Suquence of events leading to Pearl Harbor.

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
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Suquence of events leading to Pearl Harbor.

Post by john2 » 02 Apr 2003 17:58

Hi! Does anyone know a link I can go to that shows a chronolgy of the eventsa leading to Pearl Harbor? I would really appreciate it.

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Post by Big » 04 Jun 2003 07:11

Sorry, I haven't been able to find any online either....everything closely related to this seems to be in THICK books only :)

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Attack on PH or start of war?

Post by Vinnie O » 02 Jul 2003 17:16

The timeline for the Nippo-American war undoubtedly goes back to Commodore Perry's visit in the 19th century. Japan was generally offended by the failure of Westerners to recognize the inherent superiority of the Japanese race, and this could only be corrected by a war.

The Japanese began getting serious about a specific attack against the Americans at Pearl Harbor after Roosevelt doubled the US defense budget after France fell in 1940. What this meant was that somewhere around 1943 the US would take delivery a brand new navy that was larger than anything the Japanese owned or could produce. That is, instead of building 4 new battleships, Roosevelt was now building 8. Instead of 4 new aircraft carriers, he was building 8. Etc.

From the Summer of 1940, the Japanese Navy intended to attack the US Navy at Pearl Harbor. Dive bombers began practicing against a chalk outline of the USS California, etc.

The English attack on Taranto, Italy, (December, 1940?) demonstrated that is was practical to drop torpedoes in shallow water (less than 100 feet deep). After Taranto, the Japanese began planning to include torpedo planes in the attack, rather than having the Kates simply carry bombs.

In the Summer of 1941 the Japanese Navy took delivery of 2 new aircraft carriers. These were immediately added to the force.

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Post by David Thompson » 06 Jul 2003 06:47

John2 -- This link to a 1944 Congressional study might be helpful:

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Post by Fredd » 27 Jan 2004 23:01

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Re: Suquence of events leading to Pearl Harbor.

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 27 Jan 2004 23:22

john2 wrote:Hi! Does anyone know a link I can go to that shows a chronolgy of the eventsa leading to Pearl Harbor? I would really appreciate it.
I don't know about links, but are you looking for some long view revisonist history?

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Sequence of events leading to Pearl harbour

Post by Simon Gunson » 29 Mar 2004 09:12

Christopher, it is not revisionist to cite facts. Like for instance the fact that Roosevelt imposed an oil embargo and naval blockade upon Japan from July 1941 onwards. Some have suggested this was in collusion with Churchill to precipitate a war and shock the US people out of isolationism.

I don't consider that revisionist. Merely a responsible search for the truth. If one goes through life considering only one's own point of view then one not only can't properly grasp the past... One is condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past in the future. Lighten up mate.

The Japanese whether we agree or not, see the war in a different way.
Japanese people considered they were being bullied by the oil embargo in an undeclared war. Infact it has often been repeated that had the Japanese not launched the raid on Pearl harbour and left it any longer there would not have been enough fuel left for an attack.

My dad was a merchant seaman in Singapore shortly before it fell and narrowly escaped the battle of the Java sea. He recounted the events leading up to Pearl harbour quite vividly because he was there. My father was not revising history. Just telling it as it was.

The Americans Dutch and British expected an attack on Indonesia's oil fields so positioned assets accordingly. That is why so many American troops and aircraft (including B-17s) were based in the Philippines.

The Japs in my view did to America in 1941 what Gen Swartzkoff did to the Iraquis in Kuwait in 1991. Attacked where the attack was least expected.

Incidentally the Japanese copied Plan Orange. An American report rejected by the US chiefs of staff from 1928 about Hawaii's vulnerability to attack by aircraft. Remember at that time there were all sorts of howels of protest about battleships being sunk by aircraft and the Chiefs of Staff like Ostriches did not want to know. The Japanese were much more interested.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 29 Mar 2004 15:42

Lighten up?! :lol: Hell, I am the revisionist around here. Here is a post(mine) from another topic on Pearl Harbor

Here is the thing about Pearl Harbor. The Roosevelt Amdinistration knew that Japan was preparing to attack us. There were too many signs that Japan was going to. And like-wise we were speedily building up a B-17 bomber force in the Phillipines to attack them.

Defensive measures were in place at Pearl for the attack, that was expected , ( i.e sabotage and destruction of military equipment)

The real problem is that the Roosevelt Admin and American military intell , underestimated the capabilities of the Japanese and what they would do.

Under estimating an opponent is a bad mistake. The fact that the Japanese went all out against Phillipines and made a major attack against Pearl Harbor was outside the bounds of US strategic thought for our entire military not just the Roosevelt administration itself.

In this light and looking at the defensive measures the US was implementing in the Pacific , I am certain that an attack at Pearl was expected , however it was only expected to be sabotage acts and perhaps some submarine operations. Roosevelt knew and expected Pearl to be attacked , the error was in failing to realize what sort of attack it would be.

