitants and it was felt that nothing 
should be done, unless necessary to defense, to alarm the civil popula- 
tion and thus possibly precipitate an incident which would give Japan 
an excuse to go to war saying we had committed the first overt act.^^^ 
No one appreciated more than General Short the abnormally large 
percentage of Japanese among the population of Hawaii. He knew 
that 37 percent or approximately 160,000 of the population were of 
Japanese descent, some 35,000 being aliens. This was one of the 
principal reasons for the alert against sabotage.^^^ 

The civil population was inured to Army and Navy maneuvers which 
were gomg on continuously.^^* To have taken any of the logical steps 
to defend Oahu — reconnaissance, 24 hour operation of radar, effecting 
a high state of aircraft and anti-aircraft readiness — would not have 
alarmed a population accustomed to simulated conditions of warfare. ^"^ 
In this respect the November 27 dispatch from the War Department 
interjected no deterrent to full and adequate defensive measures. 

The admonition to limit dissemination of the information in the 
dispatch to minimum essential officers was within the complete dis- 
cretion of the Commanding General. Dissemination of the informa- 
tion was to follow and not precede the selection of the proper alert ; 
and there were no restrictions in the November 27 warning which 
shoidd have precluded General Short's instituting an alert commen- 

«> Mr. Stimson stated: "When General Short was informed on November 27 that 'Japanese action un- 
predictable' and that 'hostile action possible at any moment,' and that the policy directed 'should not 
comma repeat not comma be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize your 
defense,' we had a right to assume that he would competently perform this paramount duty entrusted to 
him." Mr. Stimson's statement, committee record, pp. 14397, 14398. 

's' See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14397. This admonition was not included in the 
message to General MacArthur but was contained in the message to the Commanding General, Western 
Defense Command. See committee exhibit No. 32, pp. 8, 9. 

238 It is to be noted that one of the best criterions that General Short possessed to determine what might 
alarm the civil population was the so-called Heiron Alert during the summer of 1940. This was an all-out 
alert with complete dispersal of planes and troops with ammunition at the guns and reconnaissance being 
conducted. There was no disturbance of the civil population resulting from this action. See in this con- 
nection Army Pearl Harbor Board record, pp. 1398, 2025, 2720, 2738, 2772, 2772, 3096, 3097. 

M< General Maxwell Murray testified that the action required by Alert No. 1 — taking over water, lights, gas and 
oil utilities, patrols all over, all important bridges guarded— 7vas just as rmtch af an alarm to the people that some- 
thing was anticipated "as if they hadgoneto the beaches"— all out alert. See Army Pearl Harbor Board Record, 
p. 3096, 3097. 

«» Before the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral 'Kimmel testified: "I discussed the question of air attack 
on Pearl Harbor with the commanding general on various occasions. We simulated such attack; we sent 
planes in to attack Pearl Harbor, I don't know how many times, but several times, during the year I was 
out there, and we put the defending planes or other elements into operation." Navy Court of Inquiry 
record, p. 1131. 

Testifying before the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel was asked whether there were any drills 
furthering joint Army-Navy exercises. He replied: "Yes. Air raid drills for several months were conduct- 
ed each week. For about 2 to 3 months prior to December 7, 1941, we conducted the drills once every 2 
weeks. This was in order to insure the participation of all elements in each drill as held, and when the drills 
were held weekly there were too many people excused due to overhauling a plane or some work that they 
considered essential and more important than taking part in drills." Navy Court of Inquiry Record, p. 
296. 



PEARL HARBOR Al^TACK 125 

surate with the warning and orders contained therein.^^' Perhaps, 
after the event the warning message could be improved upon. It 
nevertheless was adequate and its orders should have been carried out 
with an appreciation of the implications of the warning it conveyed. 

COMMANDING GENERAl's RELIANCE ON THE NAVY 

It is apparent from the evidence that General Short was depending 
on the Navy to give him timely and adequate warning of any enemy 
force approaching Hawaii. He stated that from repeated conversa- 
tions with the Navy he knew that the Japanese naval vessels were 
supposed to be either in their home ports or proceeding south; that 
he loiew the Navy had task forces at sea with reconnaissance from 
Midway, Wake, Palmyra, and Johnston Islands, which would render 
an air attack highly improbable; that the War Plans Officer on Ad- 
miral Kimmel's staff, Admiral McMorris, had stated that there was 
no chance of a surprise attack on Oahu ; that it was only through the 
Navy that he could obtain information concerning the movement of 
Japanese vessels ; and that distant reconnaissance was a Navy respon- 
sibility.^^^ 

General Short's unfortunate predicament on the morning of Decem- 
ber 7 was occasioned to a degree by reason of his reliance on the Navy 
to provide him timely warning. However, the fact that he was rely- 
ing on the Navy does not excuse General Short for his failure to deter- 
mine whether his assumptions with respect to what the Navy was 
doing were correct. He assumed operations of the task forces ren- 
dered an air attack highly improbable; he assumed the Navy was 
conducting distant reconnaissance from Oahu; he assumed the Navy 
would advise him of the location and movement of Japanese warships. 
Yet a simple inquiry by General Short would have revealed that the 
task forces effected no coverage of the dangerous northern approaches 
to Oahu; that the Navy was not conducting distant reconnaissance; 
and that the Navy did not know where the Japanese carrier strength 
was for over a week prior to December 7. We can understand General 
Short's dependence on the Navy, but we cannot overlook the fact that 
he made these assumptions with no attempt to verify their correctness. 

INTERFERENCE WITH TRAINING 

General Short has pointed out that the factor of training was con- 
sidered in selecting Alert No. 1; that the use of Alerts 2 or 3 would 

"» In commenting concerning the November 27 warning sent General Short, Secretary Stimson said: 
"This message has been characterized as ambiguous and described as a 'do-don't' message. The fact is that 
it presented with the utmost precision the situation with which we were all confronted and in the light of 
which all our commanding officers, as well as we ourselves in Washington, had to govern our conduct. The 
situation was admittedly delicate and critical. On the one hand, in view of the fact that we wanted more 
time, we did not want to precipitate war at this moment if it could be avoided. If there was to be war, 
moreover, we wanted the Japanese to commit the first overt act. On the other hand, the matter of defense 
against an attack by Japan was the first consideration. In Hawaii, because of the large numbers of Japanese 
inhabitants, it was felt desirable to issue a special warning so that nothing would be done, unless necessary 
to the defense, to alarm the civil population and thus possibly to precipitate an incident and give the Japa- 
nese an excuse to go to war and the chance to say that we had committed the first overt act." Further: 
"All thae considerations were placed before the commanding officers of their reipectite areas, and it was because 
they were thought competent to act in a situation of delicacy requiring judgment and skill that they had been placed 
in these high posts of command." Mr. Stimson's statement, committee record, pp. 14396, 14397. 

M' Committee record, page 7946 et seq. 



126 PEAKL HARBOR ATTACK 

have seriously interfered with his training mission. He observed that 
the soldiers and ofl&cers of his command were in large part relatively 
new to the Army and to their specialized tasks and that regular train- 
ing was essential. He stated that the "War Department dispatch of 
November 27 "had not indicated in any way that our training mission 
was modified, suspended or abolished, and that all troops were to go 
immediately into tactical status." ^^^ 

General Short has pointed out that the Hawaiian Air Force had the 
particular mission of training combat crews and ferrying B-17's to 
the Philippine Islands. He recalled that on September 8, 1941, 9 
trained combat teams were sent to the Philippines; that before 
November 27, 18 trai6ed combat teams had been sent to the main- 
land and 17 more teams were ready to go to the mainland for ferrying 
purposes; and that 12 more combat crews had to be trained for planes 
expected to arrive at an early date. He observed that only 6 of 
his 12 Flying Fortresses were in condition and available for the train- 
ing and that it was imperative General Martin make maximum use of 
these planes for training. He felt that if war were momentarily 
expected in the Hawaiian coastal frontier, the training considerations 
would give way but that every indication was that the War Depart- 
ment expected the war to break out, if at all, only in the far Pacific 
and not at Hawaii .^^^ 

As has been earlier indicated, however, the very fact of having sug- 
gested to General Short that he undertake reconnaissance was an 
indication of the possibility of an attack on Hawaii from without. 
This committee believes that the warning dispatch of November 27 
was ample notice to a general in the field that his training was now 
secondary — that his primary mission had become execution of the 
orders contained in the dispatch and the effecting of maximum 
defensive security. 

The Order to Undertake Reconnaissance 

The very fact that General Short noted the order with respect to 
undertaking reconnaissance contained in the dispatch of November 27 
and thereafter instituted an alert against sabotage only demonstrates 
a failure to grasp the serious circumstances confronting his command. 
It is to be recalled in this connection that Army commanders in the 
Phihppines, at Panama, and on the West Coast, upon receiving the 
dispatch of November 27 in substantially the same terms as General 
Short, instituted full measures adequately to alert* their commands.^*" 

The observation has been made by General Short that he presumed 
the man who prepared the message of November 27 ordering him to 
undertake reconnaissance was unfamiliar with the fact that the Navy 

»« Id., at pp. 7948, 7949. 
M» Id. 

"« See Committee Exhibit No. 32, pp. 11, 15, 16 and 18 for replies, pursuant to the warnmg messages of 
November 27, from General MacArthur in the Philippines, General DeWitt on the West Coast, and 
General Andrews at Panama. 

General Mac A rthur replied under date of November 28: "Pursuant to instructions contained m your radio 
six two four, air reconnaissance has been extended and intensified in conjunction with the Navy. Ground 
security measures have been taken. Within the limitations imposed by present state of development of 
this theatre of operations everything is in readiness for the conduct of a successful defense. Intimate liaison 
and cooperation and cordial relations exist between Army and Navy." 

A significant portion of the reply from General Andrews follows: "In the Panama Sector, the Commandant 
of the 15th Naval District is conducting continuous surface patrol of the area included within the Panama 
Coastal Frontier, supplemented, within the limits of the aircraft at his disposal, by an air patrol. In my 
opinion, the Commandant of the 15th Naval District, does not have sufficient aircraft or vessels within his 
control for adequate reconnaissance." 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 127 

was responsible for distant reconnaissance.^*^ It is inconceivable, 
however, that in the face of a specific directive with respect to recon- 
naissance General Short should not have requested clarification from 
the War Department in the event he felt the latter did not mean 
what it had unequivocally said and had failed to take into consider- 
ation the Navy's responsibility for reconnaissance. This fact takes 
on added importance when it is realized that the November 27 
dispatch was the first and only dispatch General Short had received 
signed by General Marshall, the Chief of Staff, since becoming com- 
manding general of the Hawaiian Department. It was a command 
directive which should have received the closest scrutiny and con- 
sideration by the Hawaiian general. 

Certainly the least that General Short could have done was to 
advise Admiral Kimmel or Admiral Bloch and consult with them at 
once concerning the fact that he had been dhected to undertake 
reconnaissance if he presumed the Navy was to perform this function. 
The Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan, the very document wherein 
the Navy assumed responsibility for distant reconnaissance, con- 
tained in an annex thereto provision for joint operations when the 
Commanding General oj the Hawaiian Department and the Naval 
Base Defense Officer agree that a threat of a hostile raid or attack is 
sufficiently imminent. The failure to appreciate the necessity for 
following through on an order to undertake reconnaissance is not in 
keeping with the good judgment expected from the commanding 
general of the Hawaiian Department. 

It is further to be borne in mind that General Short had six mobile 
radar units which were available for reconnaissance use. He ordered 
their operations from 4 a. m. to 7 a. m., in addition to the normal 
training operation of radar during the day, but failed to provide the 
necessary officers handling the equipment with the knowledge that 
war was at hand in order that they would intelligently attach sig- 
nificance to information which the radar might develop. In testifying 
before the committee concerning the operation of radar, General 
Short said: ^''^* "That (the radar) was put into alert during what 
I considered the most dangerous hours of the day for an air attack, 
from 4 o'clock to 7 o'clock a, m. daily." The very fact that radar 
was ordered operated at all was in recognition of the danger of a 
threat from without; indeed it was only in contemplation of such a 
threat that General Short would have been supphed radar at all.^^ 

"' Army Pearl Harbor Board record, pp. 4436, 4437. 

s«i» Committee record, p. 8054. 

2« In a statement submitted for the committee's consideration, Mr. Stimson said: "You will notice that 
this message of November 27th specifically mentions that reconnaissance is to be undertaken. This to my 
mind was a very important part of the message, not only because of its obvious desirability but also because 
we had provided theHawaiian Department with what I regarded as a most effective means of reconnaissance 
against air attack and one to which I had personally devoted a great deal of attention duiing the preceding 
months. I refer to the radar equipment with which the Hawaiian Department was then provided. This 
equipment permitted approaching planes to be seen at distances of approximately 100 miles; and to do so in 
darkness and storm as well as in clear daylight. In the early part of 1941 1 had taken up earnestly the matter 
of securing such radar equipment for aircraft protection. I knew, although it was not then generally known, 
that radar had proved of the utmost importance to the British in the Battle of Britain, and I felt in the begin- 
ning of 1941 that we were not getting this into production and to the troops as quickly as we should, and put 
on all the pressure I could to speed up its acquisition. By the autumn of 1941 we had got some of this equip- 
ment out to Hawaii, and only a few days before this I had received a report of the tests which had been made 
of this equipment in Hawaii on November 19th, which indicated very satisfactory results in detecting 
approaching airplanes. I testified at considerable length with regard to this before the Army Pearl Harbor 
Board (A. P.H. B. 40C4, et seq.). When we specifically directed the commanding oflScer at Hawaii, who had 
been warned that war was likely at any moment, to make reconnaissance, I assumed that all meam o) recon- 
naissance available to both the Army and Nary would be employed. On the same day a war warning was dis- 
patched to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet by the Chief of Naval Operations. The standing 
instructions to the theatre commanders were that all messages of this character were to be exchanged between 
the Army and Navy commands." Committee record, pp. 14398, 14399. 

90179 — 46 10 



128 pearl harbor attack 

The Short Reply 

It is recalled that the dispatch of November 27, No, 472, carried 
instructions to report measures taken and that General Short, referring 
to the dispatch by number, advised that the Hawaiian Department was 
"alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with Navy." As paraphrased 
and reviewed in the War Department, this reply read: "Report De- 
partment alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with Navy reurad 
four seven two twenty seven." ^*^ No action was taken by the War 
Department following receipt of this reply. 

General Short has stated that the silence and failure of the War 
Department to reply to his report of measures taken constituted 
reasonable grounds for his belief that his action was exactly what the 
War Department desired. He has pointed out that if the action 
taken by him was not consistent with the desires of the War Depart- 
ment it should have informed him of that fact.^** 

The question at this point, however, is not whether Washington 
should have replied to General Short's dispatch but whether the com- 
manding general was entitled to believe that his reply had ade- 
quately informed Washington that he had or had not carried out the 
orders contained in General Marshall's warning of November 27.^*^ 
General Gerow has already assumed full responsibility for failure to 
follow up to insure that the alert to prevent sabotage was not the 
only step taken by the Hawaiian Department under the circum- 
stances. No one in Washington appears to have been impressed with 
or caught the fact that General Short's report of measures [taken 
was inadequate and not sufficiently responsive to the directive. This 
failure of supervision cannot be condoned. 

However, a reasonable inference from the statement "liaison with 
Navy" was that through liaison with the Navy he had taken the nec- 
essary steps to implement the War Department warning, including the 
undertaking of reconnaissance. This was clearly recognized by Gen- 
eral Short. In testifying before the Army Pearl Harbor Board he 
was asked the question: ^*^ "In your message of November 27, you 
say, 'Liaison with the Nav)^' Just what did you mean by that? 
How did that cover anything required by that particular message?" 

General Short. To my mind it meant very definitely keeping in touch with 
the Navy, knowing what information they had and what they were doing." 

Question. Did it indicate in any way that you expected the Navy to carry out 
its part of that agreement for long-distance reconnaissance? 

General Short. Yes. Without any question, whether I had sent that or not, 
it would have affected it, because they signed a definite agreement which was 
approved by the Navy as well as our Chief of Staff. 

»" See committee exhibit No. 32, p. 12. 

s" Committee record, p. 7965 et seq. 

"» Referring to General Short's reply, Secretary Stimson said: "• • * he then sent a reply message 
to Washington which gave no adequate notice of what he had failed to do and which was susceptible of 
being taken, and was taken, as a general compliance with the main warning from Washington. My initials 
show that this message crossed my desk, and in spite of my keen interest in the situation it certainly gave 
me no intimation that the alert order against an enemy attack was not being carried out. Although it 
advised me that General Short was alert against sabotage, I had no idea that being 'alerted to prevent sabo- 
tage' was in any way an express or implied denial of being alert against an attack by Japan's armed forces. 
The very purpose of a fortress such as Hawaii is to repel such an attack, and Short was the commander of 
that fortress. Furthermore, Short's statement in his message that 'liaison' was being carried out with the 
Navy, coupled with the fact that our message of November 27th had specifically directed reconnaissance, 
naturally gave the impression that the various reconnaissance and other defensive measures in which the 
cooperation of the Army and the Navy is necessary, were under way and a proper alert was in effect." 
Committee record, pp. 14408, 11409. 

**» Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 380. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 129 

General Short was not entitled to presume that his responsibilities 
as Commander of the Hawaiian Department had been discharged or 
shifted to the War Department through dispatch of his reply ."^ This 
conclusion is most fully appreciated when he admittedly was not 
clear concerning the order to undertake reconnaissance.*'*^ The War 
Department was entitled to expect the commanding general had car- 
ried out the order to effect reconnaissance or in the alternative that 
he would have requested clarifying instructions. Conceding that 
General Short presumed the War Department would correct him if 
he was in error, the fact that supplemental instructions were not 
issued does not serve to remove that error. Had he made no report 
whatever the situation in Hawaii on the morning of December 7 
would have been the same. 

Although General Short specifically advised the War Department 
on November 27 that he was maintaining "liaison with Navy" the 
evidence is unmistakably clear, as will subsequently appear, that he 
did not establish liaison with the Navy concerning the action to be 
taken pursuant to the Department's warning message. 

Action Which Was Not Taken Upon Receipt of the November 27 

Dispatch 

Apart from instituting an alert against sabotage and ordering the 
operation of radar from 4 to 7 a. m. no other appreciable steps were 
taken by the commanding general to prepare his command for defense 
against possible hostilities. ^^^ 

No change was made in the state of readiness of aircraft which were 
on four hours' notice. There was therefore no integration of aircraft 
and radar, even in tlie latter's limited operation from 4 to 7 a. m. 
The maximum distance radar could pick up approaching planes was 
approximately 130 miles. With the Army aircraft on 4 hours' 
notice a w^arning from the radar mformation center would have been 
of little avail. 

Operation of radar was not instituted on a 24-hom- basis. It was 
so operated immediately after the attack, although as a matter of 
fact it was not until December 17 that the aircraft warning service 
was placed under complete control of the Air Corps and the Signal 
Corps, handling the training phases, removed from the picture.^^" 

No action was taken with a view to tightening up the antiaircraft 
defenses. ^^^ The ammunition for the 60 mobile antiarcraft guns was 

"' See committee record, pp. 4420, 4421. 

'*' Referring to the testimony of General Gerow to the effect that the commanding general's report would 
have been perfectly clear If he had indicated he was alerted against sabotage onlv (see note 247, supra) 
General Short commented that General Gerow "was unwilling to read my message and admit it meant 
what it said, no more and no less." Yet General Short failed to accord the War Department the same 
privilege he was taking; that is, that the order to undertake reconnaissance meant what it said, no more and 
no less. See committee record, pp. 7967, 7968. 

'<» Referring to the action taken by General Short, Secretary Stimson stated: " • • • to cluster his air- 
planes in such groups and positions that in an emergency they could not take the air for several hours, and 
to keep his antiaircraft ammunition so stored that it could not be promptly and Immediately available, 
and to use his best reconpaissance system, the radar, only for a very small fraction of the day and night, in 
my opinion betrayed a misconception of his real duty which was almost beyond belief." See statement of 
Secretary Stimson submitted for the committee's consideration; committee record, p. 14408. 

»M Committee record, p. 8379. 

M' In testifying before the Navy Court of Inauiry, Admiral Kimmel was asked which service was charged 
with repulsing enemy aircraft by antiaircraft fire on December 7, 1941. He replied; "The Army, I should 
say, had the prime responsibility. The plans that we had provided for the Navy rendering every possible 
assistance to the Army. It provided for the use of all gims, including 30 calibers and even shoulder rifles by 
the marines in the navy yard, and by the crews of the flying field. In addition, it provided that the bat- 
teries of all ships should take part in shooting down the planes." Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 295. 



130 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

located in Aliamanu Crater, between 2 and 3 miles from Fort Shafter.^^^ 
The crews of the antiaircraft guns were not alerted in such manner as 
to provide effective defense even with maximum warning from the 
radar information center. 

As in the case of Admiral Kimmel, no effective action was taken 
with a view to integration and coordination of Army-Navy facilities 
for defense. 

The "Code Destruction" Intelligence 

As has been seen, Admiral Kimmel was advised "for action" on 
December 3 of information received that categoric and urgent instruc- 
tions were sent on December 2 to Japanese diplomatic and consular 
posts at Hongkong, Singapore, Batavia, Manila, Washington, and 
London to destroy most of their codes and ciphers at once and to burn 
all other important confidential and secret documents.^^^ 

Testifying with respect to the foregoing intelligence. Admiral Kim- 
mel stated that both he and his staff noted that most of the codes and 
ciphers — not all — were to be destroyed and that this information ap- 
peared to fit in with the information "we had received about a Japa- 
nese movement in South East Asia." He commented that Japan 
would naturally take precautions to prevent the compromise of her 
communication system in the event her action in southeast Asia 
caused Britain and the United States to declare war, and take over 
diplomatic residences.^^* , 

Admiral Kimmel did not supply General Short the information he 
had received concerning the orders from Tokyo to destroy codes, 
ciphers, and confidential documents. He testified: "I didn't consider 
that of any vital importance when I received it * * * ." 255 

General Short, on the other hand, has complained that he was not 
provided this intelligence and has indicated it would have been of the 
greatest significance to him. Referring to the intelligence concerning 
the fact that Washington had been ordered to destroy its code ma- 
chine ^^^ General Short said: "The one thing that would have affected 
me more than the other matter was the fact they had ordered their code 
machines destroyed, because to us that means just one thing: that 
they are going into an entirely new phase and that they want to be 
perfectly sure that the code will not be broken for a minimum time, 
say of three or four days * * *." ^" He further testified that had 
the Navy given him any of the dispatches received concerning the 
destruction of codes he would have gone into a more serious alert.^^* 

In strange contrast with the view of the code burning intelligence 
taken by Admiral Kimmel, virtually aU witnesses have agreed that 
this was the most significant information received between November 
27 and December 6 with respect to the imminence of war. Indeed, 
the overwhelming weight of the testimony is to effect that orders to 

M» See Army Pearl Harbor Board record, pp. 2604-2607. 

253 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 40. 

On the same day Admiral Kimmel was advised for his information of the substance of an intercepted 
Tokyo dispatch of December 1 ordering London, Hongkong, Singapore, and Manila to destroy (their code) 
machine. It was stated that the Batavia (code) machine had already been sent to Tokyo and on December 
2 Washington was also directed to destroy all but one copy of other systems and all secret documents; that 
the British Admiralty had reported London Embassy had complied. Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 41. 

SM Committee record, p. 6723. 

"• Id., at p. 7477. . ^ 

«• This advice was contained in a December 7 dispatch from the War Department which was not received 
by General Short until after the attack. This dispatch will be fotmd discussed in detail, Part IV, infra. 

»' Roberts Commission record, p. 1620. 

"s Committee record, p. 8397. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 131 

destroy codes mean from a military standpoint only one thing — war 
within a very few days.^^' 

It is concluded that the failure of Admiral Kimmel to supply this intel- 
ligence to General Short was inexcusable and that the purport of this 
information was to advise the commander in chief within reasonably 
narrow limits of time as to when Japan might be expected to strike. 
While orders to burn codes may not always mean war in the diplo- 
matic sense, it very definitely meant war — and soon — in a military 
sense after the "war warning" of November 27. Admiral -Kimmel 
received this intelligence less than 4 days before the attack; it gave 
him an opportunity to correct his mistake in failing to institute dis- 
tant reconnaissance and effect a state of readiness commensurate with 
the likelihood of hostilities after the November 27 war warning. 
Nothing was done — General Short was not even informed. 

On December 4 the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet was 
advised for information of orders instructing Guam to destroy all 
secret and confidential publications and other classified matter except 
that essential for current pm-poses, and to be prepared to destroy 
instantly, in event of emergency, all classified matter.^^" This intel- 
ligence was of the greatest significance. It meant that not only was 
war almost immediately at hand but that a landing operation by 
Japan against Guam was regarded as a possibility. Nothing was done. 

On December 6 the Chief of Naval Operations sent a dispatch to 
Admiral Kimmel advising, for action, that in view of the international 
situation and the exposed position of our outlying Pacific Islands he 
was authorized to order destruction in such outlying islands secret and 
confidential documents "now or under later conditions of greater 
emergency." ^^^ This dispatch suggested the possibility of landing 
operations against our outlying islands including Wake and Midway. 

Genekal Short's Knowledge of Destruction of Confidential 
AIatter by Japanese Consulate 

The evidence reflects that although Admiral Kimmel received signi- 
ficant information on four different occasions between December 3 
and 6 concerning the destruction of codes and confidential documents 
in Japanese diplomatic establishments as well as in our own outlying 
possessions, he failed to convey this information to General Short. 
Despite this fact it appeal's that the commanding general obtained 
adequate information concerning the destruction of confidential mat- 
ter by Japanese diplomatic establishments. 

Col. George W. Bicknell, assistant G-2 of the Hawaiian Depart- 
ment, stated that he learned from Navy sources in Hawaii about 
December 3 that diplomatic representatives of Japan in Washington, 

'5» See Part IV, infra, re code destruction. 

'"K Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 44. 

"I Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 45. 

A memordandum submitted by the Navy Department, concerning this dispatch, under date of January 
M, 1946 stated: "Opnav dispatch 061743 was transmitted to Radio Honolulu at 5:54 p. m. December 6 1941, 
Washing;ton local time" (Committee record, p. 11441). 

It is to be noted that during committee examination Admiral Kimmel was asked whether he had testified 
as to when he had received the message of December 6, 1941, authorizing the destruction of confidential 
papers referred to in the preceding paragraph. Admiral Kimmel said: "I will look at it. I couldn't tell 
you when that was received, but to the bnst of my recollection I never saw it until after the attack. It is an 
even bet as to whether I saw it before or after the attack. I think I didn't get it until after the attack. • • • 
I have no record upon which I can definitely state that. I can only state my recollection." 

Going on. Admiral Kimmel said: "At any rate, if I did receive this before the attack, it was no more than I 
would have expected under the circumstances. • • • And that (referring to the message) was not -panicularly 
alarming." See committee record, pp. 7649, 7650. 



132 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

London, Hongkong, Singapore, Alanila, and elsewhere were destroying 
their codes and papers. He further stated that about the same time he 
learned from the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI that the latter 
had intercepted a telephone "message from the Japanese consulate, 
Honolulu, which disclosed that the Japanese consul general was 
burning and destroying all his important papers." Colonel Bicknell 
said: ^"^ 

In the morning of 6 December 1941, at the usual staff conference conducted 
by the Chief of Staff for General Short I told those assembled, which included the 
Chief of Staff, what I had learned concerning the destruction of their important 
papers by Japanese consuls, and stated that because of this and concurrent in- 
formation which I had from proved reliable sources that the destruction of such 
papers had a very serious intent and that something w arlike by Japan was about 
to happen somewhere. 

General Fielder stated that he was present at the staff conference 
and that on December 6 he gave to General Short the information 
that the Japanese consul at Honolulu had destroyed his codes and 
papers.^" Colonel Phillips also stated that this information was 
given by him to General Short. 

The Special Agent in Charge of the FBI stated that on December 
3 the district intelligence officer of the Navy asked him if he could 
verify information that the Japanese consul general in Honolulu was 
burning his codes and papers; that about 2 hours later the FBI inter- 
cepted a telephone conversation between the cook of the Japanese 
consulate and a Japanese in Honolulu in the course of which the cook 
stated that the consul general was "bm-ning and destroying all his 
important papers." He stated that he immediately gave this in- 
formation to the district intelligence officer of the Navy and the 
assistant G-2 of the Army; and thereupon sent a dispatch to Director 
J. Edgar Hoover in "Washington: "Japanese Consul General Honolulu 
is burning and destroying all important papers." ^^* 

In testifying before the Roberts Commission General Short stated 
that he received no information from his intelligence officer until 
after the attack that the consular records were being burned. He 
stated: ^^^ 

As a matter of fact, I didn't know that they had really burned anything until 
the time that the FBI arrested them on the 7th; they interrupted the burning. 
I wasn't cognizant of the fact that they had burned the previous day. 

Before the committee, however, General Short corrected his former 
testimony, stating that he had been advised on the morning of Decem- 
ber 6 that the Honolulu consul was burning his papers. ^^^ 

While the evidence would indicate that General Short was advised 
on December 6- that the Japanese consul was burning his codes and 
papers, a point has been made by the commanding general that his 
information wcs limited to the fact that the consul was burning his 
papers without reference to codes. Even conceding this to be true, 
the fact that the consul was burning his papers after General Short 
had been informed hostilities were possible at any moment was of 
adequate import to impress the commanding general with the fact 
that our relations with Japan were extraorclinarily critical. It is 

«•' See affidavit dated February 25, 1945, of Colonel Bicknell before Major Clausen. Committee exhibit 
No. 148. 

*' See affidavit of Colonel (now General) Kendall J. Fielder dated May 11, 1945, before Major Clausen. 
Committee exhibit No. 148. 

»" See affidavit of Robert L. Shivers dated April 10, 1946, before Major Clausen. 

»• Roberts Commission record, p. 1620. 

»t Committee record, pp. 8398, 8399. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 133 

concluded that General Short received prior to the attack substantially 
the intelligence concerning the destruction of codes and confidential 
papers by Japanese diplomatic representatives, although he was not 
informed by Admiral Kimmel of the very significant fact that the 
Navy Department had issued orders for the destruction of codes in 
certain of our own outlying possessions. 

The "Lost" Japanese Carriers — Radio Intelligence at Hawaii 

Perhaps the most vital intelligence available to the -commander in 
chief of the Pacific Fleet indicating Pearl Harbor as a possible point 
of attack was that gathered from his o-wn Radio Intelligence Unit at 
Hawaii. This unit was engaged in "traffic analyses"; that is, identi- 
fying, locating, and determining the movements of Japanese warships 
through their call signals. The location of vessels was effected 
through radio-direction methods .^^^ 

Information of a similar type was contained in dispatches from the 
Radio Intelligence Unit in the Philippines and from the Far Eastern 
Section of Naval Intelligence in Washington. Fortnightly intelli- 
gence bulletins incorporating information received from the radio 
intelligence units in the Philippines and at Pearl Harbor were issued 
by the Office of Naval Intelligence. These bulletins were made 
available to Admiral Kimmel. 

Because of conflicting reports that had been received concerning 
Japanese naval m.ovements and the further fact that reports received 
from the commandant of the Sixteenth Naval District (Philippines) 
were considered the most reliable, the Chief of Naval Operations on 
November 24 advised the commanders in chief of the Asiatic and 
Pacific Fleets, among others, that other reports should be carefully 
evaluated and sent to the commandant of the Sixteenth Naval 
District for action and to the Office of Naval Operations for infor- 
mation. After combining all incoming reports the commandant of 
the Sixteenth Naval District was to direct dispatches to the Office 
of Naval Operations with copies to Admiral Kimmel for information 
setting forth his evaluation and best possible continuity. 

The commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District on November 26 
advised the Ofiice of Naval Operations and the commandant of 
the Sixteenth Naval District in summary form of information 
with respect to Japanese naval movements obtained by the Radio 
Intelligence Unit at Pearl Harbor during the preceding month. This 
dispatch expressed the belief that a strong concentration of Japanese 
submarines and air groups, including at least one carrier division unit 
(not necessarily a carrier) and probably one-third of the submarine 
fleet, were located in the vicinity of the Marshall Islands. The esti- 
mate of the situation was to the effect that a strong force might be 
preparing to operate in southeastern Asia, while some units might 
operate from Paleo and the Marshalls. On the same day, the Radio 
Intelligence Unit in the Philippines advised, among others, the com- 
mander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and the Office of Naval Operations, 
in commenting on the November 26 dispatch from Hawaii, that 
traffic analysis for the past few days indicated that the commander in 
chief of the Second Fleet (Japanese) was directing various fleet units 
in a loose-knit task force that apparently would be divided into two 

«•' See testimony of Capt. Edwin T. Layton, Hewitt Inquiry record, pp. 182-292, 



134 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

sections, the first of which was expected to operate in the south China 
area, the second, in the Mandates. It was estimated that the second 
section included Carrier Division 3 "Ryujo, and one Maru." This 
dispatch further pointed out that the commandant of the Sixteenth 
Naval District could not confirm the supposition that carriers and 
submarines in force were in the Mandated Islands and that his best 
indications were that all known carriers were still in the Sasebo-Kure 
area. The opinion was expressed that this evaluation was regarded 
as reliable. 

Periodically after November 27, 1941, there were sighting reports 
from the Asiatic Fleet as well as from other observers confirming the 
movement of important Japanese naval forces southward from Japan. 
These reports, however, copies of which were received by Admiral 
Kimmel, did not indicate the movement of any Japanese carriers. 

The Radio Intelligence Unit at Pearl Harbor continued the practice 
after November 27 of preparing daily summaries of the information 
received through its traffic analyses of Japanese naval communica- 
tions.^^^ These summaries were submitted each day to the Fleet 
Intelligence Officer, Captain Lay ton, for transmittal to Admiral 
Kimmel on the following morning. On November 28, an intelligence 
summary, reviewed by Admiral Kimmel, stated there was no further 
information concerning the presence of a carrier division in the 
Mandates and that "carriers were still located in home waters." The 
next day he received the November 28 summary which indicated, 
among other things, the view that the Japanese radio intelligence net 
was operating at full strength upon United States Naval Comjnuni- 
cations and "is getting results." There was no information set forth 
in the summary with respect to carriers. On the following day. 
Admiral Kimmel received the summary dated November 29, indi- 
cating that Carrier Division 3 was under the immediate command 
of the commander in chief. Second Fleet. On December 1, Admiral 
Kimmel received the previous day's summary which stated with 
respect to carriers that the presence of a unit of "plane guard" de- 
stroyers indicated the presence of at least one carrier in the Mandates, 
although this had not been confirmed. 

The Fortnightly Intelligence Summary dated December 1^^^ re- 
ceived by Admiral Kimmel from the Office of Naval Intelligence in 
Washington stated, among other things, with respect to the Japanese 
naval situation that << * * * the major capital ship strength 
remains in home waters, as well as the greatest portion of the car- 
riers." This summary related to information obtained during the 
2 weeks preceding its date of December 1 and the Washington esti- 
mate of the situation was necessarily based on radio intelligence in- 
formation received largely from the Philippines and Hawaii before 
the sudden and unexplained change in the call signals of Japanese 
vessels on December 1. 

The December 1 summary, which Admiral Kimmel received from 
Captain Layton stated that all Japanese service radio calls of forces 
afloat had changed promptly at 0000 on December 1 ; that previously 
service calls had been changed after a period of 6 months or more 
and that calls had been last changed on 1 November 1941. This 
summary stated: 

The fact that service calls lasted only one month indicates an additional progressive 
step in preparing for operations on a large scale. 

»M For these summaries, see committee exhibits Nos. 116 aad USA. 
•>; Ml Committee exhibit No. 80. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 135 

This statement was underlined by Admiral Kimmel. The summary 
also stated, among other things, that a large number of submarines 
were believed to be east of Yokosuka-Chichijima and Saipan, and 
that as to carriers there was "no change." 

On December 2, 1941, Admiral Kimmel examined a memorandum 
which Layton had prepared on December 1 at his request. This 
contained Layton's estimate, on the basis of all available information, 
conce rning the location of Japanese naval forces. This estimate 
placed, in the Bako-Takao area Carrier Division 3 and Carrier Divi- 
sion 4, which included four carriers, and the Kasuga Maru (believed 
to have been a converted carrier). The estimate placed one car- 
rier "Koryu (?) plus plane guards" in the Marshalls area."^ 

Layton's written estimate made no mention of Japanese Carrier 
Divisions 1 and 2, consisting of four carriers. This omission was de- 
hberate, the reason bemg that Layton considered the information as 
to the location of those carriers was not sufficient to warrant a rehable 
estimate of their whereabouts. ^^° 

On December 2, 1941, according to Captain Layton, he and Ad- 
miral Kimmel had the following conversation:^''^ 

Captain Layton. As best I recall it, Admiral Kimmel said "What! You don't 
know where Carrier Division 1 and Carrier Division 2 are?" and I replied, "No, 
sir, I do not. I think they are in home waters, but I do not know where they are. 
The rest of these units, I feel pretty confident of their location." Then Admiral 
Kimmel looked at me, as sometimes he would, with somewhat a stern countenance 
and yet partially with a twinkle in his eye and said, "Do you mean to say tliat 
they could be rounding Diamond Head and you wouldn't know it?" or words to 
that effect. , My reply was that, "I hope they would be sighted before now," or 
words to that effect. 

Captain Layton observed that the incident was impressed on his 
mind and that Admiral Kimmel was pointing out to him his complete 
ignorance as to the location of the Japanese carrier divisions. How- 
ever, the very reference by Admiral Kimmel to the carriers rounding 
"Diamond Head" was recognition by him of this possibihty and his 
complete lack of knowledge as to where they might be. Admiral 
Kjmmei and Captain Layton discussed — 

radio intelligence, its faults and its promises, its inexactities and yet the over-all 
picture that it will produce. Whether then or at other times, we discussed the fact 
that a force can take sealed orders, proceed under radio siUnce arid never be detected 
by visual or other sighting .'^'''^ 

The December 2 radio intelligence summary, which was dehvered 
to Admiral Kimmel on December 3, read as follows: 

Almost a complete blank of information on the carriers today. Lack of identifi- 
cation has somewhat promoted this lack of information. However, since over 
200 service calls have been partially identified since the change on the 1st of De- 
cember and not one carrier call has been recovered, it is evident that carrier 
traffic is at a low ebb. 

The Radio IntelHgence summary delivered to Admiral Kjmmel on 
December 4 stated, in part, "No information on submarmes or car- 
riers." The summary dehvered on December 5 contained no mention 
of carriers. The summary delivered on December 6 stated "No traffic 
from the Commander Carriers or Submarine Force has been seen either." 

Other than radio intelligence and sighting reports from other sources, 
the only way by which Admiral Kimmel would have obtained in- 

»" See Hewitt Inquiry record, p. 212. 

wi Hewitt Inquiry record, pp. 212, 213. 

^* Testimony of Captain Layton, Hewitt Inquiry record, p. 215. 



136 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

formation as to the location or movements of Japanese naval forces 
from 27 November to 7 December 1941 was by distant air reconnais- 
sance. Knowledge of the location of Japanese carriers was vital to 
the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. Two carrier divisions 
very definitely could not be located. The service calls of Japanese 
vessels were changed on December 1, a most unusual procedm-e 
inasmuch as they had been changed only a month previously on 
November 1. Admiral Kimmel fully appreciated the significance 
of this change and actually underscored the statement submitted 
to him: " The fact that service calls lasted only one month indicates an 
additional progressive step in preparing for operations on a large scale." 
It would appear Admiral Kimmel regarded the preparation to be in 
anticipation of a Japanese movement to South East Asia. 

The presumption was made that inasmuch as the Japanese carriers 
could not be located they were in home waters. It was fully known, 
however, that the missing carriers of Japan were not engaged in a 
movement to the south since such an operation would be open to 
visual observation by our forces in the Philippines as well as by 
friendly powers. In consequence, only two reasonable alternatives 
remained — either the carriers were in home waters or they were en- 
gaged in an operation under radio silence in some direction other than 
to the south. It was Admii-al Kimmel's duty to be prepared for the 
alternative most dangerous to him. Had he concluded that the un- 
usual change in service signals on December 1 clothed a Japanese 
major operation, perhaps to the eastward at Hawaii, he could have 
predicted within reasonably narrow limits of time as to when such 
an attack would come."^ 

Admiral Kimmel has referred to the lack of exactitude of radio 
intelligence and the fact that this was not the first instance in which 
his staff had been unable to get a line on the location of Japanese 
vessels."^* Recognizing all of the vagaries of radio intelligence analysis, 
however, it was still not in keeping with his responsibility as com- 
mander in chief of the Fleet for Admiral Kimmel to ignore the sinister 
implications of the information supplied through the Radio Intelli- 
gence Unit after he had been warned of war. In many respects the 
picture presented by radio intelligence was among the most significant 
information relating to when and, to a degree, where the Japanese 
would possibly attack. 

»?' Secretary of the Navy Forrestal observed: "I am of the view that the information as to the location 
and movements of the Japanese naval forces which was received by Admiral Kimmel during the week pre- 
ceding the attack, coupled with all the other Information which he had received, including the 'war warning' 
and other messages from the Chief of Naval Operations, should have been interpreted as indicating that an 
attack on Hawaii was not unlikely and that the time of such an attack could be predicted within fairly 
narrow limits." See "Fourth Endorsement" to report of Navy Court of Inquiry, committee exhibit No. 
157. 

And again: "The absence of positive information as to the location of the Japanese carriers, a study of the 
movement which was possible to them, under radio silence, through the unguarded areas of the Pacific, 
and a due appreciation of the possible effects of an air attack should have induced Admiral Kimmel to take 
all practicable precautions to reduce the effectiveness of such an attack." Id. 

"3» In this regard, Admiral Kimmel stated, among other things: "The failure to identify Japanese carrier 
traffic, on and after December first when the call signs changed, was not an unusual condition. During 
the six months preceding Pearl Harbor, there were seven periods of eight to fourteen days each, in which 
there was a similar uncertainty about the location of the Japanese battleships. During the six months pre- 
ceding Pearl Harbor, there was an almost continual absence of positive indications of the locations of the 
cruisers of the Japanese First Fleet, and eight periods of ten to twenty days each, in which the location of 
the greater number of cruisers of the Japanese Second Fleet was uncertain. As to the Japanese carriers, 
during the six months preceding Pearl Harbor, there existed a total of one hundred and thirty-four days — 
in twelve separate periods — each ranging from nine to twenty-two days, when the location of the Japanese 
carriers from radio traffic analysis was imcertain." Committee record, pp. 6727, 6728. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 137 

The "Mori Call" 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on December 6 delivered to 
responsible Army and Navy intelligence officers at Hawaii a transcript 
of an intercepted trans-Pacific radiotelephone conversation "^ between 
a person in Honolulu named "Mori" ^^* and an individual in Japan. 
The transcript of this conversation indicated, among other things, that 
the individual in Japan was interested in the daily flights of airplanes, 
particularly large planes, from Honolulu; whether searchlights were 
being used; and the number of ships present at Pearl Harbor. Refer- 
ence was made during the conversation to various flowers,^^® the 
significance of which was not known, but which conceivably could have 
been an open code employed to convey information concerning the 
presence or absence of fleet vessels to the approaching Japanese attack 
force, which could have listened in on the conversation. 

Instead of taking action on the basis of the conversation, the office 
of the District Intelligence Officer of the Navy decided that it should 
be studied further by a Japanese linguist. This was not done until 
after the attack and in consequence the transcript of the conversation 
was not seen by Admiral Kimmel before December 7. The transcript 
was delivered to General Siiort and his G-2 on the evening of Decem- 
ber 6 by Colonel Bickneli, his assistant G-2, the latter attaching great 
significance to the matters discussed. Colonel Bickneli stated that 
the special agent in charge of the FBI was alarmed at what he con- 
sidered the militery implications of the Mori conversation with respect 
to Pearl Harbor and that he, Bickneli, concurred in this view, consider- 
ing the conversation as veiy irregular and highly suspicious. He 
stated, however, that "both Colonel Fielder and General Short indi- 
cated that I was perhaps too 'intelligence conscious' and that to them 
the message seemed to be quite in order, and that it was nothing to be 
excited about." "^ No action whatever was taken by General Short. 

Regardless of what use the Japanese made of the "Mori call," the 
conversation should have been, on its very face, of the greatest signifi- 
cance to the responsible commanders in Hawaii. Members of the Mori 
family were the subject of investigation by the FBI, a fact known to 
the intelligence offices of both the Army and Navy. An interest by 
Japan in the daily flights of "large airplanes" and whether search- 
lights were employed could have but one meaning to alert Commanders 
who were properly vigilant and should have been prepared for the 
worst in the knowledge that hostihties were imminent — a desire to 
know whether air reconnaissance was being conducted and whether 
searchlights were employed for defense against air attack. The un- 
decipherable and suspicious reference to flowers should have intensified 
alertness by reason of the very fact that the true meaning could not be 
gathered. The Mori call 'pointed directly at Hawaii. 

The decision of the District Intelligence Office of the Navy to place 
the matter aside for further study was inescusable and reflects the 
apathetic state of alertness throughout the Navy command. 

M< See committee exhibit No. 84 for complete transcript of the conversation. 

'" The Af ori family included l^r. Motokazu Mori', his wife Mrs. Ishiko Mori, his father Dr. Iga Mori, and 
his son Victor Motojiro Mori. The family was the subject of security investigations in Hawaii. 

'"• In thr- course cf the conversation the question wasa sked, "What kind of flowers are in bloom in Hawaii 
at present?" The reply was: "Presently, the flowers in bloom are fewest out cf the whole year. However, 
the hibiscus and the poinsettia are in bloom now." 

277 See aflidavii of Col. Uuorge VV. Bickneli dated February 25, 1945, before Major Clausen. Committee 
e.\hibit No. 148. 



138 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Detection of Japanese Submarine on Morning of December 7 

The U. S. S. Condor, a minesweeper, at 3:42 a. m. (Honolulu time), 
December 7, reported sighting a submarine periscope off the entrance 
buoys to Pearl Harbor in a defensive area where American submarines 
had been restricted from operating while submerged. The Condor by 
visual signal reported this sighting to the U. S. S. Ward, a destroyer 
of the Inshore Patrol between 3:50 and 3:58 a. m. After receiving 
this information the Ward searched for the submarine for approxi- 
mately one and one-half hours without results. It thereupon con- 
tacted the Condor, inquiring as to the distance and course of the 
submarine that was sighted. At 5:20 a. m. the Condor replied but 
the Ward was unable to effect the submarine's location on the basis 
of this information. The qommander of the Ward thought the 
Condor had been mistaken in concluding that it had seen a submarine 
and made no report to higher authority .^^^ The radio conversation 
between the Ward and the Condor was overheai'd and transcribed in 
the log of the Section Base, Bishop's Point, Oahu, a radio station 
under the jurisdiction of the Inshore Patrol, Fourteenth Naval 
District. Inasmuch as the conversation was solely between the 
ships, was not addressed to the Section Base, and no request was 
made that it be relayed, the radio station did not report it to higher 
authority. 

At 6:30 a. m. the U. S. S. Antares, arriving off Pearl Harbor with a 
barge in tow, sighted a suspicious object which appeared to be a small 
submarine. The Antares notified the Ward, asking it to investigate, 
and at approximately 6:33 a. m. observed a Navy patrol plane circle 
and drop two "smoke pots" near the object. At 6:40 the Ward 
sighted an unidentified submarine apparently following the Antares. 
The Ward opened fire at 6:45 and the Antares, observing the fire of 
the Ward, noted about the same time that a Navy patrol plane 
appeared to drop depth charges or bombs on the submarine. When 
the submarine keeled over and started to sink, the Ward ceased 
firing and then dropped depth charges. 

At 6:51 the Ward radioed the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval 
District: "We have di'opped depth charges upon subs operating in 
defensive sea area." The captain of the Ward followed this dispatch 
with a suppleniental message at 6:53: "We have attacked, fired upon 
and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea 
area." This information was received by the Chief of Staff to Admiral 
Bloch at 7:12 and by the Duty Officer of Admu-al Kimmel at 7:15. 
Admiral Kimmel stated he received this information between 7:30 
and 7:40 a. m. 

Adriiiral Bloch, according to his testimony, was informed by his 
Chief of Staff, but in view of numerous previous reports of submarine 
contacts, their reaction was that the Ward had probably been mis- 
taken, but that if it were not a mistake, the Ward and the relief duty 
destroyer could take care of the situation; that Admiral Kimmel to 
whom the information had been referred had the power to take any 
action which might be desired.^^^ Admiral Kimmel testified:^^" 

Between 7:30 and 7:40, I received information from the Staff Duty OfBcer'of 
the Ward's report, the dispatch of the ready-duty destroyer to assist the Ward, 

"8 See Hewitt inquiry record, pp. 87-92; 428, 429. 

«« Id., at pages 414-416; 452-469. For further details concernin-? this incident, see Hewitt inquiry exhibits 
Nos. 18, 73, 75, and 76. 
«c Committee record, p. 6760-6770. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 139 

and the eflForts then underway to obtain a verification of the Ward's report. 
I was awaiting such verification at the time of the attack. In my judgment, 
the effort to obtain confirmation of the reported submarine attack off Pearl 
Harbor was a proper preliminary to more drastic action in view of the number 
of such contacts which had not been been verified in the past. 

It is to be noted, however, that in Admiral Kimmel's own statement 
he refers to only two reports concerning possible submarine contacts 
after November 3 in addition to the Ward incident. He stated: ^^* 

* * * On November 28, 1941, the U. S. S. Helena reported that a' radar 
operator without knowledge of my orders directing an alert against submarines 
was positive that a submarine was in a restricted area. A search by a task group 
with three destroyers of the suspected area produced no contacts. During the 
night of December 2, 1941, the U. S. S. Gamble reported a clear metallic echo in 
latitude 20-30, longitude 158-23. An investigation directed by Destroyer 
Division Four produced no conclusive evidence of the presence of a submarine. 

The reported sighting of a submarine periscope at 3:42 a. m. on 
the morning of Decamber 7, in close proximity to Pearl Harbor, even 
though not verified, should have put the entire Navy command on 
the qui vive and when at 6:40 a. m. the presence of a submarine was 
definitely established, the entire Navy command should have been 
on a full alert. In the JMartin-Bellinger estimate annexed to the 
Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan it was pointed out that a single 
submarine attack may indicate the presence of a considerable surface 
force probably composed of fast ships accompanied by a carrier. 
Admiral Kimmel in his letter to the Fleet, 2CL-41 (Revised), dated 
October 14, 1941, made this identical statement and followed it with 
the words: ^^^ "The Task Force Commander must, therefore, assemble 
his task groups as quickly as the situation and daylight conditions 
warrant in order to be prepared to pursue or meet enemy ships that may 
be located by air search or other means. '^ 

The evidence does not reflect that the sighting and sinking of a 
submarine, particularly in close proximity to Pearl Harbor, was of 
such frequent occurrence as to justify the failure to attach significanee 
to the events of the morning of December 7. This is especially true 
when it is reaUzed that a war warning had been received and Admiral 
Kimmel's own estimates indicated the extreme significance of sub- 
marine activity. As a matter of fact the Condor and Ward incidents 
appear to be the first instance of reported sighting and sinking of a 
submarine since the critical turn in our negotiations -with Japan. 

The reported sighting was at 3:42 a. m., over 4 hours before the 
Japanese air force struck. Appearing before the Roberts Com- 
mission, General Short commented as follows with respect to the 
Ward incident: '^^ 

That would, under the conditions, have indicated to me that there was danger. 
The Navy did not visualize it as anything but a submarine attack. They con- 
sidered that and sabotage their greatest danger; and it was Admiral Bloch's duty 
as Commander of the District to get that information to me right away. He stated 
to me in the presence of Secretary Knox that at the time he visualized it only as a 
submarine attack and was busy with that phase of it and just failed to notify me; 
that he could see then, after the fact, that he had been absolutely wrong, but that 
at the time the urgent necessity of getting the information to me had not — at 
any rate, I did not get the information until after the attack. 

2'>Ifi.,'atp. 6769. 

2'' Hewitt inquiry exhibit No. 8; committee exhibit No. 44. 

'*' Roberts Commission record, p. 311. 



140 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The supposed sighting of a submarine at 3:42 a. m. and the attack 
upon a submarine at 6:45 a, m., December 7, should have been 
recognized as immediate basis for an all-out alert to meet all militarj^ 
contingencies.^* 

Radar Detection of Japanese Raiding Force 

The army radar was scheduled for operation on Sunday morning, 
December 7 from 4 a. m. to 7 a. m.^*** The normal operation for 
training purposes after 7 a. m. was discontinued for this particular 
Sunday by reason of special authorization obtained from the control 
officer. 

At one of the more remote aircraft warning stations, Opana, Privates 
Joseph Lockard and George Elliott had been on duty from 4 to 7 a. m. 
Inasmuch as they were waiting for the army truck to return them to 
quarters for breakfast, it was decided to operate the radar after 7 
a. m. in order that Private Lockard, who was skilled in the operation 
of the radar detector, might afford his partner additional mstruction. 
As the machine was being adjusted, Private Lockard saw on the radar 
screen an unusual formation he had not previously seen in the machine. 
Inasmuch as the indicator reflected a large number of planes coming 
in and he was confident there was nothing like it in the air, he felt 
that the machine must be at fault. After additional checking he 
found, however, that the machine was operating properly and con- 
cluded at 7:02 a. m. that there was a large number of planes approach- 
ing Oahu at a distance of 132 miles from 3° east of north.^^* 

After some discussion concerning the advisabihty of informing the 
information center, Private Lockard called the center at 7:20 a. m. 
advising that a large number of planes were heading toward Oahu 
from the direction indicated. It is to be noted that, as General 
Short stated, "At 7 a. m. all the men at the information center except 
the telephone operator had folded up their equipment and left."^^^ 
The switchboard operator was unable to do an5^thing about the call 
and accordingly, since the information center personnel had departed, 
referred it to Lt. Kermit A. Tyler, a pursuit officer of the Air 
Corps whose tour of duty at the center was until 8 a. m. He was 
there solely for training and observation. 

Lieutenant Tyler, upon being advised of the approach of a large 
number of planes, told Private Lockard in substance and effect to 
"forget it." He assumed that the fhght indicated was either a naval 
patrol, a flight of Hickam Field bombers, or possibly some B-17's 
from the mainland that were scheduled to arrive on December 7. 



'M In the light of the known and declared significance to be attached to the presence of a Japanese sub- 
marine in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor, this committee does not concur in the implications of the conclusion 
made by the Navy Court of Inauiry that: "There was nothing, however, in the presence of a single sub- 
marine in the vicinity of Oahu to indicate that an air attack on Pearl Harbor was imminent." See Navy 
Court of Inauiry report, committee exhibit No. 157. 

«<• In the course of examination by Counsel, General Short was asked if radar was put on the alert after 
the warning of November 27. General Short replied: "That tvas put into alert during what I considered the 
most dangerous hours of the day for an air attack, from i o'clock to 7 o'clock a. m. daily." 

Asked if just putting the radar into operation was efTective without an Information Center that worked 
with it, General Short said: "The information center was working with it." Committee record, page 8054. 

The evidence reflects that installation of three permanent radar stations had not been completed. The 
mobile sets had been in operation, however, for some time prior to December 7 with very satisfactory results. 
See in this regard Note 287, infra. 

'M For complete discussion, see testimony of Joseph L. Lockard, Army Peail Harbor Board record, pp. 
1014-1034; Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 628-643; testimony of George E. Elliott, Army Pearl Harbor 
Boardrecord, pp. 994-1014; Navy Court of Inquiry record, pages 644-659; and committee record, p. 13380- 
13499. 

J» Committee r^Co-d, p. 7'976. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 141 

General Short stated:^" 

If he (Tyler) had alerted the interceptor command there would have been time, 
if the pursuit squadrons had been alerted, to disperse the planes. There would 
not have been time to get them in the air. * * *. It would have made a great 
difference in the loss * * *. It would have been a question of split seconds 
instead of minutes in getting into action. 

In testifying before the joint committee, General Short said:^* 

If Lieutenant Tyler had realized that the incoming flight was Japanese, there 
would have been time to disperse the planes but not to warm up the engines and 
get them into the air. Lieutenant Tyler made no report of this matter to me and 
as far as I know did not report the incident to the control officer, Major Tyndall, 
after the information center was manned about S:30 a. m. This matter was not 
brought to my attention until the next day when it was too late to be of value. 
Had this incident been reported to the control officer at 8:30 a. m. on the 7th, he 
would have informed the Navy and it might have enabled them to locate the 
carriers. 

If the Army command at Hawaii had been adequately alerted, 
Lieutenant Tyler's position would be indefensible. He was at the 
information center for training and observation, had no knowledge on 
which to predicate any action, and accordingly should have consulted 
higher authority. His fatal estimate — "Forget it" — was empty 
assumption. The fact that Lieutenant Tyler took the step that he 
did, merely tends to demonstrate how thoroughly unprepared and 
how completely lacking in readiness the Army command really was 
on the morning of December 7. 

Further, the evidence reflects that Privates Lockard and Elliott 
debated the advisability of informing the Information Center con- 
cerning the approach of a large number of planes. It would appear 
that this unusual information concerning a large number of planes — 
so unusual in fact that Private Lockard stated he had never before 
seen such a formation — should have provided immediate and com- 
pelling reason for advising the Information Center had the necessary 
alert been ordered after the November 27 warning and the proper 
alertness pervaded the Army command. 

While it was not possible with the then state of radar development 
to distinguish friendly planes from hostile planes, this fact is of no 
apphcation to the situation in Hawaii; for in a command adequately 
alerted to war any presumptions of the friendly or enemy character 
of approaching forces must be that they are enemy forces. It is to 
be noted General Short has stated that if Lieutenant Tyler had 
alerted the interceptor command there would have been time to 
disperse the planes and to have reduced the losses. 

The real reason, however, that the information developed by the 
radar was of no avail was the failure of the commanding general to 

J" Roberts Commission record, pp. 312, 313. However, in a memorandum dated November 14, 1941, 
Lt. Col. C. A. Powell, Signal Corps. Hawaiian Department, stated: "In recent exerci.ses held in the Hawai- 
ian Department, the operation of the radio set SCR-270 was found to be very satisfactory. The exercise 
was started approximately 4:30 in the morninp and with three radio sots in operation. We noted when 
the planes took off from the airplane carrier in the oscillo.scope. We determined this distance to be approxi- 
mately 80 miles, due to the fact the planes would circle around waiting the assemblage of the remainder 
from the carrier. 

"As .soon as the planes were assembled, they proceeded toward Hawaii. This was very easily determined 
and within six minutes, the pursuit aircraft were notified and they took off and iiUercepted the incoming bombers 
at approximnieli) SO miles from Pearl Harbor . . ." 

A copy of this memornndum was forwarded under date of November 19, 1941, to Mr. Harvey H. Bundy, 
special assistant to the Secretary of War. See committee exhibit No. 136. 

«' Committee record, p. 7977. 



142 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

order an alert commensurate with the warning he had been given by 
the "War Department that hostihties were possible at any moment.^^* 

Other Intelligence Eeceived by Army and Navy in Hawaii 
channels of intelligence 

Both the Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii had responsible 
intelligence officers whose duty it was to coordinate and evaluate 
information from all sources and of all pertinent types for their 
superiors. The record reflects full exploitation of all sources for this 
purpose including the interview of passengers transiting Hawaii. 
The record also reflects that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 
other agencies in Hawaii were supplying Army and Navy intelligence 
officers with data available. ^^^ 

The Special Agent in Charge of the FBI at Honolulu, for example, 
stated that on or about November 28, 1941, he received a radio 
communication from Director J. Edgar Hoover to the effect "that 
peace negotiations between the United States and Japan were breaking 
down and to be on the alert at all times as anything could happen" 
and that, on the same day, he delivered this information to responsible 
Army and Navy intelligence officers in Hawaii.^^*^ . 

THE "MANILA MESSAGE" 

Both the Army and Navy intelligence off.ces received about Decem- 
ber 3, 1941, the following dispatch from a British source in Manila 
through a British representative in Honolulu: -^^ 

We have received considerable intelligence confirming following developments 
in Indo-China: 

A. 1. Accelerated Japanese preparation of airfields and railways. 

2. Arrival since Nov. 10 of additional 100,000 repeat 100,000 troops and con- 
siderable quantities fighters, medium bombers, tanks, and guns (75 
mm). 

B. Estimates of specific quantities have already been telegraphed Washington 
Nov. 21 by American Military Intelligence here. 

C. Our considered opinion concludes that Japan envisages early hostilities with 
Britain and U. S. Japan does not repeat not intend to attack Russia at present 
but will act in Sovlh. 

You may inform Chiefs of American Military and Naval Intelligence Honolulu. 

The assistant G-2 of the Hawaiian Department stated he gave the 
foregoing intelligence to General Short.^^^ 

THE HONOLULU PRESS 

The information available in the Hawaiian Islands from the press 
and the attendant state of the public mind in the days before Pearl 
Harbor can to a great extent be gathered from a recitation of the head- 
lines appearing in Honolulu newspapers. Among the headlines were 
the followins:: ^^^ 



S88» Illustrative of the insufficiency of the radar alert is the fact that although the charts plotting the Japa- 
nese force in and plotting the force as it retired were turned over to higher authority during the course of 
the attack, this information was not employed to assist in locating the Japanese task force and it appears 
no inquiries were made concerning it for a considerable period of time after the attack. 

» See testimony of Col. George W. Bicknell before the joint committee, committee record, pp. 13536- 
13620. . ,. 

s«« See affidavit of Robert L. Shivers, dated April 10, 1945, before Major Clausen; Clausen mvestigation, 
pp. 88-91. 

«" See exhibits, Clausen investigation. 

»M See supplemental affidavit of Col. George W. Bicknell, dated August 14, 1945, before Clausen. 

M».Oommittee record, p. 13622-13627. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 143 

Honolulu Advertiser 
November 7, 1941 

"Kurusu Carrying Special Note to F. D. R. From Premier Tojo — 
Japan Ready to Act Unless Tension Eases." 

"Japan Waits Before Move in Far East — Aggression in Pacific 
Appears Shelved Until Kurusu's Mission has been Completed in U. S." 

"Invasion Held too Difficult by Officials — Offensive May Start in 
Middle East Soon; Invasion of Continent Impracticable at Present." 

November 13, 1941 

"Tokyo Radio Asserts War is Already on — Any Military Moves 
Only Logical Result of Encirclement Policy, Japanese Staff Says." 

"Envoy Undismayed — Carries Broad Powers to Act — Kurusu 
Denies Taking Message, Implies Errand of Bigger Scope." 

November I4, 1941 
"Japanese Confident of Naval Victory." 

November 26, 1941 

"Americans Get Warning to Leave Japan, China." 
"Hull Reply to Japan Ready." 

November 27, 1941 

"U.S. -Japan Talks Broken Off as Hull Rejects Appeasement — 
FuU Surrender Demanded in U. S. Statement." 
"Evacuation Speeded as Peace Fades." 

November 28, 1941 

"Parris Island, S. C. — This is the tail assembly of the captive barrage 
balloon at Parris Island, S. C, lookmg for all the world like an air 
monster. The wench controlling it is in the sandbagged structure pro- 
tected there from bomb splinters. The helium sausage may be used 
to protect beachheads, bridgeheads and other strong points, thereby 
differing from the British technique which keeps them flying over 
London. The marines encamped on Parris Island, S. C, have a 
special training school on these balloons." 

November 29, 1941 

"U. S. Rejects Compromise in Far East — Washington Insists on 
Maintenance of Status Quo, Withdrawal from China by Japan 
Army." 

"U. S. Warplanes May Protect Burma Road — Protective Force of 
200 Planes, 500 Pilots Held Sufficient to Ward Off Attack by Japan- 
ese." 

November SO, 1941 

"Kurusu Bluntly Warned Nation Ready for Battle — Foreign Affairs 
Expert Attacks Tokyo Madness." 
90179 — 46 11 



144 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

"Leaders Call Troops Back in Singapore — Hope Wanes as Nations 
Fail at Parleys; Nightly Blackouts Held in P. I.; Hawaii Troops 
Alerted." 

December 1, 1941 

"Japanese Press Warns Thailand." 

"Burma Troops Are Reinforced — British, Indian Units Arrive at 
Rangoon." 
"F. D. R. Hurries to Parleys on Orient Crisis." 

December 2, 1941 

"Japan Called Still Hopeful of Making Peace with U. S. — Thailand 
Now in Allied Bloc, Press Charges." 

"Japan Gives Two Weeks More to Negotiations — Prepares for 
Action in Event of Failure." 

"Malaya Forces Called to Full Mobilization." 

"Quezon Held to Blame in P. I. Defense Delay." 

December 3, 1941 

"Huge Pincer attack on U. S. by Japan, France Predicted — Pepper 
Visions Nations Acting as Nazi Pawns." 

"U. S. Demands Explanation of Japan Moves — Americans Prepare 
for Any Emergency; Navy Declared Ready." 

December 4, 1941 

"Hawaii Martial Law Pleasure Killed for Present Session." 
"Japanese Pin Blame on U. S. — Army Paper Charges Violation 
by F. D. R." 

December 5, 1941 

"Probe of Japanese Activities Here Will Be Made by Senate — Spy 
Inquiry Rapidly Gets Tentative O. K. by State Department." 
"Pacific Zero Hour Near; Japan Answers U. S. Today." 
"Japan Calls in Nationals." 
"Japan Has Secret Shanghai Agents." 

December 6, 1941 

"America Expected to Reject Japan's Reply on Indo China — Hull 
May Ask Proof, Suggest Troop's Recall." 

"Japan Troops Concentrated on Thai Front — Military Observers 
Say Few Units Have Been Posted in North." 

December 7, 1941 

"F. D. R. Will Send Message to Emperor on War Crisis — Japanese 
Deny Massing Troops for Thai War." 

"British Fear Tientsin Row, Call Up Guards — May Isolate Con- 
cession to 'Prevent' Agitation over U. S.-Japan Rumors." 

"Hirohito Holds Power to Stop Japanese Army." 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 145 

Honolulu Star Bulletin 
November 10, 1941 
"Navy Control for Honolulu Harbor." 
December 1, 1941 

"U. S. Array Alerted in Manila — Singapore Mobilizing as War 
Tension Grows." 
"Japan Envoys Resume Talks Amid Tension." 

December 4, 1941 

"Japan Spurns U. S. Program — Press Holds Acceptance Not 
Possible." 

December 5, 1941 

"Japan Parries Open U. S. Break." 

"Further Peace Efforts Urged — Tokyo Claims Policy 'Misunder- 
stood' in Washington as One of Force and Conquest." 

December 6, 1941 

"Singapore on War Footing — Sudden Order Calls Troops to Posi- 
tions — State of Readiness is Completed; No Explanation Given." 

"New Peace Effort Urged in Tokyo — Joint Commission to Iron 
Out Deadlock with U. S. Proposed." 

It would seem difficult to imagine how anyone — upon reading the 
newspapers alone ^^* — could have failed to appreciate the increasing 
tenseness of the international situation and the unmistakable signs 
of war.^^^ 

The Role of Espionage in the Attack 

It has been suggested that Admiral Kimmel and General Short 
should be charged with knowledge that the Japanese were conducting 
extensive espionage activity in Hawaii and by reason thereof they 
should have exercised greater vigilance commensurate with the real- 
ization that Japan knew everything concerning the fleet, the fleet 
base and the defenses available thereto. Implicit in this suggestion 
is the assumption that superior intelligence possessed by Japan con- 
cerning Pearl Harbor conditioned her decision to strike there or, 

'M Referring to the commanding general of the Hawaiian Department, Secretary Stimson expressed this 
idea in the following terms: 

"Even without any such message (the War Department dispatch of November 27) the outpost com- 
mander should have been on the alert. If he did not know that the relations between Japan and the United 
States were strained and might be broken at any time, he must have been almost the only man in Hawaii 
who did not know it, for the radio and the newspapers were blazoning out those facts daily, and he had a 
chief of staff and an intelligence officer to tell him so. And if he did not know that the Japanese were likely 
to strike without warning, he could not have read his history of Japan or known the lessons taught in the 
Army schools in respect to such matters." Statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14408. 

"5 Both .\dmiral Kimmel and General Short have made a point of the fact that after the warnings of 
November 27 they were dependent on the newspapei-s for information concerning the state of negotiations 
and from the press, gathered that the conversations were still continuing. It is to be recalled, however, 
that the "code destruction" intelligence was made available after November 27 and indicated with unmis- 
takable clarity that effective negotiations were at an end. In any event it would appear anomalous that 
the commanding general of the Hawaiian Department and the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet 
would permit unofficial newspaper accounts to take precedence over official War and Navy Department 
dispatches, setting forth the break-down in negotiations. Admiral 'Kimmel, himself, admitted that he did 
not act on newspaper information in preference to official information supplied him by the Navy Depart- 
ment, after havmg previously observed that he obtained a major portion of his "diplomatic information 
from the newspapers." See Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 306, 307. 



146 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

otherwise stated, that Japan would not have attacked Pearl Harbor 
on the morning of December 7 if she had not the benefit of imusual 
and superior intelligence. Virtually every report that has been 
heretofore prepared concerning the disaster has referred to the proba- 
bility of supposed extensive espionage activity in Hawaii and the 
peculiar vulnerability of the fleet base to such activity by reason of 
the surrounding mountainous terrain. ^^^ 

There is evidence before the committee, however, which reveals 
several salient considerations indicating that Japanese Hawaiian 
espionage was not particularly effective and that from this standpoint 
there was nothing unusual about the Hawaiian situation. It is clear 
beyond reasonable doubt that superior Japanese intelligence had 
nothing whatever to do with the decision to attack Pearl Harbor. 
Among the considerations giving rise to this conclusion are the 
following: 

1. Kadar equipment was available on Oahu for use in detecting 
approaching planes. That Japan knew of radar and its capa- 
bilities would seem clear if for no other reason than on November 
22 her consul in Panama advised her that the United States had 
set up airplane detector bases and "some of these detectors are 
said to be able to discover a plane 200 miles away." ^" The 
attacking force was actually detected through radar over 130 
miles from Oahu. Had Japanese espionage developed the fact 
that radar was in use at Hawaii and so advised Tokyo of that 
fact, it would seem unlikely that the attacking planes would have 
come in for the raid at high altitude but, on the other hand, would 
have flown a few feet above the water in order to take advantage 
of the radar electrical horizon — presupposing of course that Japan 
possessed at least an elementary working knowledge of radar 
and its potentiaUties. 

2. Perhaps the greatest single item of damage which the at- 
tacking force could have inflicted on Oahu and our potential for 
effectively prosecuting the war would have been to bomb the 
oil-storage tanks around Pearl Harbor.^* These tanks were 
exposed and visible from the air. Had they been hit, inexplicable 
damage would have resulted. Considering the nature of instal- 
lations that were struck during the attack, it is questionable 
whether Japanese espionage had developed fully the extraordinary 
vulnerability of the oil storage to bombing and its peculiar and 
indispensable importance to the fleet. 

3. The evidence before the Committee reflects that other 
Japanese consulates were supplying Tokyo as much information 
as the Honolulu consulate.^^^ Information supplied by the 
Manila and Panama consuls was detailed in character and related 
meticulously to defenses available and those in process of develop- 
ment. It appears that it was not until a few days before Decem- 
ber 7 that the Honolulu consul supplied his Japanese superiors 
any significant information concernmg the defenses of Oahu, and 

'«« See reports of Army Pearl Harbor Board and Navy Court of Inquiry, committee exhibit No. 157. 

"7 Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 49. 

"' Admiral Bloch pointed out that, had the Japanese attacked the oil supply at Oahu, the drydocks, 
repair shop, barracks, and other facilities instead of the airfields and the ships of the fleet, the United States 
would have suffered more insofar as the prosecution of the war was concerned. See Hart inquiry record, 
p. 94. It is, of course, known that the Japanese knew generally as to the location of the oil-storage- tanks 
as reflected by a map recovered after the attack. See'Hewitt inquiry, exhibit No. 30. 

2»s From evidence before the Committee it appears that the Manila and Panama consuls were supplying 
Tokyo more information and of a type far more indicative of an attack than that received concerning Hawaii. 
See section "Ships in Harbor Reports," Part IV, infra, this report. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 147 

at a time when the attacking force was abeady on its way to 
Pearl Harbor.^oo 

4. The Japanese task force left Hitokappu Bay on November 
25 with December 7 set as the time for the attack. This depar- 
ture, it would seem clear, was in anticipation of the failure to 
secure concessions from the United States through further nego- 
tiations. The date December 7 had been recognized as suitable 
for the attack in discussions prior to November 7. It is hardly 
credible that superior intelligence should have precipitated or 
otherwise conditioned the attack when the decision to strike on 
December 7 was made many days earUer and, manifestly, in the 
interim between the decision and the attack date the entire 
defensive situation at Hawaii could have changed.^"^ As a matter 
of fact two of our task forces left Pearl Harbor while the raiders 
were en route for the attack. 

5. It is apparent from the evidence obtained through Japanese 
sources since VJ-day that the decision to attack on December 7 
was made on the basis of the general assumption that units of the 
fleet ordmarily came mto Pearl Harbor on Friday and remained 
over the week end.^"^ With this realization providing adequate 
odds that substantial units of the Pacific Fleet would be in Pearl 
Harbor on Sunday, December 7, that date was selected. 

6. In February of 1941 Admu-al Yamamoto is reported to have 
stated, 

If we have war with the United States we will have no hope of winning 
unless the U. S. Fleet in Hawaiian waters can be destroyed.^^ 

This statement is clearly in line with the premise laid down by 
several witnesses before the committee that Japan would open 
her attack on us by hitting our Pacific Fleet wherever it might 
be — whether at Pearl Harbor, Manila, Panama, or on the west 
coast — in order to immobolize it as a threat to Japanese moves to 
the south.^°* The fleet happened to be based at Pearl Harbor and 
in consequence that was where Japan struck. 

7. The "Mori call," to which reference has heretofore been 
made, was on> the evening of December 5. It would appear 
doubtful that Japan should have been seeking information just 
before the attack in the rather inexpert manner displayed in the 
call if she possessed any wealth of intelligence gleaned through 
espionage agents in Hawaii. 

8. Investigation conducted in Japan since VJ-day indicates, 
as a matter of fact, that espionage agents, apart from the consul 
and his staff, played no role whatever in the attack.^"^ The 
sources of information employed, according to Japanese inter- 
viewed, were naval attaches to the Japanese Embassy in "Wash- 
ington, public newspapers in the United States, American radio 
broadcasts (public), crews and passengers on ships which put in 
at Honolulu, and general information.^"^ 



"* See committee exhibit No. 2. 
•M Committee exhibit No. 8. 
302 Id. 

«M Committee exhibit No. 8D. 

">* See testimony of Capt. Arthur McCoIIum, committee record, pp.t9H5-9288; testlmony|of Capt. Ellis 
Zacharias, commiitee record, pp. 8709-8778, 890&-9044. 
««« See committee exhibit No. 8. Also note 6, Part II, this report, 
wid. 



148 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

9. As late as December 2, Tokyo was solicitously asking its 
Honolulu consul — 

whether or not there are any observation balloons above Pearl Harbor or 
if there are any indication's they will be sent up. Also advise me whether 
the warships are provided with antimine nets.'"' 

On December 6, the Honolulu Consul advised Tokyo: 

In my opinion the battleships do not have torpedo nets. The details are 
not known. I will report the results of m}^ investigation.*"* 

The foregoing is hardly indicative of any superior sources or 
facilities for obtaining intelligence. 

It is reported that the decision to employ a horizontal-bombing 
attack on Pearl Harbor in conjunction with an air-torpedo attack 
was for the reason that Tokyo could not determine whether ships 
at Pearl Harbor were equipped with torpedo nets and the hori- 
zontal bombing could be depended upon to inflict some damage 
if the torpedo attack failed.^°^ 

10. In planning for the attack, Japan made elaborate precau- 
tions to protect the raiding task force which was of itself very 
formidable, probably more so as a striking force than the entire 
fleet based at Pearl Harber. A large striking force was held in 
readiness in the Inland Sea to proceed to assist the raiding force 
if the latter were detected or attacked.^'*^ It is proper to suggest 
that such precautions would seem unlikely and misplaced if 
Japan had known through superior espionage information that 
there was no air or other reconnaissance from Oahu and the 
defenses were not properly alerted. 

The evidence reflects that the raiding task force probably 
determined the extent of reconnaissance through plotting in our 
plane positions with radio bearings. Further, the Japanese force 
followed the broadcasts from Honolulu commercial radio stations 
on the theory that if the stations were going along in their normal 
manner, the Hawaiian forces were still oblivious to develop- 
ments .^^^ 

11. In moving in for the attack on December 7, the Japanese 
ran the risk of tipping over the apple cart by sending out scout- 
ing planes a considerable period of time ahead of the bombers. ^^* 
They took the further risk of having several submarines in the 
operating sea areas around Pearl Harbor. If Japan had possessed 
extraordinary intelligence concerning the state of Hawaiian 
defenses or lack thereof, it would seem improbable that she would 
have invited disaster by taking such risks. 

12. Reference has been made to the large nimiber of semi- 
official consular agents that were stationed in Hawaii, the impli- 
cation being they were engaged in widespread espionage activity 
Yet the facts before the committee reflect no evidence that these 
agents committed a single act of espionage, except as it may be 
inferred from the information sent by the Honolulu consul to 
Tokyo, which as will be indicated was no more extensive than was 
being received from other consulates. 



'w See committee exhibit No. 2. p. 21. 

><» 16., at pp. 27, 28. 

w« See committee exhibit No. 8. 

"0 Id. 

'" See committee exhibit No. 8D. 

"» Id. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 149 

13. It would seem likely that Japan expected some of the most 
effective striking miits of the Pacific Fleet, particularly the 
carriers, to be in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. The, 
raiders, for example, as testified by Admiral Kimmel, bombed a 
vessel with lumber on its upper deck, apparently thinking it 
was a carrier. In the light of retrospection and the experiences 
of the war, it is suggested that Japan would not have indulged 
the Pyrrhic victory of destroying om- lumbering battlesliips if 
she had not also hoped to find the fast strildng units of the fleet. 

14. Japanese estimates in the late fall of 1941 as to the disposi- 
tion of United States air strength in the Pacific were, with respect 
to Hawaii, as follows: Fighter planes, 200; small attack planes, 
150; 4-engine planes, 40; 2-engine planes, 100; reconnaissance 
and patrol planes, 35; and flying boats, 110, for a total of 635 
planes .^^^^ This estimate is roughly twice that of the actual 
number of planes at Hawaii and reflects a thoroughly erroneous 
impression as to the ratio of planes in a particular category. The 
inability to make an approximation of enemy strength within 
more narrow hmits of exactitude can hardly be credited as superior 
intelligence. 

15. In the last anal5^sis it is difficult to believe that Japanese 
espionage was actuaUy able to develop satisfactorily the real 
strength of our Pacific Fleet. In December of 1941 the Japanese 
fleet was superior to our fleet in the Pacific. The latter would 
have been unable, based on the testimony of witnesses ques- 
tioned on the subject, to have proceeded, for example, to the aid 
of General MacArthur in the PhiUppines even had Pearl Harbor 
not been attacked. Our war plan in the Pacific, particularly in 
the early stages, was essentially defensive in character, save for 
sporadic tactical raids. 

If the Japanese really knew the weakness of the Pacific Fleet 
they must also have known that it did not present a formidable 
deterrent to anything Japan desired to do in the Far East. As 
already suggested, the question presents itself: Why, if Japanese 
espionage in Hawaii was superior, would Japan invite the unqualified 
wrath oj the American people, weld disunited American public opinion, 
and render certain a declaration of war by the Congress through a 
sneak attack on Pearl Harbor when the ovly real weapov we had, our 
Pacific Fleet, presented itself no substantial obstacle to what Japan 
had in mind? A logical answer would seem to be that Japan had 
not been able to determine and, in consequence, was not cognizant 
of our real naval weakness in the Pacific. ^^^"^ The extremely large 
raiding force and the excessive number of attacking planes would 
appear to be further confirmation of this conclusion. 



3i2» See War Department memorandum dated May 21, 1946, transmitting a letter of the same date from 
Commander Walter Wilds, Office of the Chairman of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Com- 
mittee record, p. 14626. 

»"> When questioned as to the deterring effect the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 
might have on Japanese aggressive action in the Far East, Admiral Ingersoll declared: "The Pacific Fleet 
had no train, it had no trainsports, it did not have sufl3cient oilers to leave the Hawaiian Islands on an of- 
fensive campaign and Japan fciiew ii just as well as we did and she knew that she c^uJd make an attack 
in the area in which she did, that is. Southeast Asia and the Philippines, with impunity." Committee rec- 
ord, p. 11370. 

It appears that the statement by Admiral Ingersoll concerning his estimate of Japanese knowledge con- 
cerning the capacity of the Pacific Fleet is illogical and completely incompatible with the risks entailed by 
Japan in attacking Pearl Harbor. 

During the war games carried on at the Naval War College, Tokyo, from September 2 to 13, 1941, il was 
assumed that the Pearl Harbor Striking Force would suffer the loss of one-third of its participating units; it uas 
tpecifically assumed that one AKAOI class carrier, and one SOBYU class carrier would be lost. See committee 
record, p. 457. 



150 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

From the foregoing considerations it is proper to suggest that the 
role played by espionage in the Pearl Harbor attack may have been 
magnified all out of proportion to the realities of the situation. 

The Japanese diplomatic estabUshments and others did, however, 
have uncensored channels of communication with Tokyo as a result 
of statutory restrictions imposed upon our own counterespionage 
agencies by the Communications Act of 1934. The position assumed 
in 1941 by the Federal Communications Commission was expressed 
in a memorandum dated September 29, 1944, by the Chan-man, James 
La-\vrence Fly, as follows: ^^^^ 

The United States was at peace with Japan prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor 
on December 7, 1941, and the Communications Act of 1934, under which the 
Federal Communications Commission was organized and from which it derives 
its powers, prohibited the tapping of wires or other interception of messages trans- 
mitted between points in the United States, including its territories, and a foreign 
country (sec. 605). Since that prohibition upon the Commission had not beer 
in any way superseded, the Commission did not intercept any messages over the 
radio-telegraph, cable telegraph, or radiotelephone circuits between the United 
States (including Hawaii) and Japan prior to Dec. 7, 1941. 

The situation should never again he 'permitted whereby the e;fforts oj 
our Government to combat forces inimical to our 7iational security are 
hamstrung by restrictions oJ our own imposition which aid the enemy. 

Liaison Between Admiral Kimmel and General Short 

Consistent with instructions from the Chief of Staff,^^^ General 
Short set about immediately upon assuming command of the Hawaiian 
Department to establish a cordial and cooperative relationship with 
Admiral Kimmel and his staff. That he was successful is undisputed 
and there can be no doubt that a bond of personal friendship developed 
between the commanders of the Army and the Navy in Hawaii. 
They addressed themselves to the task of preparing for war and set 
about to perfect plans for defense resulting in the Joint Coastal Fron- 
tier Defense Plan. As has been seen, this plan was thorough, despite 
the recognized limitations of equipment, well conceived and if timely 
invoked using all of the facilities at hand was adequate to effect maxi- 
mum defensive security. The evidence reflects, however, that per- 
sonal friendship was obviously confused with effective liaison at a 
time when the latter was indispensable to the security of the Hawaiian 
Coastal Frontier.^'* 

They exchanged the warning messages of November 27 and dis- 
cussed their import. They did not, however, in the face of these 
warnings sit down with one another to determine what they together 
had and what they could jointly do to defend the fleet and the fleet 
base. This action and this alone could have demonstrated efl'ective 
liaison in a command by mutual cooperation. After reading the 
"war warning" sent Admiral Kimmel, General Short assumed the 

3120 See report of the Army Pearl Harbor Board, committee exhibit No. 157. 

"3 General Short testified: "The one thing that that letter Getter of February 7, 1941, from General Mar- 
shall) emphasized to me, I think, more than anything else, was the necessity for the closest cooperation 
with the Navy. I think that that part of the letter impressed me more than anything else." Army Pearl 
Harbor Board Record, p. 355. 

314 The Army Pearl Harbor Board, it should be noted, said: "General Short accomplished what he set 
out to do, to establish a cordial and friendly relationship with the Navy. His instructions from the Chief 
of Stall to do this were not for the purpose of social intercourse, but for more effectively accomphshing the 
objective of a sound and complete detail working agreement with the Navy to get results. He successfully 
accomplished fully only the cordial relationship with his opposite numbers in the Navy, i. e., the top rank 
of the Navy; he did not accompHsh fully the detailed working relationship necessary for his own full informa- 
tion, the complete execution of his own job and the performance of his mission. The claim of a satisfactory 
relationship for practical purposes is not substantiated." See Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board, com- 
mittee exhibit No. 157. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 151 

Navy would be conducting distant reconnaissance when ordered to 
effect a defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out war tasks.^'* 
Admiral Kimmel assumed, on the other hand, that the Army in the 
face of the warnings would be on an all-out alert.^^^ In fact, he testi- 
fied he didn't know the Army was alerted to prevent sabotage only; 
that he thought they were on an all-out alert; and that he didn't 
know they had any other kind of alert. He also assumed the Army 
radar would be in full operation. Even though General Short testified 
that he conferred with Admiral Kimmel on December 1, 2, and 3 and 
they talked over every phase of what they were doing ^" these fatal 
assumptions still persisted. In short, when the time came for really 
effective liaison it was entirely absent. 

The Navy failed to advise General Short of information received 
on four different occasions between December 3 and 6 concerning the 
destruction of codes and confidential documents in Japanese diplomatic 
establishments and in our own outlying islands.^'* General Short 
testified that had he known of these messages he would have ordered 
a more "serious alert." ^^^ 

On November 26 the commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District 
expressed to the Cliief of Naval Operations the belief, based on radio 
intelligence, that a strong Japanese concentration of submarines and 
air groups, including at least one carrier division unit (not necessarily 
a carrier) and probably one-third of the submarine fleet, were located 
in the vicinity of the Marshall Islands, In spite of the believed 
dangerous proximity to Hawaii of possible Japanese carrier units, the 
commanding general was not advised of this highly significant infor- 
mation. ^^° While this information was questioned the same day by 
the radio intelligence unit in the Philippines, it nevertheless displays 
the futility of General Short's assumption that the Navy would keep 
him informed of the location of Japanese warships. 

On November 28, 1941, the commander in chief of the Asiatic 
Fleet directed a dispatch to the Cliief of Naval Operations with a 
copy to Admiral Kimmel for information concerning the establish- 
ment by Japan of the celebrated "winds code" to be employed in 
"ordinary Tokyo news broadcasts" to advise when "diplomatic rela- 
tions are on the verge of being severed." ^^^ Certain Japanese phrases 
were set up to indicate a break of relations with the United States, 
England and the Netherlands, and Russia. Efforts were made by 
the Navy at Hawaii to monitor for a broadcast employing this code. 
On December 1 the Chief of Naval Operations sent a dispatch to the 
commander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet, with a copy to Admiral 
Kimmel, advising of Japanese broadcast frequencies. ^^^ Despite the 
importance which was attached to the winds code at the time, General 
Short has testified this information was not supplied him by the Navy 
in Hawaii .^^^ 



"• Committee record, pp. 7926, 7927. 

"• Yet it is difficult to understand why he should hare expected such an alert when in his statement 
submitted to the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel said: "On November 28th the messages from 
the War and Navy Departments were discussed (with General Short). We arrived at the conclusion at 
this and succeeding conferences that probable Japanese actions would be confined to the Far East with 
Thailand most probably and Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines the next most 
probable objectives in the order named. In general, we arrived at the conclusion that no immediate activity 
beyond possible sabotage tvas to be expected in Hawaii" (p. 31 of statement). See committee exhibit No. 146. 

3" See Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 242, 251. 

"8 See committee record, pp. 8366-8368. 

«>• Id., at p. 8397. 

MOId., at p. 8261. 

'" Committee exhibitpjo. 142. See discussion of "Winds Code," Part. IV, infra. 

•" Committee record, p. 8374. 

•»Jd., at p. 8374. 



152 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Beginning November 30, Admiral Eammel made a daily memoran- 
dum entitled: "Steps to be taken in case of American-Japanese war 
within the next twenty-four hours," the last of these memoranda being 
reviewed and approved by him on the morning of December 6. Al- 
though conferences were held with Admiral Kimmel subsequent to 
the initiation of these memoranda, General Short has testified he did 
not know of these steps being taken by the Navy.^^* There is some 
indication that Admiral Eammel acted as arbiter of what information 
General Short received .^^° 

Admiral Bellinger, who was not shown the war warning, has stated 
that between November 27 and December 7 he did not confer with the 
Army Air Force commander. General Martin, regarding long-range 
reconnaissance.^^^ In other words, there were no discussions during 
this critical period between the two officers responsible for the air 
arms of the Army and Navy in Hawaii. It is to be recalled that Ad- 
miral Bellinger and General Martin prepared the estimate of possible 
Japanese action against Hawaii which reflected in such startling detail 
what did occur on the morning of December 7. 

At 3:42 a. m. on December 7 (Honolulu time) a Navy mine sweeper 
reported the sighting of a submarine periscope off the entrance buoys 
to Pearl Harbor in the defensive sea area where American submarines 
had been restricted from operating submerged. Between 6:30 and 
6:45 a. m. a submarine was sunk in naval action. Both Admiral 
Kimmel and Admiral Bloch knew of this prior to the attack. Although 
the Martin-Bellinger estimate of possible enemy action had stated that 
any single submarine attack might indicate the presence of a consid- 
erable undiscovered surface force probably composed of fast ships 
accompanied by a carrier. General Short was not advised of the fact 
that the submarine had been sighted and sunk. 

The Army radar at 7:02 a. m. December 7 detected a large con- 
tingent of airplanes which turned out to be the attacking force ap- 
proaching Oahu at a distance of 132 miles away. This information 
was not supplied the Navy until after the attack. 

Although the Army radar plotted the withdrawal to the north of the 
Japanese force after the attack, this vital information was not em- 
ployed following the raid in searches for the raiders.^^^ This situation 
is traceable to faulty liaison and a complete failure in integration of 
Army-Navy effort. 

The Navy maintained a liaison officer in the Army operations sec- 
tion for purposes of informing the Foiu'teenth Naval District concern- 
ing action being taken by the Army. No liaison officer, however, was 
maintained in the Navy operations section by the Army, although an 

321 Id., at pp. 8375-8378. 

"5 Before the Navy Court of Inquiry Admiral Kimmel was asked: "Did your organization exchange 
intelligence with the Comnianding General of the Hawaiian Department?" Admiral Kimmel replied: 

"We did, to this extent: The Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department had his interests re- 
stricted to the defense of Hawaii and to such of the outlying islands as he had his forces and the ones to which 
he expected to send his forces. He was primarily interested in the probability of attack where his forces 
were stationed, and in general the information I gave to him bore upon his interests, or was confined to his 
interests. My own interests covered a much greater geographical area and many more factors. I tried to 
keep the Commanding General informed of everything that I thought would be useful to him. I did not 
inform the Commanding General of my proposed plans and what I expected to do in the Marshalls and 
other places distant from Hawaii. I saw no reason for taking the additional chance of having such infor- 
mation divulged by giving it to any agency who would have no part in the execution of the plan." 

See Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 282. 

336 Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 672. 

»2' Committee record, pp. 9343-9346. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 153 

officer was assigned on an 8-hour shift to the harbor patrol .'^^ That 
Admiral Kimmel was completely oblivious of what the Army was 
really doing evinces the ineffectiveness of the liaison that was main- 
tained by the Navy in the Army operations section. 

No conferences were held by Admiral Kimmel and General Short 
between December 3 and the attack.^^^ 

General Short said: ^^° "I would say frankly that I imagine that as 
a senior admiral, Kimmel would have resented it if I tried to have him 
report every time a ship went in or out. * * * >> 

The considerations which apparently occasioned Admiral Kimmel 's 
failure to acquaint himself with what the Army was doing were voiced 
by him as follows: ^^' 

* * * when you have a responsible officer in charge of the Army and re- 
sponsible commanders in the Navy, it does not sit very well to he constantly check- 
ing up on them. 

And yet when asked whether, in the method of mutual cooperation, 
it was necessary for one commander to know what the other com- 
mander was domg and what his plans were. Admiral Kimmel admitted 
that this knowledge was necessary .^^^ 

Wliile such concern for the sensibilities of another may have social 
propriety, it is completely out of place when designed to control the 
relationship of two outpost commanders whose very existence is 
dependent upon full exchange of information and coordination of 
effort.^^^ It defeats the purpose of command by mutual cooperation 
and is worse than no liaison at all. At least, without the pretense of 
liaison, each commander would not be blindly relying on what the 
other was doing. 

It can fairly be concluded that there was a complete failure in 
Hawaii of effective Army-Navy liaison during the critical period 
November 27 to December 7.^^"* There was but little coordination 
and no integration of Army and Navy facilities and efforts for defense. 
Neither of the responsible commanders really knew what the other 
was doing with respect to essential military activities. ^^^ 

Estimate of the Situation 

The consideration overshadowing all others in the minds of the 
Hawaiian commanders was the belief and conviction that Pearl Har- 



M» Id., at pp. 8205, 8206. 

"» See committee record, p. 8204. 

«« Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 363. 

"1 Roberts Commission record, p. 631. 

"' Id. 

"» The Army Pearl Harbor Board, for example, commented: "Apparently Short was afraid that if he 
went much beyond social contacts and really got down to business with the Navy to get what he had a 
right to know in order to do his job, he would give offense to the Navy and lose the good will of the Navy 
which he was charged with securing." See Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board, committee exhibit No. 157. 

s'< Admiral McMorris, Chief of War Plans to Admiral Kimmel, admitted that he had no knowledge as to 
whether the Army antiaircraft defenses were actually alerted nor as to their condition of readiness, but he 
assumed they were in a state of readiness. "* * • Perhaps I was remiss in not acquainting myself more 
fully as to what they were doing. We knew that our own establishment was fairly good. Actually they 
proved not to be as good as I felt. We were a hit too complacent there. I had been around all of the aircraft 
defenses of Hawaii; I knew their general location. I had witnessed a number of their antiaircraft practices 
and knew the quantity and general dusposition of their aircraft. I knew that they were parked closely to- 
gether as a more ready protection against sabotage rather than dispersed. Nonetheless, I was not directly 
acquainted or indirectly acquainted with the actual state of readiness being maintained or of the watches being kept." 
Hewitt Inquiry record, p. 330-332. 

"» See committee record, p. 8205. 

During the course of examination Admiral Kimmel was asked: "In other words, neither you nor any mem- 
ber of your staff made any attempt to verify or find out what the condition of alertness was with respect to 
the antiaircraft guns operated by the Army?" He replied: "And neither did General Short make any attempt 
to find out the details of an alert that the Fleet had in effect at that time." Committee record, p. 7053. 



154 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

bor would not be attacked. ^^^ It explains the reason for no effective 
steps being taken to meet the Japanese raiders on the morning of 
December 7. This was not occasioned through disregard of obliga- 
tions or indifference to responsibilities but rather because of unfortu- 
nate errors of judgment. The commander in chief of the Pacific 
Fleet and the commanding general of the Hawaiian Department 
failed to appreciate the demands of their situation and the necessities 
of their responsibility in the light of the information and warnings 
they had received. More than anyone else it cannot be doubted that 
Admiral Kimmel and General Short would have desired to avoid the 
disaster of December 7. But unfortunately they were blinded by 
the self-evident; they felt that Japan would attack to the south and 
Hawaii was safe. Their errors of judgment were honest mistakes — 
yet errors they were. 

The evidence reflects that both General Short and Admiral Kimmel 
addressed themselves assiduously to the task of training and other- 
wise preparing the outpost of Hawaii and the Pacific Fleet for war. 
Throughout their respective tenures as commanding general of the 
Hawaiian Department and commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet 
they manifested a keen awareness of the imperative necessity that 
personnel and material be increased commensurate with the realities 
and responsibilities in the Pacific. From the time of assuming com- 
mand throughout the year 1941 their correspondence with the War 
and Navy Departments is replete with clear statements concerning 
shortages in equipment and expressions of the need for improving 
Hawaiian defenses. As will subsequently appear, they were success- 
ful in effecting marked improvement in the situation generally iand 
the potential capacity of Hawaii to defend'itself particularly. General 
Short and Admiial Kimmel were conscientious and indefatigable com- 
manders. They were relentless in what they regarded as the consum- 
ing need in their commands — training and preparation for war. 

One of the major responsibilities of Admiral Kimmel and the major 
responsibility of General Short was defense of the Hawaiian coastal 
frontier and the Pacific Fleet. They knew that an air attack on 
Hawaii was a possibility; they knew this to be the most dangerous 
form of attack to Oahu; they knew that extensive efforts had been 
made to improve Hawaiian defenses against air attack; they had been 
warned of war; they knew of the unfailing practice of Japan to launch 
an attack with dramatic and treacherous suddenness without a decla- 
ration of war; they had been given orders calling for defensive action 
against an attack from Vithout; they were the commanders of the 
Hawaii outpost. In the face of this Imowledge it is difficult to under- 
stand that the withering Japanese attack should have come without 
any substantial effort having been made to detect a possible hostile 
force and with a state of readiness least designed to meet the on- 
slaught. That the responsible commanders were surprised that Japan 

**« During the course of counsel's examination of Admiral Kimmel, he was asked this question: "The 
fact is, is it not, Admiral, that as you'approached December 7 you very definitely gave the Navy program 
for action in event of the declaration of war precedence over the establishment of the defense of Pearl Har- 
bor?" and Admiral Kimmel replied; "/// had believed in those days preceding Pearl Harbor that there was a 
BO-BO chance or anything approaching that of an attack on Pearl Harbor, it would have changed my vieurpoint 
entirely. I didn't believe it. And in that I was of the same opinion as that of the members of my staff, my 
advisers, my senior advisers," Committee record, p. 7054. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 155 

struck Hawaii is understandable; that they should have failed to pre- 
pare their defenses against such a surprise is not understandable.^" 

The estimate of the situation made by Admiral Kimmel and General 
Short is not altogether incredible in the light of the inevitable lassitude 
born of over 20 years of peace.^^^ But the fact that their inaction is to 
a degree understandable does not mean that it can be condoned. The 
people are entitled to greater vigilance and greater resourcefulness 
from those charged with the duty of defending the Nation from an 
aggressor. 

Hawaii is properly chargeable with possessing highly significant 
information and intelligence in the days before Pearl Harbor, includ- 
ing: Correspondence with Washington and plans revealing the possible 
dangers of air attack, the warning dispatches, the code-destruction 
intelligence, radio intelligence concerning the "lost" Japanese carriers, 
the Mori call, the report of sighting and subsequent attack on a 
Japanese submarine in close proximity to Pearl Harbor, and radar 
detection of the Japanese raiding force over 130 miles from Oahu 
on the morning of December 7. Despite the foregoing, the esti- 
mate was made and persisted that Hawaii was safe from an air attack, 
although the very assumptions made by the Army and Navy com- 
manders are implicit with the contemplation of an attack from with- 
out. General Short assumed the Navy was conducting distant recon- 
naissance. Admiral Kimmel assumed, on the other hand, that the 
Army would alert its aircraft warning service, antiaircraft guns, and 
fighter planes.^^^ 

Both Admiral Kimmel and General Short have insisted they 
received no information that Hawaii was to be attacked. Yet com- 
manders in the field cannot presume to expect that they will be 
advised of the exact time and place an enemy will attack or indeed 
that their particular post will be attacked. As outpost commanders 
it was their responsibility to be prepared against surprise and the 
worst possible contingency.^^" They have suggested that the War 

M' This distinction was clearly recognized by Admiral IngersoU when he was asked if he was surprised 
when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He replied: "/ was surprised thatlPearl 
Harbor was attacked but I was more surprised that the attack was not detected, that was my first reaction, and if I 
express it in the words which I used at the time, it was, 'How in the hell did they get in there without somebody 
finding it outt' " Committee record, p. 11310. 

338 Admiral Kimmel stated: << • • • and what is so often overlooked in connection with this Pearl 
Harbor affair is that we were still at peace and still conducting conversations, and there were limits that 1 
could take with planes and aviators. We were still in the peace psychology, and I myself was aflected by 
it just like everybody else." Navy Court of Inquiry Record, page 1126, 1127. 

"« See note 336, supra. 

MO Incident to proceedings of the Army Pearl Harbor Board, the foUowing interrogation occurred: 

Question. "In estimating the situation with which a military commander is confronted, our teachings in the 
military establishment generally have been along the lines of taking aU information that is .available, eval- 
uating it and using it as a guide. Is that correct?" 

General Short. "Yes." 

Question. "That is in accordance with our Leavenworth teacning, our war college teaching and our actual 
practice in the organization. Now in coming to a decision on military disposition and general practice in the 
Army, Army teachings, as perhaps Army tradition, indicate that a commander should prepare for enemy 
action of what character?" 

General Short. "The worst." See Army Pearl Harbor Board record, pp. 436 and 437. 

The Report of the Army Pearl Harbor Board stated: "It is a familiar premise of military procedure in 
estimating a situation to select the most dangerous and disastrous type of attack the enemy may make and devote 
your primary efforts to meeting this most serious of the attacks." (Citing Army Pearl Harbor Board record, 
pp. 1121, 2662.) See committee exhibit 157 ffir APHB Report. 

Mr. Stimson said, "One of the basic policies of the Army command, which has been adhered to throughout 
the entire war, and in most instances with complete success, has been to give the local commander his object 
tive and mission but not to interfere with him in the performance of it." Stimson's statement, committee 
record.f p. 14397. 

Testi ying before the Army Pearl Harbor Board, General Herron, General Short's predLecessor, was 
asked the question: "I have one more question on alerts. The fact that you received a directive from the 
War Department to alert the command (General Herron on June 17, 1940, had been directed by Washington 
to institute an alert): Did that leave the impression in your mind that if anything serious happened in the 
future the War Department would direct you to go on the alert, or leave it up to your judgment?" He 
repUed: "I always felt that I was entirely responsible out there and I had better protect the island." See 
Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 228; also pp. 213-216. 



156 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

and Navy Departments possessed additional information which they 
were not given. But the fact that additional information may have 
been available alsewhere did not alter fundamental military responsi- 
bilities in the field. Admii-al Kimmel and General Short were the 
responsible military commanders at Hawaii. They were officers of 
vast experience and exemplary records in their respective services. 
That Admiral Kimmel and General Short were suppHed enough in- 
formation as reasonably to justify the expectation that Hawaiian 
defenses would be alerted to any military contingency is irrefutable.^** 
That there may have been other information which could have been 
suppHed them cannot becloud or modify this conclusion. It is into 
the nature of this further information that we shall hereafter inquire. 

«• And yet Admiral Kimmel has Indicated he felt he was entitled to mpre warning. In a statement sub- 
mitted to the Navy Court of Inquiry, he said: "I had many difficult decisions to make but none which re- 
quired more accurate timing than the decision as to when to drastically curtail training and to utilize all 
my forces in the highest form of alert status. The warnings I received prior to 7 December 1941, were of such 
a nature that I felt training could still continue. I felt that I was entitled and would receive further warnings 
before the actual outbreak of war. I am convinced now that my estimate based on the intelligence received 
was correct." (P. 38 of statement.) See committee exhibit No. 146. 



Part IV 



RESPONSIBILITIES IN WASHINGTON 



157 



PART IV. RESPONSIBILITIES IN WASHINGTON 
Basing the Pacific Fleet at Hawaii 

Beginning in May of 1940 the entire American Pacific Fleet operated 
in the Hawaiian theater with Pearl Harbor as its base.^ Prior to that 
time the fleet had been based on the west coast with certain conting- 
ents operating from time to time in the Hawaiian area. Admiral 
James O. Richardson, who was commander in chief of the Pacific 
Fleet in 1940, stated that while the fleet was in Hawaii incident to 
exercises during the summer of 1940 he received instructions to 
announce to the press that "at his request" the fleet would continue 
at Hawaii for the purpose of carrying out further exercises.^ It was 
his understanding that the decision to base the Pacific Fleet at Pearl 
Harbor was with a view to its providing a restraining influence on 
Japan.^ 

At the time of original contemplation it appears that the fleet was 
to remain at Hawaii on a relatively temporary basis.^ Admiral 
Richardson did not concur in the decision to station the fleet there 
and so informed the Chief of Naval Operations.^ He testified with 
respect to his objections as foUows:^ 

My objections for remaining there were, primarily, that you only had one 
port, secure port, and very crowded, no recreation facilities for the men, a long 
distance from Pearl Harbor to the city of Honolulu, inadequate transportation, 
inadequate airfields. 

A carrier cannot conduct all training for her planes from the carrier deck. 
In order to launch her planes she must be underway at substantial speed, using 
up large amounts of fuel. So that wherever carriers are training their squadrons 
there must be flying fields available, so that while the ship herself is undergoing 
overhaul, or repair, or upkeep, the planes may conduct training, flying from the 
flying fields. 

There were inadequate and restricted areas for anchorages of the fleet; to take 
them in and out of Pearl Harbor wasted time. 

Another reason, which was a substantial one: Americans are perfectly willing 
to go anywhere, stay anywhere, do anything when there is a job to be done and 
they can see the reason for their being there, but to keep the fleet, during what the 
men considered normal peacetimes, away from the coast and away from their 
families, away from recreation, rendered it difiicult to maintain a high state of 
morale that is essential to successful training. 

For those reasons, and because I believed that the fleet could be better prepared 
for war on a normal basis on the west coast, I wanted to return to the west coast. 

As a result of a visit to Washington in July of 1940, Admiral Rich- 
ardson stated he gained three distinct impressions:^ 

First. That the Fleet was retained in the Hawaiian area solely to support diplo- 
matic representations and as a deterrent to Japanese aggressive action ; 

Second. That there was no intention of embarking on actual hostilities against 
Japan; 

Third. That the immediate mission of the Fleet was accelerated training and 
absorption of new personnel and the attainment of a maximum condition of 

' See committee exhibit No. 9 for file of correspondence between Admirals Stark and Richardson con- 
cerning, among other things, the matter of basing the fleet at Hawaii. For a description of the base at 
Pearl Harbor, see appendix F to this report. ' 

' Committee record, p. 669. 

3 See committee record, p. 682; also Navy Court of Inquiry, pp. 1057, 1058. 

* Committee record, p. 668. 

• See committee exhibit No. 9. 

« Committee record, pp. 674, 675. 

' See memorandum dated October 22, 1940, from Admiral Richardson to the Chief of Naval Operations. 
Committee exhibit No. 9. 

159 
90179-^6 12 



1()0 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

material and personnel readiness consistent with its retention in the Hawaiian 
area. 

In a memorandum for the Secretary of Navy dated September 12, 
1940, Admiral Richardson pointed out several disadvantages from a 
Navy point of view of retaining the fleet in the Hawaiian area and 
stated:^ 

If factors other than purely naval ones are to influence the decision as to where 
the fleet should be based at this time, the naval factors should be fully presented 
and carefully considered, as well as the probable eff'ect of the decision on the readi- 
ness of the Fleet. In other v.-ords, is it more important to lend strength to diplo- 
matic representations in the Pacific by basing the Fleet in the Hawaiian Area, than 
to facilitate its preparation for active service in any area by basing the major part 
of it on normal Pacific coast bases? 

During October of 1940 while m Washington he talked with Presi- 
dent Roosevelt at which time the President informed him that the 
Pacific Fleet was retained in the Hawaiian area in order to exercise 
a restraining influence on the actions of Japan. Admiral Richardson 
testified:^ 

I stated that in my opinion the presence of the fleet in Hawaii might influence 
a civilian political government, but that Japan had a military government which 
knew that the fleet was undermanned, unprepared for war, and had no training 
or auxiliary ships without which it could not undertake active operations. There- 
fore, the presence of the Fleet in Hawaii could not exercise a restraining influence 
on Japanese action. I further stated we were more likely to make the Japanese 
feel that we meant business if a train were assembled and the fleet returned to 
the Pacific coast, the complements filled, the ships docked, and fully supplied 
with ammunition, provisions, stores, and fuel, and then stripped for war 
operations. 

He stated that the President's conmient to the foregoing was in 
effect, "Despite what you beheve, I know that the presence of the 
fleet in the Hawaiian area, has had. and is now having a restraining 
influence on the actions of Japan." ^° . 

Admiral Richardson testified that he replied that he still did not 
believe tliis to be the case and that he knew the Pacific Fleet was 
disadvantageously disposed to prepare for or to initiate war opera- 
tions, whereupon the President said: " "I can be convinced of the 
desirability of returning the battleships to the west coast if I can be 
given a good statement which wall convince the American people and 
the Japanese Government that in brmging the battleships to the 
west coast we are not stepping backward." 

It is clear from consideration of the evidence that Admiral Richard- 
son's position was based on the feeling that the fleet could be better 
prepared for war if based on the west coast and not because he feared 
for the security of the fleet at Pearl Harbor.^^ In a letter to Admiral 
Stark on November 28 concerning the matter of the security of the 
Pacific Fleet in the Hawaiian area he said:^^ ^^ This feature of the problem 

* Committee exhibit No. 9. 

« Committee record, pp. 682, 683. 

10 Committee record, p. 683. 

"Id. 

u See, however, in this comiection the testimony of Mr. Sumner Welles, committee record, pp. 1124, 1125. 

13 Committee exhibit No. 9. This comment was made by Admiral Richardson pursuant to a letter from 
Admiral Stark dated November 22. 1940, in which the latter had stated, among other things: "Since the 
Taranto incident my concern for the safety of the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, already great, has become even 
greater. This concern has to do both with possible activities on the part of the Japanese residents of Hawaii 
and with the possibilities of attack coming from overseas. By far the most profitable object of sudden at- 
tack in Hawaiian waters would be the Fleet units based in that area. Without question the safety of these 
units is paramount and imposes on the Commander-in-Chief and the forces afloat a responsibility in which 
he must receive the complete support of Commandant Fourteen, and of the Army. I realize most fully 
that you are giving this problem comprehensive thought. My object in writing you is to find out what 
steps the Navy Department and the War Department should be takmg to provide additional equipment 
and additional protective measures." 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 161 

does not give me a great deal oj concern and, I think, can he easily pro- 
vided for. '^ Admiral Stark testified that Admiral iiichardson did not 
raise any question concerning the safety of the fleet at Pearl Harbor 
as a reason for bringing it back to the west coast. ^^ 

Referring to the decision to base the fleet at Hawaii Admiral 
Kimmel stated :^^ 

When I assumed command, the decision to base the Fleet in the Hawaiian area 
was an historical fact. The target and base facilities required to train the Fleet 
for war were in the process of being moved from the West Coast to Hawaii. 
The Fleet had been practically without gunnery practice for nearly a year due 
to the previous uncertainty as to the location of its base. Any further uncertainty 
would have delayed the availability of the mobile facilities to maintain, repair, 
and train the Fleet. The resulting loss of time in starting intensive training 
would have been disastrous. This was mj^ view when I took command. My 
appointment was in no wise contingent upon any acquiescence on my part in a 
decision already made months before to keep the Fleet in Hawaiian waters. 

Admiral Kimmel stated that during his visit to Washington in June 
of 1941, he told the President and Admiral Stark of certain dangers to 
the fleet at Pearl Harbor, including air attack, blocking of the harbor, 
and similar matters. He said that generally he felt the fleet should 
not remain at Pearl Harbor but he made no protests and submitted 
no recommendation for withdrawal of any of the battleships or car- 
riers. ^^ 

Regardless of the position taken by the commander in chief of the 
Pacific Fleet during 1940 with respect to basing the fleet at Pearl 
Harbor, extensive measm*es were taken thereafter and long before the 
outbreak of war to improve the fleet's secm-ity at Hawaii.^^ The 
Secretary of State, as well as oui' Ambassador to Japan, were satisfied 
that the presence of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor did in fact prove 
a deterrent to Japanese action as did the Chief of Naval Operations.'^ 
Referring to the presence of our fleet at Hawaii, the Japanese Foreign 
Minister in June of 1940 stated to Ambassador Grew that "the con- 
tinued stay of our fleet in those waters (Hawaiian) constitutes an im- 
plied suspicion of the intentions of Japan vis-a-vis the Netherlands 
East Indies and the South Seas * * *." '^ As Secretary Hull 
stated,^" "The worst bandit * * * doesn't like for the most inno- 
cent citizen to point an unloaded pistol or an unloaded gun at him 
* * *, They will take cognizance of naval establishments, some- 
where on the high seas, whether fully equipped or not." The degi-ee 
to which the presence of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaiian waters influenced 
Japanese action necessarily cannot be precisely determined but the 
fact is the Japanese did not strike at the Netherlands East Indies and 
the Malay barrier for more than a year and a half after it was con- 
templated she would make such a move. 

The wisdom and merit of the decision to base the Pacific Fleet at 
Hawaii cannot be divorced from the high Government policy of which 
that decision was a part. As has elsewhere been observed, the tradi- 
tional interest of the United States in the Pacific and our determination 

1* Committee record, p. 5687. 

" Committee record, pp. 6661, 6662. 

i« Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 367. 

" See section, infra, ''Defensive Facilities Available in Hawaii." 

'• See testimony of Secretary Hull, committee record, pp. 1203-120.'>, 1452, 1464, 1603, 1608; testimony of 
Mr. Grew, committee record, pp. 1570, 1738, 1919, 1969. 

In a letter of April 3, 1941, to the commanders in chief. Pacific Fleet, Asiatic Fleet, and Atlantic Fleet, 
Admiral Stark expressed the feeling that beyond question the presence of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii bad 
a stabilizing effect in the Far East. See committee exhibit No. 106. 

»' See "Foreign Relations," vol. II, p. 69. 

» Committee record, p. 1603. 



162 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

to aid the valiant Chinese fighting under insuperable odds the Jugger- 
naut of Japanese aggression made imperative our taking every reason- 
able step which would assist in deterring the insatiable Japanese 
ambition for conquest and at the same time bolster flagging Chinese 
morale. Basing of the fleet at Pearl Harbor was but one of the steps 
taken in this direction. ^^ 

The fact that it had been decided to make Hawaii the base of the 
fleet did not require that all of the battleships and other substantial 
fleet units should be in Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7 
after the responsible commander had been warned of war and ordered 
to execute an appropriate defensive deployment. ^^ The very words 
defensive deployment could have meant nothing if not that the fleet 
should be moved and stationed in such manner as to afford 
maximum defensive security not only to the fleet itself but to the 
Hawaiian Islands, the west coast, and the Panama Canal as well. 
This order required the deploying of vessels in the Hawaiian waters, 
which afforded the commander in chief a vast scope of operations, and 
it was left to his judgment and discretion as to what specific action 
was required consistent with his responsibilities. It has certainly 
never been suggested that because a particular harbor has been 
designated as the base for a fleet its vessels are thereby restricted to 
that harbor, particularly after an order has been issued for their 
deployment. 

It remains a debatable question as to whether the Pacific Fleet 
was exposed to any greater danger by reason of the fact that it was 
based at Hawaii. The 360° perimeter of the islands afforded un- 
limited avenues for operations and the maximum channels for escape 
in the event of attack by a hostile superior force. The west coast, 
on the other hand, afl'orded only a 180° scope of operation with no 
avenues for escape from a superior attacking force and left only the 
alternative of proceeding into the teeth of such a force. Nor does it 
appear that the fleet was exposed to any greater danger from the 
standpoint of espionage by reason of its being at Hawaii.^^ The 
evidence before this Committee reflects that Tokyo was receiving as 
much information, if not more information, from its diplomatic estab- 
lishments which operated outside the restraining counterespionage 
efforts of our own Government, located in Panama, on the west coast, 
and in Manila as from the Honolulu consulate.^* There is a strong 
possibility that Japan would have taken the Hawaiian Islands by 
amphibious operations as she did in the case of so many other outlying 
Pacific Islands had the fleet not been based at Pearl Harbor.^^ Ymt- 

« See Part I, supra, "Diplomatic Background of the Pearl Harbor Attack." 

" In the course of counsel's examination, Admiral Turner was asked: "During this time after around 
November 27 to December 7, in all your discussions around the Navy with those in authority was any 
consideration given to the question of whether the fleet should be moved out of Pearl Harbor and sent to 
sea?" 

Admiral Tuener. "No; there was not that I recall. I assumed that most or all of it would be at sea." 

Question. "Well, why did you assume that?" 

Admiral Turner. "Well, that was the place for them under Admiral Eimmel's operating plan for their 
deployment." Committee record, pp 5224, 5225. 

The evidence reflects that the Office of Naval Operations in Washington did not know the exact location 
of the various units of the Pacific Fleet. See committee record, p 13956. 

" See section "The Role of Espionage in the Attack," Part III, this report. 

»« In referring to Japanese espionage activity, Admiral Stark said: "We had felt that not only in Hawaii 
but at practically all our given posts the Japs knew everything we were doing." Committee record, p 5707. 

'« In the course of his testimony before the committee. General Short was asked whether he believed, 
assuming that the fleet had been withdrawn to the west coast and conditions at Pearl Harbor were other 
w ise the same, the Japanese could have made a landing with the striking air forces that they had and brought 
the planes down as they did. He replied: "It would have been thoroughly possible. If they had sent a^ 
large a force as they sent against the Philippines they could have made the landing." Committee record 
pp. 8293, 8294. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 163 

thermore, had the fleet been based on the west coast a raid on our 
west coast cities and the Panama Canal could not have been entireh^ 
repulsed. For it is agreed as a military proposition that even with 
the most efl'ective resistance to an enemy air attack some units will 
inevitably get through the screen of defense and carry home the 
attack. 

In this connection, the opinion has been expressed by several naval 
witnesses that it was their belief Japan would attack our Pacific Fleet 
wherever it might he at the very outset of hostilities with a view to 
immobilizing it, temporarily at least, as a restraining and deterring 
influence on Japanese sea-borne operations in Pacific Far Eastern 
waters. ^^ Under this view, which has the M'eight of logic and the 
experience of December 7, the fact the fleet was based at Hawaii bore 
no conclusive relationship to nor conditioned the Japanese decision to 
attack our Pacific Fleet. 

As has been indicated, the basing of the fleet at Hawaii is inseparable 
from the global plan of operations in which the Pacific Fleet was to 
perform only one phase. It was an integral part of our policy and 
action in the Atlantic and can only be questioned save as one pre- 
sumes to challenge the policies of the United States Government from 
1937 to 1941 and our determination to aid the impoverished free 
peoples of the world striving in desperation to stem the overpowering 
tide of Axis aggression and world conquest. 

Defensive Facilities Available in Hawaii 

There can be no question that Hawaii was regarded as the best 
equipped of our outposts and possessed the greatest potential for its 
own defense." In this connection General Alarshall testified:^* 

I will say as to the attack on Pearl Harbor, we felt that was a vital installation, 
but we also felt that that was the only installation we had anywhere that was reasonably 
well equipped. Therefore, we were not worried about it. In our opinion, the com- 
manders had been alerted. In our opinion, there was nothing more we could give 
them at the time for the purpose of defense. In our opinion, that was one place that 
had enough within itself to put up a reasonable defense. 

MacArthur, in the Philippines, was just beginning to get something.. His 
position was pitiable, and it was still in a state of complete flux, with the ships on 
the ocean en route out there and the planes half delivered and half still to go. 

The Panama Canal was quite inadequate at that period, seriously inadequate 
in planes, and, of course, of vast importance to anything in the Pacific. 

The only place ive had any assurance about was Hawaii, and for that reason we 
had less concern about Hawaii because we had worked on it very industriously, we had 
a tremendous amount of correspondence about it, and we felt reasonably secure at 
that one point. 

Therefore we felt that it would be a great hazard for the Japanese to attack it. 

The correspondence between the Chief of Staff and General Short 
during 1941,^^ as well as that between the Chief of Naval Operations 
and Admiral Kimmel,^° manifest clearly the mutual desire to improve 

2« See section, supra, Part III, "The Role of Espionage in the Attack." 

s' In the course of committee examination Admiral Turner was asked: "Did you consider the flfeet in 
Hawaii prepared for that attack at the time it did come?" 

Admiral Turner. "Yes, sir, within the limits of the material improvements program, I felt that the 
fleet was efficient and was ready for war." 

Question. "You felt confident that the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor was ready for war on Decem- 
ber 7, 1941?" 

Admiral Turner. "Yes, sir, and further that the district was ready for war within the limits of the 
material that we had been able to provide. We all had the utmost confidence in the command of the fleet and 
the command ashore." Committee record, pp. 5253, 5254. 

« Committee record, pp. 13792, 13793. 

" See committee exhibit No. 53. 

"Id., No. 106. 



164 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

to the utmost the defensive facilities available to the Hawaiian com- 
manders. But both General Marshall and Admh'al Stark, in addition 
to their interest in Hawaii, had the enormous task and responsibility 
of allocating to many places, consistent with an ever-expanding 
global conflict, the military and naval equipment that was produced 
during the year 1941.^^ They had the obligation to spread the results 
of our productive efforts in those quarters where the needs and exi- 
gencies appeared in their best judgment to be most pressing, Om* 
defensive facilities on the mainland were in great need of improvement; 
Panama and the Philippines were in woeful need of additional equip- 
ment; the Nation had committed itself to aiding the Chinese who 
had been fighting Japanese aggression for 4 years with little more than 
sheer courage and the "wall to exist as a nation; we were determined 
that supplies being shipped under lend-lease should not be destroyed 
by German and Italian raiders before they reached their destination, 
necessitating thereby the building up of our naval power in the 
Atlantic; we were determined to aid Britain and Russia to the extent 
of our capacity for our own self-protection before the overpowering 
might of the German war machine had destroyed the last vestige of 
resistance on the continent of Europe and we were left alone to stem 
the Axis thrust for world conquest — all of these considerations were 
a part of the problem posed for the Chief of Staff and the Chief of 
Naval Operations in making allocations of the materiel at hand. It 
should be noted that most of the lend-lease transfers effected prior to 
December 7, 1941, were in a category in which, by the terms of the 
Lend-Lease Act, it was provided that transfers to foreign governments 
could be made only after consultation with the Chief of Staff of the 
Army or the Chief of Naval Operations of the Navy. The Chief of 
Staff or the Chief of Naval Operations personally approved these 
transfers.^^ 

The only justifiable allegation concerning the shortage of equip- 
ment at Hawaii relating to the failure to detect the Japanese task 
force was the fact that insufficient long-range patrol planes were 
available to conduct a 360° distant search from Oahu. As has been 
seen, however, adequate patrol planes were on hand to cover the vital 
and more dangerous sectors.^^ Referring to the lack of long-range 
planes, it is in order to determine the extent to which such planes were 
available and conceivably might have been sent to Hawaii. 

In the case of 210 B-17's and B-24's, Army heavy bombers adapt- 
able for distant reconnaissance, delivered between February 1 and 
November 30, 1941, none were shipped under lend-lease and a total 

'1 In a letter of November 7, 1041, Admiral Stark pointed out to Admiral Kimmel the difficulties experi- 
enced through shortage of material needs: "I note the great desirability of many things for the Pacific Fleet— 
particularly'destroyers and cruisers. We jwsf haven't any destroyers or cruisers to give you at the moment, 
nor is the prospect bright for getting any for you in the near future. I fully appreciate your need for them. 
We could profitably employ twice the number we now have if they were available. I will not burden you 
with a recital of King's troubles but he is up against it for DDs for escort— and defense against raiders." 
(Admiral King at the time was commander in chief of the Atlantic Fleet.) Committee record, p. 5575. 

'2 See letter from Chester T. Lane, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Foreign Liquidation Commissioner, 
Department of State, concerning the organization of Lend-Lease. Committee record, p. 14095 et seq. 

'3 gee Part III, supra. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 165 

of 113 were sold for cash to foreign countries; 12 B-17's were sliipped 
to Hawaii and 35 to the Philippines.^* 

With respect to Navy planes, there were no lend-lease transfers of 
long-range patrol bombers or scout bombers during the same period. 
Of a total of 835 A^avy piano? of all types delivered during this period, 
Februarj'^ 1 to November 30, 582 were delivered to the Navy and 253 
to foreign countries (Britain, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, 
and Norway) under cash transactions. Of the 582 planes delivered 
to the Navy, 218 were sent to the Hawaiian area, 146 of the planes 
being assigned to carriers.^^ 

It appears that of 3,128 Army and Navy planes of various types 
delivered between Februar}^ 1 and November 30, 1941, only 177 were 
shipped under lend-lease to foreign countries and none of these were 
capable of performing distant reconnaissance. The record is clear, 
therefore, that the Chief of Stall" and the Chief of Naval Operations 
did not prejudice our own defenses in approving excessive allocations 
to foreign governments. A brief review of the improvement effected 
in the Hawaiian situation during the year 1941 will serve to demon- 
strate the manner in which the exigencies and problems prevailing in 
the Pacific were recognized. 

The total number of Army planes in the Hawaiian Department was 
virtually doubled between January 31 and December 7, 1941, having 
been increased from 124 to 227 planes. The number of B-17 four- 
motored bombers was increased from none on January 31 to 21 as of 
May 31, 1941, this number subsequently being reduced to 12 by 
reason of the transfer of 9 B-17's to the Philippines in September. 
As of September 1, 1941, the United States possessed 109 B-17's 

'« See enclosure to War Department memorandum to committee counsel dated March 20, 1946, com- 
mittee exhibit No. 172. In response to a request of the general counsel of the Committee, the War De- 
partment on March 20, 1946, transmitted a tabulation supplied by the Army Air Forces reflecting, among 
other things, the total dehveries and types of American-produced planes delivered between February I 
and November 30, 1941, without any break-down as to months. This tabulation reflects a total of 579 
planes delivered having a maximum range without bombs in excess of 1,600 miles. In addition to this figure, 
the tabulation shows 836 planes delivered having ranges of 2,000 and 1,120 miles with no break-down indi- 
cating how many planes were produced in a particular range category. The tabulation of plane deliveries 
was not introduced as an exhibit by the general counsel until May 23, 1946. General Marshall appeared 
before the committee for the second time on April 9, 1946, but he was asked no questions concerning the 
dispositions of these planes, it being noted that General Marshall had earlier testified that Hawaii had 
received priority consideration in the disposition of equipment. Although the tabulation delivered by the 
War Department on March 20 was available to the Committee counsel it was not available to the members of 
the committee for consideration and exam.ination at the time General Marshall appeared on April 9. 

The committee has thus been placed in the position of not having inquired concerning the adaptability, 
design, and potentialities of these planes with ranges exceeding 1,600 miles; of not having determined where 
ihey may otherwise have been disposed and the exigencies requiring such dispositions; of not having deter- 
mined whether there ^vere crews available to man these planes; of not having determined whether ferry- 
ing facilities were available had they been directed to Hawaii; of not having determined exactly when the 
planes were delivered to determine whether they could have been sent to Hawaii before December 7, 1941; 
and of not having determined whether they would satisfy the distant reconnaissance requirements in 
Hawaii, among other things. 

In the latter connection, however, it is to be noted that General Martin, commanding general of the 
Hawaiian Air Forces, under date of August 20, 1941, recommended the War Department give considera- 
tion to the allotment of "B-17D type airplanes or other four-engine bombers with equal or better perform- 
ance and operating range" for reconnaissance purposes, committee exhibit No. 13. It would appear that 
in the making of aircraft dispositions the indicated needs of the Hawaiian Department would be a con- 
trolling consideration. 

It appears from the evidence before the committee that only 210 of tlie Army-type planes delivered be- 
tween February 1 and November 30, 1941, were four-engine bombers of a type adaptable to the type of 
long-distance reconnaissance required by the plans and requirements of the Hawaiian commanders. It is 
to be noted that a tabulation of factory deliveries of bombers to foreign countries appearing on page 12991 
of the Committee record is superseded by Committee exhibit No. 172. 

" See enclosure to Navy Department memorandum to committee counsel dated April 12, 1946, committee 
exhibit No. 172. 



166 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

disposed: 21 in Hawaii, 7 in Panama, and 81 in the continental United 
States.^^ The number of P-40 pursuit planes was increased from none 
in January to 99 as of November 30 ; and the number of P-36's from 
19 to 39." 

In the case of the Navy at Hawaii, during Januarj of 1941 a 
squadron of 12 PBY-3's left the west coast for the Hawaiian area. In 
April a second squadron equipped with 12 PBY-3's also moved to 
Hawaii. In October and November of 1941, 3 squadrons of 12 planes 
each and 1 squadron of 6 planes, then in the Hawaiian area, returned 
to the west coast and exchanged their PBY-3's for PBY-5's after 
which they returned to Hawaii. During this same period the third 
squadron of Patrol Wing 1, equipped with 12 new PBY-5's left the 
west coast for Hawaii. This represents an over-all increase of 36 in 
the number of patrol planes between January 1 and November 30, 
1941.2^ During the period February 1 to November 30, 1941, 146 
planes were assigned to carriers in the Pacific; and on May 13, 1941, 18 
planes arrived at Ewa Field, Hawaii, being assigned to a marine scout 
bomber squadron.^^ 

The Committee did not inquire into the matter of allocations, gen- 
erally, of Army and Navy planes or other equipment to points other 
than to Hawaii. There is no evidence before us that General Marshall 
and Admiral Stark made dispositions of the materiel available *° incon- 
sistent with their best judgment in the light of the situation as it 
could be viewed in the days before Pearl Harbor.*^ 

The question of whether Japan would have struck Hawaii had addi- 
tional equipment been available there mu'^t be considered in light of 
the fact that in their estimates made in the fall of 1941, the Japanese 
placed the number of aircraft in Hawaii at roughly twice that of the 
actual air strength. Further, during the war games carried on at the 
Naval "War College, Tokyo, from September 2 to 13, 1941, it was as- 
sumed that the Pearl Harbor striking force would suffer the loss of 
one-third of its participating units.'*^* It was specifically assumed 
that one Akagi-class carrier and one Soryu-class carrier would be lost. 

It is clear that immediately after December 7 every effort was 
made to increase the materiel facilities in Hawaii as much as possible, 

»« Memorandum from War Department dated December 13, 1945. See committee record p. 14595. 

A study contemplating 360° long-distance reconnaissance and attacks, submitted by the commander of 
the Army Air Forces in Hawaii on August 20, 1941, and endorsed by the Army commander, called for 180 
Army 4-engine bombers, the B-17's. Committee exhibit No. 13. As of December 7, there were only 148 
B-17's in the entire Army: 35 of these were in the Philippines, 12 at Hawaii, 8 in the Caribbean area, 6 at 
Atlantic bases, and 87 in the continental United States. Committee record, pp. 2865, 2866. 

" Army aircraft in Hawaiian Department as reflected by AAF monthly inventories. See also committee 
exhibit No. 5. 

'« See enclosure to Navy memorandum for committee counsel dated April 12, 1946. Committee exhibit 
No. 172. 

Mid. 

*" As expressed by Mr. Stimson: "During those days in November 1941 we at the War Department had 
been informed and believed that Hawaii had been more generously equipped from the Nation's inadequate 
supplies of men and munitions than either of the other three important Pacific outposts, and we believed 
that with the fleet at hand there it was more capable of defense." Statement of Mr. Stimson to the com- 
mittee. Committee record, p. 14,407. 

«' Admiral Stark testified that he gave to Admiral Kimmel all that he could of what he had. Committee 
record, pp. 5701-5704. 

He said: "We were not able to give the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, all the ships and men he wanted 
but neither were we able to put in the Atlantic or in the Asiatic Fleet the strength we knew they wanted." 
Committee record, p. 5575. 

On November 25, Admiral Stark wrote Admiral Kimmel, in part: "We have sweat blood in the endeavor 
to divide adequately our forces for a two-ocean war; but you cannot take inadequate forces and divide them 
into two or three parts and get adequate forces anywhere. It was for this reason that almost as soon as I got 
here I started working on increasing the Navy." Committee record, p. 5578. 

«i» See War Department memorandum dated May 21, 1946, transmitting a letter of the same date from 
Commander Walter Wilds, OfiQce of the Chairman of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Com- 
mittee record, p. 14626. See further, committee record, p. 457. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 167 

necessarily at the expense of sacrificing the needs of other installations. 
The evidence reflecfs, however, that it was a very considerable period 
of time after the attack before the Nation's production of war mate- 
rials was sufficient to approach satisfaction of all the Hawaiian 
requirements. 

Both Admiral Kimmel and General Short had repeatedly requested 
more equipment, and that their needs and requests were not ignored *^ 
is made clear by the improved situation eft'ected during 1941.^^ The 
same requests made by the Hawaiian commanders were coming from 
many other commanders and many other quarters. As virtually all 
witnesses have testified, alert commanders are always striving to 
improve and increase their equipment, facilities, and personnel; and 
it is doutful if at any time even during the war any commander 
ever had all he wanted or thought he needed.** 

It is necessarily speculative as to how additional equipment in 
Hawaii might have altered the situation on December 7 inasmuch as 
the facilities which were available . were not brought into the fight." 

Transfer of Pacific Fleet Units to the Atlantic 

In May of 1941 three battleships, one aircraft carrier, fom- cruisers, 
and nine destroyers were detached from the Pacific Fleet and trans- 
ferred to the Atlantic. This shift was contemplated by the Navy 
basic war plan, WPL-46.*^ In a letter to Admiral Stark dated Septem- 
ber 12, 1941, Admiral Kimmel expressed concern regarding possible 
further transfers from the Pacific to the Atlantic:*^ 

The emphasis, in the President's speech, on the Atlantic also brings up the 
question of a possible further weakening of this Fleet. A strong Pacific Fleet is 
unquestionably a deterrent to Japan — a weaker one may be an invitation. I 
cannot escape the conclusion that the maintenance of tiie status quo out here 
is almost entirely a matter of the strength of this Fleet. It must not be reduced, 
and, in event of hostilities, must be increased if we are to undertake a bold 
offensive.*^ 



*■ In an aide memoir concerning "Defense of Hawaii" submitted by the War Department to the Presi- 
dent in May of 1941, the following observations were made: 

"The Island of Oahu, due to its fortification, its garrison, and its physical characteristics, is believed to be 
the strongest fortress in the world. 

"To reduce Oahu the enemy m.ust transport overseas an expeditionary force capable of executing a forced 
landing against a garrison of approximately 35,000 men, manning 127 fixed coast defense guns, 211 anti- 
aircraft weapons, and more than 3,000 artillery pieces and automatic weapons available for beach defense. 
Without air superiority this is an impossible task. 

"Air Defense. With adequate air defense, enemy carriers, naval escorts and transports will begin to come 
under air attack at a distance of approxirrately 750 miles. This attack will increase in intensity until when 
within 200 miles of the objective the enemy forces will be subject to attack by all types of bombardment 
closely supported by our most m.odern pursuit. 

"Hawaiian Air Defense. Including the movement of aviation now in progress Hawaii will be defended 
by 35 of our most n.odern flying fortresses, 35 m^edium range bcnibers, 13 light bombers, 150 pursuit of which 
105 are of our most modern type. In addition Hawaii is capable of reinforcement by heavy bombers from 
the mainland by air. With this force available a major attack against Oahu is considered impracticable. 

"In point of sequence, sabotage is first to be expected and may, within a very limited time, cause great 
damage. On this account, and in order to assure strong control, it would be highly desirable to set up a 
military control of the islands prior to the likelihood of our involvement in the Far East." Committee 
exhibit No. 59. 

" As pointed out by Admiral Stark, "During 1940 and 1941, many of the shortcomings of Pearl Harbor 
as a base, disclosed by the long stay of the Pacific Fleet, were remedied." Committee record, p. 5587. See 
in this connection the Annual Report of the Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, for the 
year ending June 30, 1941. Committee record, pp. 6587-5589. 

" See testimony of Admiral Turner, committee record, p. 5254, concerning the insatiable desire of field 
commanders for matfiriel. He said: " * • • you never have enough, you always want more and you 
want things to be better." 

<« Admiral Turner testified ho believed that the Pacific Fleet at Hawaii was suflBcient on December 7, 
1941, to have defeated or greatly reduced the eflect of the Japanese raid on Hawaii if it had been fully alerted. 
Committee record, pp. 52.58, 5259. 

" See statement of Admiral Stark, committee record, p. 5591. 

" Committee exhibit No. 106. See testimony of Admiral Stark, committee record, p. 6591. 

<8 Admiral Kiuuticl conimentod in his i)i'oi)arcd statement to the committee; "When I was in Washing- 
ton in June 1941, it was seriously proposed to transfer from the Pacific to the Atlantic an additional detach- 
ment to consist of three battleships, four cruisers, two squadrons of destroyers, and a carrier. I opposed this 
strenuously. The transfer was not made." Committee record, p. 6680. 



168 PEARL HARBOR AITACK 

Replying on September 23, Admiral Stark wrote; the commander in 
chief of the Pacific Fleet:^« 

We have no intention of further reducing the Pacific Fleet except that pre- 
scribed in Rainbow 5, that is the withdrawal of four cruisers about one month 
after Japan and the United States are at war. The existing force in the Pacific 
is all that can be spared for the tasks assigned your fleet, and new construction 
will not make itself felt until next year. 

The transfer of the Pacific Fleet iipits in May of 1941, it would 
appear, had as its immediate objective the possibility of their engaging 
in an expedition to take the Azores,^" in order that these vital Portu- 
guese possessions might not fall into German hands. The occasion 
for taking the Azores, however, did not materialize and, as stated by 
Admiral Stark, "it just Avent on diplomatically there".^^ The fleet 
units, foi-merly attached to the Pacific Fleet, were not returned to 
Pearl Harbor but were employed further to augment the Atlantic 
Fleet, particularly in the vicinity of Iceland. 

The record reflects that the transfer of a portion of the Pacific Fleet 
to the Atlantic in May of 1941 was in line with the basic war plans 
which recognized the Atlantic as the principal theater of operations 
and was designed to forestall the possibility of an indispensable 
strategic area falling into German hands. The transfer was an in- 
extricable part of the over-all military policies prepared to meet the 
Axis threat.*^ 

"ABCD" Understanding? 

A great deal of inquiry was made during the course of proceedings 
to determine whether the Government of the United States had 
entered into an agreement with Great Britain and the Netherlands 
committing this Nation to war upon Japan in the event British or 
Dutch possessions were attacked by the Japanese.^-* It is clear from 
evidence before the Committee that no agreement was entered into 
in this regard. The President and his Cabinet, while momentarily 
expectmg an attack by Ja])an, recognized and observed the constitu- 
tional mandate that this Government could only be committed to 
war by a declaration of the Congress. 

Recognizmg the inevitable consequences of the Tripartite Pact, 
representatives of the War and Navy Departments participated during 
1941 in a series of staff conversations with military and naval experts 

« Committee exhibit No. lOfi. 

'" In a letter to Admiral Kimmel of May 24, 1941, Admiral Stark stated, among other thinfrs, "Day before 
vesterday afternoon the President gave me an overall limit of 30 days to prepare and have ready an expedition 
of 25,000 men to sail for, and to take the Azores. Whether or not there would be opposition I do not know 
hut we have to be fully prepared for strenuous opposition. You can visualize the job particularly when 
I tell you that the Azores recently have been greatly reinforced. The Army, of course, will be in on this but 
the Navy and the Marines will bear the brunt." Committee record, pp. 5607, 5608. 

" Committee record, pp. 13977, 13978. 

In the course of committee examination, .\dmiral Stark was asked: "How would you attack and take the 
Azores without a declaration of war on Portugal? She owned them." 

He replied: "I can tell you one way. Suppose the Germans had taken Portugal. Would we have to 
declare war on Portugal to take the Azores? I don't think we would have.* * * I always construed that 
situation, with regard to the Azores, as to have plans ready, and be readv .if an emergency arose there." 
Committee record, p. 13979. 

'2 See Part I, pp. 10-13, supra, this report. It does not appear from the evidence that additional Fleet 
units would have assisted in detecting the approaching Japanese striking force, in view of the dispositions 
made by the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, or otherwise have materially aided in the defense 
against an air attack. As previously suggested, had the major Fleet units transferred to the Atlantic in 
May of 1941 been in Pearl Harbor on December 7 they, too, would in all probability have been destroyed. 
See in the latter connection. Part II, pp. 69-72, this report. 

"» This inquiry appears to have been largely precipitated by a remark attributed to Prime Minister 
Churchill during an address before the House of Commons on January 27, 1942. He is quoted as having 
stated: "On the other hand, the probability, since the Atlantic Conference at which I discussed these 
matters with President Roosevelt, that the United States, even if not herself attacked, would come into 
the war in the Far East and thus make the final victory sure, seems to allay some of these anxieties, and that 
expectations had not been falsified by the events." See Committee record, p. 1286. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 169 

of Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands." The first of these 
meetings, initiated by the Chief of Naval Operations ^* and limited 
to American and British representatives, was held in Washington 
from January 29 to March 27, 1941. The official report of the con- 
versations, referred to as "ABC-1," points out specifically that the 
discussions were held with a view "to determine the best methods by 
which the armed forces of the United States and British Common- 
wealth, with its present allies, could defeat Germany and the powers 
allied with her, should the United States be compelled to resort to war." " 
The report states clearly that the plans to accomplish this purpose, 
as embodied in the report, were subject to confirmation by the highest 
military authorities in the United States and Great Britam and by 
the governments of both countries as well.^^ This was in accord with 
the joint statement of the position the American representatives would 
take, made by the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Staff 
on January 27 at the outset of the conversations.^^ 

"ABC-1" was approved by the Chief of Naval Operations and the 
Secretary of the Navy and by the Chief of Staft" and the Secretar}^ of 
War,^^ thereafter being submitted to the President on June 2, 1941. 
On June 7 the President returned ''ABC-l" without formal approval, 
pointmg out that since the plan had not been finally approved by 
the British Government, he would not approve it at that time but 
that in case of war the report should be returned to him for approval.^^ 

Shortly after the staff conversations in Washington military and 
naval representatives of the United States, Great Britain, and the 
Netherlands conferred in April of 1941 at Singapore in order to draft 
a plan for the conduct of operations in the Far East based on "ABC- 
1." In the instructions sent the commander in chief of our Asiatic 
Fleet ^° prior to the Singapore conversations it was emphatically 
pointed out that the results of such conversations were liltewise subject 
to ratification by the governments concerned and w«re to involve no 
political commitment by the United States. ^^ The report of the conver- 
sations,^- referred to as "ADB", explicitly recognized that no political 
commitments were implied.^^ Nevertheless, the Chief of Naval 
Operations and the Chief of Staff withheld their approval feeling that 

»« Admiral Stark said: "lu our planning, we assumed that if the United States was dra'mi into war, it 
would be alined with Great Britain and against the Axis Powers. We also knew that while our most 
immediate concern was with the war then in progress in the Atlantic and in Europe, we might also be 
faced — perhaps concurrently — with a war in the Pacific. With these thoughts in mind, we held extensive 
stafl conversations with the British and Canadians early in 1941 and the report of these conversations was 
embodied in a document known as ABC-1, dated March 27, 1941." Committee record, p. 5572. 

»« Admiral Stark was asked: "* * • it was in 1940, the fall of 1940 that you communicated with Admiral 
Sir Dudley Pound of the British Navy, requesting that he send his naval experts to the United States to 
discuss collaboration between the two navies?" 

Admiral Stark: "That is correct, in ease of war." 

Question: "Upon whose responsibility was that message sent?" 

Admiral Stark: "My own." 

Question: "Did you discuss the subject with the President?" 

Admiral Stark: "I sent that on my own, and I did not notify the President until after I had done it." 
Committee record, p. 13927. 

•» See committee exhibit No. 49 for a full report of the staff conversations. 

M Committee exhibit No. 49. 

•'Id. 

M See committee record, p. 2617. 

M Id., at pp. 2019, 2620. 

M Id., at p. 6320. 

•1 Id., at p. 5123. 

•» For the report of the Singapore conversations, see committee exhibit No. 50. 

M In testifying concerning the Singapore conversations, Admiral Turner said: "In none of these papers was 
there ever a political commitment, or a definite military commitment. This was a plan of action, or thess 
were plans of action based on assumptions that should the United States enter the war, then these papers 
would be effective, provided they wore approved by the proper authorities. 

"None of the ADB papers were ever presented to either the Secretary of the Navy or the Secretary of War 
or the President, although all of those officers as well as the Secretary of State were aware that theSe conver- 
sations were being held from time to time." Committee record, p. 5122. 



170 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

some of the statements in the report had poUtical implications.*^ 
One of the proposals of the Singapore conference, however, was sub- 
sequently incorporated as a recommendation in the joint memoranda 
of November 5 and 27 which the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval 
Operations submitted to the President; i. e., that military counter- 
action should be undertaken in the event Japan attacked or directly 
threatened the territory or mandated territory of the United States, 
the British Commonwealth, or the Netherlands East Indies, or if the 
Japanese moved forces into Thailand west of 100° east or south of 10° 
north, Portuguese Timor, New Caledonia, or the Loyalty Islands.*^ 

As elsewhere pointed out, it was mutually understood at the Atlan- 
tic Conference in August of 1941 by President Koosevelt and Prime 
Minister Churchill that the Governments of both the United States 
and Great Britain needed more time to prepare for resistance against 
possible Japanese attack in the Far East.^^ It was agreed, however, 
that steps should be taken to make clear to Japan that further aggres- 
sive action by her against neighboring countries would result in each 
country being compelled to take all necessary measures to safeguard 
the legitimate rights of its country and nationals and to insure its 
country's safety and security." Accordingly, upon returning to Wash- 
ington the President on August 17, 1941 informed the Japanese Am- 
bassador that if the Japanese Government took any further steps in 
line with a program of military domination by force or threat of force 
of neighboring countries, the Government of the United States would 
be compelled to take any and all steps necessary toward safeguarding 
its legitimate rightsjand ^interests and toward insuruig the security of 
the United. States.*^- 

During the latter half of 1941 negotiations to meet the American 
objections to the "ADB" report proceeded slowly until discussions 
were opened in the Far East in November between Admiral Hart, 
commander in chief of our Asiatic Fleet, and Admiral Phillips, the 
British Far Eastern naval commander. Soon after the out-break of 
war, the two commanders completed arrangements for initial Ameri- 
can and British naval dispositions to meet probable Japanese action 
in the Far East. Admhal Hart's report of his conversations with 
Admiral Phillips was received in the Navy Department about lip. m., 
December 6, 1941, and was approved in a dispatch sent out by the 
Chief of Naval Operations on December 7 after the attack on Pearl 
Harbor.®^ 

On December 6, 1941, Admiral Hart cabled the Chief of Naval 
Operations concerning a report received from Singapore that the 
United States had "assured British armed support under three or four 
eventualities". ^° None of the witnesses who were questioned on this 

«* See committee exhibit No. 65. Also testimony of Admiral Turner, committee record, pp. 5118, 6119. 

«' See section, infra, Avoidance of War. 

M See Part I, this report. 

o'Id. 

«eid. 

6» See testimony of Admiral Stark before the joint committee. 

'ojAdmiral Hart's dispatch was based on a communication which he had received on December 6, 1941, 
from Capt. John M. Creighton, who was a naval attache in Singapore, as follows: "Brooke Popham received 
Saturday from War Department London Quote We have now received assuranc* of American armed sup- 
port in cases as follows: Aflrm we are obliged execute our plans to forestall Japs landing Isthmus of Era or 
take action in reply to Nips invasion any other part of Siam; Baker if Dutch Indies are attacked and we go 
to their defense; Cast if Japs attack us the British. Therefore without reference to London put plan in 
action if first you have good info Jap expedition advancing with the apparent intention of landing in Kra, 
second if the Nips violate any part of Thailand Para if NEI are attacked put into operation plans agreed 
upon between British and Dutch. Unquote." Committee record, pp. 13520, 13521. 

In the course of his testimony before the committee Captain Creighton stated he had no knowledge of an 
agreement between the United States and Great Britain or the Dutch and that the report transmitted to 
Admiral Hart must have come to him second-hand. Committee record, pp. 13515-13537. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 171 

point, including Admiral Hart," was aware of any evidence to sub- 
stantiate the report. In his testimony, the Chief of Naval Operations 
suggested that the report may have been based on a misconception 
as to the state of negotiations following the Singapore conference.^^ 
There is no evidence to indicate that Japanese knowledge of the 
"ABC" and "ADB" conversations was an inducing factor to Japan's 
decision to attack the United States coincident with her thrust to the 
south. Indeed, the idea of attacking us at Pearl Harbor was con- 
ceived before these conversations were initiated." Manifestly any 
estimate which the Japanese made of American probable action was 
based on this country's long-standing Far Eastern policy and the 
course of diplomatic negotiations, and not on nonpolitical, technical 
discussions on a staff level. ^* 

It should be noted that on November 7 the President took an in- 
formal vote of his Cabinet as to whether it was thought the American 
people would support a strike against Japan in the event she should 
attack England in Malaya or the Dutch in the East Indies. The 
Cabinet was unanimous in the feeling that the country would support 
such a move. The following significant statement appears in the 
diary of Secretary Stimson for December 2 : 

The President is still deliberating the possibility of a message to the Emperor, 
although all the rest of vis are rather against it, but in addition to that he is quite 
settled, I think, that he will make a Message to the Congress and will perhaps 
back that up with a speech to the country.^' 

From all of the evidence, as earlier indicated, there is no basis 
for the conclusion that an agreement had been effected committing 
the United States to war against Japan in the event of an attack 
by her upon the British or the Dutch. It is indisputable that the 
President and his Cabinet contemplated presenting the problem 
to the Congress should our position in the Far East become intoler- 
able.^^ Further, the reports of the 1941 staff conversations contain 
clear disclaimers of any political commitments and the voluminous 
records relating to these conversations will be searched in vain for 
any suggestion that an agreement binding the United States to go to 
war was made. Additionally, all the witnesses who were questioned 
on the point ^^ — including the ranking military and naval leaders of 
the country at the time — testified that in these meetings the constitu- 
tional prerogative of the Congress to declare war was scrupulously re- 

" Committee record, pp. 12785-12875. 

" Id., at p. 6317. 

" See Part 11, this report re Japanese plans for the attack. 

'< Before the committee, General Marshall was asked: " Let us assume first that they (the Japanese) knew 
that we were going to feo to war if they attacked Malaya or any portion of that land there. Let us assume on 
the other hand that they knew we were not going to participate unless we were directly attacked ourselves. 
To what extent would their decisions as to action be affected by that knowledge?" 

He replied: "Japanese psychology being what it is and the Japanese Army domination being what it was 
their general scheme for the assumption of power throughout the Far East, particularly the Southwest 
Pacific, being known now, I don't think that would have had any particular effect one way or the other." 
Committee record, p. 1378fi. 

" See statement of Mr. Stimson. Committee record, p. 14427. 

'« Admiral Stark said: "Under our Constitution the Congress had to declare war, and we could not take 
any independent action, so far as hostilities were concerned." Committee record, p. 13875. 

Again," • • » as to our striking after declaration of war on our part, if the situation became Intolerable 
to us, and our national safety, if the Japs had not struck and we thought then that our safety was imperiled, 
if we did not fight, I think it would have been done in a constitutional manner." Committee record, pp. 
13892-13893. 

Further, " * • • I do again make the statement, and I want it clear on the record, so far as my 
thoughts were concerned, that if Japan had not attacked and if conditions had become intolerable to our 
national safety because of what she was doing, and that would have been through the Congress." Com- 
mittee record, p. 13895. 

" See testimony of Secretary Hull, Sumner Welles, General Marshall, Admiral Stark, Admiral Turner, 
Admiral Ingersoll, General Qerow before the committee. 



172 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

specfedJ^ The preliminary planning done at these conferences mani- 
fested commendable foresight and indeed our military leaders would 
have been inexcusably negligent had they not participated in these 
conversations in the face of the clear pattern of conquest mapped out 
by the Axis." This planning saved precious time and lives once 
Japan struck. 

While no binding agreement existed, it would appear from the record 
that the Japanese were inclined to the belief that the United States, 
Britain and the Netherlands would act in concert. An intercepted 
November 30 dispatch from Tokyo to Berlin stated in pertinent part: ®° 

* * * it is clear that the United States is now in colhision with those nations 
(England, Australia, the Netherlands, and China) and has decided to regard 
.lapan, along with Germany and Italy, as an enemy. 

A message of December 3 which was intercepted from the Washing- 
ton Embassy to Tokyo related :^^ 

Judging from all indications, we feel that some joint military action between 
Great Britain and the United States, with or without a declaration of war is a 
definite certainty, in the event of an occupation of Thailand. 

There is nothing, however, in the foregoing intelligence having any 
relationship to the Hawaiian situation; — to have advised the com- 
manders there that the Japanese regarded an attack upon the British 
or Dutch as tantamount to an attack upon the United States would 
have added nothing — thej' had already been categorically warned 
that hostile action by Japan against the United States itself was 
possible at any moment. 

Avoidance of War 

As has been seen in considering the diplomatic background of the 
Pearl Harbor attack, every effort was made compatible with national 
honor to forestall the inevitable conflict with Japan. The policy of 
the United States condemned aggression; the policy of Japan was 
predicated on aggression. It was only a question of time, therefore, 
before these two irreconcilable principles would engender war.*^ 
Officials of our Government were faced with the problem of effecting 
a delicate balance between gaining time to improve our military 
preparedness on the one hand and not forsaking our principles, nation- 
al honor, and Allies on the other. 



'8 That the certain prerogative of the Congress to declare war was recognized in discussions with other 
governments is revealed by the following dispatch from Ambassador Winant to the State Department 
dated November 30, 1941, transmitting a message from Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt: 

"It seems to me that one important method remains unused in averting war between Japan and our two 
countries, namely a plain declaration, secret or public as may be thought best, that ahy further act of aggres- 
sion by Japan will lead immediately to the gravest consequences. / realize your constitutional difficulties 
but it would be tragic if Japan drifted into war by encroachment without having before her fairly and 
squarely the dire character of a further aggressive step. I beg you to consider whether, at the moment 
which you judge right which may be very near, you should not say that 'any further Japanese aggression would 
compel you to place the gravest issues before Congress' or words to that effect. We would, of course, make a 
similar declaration or share in a joint declaration, and in any case arrangements are being made to synchro- 
nize our action with yours. Forgive me, my dear friend, for presuming to press such a course upon you, 
but I am convinced that it might make all the difference and prevent a melancholy extension of the war." 
Committee exhibit No. 24. See also testimony of General Marshall, committee record, pp. 2785 2786. ' 

" In the course of counsel's examination. General Gerow was asked: " • * • has it been the practice 
of the War Plans Di\ ision from time immemorial to make all sorts of plans about war operations on the con- 
tingency that some day or other we might be involved in hostilities with other nations?" 

He replied: "Oh, yes, sir. We had at all times kept current plans for operations against any major power 
or combination of major powers, sir * * * at one time I think we had plans against almost everybody, 
sir, and I think that is the practice of every general staff of every nation." Committee record, pp. 2673, 2674. 

As stated by Admiral Stark, "It is our business to draw up plans for any conting'eney." Committee 
record, p. 13977. 

M Committee exhibit No. 1 p. 205. 

»' Id., at p. 227. For a full treatment of the matter, however, indicating that no agreement whatever 
existed for military action on our patt in the event of a Japanese invasion of Thailand, see committee exhibit 
No. 169. 

82 See Part I, supra, this report. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 173 

In summing up the salient features of the situation as they appeared 
to him in November of 1941, Mr. Stimson said:^^ 

1. War with Germany and Japan would ultimately be inevitable. 

2. It was vitaUy important that none of the nations who were then desperately 
fighting Germany — England, Russia, or China — should be knocked out of the war 
before the time came when we would be required to go in. 

3. While we very much wanted more time in which to prepare, nevertheless we 
felt we had a fair chance to make an effective fight against Japan for the Philip- 
pines even if we had to enter the war at that tirhe, in view of the air power that we 
were building up in the Philippines. 

4. If war did come, it was important, both from the point of view of unified 
support of our own people as well as for the record of history, that wo should not 
be placed in the position of firing the first shot, if this could be done without 
sacrificing our safety, but Japan should appear in her true role as the real aggressor. 

It should be noted that in October of 1940 the President advised 
Admiral Richardson that if the Japanese attacked Thailand, or the 
Kra Peninsula, or the Dutch East Indies the United States would not 
enter the war — 

that if they even attacked the Philippines he doubted whether we would enter 
the war, but that they (the Japanese) could not always avoid making mistakes 
and that as the war continued and the area of operations expanded sooner or 
later they would make a mistake and we would enter the war.** 

On October 30, 1941, a message was received from Generalissimo 
Chiang Kai-shek indicating his belief that a Japanese attack on 
Kuimiing (Yumian), located on the Burma Road, was imminent, and 
that military support from outside som-ces, particularly by the use of 
United States and British air units, was the sole hope for defeat of 
this threat.^^ The Secretary of State requested the advice of the 
Chief • of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations as to the attitude 
which this Government should assume toward a Japanese offensive 
against Kunming and the Burma Road. In a joint memorandum for 
the President dated November 5 they set forth the following con- 
clusions and recommendations, after reviewing the situation in China:^® 

The Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Staff are in accord in the fol- 
lowing conclusions: 

(a) The basic military policies and strategy agreed to in the United States- 
British Staff conversations remain sound. The primary objective of the two 
nations is the defeat of Germany. If Japan be defeated and Germany remain 
undefeated, decision will still have not been reached. In any case, an unlimited 
offensive war should not be undertaken against Japan, since such a war would 
greatly weaken the combined effort in the Atlantic against Germany, the most 
dangerous enemy. 

(b) War between the United States and Japan should be avoided while building 
up defensive forces in the Far East, until such time as Japan attacks or directly 
threatens territories whose security to the United States is of very great import- 
ance. Military action against Japan should be undertaken only in one or more 
of the following contingencies: 

(1) A direct act of war by Japanese armed forces against the territory or mandated 
territory of the United States, the British Commonwealth, or the Netherlands East 
Indies; 

(2) The movement of Japanese forces into Thailand to the west of 100 degerees 
East or south of 10 degrees North; or into Portuguese Timor, New Caledonia, or the 
Loyalty Islands. 

(c) If war with Japan cannot be avoided, it should foUow the strategic lines of 
existing war plans; i. e., military operations should be primarily defensive, with 
the object of holding territory, and weakening Japan's economic position. 

w See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14385. 
*< Testimony of Admiral Richardson, committee record, pp. 683, 684. 

M Soe committee exhibit No. 16A. Similar messages were received through the ^American amba&sador 
Id ChungKlng, the Magruder Mission and the United States n^val attache. Exhibits Nos. 16, 16A. 
«• CoMmiftee exhibit No. 16. 
I 



174 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

(d) Considering world strategy, a Japanese advance against Kunming, into 
Thailand except as previously indicated, or an attack on Russia, would not 
justify intervention by the United States against Japan. 

(e) All possible aid short of actual war against Japan should be extended to the 
Chinese Central Government. 

(/) In case it is decided to undertake war against Japan, complete coordinated 
action in the diplomatic, economic, and military fields, should be undertaken 
in common by the United States, the British Commonwealth, and the Nether- 
lands East Indies. 

The Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Staff recommend that the 
United States policy in the Far East be based on the above conclusions. 

Specifically, they recommend: 

That the dispatch of United States ^armed forces for intervention against 
Japan in China be disapproved. 

That material aid to China be accelerated consonant with the needs of Russia, 
Great Britain, and our own forces. 

That aid to the American Volunteer Group be continued and accelerated to 
the maximum practicable extent. 

That no ultimatum be delivered to Japan. 

The reply of the President to Chiang Kai-shek's message was 
handed to the Chinese Ambassador on November 14 and followed 
the recommendations of General Marshall and Admiral Stark. It 
pointed out that it did not appear preparations by Japan for a land 
campaign against Kunming had advanced to a point which would 
indicate probable immediate imminence of an attack and observed, 
among other things :^^ 

* * * Under existing circumstances, taking into consideration the world 
situation in its political, military, and economic aspects, we feel that the most 
effective contribution which we can make at this moment is along the line of 
speeding up the flow to China of our lend-lease materials and facilitating the 
building up of the American volunteer air force, both in personnel and in equip- 
ment. We are subjected at present, as you know, to demands from many quarters 
and in many connections. We are sending materials not only to China and Great 
Britain, but to the Dutch, the Soviet Union, and some twenty other countries 
that are calling urgently for equipment for self-defense. In addition, our pro- 
gram for our own defense, especially the needs of our rapidly expanding Navy and 
Army, calls for equipment in large amount and with great promptness. Neverthe- 
less, I shall do my utmost toward achieving expedition of increasing amounts of 
material for your use. Meanwhile we are exchanging views with the British 
Government in regard to the entire situation and the tremendous problems which 
are presented, with a view to effective coordinating of efforts in the most practicable 
ways possible. 

In a joint memorandum for the President, prepared under date of 
November 27, 1941, General Marshall and Admiral Stark pointed out 
that "if the current negotiations end without agreement, Japan may 
attack: the Burma Road; Thailand; Malaya; the Netherlands East 
Indies; the Philippines; the Russian Maritime Provinces." ^^ They 
observed that: 

The most essential thing now, from the United States viewpoint, is to gain time. 
Considerable Navy and Army reinforcements have been rushed to the Philippines 
but the desirable strength has not yet been reached. The process of reinforcement 
is being continued. Of great and inmiediate concern is the safety of the Army con- 
voy now near Guam, and the Marine Corps' convoy just leaving Shanghai. Ground 
forces to a total of 21,000 are due to sail from the United States by December 8, 
1941, and it is important that this troop reinforcement reach the Philippines 
before hostilities commence. Precipitance of_ military action on our part should be 
avoided so long as consistent with national policy. The longer the delay, the more 
positive becomes the assurance of retention of these islands as a naval and air base. 

8' Id. 

» Committee exhibit No. 17. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 175 

Japanese action to the south of Formosa will be hindered and perhaps seriously 
blocked as long as we hold the Philippine Islands. War with Japan certainly will 
interrupt our transport of supplies to Siberia, and probably will interrupt the 
process of aiding China. 

After consultation with each other, United States, British, and Dutch military 
authorities in the Far East agreed that joint military counteraction against Japan 
should be undertaken only in case Japan attacks or directly threatens the territory 
or mandated territory of the bnited States, the British Commonwealth, or the Nether- 
lands East Indies, or should the Japanese move forces into Thailand west of 100 
degrees East or south of 10 degrees North, Portuguese Timor, New Caledonia, or the 
Loyalty Islands.^^ 

Japanese involvement in Yunnan or Thailand up to a certain extent is advan- 
tageous, since it leads to further dispersion, longer lines of communication, and an 
additional burden on communications. However, a Japanese advance to the 
west of 100 degrees East or south of 10 degrees North, immediately becomes a 
threat to Burma and Singapore. Until it is patent that Japan intends to advance 
beyond these lines, no action which might lead to immediate hostilities should 
be taken. 
It is recommended that: 

Prior to the completion of the Philippine reinforcement, military counter- 
action be considered only if Japan attacks or directly threatens United States, 
British, or Dutch territory, as above outlined; 

In case of a Japanese advance into Thailand, Japan be warned by the 
United States, the British, and the Dutch Governments that advance beyond 
the lines indicated may lead to war; prior to such warning no joint military 
opposition be undertaken; 

Steps be taken at once to consummate agreements with the British and 
Dutch for the issuance of such warning."" 

It is to be noted that the foregoing memorandum was dated Novem- 
ber 27, 1941, the day after the Secretary of State had delivered our 
Government's reply to the Japanese ultimatum of November 20. 
The evidence shows, however, that the memorandum was considered 
at an Army-Navy Joint Board meeting on the morning of November 
26, following the meeting of the War Council on the preceding day at 
which Secretary Hull had stated that there was practically no possi- 
bility of an agreement being achieved with Japan."^ The memoran- 
dum of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations conveys 
two cardinal thoughts governing the approach of the military to the 
negotiations; i. e., the most essential thing was to gain time, and the 
precipitance of military action should be avoided so long as consistent 
with national policy. In this connection General Marshall referred to 
the reaction of the Army and Navy to the dropping of the thought of 
a modus vivendi in the following terms: ^^ 

My recollection is, and I have a fairly clear recollection of our disappointment 
that from the militaty point of view, meaning Army and Navy, that we would 
not gain an/ more time; our relationship to these discussions was on the one side 
the desire to gain as much time as we possibly could and on the other to see that 
commitments were not made that endangered us from a military point of view. 

8» General Marshall testified that this paraeraph referred to the conference of military leaders held in 
Singapore in April of 1941. He was asked: "When you say that the Dutch, British, and the United States 
military authorities had agreed to that action did you mean that they had made an agreement on behalf of 
the United States, or agreed to recommend it to their governments?" 

General Marshall replied: "Agreed to recommend it. They had no power whatever to agree for our govern- 
ment and it was so stipulated * • •." Committee record, pp 2784, 2785. 

w See note 78, supra, and note 111, infra. 

•1 With reference to the Marshall-Stark memorandum for the President dated November 27, 1941 (exhibit 
No. 17), Admiral IngersoU recalled that he "• • * presented at a Joint Board Meeting on apparently 
the day before this memorandum was sent, I presented at that meeting the arguments why we should not 
precipitate a war, and when I came back here to Washington 4 years later, I had forgotten completely that 
I had ever presented such a memorandum at the Joint Board Meeting. The only satisfaction I had was 
that it didn't sound silly after 4 years. And this was based on that." Committee record, p. 11366. 

•' Committee record, p. 13775. 

90179 — 46 13 



176 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

In pointing out the distinction between his approach and that of 
Secretary Stimson/^ General Marshall said: ^* 

He [Secretary Stimson] was very much afraid — he feared that we would find 
ourselves involved in the developing situation where our disadvantages would be 
so great that it would be quite fatal to us when the Japanese actually broke peace. 

He also felt very keenly that, and thought about this part a great deal more 
than I did, because it was his particular phase of the matter, that we must not go 
so far in delaying actions of a diplomatic nature as to sacrifice the honor of the 
country. He was deeply concerned about that. 

My approach to the matter, of course, was much more materialistic. I was 
hunting for time. Hunting for time, so that whatever did happen we would be 
better prepared than we were at that time, that particular time. 

So it was a question of resolving his views as to the honor, we will say, of the 
United States, and his views of a diplomatic procedure which allowed the Japanese 
to continue movements until we would be in a hopeless situation before the peace 
was broken, and mine, which as I say, were much more materialistic, as I think 
they should have been, that we should get as much time as we could in order to 
make good the terrible deficiencies in our defensive arrangements. 

It is apparent from the memorandum of November 27 that the 
Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations desired more time 
insofar as consistent with national policy and not at the expense of 
forsaking the honor of the Nation. As General Marshall testified: ®^ 

Mine was, in a sense, a technical job. I was struggling with the means to 
fight. * * * / wanted time, and the question was how much time could be 
given to us and still maintain the honor of the United States and not get oiirselves in 
a hopeless position. 

Further, the memorandum relates to the matter of precipitance of 
war by the United States; that is, no affirmative steps should be taken 
by the United States to bring about war with Japan — ^"precipitance 
of mihtary action on our part should be avoided so long as consistent 
with national poHcy." 

As observed in reviewing the diplomatic background of the Pearl 
Harbor attack, the November 26 note of our Government to Japan 
was not a precipitant of war — it was merely a laudable restatement 
of the principles for which we had stood for many years in the Orient. 
There can, therefore, be no question that the delivery to Japan of the 
American note of November 26 was not in any way in contravention 
of the expressed position of our own mihtary. Furthermore, Tokyo 
advised her emissaries in Washington on November 20 that a modus 
Vivendi would not be acceptable to Japan, ^^ and in consequence had 
our Government submitted a modus vivendi to the Japanese, no more 
time would have been afforded the Army and Navy. General Mar- 
shall and Admiral Stark had themselves recommended that we take mili- 
tary counter-action should Japan attack the very territory which she was 
already poised to attack in the event she failed to secure the demands con- 
tained in the Japanese ultimatum of November 20.^'' 

Indeed, at the very time Japan's ambassadors were discussing a 
temporary truce, her military was continuing its move to the South. 
Secretary Stimson 's diary for November 26, 1941, reflects the follow- 
ing comments, among others: ^^ 

•' In this diary for November 27, Mr. Stimson commented: "Knox and Admiral Stark came over and 
conferred with me and General Oerow. Marshall is down at the maneuvers today and I feel his absence 
very much. There was a tendency, not unnatural, on the part of Stark and Oerow to seek for more time. 
I said that I was glad to have time but I didn't want it at any cost of humility on the part of the United 
States or of reopening the thing which would show a weakness on our part." Committee record, p. 14422. 

»< Committee record, p. 13821. 

M Id., at p. 13822. 

•« Commiftee exhibit No. 1, p. 160. 

•' Id., Vo. 17. 

M Committee record, p. 14420. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 177 

. . ,• I talked to the President over the telephone and T asked him whether he 
had received the paper which I had sent him over last night about the Japanese 
having started a new expedition from Shanghai down towards Indo-China. He 
fairly blew up — jumped up into the air, so to speak, and said he hadn't seen it 
and that that changed the whole situation because it was an evidence of bad faith 
on the part of the Japanese that while they were negotiating for an entire truce — 
an entire withdrawal (from China) — they should be sending this expedition down 
there to Indo-China. I told him that it was a fact that had come to me through 
G-2 and through the Navy Secret Service and I at once got another copy of the 
paper I had sent last night and sent it over to him by special messenger. 

It is to be noted that Mr. Stimson's diary for November 25, 1941, 
describes a meeting at the White House attended by the President; 
Secretaries Hull, Knox, and Stimson; General Marshall; and Admiral 
Stark. It states, in part:^^ "There the President, instead of bringing 
up the Victory Parade ^^'^ brought up entirely the relations with the 
Japanese. He brought up the event that we were likely to be attacked 
(as soon as) next Monday without warning, and the question was 
what we should do. The question was how we should maneuver them 
into the position oj firing the first shot without allowing too much danger 
to ourselves. It was a difficult proposition." ^°^ 

In referring to Mr. Stimson's comment concerrnng maneuvering 
the Japanese into the position of firing the first shot without too much 
danger to om-selves,'"^ General Marshall testified: '°^ 

"* * * they were trying to arrange a diplomatic procedure, rather than 
firing off a gun, that would not only protect our interests, by arranging matters 
so that the Japanese couldn't intrude any further in a dangerous way, but also 
anything they did do, they would be forced to take the offensive action, and what 
we were to do had to be prepared for the President by Mr. Hull. It was not a 
military order. It was not a military arrangement." 

The Chief of Staff stated that Secretary Stimson was referring to 
what the diplomatic procedure was to be; not the military procedure. ^°* 

On November 28 Secretary Stimson called upon the President 
inasmuch as Military Intelligence had supplied him a summary of 
the information in regard to the movements of the Japanese in the 
Far East and "it amounted to such a statement of dangerous possi- 
bilities that I decided to take it to the President before he got up." 
Referring to his conversation \vith the President on this occasion, 
Mr. Stimson wrote in his diary: ^°^ 

He (the President) branched into an analysis of the situation himself as he 
sat there on his bed, saying there were three alternatives and only three that he 
could see before us. I told him I could see two. His alternatives were — first, 

»» Id., at p. 14418. 

w This was an office nickname for the General Staff strategic plan of national action in case of war In 
Europe. 

10' Mr. Stimson pointed out in this connection that our military and naval advisers had warned us that 
we could not safely allow the Japanese to move against British Malaysia or the Dutch East Indies without 
attempting to prevent it. Committee record, p. 14418. 

W2 In the course of committee examination, .\dmir3l Stark was asked: "Now, I want to know why, if 
you know, there was a distinction between the Atlantic and the Pacfic about the firing of the first shot." 

He replied: "Germany had attacked and sunk one of our ships in June. She had attacked three de- 
stroyers in the Atlantic, sinking one of them— I think it was in October or November, along in there, be- 
tween September and October. And certainly the 1st of December she had attacked and wounded badly 
one tanker, the Salinns, I believe it was, which got back to the Canadi'^n coast. The Congress of the United 
States had voted billions for material to go to Britain. We considered it our job to get that material through 
not simply to use this money for material and let it be sunk without taking any action on it. There were 
certain waters defined, and limits established, which, I believe, we called our waters. The President's 
speech shows it very plainly, in which he stated, if the Germans cam.e within that area they would do so 
at their peril. They came in and attacked us. As a result, we got together what we called the hemispheric 
defense plans, which I have outlined previously and which provided for shooting at any German comba'ant 
ships which came within that area, and we did doit • ♦ • I think that that situation is not comparable 
to what was going on in the Pacific, where the Japs had not attacked our ships, unless you go back, to the 
Panay incident." Committee record, pp. 13981, 13982. 

iM Committee record, p. 13801. 

">* Id., at p. 13799. 

'">» Id., at p. 14423. 



178 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

to do nothing; second, to make something in the nature of an ultimatum again, 
stating a point beyond which we would fight; third, to fight at once. I told him 
my only two were the last two, because I did not think anyone would do nothing 
in this situation, and he agreed with me. I said of the other two my choice was 
the latter one. 

Mr. Stimson set forth the following observations concerning the 
War Council meeting on November 28: ^°^ 

It was the consensus that the present move (by the Japanese) — that there 
was an Expeditionary Force on the sea of about 25,000 Japanese troops aimed 
for a landing somewhere — completely changed the situation when we last discussed 
whether or not we could address an ultimatum to Japan about moving the troops 
which she already had on land in Indochina. It was now the opinion of every- 
one that if this expedition was allowed to get around the southern point of Indo- 
china and to go off and land in the Gulf of Siam, either at Bangkok or further 
west, it would be a terrific blow at all of the three Powers, Britain at Singapore, 
the Netherlands, and ourselves in the Philippines. It was the consensus of every- 
body that this must not be allowed. Then we discussed how to prevent it. It 
was agreed that if the Japanese got into the Isthmus of Kra, the British would 
fight. It was also agreed that if the British fought, we would have to fight. And 
it now seems clear that if this expedition was allowed to round the southern point 
of Indochina, this whole chain of disastrous events would be set on foot of going. 

It further became a consensus of views that rather than strike at the force as 
it went by without any warning on the one hand, which we didn't think we could 
do; or sitting still and allowing it to go on, on the other, which we didn't think 
we could — that the only thing for us to do was to address it a warning that if it 
reached a certain place, or a certin line, or a certain point, we should have to 
fight. The President's mind evidently was running towards a special telegram 
from himself to the Emperor of Japan. This he had done with good results at 
the time of the Panay incident, but for many reasons this did not seem to me to 
be the right thing now and I pointed them out to the President. In the first 
place, a letter to the Emperor of Japan could not be couched in terms which 
contained an explicit warning. One does not warn an Emperor. In the second 
place it would not indicate to the people of the United States what the real nature 
of the danger was. Consequently I said there ought to be a message by the Presi- 
dent to the people of the United States and I thought that the best form of a 
message would be an address to Congress reporting the danger, reporting what 
we would have to do if the danger happened. The President accepted this idea 
of a message but he first thought of incorporating in it the terms of his letter to 
the Emperor. But again I pointed out that he could not publicize a letter to an 
Emperor in such a way; that he had better send his letter to the Emperor separate 
as one thing and a secret thing, and then make his speech to the Congress as a 
separate and a more understandable thing to the people of the United States. 
This was the final decision at that time and the President asked Hull, and Knox 
and myself to try to draft such papers. 

Mr. Stimson's diary for December 2, 1941, contains the following 
comments concerning a meeting at the White House: ^°^ 

The President went step by step over the situation and I think has made up 
his mind to go ahead. He has asked the Japanese through Sumner Welles what 
they intend by this new occupation of southern Indo-China — just what they are 
going to do — and has demanded a quick reply. The President is still deliberating 
the possibility of a message to the Emperor, although all the rest of us are rather 
against it, but in addition to that he is quite settled, I think, that he will make 
a Message to the Congress and will perhaps back that up with a speech to the country. 
He said that he was going to take the matters right up when he left us. 

On December 6 President Roosevelt dispatched his appeal to the 
Emperor; and, after the bombs had already fallen on Hawaii, our 
Ambassador in Tokyo was informed that it was desired the Japanese 
Memorandum of December 7, which was keyed for delivery to the 
United States coincident with the attack on Pearl Harbor, be regarded 
as the Emperor's reply to the President.^"^ 

'0« Id., at pp. 14424, 14425. 

'"Id., at p. 14427. 

we See Part I, supra, this report. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 179 

It is clear from the evidence that the feehng of the President and his 
advisers that the United States must fight if the British and Dutch 
were attacked was predicated on the necessities of our own security 
and not occasioned by reason of any formal commitment or agreement 
requiring such action on the part of the United States. ^°^ That our 
Government was hoping to avoid war long after any real hope existed"" 
is made manifest by the fact that the President contemplated sending 
a warning to Japan on "Tuesday afternoon or evening" (December 9) 
if no answer was received from the Emperor by Monday (December 
8)."^ In referring to the appeal to the Emperor, Mr. Hull said:"^ 

The President was now making an additional last-minute appeal. He, of course, 
knew that the huge Japanese armada had already left the jumping-off place in 
Indochina which from our viewpoint meant thai the danger of attack could not 
have been more imminent. Nevertheless, the President believed that he should not 
neglect even the slim chance that an additional last-minute appeal might save tht 
situation. It also served to make clear to the American people and to the world our 
interest in maintaining peace up to the very last minute. 

Intelligence Available in Washington 

THE "magic" 

With the exercise of the greatest ingenuity and utmost resource- 
fulness, regarded by the committee as meriting the highest commenda- 
tion, the War and Navy Departments collaborated in breaking the 
Japanese diplomatic codes. Through the exploitation of intercepted 
and decoded messages between Japan and her diplomatic establish- 
ments, the so-called Magic, a wealth of intelligence concerning the 
purposes of the Japanese was available in Washington."^ 

Both the Army and Navy maintained several stations throughout the 
United States and in the Pacific for the purpose of intercepting Japan- 
ese radio communications. These stations operated under instructions 
emanating from Washington and forwarded the intercepted traffic to 
Washington without themselves endeavoring to decode or translate 
the material. The only exception to this procedure was m the case of 
the Corregidor station which had been provided with facilities for 
exploitmg many of the Japanese diplomatic messages in view of its 
advantageous location from the standpoint of intercepting Tokyo 
traffic."* 

Insofar as the commanding officers in Hawaii were concerned they 
received none of the Magic save as it was supplied them by the War 
and Navy Departments in the original, paraphrased, or captioned 
form or, operationally, through instructions predicated on this source 
of intelligence. While the highest military officials in Washington 
did not know the precise nature of radio intelligence activities in 
Hawaii, it is clear that those charged with handling the Magic did not 

I"' See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14418. Also committee exhibits Nos. 16, 17. 

ii" Admiral Stark was asked: "Was not that our intention (of doing anything possible to prevent war 
with the Japanese) right up to December 7, if it could be done without sacrificing American honor and 
principles?" 

He replied: "Yes, sir; and we had been working for months on that, and the record is complete in that 
regard." Committee record, p. 13915. 

m See committee record, pp. 13741, 13742. 

in See Secretary Hull's replies to committee interrogatories, committee record, p. 14266. 

115 See committee exhibits Nos. 1 and 2. For a discussion of Magic and its great significance to the prose- 
cution of the war see letters dated September 25 and 27, 1944, from General Marshall to Governor Dewey. 
Committee record, pp. 2979-2989. 

"* For a discussion of the mechanics of the Magic, see testimony of Admiral Noyes and Capts. L. F. 
Safford and A. D. Kramer of the Navy, and Cols. Otis K. Sadtler and Rufus Bratton of the Army 
before the committee. 



180 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

rely upon either the Army or Navy in Hawaii being able to decode the 
diplomatic messages which were decoded in Washington. However, 
both Admirals Stark and Turner testified that they were under the 
impression that Japanese diplomatic messages were being decoded 
by the Navy in Hawaii."^ No justification for this impression existed 
in fact apart from the failure of these officers to inform themselves 
adequately concerning Navy establishments. ^^^ Under arrangements 
existing during 1941 between the Army and the Navy in Washington 
the decoding and translating of Magic was divided between the Army 
Signal Intelligence Service under the direction of the Chief Signal 
Officer and a unit in the Navy, knowTi as OP-20-G, under the control 
of the Director of Naval Communications. The responsibility for 
decoding and translating messages was allocated between the two 
services on the basis of the dates of the messages with each service 
ordinarily handling all messages originated on alternate days, the 
Army being responsible for even dates and the Navy, for odd dates. 
This procedure was flexible in that it was departed from in order to 
expedite the handling of material as the occasion demanded or in the 
case of any unusual situation that might prevail in one or the other 
of the services. 

POLICY WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATION OF MAGIC 

The Magic intelligence was regarded as preeminently confidential 
and the policy with respect to its restricted distribution was dictated 
by a desire to safeguard the secret that the Japanese diplomatic codes 
were being broken. ^^^ Delivery of the English texts of the intercepted 
messages was limited, within the War Department, to the Secretary 
of War, the Chief of Staff, the Chief of the War Plans Division, and 
the Chief of the IVIilitary Intelligence Division; within the Navy, to 
the Secretary of Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of 
the War Plans Division, and the Director of Naval Intelligence; to 
the State Department; and to the President's naval aide for trans- 
mittal to the President. By agreement between the Army and Navy 
in W'ashington, the Army was responsible for distribution of Magic 
within the War Department and to the State Department; the Navy, 
for distribution within the Navy Department and to the White House. 
Any disclosure of the fact that the Japanese messages were being 
decoded or any disclosure of information obtainable only from that 
source would inevitably have resulted in Japan's changing her codes 
with attendant loss completely of the vital Magic. This fact was 
responsible for the translated material being closely held among a 

"' See comniittee record, p. 5095. 

"8 Admiral Stark testified: "I inquired on two or three occasions as to whether or not Kimmel could 
read certain dispatches when they came up and which we were interpreting and sending our own messages 
and I was told that he could. However, / loant to make it plain that that did not influence me in the slightest 
regarding what I sent. I felt it my responsibility to keep the commanders in the field and to see to it that 
they were kept informed of the main trends and of information which (would) be of high interest to them. 
Regardless of what dispatches I might have seen, they may have formed background for me but I saw that 
affirmative action was taken from the Chief of Naval Operations to the commanders in the field on matters 
which I thought thev should have." Committee record, p. 5793. 

1" During the course of his testimony, General Miles was asked: "Who made the decision that these mes- 
sages should not be sent to Hawaii as they were intercepted and translated as far as the Army is concerned?" 

He replied: "That followed from the general policy laid down by the Chief of Staff that these messages 
and the fact of the existence of these messages or our ability to decode them should be confined to the least 
possible number of persons; no distribution should be made outside of Washington. » • • 

"The value of that secret, the secret that we could and did decode Japanese messages, la their best code, 
was of incalculable value to us, both in the period when war threatened and most definitely during our 
waging of that war. That was the basic reason for the limitation on the distribution of those messages and 
of the constantly increasing closing in, as I might express it, on any possible leaks in that secret." Com- 
mittee record, pp. 2092, 2093. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 181 

few key individuals, in addition necessarily to those who processed 
the messages. 

The policy generally prevailed in the days before Pearl Harbor that 
the Magic materials were not ordinarily to be disseminated to field 
commanders."* This policy was prescribed for the reason that (1) the 
Japanese might conceivably intercept the relayed Magic intelligence 
and learn of our success in decrypting Japanese codes :"^ (2) the volume 
of intercepted traffic was so great that its transmission, particularly 
during the critical period of diplomatic negotiations, would have over- 
taxed communication facilities; and (3) responsibility for evaluation 
of this material which was largely diplomatic in nature was properly 
in Washington, where the Magic could bo considered along with other 
pertinent diplomatic information obtained from the State Department 
and other sources. There was no inflexible rule, however, which pre- 
cluded sending to theater commanders in proper instances, either in 
its original form as paraphrased or in the form of estimates, conclu- 
sions, or orders based wholly or in part upon Magic. Important in- 
formation derived therefrom was from time to time sent to the 
Hawaiian commanders by the Navy Department in paraphrased form 
or in the form of estimates. ^^^ The War Department, on the other 
hand, did not send the Magic to the field, for the reason that the Army 
code was not believed to be as secure as that of the Navy.^^^ 

For purposes of the investigation Magic fell generally into two cate- 
gories: first, messages relating to diplomatic matters of the Japanese 
Government ;'^^ and second, messages relating to espionage activities 
by Japanese diplomatic representatives, particularly with respect to 
American military installations and establishments. ^^^ 

The decision not to endeavor to supply field commanders all of the 
Magic intelligence as such was a reasonable one under the circum- 
stances. However, it is incumbent to determine whether responsible 
commanding officers were otherwise supplied the equivalent oj intelligence 
obtained from the Magic materials. 

"Ships in Harbor" Reports 

nature of consular espionage 

In addition to the Magic materials relating strictly to diplomatic 
negotiations, a great many messages between Japan and her diplo- 
matic establishments were intercepted reflecting espionage activities 
by the consular staffs. ^^^ These intercepts related in the main to 
instructions sent by Tokyo and replies pursuant thereto concerning 
the movement and location of American ships and the nature of mili- 
tary and defensive installations. 

"' For a discussion concerning this matter, see letter dated April 22, 1941, from Capt. Arthur N. McCol- 
lum in Washington to Capt. Edwin T. Layton, Paciflc Fleet intelligence officer. Committee record, pp. 
12917-12923. 

'" This factor applied principally to the Army. See testimony of General Miles. Note 121, infra. 

1" See committee exhibit No. 37. pp. 4-12, 40, 41. 

'" In testifying concerning the matter of distributing Magic to field commanders General Miles was asked: 
"Do I understand from your answer that these messages intercepted and translated were not sent to Hawaii 
by the Army?" 

He replied: "They were not. In some cases the substance of some messages were sent to Hawaii, and al- 
most al ways in naval code, I think always in naval code, because the naval code was considered to be more 
secure than the Army code." Committee record, pp. 2091, 2092. 

m Committee exhibit No. 1 

'»Id., No. 2. 

I" Id. 



182 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The Hawaiian commanders have strongly insisted that messages 
to and from the Japanese Consulate in Honolulu clearly indicated 
Japan's intention to attack the fleet at Pearl Harbor. They contend 
they were wrongfully deprived of this information, basing this con- 
tention to a great extent on an intercepted dispatch froni Tokyo of 
September 24, 1941 ^^^ issuing the following instructions to its 
Honolulu Consulate: ^^® 

Strictly secret. 

Henceforth, we would like to have you make reports concerning vessels along 
the following lines insofar as possible: 

1. The waters (of Pearl Harbor) are to be divided roughly into five subareas. 
(We have no objections to your abbreviating as much as you like.) 

Area A. Waters between Ford Island and the Arsenal. 

Area B. Waters adjacent to the Island south and west of Ford Island. (This 
area is on the opposite side of the Island from Area A.) 
Area C. East Loch. 
Area D, Middle Loch. 
Area E. West Loch and the communication water routes. 

2. With regard to warships and aircraft carriers, we would like to have you 
report on those at anchor (these are not so important) tied up at wharves, buoys, 
and in docks. (Designate types and classes briefly. If possible we would like 
to have you make mention of the fact when there are two or more vessels along 
side the same wharf.) '" 

The foregoing message, No. 83, has been gratuitously characterized 
throughout the proceedings as the "bomb plot message", the "harbor 
berthing plan", and by similar terms. Three other intercepted mes- 
sages relate in a pertinent manner to the September 24 dispatch and 
to Tokyo's interest in the fleet at Pearl Harbor: 

(1) In a message from Tokyo to the Honolulu Consul, dated No- 
vember 15, 1941 (translated December 3, 1941) it was stated:^^^ 

As relations between Japan and the United States are most critical, make your 
"ships in harbor report" irregular, but at a rate of twice a week. Although you 
already are no doubt aware, please take extra care to maintain secrecy. 

(2) An intercept from Tokyo dated November 20, 1941 (translated 
December 4) read:'^^ 

Please investigate comprehensively the fleet — bases in the neighborhood of the 
Hawaiian military reservation. 

(3) An intercept of November 29 (translated December 5) stated :^^° 

We have been receiving reports from you on ship movements, but in future will 
you also report even when there are no movements? 

Referring to the indicated messages, Admiral Kimmel testified: ^^^ 

In no other area was the Japanese Government seeking information as to 
whether two or more vessels were alongside the same wharf. Prior to the dispatch 
of September 24, the information which the Japanese sought and obtained about 
Pearl Harbor followed the general pattern of their interest in American Fleet 
movements in other localities. One might suspect this type of conventional 
espionage. With the dispatch of September 24, 1941, and those which followed, 
there was a significant and ominous change in the character of the information 

1" Translated October 9. 

i2« Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 12. 

127 Some of the subsequent reports from the Japanese Consulate m Honolulu were made pursuant to the 
instructions contained in the September 24 dispatch from Tokyo. See committee exhibit No. 2 pp. 13 and 
14. 

128 Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 13. 
i2«Id.,atp. 15. 

Captain Kramer testified with respect to the blank, a garble, in this message between the words "fleet 
and "bases" that he believed the original Japanese version in ungarbled form if it were available would read: 
"Please investigate comprehensively the fleet air bases." Committee record, pp. 1162-1163. 

i3« Committee exhibit No. 2, 15 p. 

ui Committee record, pp. 6779, 6780. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 183 

which the Japanese Government sought and obtained. The espionage then 
directed was of an unusual character and outside the realm of reasonable suspicion. 
It was no longer merely directed to ascertaining the general whereabouts of ships 
of the fleet. It was directed to the presence of particular ships in particular areas; 
to such minute detail as what ships were double-docked at the same wharf. In the 
period immediately preceding the attack, the Jap Consul General in Hawaii was 
directed by Tokyo to report even when there were no movements of ships in and 
out of Pearl Harbor. These Japanese instructions and reports pointed to an attack 
by Japan upon the ships in Pearl Harbor. The information sought and obtained, 
with such painstaking detail had no other conceivable usefulness from a military 
viewpoint. Its utility was in planning and executing an attack upon the ships in 
port. Its effective value was lost completely when the ships left their reported 
berthings in Pearl Harbor. 

In the same connection General Short testified: '^^ 

While the War Department G— 2 may not have felt bound to let me know about 
the routine operations of the Japanese in keeping track of our naval ships, they 
should certainly have let me know that the Japanese were getting reports of the 
exact location of the ships in Pearl Harbor, which might indicate more than just 
keeping track, because such details would be useful only for sabotage, or for air or 
submarine attack in Hawaii. As early as October 9, 1941, G-2 in Washington 
knew of this Japanese espionage. This message, analyzed critically, is really a 
bombing plan for Pearl Harbor. 

In endeavoring to evaluate the intercepted dispatch of September 
24 and related dispatches, it is to be borne in mind that the Japanese 
were insistent in their deshe to secm^e information concerning the 
location and movements of American vessels everywhere and not 
merely at Pearl Harbor. There are no other dispatches before the 
Committee, however, in which Tokyo manifested an interest concern- 
ing the disposition of ships within a harbor, as in the case of the 
"berthing plan," as distinguished from the desire to know whether a 
vessel was at a particular harbor. Viewing the September 24 instruc- 
tions to her Honolulu consul in this light, it would appear that Tokyo 
was manifesting an unusual interest in the presence of our Pacific 
Fleet and the detailed location thereof in Pearl Harbor. 

The evidence reflects, however, that no one in Washington attached 
the significance to the "berthing plan" which it is now possible to 
read into it. To determine whether failure to appreciate the plan 
represents a lack of imagination and a dereliction of duty, we consider 
now the contentions of the officers who saw this intelligence before 
December 7, 1941, and the chcumstances under which it was received 
in Washington. 

At the time the "berthing plan" was translated, the practice was 
beuig followed by Captain Ki^amer of preparing a gist of intercepted 
messages to expedite consideration of them by recipients. ^^^ Asterisks 
were employed along with the gist to provide an indication of the 
significance of messages — one asterisk meant "interesting messages"; 
two asterisks, "especially important or urgent messages. "^^* The 
gist relating to the berthing plan read:^^^ "Tokyo directs special reports 
on ships with (in) Pearl Harbor which is divided into five areas for the 
purpose of showing exact location" and was indicated by one asterisk 

•»' Id., at p. 7989. 

iM The practice of preparing gists is indicated to have been discontinued during the month of November 
1941, for the reason that the President insisted on seeing the original messages "because he was afraid when 
they tried to condense them, someone would change the meaning." See testimony of Captain Safford, 
Hewitt Inquiry Record, p. 408; also Clarke Inquiry Exhibit No. 23. 

i3< Committee record, pp. 11206, 11207. 

"5 Id., at pp. 11207, 11208. 



184 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

as being an "interesting message". In explaining his estimate of the 
message, Captain Kramer testified :^^® 

* * * Your interpretation, Senator, that this was a bombing map, I do not 
believe, from conversations I had at the time in showing and going over days' 
traffic with various recipients; I do not believe it was interpreted by any of those 
persons as being materially different than other messages concerning ship move- 
ments being reported by the Japanese diplomatic service. 

I recollect that this was interpreted. I am uncertain of the precise wording of 
the interpretation. This was considered, and / believe it was, approximately, my 
consideration at the time as being an attempt on the part of the Japanese diplomatic 
service to simplify communications. 

That view is substantiated by many factors. 

One is that the Japanese were repeatedly and continually directing their diplo- 
matic service to cut down traffic. They were repeatedly preparing and sending 
out abbreviations to be used with codes already in existence. Diplomatic codes 
were frequently asking for additional funds for quarterly allotments, and so forth, 
to cover telegraphic expenses. Those expenses were usually paid and furnished 
in part when so requested by Tokyo. Those and other considerations I think 
explain, probably, the handling of this particular message, sir. 

Upon being asked what evaluation he placed on the harbor berthing 
plan and related intercepts, Admiral Willdnson testified: '" 

The Japanese for many years had the reputation, and the facts bore out that 
reputation, of being meticulous seekers for every scrap of information, whether 
by photography or by written report or otherwise. 

We had recently, as reported to me, apprehended two and I think three Japanese 
naval officers on the west coast making investigations of Seattle, Bremerton, Long 
Beach, and San Diego. In the reports that we had gotten from them there had 
been indications of movements and locations of ships; in the papers that they had 
there were instructions for them to find out the movements and locations of ships 
except in Hawaii and the Philippines, the inference being that these fellows that 
were planted in America, these naval officers, were not to be responsible for move- 
ments in Hawaii and the Philippines because there were agencies finding that 
information there. 

My general impression of adding all this reputation and this fact and these data 
together was that these dispatches were part of the general information system 
established by the Japanese. We knew also that certain information had been 
sought in Panama and again in Manila. I did not, I regret now, of course attribute 
to them the bombing target significance which now appears. 

And again: ^^^ 

* * * the location of the ship, whether it was alongside of a dock or else- 
where, did give an inference of work going on aboard her which would be of value 
to the question of when she might be moved, what her state of readiness was and 
the inference that we drew from this was that they wanted to know everything 
they could not only about the movement of the ships and those that were present 
and, therefore, accounted for and not a threat to them in some other waters, but 
also with reference to those that were present where they were located with refer- 
ence to state of repair. For instance, the ships that were particularly in Pearl 
Harbor might be in repair and not ready to go to sea, whereas those at anchor 
in the stream would be ready, or would be so on short notice. Those at double- 
banked piers might not be, particularly the inside one might take some time 
to go out. 

Admiral Wilkinson thought he had mentioned to one or more officers 
that the Japanese seemed curious as to the lay-out in Pearl Harbor 
and testified "at the time I thought that that was an evidence of their 
nicety of intelligence." ^^^ 

On the other hand. Admiral Stark, who stated he had no recollection 
of having seen the berthing plan and accompanying messages prior 
to the attack, testified: ^*° 

1" Id., at p. 1160. 

's? Id., at pp. 4620,"4621. 

I" Id., at pp. 4622,4623. 

"« Id., at p. 4624. 

>" Id., at pp. 5788, 6789. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 185 

These messages are of a class of message which gives positions of ships in harbor, 
gives locations. The message, however, is distinctly different from the usual 
type of ship report, which simply would say, "So many ships" or give their names, 
in Pearl Harbor. This dispatch is different in that it calls for the location of a 
ship in the harbor in her particular berth. 

I recall no such request from Tokyo to the field; that is, to the Japanese people, 
to report like that except for Pearl Harbor. There might have been. We did 
not see it. I believe there are one or two places were ships were reported like 
in Puget Sound, in a certain berth or a dock, alongside of a dock, but this dis- 
patch while of a class is of a character which is different. 

In the light of hindsight it stands out very clearly, with what we can read into 
it now, as indicating the possibility or at least the ground work for a Japanese 
raid on Pearl Harbor. That significance which we now have in the light of hind- 
sight was not pointed out to me by anyone, nor do I have the slightest recollection 
of anybody ever having given that significance at the time. 

Asked if he felt significance should have been attached to the plan 
at the time it was received, Admiral Stark said: ^*^ 

It is very difficult to separate hindsight from foresight. I can only say that 
it went through our people, it went through the Army, who were likewise vitally 
interested in the defense of Pearl Harbor, and I do not recollect anyone having 
pointed it out. There was literally a mass of material coming in. We knew the 
Japanese appetite was almost insatiable for detail in all respects. The dispatch 
might have been put down as just another example of their great attention to 
detail. 

If I had seen it myself I do not know what I would have done. I might have 
said, "Well, my goodness, look at this detail," or I might have read into it because 
it is different, I might have said, "Well, this is unusual. I wonder why they 
want it?" I might have gone on, and diagnosed it or I might not. I simply do 
not know. We read it now in the light of what has happened. 

Captain McCollum/*^ who was not in Washington at the time the 
harbor berthing plan was intercepted or translated, suggested certain 
reasons why the plan would not have been interpreted as a "bombing 
plot."^*^ He observed that beginning in 1935 the Japanese Navy was 
apparently not satisfied with the type of intelligence forwarded by 
the consular agents and in consequence undertook to set up an ob- 
servation net of its own, particularly on the west coast of the United 
States, but that it was his feeling the Japanese had been unable to 
put naval observers into the consulate at Honolulu. Therefore, as he 
testified: ^^^ 

As we estimated it, the consul general at Honolulu was receiving, through the 
Foreign Office at the instance of the Japanese Naval Department, explicit direc- 
tions of the type of intelligence that was needed, much more in detail than any of 
the other key consulates on the west coast, because he did not have the benefit of 
the services of a Japanese Naval Intelligence officer within his consulate. 

Therefore this thing here, if I saw it, I am quite certain I would have felt it was 
just another move to get explicit information, to cut down the frequently voluble 
type of reports made by consular officials which the Jap Navy did not like. 

Captain McCollum further pointed out that the matter of how 
ships were anchored and where they were anchored was designed to 
indicate the facility with which the fleet was prepared to sortie, con- 
sidering that the anchorage at Pearl Harbor is "chopped up" into a 
number of more or less independent locks. He testified: ^'^ 

To give a general statement of where the ships were, the stuff they are requiring 
here, would require a rather long-winded dispatch, where the same device such as 
breaking it up into areas A, B, and C, such a simple device could be used. With 

"I Id., at pp. 5790,5791. 

'" Capt. Arthur N. McCollum, Chief of the Far Eastern Section of Naval Intelligence. 
'" Captain McCollum left Washington on September 24 and did not return until October 11. Committee 
FGCOrd D 9l95 
i« Committee record, pp. 9140, 9141. 
»« Id., at pp. 9178,.9179. 



186 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

this area discovered, a rather simple and short dispatch would suffice to give the 
essential information as to the location of the fleet and also an indication of their 
readiness for sortie. I would suggest that that is a reasonable, tenable hypothesis 
as to why they wished information, apparently, in this detail. 

In summary, Captain McCollum stated he would not now neces- 
sarily regard the harbor berthing plan as a ''bombing plan" unless 
"I had known Pearl Harbor had been bombed." ^*^ 

It appears clear that there were many other messages between 
Tokyo and her consulates, received in Washington, indicating a likely 
Japanese purpose to attack at points other than at Hawaii.'*^ 

These messages indicate a definite interest in the state of defenses 
at many points. A dispatch from Tokyo on October 16 to its Seattle 
consul instructed "Should patrolling be inaugurated by naval planes, 
report it at once." ^** In the same message the Consulate was in- 
structed to report on the movement and basing of warships at least 
once every 10 days, "As long as there is no great change," but a report 
was to be submitted "Should more than 10 vessels of any type arrive 
or depart from port at one time." A June 23, 1941 dispatch from 
Tokyo to Mexico instructed:'*^ "Regarding the plans for procuring 
maps of the Panama Canal and vicinity, please have career attache 
Kiliara make an official trip to Panama * * * Have the maps 
taken out by plane, and then have Sato, the naval attache, bring 
them to Tokyo with him when he returns." While no instructions 
from Tokyo to Panama are available subsequent to August 2, 1941, 
the reports to Tok3^o contain detailed information concerning the 
location of airfields, air strength, ammunition, location and camouflage 
of petroleum supply tanks, location and strength of artillery patrols, 
radar detectors and their range, map procurement and other matters 
which would obviously be of interest only if an attack on the Panama 
Canal were contemplated. '^° While some of these messages were 
translated after December 7, they have a distinct bearing on whether, 
before the event, the harbor berthing plan was reasonably designed 
to be a harbinger of the December 7 attack. '^^ 

With respect to other messages concerning defenses, Tokyo on 
August 1 requested Manila to obtain information "regarding the 
camouflage and distinguishing marks of the American naval and 
military aeroplanes in Manila". '^^ On October 4 Tokyo instructed 
Manila "to make a reconnaissance of the new defense works along 
the east, west, and southern coasts of the Island of Luzon, reporting 
on their progress, strength, etc." '" Tokyo instructed Manila on 
November 5, pursuant to a request of the "Naval General Staff", 
to obtain information with respect to each port of call concerning 
"(1) conditions at airports on land", "(2) types of planes at each, and 
number of planes", "(3) warships; also machinery belonging to land 
forces", and "(4) state or progress being made on all equipment and 
establishments." ''* On November 15 Tokyo requested Manila to 
"make investigations again" as to the number of large bombers in 

'" Id., at p. 9141. 

'*' See committee exhibit No. 2. 

'"Id., at p. 111. 

»« Id., at p. 122. 

150 Id., at pp. 31-52. 

m General Marshall stated he was always in fear of a surprise attack on United States territory but the 
probabilities pointed to the Panama Canal and to the Philippines before Hawaii. Navy Court of Inquiry 
record, p. 863. 

15J Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 54. 

»3 Id., at p. 72. 

"* Id., at p. 8a 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 187 

the Philippines.*^^ Some 50 messages between Manila and Tokyo 
during the period August 1 to December 1, 1941, contained detailed 
information concerning ahfields, air strength and activity, strength 
and activity of land forces, location of antiaircraft guns, and other 
items of defense. *^^ 

Seattle advised Tokyo on September 20 that a warship under 
repair at Bremerton, Wash, had "the upper part of the bridge and 
left side of the bow spotted here and there with red paint".*" A 
message of September 6 from Tokyo to Singapore and Batavia 
requested detailed information concerning various types of fishing 
vessels should Japan "require the use of these fishing vessels", *^^ On 
October 22 a message from Tokyo to Singapore reflected a specific 
request, on behalf of the vice chief of the Japanese General Staff, 
for information concerning the air forces stationed in the Federated 
Malay States.**® Another dispatch from Tokyo to Batavia on the 
same day stated that the Assistant Chief of Staff desired an inspection 
and report "on the air force in the Dutch Indies" in regard to training, 
formation, and aerial combat methods; organization, types, number, 
and location of planes; and types and number of planes being sent 
from England and the United States.*^*' 

The exhibits are replete with evidence of the interest of Tokyo not 
only in the state of defenses but in ships as well, at many different 
points. For example, an intercepted dispatch from Tokyo to San 
Francisco of November 29 read:*^- "Make full report beginning 
December 1 on the followuig: Ship's nationality, ship's name, port 
from which it departed (or at which it arrived), and port of destina- 
tion (or from where it started), date of departure, etc., in detail of all 
foreign commercial and war ships now in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, 
and South China Sea." Nor was the Honolulu consul the only one 
reporting the exact location of ships in harbor. Manila advised 
Tokyo on November 12 that on the morning of the 12th, an American 
cruiser of the Chester class entered port — "She is tied up at dock No. 
7 * * * »» 162 ^^j again on November 22, Manila advised Tokyo, 
among other things, that a camouflaged British cruiser entered port 
on the "mornmg of the 21st and anchored at pier No. 7 * * *." i^s 
Other examples of such reports will be hereinafter set forth. 

Even today, of course, we do not know as a matter of fact that the 
"berthmg plan" was a bomb plot. On the basis of testimony before 
the committee, the desire to know or the supplying of information 
with respect to the location of vessels within a harbor is not of itself 
conclusive that its only purpose was in contemplation of an attack 
inasmuch as such information also has the value of indicating what 
ships are under repair and the readiness of vessels for sortie,*^* For 
example, Seattle advised Tokyo on September 20, ''Saratoga class air- 
craft carrier, 1 ship {tied up alongside the pier)" at Bremerton.*^* San 
Francisco advised Tokyo on October 2, "One Oklahoma class battie- 
st Id., at p. 91. 

'" Id., at pp. 54-98. 

>" Id., at p. 109. 

'«' Id., at p. 101. 

'5» Id., at p. 102. 

»» Id., at p. 102. 

i«i Id., at p. 115. 

i6» Id., at p. 87. 

iM Id., at p. 94. 

'•< See Committee record, pp. 4622, 4623, 9178, and 9179. 

iM Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 109. 



188 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

ship has arrived in port and is moored in front ot the Bethlehem ship- 
building yard."^^^ It may be argued that if obtaining information 
concerning the location of ships within a harbor should be construed 
as definitely indicating a purpose to attack the ships at harbor then 
these messages would logically appear to indicate a purpose to attack 
at Bremerton and at San Francisco, 

In seeking to determine whether the harbor berthing plan was in 
reality a "bomb plot" it is noted that in making his report of December 
5 '^^ and his last repoit of December 6 ^^* to Tokyo concerning vessels 
at Pearl Harbor, the Honolulu consul did not employ the system 
established in the plan for indicating the location of ships within the 
harbor. In the report of December 5, he said: 

* * * the following ships were in port on the afternoon of the 5th: 8 battle- 
ships, 3 light cruisers, 16 destroyers * * *. 

In the last report, the consul said: 

On the evening of the 5th, among the battleships which entered port were 
(garble) and one submarine tender. The following ships were observed at anchor 
on the 6th: 9 battleships, 3 light cruisers, 3 submarine tenders, 17 destroyers, 
and in addition there were 4 light cruisers, 2 destroyers lying at docks (the heavy 
cruisers and airplane carriers have all left) * * *_ 

Failure to use the plan for indicating the location of ships within 
the harbor at the only time when it could have materially assisted the 
attacking force in locating ships as targets for bombing, that is on 
December 5 and 6 immediately before the attack, raises a serious 
question as to whether the berthing plan was in reality a bomb plot 
at all. 

Japanese interviewed since VJ-day have asserted that intelligence 
obtained from the consulates was regarded as of little importance. 
They did not include the intelligence under discussion in listing the 
information which the Task Force employed in planning and executing 
the attack on December 7.^^^* 

The record reflects that no one in Washington interpreted the harbor 
berthing plan of September 24 and related dispatches as indicative of 
an attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor or was in any way conscious of 
the significance of the messages which it is now possible to read into 
them. There was in consequence no conscious or deliberate with- 
holding of this intelligence from the Hawaiian commanders. General 
Marshall, and Admirals Stark, Turner, and Ingersoll testified they 
had no recollection of having seen these dispatches. ^^^ 

The peculiar division of Pearl Harbor into many lochs, the insatiabb 
desire of Japan for meticulous information concerning vessels of other 
governments everywhere, the manner in which the berthing plan lent 
itself to convenience of communications, the fact that Tokyo was 
repeatedly instructing its consulates to cut down on traffic, the feeling 
in Washington that Tokyo had no naval observer in Honolulu and in 
consequence more detailed instructions to its consulate there were 
required, Japan's natural interest in full information concerning our 
Pacific Fleet base, the many intercepted dispatches indicating a likely 

iM Id., at p. 110. 

18' Id., at p. 26. 

"8 Id., at p. 29. 

i«8» See Part II, this report concerning Japanese plans for the attack; also section "The Role of Espionage 
in the Attack", Part III, this report. 

'«' Committee record, pp. 2912, 578S, 5108, and 11311. Admiral Stark said: "We have been over this 
bomb plot thing from start to fini.=h, all of us in the front office, and I still not only have no recollection of 
having seen it, it is my honest opinion that I did not see it." Committee record, p. 13969. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 189 

Japanese attack at points other than at Pearl Harbor — all of these 
considerations necessarily entered into the appraisal of the berthing 
plan. It may be contended that under such circumstances it would be 
manifestly unfair to criticize an officer with many other responsi- 
bilities ^^° for failure to interpret properly a message, considered before 
the critical turn in our negotiations with Japan, which we single out 
after the event for minute analysis and conclude may have been 
designed to assist the Japanese in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.^^^ 

Similarly, it may be argued that the absence of apparent interest 
by Japan in the defenses at Hawaii when compared with the avid 
interest manifested in the defense facilities in the Philippines, Panama, 
Singapore, Batavia, and on the west coast is indicative, in the days 
before December 7, of the fact that Hawaii was a much less likely 
point of attack than these other places; and that in this light, Tokyo's 
detailed interest in our ship locations and movements was subject to 
the reasonable construction that Japan desired to be warned in advance 
of any contemplated action by our fleet and was not seeking informa- 
tion with a view to an attack upon it or, otherwise stated, that she 
desired information with a view to the fleet's availability for distant 
operations rather than its susceptibility as a target. ^^^ Further, that 
Pearl Harbor was the base of the Pacific Fleet, the only substantial 
deterrent to complete freedom of action by the Japanese Navy in 
Pacific waters and that in consequence thereof an unusual interest by 
Japan in the location of our fleet units would appear quite under- 
standable. It may be proper to insist that since Pearl Harbor was 
the fleet base, Japan could be reasonably sure that substantial fleet 
units would be located there at vhtually all times; ^^^ and that, with 
this in mind, failure to manifest an interest in the defenses of Hawaii 
when compared with such an interest shown at other points has a 
distinct bearing on whether the information exchanged between 
Tokyo and Honolulu concerning ship locations and movements could 
have pointed in any way to likelihood of an attack at Pearl Harbor. 
In this connection, the evidence does reflect that none of the inter- 
cepted messages tianslated before the attack, between Tokyo and 
Honolulu for over a year prior to December 7, contain any reference 
to the defenses of the Army or JNavy in Hawaii as distinguished from 
locations of fleet units. 

From these considerations it may be contended that a careful 
comparison and evaluation of messages relating to espionage activi- 
ties by Japan's diplomatic establishments would not have reasonably 
indicated in the days before December 7 any greater likeliliood of an 
attack on Pearl Harbor than was warned against in the dispatches 
sent the Hawaiian commanders on November 21 }'^ 

CONCLUSIONS WITH RESPECT TO SHIPS IN HARBOR REPORTS 

Despite the foregoing observations, we think there are certain cir- 
cumstances which distinguish the request for detailed information on 

1'° See committee record, pp. 2131-2138. 

"• General Miles observed: "* * * tbis message taken alone would have been of great military signifi- 
cance but it was not taken alone unless you look at it by hindsight, whicn focuses all light on the event which 
did happen. It was one of a ereat number of messages being sent by the Japanese to vai ious parts of the 
world m their attempt to follow the movements of our naval vessels, a matter which we knew perfectly well 
they were doing, and which we ourselves wcie doing In regard to the Japanese." Committee record, p. 2100. 

1" See Hewitt Inqniry record, p. 407. 

"« This appears to be the premise assumed by the Japanese in planning and launching the attack. See 
Part II, this report. 

»'« Committee exhibits Nos. 32 and 37, pp. 9 and 36, respectively. 



190 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

the berthings of ships in Pearl Harbor from similar or other requests 
for information concerniag other points. War with Japan was admit- 
tedly probable for months before it actually occurred. Many of our 
highest military and naval authorities considered it all but inevitable. 
As the imminence of war increased so increased the importance of our 
Pacific Fleet, the home base of which was Pearl Harbor, for in the 
broad picture of the Pacific, the fleet was om- strong arm of defense. 
Safety and fitness of the Pacific Fleet was of prime importance, and 
any communication or information bearing thereon should have been 
given prompt and full consideration by competent authority. We 
realize the exceedingly great demands upon the intelligence divisions 
of the War and Navy Departments occasioned by reason of the great 
flood of intelligence commg in from all parts of the world in the days 
before Pearl Harbor. Nor do we overlook the Japanese policy of 
acquiring detailed information of every kind from many points. It 
may be fair to attribute to this and other considerations the failure to 
see anything of unusual significance in the request of September 24 for 
detailed information as to the berthing of ships in Pearl Harbor ; but it 
is difficult to escape the feelmg that, when the message of Novernber 
15 was translated on December 3 referring to the critical relations 
between Japan and the United States and requesting that the "ships 
in harbor report" be made irregularly but at least twice a week and 
directmg that extra care be taken to maintam secrecy, it should have 
raised in someone's mind the thought that this intelhgence was highly 
important because it dealt with that which was most vital to our 
safety in the Pacific — the Pacific Fleet. The message of November 
20, translated December 4, directing a comprehensive investigation of 
"the fleet (garble) bases" m the neighborhood of the Hawaiian mili- 
tary reservation should not have lessened such interest.^^^ 

It cannot be forgotten that a sm*piise attack by air on Pearl Harbor 
had been fisted and miderstood, both in Washington and Hawaii, as 
the greatest danger to that base. We must assume that military men 
realized that in order to execute successfully such an attack the 
Japanese would necessarily need detailed information as to disposi- 
tions at the point of attack. It would seem to be a natural conse- 
quence that if Japan undertook an attack on Pearl Harbor she would 
seek to acquire such detailed information and in point of time as 
nearly as possible to the horn* of such attempt. 

We are miable to conclude that the berthing plan and related dis- 
patches pointed directly to an attack on Pearl Harbor, nor are we 
able to conclude that the plan was a "bomb plot" in view of the 
evidence mdicatmg it was not such.^''^ We are of the opinion, however, 
that the berthing plan and related dispatches should have received 
careful consideration and created a serious question as to their signifi- 
cance. Since they indicated a particular interest in the Pacific 
Fleet's base this intelligence should have been appreciated and sup- 
pfied the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and the commanding 
general of the Hawaiian Department for their assistance, along with 
other information and intelligence available to them, in making their 
estimate of the situation. 

I" It may be argued that the fact that a "war warning" had been sent the Fleet on November 27 along 
with the code destruction intelligence before these latter messages were translated had a bearing on or 
possibly conditioned the failure to attach significance to them. 

»'» Admiral Kimmel said: "These Japanese instructions and reports pointed to an attack by Japan upon 
the ships in Pearl Harbor." Committee record, pp. 6779, 6780. 

General Short said: "* • • such details would be useful only for sabotage, or for air or submarine 
attack on Hawaii." Committee record, p. 7989. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 191 

The "Winds Cqde" ^^ 

On November 19, 1941, Tokyo set up a code designed to be em- 
ployed in daily Japanese language short-wave news broadcasts or 
general intelligence broadcasts in the event ordinary commercial 
channels of communication were no longer available. Two circular ^^^ 
dispatches Nos, 2353 and 2354 were translated by the Navy Depart- 
ment: ^^^ 

From: Tokyo 
To: Washington 
19 November 1941 
Circular #2353 

"Regarding the broadcast of a special message in an emergency. 

In case of emergency (danger of cutting off our diplomatic relations), and the 
cutting off of international communications, the following warnings will be added 
in the middle of the daily Japanese language short-wave news broadcast. 

(1) In case of a Japan-U. S. relations in danger: HIGASHI NO KAZEAME.^ 

(2) Japan-U. S. S. R. relations: KIT A NO KAZE KUMORI.^ 

(3) Japan-British relations: NISHI NO KAZE HARE} 

This signal will be given in the middle and at the end as a weather forecast and 
each sentence will be repeated twice. When this is heard destroy all code papers, 
etc. This is as yet to be a completely secret arrangement. 

Forward as urgent intelligence. 

1 East wind rain. 
» North wind cloudy. 
' West wind clear. 



From: Tokyo 
To: Washington 
19 November 1941 
Circular #2354 

When our diplomatic relations are becoming dangerous, we will add the follow- 
ing at the beginning and end of our general intelligence broadcasts: 

(1) If it is Japan-U. S. relations, "HIGASHI". 

(2) Japan-Russia relations, "KITA". 

(3) Japan-British relations (including Thai, Malaya, and N. E. I.), "NISHI". 
The above will be repeated five times and included at beginning and end. 
Relay to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, San Francisco. 

These intercepts were confirmed by a dispatch from the commander 
in chief of the Asiatic Fleet to the Office of Naval Operations dated 
November 28, 1941;^^° a message directed to the State Department 
from its diplomatic representative in Batavia dated December 4, 
1941;^^^ and a dispatch from the Army's military representative in 
Batavia, reading as follows: '^^ 

Japan will notify her consuls of war decision in her foreign broadcasts as weather 
report at end. East wind rain. United States. North wind cloudy, Russia. 
West wind clear, England with attack on Thailand, Malay and Dutch East 
Indies. Will be repeated twice or may use compass directions only. In this 
case words will be introduced five times in general text. 

The foregoing message was sent "deferred" by naval communica- 
cations for General Miles of the War Department and was not decoded 
until the morning of December 5, 1941. 

Both the War and Navy Departments extended themselves in an 
effort to monitor for a message in execution of the winds code. Exten- 

'" A detailed record study of the winds code will be found set forth as Appendix E to this report. 

"• The circular dispatches were designed for Japanese diplomatic establishments generally. 

i'» Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 154, 155. 

iw Id., No. 142. 

i«i Id. 

iwid. 

90179—46 14 



192 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

sive evidence has been taken conceming the matter, the preponderate 
weight of which indicates that no genuine execute message was inter- 
cepted by or received in the War and Navy Departments prior to the 
attack on Pearl Harbor. Investigation conducted in Japan strongly 
indicates no execute message was dispatched before the attack and 
the British and Dutch, who were also monitoring for an execute 
message, have advised that no such message was intercepted.^^^ A 
reasonable construction of the code is that it was designed for use in 
the event ordinary commercial channels of communication were no 
longer available to Japan, a contemplation which did not materiahze 
prior to Pearl Harbor. The fact that a message "West wind clear," 
applying to England, was broadcast after the attack tends to confirm 
this conclusion. ^^* Inasmuch as the question of the winds code has 
been one of the few disputed factual issues in the Pearl Harbor case, 
there has been set forth in Appendix E to this report a detailed study 
of the matter. 

Based on the evidence it is concluded that no genuine" vnnds" message 
in execution oj the code and applying to the United States was received 
by the War or Navy Departments prior to the attack on December 7, 1941. 
It appears, however, that messages were received which were initially 
thought possibly to be in execution of the code but were determined 
not to be execute messages. 

Granting for purposes of discussion that a genuine execute message 
applying to the winds code was intercepted before December 7, 
we believe that such fact would have added nothing to what was 
already known concerning the critical character of our relations with 
the Empire of Japan. 

"Hidden Word" Code 

In addition to the winds code the Japanese in a dispatch on Novem- 
ber 27 established another emergency system of communications that 
has been familiarly referred to as the "hidden word" code.^^^ The 
dispatch establishing this code, which was sent as a circular to all 
diplomatic establishments, stated: "With international relations be- 
coming more strained, the following system of despatches, using 
IN GO DENPO (hidden word, or misleading language telegrams) is 
placed in effect" and further "in order to distinguish these cables from 
others, the English word STOP will be added at the end as an indi- 
cator." Thereafter, a number of code words, apparently arbitrarily 
chosen, were set forth with the meaning of each word placed opposite 
thereto. Among the code words were: HATTORI meaning "Relations 
between Japan and * * * (blanlv) are not in accordance with expec- 
tation"; KOYANAGI meaning "England"; and MINAMI meaning 
"U. S. A." 

On the morning of December 7 a circular telegram from Tokyo was 
intercepted reading: ^^^ 

URGENT 92494 KOYANAGI RIJIYORI SEIRINOTUGOO ARUNITUKI 
HATTORI MINAMI KINENBUNKO SETURITU KIKINO KYOKAIN- 
GAKU SIKYUU DENPOO ARITASS STOP— TOGO. 

iMId. 
iMId. 

185 Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 186-188. The original code was supplemented by a dispatch of December 
2 from Tokyo to Singapore which was translated after the attack. Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 216-219. 
180 Committee exhibit No. 142-B. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 193 

The translation as made by the Navy of the foregoing hidden-word 
message was distributed in Washington to authorized recipients of, 
Magic at 11 a. m. on December 7 in the following form:'^^ 

Relations between Japan and England are not in accordance with expectation. 

This was not the complete message, which should have been 
translated: "Relations between Japan and the following countries 
are not in accordance with expectation: England, United States."^®* 

The reason for the message having been distributed on the morning 
of December 7 with the words United States omitted is explained by 
the fact that Captain Kramer in his haste occasioned by the necessity 
of delivering other messages, including the ''one o'clock message", 
overlooked the code word relating to the United States and translated 
the message as meaning only that "relations between Japan and 
England are not in accordance with expectation." He indicated that 
he later discovered the error and telephoned at "a quarter of one or 
1 o'clock" the correction to his superior and an officer of Military 
Intelligence.^*^ 

It is clear that the hidden-word message as literally translated ^^° 
contained no information of any import not already greatly over- 
shadowed, as will hereinafter appear, by other intelligence available 
on the morning of December 7 even had the words United States been 
included at the time of distribution. 

The "Deadline Messages" 

The following message, No. 736, from Tokyo to the Japanese 
Embassy in Washington, relating to the then current Japanese United 
States negotiations, was intercepted on November 5, 1941: '^^ 

Because of various circumstances, it is absolutely necessary that all arrangements 
for the signing of this agreement be completed by the 25th of this month. I realize that 
this is a difficult order, but under the circumstances it is an unavoidable one. 
Please understand this thoroughly and tackle the problem of saving the Japanese- 
U. S. relations from falling into a chaotic condition. Do so with great determina- 
tion and with unstinted effort, I beg of you. 

This information is to be kept strictly to yourself only. 

On November 11, 1941 another message from Tokyo to Washington, 
No. 762, was intercepted, referring to the deadline set in the message 
of November 5: ^^^ 

Judging from the progress of the conversations, there seem to be indications 
that the United States is still not fully aware of the exceedingly criticalness of the 
situation here. The fact remains that the date set forth in my message §736**is 
absolutely immovable under present conditions. It is a definite dead line ond therefore 
it is essential that a settlement be reached by about thai time. The session of Parlia- 
ment opens on the 15th (work will start on [the following day?]) according to the 
schedule. The government must have a clear picture of things to come, in pre- 
senting its case at the session. You can see, therefore, that the situation is nearing 
a climax, and that time is indeed becoming short. 

I appreciate the fact that you are making strenuous efforts, but in view of the 
above mentioned situation, will you redouble them. When talking to the Secretary 
of State and others, drive the points home to them. Do everything in your power 

18i Id. 

'ss The Army translation of the message supplied in March 1944 read as follows: "Relations between 

Japan and _ are approaching a crisis (on the verge of danger) : England, United States." 

Committee exhibit No. 142-B. 

'»» Hewitt Inquirv record, pp. 133-136. 

iw Id., at pp. 579-581. 

>«i Commiitee exhibit No. 1, p. 100. 

i»2 Id., at pp. 116, 117. 



194 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

to get a clear picture of the U. S. attitude in the minimum amount of time. At 
the same time do everything in your power to have them give their speedy approval 
to our final proposal. 

We would appreciate being advised of your opinion on whether or not they will 
accept our final proposal A. 

The deadline was again referred to in a dispatch of November 15 
from Tokyo to Washington, stating: ^^^ 

It is true that the United States may try to say that since we made no particular 
mention of the changed status of the talks, they were under the impression that 
they were still of a preliminary nature. 

Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that the date set forth in my message 
§736 is an absolutely immovable one. Please, therefore, make the U'nited States 
see the light, so as to make possible the signing of the agreement by that date. 

Referring to a dispatch from its Washington Ambassador, the fol- 
lowing message from Tokyo was intercepted on November 16:^^* 

I have read your #1090, ^'^ and you may be sure that you have all my gratitude 
for the efforts you have put forth, but the fate of our Empire hangs by the slender 
thread of a few days, so please f^ght harder than you ever did before. 

What you say in the last paragraph of your message is, of course, so and I have 
given it already the fullest consideration, but I have only to refer you to the fun- 
damental policy laid down in my #725.'*^ Will you please try to realize what 
that means. In your opinion we ought to wait and see what turn the war takes 
and remain patient. However, I am awfully sorry to say that the situation 
renders this out of the question. I set the dead line for the solution of these 
negotiations in my #736, and there will be no change. Please try to understand 
that. You see how short the time is; therefore, do not allow the United States to 
sidetrack us and delay the negotiations any further. Press them for a solution 
on the basis of our proposals, and do your best to bring about an immediate 
solution. 

Responding to requests of its Ambassadors, ^^^ in an intercepted 
message of November 22, 1941, Tokyo extended the deadline date 
from November 25 to November 29 in the following terms: ^®^ 

To both you Ambassadors. 

It is awfully hard for us to consider changing the date we set in my #736. You 
should know this, however, I know you are working hard. Stick to our fixed 
policy and do your very best. Spare no efforts and try to bring about the solution 
we desire. There are reasons beyond your ability to guess why we wanted to 
settle Japanese-Ameiican relations by the 25th, but if within the next three or 
four days you can finish your conversations with the Americans; if the signing can 
be completed by the 29th, (let me write it out for you — twenty-ninth) ; if the pertinent 
notes can be exchanged; if we can get an understanding with Great Britain and 
the Netherlands; and in short if everything can be finished, we have decided to wait 
until that date. This time we mean it, that the dead line absolutely cannot be 
changed. After that things are automatically going to happen. Please take this 
into your careful consideration and work harder than you ever have before. This 
for the present, is for the information of you two Ambassadors alone. 

As a follow-up to the foregoing message, Tokyo on November 24, 1941, 
advised its Ambassadors that the time limit set in the message of 
November 22 was in Tokyo time.^^^ 

It is clear from the foregoing messages that "things are auto- 
matically going to happen" after November 29, Tokyo time. It is 
equally clear from information now available that the happening was 
to be the contemplated departure of the Japanese task force to attack 

i« Id., at p. 130. 

'Mid., at pp. 137. 13S. 

>M See committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 127-129. 

'••Id., at pp. 92-94. 

'" Id., at p. 159. 

'M Id., at p. 165. 

I" Id., at p. 173. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 195 

Pearl Harbor. But the question is not what the deadline messages are 
seen now to mean but what they reasonably conveyed to officials in 
Washington in the days before December 7, 

Tokyo had indicated the extreme importance of time as the dead line 
approached :^*"^ "The fate of our Empire hangs by the slender thread 
of a few days." But does this importance and the fact of the dead- 
line indicate an attack at Pearl Harbor or, for that matter, an attack 
upon the United States elsewhere? It must be recalled that on 
August 17, following the Atlantic Conference, President Roosevelt 
advised the Government of Japan that if she took any further steps 
in pursuance of a program of domination by force or threat of force 
of neighboring countries, the Government of the United States would 
be compelled to take any and all steps necessary toward insuring the 
security of the United States. ^°^ It is not unreasonable to conclude 
that, failing to secure a satisfaction of her demands by November 29, 
Japan had determined to launch a program of aggression which she 
felt would involve her m war against the United States. The extensive 
deployment of her forces to the south after November 29, it would 
reasonably appear, was regarded as the action to be taken upon expi- 
ration of the deadline date. Washington had expressed this estimate 
to Admiral Kimmel on November 27:^°^ 

The number and equipment of Japanese troops and the organization of naval 
task forces indicates an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines, 
Thai, or Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo. 

One of the factors considered m dispatching the "war warning" to 
Admu'al Kimmel on November 27 was that of alerting the Fleet 
before the cut-off date of November 29.^°^ We believe that the dis- 
patch of November 27 to Admiral Kimmel begimiing, "This dispatch 
is to be considered a war warning" and the dispatch to General Short 
of the same date advismg that "hostile action possible at any moment" 
was the equivalent of and in fact was of greater significance than the 
so-called "deadline messages" merely informing that things would 
automatically happen after November 29. 

Based on what is now known concerning the plan of the Japanese 
attack, it is believed that in contemplation of the future intelligence 
such as the deadline messages could well be supplied field commanders 
as an item of information for their assistance along with dispatches 
designed to alert and to supply them with an estimate of the situation. 

Dispatches Indicating Fraudulent Nature of Negotiations 
After November 28, 1941 

The following message (No. 844) from Tokyo to the Japanese 
Embassy in Washington, intercepted on November 28, 1941, indi- 
cated that negotiations thereafter were to be a sham and fraud: ^°* 

Well, you two Ambassadors have exerted superhuman efforts, but in spite of 
this, the United States has gone ahead and presented this humiliating proposal. 
This was quite unexpected and extremely regrettable. The Imperial Govern- 
ment can by no means use it as a basis for negotiations. Therefore, with a report 
of the views of the Imperial Government on this American proposal which I will send 

50»Id., atp. 137. 

201 See Part I, supra, "Diplomatic Background of the Pearl Harbor Attack". 

202 Committee exhibit No. 37, p. 36. 

'M See testimony of Admiral Turner. It also appears that the November 24 warning to the commander 
in chief of the Pacific Fleet was sent with a view to the deadline date of November 25. 
SI* Committee exhibit No. l, p. 195. 



196 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

you in two or three days, the negotiations will be de facto ruptured. This is inevitable. 
However, I do not unsh you to give the impression that the negotiations are broken off. 
Merely say to them that you are awaiting instructions and that, although the 
opinions of your Government are not yet clear to you, to your own way of thinking 
the Imperial Government has always made just claims and has borne great sacri- 
fices for the sake of peace in the Pacific. Say that we have always demonstrated 
a long-suffering and conciliatory attitude, but that, on the other hand, the United 
States has been unbending, making it impossible for Japan to establish nego- 
tiations. Since things have come to this pass, I contacted the man you told me 
to in your #1180 and he said that under the present circumstances that you 
suggest is entirely unsuitable. From now on do the best you can. 

In the light of hindsight, an intercepted dispatch of November 29 
(translated November 30) portrayed the extent of Japanese guile 
in perpetrating the fraud: ^°^ 

Re my #844. 

We wish you would make one more attempt verbally along the following lines: 

The United States government has (always?) taken a fair and judicial position 
and has formulated its policies after full consideration of the claims of both sides. 

However, the Imperial Government is at a loss to understand why it has now 
taken the attitude that the new proposals we have made cannot be made the basis 
of discussion, but instead has made new proposals which ignore actual conditions 
in East Asia and would greatly injure the prestige of the Imperial Government. 

With such a change of front in their attitude toward the China problem, what 
has become of the basic objectives that the U. S. government has made the basis 
of our negotiations during these seven months? On these points we would request 
careful self-reflection on the part of the United States government. 

(In carrying out this instruction, please be careful that this does not lead to 
anything like a breaking off of negotiations.) 

It is to be noted in passing that the foregoing dispatch, without 
benefit of retrospection, conceivably sugested at the time of its 
interception, the possibility that Japan was putting out a "feeler" 
with a view to our withdrawing from the position assumed in Secretary 
Hull's note of November 26. 

In an intercepted dispatch from Tokyo to its Washington Ambassa- 
dor on December 1 it was observed that the deadline date of November 
29 had come and gone with the situation continuing to be increasingly 
critical, however, "to prevent the United States from becoming unduly 
suspicious we have been advising the press and others that though 
there are some wide differences between Japan and the United States, 
the negotiations are continuing. (The above is for only your in- 
formation.) "2°« 

During a trans-Pacific telephone conversation between Yamamoto 
in Tokyo and Kurusu on November 27 (translated November 28) 
instructions were issued to Kurusu: "Regarding negotiations, don't 
break them off." ^o^ 

The following significant trans-Pacific conversation was had between 
Kurusu and Yamamoto on November 30: ^°^ 

Kurusu. It is all arranged for us to meet Hull tomorrow. We received a short 
one from you, didn't we? Well, we will meet him in regard to that. There is a 
longer one coming isn't there? In any case we are going to see him about the 
short one (i. e., telegram. The longer one is probably Tokyo's reply to Mr. 
Hull's proposals.) 

Yamamoto. Yes. I see. 

Kurusu. The President is returning tomorrow. He is hurrying home. 

Y. Is there any special significance to this? 

K. The newspapers have made much of the Premier's speech, and it is having 
strong repercussions here. 

208 Id., at p. 199. 
20»Id.. at p. 208. 
s»7 Id., at pp. 188-191. 
M» Id., at pp. 206-207. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 197 

Y. Is that so. 

K. Yes. It was a drastic statement he made. The newspapers carried large 
headlines over it; and the President seems to be returning because of it. There 
no doubt are other reasons, but this is the reason the newspapers are giving. 

(Pause.) 

Unless greater caution is exercised In speeches by the Premier and others, it 
puts us in a very difficult position. All of you over there must watch out about 
these ill-advised statements. Please tell Mr. Tani. 

Y. We are being careful. 

K. We here are doing our best, but these reports are seized upon by the cor- 
respondents and the worst features enlarged up. Please caution the Premier, 
the Foreign Minister, and others. Tell the Foreign Minister that we had expected 
to hear something different, some good word, but instead we get this. (i. e. 
Premier's speech.) 

(After a pause, Kurusu continues, using voice code.) 

K. What about the internal situation? (In Japan.) 

Y. No particular (one or two words faded out) . 

K. Are the Japanese-American negotiations to continue? 

Y. Yes. 

K. You were very urgent about them before, weren't you; but now you want them to 
stretch out. We will need your help. Both the Premier- and the Foreign Minister 
will need to change the tone of their speeches! — Do you understand? Please all use 
more discretion. 

Y. WTien will you see them. The 2nd? 

K. Let's see — this is Sunday midnight here. Tomorrow morning at ten. 
That will be Monday morning here. 

(Pause.) 

Actually the real problem we are up against is the effects of happenings in the 
South. You understand don't you? 

Y. Yes. Yes. How long will it be before the President gets back? 

K. I don't know exactly. According to news reports he started at 4:00 this 
afternoon. He should be here tomorrow morning sometime. 

Y. Well then— Goodbye. 

Admiral Kimmel in testifying before the joint committee said: ^°® 

The intercepted Japanese diplomatic dispatches show that on and after Novem- 
ber 29, a Japanese plan of action automatically went into effect ; that the plan was 
of such importance that it involved the fate of the empire; and that Japan urgently 
wanted the United States to believe that negotiations were continuing after the 
deadline date to prevent suspicion as to the nature of the plan. 

What was this plan? Why such elaborate instructions to stretch out negotia- 
tions as a pretext to hide the operation of this plan? Anyone reading the Japanese 
intercepted messages would face this question. 

Certainly the concealed Japanese plans which automatically went into effect on 
November 29 would hardly be the Japanese movement in Indo-China * * * 
"No effort was made to mask the movements or presence of the naval forces moving 
southward, becavise physical observations of that movement were unavoidable 
and the radio activity of these forces would provide a desirable semblance of 
normalcy". (Testimony of Admiral Inglis, Committee Transcript, page 453.) 
The troop movements to southern Indo-China were the subject of formal diplo- 
matic exchanges between the two governments of Japan and the United States. 
******* 

Thus, it was apparent to the Japanese government from this formal representa- 
tion of the United States that our government was aware of the movement in 
Indo-China. The United States expressed its concern about potential Japanese 
action against the Philippines, the East Indies, Malaya, or Thailand. There was, 
therefore, very little reason for Japan to keep up a pretext of negotiations for the 
purpose of disguising these objectives. 

Consequently, as time went on after November 29, and as Japan insisted to her 
envoys upon the continuance of negotiations as a pretext to divert the suspicion 
of the United States, it must have been apparent to a careful student of the inter- 
cepted dispatches that Japan on a deadline date of November 29 had put into 
effect an operation, which was to consume a substantial time interval before its 
results were apparent to this government, and which appeared susceptible of 
effective concealment in its initial phases. 

»w Committee record, pp. 6791-6793. 



198 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The observations of Admiral Kimmel are well taken, however, they 
are colored by knowledge of subsequent events. He has stated that on 
or after November 29 "A Japanese plan of action automatically went 
into effect" whereas the Japanese had stated that after that date 
''things are automatically going to happen." He comments that 
"negotiations were continuing after the deadline date to prevent 
suspicion as to the nature of the plan" whereas it is only after the 
event that this ruse could be apparent. He refers to the "concealed 
Japanese plans" and observes that Japan's open move to the South 
could not be the "automatic move." This premise presupposes that 
the "automatic move" was to be concealed, a fact which was not 
and could not be known until after the attack. 

Admnal Kimmel makes reference to the intensification of Japanese 
activity to the South about November 29 ^^° but fails to consider that 
this activity was subject to the reasonable construction that the 
"automatic move" was the move to the South and the desire to 
"stretch out" negotiations was a natural step in seeking to prevent a 
thwarting of Japanese plans in that direction before she was fully 
poised for attack. That the Japanese movement to the South 
effectively diverted attention from other points and effectively dis- 
guised the strike against Pearl Harbor is indisputable. But this is 
known only after the attack. 

With the benefit of hindsight it is possible to attach to the fraudu- 
lent character of Japanese negotiations after November 28 the greatest 
significance — to see that it clothed a Japanese action fraught with 
typical treachery. But it is clear from the evidence that the salient 
questions in the minds of responsible officials in Washington in the 
few days before Pearl Harbor was not — Would the Japanese attack? — 
but when and where would she attack? The fact that an attack would 
come was the considered judgment of our military. The Tokyo 
dispatch of November 28 did not supply the highly essential informa- 
tion which was desired. Neither the mtercepted dispatches from 
Tokyo mdicating the fraudulent nature of negotiations after Novem- 
ber 28 nor the deadlme messages supplied the when or where of the 
attack. We do not believe that this intelhgence, if taken together, 
would have predicted Pearl Harbor as a likely place of attack. 

To have advised Admiral Kimmel and General Short on November 
28 that negotiations thereafter were a Japanese fraud could not have 
suggested itself strongly to ofiicials in Washington who had only the 
day before told these commanders: "This dispatch is to be considered 
a war warning. Negotiations with Japan looking toward stabiliza- 
tion of conditions in the Pacific have ceased and an aggressive move 
by Japan is expected within the next few days"; and "Japanese future 
action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment." 

Status of Diplomatic Negotiations and the Army Dispatch of 

November 27 

It is to be recalled that the "war warning" dispatch of November 
27 from the Chief of Naval Operations to Admiral Kimmel related, 
with respect to the status of our diplomatic relations with the Japan- 
ese, "Negotiations with Japan looking toward stabilization of condi- 

2i» Id. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 199 

tions in the Pacific have ceased * * *." The message from the 
War Department to General Short, on the other hand, stated "Nego- 
tiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical purposes 
with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese might come back 
and offer to continue." 

The statement has been made that the estimate of the diplomatic 
situation given General Short was not accurate and left the impression 
there was still a possibility of the negotiations continuing whereas 
we were in reality at "sword's point" with Japan.^^^ 

The message stated negotiations appeared to be terminated to all 
practical purposes with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese 
might offer to continue. To be sure Secretary Hull had advised the 
Secretaiy of War on the morning of November 27 that he had "broken 
the whole matter off" — had abandoned the idea of a modus vivendi — 
and that he had washed his hands of it and "it is now in the hands of 
you and Knox, the Army and Navy." ^^^ But this was precisely the 
duty of the Secretary of State — to advise the Army and Navy when 
the probabilities were that negotiations had passed beyond the diplomatic 
stage and were in the hands oj the military. Secretary Hull was indi- 
cating that he had given up the idea of a temporary diplomatic truce 
with Japan and was expressing his personal and official feeling that 
the Japanese Government would not respond to our Government's 
note of November 26 in such mamier as to permit further negotia- 
tions. Mr. Hull did not know that Japan would not possibly reply 
with a counter proposal nor did anyone in our Government in W^ash- 
ington at the time the November 27 dispatch was prepared. 

In recounting the circumstances attending the November 27 dis- 
patch to the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department 
(as well as to Panama, the W^estern Defense Command, and the 
Philippines) Secretary Stimson stated that he telephoned the President 
on the morning of November 27 suggesting that a final alert be sent 
pointing out that commanders be on the qui vive for any attack and 
explaining the exact situation. He stated the President approved 
this idea. As related by Mr. Stimson:^^^ "Ordinarily, of course, there 
would be no reason for me to participate in the sending of any such 
message which was the nofmal function of the military staft'.^^^ As 
the President himself, however, had now actually directed the sending 
of the message, and as I wanted the message clearly to apprise the 
commanding officers in the various areas as to exactly what the dip- 
lomatic situation was, I undertook to participate in the forming of this 
message myself. In order that it should be strictly accurate, I called 
up Mr. Hull myself on the telephone and got his exact statement as 
to the status of the negotiations, which was then incorporated in the 
first sentence of the messages." 

211 See committee exhibit No. 157. The comment of the Army Pearl Harbor Board was: "This state- 
ment on Japanese information is inadequate. It did not convey to Short the full import of the informa- 
tion concerning the American-Japanese relations which was in the hands of the War Department. It was 
misleading in that it stated that there was a bare possibility of the resumption of negotiations, which car- 
ried with it the implication that such resumption would influence the Japanese-American relations, i. e., 
that war might not come. The War Department was convinced that war would come." 

212 See Part I, supra, section "Diplomatic and Military Liaison in Washington." 

213 See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14395. 

21* General Marshall who ordinarily would have prepared such a dispatch was in North Carolina on No- 
vember 27 incident to troop maneuvers. It appears that prior to his departure from Washington he had 
discussed generally with General Gerow the matter of sending a warning message to our outpost commanders. 
The message was finally prepared by Secretary Stimson in collaboration with General Gerow, among others. 
See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, pp. 14394, 14395. 



200 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

It is to be noted that, according to Mr. Stimson's diary, after 
Secretary Hull had told him the matter was now in the hands of the 
Army and Navy, he called the President who gave him a little different 
view — "He said they had ended up, but they ended up with a mag- 
nificent statement prepared by Hull. I found out afterwards that 
this was not a reopening of the thing but a statement of our constant 
and regular position." ^'^ It was later during the day, while in con- 
ference with the Secretary of Navy and General Gerow incident to 
preparing the warning dispatch, that Mr. Stimson called Mr. Hull ^^^ 
and "got the exact statement from him of what the situation was." ^^^ 
And from information available on November 27 there was only the 
barest 'possibility, precisely the statement in the warning, that Japan 
would accept or respond with a counter proposal to the note of No- 
vember 26. 

It is to be noted that it was not until November 28 that a dispatch 
from Tokyo to Washington was intercepted stating in part:^'^ 

* * * with a report of the views of the Imperial Government on this American 
proposal which I will send you in two or three days, the negotiations will be de 
facto ruptured. This is inevitable. However, I do not wish you to give the 
impression that the negotiations are broken off. 

While this message would indicate at the time and we now know it 
to be a fact that Japanese negotiations were thereafter a fraud, on 
the very next day, November 29, a dispatch from Tokyo to Washing- 
ton was intercepted statin g,^^^ "We wish you would make one more 
attempt verbally along the following lines," thereafter suggesting a line 
of approach in the discussions and concluding, "In carrying out this 
instruction, please be careful that this does not lead to anything like 
a breaking off of negotiations." Here there is manifested more than 
a "bare possibility" that the Japanese would continue the negotia- 
tions and had this Magic message been supplied General Short there 
is no doubt he would have concluded the same thing even after 
November 27. Indeed, had Admiral Kimmel and General Short been 
supplied all of the diplomatic messages reviewed by this Committee 
it is concluded that their estimate of the diplomatic situation would 
not have gone beyond a belief that there was only the barest possi- 
bility that Japan would continue the negotiations; for the messages 
indicate throughout a conflicting and variable disposition by Japan 
with respect to pursuance of the negotiations and her desire for 
peace. ^^"^ 

The message to General Short is regarded as more accurately stating 
the status of the diplomatic negotiations than did the Navy message 
advising flatly that negotiations had ceased. The action taken by tihe 
Navy was with a view to making clear beyond question the serious- 
ness ^^^ of the situation whereas the Army message, as stated by Secre- 
tary Stimson, sought to give General Short the exact diplomatic 
situation. It is to be noted that General Short had available the 

215 Committee record, p. 14422. 

2" See testimony of Mr. Hull, committee record, p. 1188. 

2" See Mr. Stimson's diary, committee record, p. 14423; see also pp. 2686, 2687. 

218 Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 195. 

219 Id., at p. 199. 

220 See in this connection the testimony of Admiral Leigh Noyes, committee record, pp. 12720-12722. 
It should be noted that Captam MeCoUum said: "I discounted anything which showed that they were 
not going to jump on us. Everything I tried to say is that I felt that they were going to jump on us, that 
I was convinced that the situation between us and Japan was intensely acute. Had I not felt that way I 
certainly should not have put my oflSce on a 24-hour basis early in November." Committee record, p. 
9268. 

2« See testimony of Admiral Turner, committee record, p. 5163. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 201 

Navy estimate of the situation inasmuch as he saw the "war warning" 
of November 27 just as Admiral Kimmel, in turn, saw the AVar Depart- 
ment warning of the same date. 

Even conceding for purposes of discussion that the dispatch to 
General Short should have contained the same statement as did the 
Navy message; that is, "negotiations * * * have ceased", such 
does not in any way alter the responsibilities in the case. Certainly 
in any situation no commanding officer will determine his course of 
action on the basis of the bare possibility that negotiations may be 
continued. How much more is this true when in the same message 
he is told that hostilities are possible at any moment and is given 
orders indicating the necessity for defense against an attack from 
without! 

It is in fact believed that had the message been otherwise worded, 
stating only that there was a possibility the negotiations would be rup- 
tured and carrying the same orders, it was the duty of the Command- 
ing General of the Hawaiian Department to gird his defense against 
the implications of that possibility. General Short was advised 
there was only the barest possibility that negotiations were not 
already ruptured. 

Failure to Follow-Up on the Short Keply of November 28 

It is to be recalled that General Short's reply to the warning message 
of November 27 signed "Marshall," ^^^ read: ^^^ 

Report Department alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with Navy reurad 
four seven two twenty seventh. 

The evidence reflects that it was the responsibility of the War Plans 
Division of the War Department to prepare the warning and the orders 
it contained for approval by the Chief of Staff or the Secretary of 
War.^^* Having instructed the commanding; general in Hawaii to 
report measures taken, it w&s the responsibility of the War Plans 
Division to review the report and to advise the Hawaiian commander 
in the event the action taken by him was not in keeping with the de- 
sires of the War Department. The brief report of action taken, as 
sent by General Short, was initialed by General Gerow, Chief of the 
War Plans Division and by the Secretary of War.^" The evidence is 
not clear as to whether the report was seen by General Marshall inas- 
much as it was not initialed by him although he did initial other reports 
from overseas garrisons to which the Short report may have been 
attached .226 

222 For reference convenience, this dispatch was as follows: 

"Xpfiotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical purposes with only the barest possibili- 
ties that the Japanese Governn-ent might come back and offer to continue. Japanese future action unpre- 
dictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot be avoided the United States de- 
sires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting 
you to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense. Prior to hostile Japanese action you are directed 
to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary but these measures should be 
carried out so as not, repeat not, to alarm civil population or disclose intent. Report measiues taken. 
Should hostilities occur you will carry out the tasks assigned in rainbow five so far as they pertain to Japan. 
Limit dissemination of this highly secret information to minimum essential officers." (Committee exhibit 
No. 32, p. 7.) 

223 See e.xhibit Xo. 32, p. 12. This is the form of the message as paraphrased and reviewed in the War 
Department. The message as sent read: "Reurad four seven two 27th. Report Department alerted to 
prevent sabotage. Liaison with the Navy. Short." It was addressed to the CAie/o/S/aif. 

22* See testimony of General Gerow, committee record, p. 2687 et seq. 

22«Id. 

22« Id. 



202 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

General Marshall testified: ^^^ 

I do not remember whether or not I saw General Short's reply, but the pre- 
sumption must be that I did. In any event that was my opportunity to intervene 
which I did not do. 

General Gerow testified that when the reply from General Short 
came through he assumed it was in answer to the G-2 message that 
was sent by General Miles to the Hawaiian Department ^^* concerning 
the lili:elihood of subversive activities.^^^ He stated that after seeing 
the reply he sent it to Colonel Bundy (now deceased) ^^^* who headed the 
"plans group" and that "it is reasonable to assume that he may pos- 
sibly have interpreted the message to mean, or the part of the message 
which said 'liaison with the Navy,' that the commanding general out 
there had instituted protective measures against sabotage and was 
working with the Navy to arrange for other defensive measures, 
including reconnaissance." ^^° It should be noted that General Gerow 
did not discuss the matter with Colonel Bundy but merely suggested 
this as a reasonable assumption from the way the message was worded. 
General Gerow said: "I think my executive officer, or the chief of 
my plans group, might possibly have interpreted the message that 
way, and that is why it was not brought back to me and my attention 
invited to the fact that it did not explicitly cover the operation." ^^^ 
He observed that the reference to a "No. 472" meant nothing to him 
at the time since this number was put on the outgoing message by 
the Signal Corps and w^as not the number assigned the document by 
the War Plans Division. ^^^ 

General Gerow admitted that no inquuy was sent to General Short 
with respect to his report of action taken and that in the light of 
subsequent events he felt "it might have been desu-able to send such 
an inquiry, and had such an inquiry been sent it would probably have 
developed the fact that the commanding general in Hawaii was not 
at that time carrying out the directive in the message signed 
'Marshall'." "^ He remarked that "if that had been done, there 
would have been an opportunity to correct the situation" but that 
he did not believe "the message could necessarily be interpreted as 
meaning that sabotage measm-es only were being taken." ^^* After 
stating that he interpreted the report of General Short to be in reply 
to the Miles message concerning subversive activities and noting that 
such an interpretation left him without any reply whatever from the 
Hawaiian Department with respect to the November 27 warning, 

*2' Committee record, p. 3010. See also in this connection. Committee Record, pp. 2899 and 3088. 

»* This message, addressed to Q-2 Hawaiian Department, read: "Japanese negotiations have come to 
practical stalemate. Hostilities may ensue. Subversive activities may be expected. Inform Commanding 
General and Chief of Staflf only." Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 10. 

22» Committee record, p. 2714. 

"»a Col. Charles W. Bundy was killed In a plane crash shortly after the attack while en route to Pearl 
Harbor. 

"0 Id., at pp. 2713, 2714. In this connection Secretary Stimson said: "* • • he (General Short) then 
sent a reply message to Washington which gave no adequate notice of what he had failed to do and which 
was susceptible of being taken, and was taken, as a general compliance with the main warning from Wash- 
ington. My initials show that this message crossed my desk, and in spite of my keen interest in the situa- 
tion it certainly gave me no intimation that the alert order against an enemy attack was not being carried 
out. Although it advised me that General Short was alert against sabotage, I had no idea that being 'alerted 
to prevent sabotage' was in any way an express or implied denial of being alert against an attack by Japan's 
armed forces. The very purpose of a fortress such as Hawaii is to repel such an attack, and Short was the 
commander of that fortress. Furthermore, Short's statement in his message that 'liaison' was being carried 
out with the Navy, coupled with the fact that our message of November 27 had specifically directed recon - 
naissance, naturally gave the impression that the various reconnaissance and other defensive measures in 
which the cooperation of the Army and the Navy is necessary, were under way and a proper alert was in 
effect."' See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, pp. 14408, 14409. 

S31 Committee record, pp. 2716, 2717. 

MJ Id., at p. 2715. 
>33 Id., at p. 2716, 

•M'ld. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 203 

General Gerow explained: "I was handling a great many papers at 
that time, and it was the responsibility of the officers in my division 
to check the messages and correspondence and bring to my attention 
anything of importance that required action on my part." ^^^ He 
further observed that it did not occur to him that General Short would 
not take some reconnaissance and other defensive measures after 
receiving the November 27 message — "he was an experienced com- 
mander and it never entered my mind that he would not take such 
action." ^^^ In the course of Counsel's examination reference was 
made to the following comments by Secretary Stimson with respect 
to the investigation conducted by the Army of the Pearl Harbor 
disaster: ^" 

Again, as I have pointed out, General Short, in response to a message which had 
been sent out containing a warning of possible hostilities and a request for a report 
of actions, had sent a message to the War Department which was susceptible of 
the interpretation that he was on the alert against sabotage only, and not on the 
alert against an air raid or other hostile action. 

While this interpretation was not necessarily to be had from the wording of his 
message, nevertheless, a keener sense of analysis and a more incisive comparison 
of the messages exchanged, would have invited further inquiry by the War Plans 
Division of General Short and his failure to go on the necessary alert might well 
have been discovered. 

The Chief of this division and certain of his subordinates knew that a report of 
the measures taken by General Short had been asked for. General Short's reply 
was brought to the attention of the chief of the division. A clear and satisfactory 
reply should have been required. This was not done, and a more efficient function- 
ing of the division would have demanded that careful inquiry as to the meaning 
of General Short's message be made and no room for ambiguity permitted. 

General Gerow was asked if he felt the foregomg was a fair state- 
ment of the situation. He replied: ^^^ 

Yes, sir; I do, and if there was any responsibility to be attached to the War 
Department for any failure to send an inquiry to General Short, the responsibility 
must rest on War Plans Division, and / accept thai responsibility as Chief of War 
Plans Division. 

Upon being asked if it were not the function of the Chief of Staff 
and the Secretary of War to follow up on General Short's report, 
General Gerow stated: ^^ 

No, sir; I was a staff adviser to the Chief of Staff, and I had a group of 48 officers 
to assist me. It was my responsibility to see that those messages were checked, 
and if an inquiry was necessary, the War Plans Division should have drafted such 
an inquiry and presented it to the Chief of Staff for approval. As I said, I was 
chief of that division, and it was my responsibility. 

235 Committee record, p. 2717. 

539 Id., at pp. 2719, 2720. 

2" Id., at pp. 2727, 2728. See also committee exhibit No. 157. 

"8 Committee record, pp. 2726-2729. In the course of Committee examination of General Marshall the 
following questions were propounded and answers given: 

Question: "Well, a large number of people saw it (the Short reply)? General Gerow saw it and General 
Gerow testified here that when he saw it he thought first that it was in response to a telegram sent out by 
Q-2relatingtosabotageand when his attention was called to the fact, when I asked counsel to ask hom some 
further questions and his attention was called to the fact that this was a direct response to your telegram 
No. 472 of the 27th and was addressed to the Chief of StafT, he then changed his position and said, 'I as Chief 
of Operations or Chief of War Plans assume full-responsibility.' 

"Now, I think it is only fair, General Marshall, in the conduct of this examination in ascertaining the 
facts to find out whether or not, just as General Gerow testified here, whether you assume the same responsi- 
bility that he'did?" 

Answer: "I said earlier in this hearing, Mr. Keefe, in relation to the very thing you are talking about, 
when I was questioned in regard to General Gerow's statement, that I thought there was a difference; that 
he had a direct responsibility and I had the full responsibility. Is that an answer to your question?" 

Question: "He had a direct responsibility?" 

Answer: "And I had the full responsibility." 

Question: "And you had the full responsibility. Well, just what do you mean by that?" 

Answer: "His was in concern to the handling of the details of the matter and he had a responsibility 
there.* I am responsible for what the General Staff did or did not do." 

See Committee Record, pp. 3727, 3728. 

M» Id., at p. 2729. 



204 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

As earlier pointed out, the War Plans Division had the duty of 
issuing operational orders and directives; it directed an order to 
General Short on November 27, instructing him to report measures 
taken; it failed properly to supervise the report submitted by the 
commanding general pursuant to direction. General Gerow, the 
head of the War Plans Division, saw the report of measures taken in 
the Hawaiian Department and presumed it was in response to a 
dispatch from Military Intelligence warning of the likelihood of sub- 
versive activities. This is not a tenable premise, however, inasmuch 
as the report by General Short was addressed to the Chief of Staff and 
was therefore a reply to the warning of November 27, signed 
"Marshall"; a replj^ to the message concerning subversive activities 
would not have been addressed to the Chief of Staff unless the latter 
had signed the message, which was not the case.^*" Furthermore, the 
reference by General Short to the number of the message to which 
he was replying necessarily entailed callmg from file the original out- 
going dispatch in the event there was any doubt or presumptions 
necessary in gauging to what the commanding general's report was 
responsive. Knowing that a reply from General Short had been 
called for, it was incumbent upon the War Plans Division to follow 
closely the receipt of such reply and to insure that the action taken 
was in accordance with that desired. While the reply from General 
Short was ambiguous and misleading, it was nevertheless the duty of 
War Plans to require a clear and unequivocal response. By its sheer 
brevity and lack of detail alone, the report should have suggested the 
possibility that the official mandate had not been adequately imple- 
mented. 

The supervision by the War Plans Division in this instance was 
slipshod. General Gerow, as head of the Division, must bear his share 
of responsibility for this serious error, a responsibility which he has 
unhesitatingly assumed. The primary responsibility, however, rests 
with the appropriate subordinates of General Gerow who had the duty 
and responsibility for supervision of details. ^^^ 

The "Berlin Message" 

An intercepted message from Tokyo to Berlin dated November 30, 
1941 (translated December 1) follows: ^^ 

The conversations begun between Tokyo and Washington last April during 
the administration of the former cabinet, in spite of the sincere efforts of the 
Imperial Government, now stand ruptured — broken. (I am sending you an 
outline of developments in separate message #986) In the face of this, our Empire 
faces a grave situation and must act with determination. Will Your Honor, 
therefore, immediately interview Chancellor HITLER and Foreign Minister 
RIBBENTROP and confidentially communicate to them a summary of the 
developments. Say to them that lately England and the United States have 
taken a provocative attitude, both of them. Say that they are planning to move 
military forces into various places in East Asia and that we will inevitably have 
to counter by also moving troops. Say very secretly to them that there is extreme 
danger that war may suddenly break out between the Anglo-Saxon nations and Japan 
through some clash of arms and add that the time of the breaking out of this war may 
come quicker than anyone dreams. 

»"Id.,at pp. 2721-2724. 

'<■ See section "Nature of Responsibilities," infra. 

»« Dispatch No. 985, committee exhibit No. 1, p. 204. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 205 

Another message of the same date from Tokyo to Berlin read, in 
part:2« 

Judging from the course of the negotiations that have been going on, we first 
came to loggerheads when the United States, in keeping with its traditional idea- 
logical tendency of managing international relations, re-emphasized her funda- 
mental reliance upon this traditional policy in the conversations carried on between 
the United States and England in the Atlantic Ocean. The motive of the United 
States in all this was brought out by her desire to prevent the establishment of a 
new order by Japan, Germany, and Italy in Europe and in the Far East (that is 
to say, the aims of the Tri-Partite Alliance). As long as the Empire of Japan 
was in alliance with Germany and Italy, there could be no maintenance of friendly 
relations between Japan and the United States was the stand they took. From 
this point of view, they began to demonstrate a tendency to demand the divorce 
of the Imperial Government from the Tri-Partite Alliance. This was brought out 
at the last meeting. That is to say ihat it has only been in the negotiations of the 
last few days that it has become gradually more and more clear that the Imperial 
Government could no longer continue negotiations with the United States. It became 
clear, too, that a contimiation of negotiations would inevitably be detrimental to our 
cause. 

And again: ^** 

The proposal presented by the United States on the 26th made this attitude of 
theirs clearer than ever. In it there is one insulting clause which says that no 
matter what treaty either party enters into with a third power it will not be 
interpreted as having any bearing upon the basic object of this treaty, namely the 
maintenance of peace in the Pacific. This means specifically the Three-Power 
Pact. It means that in case the United States enters the European war at any 
time the Japanese Empire will not be allowed to give assistance to Germany and 
Italy. It is clearly a trick. This clause alone, let alone others, makes it impossible 
to find any basis in the American proposal for negotiations. What is more, before 
the United States brought forth this plan, they conferred with England, Australia, 
the Netherlands, and China — they did so repeatedly. Therefore, it is clear that the 
United States is now in collusion with those nations and has decided to regard Japan, 
along with Germany and Italy, as an enemy. 

This valuable intelligence added to the total of information pointing 
to the mounting tenseness of relations but does not materially add to 
that which was supplied our Hawaiian outpost in the warnings of 
November 27, insofar as the prime duties of the commanders there 
were concerned. These messages merely confirmed the conclusions 
already voiced three days earlier to the outpost commanders that war 
was imminent; that negotiations had ceased to all practical purposes; 
that hostUe action was possible at any moment. 

Code Destruction Intelligence 

As has already been observed , Admiral Kimmel was advised by the 
Navy Department concerning the intercepted messages relating to the 
destruction of codes in various Japanese diplomatic establishments.^" 
While Admiral Kimmel failed to supply General Short this intelUgence 
it is apparent that the commanding general otherwise obtained sub- 
stantially the equivalent of this information. He was not, however, 
supplied such information directly by the War Department. 

In explaining the reason for the Army's not sending the code- 
destruction intelligence to Hawaii, General Miles testified:^'*^ 

The main reason was that the code experts apparently agreed, at least the 
Navy was particularly strong on the point, that their code was much more secure 

«" Dispatch No. 986, committee exhibit No. 1, p.p 205-206. 
>*' Id., at p. 206. 

'" See Part III, supra; also committee exhibit No. 37. For the original intercepted messages concerning 
the destruction of codes see committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 209, 215, 216, 236, 249, among others. 
M« Committee record, p. 2221. 



206 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

than ours. It was obviously, of course, of great importance in security that a 
message be sent in only one code and not two and we had every reason to believe, 
or thought we did, that a Navy message to Hawaii would be promptly trans- 
mitted to the Army authorities there. 

The reason advanced by General Miles is consistent with the general 
practice of the Army not to distribute Magic to field commanders for 
security reasons. ^^^ While it appears that in some instances the Navy 
in Hawaii was specifically advised to inform the Army of messages 
received, the failure to instruct Admiral Kimmel to so inform General 
Short concerning the Japanese destruction of codes did not by inference 
or otherwise indicate that this intelligence should not be supplied the 
Army. Considering that Hawaii was a command by mutual coopera- 
tion, the War Department was properly privileged to take for granted 
that there was a full exchange of information between the Army and 
Navy commanders, ^^* particularly after General Short had specifically 
stated in his reply to the Department's warning of November 27 that 
he had estabhshed liaison with the Navy. 

The overwhelming preponderance of testimony by Army and Navy 
experts is to the effect that the destruction of codes and confidential 
documents under the circumstances prevailing in early December of 
1941 meant war from a military standpoint.^*^ It is clear that Wash- 
ington adequately discharged its responsibility in transmitting this 
information to Hawaii. With the failure, however, of Admiral Kimmel 
to read into tliis intelligence what it is agreed should have been self- 
evident to Mm, it is believed that in contemplation of the future the 
intelligence as well as the departmental appraisal and estimate thereof 
should be supplied field commanders .-^° 

The McCollum Dispatch 

The Navy Department in Washington had available substantially 
the information which was in the possession of Admiral Kimmel with 
respect to radio intelligence concerning the location and movements of 
Japanese vessels. It knew, as did Admiral Kimmel, that substantial 
carrier units of the Japanese Fleet could not be located. This infor- 
mation was carefully considered by the Oflace of Naval Intelligence. ^^^ 
Capt. Arthur McCollum, Chief of the Far Eastern Section of Naval 
Intelligence, was particularly charged with handling radio intelligence 
material and it was he who drafted the dispatch of November 24, 

2" See section "The 'Magic' ", supra. 

"8 See committee record, pp. 2220-2224. Secretary Stimson stated: "It was the rule that all such infor- 
mation should be exchanged between the Army and Navy at Pearl Harbor, and the War Department had 
a right to believe that this information communicated to Admiral Kimmel was also available to General 
Short." See statement of Secretary Stimson with respect to Army Pearl Harbor Board's report, com- 
mittee exhibit Ko. 157. 

2»' Admiral Turner, for example, stated: " • • • the destruction of codes in that manner and in those 
places in my mind and experience is a definite and sure indication of war with the nations in whose capitals 
or other places those codes are destroyed. * * * It indicates war within two or three days." Committee 
record, pp. 5294, 5295. 

It is to be noted that Washington did not minimize the significance of the code destruction intelligence, 
despite the fact there were indications this move by Tokyo might be in anticipation of the possibility that 
the United States would close down her consulates. The following intercepted dispatch of December 3, 
1941, from Washington to Tokyo is of pertinence in this regard: "If we continue to increase our forces 
in French Tndo-Ctiina, it is expected that the United States will close up our Consulates, therefore consideration 
should be given to stejjs to be taken in connection with the evacuation of the Consuls." Committee exhibit No. 1, 
p. 227. 

"81 Before the Roberts Commission, Admiral Kimmel said: " • • • tijg Department sent me a mes- 
sage that these codes were being burned, and I feel, while that was good information, that they might very 
well have enlarged somewhat on what they believed it meant. I didn't draw the proper answer, I admit 
that. I admit that I was wrong. Nobody can gainsay the fact that if I had drawn different conclusions 
from what I got we might have changed things. Nevertheless, such a dispatch as that, with no ampliflca- 
tion, was not near as valuable as it would have been if they had amplified and drawn the conclusions." 
See Roberts Commission record, p. 589. 

«" See committee record, pp. 9119, 9120. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 207 

194^^252 ^Q ^Yie commander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet, a copy of which 
was sent Admiral Kimmel for information, instructing that the com- 
mandant of the Sixteenth Naval District serve in effect as a clearing- 
house for data concerning Japanese naval movements inasmuch as 
the information obtainable in the Philippine area was considered 
most reliable. 

Captain McCollum prepared a memorandum dated December 1, 
1941, pointing out that Japanese "service radio calls for units afloat 
were changed at 0000, 1 December 194r'.2^3 He also prepared another 
memorandum bearing the same date summarizing the generally critical 
situation with respect to Japan.^^* At a meeting attended by Ad- 
mirals Stark, Ingersoll, Turner and Wilkinson, among others, in the 
Navy Department on the morning of December 1, Captain Mc- 
Collum personally read his memorandum last-mentioned, pomting 
out the imminence of war or ruptm-e of diplomatic relations. He 
requested information as to whether the fleets in the Pacific had been 
adequately alerted and testified: "I was given a categorical assm-ance 
by both Admiral Stark and Admiral Turner that dispatches fully 
alerting the fleets and placing them on a war basis had been sent." 
It is significant that at this time neither Admiral "Wilkinson nor 
Captain McCollum had knowledge of the "war warning" message to 
Admiral Kimmel. ^^^ 

About December 4, 1941, Captain McCollum prepared a dispatch 
designed to alert naval outposts, based in part on his memorandum of 
December 1 outlining the critical situation in the Far East. He 
testified: 25^ 

Captain McCollum. * * * j ^^s put in the rather difficult position of 
not personally knowing what had been sent out to the fleet. Possibly it was none 
of my business. As I pointed out to you, the basis of this memorandum — the 
information it was based on — was actually as of about the 28th of November. 
As time went on we had sent out dispatches to our naval attaches in Tokyo, 
Pieping, Bangkok, and Shanghai to destroy all of their codes, and to report by 
the use of a code word, and those codes were destroyed. 

We were getting reports from our observers of the Japanese task force which 
was moving down the Kra Peninsula. Our planes were sighting forces moving; 
our submarines were trailing them. We had some little information in addition. 
I still did not know what had been sent to the fleet. 

1 drafted a rather brief dispatch, outlining the information pretty much as is 
in this memorandum, but greatly condensed. I went further and stated that we 
felt everything pointed to an imminent outbreak of hostilities between Japan and 
the United States. That dispatch was taken by me to my Chief, Captain Hurd, 
and together we went in to see AdmiraF Wilkinson. We did it in view of the fact 
that the function of evaluation of intelligence; that is, the drawing of inferences 
therefrom, had been transferred over to be a function of the War Plans Division. 

I was directed to take that dispatch and present it for the consideration of 
Admiral Turner, the Director of the War Plans Division, which I did. 
_ Admiral Turner read the dispatch over. He then made a number of correc- 
tions in it, striking out all except the information parts of it, more or less, and 
then showed me for the first time the dispatch which he had sent on the 27th, 
which I believe is referred to as the "war warning" dispatch, and the one which 
was sent, I believe, on the 24th — wasn't it? 

Counsel. That is right. 

Captain McCollum (continuing). Which preceded that dispatch, and said 
did not I think that was enough. I said, "Well, good gosh, you put in the words 
'war warning'. I do not know what could be plainer than that, but, nevertheless 
I would like to see mine go too." 

SM Dispatch No. 242239, committee exhibit No. 37, p. 33. 
»»' Committee exhibit No. 85. 
'M Id., No. 81. 

"» See testimony of Captain McCoUum, committee record, p. 9112-9123; also testimony of Admiral Wilkin 
son. 
JM Committee record, pp. 9130-9134. 

90179 — 46 15 



208 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

He said, "Well, if you want to send it, you either send it the way I corrected it, 
or take it back to Wilkinson and we will argue about it" — or words to that effect. 

I cannot presume to remember precisely. 

I took it back to Admiral Wilkinson and discussed it with him, and he said, 
"Leave it here with me for a while," and that is all. 

Now, I would like it understood that merely because this was prepared on a 
dispatch blank in no sense means it was an official dispatch. It was merely my 
recommendation to my superiors which they were privileged to throw in the 
wastebasket, I imagine. It was in no sense a part of the official file. It is nothing 
other than a recommendation for the dispatch officer. I have written dozens 
of dispatches for the admiral, and he could either throw them away, or use them. 
There is no record kept of that sort of thing. 

Admiral Turner's testimony with respect to the foregoing incident 
is as follows:-" 

Counsel. There is some evidence here that Captain McCollum sometime 
between the 1st of December and the 7th of December indicated or showed a 
view that some further warning ought to be sent to Pearl Harbor. Do you know 
anything about that? 

Admiral Turner. Yes, sir; and I was here yesterday when Senator Ferguson 
read my testimony from the Navy Court of Inquiry, and I was a little confused 
in that. I had nothing to refer to, I had not received any warning of more than 
2 or 3 daj^s about the proceedings and since that time in going over it myself and 
thinking about it I arrived at what I believe is a correct statement on that subject. 

From time to time Captain McCollum would come to me with drafts of memo- 
randa to the CNO concerning the situation and we would discuss them. I think 
that he had such a memorandum about the 1st of December but I do not believe 
that it was intended to go out as a dispatch but merely for the information of the 
Chief of Naval Operations. Now, I have not seen such a memorandum but I 
have a recollection of that. 

Now, about the 1st or 2d of December — and this is sure, I am completely sure 
of this, I remember it very distinctly- — about the 1st or 2d of December Com- 
mander McCollum came into my office and handed me a proposed dispatch 
written on one sheet of paper and approximately the length of the dispatch of 
November 27 which he proposed that the Chief of Naval Operations send out to 
the fleets concerning the imminence of war. It covered the same ground approx- 
imately as the CNO dispatches of the 24th and 27th. 

Now, I know that Admiral Wilkinson and some other officers in ONI had seen 
those two dispatches and I asked McCollum if he had seen them. 

Counsel. You mean seen the officers or seen the dispatches? 

Admiral Turner. If he had seen the two dispatches of the 24th and 27th, and 
he said, "No." So I pulled the two dispatches out and handed them to him and 
said, "Well, read these over and then see if you think your dispatch ought to go." 

He sat down and read them over and handed them back to me and he said, 
"No" and tore up his proposed dispatch. It had the same general coverage but 
was not as specific as these two messages." 

Counsel. Not as specific as those two that were sent? 

Admiral Turner. Not quite; no, sir. , 

Counsel. Can you give us any information frona your recollection as to what 
his proposed dispatch contained? 

Admiral Turner. I agreed with it entirely, he and I agreed on the situation 
and he was afraid that a warning had not been sent out and he had prepared 
himself a dispatch which he wanted to send out to the commander in chief. I 
did not ask him not to send it but I just merely said, "See if you think it ought 
to go after you read these dispatches" and he read the two dispatches and he 
said, "No." He said, "That is enough." 

Admiral Wilkinson had no independent recollection of the events 
attending the McCollum dispatch. ^^^ 

It is regarded as extremely regrettable that the proposed dispatch of 
Captain McCollum is not in existence in order that an objective esti- 
mate of its contents might be made. Captain Safford in testifying 
before Admiral Hart, stated: ^^^ 



2" Id., at pp. 5217-5219. 
258 Id., at. pp. 4655-4658. 
2M Hart inquiry record, p. 360. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 209 

* * * On the 4th of December 1941, Commander McCollum drafted a 
long warning message to the Commanders in Chief of the Asiatic and Pacific 
Fleets, summarizing significant events up to that date, quoting the "Winds 
Message," and ending with the positive warning that war was imminent. Ad- 
miral Wilkinson approved this message and discussed it with Admiral Noyes in 
my presence. I was given the message to read after Admiral Noyes read it, and 
saw it at about three p. m., Washington time, on December 4, 1941. Admiral 
Wilkinson asked, "What do you think of the message?" Admiral Noyes replied, 
"I think it is an insult to the intelligence of the Commander in Chief." Admiral 
Wilkinson stated, "I do not agree with you. Admiral Kimmel is a very busy 
man with a lot of things on his mind, and he may not see the picture as clearly as 
you and I do. I think it only ^ir to the Commander in Chief that he be given this 
warning and I intend to see it if I can get it released by the front office." Ad- 
miral Wilkinson then left and I left, a few minutes later. At the time of the 
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, I thought that this warning message had been 
sent, and did not realize until two years later, when I studied the Roberts report 
very carefully, that McCollum's message had not been sent. 

The statement by Captain Safford that the proposed dispatch 
referred to an implementation of the "winds code" was contradicted 
by Captain McCollum who categorically testified that his dispatch 
contained no reference to a w^inds execut message and that, in fact, 
to his knowledge no such message had been received.^^° As elsewhere 
pomted out, the conclusion is made from all of the evidence that no 
execution message based on the "winds code" was ever received in the 
War or Navy Departments prior to December 7. 

The fact that Admiral Kimmel already possessed the vital intelli- 
gence with respect to the "lost" Japanese carriers and the unusual 
change in service calls on December 1 would necessarily have condi- 
tioned any consideration of an additional warning to him based 
thereon. However, considering all of the significant intelligence avail- 
able around December 1, Captain McCollum, not knowing of the 
warning dispatches, prepared at sometime between December 1 and 
4 an alerting message which he felt should have been dispatched. 
Admiral Turner looked with disfavor on this message for the reason 
that he felt it added nothing to what had already been supplied the 
fleet and the further fact that he regarded responsible commanders 
as adequately alerted, an attitude which prevailed throughout the 
War and Navy Departments. Captain McCollum, too, regarded the 
"war warning" of November 27 as fully adequate but testified he 
would also "like" to see his warning transmitted. There is no evidence 
before the Committee indicating with any degree of accuracy the 
contents of the so-called McCollum dispatch to assist in determining 
whether it may have added anything to the warning dispatches of 
November 27 to the Hawaiian commanders.^^^ 

Events of December 6 and 7, 1941 

An extensive amount of testimony has been taken concerning the 
events of December 6 and 7, 1941, attending the interception, dis- 
tribution, and action taken with respect to four diplomatic dispatches 
from Japan to her Washington ambassadors. These four dispatches, 
each of which will elsewhere be discussed fully, were: 

(1) The so-called "Pilot Message," No. 901, on December 6 
advising that a long 14-part memorandum for the United States 

^1 Committee record, p. 9134. 

"' This same observation would apply with respect to a warning dispatch said to have been prepared 
in the War Department by Colonel Otis K. Sadtler which allepedly was not sent for the reason that mili- 
tary outposts were regarded as adequately alerted. The facts concerning the "Sadtler message" are 
seriously in doubt. 



210 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

was to be sent as a result of the American proposal of November 
26 and that instructions concerning the time of presentation to 
the United States would be provided in a separate message.^^^ 

(2) The 14-part memorandum, message No. 902 (transmitted 
in English) to be presented to the Government of the United 
States. The first thhteen parts were intercepted on December 
6 and the fourteenth part on the morning of December 7.^^^ 

(3) The message, No. 907, intercepted on December 7, directing 
the Japanese Ambassador to submit the 14-part memorandum 
to the United States at 1 p. m., December 7, "Washington time.^^* 

(4) Message No. 910, intercepted on December 7, directing 
that the remaining cipher machine (in the Japanese Washington 
Embassy) be destroyed along with all code machines and that 
similar disposition be made of secret documents.^^^ 

Considering the time that has elapsed there has been an under- 
standable amount of discrepancy with respect to the recollection of th>e 
participants as to the exact time of handling the foregoing messages in 
Washington. However, as subsequently will appear, composite con- 
sideration of all the testimony tends to present a reasonably satisfac- 
tory picture. It is to be recalled that in December of 1941 the Army 
and Navy cryptographic units were dividing the work incident to de- 
coding and translating Japanese diplomatic messages, the Magic, with 
the Army generally assuming responsibility for messages bearing even 
dates of the month and the Navy, the odd dates. ^^^ Immediately upon 
decoding and translating messages both the War and Navy Depart- 
ments each received copies. It w'as the responsibility of the Army to 
make distribution of Magic within the War Department and to the 
Secretary of State, while the Navy was responsible for distribution 
within the Navy Department and to the White House. 

THE "pilot message" 

At 6:56 a. m. on December 6 there was filed in Tokyo and between 
7:15 and 7:20 a. m. intercepted by a Navy monitoring station^" a 
dispatch that has come to be known as the "Pilot Message":^^^ 

1. The Government has deliberated deeply on the American proposal of the 
26th of November and as a result we have drawn up a memorandum for the United 
States contained in mj^ separate message #902 (in English) . 

2. This separate message is a very long one. / will send it in fourteen parts 
and I imagine you will receive it tomorrow. However, I am not sure. The situation 
is extremely delicate, and when you receive it I want you to please keep it secret for 
the time being. 

3. Concerning the time of presenting this memorandum to the United States, 
I will wire you in a separate message. However, I want you in the meantime 
to put in nicely drafted form and make every preparation to present it to the 
Americans just as soon as you receive instructions. 

A teletype sheet containing this message in Japanese code was re- 
ceived by the Army from the Navy at 12:05 p. m., December 6.^^" 
There is no documentary evidence available as to the exact time of 
decoding, translating, and typing of the pilot message by the Army 

"» Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 238, 239 

«' Id., at pp. 239-245 

w< Id., at p. 248. 

>« Id., at p. 249. 

M« See Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 122 

«' See committee exhibit No. 41. 

M8 Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 238, 239i 

>9« Id., No. 41. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 211 

apart from the fact that these operations were completed on December 
6. Capt. Alwyn D. Kramer was primarily responsible for distribu- 
tion of Magic on behalf of the Navy. He initially testified before the 
committee that he was quite certain the pilot message was contained 
in the folder also containing the first 13 parts of the 14-part mem- 
orandum which were distributed by him during the evening of De- 
cember 6.^^° Captain Kramer subsequently modified this testimony, 
based on a study of records available in the Navy Department re- 
lating to the Magic materials. He testified:^^^ 

Yesterday afternoon when being questioned concerning this so-called pilot 
message I made the statement that I believed that the pilot message had arrived 
sometime late Saturday afternoon, 6 December 1941, or Saturday evening, and 
that I believed it was distributed Saturday evening with the Japanese note and 
other papers. I find as a result of my study last night that the pilot message was 
not disseminated, at least in the Navy, until Sunday morning subsequent to 10 o'clock^ 
at the time when the so-called hidden-word message and a number of other short 
messages, including the 1 o'clock message, were disseminated. 

It would seem in consequence, from the best testimony available, 
that no distribution was made of the pilot message in the Navy De- 
partment or to the White House until the morning of December 7. 
However, it is to be noted that Admiral "Wilkinson testified he saw the 
pilot message before leaving the Navy Department on December 6.^" 

It appears on the other hand that distribution of the message in 
the War Department and to the State Department was made during 
the afternoon of December 6. Col. Rufus Bratton, who was respon- 
sible for distribution of Magic by the Army, testified:^" 

Distribution of the so-called pilot message was made that afternoon (December 
6) about 3 o'clock. I do not now recall whether I did it in person or whether one 
of my assistants did it, but I do recall discussing the subject both with General 
Miles and General Gerow Saturday afternoon.^'^a 

The military significance of the pilot message will be treated in con- 
nection with the discussion of the first 13 parts of the 14-part memo- 
randum. 

THE 14-PART MEMORANDUM 

First 13 Parts 

The first 13 parts of the 14-part memorandum were received in the 
Navy Department between 11:49 a. m. and 2:51 p. m. on Decem- 
ber 6."^ They had been decoded and typed in the Navy Department 
and were ready for distribution by approximately 9 p. m. on that 
date. Copies were thereupon delivered to the War Department. ^^^ 

Captain Kramer in making distribution of this material on behalf 
of the Navy arrived at the White House between 9:30 and 10 p. m., 
delivering the first 13 parts to Commander Schulz,^^^ an assistant to 
Admiral Beardall,^" the President's naval aide, with the request they 
be given the President at the earliest possible moment. Commander 
Schulz did thereafter deliver the messages to the President who along 

'■o Committee record, p. 10677. 
»" Id., at p. 10739. 
«» Id., at p. 4659. 
«73 Id., pp. 12049, 12050. 

273m The evidence tends to indicate some doubt, however, as to whether the "PUot Message" was seen 
by General Marshall on December 6. See Committee record, p. 3472. 
'^< Committee exhibit No. 41. 

>" See Army Pearl Harbor Board (top secret) record, pp. 152-171. 
"« Lt. (now Commander) Lester Robert Schulz. 
»" Admiral John R. Beardall. 



212 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

with Mr. Harry Hopkins read their contents. Kramer then pro- 
ceeded to the Wardman Park Hotel where dehvery was made to 
Secretary Knox, who read the dispatches. He then went to the 
home of Admiral Wilkinson where a dinner party was in progress 
attended by Admiral Beardall, General Miles, and of course, Admiral 
Wilkinson, among others. The first 13 parts were read by these 
officers.^^^ Kramer retm^ned to the Navy Department at approxi- 
mately 1 a. m. and thereafter retired upon seeing that the four- 
teenth part of the Japanese memorandum had not been received.^^' 
Copies of the first 13 parts were delivered on the evening of December 
6 by an unidentified representative or representatives of the Navy 
Department to Admirals Ingersoll and Turner at their homes,^^° 

The testimony with respect to distribution of the 13 parts by the 
Army is conflicting, the weight of the evidence indicating, however, 
that no distribution was made to authorized recipients in the War 
Department on December 6. The evidence is in dispute as to whether 
they were delivered to a watch officer at the State Department on the 
evening of that date.^^"" 

The evidence indicates that the first 13 parts were read on the even- 
ing of December 6, by, particularly, the President, Mr. Harry Hopkins, 
Secretary Knox, Admiral Ingersoll, Admiral Turner, Admiral Wilkin- 
son, Admiral Beardall, General Miles, Captain Kramer, and Colonel 
Bratton.^^^ It is concluded from the evidence of record that the 
message was not seen by Secretary Hull, Secretary Stimson, General 
Marshall, Admiral Stark, or General Gerow ^^^ prior to the morning 
of December 7. 

Analysis and Significance of First 13 Parts Proper 

In view of the conflicting interpretations that have been placed on 
the first 13 parts of the 14-part memorandum, they are being set 
forth in their entirety: ^^^ 

'7* Committee record, pp. 4663-4666. 

'" Id., at pp. 10451 et seq. 

''"Id., at pp. 5097; 11295. 

280o Colonel Bratlon testified that the last of the 13 parts came into his ofBce some time between 9 and 10 
o'clock that night, and that he was in his office when the last of the 13 parts came in (committee record 
12049). He further testified that he personally delivered the 13 parts to the night duty officer at the State 
Department some time after 10 o'clock that night, telHng the duty officer that it was a "highly important 
message as far as the Secretary of State was concerned" and that it should be sent out to Secretary Hull's 
quarters, which he was assured would be done (committee record 12052-12053). This testimony is directly 
contrary to the affidavit of Col. Clyde Dusenbury, then Colonel Bratton's chief assistant, in the Clausen 
investigation. In his affidavit, Colonel Dusenbury stated that he specifically recalled the intercepted 
message in question and that "it started coming in the night of 6 December 1941 when I was on duty. Colo- 
nel Bratton was also on duty then and saw the message coming in and he remained until about half of it had 
been received. Thereupon he left and went home at about 9 p. m. I stayed so he could go home and sleep. 
I waited for the remainder. The fourteenth part, being the final part of the message, was received about 12 
that night. Thereupon I left and went home. I returned the next morning to begin the distribution of this 
intercept consisting of the fourteen parts and I began ihe distribution of the fourteen parts comprising this intercept 
about 9 a. m. on 7 December 1941 and finished with the delivery to the State Department as Kurusu and 
Nomura were meeting with the Secretary of State. When I delivered the copy for OPD that morning I handed 
it to then Col. Thomas D. Handy, who, upon reading it, said to me: "This means war," or words to that 
effect. None of these parts comprising ttis intercept was delivered before the morning of 7 December 1941 because 
the first half had been received while Colonel Bratton was on duty and he had seen this and had not had 
it delivered that night" (Clausen Investigation, committee exhibit No. 148, p. 50). 

Colonel Dusenbury's statements in his affidavit are in accord with the testimony of Gen. Sherman 
Miles, then Chief of the Military Intelligence Division and the superior officer of Colonel Bratton and 
Colonel Dusenbury, who stated that Secretary Hull, Secretary Stimson, and the others on the War De- 
partment's "magic" distribution list received on December 6 all intercepted Japanese messages that were 
translated that day up to midnight "except the first IS parts of the li-part message" (committee record 4123- 
4124). 

281 Captain McCollum is indicated to have seen the first 6 or 7 parts before leaving his office on Decem- 
ber 6. Committee record, pp. 9232, 9233. 

'*2 See committee record, p. 2741. 

S83 Committee exhibit No. 1, pp. 239-245. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 213 

Memorandum 
(Part 1 of 14) 

1. The Government of Japan, prompted by a genuine desire to come to an 
amicable understanding with the Government of the United States in order that 
the two countries by their joint efforts may secure the peace of the Pacific area 
and thereby contribute toward the realization of world peace, has continued 
negotiations with the utmost sincerity since April last with the Government of 
the United States regarding the adjustment and advancement of Japanese- 
American relations and the stabilization of the Pacific area. 

The Japanese Government has the honor to state frankly its views, concerning 
the claims the American Government has persistently maintained as well as the 
measures the United States and Great Britain have taken toward Japan during 
these eight months. 

2. It is the immutable policy of the Japanese Government to insure the stability 
of east Asia and to promote world peace, and thereby to enable all nations to 
find each its proper place in the world. 

Ever since the China affair broke out owing to the failure on the part of China 
to comprehend Japan's true intentions, the Japanese Government has striven for 
the restoration of peace and it has consistently exerted its best efforts to prevent 
the extension of warlike disturbances. It was also to that end that in September 
last year Japan concluded the tripartite pact with Germany and Italy, 

(Part 2 of 14) 

However, both the United States and Great Britain have resorted to every 
possible measure to assist the Chungking regime so as to obstruct the establish- 
ment of a general peace between Japan and China, interfering with Japan's 
constructive endeavors toward the stabilization of east Asia, exerting pressure on 
the Netherlands East Indies or menacing French Indochina, they have attempted 
to frustrate Japan's aspiration to realize the ideal of common prosperity in co- 
operation with these regions. Furthermore, when Japan in accordance with its 
protocol with France took measures of joint defense of French Indochina, both 
American and British Governments, willfully misinterpreted it as a threat to 
their own possessions and inducing the Netherlands Government to follow suit, 
they enforced the assets freezing order, thus severing economic relations with 
Japan. While manifesting thus an obviously hostile attitude, these countries 
have strengthened their military preparations perfecting an encirclement of 
Japan, and have brought about a situation which endangers the very existence 
of the empire. 

(Part 3 of 14) 

Nevertheless, facilitate a speedy settlement, the Premier of Japan proposed, in 
August last, to meet the President of the United States for a discussion of im- 
portant problems between the two countries covering the entire Pacific area. 
However, while accepting in principle the Japanese proposal, insisted that the 
meeting should take place after an agreement of view had been reached on funda- 
mental — (75 letters garbled) — The Japanese Government submitted a proposal 
based on the formula proposed by the American Government, taking fulh- into 
consideration past American claims and also incorporating Japanese views. 
Repeated discussions proved of no avail in producing readily an agreement of 
view. The present cabinet, therefore, submitted a revised proposal, moderating 
still further the Japanese claims regarding the principal points of difficulty in the 
negotiation and endeavored strenuously to reach a settlement. But the American 
Government, adhering steadfastly to its original proposal, failed to display in the 
slightest degree a spirit of conciliation. The negotiation made no progress. 

(Part 4 of 14) 

Thereupon, the Japanese Government, with a view to doing its utmost for 
averting a crisis in Japanese-American relations, submitted on November 20 still 
another proposal in order to arrive at an equitable solution of the more essential 
and urgent questions which, simplifying its previous proposal, stipulated the 
following points: 

(1) The Governments of Japan and the United States undertake not to dispatch 
armed forces into any of the regions, excepting French Indochina, in the south- 
eastern Asia and Southern Pacific area. 



214 PEAEL HARBOR ATTACK 

(2) Both Governments shall cooperate with a view to securing the acquisition 
in the Netherlands East Indies of those goods and commodities of which the two 
countries are in need. 

(3) Both Governments mutually undertake to restore commercial relations to 
those prevailing prior to the freezing of assets. 

The Government of the United States shall supply Japan the required quantity 
of oil. 

(4) The Government of the United States undertakes not to resort to measures 
and actions prejudicial to the endeavors for the restoration of general peace 
between Japan and China. 

(5) The Japanese Government undertakes to withdraw troops now stationed 
in French Indochina upon either the restoration of peace between Japan and 
China or the establishment of an equitable peace in the Pacific area and it is 
prepared to remove the Japanese troops in the southern part of French Indochina 
to the northern part upon the conclusion of the present agreement. 

(Part 5 of 14) 

As regards China, the Japanese Government, while expressing its readiness to 
accept the offer of the President of the United States to act as "introducer" of 
peace between Japan and China as was previously suggested, asked for an under- 
taking on the part of the United States to do nothing prejudicial to the restoration 
of Sino-Japanese peace when the two parties have commenced direct negotiations. 

The American Government not only rejected the above-mentioned new pro- 
posal, but made known its intention to continue its aid to Chiang Kai-Shek; and in 
spite of its suggestion mentioned above, withdrew the offer of the President to act 
as the so-called "introducer" of peace between Japan and China, pleading that 
time was not yet ripe for it. Finally, on November 26, in an attitude to impose 
upon the Japanese Government those principles it has persistently maintained, the 
American Government made a proposal totally ignoring Japanese claims, which is 
a source of profound regret to the Japanese Government. 

(Part 6 of 14) 

4. From the beginning of the present negotiation the Japanese Government has 
always maintained an attitude of fairness and moderation, and did its best to 
reach a settlement, for which it made all possible concessions often in spite 
of great difficulties. 

As for the China question which constituted an important subject of the nego- 
tiation, the Japanese Government showed a most conciliatory attitude. As for 
the principle of nondiscrimination in international commerce, advocated by the 
American Government, the Japanese Government expressed its desire to see the 
said principle applied throughout the world, and declared that along with the 
actual practice of this principle in the world, the Japanese Government would 
endeavor to ai^ply the same in the Pacific area, including China, and made it clear 
that Japan had no intention of excluding from China economic activities of third 
powers pursued on an equitable basis. 

Furthermore, as regards the question of withdrawing troops from French 
Indochina, the Japanese Government even volunteered, as mentioned above, to 
carry out an immediate evacuation of troops from southern French Indochina as a 
measure of easing the situation, 

(Part 7 of 14) 

It is presumed that the spirit of conciliation exhibited to the utmost degree by 
the Japanese Government in all these matters is fully appreciated by the American 
Government. 

On the other hand, the Ameiican Government, always holding fast to theories in 
disregard of realities, and refusing to yield an inch on its impractical principles, 
caused undue delays in the negotiation. It is difficult to understand this attitude 
of the American Government and the Japanese Government desires to call the 
attention of the American Government especially to the following points: 

1. The American Government advocates in the name of world peace those 
principles favorable to it and urges upon the Japanese Government the acceptance 
thereof. The peace of the world may be brought about only by discovering a 
mutually acceptable formula through recognition of the reality of the situation 
and mutual appreciation of one another's position. An attitude such as ignores 
realities and imposes one's selfish views upon others will scarcely serve the purpose 
of facilitating the consummation of negotiations. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 215 

(Part 8 of 14) 

Of the various principles put forward by the American Government as a basis 
of the Japanese-American agreement, there are some which the Japanese Govern- 
ment is ready to accept in principle, but in view of the world's actual conditions, 
it seems only a Utopian ideal, on the part of the American Goverment, to attempt 
to force their immediate adoption. 

Again, the proposal to conclude a multilateral nonaggression pact between 
Japan, the United States, Great Britain, China, the Soviet Union, The Nether- 
lands, and Thailand, which is patterned after the old concept of collective security, 
is far removed from the realities of east Asia. 

The American proposal contains a stipulation which states: "Both governments 
will agree that no agreement, which either has concluded with any third powers, 
shall be interpreted by it in such a way as to conflict with the fundamental purpose 
of this agreement, the establishment and preservation of peace throughout the 
Pacific area." It is presumed that the above provision has been proposed with 
a view to restrain Japan from fulfilling its obligations under the tripartite pact 
when the United States participates in the war in Europe, and, as such, it cannot 
be accepted by the Japanese Government. 

(Part 9 of 14) 

The American Government, obsessed with its own views and opinions, may be 
said to be scheming for the extension of the war. While it seeks, on the one hand, 
to secure its rear by stabilizing the Pacific area, it is engaged, on the other hand, 
in aiding Great Britain and preparing to attack, in the name of self-defense, 
Germany and Italy, two powers that are striving to establish a new order in 
Europe. Such a policy is totally at variance with the many principles upon which 
the American Government proposes to found the stability of the Pacific area 
through peaceful means. 

3. Whereas the American Government, under the principles it rigidly upholds, 
objects to settling international issues through military pressure, it is exercising 
in conjunction with Great Britain and other nations pressure by economic power. 
Recourse to such pressure as a means of dealing with international relations should 
be condemned as it is at times more inhuman than military pressure. 

(Part 10 of 14) 

4. It is impossible not to reach the conclusion that the American Government 
desires to maintain and strengthen, in collusion with Great Britain and other 
powers, its dominant position it has hitherto occupied not only in China but in 
other areas of east Asia. It is a fact of history that one countr — (45 letters 
garbled or missing) — been compelled to observe the status quo under the Anglo- 
American policy of imperialistic exploitation and to sacrifice the — es to the pros- 
perity of the two nations. The Japanese Government cannot tolerate the 
perpetuation of such a situation since it directly runs counter to Japan's funda- 
mental policy to enable all nations to enjoy each its proper place in the world. 

(Part 11 of 14) 

The stipulation proposed by the American Government relative to French 
Indochina is a good exemplification of the above-mentioned American policy. 
That the six countries — Japan, the United States, Great Britain, The Netherlands, 
China, and Thailand — excepting France, should undertake among themselves to 
respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of French Indochina and equality 
of treatment in trade and commerce would be tantamount to placing that territory 
under the joint guarantee of the Governments of those six countries. Apart 
from the fact that such a proposal totally ignores the position of France, it is 
unacceptable to the Japanese Government in that such an arrangement cannot 
but be considered as an extension to French Indochina of a system similar to 
the n — (50 letters missed) — sible for the present predicament of east Asia. 

(Part 12 of 14) 

5. All the items demanded of Japan by the American Government regarding 
China such as wholesale evacuation of troops or unconditional application of the 
principle of nondiscrimination in international commerce ignore the actual con- 
ditions of China, and are calculated to destroy Japan's position as the stabilizing 
factor of east Asia. The attitude of the American Government in demanding 



216 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Japan not to support militarily, politically, or economically any regime other 
than the regime at Chungking, disregarding thereby the existence of the Nanking 
government, shatters the very basis of the present negotiation. This demand 
of the American Government falling, as it does, in line with its above-mentioned 
refusal to cease from aiding the Chungking regime, demonstrates clearly the 
intention of the American Government to obstruct the restoration of normal 
relations between Japan and China and the return of peace to east Asia. 

(Part 13 of 14) 

5. In brief, the American proposal contains certain acceptable items such as 
those concerning commerce, including the conclusion of a trade agreement, mutual 
removal of the freezing restrictions, and stabilization of the yen and dollar ex- 
change, or the abolition of extraterritorial rights in China. On the other hand, 
however, the proposal in question ignores Japan's sacrifices in the 4 years of the 
China affair, menaces the empire's existence itself and disparages its honour and 
prestige. Therefore, viewed in its entirety, the Japanese Government regrets that 
it cannot accept the proposal as a basis of negotiations. 

6. The Japanese Government, in its desire for an early conclusion of the nego- 
tiation, proposed that simultaneously with the conclusion of the Japanese-Ameri- 
can negotiation, agreements be signed with Great Britain and other interested 
countries. The proposal was accepted by the American Government. However, 
since the American Government has made the proposal of November 26 as a 
result of frequent consultations with Great Britain, Australia, The Netherlands 
and Chungking, andnd (probably "and as") presumably by catering to the wishes 
of the Chungking regime on the questions of Chtual ylokmmtt (probably "China, 
can but") be concluded that all these countries are at one with the United States 
in ignoring Japan's position. 

The foregoing message is a long and argumentative rehash of the 
Japanese-American negotiations. The motives and proposals of the 
Japanese Empire are clothed in language of the most flattering terms 
whereas the purposes of the United States are assigned a base char- 
acter. The language employed in the fii'st 13 parts is much stronger 
than had theretofore been employed by Japan in her proposals. In 
the thirteenth part it is stated, "Therefore, viewed in its entirety, 
the Japanese Government regrets that it cannot accept the proposal 
as a basis of negotiation." Taken from its context this statement 
would indicate that Japan is rejecting the November 26 note of our 
Government and would possibly suggest that the current negotiations 
were to be broken off at some time in the near future. But as pointed 
out by Admiral Wilkinson, "It is one thmg to break off negotiations 
and another thing to break off diplomatic relations. The same 
negotiations, I believe, bad been broken off earlier and then re- 
sumed." 28* 

Commander Schulz, who delivered the first 13 parts of the Japanese 
reply to the President, testified that the President read the message 
and "Mr. Hopkins then read the papers and handed them back to the 
President. The President then turned toward Mr. Hopkins and said 
in substance — I am not sure of the exact words, but in substance, 
'This means war'}^^ Mr. Hopkins agreed and they discussed then for 
perhaps 5 minutes the situation of the Japanese forces, that is, theii* 
deployment." ^^^ 

2M Committee record, p. 4668. 

285 Asked what his action would have been had he known of the President's remark, General Marshal! 
said: "I can't say. I doubt if I would have sent anything on that statement of the PresideTU at that time." Com- 
mittee record, p. 13804. 

Admiral Stark was asked: "* • • if you had known that the President did say something in substance 
'This means war,' about the 13-part message, was there anything you would have done that night except to 
read the message? Is there anything you could now tell us you would have done,|in the way of backsight or 
hindsight that you would have done that you did not do?" 

He replied: "It would not be backsight or hindsight, because when I read it on Sunday morning I saw 
nothing in it to cause me to take any further action on it." Committee record, pp. 13912, 13913. 

2M Committee record, p. 12441. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 217 

To the query as to whether he could recall what either the President 
or Mr. Hopkins said, Commander Schulz testified as follows:^" 

Commander Schulz. In substance I can. There are onl}^ a few words that I 
can definitely say I am sure of, but the substance of it was that — I believe Mr. 
Hopkins mentioned it first, that since war was imminent, that the Japanese 
intended to strike when they were ready, at a moment when all was most oppor- 
tune for them — when all was most opportime for that. That is, when their forces 
were most properly deployed for their advantage. Indochina in particular was 
mentioned, because the Japanese forces had already landed there and there were 
implications of where they should move next. 

The President mentioned a message that he had sent to the Japanese Emperor 
concerning the presence of Japanese troops in Indochina, in effect requesting their 
withdrawal. 

Mr. Hopkins then expressed a view that since war was undoubtedly going to 
come at the convenience of the Japanese it was too bad that we could not strike 
the first blow and prevent any sort of surprise. The President nodded and said, 
in effect, "No, we can't do that. Wo are a democracy and a peaceful people." 
Then he raised his voice, and this much I remember definitely. He said, "But we 
have a good record." 

The impression that I got was that we would have to stand on that record, we 
could not make the first overt move. We would have to watt until it came. 

During this discussion there was no mention of Pearl Harbor. The only 
geographic name I recall was Indochina. The time at which war might begin 
was not discussed, but from the manner of the discussion there was no indication 
that tomorrow was necessarily the day. I carried that impression away because 
it contributed to my personal surprise when the news did come. 

Counsel. Was there anything said. Commander, with reference to the subject 
of notice or notification as a result of the papers that were being read? 

Commander Schulz. There was no mention made of sending any further warn- 
ing or alert. However, having concluded this discussion about the war going to 
begin at the Japanese convenience, then the President said that he believed he 
would talk to Admiral Stark. He started to get Admiral Stark on the telephone. 
It was then determined — I do not recall exactly, but I believe the White House 
operator told the President that Admiral Stark could be reached at the National 
Theater. 

Counsel. Now, that was from what was said there that you draw the con- 
clusion that that was what the White House operator reported? 

Commander Schulz. Yes, sir. I did not hear what the operator said, but the 
National Theater was mentioned in my presence and the President went on to 
state, in substance, that he would reach the Admiral later, that he did not want 
to cause public alarm by having the Admiral paged or otherwise when in the 
theater where I believe the fact that he had a box reserved was mentioned and 
that if he had left suddenly he would surely have been seen because of the position 
which he held and undue alarm might be caused and the President did not wish 
that to happen because he could get him within perhaps another half an hour 
in any case.^s?" 

In considering the remark ^^ by the President to Mr. Hopkins that 
the first 13 parts meant war it is significant that there was no indica- 
tion as to when or where war might be expected.^^^" The testimony 
of Commander Schulz should be considered with that of Admiral 
Beardall, to which reference will hereafter be made, in seeking to 
determine the reaction of the President to the full Japanese 14-part 
memorandum. 



2" Id., at pp. 12441-12444. 

2"<» The evidence tends to indicate that following his return home after the theater, Admiral Stark was 
advised that the White House had called, and that he did thereupon call the White House. See testimony 
of Capt. H. D. Krick, U. S. Navy, before the committee. 

28S Referring to the comment made by the President, General Marshall testified: "He didn't tell me, and 
he didn't tell the Secretary of War. So he made a statement oflhand on reading the thing" (13 parts). 
Committee record, p. 13803. 

28'° In connection with the remark attributed to the President it is to be noted that at a meeting of the 
War Council on November 25, President Roosevelt warned that we were likely to be attacked, perhaps as 
soon as the following Monday, for the "Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning." 
See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14390. 



218 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The estimate given the first 13 parts by witnesses before the com- 
mittee who reviewed them on the night of December 6 follows: ^^^ 

Admiral Turner. However, when I saw the 13 parts, which I believe was 
about 11:30 on the night of December 6, I inquired from the officer who showed 
it to me and brought it to my house as to who had' seen that dispatch, and he 
informed me that Admiral Wilkinson and Admiral IngersoU and Secretary Knox 
had all seen it before it had been shown to me. I considered the dispaitch very 
important, but as long as those officers had seen it, I did not believe it was my 
function to take any action. 



Admiral Ingersoll.^^" * * =f= when I read the 13 parts there was nothing 
on which the Navy Department as such could that night take action. The gist 
of the 13 parts was a restatement of the Japanese position we had known, of course, 
all along. 

Admiral Wilkinson.^^i.* * * both General Miles and myself, and to some 
extent Captain Kramer, felt that this was a diplomatic message; it was a mes- 
sage that indicated, or that resembled the diplomatic white papers, of which we had 
often seen examples, that it was a justification of the Japanese position. 

The strain was largely in the 14th part which we discussed the next morning. 

Admiral Wilkinson agreed that he, General Miles, and Admiral 
Beardall discussed the first 13 parts and referred to it as more or less 
a "white paper" or diplomatic communication — "A justification for 
the Japanese position".^^- 

General Miles.-^^ I called him for the purpose of finding out what had been 
done, what was going to be done with these first 13 parts, but I wish to call your 
attention, Senator, to the fact that the first 13 parts as such was not of great 
military significance. We had already discounted through many days the fact 
that in all probability the Japanese reply to our note of November 26 would be 
unfavorable and that was all that the first 13 parts told us. When we got the 
fourteenth part we saw quite a different picture, when we got the 1 p. m. message 
we saw quite a different picture, but there was no reason for alerting or waking 
up the Chief of Staff, we will say, or certainly Secretary Hull, on the night of 
December 6 that I could see. 

Captain Kramer.^^* I have stated that the first part I recollect seeing is part 
8. If you will refer to that you will see that there is nothing in that part — in 
fact, the last half of that part quotes the United States note — that was materially 
different than the general tenor of previous notes back and forth between the 
United States and Japan. 

When the first 13 parts were complete I did, however, have that distinct im- 
pression, that this note was far and appreciably stronger language than earlier 
notes had been and that it indicated a strong probability that the Japanese were 
concluding any further negotiations. 



Colonel Braxton ^s' * * * I considered the presence of the 13 parts in 
Washington relatively unimportant militarily that evening. 

I did so consider it upon their receipt and I still consider it now. They con- 
tributed no information, they contributed no additional information to the matters 
that we already had from magic and other sources as to the impending crisis 
with Japan. 

The message was incomplete. It ended on the note, in the thirteenth part: 
"Therefore, viewed in its entirety, the Japanese government regrets that it 
cannot accept the proposal as a basis of negotiation." 

This was primarily of interest, immediate interest to the Secretary of State, 
not to the Secretary of War or the Chief of General Staff for it was not an ulti- 

J80 Committee record, p. 5097. 

seo Id., at p. 11377. 

«> Id., at p. 4665. 

2M Id., at p. 4667. 

»M Id., at pp. 2482, 2483. 

»4 Id., at pp. 10445, 10446. 

?M Id., at pp. 12057, 120§8, 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 219 

matum, it was not a declaration of war, nor was it a severance of diplomatic 
relations. 

The committee has noted the emphasis, publicity and speculation 
concerning the whereabouts of General Marshall, the Chief of Staff, 
and Admhal Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations, on the evening 
of December 6. General Marshall has testified that while he could 
not recall his whereabouts with certainty he presumed he was at 
home. Admiral Stark could not recall his whereabouts, but the 
evidence establishes that he was at the National Theater seeing 
The Student Prince .^^^"^ Similar emphasis has been placed on the 
fact that the Chief of Staff was horseback riding on the morning of 
December 7, as was his Sunday-morning custom. The fu-st 13 parts 
were neither delivered to nor read by either General Marshall or 
Admu-al Stark on the evening of December 6. In any event, the 
question of their whereabouts on Satm'day evening, December 6, is 
by any construction unimportant inasmuch as both officers saw 
nothing in the first 13 parts to serve as basis for additional warnings 
to om- outposts when they read them on the morning of December 7.295* 
In this connection, it is to be noted that the evidence conclusively 
establishes that no conferences were held at the White House or 
elsewhere with respect to the Pacific situation by ranldng military 
and executive officials on the evening of December 6, 1941, 

The consensus of testimony by officers of the War and Navy De- 
partments is to the effect that the first 13 parts, as such, of the 14- 
part message bore little or no military significance. ^^^ While they 
revealed a position assumed by Japan to which our Government could 
not subscribe there was no statement that negotiations were to be 
ruptured and certainly no intimation of the treacherous attack to be 
deUvered at Pearl Harbor the following morning. From the "pilot 
message" it was clear that a fourteenth part was to be transmitted 
and that it would probably be received on December 7. Considering 
this fact and the further fact that the first 13 parts gave no indication 
of immediate military action by Japan, there was no occasion on the 
evening of December 6 to dispatch additional warnings to outposts, 
already regarded as alerted, on the basis of a message that was 
manifestly not complete. It is clear there was no intelligence con- 
tained in the message itself which had not been known for some time. 

Military Significance oj ^^ Pilot'' ^ and 13-Part Messages Apart from 

Messages Proper 

An intercepted dispatch of November 28, 1941, from Tokyo to its 
Washington ambassadors had stated, referring to Mr, Hull's note of 
November 26: 2" 

Well, you two Ambassadors have exerted superhuman efforts but, in spite of this, 
the United States has gone ahead and presented this humiliating proposal. 
This was quite unexpected and extremely regrettable. The Imperial Govern- 

"S" See note 287a, supra. 

"5b General Marshall said: "* * * the first 13 parts were not of the nature of a vital threat as the 14th 
part. That was a message of direct importance to the Secretary of State and of related importance, of 
course, to the Secretary of War and the Secretary of Navy who had been collaborating with him in his 
relationship in the dealings with Japan." Committee record, p. 3095. 

For Admiral Stark's estimate of tne first 13 parts, see Note 296, infra. 

2»6 Admiral Stark stated that he regarded the first 13 parts, when he saw them on the morning of December 
7, as routine, a rehashing of the attitude of the Japanese towards the situation which had been accumulating 
over a period of weeks or months. In other words, that the 13 parts by themselves carried no implication 
other than indicated; that it was a rehashing, a restatement of their attitude. Committee record, p. 13722, 

«' Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 195, 



220 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

ment can by no means use it as a basis for negotiations. Therefore, with a report 
of the views of the hnperial Government on this American proposal which I will 
send you in two or three days, the negotiations will be de facto ruptured. This is 
inevitable. 

In the foregoing dispatch the Japanese Government stated it would 
send a reply to Nomura and Kurusu witliin 2 or 3 days. This 
presupposes the presence and availability in Washington of these 
ambassadors to receive the reply. Clearly, therefore, war between 
Japan and the United States was not to eventuate until the reply 
had been received in Washington, otherwise the Japanese ambassadors 
would not be available for the purpose of receiving such reply. By 
the same token war would not eventuate until the ambassadors had 
an opportunity to deliver the reply, otherwise little or no purpose 
would be served in sending it whatever. 

Knowledge of this fact should have intensified alertness in the War 
and Navy Departments to such a point that from the moment the 
14-part reply started coming in, all hands should have been on the 
qui vive and additionally an adequate number of responsible officers 
should have been actually at their stations with full authority to act 
in any emergency tlu'oughout the night of December 6-7. This 
statement is of course subject to the observation that Japan had 
indicated in the pilot message that the full reply would not be received 
until the following day, Sunday, December 7, and even that was not 
certain; that instructions would be sent in a separate dispatch with 
respect to the time of presentation and "the situation is extremely 
delicate, and when you receive it (the reply) I want you to please 
keep it secret for the time being.'' Further, it is clear from the evidence 
that the receipt of the pilot message and portions of the first 13 parts 
of the 14-part memorandum served as basis for special measures 
taken by the War and Navy Departments to insure prompt handling, 
decoding, and distribution of this magic material on the evening of 
December 6. The naval officers who received the first 13 parts on 
the evening of December 6 appear to have regarded them as requiring 
no action during the evening. Within the Army the first 13 parts 
were seen by the Chief of the Mihtary Intelligence Division, who in 
view of the fact that the fourteenth part had not been received and 
the further fact that the message appeared to him to be of interest 
primarily to the State Department, decided that it required no further 
distribution within the Army that evening but should be dehvered to 
the State Department.^^^* But the fact that the message was being 
received removed the last known barrier to Japan's taking mihtary 
action.^^^ 

In consequence, it is not believed the War and Navy establishments 
in Washmgton were sufficiently alerted on the evening of December 6 

2»7o As has been indicated, the evidence is in dispute as to whether the first 13 parts were in reality delivered 
to a watch officer at the State Department on the evening of December 6. See Note 280a, supra. 

2»8 However, it should be noted that Ambassador Xomura in a dispatch to Tokyo of November 26, 1941, 
stated: "The United States is using the excuse that she is at present negotiating with the various competent 
countries. In view of the fact that she will propagandize that we are continuing these negotiations only 
with the view of preparing for our expected moves, should we, durmg the course of these conversations, 
deliberately enter into our scheduled operations, there is great danger that the responsibility for the rupture 
of negotiations will be cast upon us. There have been times in the past when she could have considered 
discontinuing conversations because of our invasion of French Indo-China. Now, should we, without 
clarifying our intentions, force a rupture in our negotiations and suddenly enter upon independent opera- 
tions, there is great fear that she may use such a thing as that as counter-propaganda against us. They 
might consider doing the same thing insofar as our plans for Thai are concerned. Nevertheless, such a thing 
as the clarification of our intention is a strict military secret; consequently, I think that it might be the better 
plan, dependent of course on the opinions of the Government, that the current negotiations be clearly and irrevoca- 
bly concluded either through an announcement to the American Embassy in Tokyo or by declaration for internal 
and external consumption. I would like, if such a course is followed, to make representations here at the same 
time." Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 183. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 221 

with a view to receiving the Japanese reply. As events turned out, 
however, there was nothing contained in the first 13-parts to have 
served as basis for additional warnings to outposts already regarded 
as adequately alerted. The information contained in the first 13- 
parts of the ]4-part message did not add to the sum total of informa- 
tion already supplied the commanders in Hawaii who had been 
warned of war and advised "hostile action possible at any moment." 
It did not point to Hawaii. It did not provide the essential where or, 
with any degree of definitiveness, the when of the attack. There is 
no intelligence contained in the first 13-parts which this Committee 
can conclude could reasonably be expected to have changed the 
decisions already made in Hawaii. 

The Fourteenth Part 

At 2:38 a, m., December 7, there was filed in Tokyo and inter- 
cepted by a Navy monitoring station between 3:05 and 3:10 a. m. 
the fourteenth and final part of Japan's reply to Secretary Hull's 
note of November 26.^^^ This message as subsequently decoded by 
the Navy read as follows: ^'*° 

(Part 14 of 14) 

7. Obviously it is the intention of the American Government to conspire with 
Great Britain and other countries to obstruct Japan's efforts toward the establish- 
ment of peace through the creation of a New Order in East Asia, and especially to 
preserve Anglo-American rights and interests by keeping Japan and China at 
war. This intention has been revealed clearly during the course of the present 
negotiations. Thus, the earnest hope of the Japanese Government to adjust 
Japanese-American relations and to preserve and promote the peace of the Pacific 
through cooperation with the American Government has finally been lost. 

The Japajiese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American Government 
that in view of the attitude of the Aryierican Government it cannot but consider that it is 
impossible to reach an agreement through further ■negotiations. 

The fourteenth part was available in the Navy Department for 
distribution at some time between 7:30 and 8:00 a. m.^°^ Captain 
Kramer made delivery within the Navy Department shortly after 

8 a. m. The delivery to the White House and to Secretary Knox, 
who was at the State Department for a 10 a. m. meeting with Secre- 
taries Hull and Stimson, was made shortly before 10 a. m. Distribu- 
tion of the fourteenth part within the War Department was begun at 

9 a. m. with subsequent delivery to the State Department. 

It is to be noted there is no statement that Japan intended to declare 
war on the United States nor, indeed, that formal diplomatic relations 
were to be broken — merely that the current negotiations cannot pro- 
duce an agreement. The fourteenth part is much less severe than the 
strongly worded first 13 parts would have indicated. Admnal Beard- 
all testified as follows with respect to delivery of the fourteenth part 
to the President: ^°^ 

As I recollect it, I went into his room, early, about 10:00 o'clock on Sunday 
morning, with a message or messages, which I presume, to the best of my recollec- 
tion, was the 14th part of this 13-part message that came in the night before, which 
I delivered to him. 



'" Committee exhibit No. 41. 

31" Id., No. 1, p. 245. As forwarding instructions to the radio station handling the fourteenth part there 
appeared at the beginning the plain English phrase "VERY IMPORTANT". 
«" Committee record, pp. 10461-10463. 
»M Id., at pp. 14010, 14011. 



222 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Asked if there was any discussion or conversation with the President 
when he made the dehvery, Admiral Beardall testified: ^°^ 

No discussion. We never discussed magic. I do recollect hina saying though, 
which marks this in my mind, that it looked as though the Japs are going to sever 
negotiations, break off negotiations. 

Admiral Beardall further testified that at the time of delivering the 
fourteenth part to the President there was nothing in the manner of 
the President which would indicate he was expecting an attack within 
a period of hours; that there "was no alarm, or no mention of this, 
mention of war, or of any actions on his part that would indicate that 
he was expectmg an attack." ^°* 

As to the question whether termination of negotiations would indi- 
cate certain war it is significant to note that the Japanese Ambassadors 
themselves stated in a message to Tokyo dated November 26, 1941: ^°^ 

We suppose that the rupture of the present negotiations does not necessarily mean 
war between Japan and the United States, but after we break off, as we said, the 
military occupation of Netherlands India is to be expected of England and the 
United States. Then we would attack them and a clash with them would be 
inevitable * * *. 

From a review of the fourteenth part it is clear that nothing is 
added to what was already known with respect to Japan's reaction to 
Secretary Hull's note. To be sure it is observed that the "hope 
* * * to preserve and promote the peace of the Pacific through 
cooperation with the American Government has finally been lost" 
and "in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot 
but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through 
further negotiations." But these facts had already been known for 
several days and the only paramount considerations at this time were 
when and where Japan would strike. A thorough consideration of the 
fourteen-part message, when viewed in the light of all other intelligence 
already available in Washington, reflects no added information, 
particularly of a military character, which would serve further to alert 
outpost commanders who had aheady been supplied a "war warning" 
and informed that "hostile action possible at any moment." ^"^ This 
conclusion is partially modified to the extent that actual delivery of 
the fourteen part message to the American Government might be con- 
strued as removmg the last diplomatic obstacle, in the minds of the 
Japanese, to lamichmg an attack. 

"One O'Clock" and Final Code Destruction Messages 

Two messages intercepted on the morning of December 7 have 
received paramount consideration — the celebrated "one o'clock" mes- 
sage specifying the time for delivery of the Japanese 14-part memo- 
randum to the Government of the United States and the message 
setting forth fuial instructions to the Japanese Embassy concerning 

303 Id. 

'M Committee record, p. 14047. 

»» Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 181. 

»* General Marshall stated: "* * * the particular part which affected me and caused me to act was 
not the 14 parts. It was the one o'clock, which, unfortunately, they put on the bottom of the pile and I 
read through everything before I came to that." Committee record, p. 13805. 

Referring to the Japanese 14-part memorandimi. Admiral Turner said: "I did not consider that that 
message and the fact that it appeared to be an ultimatum changed the over-all situation in the least degree, 
because I was certain in my mind that there was going to be war immediately between the United States 
and Japan, and this was merely confirmatory. The full orders, and what I felt was the full picture of the 
situation had been given to the fleet commanders in the dispatch of November 27, and confirmed definitely 
by the later dispatches regarding the destruction of the Japanese codes and the Navy Department's orders 
for oiir people to destroy codas in exposed positions." Committee record, p. 6099. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 223 

the destruction of codes and secret papers. The latter was as fol- 
lows: 3°^ 

After deciphering part 14 of my #902 and also #907,2"^ #908,3''» and #909,»"> 

E lease destroy at once the remaining cipher machine and all machine codes. 
>ispose in like manner also secret documents. 

This message was intercepted shortly after the one o'clock message 
but from the evidence it appears that both these intercepts were dis- 
tributed at approximately the same time. The "one o'clock" message 
read as follows: ^" 

Will the Ambassador please submit to the United States Government (if pos- 
sible to the Secretary of State) our reply to the United States at 1:00 p. m. on 
the 7th, your time. 

This dispatch was filed by the Japanese at 4:18 a. m. December 7, 
and intercepted by a Navy monitoring station at 4:37 a. m.^^^ It was 
decrypted and available in the Navy Department at approximately 
7 a. m. thereupon being sent to the Army for translation inasmuch as 
there was no translator on duty in the Navy Department at that time. 
Translated copies of the "one o'clock" message appear to have been 
returned to the Navy at approximately 9 a. m. Captain Kramer 
testified ^^^ that upon his return to the Navy Department at 10:20 
a. m. he found the "one o'clock" message and thereafter, between 
10:30 and 10:35 a. m., delivered it to the office of the Chief of Naval 
Operations, where a meeting was in progress. Delivery was then 
made within approximately 10 minutes to an aide to Secretary Hull 
at the State Department and thereafter within roughly another 10 
minutes, to a Presidential aide at the White House. In the course 
of delivery to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations and to 
Secretary Hull's aide mention was made of the fact that 1 p. m., 
Washington time, was about dawn at Honolulu and about the middle 
of the night in the Far East. No mention was made that the time indi- 
cated an attack at Pearl Harbor ?^^ 

Delivery of the "one o'clock" message within the War Department 
was made at some time between 9 and 10 a. m. General Marshall, 
after being advised at his quarters that an important message had 
been received, arrived at his office at some time between 11:15 and 
11:30 a. m. where he saw for the first time the 14-part memorandum, 
General Gerow, General Miles, and Colonel Bratton, among others, 
being present. After completion of his reading of the memorandum, 
General Marshall came to the "one o'clock" message and appears to 
have attached immediate significance to it. He testified that he and 
the officers present in his office were certain the hour fixed in the "one 
o'clock" message had "some definite significance;" that "something 
was going to happen at 1 o'clock;" that "when they specified a day, 

»<" Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 249. 

»<" The dispatch set forth, infra, coacerning delivery at 1 p. m., December 7, of the 14-part memorandum. 

»"» No. 908, dated December 7, read: "All concerned regret very much that due to failure in adjusting 
Japanese-American relations, matters have come to what they are now, despite all the efforts you two 
Ambassadors have been making. I wish to take this opportunity to offer my deepest thanks to you b oth 
for your endeavors and hard work as well as for what all the members of the Embassy have done." Com- 
mittee exhibit No. 1, p. 248. 

3") No. 909, dated December 7, read: "(From Bureau Chief Yamamoto to Commercial Attache Iguchi 
and his staff as well as to Secretary Yuki) I, together with the members of the Bureau, deeply appreciate 
and heartily thank you for your great effort which you have been making for many months in behalf of 
our country despite all difficulties in coping with the unprecedented crisis. We pray that you will continue 
to be in good health." Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 248. 

'" Committee exhibit No. 1, p. 248. 

»'2M., No. 41. 

"^ Committee record, pp. 10470-10479. 

"* See testimony of Captain Kramer before the committee; also Captain McCollum, committee record, 
p. 9275 

90179 — 46 16 



224 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

that of course had significance, but not comparable to an hour;" and, 
again, that it was "a new item of information of a pecuHar charac- 
ter." ^^^ At 1 1 :30 or 1 1 :40 a. m. General Marshall telephoned Admiral 
Stark ^^^ and, upon learning the latter had read the message, proposed 
that a warning be sent immediately to all theaters concerned. It 
should be noted that the exact time of Admiral Stark's arrival at the 
Navy Department is not definitely established although it is known 
that he was there by 10:30 a. m. on the morning of December 7, at the 
very latest.^^^ Admiral Stark hesitated because he regarded the theater 
commanders as already alerted and he was afraid of confusing them 
further.^^* General Marshall nevertheless wrote in longhand the draft 
of a warning message to the Western Defense Command, the Panama 
Command, the Hawaiian Command, and the Philippine Command, 
as follows: ^^^ 

The Japanese are presenting at 1 P. M. Eastern Standard Time, today, what 
amounts to an ultimatum. Also they are under orders to destroy their code 
machine immediately. Just what significance the hour set may have we do not 
know, but be on alert accordingly. 

He instructed Colonel Bratton to take the foregoing message imme- 
diately to the message center to be dispatched by radio but as Colonel 
Bratton was leaving the room, Admiral Stark called to request that 
there be placed on the dispatch the "usual expression to inform the 
naval officer". The following was therefore added in handwriting by 
General Marshall, "Inform naval authorities of this communica- 
tion".^2° 

EVENTS ATTENDING TRANSMITTAL OF THE DECEMBER 7 DISPATCH 

By 11:50 a. m. the handwritten warning had been delivered by 
Colonel Bratton to Colonel French,^^^ in charge of the message center. 
When Colonel Bratton returned, General Marshall inquired as to how 
much time would be required to encipher and dispatch the message. 
Not understanding the explanation, he instructed both Colonels 
Bratton and Bundy to obtain a clearer picture from the message 
center. These two officers upon returning advised that the message 
would be in the hands of the recipients within thirty minutes. Still 
not being satisfied, General Marshall is indicated to have sent the 

"» Army Pearl Harbor Board (top secret) Report, pp. 7, 8; committee record, p. 13806. 

'" See committee exhibit No. 58. 

5" See committee record, p. 5813. The testimony of some witnesses indicates Admiral Stark arrived at 
the Navy Department as early as 9 a. m. 

3'8 See Army Pearl Harbor Board (top secret) record, pp. 7, 8. Admiial Stark said: "During the morning 
of Sunday, 7 December 1941, we had information to the eSect that the Japanese Ambassador was to present 
his Government's reply to the 10-point note to the Secretary of State at 1 p. m. that same day. I was dis- 
cussing this note and the time of its presentation with the head of the Central Division (Captain Schuir- 
mann) when General Marshall called me on the phone to ask if I knew of it. I told him I did, and he asked 
me what I thought about sending the information concerning the time of presentation on to the various 
commanders in the Pacific. Aly first answer to him was that we had sent them so much already that I hesitated 
to send more. I hung up the phone, and not more than a minute or two later I called him back, stating that 
there might be some peculiar significance in the Japanese Ambassador calling on Mr. Hull at 1 p. m. and 
that I would go along with him in sending the information to the Pacific. I asked him if his communications 
were such that he could get it out quickly because our comunications were quite rapid when the occasion 
demanded it. He replied that he felt they could get it through very quickly. I then asked him to include 
in the dispatch instructions to his people to inform their naval opposites." Committee record, p. 5676. 

»i» Committee exhibit No. 32, p. 21. 

«» Id. 

Ml Col. Edward F. French. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 225 

two ofRcers back again and their report upon returning was regarded 
as satisfactory; that is, he felt assured from what he was told that the 
warning would be received by the pertinent commanders before 
l:00p. m.322 

After receiving the message Colonel French personally took charge 
of its dispatch. Learning that the War Department radio had been 
out of contact with Honolulu since approximately 10:20 a. m. he 
thereupon immediately decided that the most expeditious manner 
of getting the message to Hawaii was by commercial facilities; that is, 
Western Union to San Francisco, thence by commercial radio to 
Honolulu. The message was filed at the Army signal center at 12:01 
p. m. (6:31 a. m., Hawaii); teletype transmission to Western Union 
completed at 12:17 p. m. (6:47 a. m., Hawaii); received by RCA 
Honolulu 1:03 p. m. (7:33 a. m., Hawaii); received by signal office, 
Fort Shafter, Hawaii, at approximately 5:15 p. m. (11:45 a. m., 
Hawaii) after the attack. It appears that the teletype arrangement 
between RCA in Honolulu and Fort Shafter was not operating at the 
particular hour the message was received with the result that it was 
dispatched by a messenger on a bicycle who was diverted from com- 
pleting delivery by the first bombing. 

CHOICE OF FACILITIES 

Colonel French testified that important messages to be transmitted 
immediately had previously been sent by commercial means when 
there was interference on the Army circuit between Honolulu and the 
War Department; that on the morning of December 7 Honolulu ap- 
peared to be in touch with San Francisco ; that he had a teletype con- 
nection from his office to the Western Union office in Washington 
and knew Western Union had a tube connecting with RCA across the 
street in San Francisco ; that RCA had 40 kilowatts of power whereas 
his set had 10 kilowatts; and that he concluded the fastest means of 
transmission would be via Western Union and RCA. He stated that 
he acted within his authority in deciding to send the message by com- 
mercial means and did not tell General Marshall how the message 
was going .^^^ 

Colonel French stated further that he had not considered using the 
telephone; that the telephone was never used by the signal center; 
that it was unsuitable for a classified message; and that, in any event, 
"if they wanted to use the telephone that was up to the individuals 
themselves, Chief of Staff, or whoever the individual concerned." ^^* 

According to General Marshall, the telephone was not considered 
as a means of transmission, or that it may have been considered but 
would not have been used, he was quite certain, certainly not to Hawaii 
first; that if he had thought he could put a telephone call through, he 
would have called General MacArthur first, and then would have called 

322 Army Pearl Harbor Board Record, pp. 8-10, 14. There is some testimony indicating only two trips 
were made by Colonel Bratton to the message center. 
323. Army Pearl Harbor Board Record, pp. ISS, 195; Roberts Commission Record, pp. 1843, 1844, 1846. 
«< Army Pearl Harbor Board (top secret) record, pp. 189-205. 



226 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

the Panama Canal. He observed that it was important to send the 
message in code because it was not known what "one o'clock meant" 
and that it might have meant only a termination of diplomatic rela- 
tions or some action in southeast Asia. General Marshall pointed 
out that there was no secrecy in the telephone and that he was trying 
to gain time and yet had to be careful not to "precipitate the whole 
business" or do anything which could be construed as an act of war; 
that it was important not to disclose to the Japanese our reading of 
their codes .^^^ 

With respect to the matter of using Navy radio facilities, Colonel 
French stated that the Navy used more power than did the Army and 
occasionally the Army asked the Navy to communicate messages 
but that in practice they did not use the Navy for expediting traffic 
to Honolulu. He considered the possible use of Navy transmission 
of the warning message but decided against it since it would have 
required time to determine whether the Navy was also having trouble 
getting through to Hawaii and the message would have had to be 
delivered from the Navy at Pearl Harbor to Fort Shafter.^^* 

General Marshall had no knowledge on the morning of December 7 
that the Army radio could not establish contact with Hawaii nor 
that the Navy had a more powerful radio to Honolulu.^^^ It is to 
be noted that the message got through to addressees other than 
Hawaii prior to the attack. 

After the event it is easy to find other means of communication 
which General Marshall might have employed. This will always be 
the case. It is clear from the record, however, that he selected a 
secure means dictated by the contents of the message and was assured 
after two or three requests for verification that the message would 
get through in adequate time. It did not reach Hawaii because of a 
failure in communications concerning which he could not have known 
and concerning which he was not advised. It was the failure of com- 
munications and not the selection of an improper channel that occa- 
sioned the delay. 

While it is not regarded as contributing to the disaster, for reasons 
hereinafter to appear, it is considered extremely regrettable that 
Colonel French did not advise the Chief of Staff upon his inability to 
employ the Army's radio, the anticipated means of communication, 
particularly when he realized the great importance of the message 
and the personal concern of the Chief of Staff for its expeditious 
transmittal. 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE "ONE o'CLOCK" AND CODE DF.STRUCTION 

MESSAGES 

No one knew or presumed to know definitely just what the time 
"one o'clock" meant.^^^ Indeed, the warning sent by the Chief of 

325 Army Pearl Harbor Board (top secret) Record, pp. 10-14. See also Roberts Commission record, p. 1803. 

326 Army Pearl Harbor Board record, pp. 203, 204. Roberts Commission record, p. 1844. 
3" Roberts Commission record, p. 1801. 

328 Admiral Stark observed: "My first reaction was that we had sent so much out that— and as there was 
no deduction from the message, as to what it meant, at least we had made none at that time, that it would be 
just as well not to send it. A few days previous, when we had a discussion whether to send out anything 
more, the question came up, becarefulnottosend too much, it might create the story of 'wolf'." Committee 
Record, page 5815. In this regard it is to be noted that Admiral Smith, Chief of Staff to Admiral Kimmel, 
said that he thought there had been too much "crying wolf" and that such warnings had been received 
not only during Admiral Kimmel's administration but also previously by Admiral Richardson. See 
Hart Inquiry Record, page 64. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 227 

Staff stated "just what significance the hour set may have we do not 
know." Despite this fact the Hawaiian commanders have asserted 
or implied that if they had received this information at the earhest 
possible moment on the morning of December 7, they would have 
anticipated a surprise air attack upon Pearl Harbor and have insti- 
tuted appropriate defensive measures accordingly. ^^9 n jg ^q j^g 
noted, however, that one of the asserted justifications by Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short for their not having taken the necessary 
defensive measures prior to December 7 was the fact that the warn- 
ings they had received, while indicating that war was imminent, 
pointed to southeast Asia and not to Hawaii as the likely point of 
attack. 

There was nothing in the fact that the Japanese ambassadors were 
to present their Government's reply to the American note of Novem- 
ber 26 at 1 p. m., December 7, pointing any more to an attack on 
Hawaii than to any other point to which General Marshall directed 
his dispatch: Panama, the west coast, the Philippines. The intelli- 
gence contained in the "one o'clock" intercept indicated no more 
than the distinct possibility that some Japanese military action 
would take place somewhere at 1 p. m. 

What Admiral Kimmel and General Short would have done upon 
receiving this intelligence or the Marshall dispatch before the attack 
is necessarily speculative. 

Testifying before the Roberts Commission concerning that portion 
of the December 7 warning pointing out that instructions had been 
issued for the Japanese Embassy to destroy its code machine immedi- 
ately, General Short was asked whether his dispositions would have 
been changed if the message had reached him, say three hours before 
the attack. He replied :^^° 

General Short. Yes. Oh, yes. I would have gone immediately to either — to 
at least an alert against an air attack, and I probably would have gone against a 
complete attack, because it looked so significant. 

The Chairman. Well, can you tell me what was in that message that would 
have stirred you up? 

General Short. The thing that would have affected me more than the other 
matter was the fact that they had ordered the code machines destroyed, because 
to us that means just one thing; that they are going into an entirely new phase, 
and that they want to be perfectly sure that the code will not be broken for a 
minimum time, say of 3 or 4 days. That would have been extremely significant 
to me, the code machine, much more significant than just the ultimatum. 

It is to be noted that when appearing before the Roberts Com- 
mission, General Short insisted he had no knowledge concerning the 
destruction by Japanese diplomatic representatives of codes and con- 
fidential papers, prior to December 7. As has been seen, the evidence 
before this committee reflects that he received substantially this 
information on December 6. 

Admiral Kimmel has likewise suggested that the fact the Japanese 
Washington Embassy had been ordered to destroy its code machine 
would have been of greater significance to him than information 
received on December 3 that the Embassy, among others, had been 
ordered to destroy "most of its codes." ^'^ With respect to the latter 

321 General Short said: "This message (the one o'clock message) definitely pointed to an attack on Pearl 
Harbor at 1 p. m., Washington time." Committee Record, page 7992. 
M" Roberts Commission record, pp. 1619, 1620, 
M' Committee record, pp. 7476, 7477. 



228 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

intelligence Admiral Kimmel has testified: ^^^ "I didn't consider 
that of any vital importance when I received it * * *" Signi- 
ficantly, however, on December 6 the commandant of the Fourteenth 
Naval District advised the Navy Department: "beheve local consul 
has destroyed all but one system * * *" 333 

It is concluded that the information contained in the Japanese 
intercept of December 7 instructing the Washington Embassy to 
destroy its remaining code machine, added little if any information to 
that already possessed by Admiral Kimmel concerning Japanese de- 
struction of codes and confidential matter; and that if the intelligence 
supplied him in this regard on December 3 did not serve to warn of 
the immediate imminence of war the information concerning the 
destruction of the Japanese code machme on the morning of Decem- 
ber 7 would not have effectively modified the situation. In the case 
of General Short, as elsewhere pointed out, it appears that while 
Admiral Kimmel did not supply him with the intelligence he had 
received concerning the destruction of codes, the Commanding 
General none-the-less received information of an equivalent character. 

We believe, however, that the "one o'clock" intercept should have 
been recognized as indicating the distinct possibility that some Japa- 
nese military action would occur somewhere at 1 p. m., December 7, 
Washington time. If properly appreciated, this intercept should 
have suggested a dispatch to all Pacific outpost commanders supply- 
ing this information, as General Marshall attempted to do immedi- 
ately upon seeing it. 

Significant Messages Translated After the Attack 

intelligence concerning hawaiian defenses 

One of the most unfortunate circumstances attending the handling 
of Magic is the fact that several very significant messages were not 
translated until after the attack. After December 7, 13 messages ^^* 
between Tokyo and Honolulu from November 24 to December 6 were 
translated, several of these dift'ering markedly from any of the messages 
between these points translated prior to December 7. Three of the 13 
messages were from Tokyo, two of which related to instructions and 
interest concerning fleet locations and movements ^^^ with the third, 
however, containing for the first time an inquiry from Tokyo concern- 

«2 Id., at p. 7477. 

833 The extreme importance of codes being destroyed in the consulates was expressed by Admiral Ingersoll 
in his testimony: 

"I considered that the information which we received regarding the destruction of the codes and whicii 
was sent out to the fleets as one of the two most important messages that were sent out by the Chief of Naval 
Operations during the entire period before Pearl Harbor, the other one being the dispatch stating that, 
'This is a war warning' in effect and that all hope of negotiations had broken oil . . . 

"The importance of the messages regarding the destruction of the codes is this: If you rupture diplomatic 
negotiations you do not necessarily have to burn your codes. The diplomats go home and they can pack up 
their codes with their dolls and take them home. Also, when you rupture diplomatic negotiations you do 
not rupture consular relations. The consuls stay on. 

"Now in this particular set of dispatches they not only told their diplomats in Washington and London 
to burn their codes but they told their consuls in ManDa, in Hongkong, Singapore, and Batavia to burn their 
codes and that did not mean a rupture of diplomatic negotiations, it meant uar, and that information was 
tent out to the fleet as soon as ue got it * * *" Committee record, pp. 11286, 11287. 

33< Committee exhibit No. 2, pp. 1&-29. 

236 Id., at pp. 18,26. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 229 

ing the defenses of the fleet in port. The latter message dated Decem- 
ber 2 (translated December 30) read:^^^ 

In view of the present situation, the presence in port of warships, airplane 
carriers, and cruisers is of utmost importance. Hereafter, to the utmost of your 
ability, let me know day by da}^ Wire me in each case whether or not there are 
any observation balloons above Pearl Harbor or if there are any indications that 
they will be sent up. Also advise me whether or not the warships are provided 
with antimine nets. 

The messages translated after December 7 from Honolulu to Tokyo 
also reflect for the fh-st time that information relating to the defenses 
at Pearl Harbor was being collected and supplied to Japan. In a 
message of November 24, Tokyo was advised that on the preceding 
night five mine layers had conducted mine-laying operations outside 
the harbor.^" A November 28 message reported, "there are eight 
*B-17' planes at Midway and the altitude range of their anti-aircraft 
guns is (5,000 feet?)"; that "12,000 men (mostly marines) are expected 
to reinforce the troops in Honolulu during December or January"; 
and that "there has usually been one cruiser in the waters about 
(15,000 feet?) south of Pearl Harbor and one or two destroyers at 
the entrance to the harbor." ^^^ 

Of extreme significance are two messages of December 6 (both 
translated December 8) one of which reads as follows: ^^^ 

Re the last part of your #123.3io 

1. On the American Continent in October the Army began training barrage 
balloon troops at Camp Davis, North Carolina. Not only have they ordered 
four or five hundred balloons, but it is understood that they are considering the 
use of these balloons in the defense of Hawaii and Panama. Insofar as Hawaii 
is concerned, though investigations have been made in the neighborhood of 
Pearl Harbor, they have not set up mooring equipment, nor have they selected 
the troops to man them. Furthermore, there is no indication that any training 
for the maintenance of balloons is being undertaken. At the present time there 
are no signs of barrage balloon equipment. In addition, it is difficult to imagine 
that they have actually any. However, even though they have actually made 
preparations, because they must control the air over the water and land runways 
of the airports in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor, Hickam, Ford, and Ewa, there are 
limits in the balloon defense of Pearl Harbor. I imagine that in all probability 
there is considerable opportunity left to take advantage for a surprise attack against 
these places. 

2. In my opinion the battleships do not have torpedo nets. The details are 
not known. I will report the results of my investigation. 

The other message of December 6 from Honolulu to Tokyo reported, 
among other things, "it appears that no air reconnaissance is being 
conducted by the fleet air arm," ^^^ 

Also of particular interest is a message from Honolulu on Decem- 
ber 3 ^^ establishing a "number code" to indicate whether warships of 
a given category were preparmg to sortie or had departed. A system 

W6 Id., at p. 21. This message was transmitted from Hawaii and was translated by the Army in Wash- 
ington, the translation bearing the notation, "This message was received on December 23." 

M7 Translated December 16, 1941, by the Army. Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 17. 

"8 Translated December 8, 1941, by the Army. Committee e.xhibit No. 2, p. 19. 

339 Committee exhibit No. 2, pp. 27, 28. Army translation. The record indicates that this information was 
taken from material published in newspapers. 

3*» See committee exhibit No. 2, p. 21. 

3«i Id., p. 29. Army translation. 



230 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

of houselights, newspaper want ads and bonfires, in addition to the 
use of a sail boat, was designed to indicate the code numbers. While 
this system of communication did not relate to the defenses of Hawaii, 
it was clearly in anticipation that the normal channels for trans- 
mitting information regarding the movements of the fleet might be 
cut off and that a visual means of communication, probably to sub- 
marines offshore, was desired. It is also to be noted that no provision 
was made in the code for transmitting information concerning the 
departure of ships after December 6. 

This message was decrypted and translated in rough form on 
December 6 by a civihan translator in the Navy Department, it 
having been received from a radio intercept station of the Army at 
Fort Hunt, Va. While Captain Kramer testified he had no positive 
recollection of having seen the translation prior to the attack, the 
evidence tends to indicate that the rough translation was shown to 
him on the afternoon of December 6 but that on account of the 
pressure of work on other important diplomatic messages, including 
the first 13 parts of the Japanese 14-part memorandum, no action was 
taken on the translation until December 8.^^ It is to be noted that 
this intercept of December 3 was in a code system referred to as 
"PA-K2" whereas the important Japanese 14-part reply which started 
coming in on the afternoon of December 6 was in the so-called Purple 
code system. The Purple was afforded first priority which, it appears, 
explains Captain Kramer's not giving undivided attention to the 
PA-K2 dispatch of December 3 together with the fact that this 
message was badly garbled and the civilian translator who handled it, 
while proficient in Japanese, had not as yet had adequate experience 
concerning the handling of the intercepted dispatches.^" 

CONSIDERATIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR DELAY IN TRANSLATIONS 

Of the 13 messages between Tokyo and Honolulu intercepted before 
December 7 but not translated until after the attack, 5 were trans- 
mitted on or after December 4. The evidence shows that because 
of technical difficulties a delay of 3 days in transmitting, decoding, 
and translating such messages was not unusual or unreasonable.^*^ 

M Id., pp. 22-24. 

'" See Hewitt Inquiry Record, pp. 588, 589; also pp. 511-515. 

Captain Safford stated that on the week end of Deceviber 6, 1941, his unit handled three times the normal traffic 
on a busy day. Navy Court of Inquiry record, p. 756. 

3« See testimony of Captain McCollum, committee record, pp. 9283, 9284. The December 3 dispatch from 
the Honolulu consul was obtained by the district intelligence oflScer of the Navy in Hawaii and was turned 
over on December 5, 1941, to the Radio Intelligence Unit for decryption and translation. Being in the more 
simple PA-K2 system the unit in Hawaii while capable of breaking the message down did not decrypt and 
translate it until after the attack. 

'« In discussing the matter of delays in securing the translations of the Magic, General Miles stated: 
'• * * it was not only a question of personnel and facilities here in Washington for the decoding and 
translation of those messages, but also very definitely out in the field. Those messages had to be picked out 
of the air by intercepting stations. They were not all picked up by the same station. There was no one 
station that could have picked them up. 

"In fact, I understand now that the best intercepting station for the few messages emanating from Japan 
itself was Manila. 

"Now, some of those intercepting stations had teletype facilities by which they could promptly transmit 
the message intercepted to Washington. Some did not. Some of the messages were received in Washing- 
ton by air mail. 

"So we had not only a question of personnel and facilities and a very rapidly growing traffic to handle it 
in Washington but also the actual intercepting of the message in the field and the transmission of those 
messages to Washington." Committee record, pp. 2111, 2112. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 231 

The same difficulty partially explains the delays ranging from 5 to 9 
days in decoding and translating sLx of the eight messages transmitted 
prior to December 4. 

Of the remaining two messages, one dated November 24 was not 
translated until 20 days after it had been received in Washington. 
The key in which this message was transmitted was not recovered 
until about December 16. The other is the message from Tokyo, 
dated December 2, requesting information as to observation balloons 
and antimine nets at Pearl Harbor. A transmission of this message 
was intercepted by a Navy station on the west coast on December 2 
and was received by the Navy on December 6 by air mail. This 
version of the intercept text, however, was badly garbled and the 
actual decoding and translating was based on a copy obtained from 
the Honolulu office of a radio corporation after the attack on Pearl 
Harbor. 

The two messages transmitted from Honolulu to Tokyo on Decem- 
ber 6, reporting the absence of barrage balloons, torpedo nets, and air 
recoimaissance, were intercepted by an Army station on the west 
coast at 7:22 p. m. on December 6 and 12:42 a. m. on December 6, 
respectively (Washington time), but were not processed as rapidly as 
were the diplomatic messages transmitted from Tokyo to Washington 
on the same night. On the basis of experience as to the contents of 
messages over particular circuits and in particular codes, the very 
highest priority was given to messages between Tokyo and Washing- 
ton transmitted in the most secure Japanese code, the so-called 
purple, and the "pilot message" of December 6 had alerted the services 
to what was coming on the Tokyo-Washington circuit. 

The messages from Honolulu to Tokyo on December 6 were trans- 
mitted in the PA-K2 code system, a relatively insecure Japanese code 
and one past experience had shown was not ordinarily used for mes- 
sages which Tokyo considered of the highest importance. The actual 
content of any message could not of course be known untU it had been 
decoded and translated, and before the attack there was no reason to 
suspect that the two messages sent from Honolulu to Tokyo on 
December 6 would prove of unusual interest. It is to be noted, 
however, that the low-grade PA-K2 system was virtually the only 
code available to the Honolulu consul after he had destroyed his major 
codes pursuant to instructions from Tokyo on December 2.^^ 

Despite the unfortunate fact that these messages were not processed 
prior to December 7, no basis exists for criticizing the system which 
was set up for decrypting and translating the intercepted Japanese 
messages and for determining the priorities in the processing of the 
various classes of messages. The evidence shows that throughout the 
period of tense relations between the United States and Japan in 1941, 
the important diplomatic messages were intercepted, transmitted to 
Washington, decoded and translated, and disseminated with utmost 
speed. Not infrequently they were in the hands of the authorized 
recipients of Magic in our Government as soon as they were in the 

"« See exhibit No. 1, pp. 215, 216. 



232 PEAEL HARBOR ATTACK 

hands of the Japanese addressees. Many of the civilian and military 
personnel engaged in handling the Magic worked long hours far in 
excess of those prescribed with no additional compensation nor special 
recognition. The success achieved in reading the Japanese diplomatic 
codes merits the highest commendation and all witnesses familiar with 
Magic material throughout the war have testified that it contributed 
enormously to the defeat of the enemy, greatly shortened the war, and 
saved many thousands of lives?^'' 

Conclusions With Respect to Intelligence Available in 
Washington Which Was Not Supplied Hawaii 

Both Admiral Kimmel and General Short have complained that 
they were wrongfully deprived of intelligence available to Washington 
through the Magic which would have altered completely their esti- 
mate of the situation and would have resulted, if it had been supplied 
them, in a proper alert and appropriate dispositions consistent with 
an adequate defense of the Hawaiian coastal frontier. In a prepared 
statement, read before the committee, Admiral Kimmel said: ^^ 

The question will arise in your minds, as it has in mine: Would the receipt of 
this information have made a difference in the events of December 7? No man 
can now state as a fact that he would have taken a certain course of action four 
years ago had he known facts which were then unknown to him. All he can give 
is his present conviction on the subject, divorcing himself from hindsight as far 
as humanly possible, and re-creating the atmosphere of the past and the factors 
which then influenced him. I give you my views, formed in this manner. 

Had I learned these vital facts and the "ships in harbor" messages on Novem- 
ber 28th, it is my present conviction that I would have rejected the Navy Depart- 
ment's suggestion to send carriers to Wake and Midway. I would have ordered 
the third carrier, the Saratoga, back from the West Coast. I would have gone to 
sea with the Fleet and endeavored to keep it in an intercepting position at sea. 
This would have permitted the disposal of the striking power of the Fleet to meet 
an attack in the Hawaiian area. The requirement of keeping the Fleet fuelled, 
however, would have made necessary the presence in Pearl Harbor from time to 
time of detachments of various units of the main body of the Fleet. 

In the last analysis, however, there are only four messages or groups 
of messages which the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and the 
commanding general of the Hawaiian Department contend pointed to 
Pearl Harbor as a likely place of attack; i. e., the harbor berthing plan 
and related dispatches,^*^ the deadline messages,^^" the dispatches which 
indicated the fraudulent nature of Japanese negotiations after Novem- 
ber 28,^^"" and the dispatch specifying 1 p. m., December 7, as the time 
for delivery of the Japanese memorandum to the Secretary of State. ^^°* 
Referring to the berthing plan (and related dispatches) Admiral 
Kimmel said,^^"" "These Japanese instructions and reports pointed to 

3*' See note 113, supra. 
3<s See committee record, pp. 6805, 6806. 
3<« See section " 'Ships in Harbor' Reports," supra. 
35" See section "The Deadline Messages," supra. 

''1" See section "Dispatches Indicating Fraudulent Nature of Negotiations after November 28, 1941," 
supra. 
""' See section "Significance of the 'One o'clock' and Code Destruction Messages," supra. 
350» Committee record, pp. 6779. 6780. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 233 

an attack by Japan upon the ships in Pearl Harbor." Additionally, 
he has indicated that the dispatches concerning the deadlines and 
fraudulent negotiations ^^^^ pointed to Pearl Harbor. 

During the course of committee examination General Short was 
asked whether, "outide of the message carving up Pearl Harbor into 
five divisions," there was any information among the Magic intelli- 
gence which pointed to an attack upon Pearl Harbor any more than 
upon any other place. He replied: ^^*^« 

That was the most definite thing, and then the fact that the delivery of the 
message was at 1 p. m. Washington time, which would be shortly after dawn in 
Honolulu, which I think was an indication. 

At another point, referring to the "harbor berthing plan" and the 
so-called "one o'clock" message. General Short said,^^"-'^ "I think 
those two things are the really definite things that pointed to Pearl 
Harbor" and that the other intercepted messages related to the 
"more tense situation as it developed." 

As heretofore pointed out, we are unable to conclude that the 
berthing plan and related dispatches pointed directly to an attack on 
Pearl Harbor, nor are we able to conclude that the plan was a "bomb 
plot" in view of the evidence indicating it was not such.^^"^ We are 
of the opinion, however, that the berthmg plan and related dispatches 
should have received careful consideration and created a serious 
•question as to their significance. Since they indicated a particular 
mterest in the Pacific Fleet's base this intelligence should have been 
appreciated and supplied the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet 
and the commanding general of the Hawaiian Department for their 
assistance, along with other information and intelhgence available to 
them, in making their estimate of the situation. 

We believe that the deadline messages and the messages indicating 
fraudulent Japanese diplomacy after November 28 in themselves no 
more indicated Hawaii as a likely point of attack than any other point 
in the Pacific. The equivalent of this intelligence was supplied Ad- 
miral Kimmel in the dispatch of November 27 beginning, "This dis- 
patch is to be considered a war warning" and advising, "negotiations 
with Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the Pacific 
have ceased and an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the 
next few days." It was supplied General Short in the November 27 
warning, stating, "Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile 
action possible at any moment." 

The "one o'clock intercept", as previously indicated, was an un- 
usual piece of intelligence suggesting the distinct possibility that some 

"D'' See committee record, pp. 6791-6793. 

'»«• Committee record, pp. 8126, 8127. At another point, when asked if his thought was that the Magic 
messages that were not sent Hawaii would have been more important than the messages he did receive. 
General Short said: "There were two that could hardly fail. The intercept which was the bombing plan 
of Pearl Harbor and the message stating that the ultimatum would be delivered at 1 p. m. which could have 
been sent to me 4 hours before the attack, and reached me 7 hours after the attack. These two messages 
would have meant somethiug to me." Committee record, p. 8201. 

3W Id., at pp. 8126-8128. 

'M« See section " 'Ships in Harbor' Reports," supra. 



234 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

Japanese military action would take place somewhere at 1 p. m. but 
it did not reasonably point to Pearl Harbor any more than to any 
other place in the Pacific. This intelligence indicated the need for 
particular alertness at 1 p. m. to meet the dangers contemplated on 
the basis of estimates already made as to where a Japanese attack 
might come. 

The burden of the statements of both Admiral Kimmel and General 
Short to the committee is that "Washington withheld vital informa- 
tion from them. In fact, Admiral Kimmel has charged that the 
Navy Department's handling of Magic constituted an affirmative 
misrepresentation. On the basis of the evidence before the com- 
mittee, this charge is without foundation in fact. 

Both Hawaiian commanders all but ignore the fact that they are 
properly chargeable with possessing far more vital intelligence indi- 
cating an attack on Hawaii than was in the hands of anyone in the 
War or Navy Departments. They had, among other things, corre- 
spondence with Washington and plans revealing the possible dangers 
of air attack, the warning dispatches, the code-destruction intelligence, 
radio intelligence concerning the "lost" Japanese carriers, the Mori 
call, the report of sighting and subsequent attack on a Japanese 
submarine in close proximity to Pearl Harbor, and radar detection 
of the Japanese raiding force over 130 miles from Oahu on the morn- 
ing of December 7. General Short assumed the Navy was con- 
ducting distant recomiaissance. Admiral Kimmel assumed that 
the Army would alert its aircraft warning service, antiaircraft guns, 
and fighter planes. From these assumptions and the estimate and 
action taken on the basis of information available to them, it is 
problematical as to what steps would have been taken by the Hawaiian 
commanders had they received all of the intelligence which they con- 
tend was withheld from them. 

Estimate of the Situation in Washington 

The evidence reflects that virtually everyone in Washington was 
surprised Japan struck Pearl Harbor at the time she did. Among 
the reasons for this conclusion was the apparent Japanese purpose to 
move toward the south — the Philippines, Thailand, the Kra Penin- 
sula; and the feeling that Hawaii was a near-impregnable fortress 
that Japan would not incur the dangers of attacking. The latter 
consideration necessarily contemplated that Hawaii was alert and 
that the . enemy would be met with the full weight of Army and 
Navy power provided for defense. It is apparent, however, that an 
attack on the fleet by Japan at some time was regarded as a distinct 
possibility. The warning messages sent the Hawaiian commanders 
contained orders requiring defensive measures against this possibility. 
Admiral Turner, Director of War Plans in the Navy Department, is 
the only officer in Washington in the higher echelons who indicated a 
strong belief that Hawaii would be attacked — he testified that he 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 235 

regarded such an attack as a "50-50 chance." ^" Asked if he had 
gained this impression around December 1 as a result of the Japanese 
ship-location reports,^" he testified:^*' 

No. That had been the opinion all along, expressed by the Navy Department, 
expressed in Hawaii, expressed by the War Department, expressed by everybody 
else, that there was a strong possibility that there would be an attack, a raid, that 
is, against Hawaii. That was merely following along the line the Navy officers 
and Army officers had been thinking about for 25 years or more. There was no 
change. 

"VThen asked why, around November 27, if the Navy felt in this 
way about the chances of an air raid on the fleet in Pearl Harbor, 
some further message was not sent suggesting this possibility, Admiral 
Turner stated: ^^* 

That had been in correspondence right along. The dispatch of November 27 
fully covers it, in my opinion. I think on the 5th, the afternoon of the 5th of 
December, after convassing the situation with officers in my Division, I went 
into Admiral Ingersoll's office and we talked for an hour as to what more the 
Navy Department could do to warn the forces in the field, the fleets, what ought 
to be done, should we send any more dispatches, or what. We came, both, to 
the conclusion that everything had been done covering the entire situation that 
ought to be done and we then proceeded into Admiral Stark's office, discussed 
the same question with him for 15 minutes, and it was the unanimous decision that 
the orders that we had sent out for Admiral Kimmel to take a defensive deployment 
there were sufficient. 

What was he going to take a defensive Heployment against? Just one thing. That 
is the meat of that dispatch. It is all in there. 

The foregoing thoughts expressed by Admiral Turner characterized 
the feelings of all the ranking officers of the War and Navy Depart- 
ments: that the Hawaiian commanders had been adequately alerted to 
all contingencies. Admiral Stark stated, "We considered we had fully 
alerted them (referring to the 'war warning' of November 27) with 
the directives which were given both by the Army and by ourselves 
* * * We felt we were fully alerted. Our plans were ready, if 

351 It is to be noted that the record clearly indicates that Admiral Turner's estimate of a possible attack 
at Hawaii was not based on any intelligence which he possessed indicating such an attack but rather on 
his personal appraisal of possible Japanese action. 

In this connection Captain McCoUum said: "I was not surprised at the Japanese attack, sir. I was 
astonished at the success attained by that attack, sir. * ' * I do not mean by that statement to imply 
that I had any knowledge that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, and I wish to state categori- 
cally that there was no bit of intelligence that I had at my disposal that definitely to my mind indicated 
that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor, but I had * • * for many years felt that in the event 
of an outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Japan that the Japanese would make a very 
definite attempt to strike the fleet at or near the commencement time of those hostilities." Committee 
record, pp. 9259, 9260. 

The following committee examination reflects the feeling of Captain McCollum with respect to a possible 
Japanese attack on our fleet: 

Question: "And you always felt that if the Japs were going to strike with her fleets the place to start 
was by attacking our fleet?" 

Captain McCollum: "That is correct." 

Question: "The place they would start would be by attacking the fleet." 

Captain McCollum: "They not only would do that, but that there was historical precedent, if the 
Japanese wished to start a war with us. Their war with China in 1895 was started that way; their war 
with Russia in 1907 was started that way; their war against Germany in Tsingtao in 1914 was started in 
that way. • • • Attacking their fleet and timing a declaration of war on presentation of the final notes." 
Committee record, pp. 9275, 9276. 

'" Radio Intelligence concerning the "lost" Japanese carriers. 

*M Committee record, p. 5200, 

»"Id., atp. 5201. 



236 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

war broke, in all theaters." ^" General Marshall said, "In our opinion, 
the commanders had been alerted." ^^^ As expressed by Mr. Stimson:'" 

We assumed that when he (General Short) had been warned that hostile action 
was possible at any moment, it would not be necessary to repeat that warning 
over and over again during the ensuing days. The fact was of course that General 
Short did receive, not only from Washington but from other sources, repeated 
intelligence of the impending crisis. 

Captain McCollum, who had suggested (not knowing the "war 
warning" had been sent) an additional warning dispatch, stated in 
referring to the dispatch sent Admiral Kimmel on November 27: ^^^ 

It does not come in the life of most naval officers to receive or see a message 
containing such words and my personal feeling is that a message containing the 
information "This is a war warning," indicated clearly that the Department 
expected a war to break out there at any moment from then on. 

* * * I think that a commander to whom such a message as that is ad- 
dressed must assume that war is going to break out over his forces and take the 
steps necessary to cover it. 

The consummate confidence that field commanders were adequately 
alert on the basis of dispatches sent them is manifested by the reluct- 
ance of Admiral Stark to dispatch a message based on the "one o'clock 
intercept." As stated by General Marshall: "I asked him if he had 
read the final message referring to one o'clock. He stated that he had, 
and I proposed an immediate message to all theaters concerned. 
Admiral Stark hesitated, because he said (he) had alerted them all and 
he was ajraid of confusing themjurther." ^^^ 

As indicated, the record reflects the judgment of responsible officers 
in both the War and Navy Departments that they had fully and 
adequately alerted our military outposts before December 7.^^° We 
believe that Admiral Kimmel and General Short received sufficient 
information to justify the expectation that they would be fully alert 
to the implications of their military responsibilities in Hawaii. In 
this connection it is to be noted that all other outpost commanders, 
receiving the warning messages of November 27 in substantially the 
same form as did Admiral Kimmel and General Short, took full and 
ample measures to effect a state of readiness commensurate with the 
fact that war was imminent. Hawaii was the only outpost that failed 
to institute a proper alert. 

3S» Id., at pp. 13733, 13747. 

M« Id., at pp. 13792, 13793. 

3" See Mr. Stimson's statement, committee record, p. 14398. 

358 Committee record, pp. 9194, 9195, 9281, 9282. McCollum said: "I had been given to understand that 
they (the Fleet) had been thoroughly alerted • • * and on their toes." Committee record, p. 9156. 

3M Army Pearl Harbor Board (top secret) record, pages 7, 8. 

>8o General Miles said: "0-2 was charged with the dissemination of information. The essential informa- 
tion contained in the Chief of Staff's November 27 message, that hostilities might occur at any time on the 
initiative of the Japanese, held good right up to December 7. The information emphasized the increasing 
tension of the crisis. 

"But these things were known in Hawaii. That Fortress, like a sentinel on post, had been warned of the 
danger which was its sole reason for being. Anything else was considered to be redundant." Committee record, 
p. 2216. 



pearl harbor attack 237 

Nature of Responsibilities 

In seeking to make an assessment of responsibilities for the Pearl 
Harbor disaster, apart from that which is forever Japan's, it is impera- 
tive that the duties and obhgations existing in Hawaii be placed in the 
proper perspective with respect to those attaching to Washington. 
The responsibihty of the commander in the field with his well-defined 
scope of activity is manifestly to be distinguished from that of the 
officerin Washington who is charged with directing the over-all opera- 
tions of the military on a global basis. 

DUTIES IN HAWAII 

It has been a cardinal principle of military theory to select capable 
commanders for our outposts, give them broad directives, ^^^ and leave 
to their discretion and good judgment the implementation of the De- 
partmental mandate consonant with their more intimate and detailed 
familiarity with the peculiar problems existing in their particular 
commands. ^^^ Admiral Kimmel and General Short were selected 
because of their impeccable records for two of the most important 
field commands of the Navy and Army — Commander in Chief of the 
Pacific Fleet and Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department. 
These two officers were primarily and fundamentally responsible^ — 
they were the men to whom Washington and the Nation were properly 
entitled to look — for the defense of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier. 

With respect to Hawaii and the fleet, theirs were the obligations to 
plan for war, to train for war, and to be alerted for war when it came. 
The first two of these obligations they discharged in an exemplary 
manner but in the case of the third, alertness for war, they failed.^^^ 
All of the intelligence, thought, and energies of the field commander 
are to be devoted to his command. He is to apply all information 
and intelligence received to his particular situation. He is not priv- 
ileged to think or contemplate that he will not be attacked. On the 
contrary, he is to assume and to expect that his particular post will 
be attacked. He cannot wholly assume that others will inform him 

36' It is to be recalled, as heretofore pointed out, that Admiral Kimmel said: "* • * the Department 
itself is not too well informed as to the local situation, particularly with regard to the status of current out- 
lying island development, thus making it even more necessary that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, 
be guided by broad policy and objectives rather than by categorical instructions." Letter from Admiral Kimmel 
to Admiral Stark, dated May 26, 1941. See committee exhibit No. 106. 

582 Referring to the plans for the defense of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier, Admiral Turner said: "After 
reading these splendid plans that had been sent in by the Commander in Chief, and by the Fourteenth 
Naval District, why, my feeling was that these people knew their business. They knew what to do about it, 
probably a lot more than I did, or the rest of us here, because they were the ones that were on the ^firing 
line." Committee record, p. 5211. See also testimony of General Gerow, committee record, p. 2719. 

383 In striking contrast with the failure to effect adequate readiness in Hawaii is the manner in which the 
Russians prepared to meet in June and July of 1941 the possibility of a Japanese thrust aginst the Soviet 
Union. An intercepted dispatch from Vladivostok to Tokyo on July 3, 1941, stated: "Since the beginning 
of the German-Soviet war the naval authorities here have tightened up on watch and are engaged in naval 
preparations by enforcing various exercises to meet any eventuality. However, naval exercises are limited 
to only one section of the force for there are many ships which are undergoing repairs. Evidently the prepara- 
tions are intended for defense against Japan." Committee exhibit No. 2, p. 125. See also committee record, 
pp. 7509-7512. 



238 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

when and where the foe will strike. He is "like a sentinel on duty in 
the face of the enemy. His fundamental duties are clear and precise. 
It is not the duty of the outpost commander to speculate or rely on 
the possibilities of the enemy attacking at some other outpost instead 
of his own. It is his duty to meet liim at his post at any time and to 
make the best possible fight that can be made against him with the 
weapons with which he has been supplied," ^" 

The commanders in Hawaii were clearly and unmistakably warned 
of war with Japan. They were given orders and possessed informa- 
tion that the entire Pacific area was fraught with danger. They failed 
to carry out these orders and to discharge their basic and ultimate re- 
sponsibilities. They failed to defend the fortress they commanded — 
their citadel was taken by surprise. Aside from any responsibilities 
that may appear to rest in Washington, the ultimate and direct re- 
sponsibility for failure to engage the Japanese on the morning of 
December 7 with every weapon at their disposal rests essentially and 
properly with the Army and Navy commands in Hawaii whose duty 
it was to meet the enemy against which they had been warned. 

DUTIES IN WASHINGTON 

The Chief of Staff of the Army and the Chief of Naval Operations 
of the Navy had the over-all responsibility for supervision of our 
military and naval operations and establishments everywhere, in- 
cluding Hawaii. Theirs was the obligation of determining that all 
of the equipment available was supplied the field commander which 
would assist him in discharging his responsibilities.^^^ In supplying 
equipment it was their duty to consider the demands for material 
from many quarters in the light of the commitments and interests ot 
the United States — to estimate where the most dangerous and likely 
point of enemy attack might be — and then to effect dispositions which 
in their best judgment most nearly satisfied the exigencies of the hour. 
They discharged this duty to the best of their ability. 

They had the duty of alerting our outposts in view of the critical 
situation in our relations with Japan in the days before December 7 
and of informing them of probable enemy action.^**^ In the dispatch 
of November 27, sent Admiral Kimmel and Admiral Hart, the com- 
mander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet, there was outlined what at the 
time was regarded and appeared to be the major strategic effort of 
the enemy. The Japanese major effort did follow the course out- 
lined in the dispatch. Pearl Harbor was not known to be a point of 
Japanese attack but it was known that such an attack was a possi- 
bility and both responsible commanders in Hawaii were accordingly 
ordered to take action contemplated to meet this possibility. 

'w See statement of Mr. Stimson, committee record, p. 14406. 

3M See committee record, pp. 2764-2771; 5594, 5595. Also see committee exhibit No. 42. 
38* Admiral Turner said; "My function was to give the major strategic over-all picture for the use of my 
superiors and disseminate that." Committee record, p. 5074. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 239 

Tlio officers in the intelli«i:ence and war plans divisions of the War 
and Navy Departments handhng matters in the Pacific had a par- 
ticular responsibihty with respect to the magic intelhgence just as the 
Hawaiian commanders liad a particular responsibihty for the defense 
of the fleet and the Hawaiian coastal frontier. It was the duty of 
these officers to evaluate and disseminate the magic in the form of 
estimates, as originally obtained, or otherwise. This responsibility 
they failed to discharge with that high degree of skill and imagination 
which this intelligence warranted.^" 

In the case of the War Plans Division of the War Department, 
once it had warned General Short of hostilities, issued order in con- 
templation of this contingency, and directed him to report measures 
taken, it thereby assumed responsibility for reviewing the report of 
action and advising the commanding general in the event the meas- 
ures taken by him were not in accordance with those desired. 

While the report submitted by General Short was ambiguous and 
disarmingly terse, it was the duty of the War Plans Division through 
the exercise of proper supervision to require a reply reflecting with 
clarity that there had been satisfactory compliance with the depart- 
mental orders.^^^ 

Hawaii was but one of many points of concern to General Marshall, 
the Chief of Staff, and Admiral Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations. 
As stated by the Chief of Staff, "the only place we had any assur- 
ance about was Hawaii, and for that reason we had less concern about 
Hawaii because we had worked on it very industriously, we had a 
tremendous amount of correspondence about it, and we felt reasonably 
secure at that one point." ^^^ Theirs was the obligation of mapping 
the strategy of global war, of advising and counseling the President 
and others on military and naval matters, of following and encourag- 
ing the progress of preparation for defense in the event of war, of 
outlining and justifying to the Congress the manifold needs of the 
Army and Navy, of over-aU responsibility for many mihtary and 
naval outposts and interests, of disposing and allocating the scanty 

36' As expressed by Mr. Stimson: "A keener and more imaginative appreoiation on the part of some of 
the officers in the War and Kavy Departments of the significance of some of the information might have led 
to a suspicion of an attack specifically on Pearl Harbor. I do not think that certain officers in the War 
Department functioned in these respects with sufficient skill. At all times it must be borne in mind, how- 
ever, that it is easy to criticize individuals in the light of hindsight, and very difficult to recreate fairly the 
entire situation and information with which the officers were required to deal at the time of the event." 
See statement of the Secretary of War with respect to the report of the Army Pearl Harbor Board, com- 
mittee exhibit Xo. 1.57. 

3" In this connection, however, the marked distinction between the character of the responsibility resting 
on the War Plans I^ivision and that reposing in General Short was expressed by Mr. Stimson: 

"It must clearly be borne in mind that in November and December 1941 the responsibilities of the War 
Plans Division covered many fields and many theaters. Their preoccupation with the theaters most likely 
to be threatened, such as the Philipi)ines toward which the .lapanese activities then appeared to be pointed, 
may be subject to criticism in the light of the subsequent disaster, but it is understandable. All signs 
pointed to an attack in that direction, and they were exercising particular care with respect to that theater. 
Their conduct must be viewed in an entirely different light from that of the theater commander, such as 
General Short, who was like a sentinel on post and whose attention and vigilance must be entirely con- 
centrated on the single position which he has been chosen to defend and whose alertness must not be allowed 
to be distracted by consideration of other contingencies in respect to which he is not responsible." See 
statement of the Secretary of War with lespect to the report of ,the Army Peail Harbor Board Com- 
mittee exhibit No. 157. 

"» Committee record, p, 13793. 



90179 — 4(: 



240 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

materials of war consistent with the overwhelming demands and re- 
quirements from many quarters, and of performing the innumerable 
functions of the Chief of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations in a 
democracy that was all too slowly preparing itself against the inevit- 
able day of war.^^° Such diversity and magnitude of responsibilities 
is to be distinguished from that of the outpost commander with his 
singleness of purpose and well-defined sphere of activity. It was the 
duty of General Marshall and Admiral Stark to alert our military 
and naval garrisons which they attempted to do and felt assured they 
had done. To superimpose the administrative burden of supervising 
details would be to enmesh them in such a confusing and bewildering 
network of detail as to defeat the very purpose for which the positions 
of Chief of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations were created. 

Unity of Command 

The evidence adduced in the course of the various Pearl Harbor 
investigations reveals the complete inadequacy of command by 
mutual cooperation where decisive action is of the essence. Both the 
Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii failed to coordinate and 
integrate their combined facilities for defense in the crucial days 
between November 27 and December 7, 1941. While they had been 
able over a period of time to conceive admirable plans for the defense 
of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier consistent with the system of mutual 
cooperation, when the time came for the implementation of these 
plans they remained hollow and empty contracts that were never 
executed. Had the responsible commanders conferred together in 
such manner as to reach joint decisions consonant with their plans, 
the system of mutual cooperation would have proved adequate. It is 
clear, however, that this system presents unnecessary and inevitable 
opportunities for personal failures and sliortcomings. The ubiquitous 
tendency to "let George do it," to assume the other fellow will take 
care of the situation, is an inseparable part of command by mutual 
cooperation. 

The tragic assumptions made by Admiral Kimmel and General 
Short concerning what the other was doing are a manifestation of this 
fact. Each was the victim of the natural human reluctance to pry 
into what is regarded as another's business. ^^'"' The commarider in 
chief assumed that the Army would be on a full alert— the antiaii'craft, 
the aircraft warning service, and the interceptor command— yet he 

"« Mr. Stimsnn said: "Our General Staff officers were working under a terrific pre.<!sure in the lace of a 
global war whicli they felt was probably imminent. Yet tliey were surrounded, nutside of the otTwa and 
almost thioughout the country, by a spirit of isolationism and disbelief in danpcr which now seems iDcred- 
ible. • • » The officers of the Army were then trying to do their duty in the deadening, if Dof actually 
hostile, atmosphere of a nation that was not awake to its danrer. We are now engaged in passine judgment 
upon their actions in the wholly different atmosphere of a nation which has suffered some of the horrors of 
the greatest and most malignant war in history. In my opinion, it would be highly unjust to them if this 
complete difference of atmosphere was not given the weight which it deserves." Statement of Mr. Stimson 
to the Committee. Committee record, pp. 14410, 14411. 

»»• See testimony of General Short, Committee record, pp. 8122, 8123. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 241 

did not inquire to determine whether this was the case, apparently 
because it might not "sit very well" vnih. General Short."' The 
commanding general assumed that the Nav}'" would be conducting 
reconnaissance which would afford him adequate warning in order 
properly to alert his command. Yet he did not inquire as to whether* 
the Navy was conducting the reconnaissance upon which he was relying 
for his protection, presumably because he felt such an inquiry might 
be "resented" by Admiral Kimmel."- 

The conduct of operations in this state of joint oblivion was possible 
in a command by mutual cooperation; but none of these false and un- 
warranted assumptions could have obtained under unity of command. 
Under the latter system a single commander would have been charged 
with complete responsibility; all of the warnings, intelligence, and 
orders would have been his to interpret, estimate, and implement; it 
would have been his duty only to effect a state of readiness commen- 
surate with the reahties of the situation. Conceivably, a single com- 
mander might have arrived at the same estimate as did Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short; namely, that Hawaii would not be 
attacked. But such a decision would have been clear-cut and devoid 
of all the anomalous and incompatible assumptions that are in strange 
contradiction of the estimate made by the Hawaiian commanders that 
their outpost was safe. He would not have arrived at a conclusion 
concerning the defensive measures required on a fallacious assumption 
with respect to the decisions and defensive measures of someone else, 
nor could he have interpreted the same order at once in two different 
and inconsistent ways. 

Furthermore, in a command by mutual cooperation there is the 
unfailmg likelihood of conflicting and overlapping prerogatives. In 
the case of the plans for the defense of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier, 
it was the joint mission of the Army and Navy to hold Oahu as a main 
outlying naval base, each being specifically charged with supporting 
the other. It was necessary that the local commanders jointly agree 
upon the existence of the appropriate emergency as a condition prece- 
dent to the detailed allocation of specific missions as between the two 
services. The Na\y was primarily responsible for distant reconnais- 
sance and long-range attacks against hostile vessels, while the Army 
was charged with short-range defense. In the case of each of these 
defensive measures, one service was charged with supporting the forces 
of the other service having primary responsibility; and particularly, 
in the case of air operations, the service having the primary responsi- 
bility was to control the available planes of the other service. This 
was a sliding and shifting arrangement with respect to primary re- 
sponsibility depending on the nature of the attack. The mutual 
agreement required by such operations would necessarily be forth- 

«" See Roberts Commission record, p. 631. 

"3 See Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p 363. 



242 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

coming only when a particular type of attack was sufficiently imminent 
as to suggest the advisability of the Army or the Navy, as the case 
might be, assuming primary responsibility to meet the attack.^^^ 

The completely ineffective liaison between the Army and. the Navy in 
Hawaii at a time when the jullest exchange oj intelligence was absolutely 
imperative dictates that military and naval intelligence, particularly, 
must be consolidated?'^^ The extraordinarily anomalous situation of 
the one hand not knowing what the other hand knew or was doing 
should never be permitted to exist again. 

Invocation of unity of command was within the scope of the author- 
ity of the responsible commanders in Hawaii, upon agreement as to 
the service that should exercise command,^^*" or of the Secretaries of 
War and Navy, acting jointly .^^* Inasmuch as there was a complete 
failure of the system of mutual cooperation on December 7, 1941, and 
unity of command had no.t been effected by or imposed upon the 
Hawaiian commanders, it is proper to inquire as to the reason for 
unity of command not having been invoked at least as soon as it was 
known that hostilities were possible at any moment. 

The evidence reflects that during the period from November 27 to 
December 7 the leading subject of conferences between Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short was the question and near-dispute as to 
whether the Army or the Navy should exercise command over the 
islands of Wake and Midway after the Marines on these islands were 
relieved by Army troops. ^^^ No agreement was concluded in this 
regard before the outbreak of war. If neither would agree to the 

3" See section, supra, concerning plans for the defense of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier, Part HI, this 
report. 

•>'• General Manhall mid he thought unity of connoUdatwn {sic) or cennnlizotion o) vulitarv and naval intelli- 
gence was very necessary. Committee record, p. 2066. 

3'<o Admiral Kimmel testified that he never had any discussions with the commanding general of the 
Hawaiian Department on the desirability of putting unity of command into effect. He said he would not 
have effected unity of command, or accepted responsibility for the Army actions, without reference to the 
Navy Department. See Navy Court of Inquiry record, pp. 290, 297. 

37JSee committee exhibit No. 44. Cteneral Gerow said: "A fact frequently lost sight of in consideration 
of the method of coordination under the principle of mutual cooperation is that although the major operation 
is being conducted under that principle, joint operations subordinate thereto may still be conducted under the 
principle of unity of command if so agreed to by the Army and Navy commanders concerned. This method is 
particularly applicable to joint operations by forces having similar combat characteristics, such as the air 
forces of the two services." See memorandum prepared by General Gerow for Chief of Staff dated Novem- 
ber 17, 1941. Committee exhibit No. 48. 

3" Admiral W. W. Smith testified: "He (Admiral Kimmel) had a shock, though, in the week preceding 
Pearl Hart)or, when we had orders from the Navy Department, and General Short had orders from the 
War Department, to prepare a plan immediately for bringing all the marines off the outlying islands, and 
replacing them with soldiers and with Army planes, and, as I remember it, practically the entire week 
before Pearl Harbor was spent with the two Staffs together. The Army was undecided whether to put 
P-39's or P-40's on these islands. We told them that any planes they put on Wake would remain their for 
the duration, in case of war, because they would have to be taken off from a carrier and could not come 
back, and we had no means of putting a ship in there to bring them off, and during the discussion of this 
with General Short and his staff, the Commanding General of the Army Air Force (General Martin) and 
Admiral Pye were present, and also Admiral Wilson Brown, the War Plans oflRcer, the Operations OfBcers 
and I believe Admiral Bloch. Admiral Kimmel said, 'What can I expect of Army fighters on Wake?' And 
General Mart in replied, 'We do not allow them to go more than fifteen miles offshore.' That was a shock to 
all of us and Admiral Kimmel'sreply was, 'Then, they will be no damn good to me.' The exchangewas 
never made because the war broke before-hand. The only dispute between the Army and Navy over that 
exchange was that General Short said, 'If I have the man these islands, I shall haveto commandthem.' Admiral 
Kimmel replied, 'No, that won't do. If the Army commanded one of the islands, I u-ouldn't be able to get a ship 
into one of the ports,' or words tothat effect, and General Short said, 'Mind you, I do not want to manthese islands, 
I think they are better manned by Marines, but if I man them, I must command them.' That was as near to a dis- 
pute between General Short and Admiral Kimmel as I ever saw, but the plan was made and submitted but never 
carried out," Hart inquiry record, pp. 40, 41. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 243 

other's commanding Wako or Midway, it is not in the least surprising 
or unexpected that neither one of the commanders would have agreed 
to subordinate himself and his entire command to the other. 

In the case of Washington, the matter of establishing unity of 
command at our outposts was under consideration and discussion by 
the War and Navy Departments throughout the year 1941 and 
especially during the few weeks prior to December 7.^" No decision, 
however, was reached concerning unity of command at Hawaii or at 
any of our outposts until the responsible officials were confronted bv 
war with powerful adversaries on two fronts and the barriei of 
departmental prerogative had been severely jolted by the Pearl 
Harbor disaster. The Joint Board of the Army and Navy durmg 1941 
had considered specific proposals for unity of command as made by 
each of the services but prior to December 7 no effective agreement 
was reached as to which service should exercise command at a pai*- 
ticular outpost. It generally appears, however, that it was agreed 
the system of mutual cooperation in the Caribbean, at Panama, and 
at Hawaii should be replaced by unity of command. The Navy pro- 
posed that command in the Caribbean be vested in the Navy; at 
^nama in the Army, except when major naval forces were based 
there; and at Hawaii in the Navy, except when no major naval forces 
were based there."* The Army, on the other hand, proposed unity of 
command in all coastal frontiers, command to rest in the Army except 
when a major portion of the fleet was operating against comparable 
hostile forces within the range of possible support by Army aviation 
and when the Army and Navy commanders should agree to transfer 
command from one to the other. "^ 

In view of these conflicting proposals following virtually a year of 
discussion, General Gerow, chief of War Plans in the War Depart- 
ment, recommended to the Chief of Staff on November 17, 1941, 
that the s3^sLem of command in the outposts remain by mutual 
cooperation, thereby suggesting abandonment of the idea of unity of 
command. ^*° In testifying before the committee. General Gerow 
explained his action by stating he thought the only way to have 
effective unity of command was for the heads of the Army and Navy 
to say that "So and so is in command, and he is in command from 
now on." He observed that — ^*' "You cannot vary that command 

»" See committee record, pp. 2749-2761; also 2963 et seq. 

'" Committee record, pp. 2750-2757. See also committee exhibit No. 48. 

3" Id. 

3S0 Id. General Gerow recommended: "That coordination of joint operations in the Caribbean, Panama 
and Hawaiian Coastal Frontiers continue to be effected by mutual cooperation. If this recommendation is 
approved, such a proposal will be discussed with the Navy .section of the Joint Planning Committee." 
See memorandum prepared by General Gerow for Chief of StafI dated November 17, 1941. Committee 
e.xhibit No. 48. 

Referring to this memorandum, General Marshall stated in a memorandum for General Gerow dated 
Decembers, 1941: "I would like this matter of Coordination of Command discussed with the Naval Section 
of the Joint Planning Committee. However, I think it is important that a genera! policy, or what might be 
called an explanation, should first be decided on, expressed in carefully considered sentences, as to the 
application of unity of command. 

"A discussion of this runs through a series of paragraphs on your memorandum and you have covered it 
orally to me, but no where is it presented in a concise form." Committee exhibit No. 48A. 

»s' Committee record, p. 2757. 



244 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

from day to day depending on what the operation is. One man must 
be responsible for preparing that place for operation, and he must 
be responsible for commanding it after he has prepared it." He 
pointed out that the joint Army-Navy planning committee had 
contemplated an arrangement whereby command would shift back 
and forth from the Army to the Navy and from the Navy to the 
Army depending on the nature of attack or defense.^*^ General 
Gerow said that he thought the system of mutual cooperation would 
be better than such a continual switching of command.^^^ He com- 
mented : 

"I did not think either the Army or Navy Planning Group would 
agree to say wholeheartedly 'You take everj^thing and it will be agree- 
able to us.' Neither would agree to that." ^^* He agreed that it would 
be necessary that "somebody at the top had to knock their heads 
together and tell them what to do." ^^^ General Marshall epitomized 
the essentially human proclivities characterizing the situation: ^^^ 

I have said this before; I will repeat it again. It is a very simple thing to have 
unity of command if you give it to the other man. But that also applied in all of ovir 
dealings with the British and among ourselves and always will continue to be so. 

The ultimate result was that no agreement was reached betwe*i 
the War and Navy Departments before Pearl Harbor for the establish- 
ment of unity of command in om- military and naval outposts. The 
factors and considerations attending eventual invocation of unity of 
command were expressed by the Chief of Staff in a letter dated Decem- 
ber 20, 1941, to General Short's successor, Gen. Delos C. Emmons: ^" 

Instructions to the Army and Navy were issued a few days ago assigning unity 
of command to the Navy in Hawaii. At the same time unity of command was 
assigned to the Army in Panama. 

For your confidential information, this action was taken in the following 
circumstances: In the first place, the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the 
Navy were determined that there should be no question of future confusion as 
to responsibility. Further, the efforts I have been making for more than a year 
to secure unity of command in various critical regions have been unavailing. 
All sorts of A^aval details, such as the operations of ships and submarines, the coor- 
dination of efforts to locate purely N'aval objectives and similar matters had been 
raised in objection to Army control wherever that was proposed. I must say at 
the same time that some of the Army staff brought up somewhat similar objections 
to Naval control. Both Stark and I were struggling to the same end, but until 
this crash of December 7th the difficulties seemed, at least under peacetime con- 
ditions, almost insurmountable. However, the two decisions I have just referred 
to have been made and further ones are in process of being made, all of which I 
feel will add immeasurably to our security, whatever the local embarrassments. 
Also, I regard these as merely stepping stones to larger decisions involved in our 
relations with Allies. 

I am giving you this information in order that you may better appreciate the 
problem and, therefore, be better prepared to assist me by endeavoring to work 
with Nimitz in complete understanding. 

SSJ Id. 

3M Id., at p. 2758. 

»8«Id. 

M'Id. 

«89 Committee record, pp. 2962, 2963. 

ss' See committee exhibit No. 48; also committee record, pp. 2759-2761. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 245 

Whatever difficulties arise that cannot be adjusted locally, should be brought 
to our attention here for consideration by Admiral Stark and myself. These 
days are too perilous for personal feelings in any way to affect efficiency. 

This is a very hasty note, but I want General McCoy to take it off with him 
this morning. 

You have my complete confidence and I will do everything possible to support 
you. 

The foregoing considerations evince more than mere reluctance and 
procrastination toward effecting action by command rather than by 
joint agreement; they reveal that inherent in our system of separate 
services there exists the basic deficiency of conflicting interests which 
precipitate serious and unnecessary obstacles to the solution of pressing 
military problems. It is to be necessarily noted, however, that while 
considering the advisability of unity of command, Washington was 
assuming that the system of mutual cooperation was working within 
its limitations and that local commanders were fully discharging their 
responsibilities. It was only in the wake of the Pearl Harbor disaster 
that the inherent and intolerable weaknesses of command by mutual 
cooperation were exposed.^^^ 

As earlier indicated, the failure to integrate and coordinate Army- 
Navy efforts in Hawaii appears to have been attributable to a feeling 
on the part of each commander that he would intrude upon the 
prerogatives of the other and thereby invite similar intrusion if he 
inquired as to what the sister service was doing. In Washington, 
the failure to impose unity of command was occasioned by the inability 
of the Army and the Navy as entities to agree upon a basis for unified 
command. 

General Observations 

the "wyman matter" 

The Committee has carefully reviewed the investigation conducted 
by the Army Pearl Harbor Board with respect to the activities of 
Col. Theodore Wyman, Jr., while district engineer in the Hawaiian 
Department, insofar as his activities may have relationship to the 
Pearl Harbor disaster.^^^ The Army Pearl Harbor Board concluded 
from the evidence that Wyman performed the duties of district engi- 
neer in a wholly unsatisfactory manner. Under his administration, 
engineering and construction work in the Hawaiian Department was 
defective and was characterized by delays. 

The activities of Wyman and his associates were not fully inquired 
into by the Committee inasmuch as they did not appear to have con- 
tributed in any material or proximate manner to the disaster for 

"' In the course of counsel's examination. General Marshall was asked: "Without asking you any ques- 
tions about the unity of command, eomplote unity of command generally in the Army and Navy Depart 
ments, limiting it to the question of posts like Hawaii, or Panama, for instance, do you want to express any 
views as to the wisdom of maintaining such unity of command in peacetime as compared with war?" 

The Chief of Staff replied: "I think it is an imperative necessity.', 

«s» See in this regard the report of the Army Pearl Harbor Board, Committee Exhibit No. 157. 



246 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

reasons heretofore set forth. ^*° It is recomin ended, however, that the 
Wyman matter be investigated by an appropriate committee of the 
Senate or the House of Representatives. 

THE PHILIPPINE ATTACK 

The Committee has considered in the course of its proceedings the 
Japanese attack on the Philippines on December 7, 1941, and has 
concluded that this attack bears no relevant relationship to the dis- 
aster at Pearl Harbor. In consequence, the Philippine attack was 
not made the subject of detailed inquiry although the reader will 
find an account of this attack in the committee's record. ^^'• 

PRIOR INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

We have not presumed to pass judgment on the nature of or charges 
of unfairness ^^^ with respect to seven prior inquiries and investigations 
of the Pearl Harbor attack, feeling that by conducting a full and 
impartial hearing our report to the Congress along with the Com- 
mittee's record would present to the American people the material 
and relevant facts of the disaster. The Committee does desire to 
observe, however, that chai'ges to the effect that the original report 
of the Roberts Commission was abridged, modified, or amended, or 
portions deleted were found to be without foundation in fact.^^^ Pi'ior 
investigations were conducted during the course of the most devasta- 

"" As has been seen the disaster was the failure, with attendant increase in personnel and material losses, 
of the Army and Navy in Hawaii to institute measures designed to detect an approaching enemy force, to 
effect a state of readiness commensurate with the realization that war was at hand, and to employ every 
facility at their command in rcpelline the Japanese. 

2" See in this regard, Committee record, pp. 14133-14173. 

3w In referring to the inquiry conducted by the Roberts Commission, Admiral Kimmel has stated (Com- 
mittee record, pp. 6809-6811): 

(1) That he was told he was not on trial (Roberts Commission record, p. 581); 

(2) That he was not permitted to be present at the testimony of other witnesses or to examine or 
cross-examine them; 

(3) That the Roberts Commission was informed of or impressed with the fact that Hawaii was given 
all of the information available to the Navy Department (referring in this regard to committee record, 
pp. 4893-5022); 

(4) That it appeared the so-called Magic was freely discussed before the Commission and in conse- 
quence the latter likely received the impression that the Intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages 
were either forwarded to Washington by Admiral Kimmel or available to him in Hawaii. 

Testifying before the committee. Justice Roberts stated: 

(1) That the Commission's investigation was not intended to be a trial. "This seemed to me a 
preliminary investigation, like a grand jury investigation, and I did not think, for our report, that 
was to be taken as precluding every one of the men mentioned in it Irom a defense before his peers. 
In other words, you would not conduct a proceeding without cross-examination and without publicity 
and call it a trial. It was not a trial • * * It was an investigation and it was the formation of a judg- 
ment to be handed the President." (Committee record, pp. 8801, 8802). 

(2) That, as indicated, one would not conduct a proceeding without cross-examination and without 
publicity and call it a trial. He observed the proceedings were closed and every witness asked to ob- 
serve secrecy for the reason "that there were questions of broken codes. We were informed that the 
Army and Navy were getting invaluable information every day; that the Japanese did not realize that 
their codes were broken, and indeed the Navy was rather chary about even telling us about the thing 
for fear there might be some leak from our Commission. Of course, if we held open hearings there was 
a chance we might do a great damage to our forces, our military program" (id., at pp. 8788, 8789). 

(3) That the Roberts Commission knew outposts were not getting the Magic. "We knew the com- 
manders weren't given what was taken off the breaking of the code" (id., at p. 8813). 

(4) That "We were never shown one of the Magic messages" nor the substance thereof (id., at pp. 8828, 
8829) although the Commission did know codes were being broken and generally what was obtained 
from the traffic (id., at p. 8829; also pp. 8836, 8846). 

3M See testimony of Mr. Justice Roberts before the Committee. Committee record, pp. 8779-8908. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 247 

ting war in historj^ and within the necessary limitations of secrecy im- 
posed by war and the national securit}^. Public hearings concerning 
the disaster were properly deferred until the cessation of hostilities; to 
have done otherwise would have been to imperil the entire war effort. 
Parties in interest during previous inquiries, who for necessary security 
reasons did not have the full and ready access to information through- 
out the war that may have been desired, did have such information 
available for consideration before the Committee. Admiral Kimmel 
and General Short, as well as others, have attested to the full, fair, 
and impartial hearing which they were afforded by the Committee. 

It is believed that with the additional evidence developed since 
VJ-Day and the greater accessibility of witnesses, togethei- with the 
gi'eater scope of inquiry conducted, we are in a much better position 
to form proper estimates and conclusions concernmg responsibilities 
relating to the disaster than has heretofore been possible because of 
the proper and necessary restrictions within which other inquuies 
and hivestigations were conducted during w^artime. 

Shortly after the disaster both Admiral Kimmel and Genei'al Short 
were retired from active duty. Considei'ation was thereafter given 
by the War and Navy Departments to the question of whether the 
errors made in Hawaii justified proceedings by court martial. Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short were requested in the interest of the 
Nation's war efi^ort to waive their rights to plead the statute of 
limitations in bar of trial by general court martial for the duration 
of the war and 6 months thereafter. ^^^ Both these officers properly 
and commendably did so waive their rights. It was the duty of the 
Offices of the Judge Advocate General of the Army and the Navy to 
consider the facts of the disaster as relating to the responsibilities of 
the Hawaiian commanders, even though after inquiry and delibera- 
tion it was determined that the errors were errors of judgment and 
not derelictions of duty. 

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Admiral Kimmel and General 
Short were catapulted by the Empire of Japan into the principal roles 
in one of the most publicized tragedies of all time. That improper 
and incorrect deductions were drawn by some members of the public, 
with consequent suffering and mental anguish to both officers, cannot 
be questioned, just as erroneous conclusions were made by others with 
respect to the extent and nature of responsibility in Washington. 
But this is the result of the magnitude of public interest and specula- 
tion inspired by the disaster and not the result of mistreatment of 
anyone. The situation prevailing at Pearl Harbor on the morning 
of December 7 in the wake of the Japanese attack cast everyone, 
whether immediately or remotely concerned, beneath the white light 
of world scrutiny. 

3" See Committee exhibits Nos. 170, 171. 



Part V 



CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 



249 



PART V. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

Conclusions With Respect to Responsibilities 

1. The December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor was an unpro- 
voked act of aggression by the Empire of Japan. The treacherous 
attack was planned and launched while Japanese ambassadors, in- 
structed with characteristic duplicity, were carrying on the pretense 
of negotiations with the Government of the United States with a 
view to an amicable settlement of differences in the Pacific. 

2. The ultimate responsibility for the attack and its results rests 
upon Japan, an attack that was well planned and skillfully executed. 
Contributing to the effectiveness of the attack was a powerful striking 
force, much more powerful than it had been thought the Japanese 
were able to employ in a single tactical venture at such distance and 
under such cucumstances. 

3. The diplomatic policies and actions of the United States provided 
no justifiable provocation whatever for the attack by Japan on this 
Nation. The Secretary of State fully informed both the War and 
Navy Departments of diplomatic developments and, in a timely and 
forceful manner, clearly pointed out to these Departments that rela- 
tions between the United States and Japan had passed beyond the 
stage of diplomacy and were in the hands of the military. 

4. The conunittee has found no evidence to support the charges, 
made before and during the h-^iarings, that the President, the Secre- 
tary of State, the Secretary of War, or the S icretary of Navy tricked, 
provoked, incited, cajoled, or coerced Japan into attacking this 
Nation in order that a declaration of war might be more easily ob- 
tained from the Congress. On the contrary, all evidence conclusively 
points to tin fact that they, discharged their responsibilities with 
distinction, ability, and foresight and in keeping with the highest 
tiaditions of our fundamental foreign policy. 

5. The President, the Secretary of State, and high Government 
officials made every possible effort, without sacrificing our national 
honor and endangering our security, to avert war with Japan. 

6. The disaster of Pearl Harbor was the failure, with attendant 
increase in personnel and material losses, of the Army and the Navy 
to institute measures designed to detect an appi caching hostile force, 
to effect a state of readiness commensurate with the realization that 
war was at hand, and to employ every facility at their command in 
repelling the Japanese. 

7. Virtually eveiyone was surprised that Japan struck the Fleet 
at Pearl Harbor at the time that she did. Yet officers, both in 
Washington and Hawaii, were fully conscious of the danger from 
air attack; they realized this form of attack on Pearl Harbor by 
Japan was at least a possibility; and they were adequately informed 
of the imminence of war. 

251 



252 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

8. Specifically, the Hawaiian commands failed — 

(a) To discharge their responsibilities iii the light of the warn- 
ings received from Washington, other information possessed by 
them, and the principle of command by mutual cooperation. 

(b) To integrate and coordinate their facilities for defense and 
to alert properly the Army and Navy establishments in Hawaii, 
particularly in the light of the warnings and mtelligence available 
to them during the period November 27 to December 7, 1941. 

(c) To effect liaison on a basis designed to acquaint each of them 
with the operations of the other, which was necessary to their 
joint security, and to exchange fully all significant intelligence. 

{d) To maintain a more effective reconnaissance within the 
limits of their equipment. 

(e) To effect a state of readiness throughout the Army and 
Navy establishments designed to meet all possible attacks. 

(/) To employ the facilities, materiel, and personnel at their 
command, which were adequate at least to have greatly mini- 
mized the effects of the attack, in repelling the Japanese raiders. 

(g) To appreciate the significance of intelligence and other 
information available to them. 

9. The errors made by the Hawaiian commands were errors of 
judgment and not derelictions of duty. 

10. The War Plans Division of the War Department failed to dis- 
charge its direct responsibility to advise the commanding general he 
had not properly alerted the Hawaiian Department when the latter, 
pursuant to instructions, had reported action taken in a message that 
was not satisfactorily responsive to the original directive. 

11. The Intelligence and War Plans Divisions of the War and Navy 
Departments failed: 

(a) To give careful and thoughtful consideration to the inter- 
cepted messages from Tokyo to Honolulu of September 24, No- 
vember 15, and November 20 (the harbor berthing plan and re- 
lated dispatches) and to raise a question as to their significance. 
Since they indicated a particular interest in the Pacific Fleet's 
base this intelligence should have been appreciated and supplied 
the Hawaiian commanders for their assistance, along with other 
information avaOable to them, in making theu' estimate of the 
situation. 

(b) To ba properly on the qui vive to receive the "one o'clock" 
intercept and to recognize in the message the fact that some Jap- 
anese military action would very possibly occur somewhere at 
1 p. m., December 7. If properly appreciated, this intelligence 
should have suggested a dispatch to all Pacific outpost command- 
ers supplying this information, as General Marshall attempted to 
do immediately upon seeing it. 

12. Notwithstanding the fact that there were officers on twenty- 
four hour watch, the Committee believes that under all of the evi- 
dence the War and Navy Departments were not sufficiently alerted 
on December 6 and 7, 1941, in view of the imminence of war. 

Recommendations 

Based on the evidence in the Committee's record, the following 
recommendations are respectfully submitted: 

That immediate action be taken to insure that unity of command 
is imposed at all military and naval outposts. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 253 

That there be a complete integration of Army and Navy intelli- 
gence agencies in order to avoid the pitfalls of divided respon- 
sibility which experience has made so abundantly apparent; 
that upon elTectmg a unified intelligence, officers be selected 
for intelligence work who possess the background, penchant, 
and capacity for such work; and that they be maintained in 
the work for an extended period of time in order that they 
may become steeped in the ramifications and refinements of 
their field and employ this reseiwou" of knowledge in evaluat- 
ing material received. The assignment of an officer having an 
aptitude for such work should not impede his progi-ess nor 
affect his promotions. Efficient intelligence services are just 
as essential m time of peace as in war, and this branch of our 
armed services must always be accorded the important role 
which it deserves. 

That effective steps be taken to insm-e that statutory or other 
restrictions do not operate to the benefit of an enemy or other 
forces inimical to the Nation's security and to the handicap 
of our own intelligence agencies. With this in mmd, the 
Congress should give serious study to, among other things, 
the Communications Act of 1934; to suspension in proper 
instances of the statute of limitations durmg war (it was 
impossible during the war to prosecute violations relating to 
the ''Magic" without giving the secret to the enemy) ; to 
legislation designed to prevent unauthorized sketching, photo- 
graphing, and mapping of military and naval reservations in 
peacetime; and to legislation fully protecting the secm-ity of 
classified matter. 

That the activities of Col. Theodore Wyman, Jr., while district 
engineer in the Hawaiian Department, as developed by the 
Army Pearl Harbor Board, be investigated by an appropriate 
committee of the Senate or the House of Representatives. 

That the military and naval branches of our Government give 
serious consideration to the 25 supervisory, administrative, 
and organizational principles hereafter set forth. 

Supervisory, Administrative, and Organizational Deficiencies 
IN Our Military and Naval Establishments Revealed by the 
Pearl Harbor Investigation 

The Committee has been intrigued throughout the Pearl Harbor 
proceedings by one enigmatical and paramount question: Why, with 
some of the finest intelligence available in our history, with the almost 
certain knowledge that war was at hand, with plans that contemplated 
the precise type of attack that was executed by Japan on the morning oj 
December 7 — Why was it possible for a Pearl Harbor to occur? The 
answer to this question and the causative considerations regarded as 
having any reasonably proximate bearing on the disaster have besn 
set forth in the body of this report. Fundamentally, these considera- 
tions reflect supervisory, administrative, and organizational deficien- 
cies which existed in our Military and Naval estabhshments in the days 
before Pearl Harbor. In the course oj the Committee's investigation 
still other deficiencies, not regarded as having a direct bearing on the 
disaster, have presented themselves. Otherwise stated, aU of these 



254 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

deficiencies reduce themselves to principles which are set forth, not 
for their novelty or profundity but for the reason that, by their very 
self-evident simplicity, it is difficult to believe they were ignored. 

It is recognized that many of the deficiencies revealed by our 
investigation may very probably have aheady been corrected as a 
result of the experiences of the war. We desire, however, to submit 
these principles, which are grounded in the evidence adduced by the 
Committee, for the consideration of our Ai-my and Navy establish- 
ments in the earnest hope that something constructive may be ac- 
complished that will aid our national defense and preclude a repetition 
of the disaster of December 7, 1941. We do this after careful and 
long consideration of the evidence developed through one of the 
most important investigations in the history of the Congress. 

i. Operational and intelligence work requires centralization of authority 
and clear-cut allocation oj responsibility 

Reviewing the testimony of the Director of War Plans and the 
Director of Naval Intelligence, the conclusion is inescapable that the 
proper demarcation of responsibility between these two divisions of 
the Navy Department did not exist. War Plans appears to have 
insisted that since it had the duty of issuing operational orders it 
must arrogate the prerogative of evaluating intelligence; Naval Intel- 
ligence, on the other hand, seems to have regarded the matter of 
evaluation as properly its function. It is clear that this intradepart- 
mental misunderstanding and near conflict was not resolved before 
December 7 and beyond question it prejudiced the effectiveness of 
Naval Intelligence. 

In Hawaii, thei-e was such a marked failure to allocate responsi- 
bihty in the case of the Fourteenth Naval District that Admiral Bloch 
testified he did not know whom the commander in chief would hold 
responsible in the event of shortcomings with respect to the condition 
and readiness of aircraft.^ The position of Admiral Bellinger was a 
wholly anomalous one. He appears to have been responsible to every- 
one and to no one. The pyramiding of superstructures of organization 
cannot be conducive to efficiency and endangers the veiy function of 
our military and naval services. 

2. Supervisory officials cannot safely take anything for granted in the 
alerting oj subordinates 

The testimony of many crucial witnesses in the Pearl Harbor 
investigation contains an identical note: "I thought he was alerted"; 
"I took for granted he would understand"; "I thought he would 
be doing that." It is the same story — each responsible official seek- 
ing to justify his position by reliance upon the fallacious premise that 
he was entitled to rely upon the assumption that a certain task was 
being performed or to take for granted that subordinates would be 
properly vigilant. This tragic theme was particularly marked in 
Hawaii. 

The foregoing was well Dlustrated in Admiral Kimmel's failure to 
appreciate the significance of dispatches between December 3 and 6, 
advising him that Japanese embassies and consulates, including the 

• See Army Pearl Harbor Board record, p. 1522. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 255 

Embass}^ in Washington, wore destroying their codes. Navy De- 
partment officials have almost unanimously testified that instructions 
to burn codes mean "war in any man's language" and that in suy)plying 
Admiral Kimmel this information they were entitled to believe he 
would attach the proper significance to this intelligence. Yet the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet testified that he did not in- 
terpret these dispatches to mean that Japan contemplated immediate 
war on the United States. That the Navy Department was entitled 
to rely upon the feeling that Admiral Kimmel, as a responsible in- 
telligent commander, should have known what the burning of codes 
meant appears reasonable; but this is beside the point in determining 
standards for the future. The simple fact is that the dispatches were 
not properly interpreted. Had the Navy Department not taken 
for granted that Kimmel would be alerted by them but instead have 
given him the benefit of its interpretation, there could now be no 
argument as to what the state of alertncFS should have been based 
on such dispatches. With Pearl Harbor as a sad experience, crucial 
intelligence should in the future be supplied commanders accompanied 
by the best estimate of its significance. 

S. Any doubt as to whether ovtposts should he gii^en information should 
always he resolved in favor of supplying the information 

Admiral Stark hesitated about sending the "one o'clock" intelli- 
gence to the Pacific outposts for the reason that he regarded them as 
adequately alerted and he did not want to confuse them. As has 
been seen, he was properly entitled to believe that naval establish- 
ments were adequately alert, but the fact is that one — Hawaii — was 
not in a state of readiness. This one exception is proof of the principle 
that any question as to whether information should be supplied the 
field should always be resolved in favor of transmitting it. 

4. The delegation of authority or the issuance of orders entails the duty 
of inspection to determine that the official mandate is properly exercised 

Perhaps the most signal shortcoming of administration, both at 
Washington and in Hawaii, was the failure to follow up orders and 
instructions to insure that they were carried out. The record of all 
Pearl Harbor proceedings is replete with evidence of this fundamental 
deficiency in administration. A few illustrations should clearly 
demonstrate this fact. 

In the dispatch of November 27, 1941, which was to be considered 
a "war warning," Admiral Kimmel was instructed to "execute an 
appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the 
tasks assigned in \VPL-46." Very little was done pursuant to this 
order with a view to a defensive deployment; the Navy Department 
did nothing to determine what had been done in execution of the order. 
Yet virtually every responsible Navy Department official has testi- 
fied as to what he "assumed" Kimmel would do upon receipt of this 
dispatch. Wliile it appears to have been the policy to leave the 
implementation of orders to the local commander, as a matter of 
future practice it would seem a safer policy to recognize as implicit 
m the delegation of authority or the issuance of orders the responsi- 
bility of inspecting and supervising to detenniiie that the delegated 
authority is properly administered and the orders carried out. 

90179 — 46 18 



256 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

The story of Admii'al Kimmel's administration of the Pacific Fleet 
and supervision of the Fourteenth Naval District as well as General 
Short's administration of the Hawaiian Department in the critical 
days before December 7 is the epitome of worthy plans and purposes 
which were never implemented. The job of an administrator is only 
half completed upon the issuance of an order; it is discharged when 
he determines the order has been executed. 

6. The implementation of official orders must be joUowed with closest 

supervision 

In the November 27 warning sent General Short he was ordered "to 
undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem 
necessary" and to "report measures taken." The commanding 
general reported: "Re your 472, Department alerted to prevent 
sabotage. Liaison with Navy." This message from General Short 
was not clearly responsive to the order. Yet during the 9 days before 
Pearl Harbor not one responsible officer in the War Plans Division of 
the War Department pointed out to the commanding general his 
failure to alert the Hawaiian Department consistent with instructions. 
As a matter of fact, it does not affirmatively appear that anyone upon 
receipt of General Short's reply "burdened" himself sufiiciently to call 
for message No. 472 in order to determine to what the report was 
responsive. 

6. The maintenance oj alertness to responsibility must be insured through 

repetition 

It has been suggested, in explaining why additional warnings were 
not sent to Admiral Kimmel and General Short, that it was desired 
to avoid crying "wolf" too often lest the department commanders 
become unpervious to the significance of messages designed to alert 
them. The McCollum message, for example, was not dispatched 
for the reason that overseas garrisons were regarded as fully alerted. 
Admiral Noyes is alleged to have referred to the proposed dispatch 
as an insult to the intelligence of the conamander in chief inasmuch 
as he felt Admu-al Kimmel had received adequate information. 
Although the exact provisions of the McCollum dispatch are unknown, 
it would seem to have been a safer practice to have sent this addi- 
tional warning to intensify and insure alertness over a period of time 
through repetition, particularly under the critical circumstances pre- 
vailing between November 27 and December 7, 1941. 

No consideration appears to have been given to the thought that 
since nothing occurred for 9 days after the warnings of November 27 
there would be a lessening of vigilance by reason of the simple fact 
that nothing did occur jar several days following such warnings. Of 
course, this observation has little or no application to the Hawaiian 
situation; for had Japan struck on November 28, the next day after 
the warnings, the same lack of readiness would substantially have 
prevailed as existed on the morning of December 7. There could have 
been no lessening of alertness there for the reason that the Hawaiian 
commands were at no time properly alert. 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 257 

7. Complacency and procrastination are out'oj j^ldce where sudden and 
decisive action are of the essence 

Beyond serious question Army and Navy ojfficials both in Hawaii 
and in Washington were beset by a lassitude born of 20 years of peace. 
Admiral Kimmel admitted he was affected by the "peace psychology" 
just like "everybody else." As expressed by Admiral AIcMorris, 
"We were a bit too complacent there." The manner in which capable 
officers were affected is to a degree understandable, but the Army 
and the Navy are the watchdogs of the Nation's security and they 
must be on the alert at all times, no matter how many the years of 
peace. 

As indicated in the body of this report, there was a failure in the 
War and Navy Departments during the night of December 6-7 to 
be properly on the qui vive consistent with the knowledge that the 
Japanese reply to our Government's note of November 26 was being 
received. The failm-e of subordinate officials to contact the Chief 
of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations on the evening of December 6 
concerning the first 13 parts of the 14-part memorandum is indicative 
of the "business as usual" attitude. Some prominent military and 
naval officials were entertaining and, along with other officers, appar- 
ently failed to read into the 13 parts the importance of and necessity 
for greater alertness. 

Of a similar tenor is the remark of Admiral Kimmel with respect to 
the "lost" Japanese carriers — "Do you mean to say that they could 
be rounding Diamond Head * * *?" Or the observation attrib- 
uted to General Short with respect to the transcript of the "Mori" 
conversation — that it looked quite in order and was nothing to be 
excited about. 

The people are entitled to expect greater vigilance and alertness 
from their Army and Navy — \vhether in war or in peace. 

8. The coordination and proper evaluation oj intelligence in times oj 
stress must be insured by continuity of service and centralization of 
responsibility in competent officials 

On occasion witnesses have echoed the sentiment that the Pearl 
Harbor debacle was made possible, not by the egi'egious errors or poor 
judgment of any individual or individuals but rather by reason of the 
imperfection and deficiencies of the system whereby Army and Navy 
intelligence was coordinated and evaluated. Only partial credence, 
however, can be extended this conclusion inasmuch as no amount of 
coordination and no system could be effected to compensate for lack 
of alertness and imagination. ' Nevertheless, there is substantial 
basis, from a review of the Pearl Harbor investigation in its entirety, to 
conclude that the system of handling intelligence was seriously at 
fault and that the security of the Nation can be insured only through 
contmuity of service and centralization of responsibility in those 
charged with handling intelligence. And the assignment oJ an officer 
having an aptitude jor such work over an extended period oj time should 
not impede his progress nor affect his promotions. 

The professional character of intelligence work does not appear to 
have been properly appreciated in cither the War or Navy Depart- 
ments. It seems to have been regarded as just another tour of duty, 



258 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

as reflected by limitations imposed on the period of assignment to such 
work, among other things. The committee has received the distinct 
impression that there was a tendency, whether reaHzed or not, to 
relegate intelhgence to a role of secondary importance. 

As an integrated picture, the Pearl Harbor investigations graphically 
portray the imperative necessity, in the War and Navy Departments, 
(1) for selection of men for intelligence work who possess the back- 
ground, capacity, and penchant for such work; (2) for maintaining 
them in the work over an extended period of time in order that they 
may become steeped in the ramifications and refinements of their 
field and employ this reservoir of knowledge, in evaluating data re- 
ceived; and (3) for the centralization of responsibility for handling 
intelligence to avoid all of the pitfalls of divided responsibility which 
experience has made so abundantly apparent. 

9. The unapproachable or superior attitude of officials is fatal; there 
should never be any hesitancy in asking for clarification of instructions 
or in seeking advice on matters that are in doubt 

Despite the fact that the record of testimony in the Pearl Harbor 
proceedings is filled with various interpretations as to what War and 
Navy Department dispatches meant, in not one instance does it 
appear that a subordinate requested a clarification. General Short 
was ordered to undertake reconnaissance, yet he apparently ignored 
the order assuming that the man who prepared it did not know of his 
special agreement with the Navy in Hawaii whereby the latter was 
to conduct distant reconnaissance. He chose to implement an order 
which manifestly he did not understand, without the presumption 
that the man who prepared it did not know what he was doing, 
rather than request clarifying instructions On November 27 Admnal 
Kimmel received a message beginning with the words: "This dispatch 
is to be considered a war warning." Every naval officer who has 
testified on the subject has stated that never before in his naval 
experience had he ever seen a dispatch containing the words "war 
warning"; Admiral Kimmel testified that never before in his some 40 
years as a naval officer had he seen these words employed in an official 
dispatch. In the same message there was another term, "defensive 
deployment," which the commander in chief manifestly did not clearly 
understand. In spite of his apparent uncertainty as to the meaning 
of the message. Admiral Kimmel, it can be presumed, chose to endeavor 
to implement it without seeking advice from the Navy Department. 

While there is an understandable disposition of a subordinate to 
avoid consulting his superior for advice except where absolutely 
necessary in order that he may demonstrate his self-reliance, the 
persistent failure without exception of Army and Navy officers, as 
revealed by the investigation, to seek amplifying and clarifying 
instructions from their superiors is strongly suggestive of just one 
thing: That the military and naval services failed to instill in their 
personnel the wholesome disposition to consult freely with their 
superiors for the mutual good and success of both superior and sub- 
ordinate. One witness, upon being asked why an explanation was 
not requested replied, in effect: "VVell, I have found the asking is 
usually the other way"; that is, the superior asking the subordinate 
Such a situation is not desirable, and the services should not be preju- 
diced by walls of "brass." 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 259 

10, There is no substitute for imagination and resourcefulness on the part 

of supervisory and intelligence officials 

As reflected by an examination of the situation in Hawaii, there was 
a failui'e to employ the necessary imagination with respect to the 
intelhgence which was at hand. 

Wasliiugtoii, like Hawaii, possessed unusually significant and vital 
intelligence. Had greater imagination and a keener awareness of the 
significance of intelligence existed, concentrating and applying it to 
particular situations, it is proper to suggest that someone should have 
concluded that Pearl Harbor was a likely point of Japanese attack. 

The committee feels that the failure to demonstrate the highest 
imagination with respect to the intelligence which was available in 
Hawaii and in Washington is traceable, at least in part, to the failure 
to accord to intelligence work the important and significant role 
which it deserves. 

11. Communications must be characterized by clarity , forthrightness , and 

appropriateness 

The evidence before the Committee reflects an unusual number of 
instances where military officers in high positions of responsibility 
interpreted orders, intelligence, and other information and arrived 
at opposite conclusions at a time when it was imperative for them to 
estimate the situation and to arrive at identical conclusions. 

Admiral Kimmel was ordered to execute an appropriate defensive 
deployment. Everyone in Washington in testifying before the com- 
mittee seems reasonably certain as to just what this meant; Admiral 
Kimmel did not feel that it required his doing anything greatly 
beyond what he had already done, even though he knew that Wash- 
ington knew what he had previously done. In using the words "this 
dispatch is to be considered a war warning" everyone in Wash- 
ington felt the commander in chief would be sharply, incisively, and 
emphatically warned of war; Admiral Kimmel said he had construed 
all the messages he had received previously as war warnings. Every- 
one in Washington felt that upon advising Hawaii the Japanese were 
destroying their codes it would be understood as meaning "war in any 
man's language"; Admiral Kimmel said that he did not consider this 
intelligence of any vital importance when he received it. 

The War Department warned General Short that hostilities were 
possible at any moment, meaning armed hostilities; General Short 
felt that sabotage was one form of hostilities and instituted an alert 
against sabotage only. Washington ordered the commanding general 
to undertake reconnaissance; the latter took for granted that the 
War Department had made a mistake and proceeded in effect to 
ignore the order on the basis of this assumption. General Short was 
instructed to report the measures taken by him pursuant to depart- 
mental orders. He replied that his department was alerted against 
sabotage and that he had effected liaison with the Navy; the Director 
of War Plans saw the reply and took for granted the commanding 
general was replying to a different warning concerning subversive 
activities, at the same time suggesting that some of his subordinates 
may have interpreted the reply to mean that, in effecting liaison with 



260 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

the Navy, General Short had necessarily carried out the order to 
conduct reconnaissance. 

General Short said he thought the order given Admiral Kimmel to 
execute a defensive deployment necessarily required distant recon- 
naissance; the commander in chief did not so interpret the order. 
Admiral Kimmel saw the warmng General Short received ana took for 
granted the Armj^ would be on a full alert designed to protect the 
fleet base. 

As has been seen, an objective consideration of the warnings re- 
ceived by the Hawaiian commanders indicates they were adequate. 
But on the basis of the disaster, in the future adequacy cannot be re- 
garded as sufficient. Dispatches must be unmistakably clear, forth- 
right, and devoid of any conceivable ambiguity. 

The committee feels that the practice, indulged by the Navy, of 
sending to several commanders an identical dispatch for action, even 
though the addressees may be located in decidedly different situations, 
is distinctly dangerous. In the preparation of messages to outposts 
the dispatch to a particular officer should be applicable to liis peculiar 
situation. What may well be characterized as the "lazy" practice 
of prepaiing a single dispatch should be replaced by a more indus- 
trious and effective system whereby a separate "individualized" 
dispatch is sent to each commander whose particular situation varies 
gi-eatly from that of another commander or there may be reason for 
him because of distance or other factors to believe so. 

It is believed that brevity of messages was carried to the point of 
being a fetish rather than a virtue. Dispatches must be characterized 
by sufficient amplitude to be meaningful not only to the sender but, 
beyond reasonable doubt, to the addressee as well. 

12. There is great danger in careless paraphrase of information received 
and every effort should be made to insure that the paraphrased material 
reflects the true meaning and significance of the original 

To preserve the security of their own codes the War and Navy De- 
partments followed the natural and proper practice of paraphrasing 
messages received. From a review of several messages as paraphrased 
the committee is of. the opinion that the utmost caution and care 
should bo employed in preserving the original meaning of material. 
One classic example will serve to illustrate this point. 

In replying to the War Department's directive of November 27, 
1941, General Short said: 

Re your 472. Department alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with Navy. 

As paraphrased upon receipt at the War Department, this message 
read: 

Department alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison uith Navy re your 472. 

It is to be recalled that the Army and Navy had entered 
into a special agreement at Hawaii whereby the Navy assumed 
responsibility for long-range reconnaissance. Therefore, having 
ordered General Short to undertake reconnaissance, a reasonable con- 
struction of his message as paraphrased would be that the commanding 
general, through liaison with the Navy, had made the necessary 
arrangements for reconnaissance as instructed in the War Depart- 
ment's warning of November 27. The message which Short actually 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 261 

sent, however, cannot so easily be afforded this construction. The 
seriousness of this matter hes in the fact that failure to conduct long- 
range reconnaissance at Hawaii was the prime factor responsible for 
the Army and Navy having been caught flat-footed. Conceivably, 
had the message as paraphrased not been misleading, the War Depart- 
ment might well have followed up on General Short's message, pointing 
out that he had failed to take the necessary action to alert his 
command. 

IS. Procedures must he sufficiently flexible to meet the exigencies of unusual 

situations 

Reviewing the Pearl Harbor evidence there are, in both the War 
and Navy establishments, several illustrations of inflexible procedures 
that could not be or at least were not subjected to sufficient alteration 
to satisfy the exigencies of the situation. Everything seems perforce 
to have followed a grooved pattern regardless of the demands for 
distinctive action. The iaea of proceeuing "through channels" was 
carried to an extreme. 

Among the best illustrations of this fact was the failure of Admiial 
Kimmel to advise Admiral Newton that the "war warning" had been 
received. Admiral Newton was departing from Pearl Harbor with 
some of the most vital units of the Pacific Fleet, yet because the table 
of organization indicated Admiral Brown to be Newton's superior, 
the commander in chief did not take it upon himself to insure that 
Newton was fully informed as to the critical situation between the 
United States and Japan, and relied upon the usual procedure whereby 
Brown would keep Newton advised of developments. 

14- Bestriction of highly confidential information to a minimum number 
of officials, while often necessary, should not be carried to the point of 
prejudicing the work of the organization 

The Magic intelligence was preeminently important and the neces- 
sity for keeping it confidential cannot be overemphasized. However, 
so closely held and top secret was this intelligence that it appears the 
fact the Japanese codes had been broken was regarded as of more 
importance than the information obtained from decoded traffic. The 
result of this rather specious premise was to leave large numbers of 
policy-making and enforcement officials in Washington completely 
oblivious of the most pertinent information concerning Japan. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, for example, was charged mth 
combating espionage, sabotage, and un-American activities within the 
United States. On February 15, 1941, Tokyo dispatched to Wash- 
ington a detailed outline as to the type of espionage information 
desired from this country.^ The FBI was never informed of this vital 
information necessary to the success of its work, despite the fact that 
the closest liaison was supposed to exist among the FBI, Naval Intelli- 
gence, and Militar}^ Intelligence. 

Gen. Hayes A. Kroner, who was in charge of the intelligence branch 
of G-2, has testified that he at no time was permitted to avail himself 
of the Magic. And this despite the fict that to efi^ectively perform 

Committee exhibit No. 2, pp. U7, US. 



262 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

his work he shoukl have known of this intelhgence and one of his sub- 
ordinates, Colonel Bratton, was "loaned" to General jMiles to distribute 
magic materials to authorized recipients. 

While, as previously indicated, it is appreciated that promiscuous 
distribution of highly confidential material is dangerous, it neverthe- 
less should be made available to all those whose responsibility cannot 
adequately and intelligently be discharged without knowledge of such 
confidential data. It would seem that through sufficient paraphrase 
of the original material the source of the information could have been 
adequately protected. Certainly as great confidence could be placed 
in ranking officials of various departments and bureaus of the Govern- 
ment as in the numerous technicians, cryptographers, translators, and 
clerks required for the interception and processing of the Magic. 

15. There is great danger of being blinded by the self-evident 

Virtually every witness has testified he was siu-prised at the Japanese 
attack on Pearl Harbor. This was essentially the result of the fact 
that just about everybody was blinded or rendered myopic by what 
seemed to be the self-evident purpose of Japan to attack toward the 
south — Thailand, Malaysia, the Kra Peninsula, and perhaps the 
Philippines and Guam. Japan had massed ships and amphibious 
forces, had deployed them to the south, and had conducted recon 
naissance in that direction. So completely did everything point to the 
south that it appears everyone was blinded to significant, albeit some- 
what disguised, handwriting on the wall suggesting an attack on us 
elsewhere. 

The advice of the Army lieutenant to the radar operators to "forget 
it" when they informed him of the approach of a large number of 
planes appears to have been based on the self-evident assumption that 
the planes w^ere Army or Navy craft on patrol or the expected B-17's 
due to arrive from the west coast. 

1 6. Officials should at all times give subordinates the benefit of significant 

information 

Before the committee Admiral Turner testified that he regarded an 
attack on Pearl Harbor as a 50-50 possibility. Assuming this to be 
correct, there can be little doiibt, consideiing the position he held as 
Director of War Plans in the Navy Department, that he could have 
given the commander iai chief of the Pacific Fleet the benefit of his 
conclusion liad he been disposed to do so. As a matter of fact Admiral 
Turner hai the prmcipal hand in preparing the November 27 "war 
warning." 

As has been seen, the orders contained in the war warning neces- 
sarily carried the implication of an attack from without; however, the 
dispatch did not reflect the likelihood of an attack upon the fleet with 
the degree of likeliiiood manifested by Admiral Turner in indicating 
to the committee his estimate of the situation. Admiral Turner's 
position would be indefensible were his estimate based on any infor- 
mation or intelhgence he may have possessed. It appears, on the 
other hand, that his conclusion was predicated on a rattier long-stand- 
ing impression m the Navy that an attack on our Pacific Fleet by 
Japan could be expected at one time or another. It is regarded as 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 263 

unfortunate, however, that Admiral Turner did not see fit to give to 
the Pacific Fleet the benefit of his conclusions outlined, with benefit 
of retrospection, in such detail before the committee. 

17. An official who neglects to familiarize himself in detail with his 

organization should forfeit his responsibility 

It would seem that War and Navy Department officials both in 
Washington and Hawaii were so obsessed by an executive complex 
that they could not besmirch their dignities by "stooping" to deter- 
mme what was going on, or more especially what was not going on, 
in theii" organizations. Examples should illustrate this observation. 

Admirals Stark and Turner both have testified they "thought" the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet was receiving the Magic mtelli- 
gence. Yet in a period of over 6 months, with relations between the 
United States and Japan mountmg in tenseness and approaching a 
crisis, neither of these rankmg officers determined for a fact whether 
the fleet was receivmg this information. 

In the case of Hawaii, the evidence indicates failures on the part of 
the commanding general and the commander in chief to actually 
determine what was going on in theii- organizations. Additionally, 
in a command by mutual cooperation it w^as as important that Admiral 
Kimmel know what General Short was doing, and vice versa, as that 
he loiow what the fleet itself w^as doing. But, as has been heretofore 
pointed out, neither of these officers really verified whether his as- 
sumptions concerning what the other was doing were correct. 

18. Failure can be avoided in the long run only by jjrejjaration for any 

eventuality 

• 

The record tends to indicate that appraisal of likely enemy move- 
ments was divided into probabilities and possibilities. Everyone has 
admitted that an attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor was regarded as at 
least a possibility. It was felt, however, that a Japanese movement 
toward the south was a probability. The over-all result was to look 
for the probable move and to take little or no effective precautions to 
guard against the contingency of the possible action. 

While it appears satisfactorily established that it is the basic re- 
sponsibility of an outpost commander to prepare for the worst con- 
tingency, it is believed that this premise has been applied more in 
theory than in practice. The military and naval branches of the 
Government must be continuously impressed by, and imbue their 
personnel with, the realization that failure can be avoided over an 
extended period of time only by preparation for any eventuality, at 
least when hostilities are expected. 

19. Officials, on a personal basis, should never countermand an official 

instruction 

On October 16, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations sent to the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet a dispatch concerning the 
resignation of the Japanese Cabinet, pointing out, among other things, 
that "since the U. S. and Britain are held responsible by Japan for 
her present desperate situation there is also a possibility that Japan 



264 PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 

may attack these two powers." But on October 17, referring to this 
dispatch, Admiral Stark, in a letter to Admiral Kimmel, said: "Things 
have been popping here for the last twenty-four hours but from our 
dispatches jou know about all that we do. Personally I do not believe 
the Japs are going to sail into us and the message I sent you merely 
stated the 'possibility'; in fact, I tempered the message handed to me 
considerably 1" 

It appears to have been a generally accepted practice in the Navy 
for the Chief of Naval Operations to supplement official dispatches 
by correspondence of a quasi-personal nature.^ Despite this fact, it 
is regarded as an extremely dangerous practice for the Chief of Naval 
Operations to express an opinion on a personal basis to an outpost 
commander which has the inevitable effect of tempering the import 
of an official dispatch. Were it not for the fact that Admiral Stark 
supplied the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet highl}'' pertinent 
and significant information after his letter of October 17 and before 
December 7, the manner in which he emasculated the October 16 
dispatch would be inexcusable. However, as has been seen in this 
report, some of the most vital intelligence and orders relating to 
Japan were supplied Hawaii during November and December of 1941. 

SO. Personal or official jealousy will wreck any organization 

This principle is the result of the general impression obtained by 
the committee concerning the relationship between the Army and 
the Navy as well as concerning certain intraorganizational situations 
which existed. The relationship, undeistaiiding, and coordination 
between the War Plans Division and the Office of Naval Intelligence 
were wholly unsatisfactory. The War Plans Division, particularly, 
appears to have had an overzealous disposition to preserve and en- 
hance its prerogatives. 

The whole story of discussions during 1941 with respect to unity 
of command is a picture of jealous adherence to departmental pre- 
rogatives and unwillingness to make concessions in the interest of 
both the Army and Navy. The same comment is applicable to the 
near dispute between Admiral Kimmel and General Short as to which 
of them should command Wake and Midway when the marines were 
replaced by soldiers. It is proper to suggest that, had both the 
commanding officers in Hawaii been less concerned between November 
27 and December 7 about preserving their individual prerogatives 
with respect to Wake and Midway and more concerned about working 
together to defend the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier in the light of the 
warnings they had received, the defensive situation confrontmg the 
Japanese on the morning of December 7 might well have been entirely 
different. 

21. Personal friendship, without more, should never be accepted in lieu 
of liaison or confused therewith where the latter is necessary to the 
proper functioning of two or more agencies 

One of the more "human" aspects of the testimony of both Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short is the manner in which each sought to 
bring out their personal friendship for the purpose of demonstrating 

3 Admiral Stark said: "I might point out, in passing, that there was nothing unusual in this so-called 
"personal' correspondence between the Chief of Na^al Operations and the Commanders in Chief— it was 
a long-establishea custom when I took office." Committee record, p. 5594, 



PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 265 

the close relationship that existed between them. They played golf 
together; they dined together — but they did not get together on 
official business in such manner as to insure that each possessed the 
same knowledge of the situation as the other and to effect coordina- 
tion and integration of their efforts. 

22. No considerations should he permitted as excuse for failure to perform 

a fundamental task 

Both the c