True, many books had been written before Pearl postulating an attack almost indentical to what occured and our own war-games in the 30's proved it could be done , but then again it all goes to back to underestimating the Japanese as to why these prophesies,analysies, and scenarios were not considered valid.

Both sides of this issue , want the worst , the revisionists say he knew a massive carrier attack was going to occur , Roosevelt supporters say it was a total suprise . Both the extremes are wrong, as usual, and the truth is somewhere in between. I believe it is as I stated above.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 29 Mar 2004 15:53

As to my remarks on revisonist history, Here is the cause of "PEARL HARBOR"

The Pacific war was the result of Roosevelt imposing sanctions on Japan , because Japan by encroaching on China could have disrupted several lucrative trade business that the rich families of DELANO and Astor
had set up when TEDDY ROOSEVELT was a rising star in the Government and subsequently the Presidency. That is why there was such a thing as THE GREAT WHITE FLEET, it was meant to intimidate the Japanese.
Nephew Franklin Roosevelt tried the same thing with those trade embargoes to cower the Japanese to giving up on encoaching on the "cash cow" that China was to several business interests and families that FDR was RELATED to or involved with. Japan did not back down as FDR expected them too. He did not have the BIG STICK of uncle TED which is what he thought our Philipine B-17's were. And of course that traitor Macarthur never authorized any premptive measures against the Japanese because he was beholden to money paid to him by the president of the Philipines damning our soldiers to defeat and the Bataan death march.

Screw Macarthur and FDR, AFAIC.

Why the hell do think Americans died in WWII? for the country ? Bull , they died for the rich.

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 29 Mar 2004 16:06

Last thing Gunson,
Welcome to the forum,

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War Clouds Cover Orient; Japan's Task all over Map

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Mar 2004 05:54

Singapore, Wireless to The New York Times,
By F. Tillman Durdin, Friday, December 5,
Japan's next move is likely to be in
Thailand, well-informed sources here believe.
An attack on Malaya or the Philippines is not
ruled out entirely, but recent activity in Indo-
China is thought to point more in the direction
of Thailand than anywhere else. ... During
recent weeks the Japanese have proceeded
steadily with building up their military position
in Southern Indo-China as if for a new step in
their southward advance.
A large proportion
of the Japanese troops in Indo-China, which
are estimated at 60,000 men, are said to be in
Southern Indo-China, including a division that
has had intensive training in landings from the
sea. ... Motor-driven [beach] landing craft are
believed to have been moved recently to
Southern Indo-China. Long-distance bombers
are now counted among aircraft in Southern
Indo-China. ... It is thought here the Japanese
still hope to gain military domination of
Thailand by peaceful means and it is believed
the arrival of the British Eastern Fleet units at
will cause the Japanese to redouble
their efforts to achieve a peaceful penetration
of Thailand. The "peaceful" Japanese tactics
consist of continued intimidation and possibly
the staging of a coup d'etat, Singapore sources
believe. ... There is no definite indication here
of what the British policy would be in the
event of a Japanese incursion into Thailand.
Uncertainty regarding the British intentions no
doubt is acting as a deterrent to the Japanese
and is especially dictating the Japanese policy
of trying to get military control of Thailand
with at least the appearance of legality.
Competent observers maintain that logic is
against a Japanese attack on British,
Netherlands, or American territory, though
they do not content such an attack is entirely
improbable. It is argued that an attack on
British, Netherlands, or American territory
would mean war against Britain, the United
States, and the Netherlands, and this is a
combination that Japan would have little
chance to defeat.

Berlin, By Telephone to The New York
Friday, December 5, 1941: Foreign
Office circles today would merely say about
the Japanese-American situation that it was not
up to the Reich to make any comment at this
time when the political and diplomatic
developments between America and Germany's
great friend, Japan, are so shrouded in a thick
veil of mystery.

The New York Times, By Hanson W. Baldwin,
Saturday, December 6, 1941: Men stood to
arms along the shores and upon the islands of
the Western Pacific Saturday as the storm of
war clouded the skies of the Orient.
... The
American-Japanese negotiations were
stalemated at the week-end, but prolonged in
the hope of eventual compromise as both sides
sought for time. ... The land, sea, and air
forces in the Pacific are considerable, though
not by any means as large as the great armies
struggling in Russia.
... The Japanese Army
consists of perhaps 60 to 66 divisions, a grand
total of about 1.8 million men. The exact
disposition of these men is not known, but
possibly more than 20 divisions are locked up
in the unending struggle with China;
20 to 27 may be in Manchukuo opposite the
Russian Far Eastern armies; there are forces in
Metropolitan Japan and garrisons in her island
outposts; there are possibly 75,000 to 100,000
troops in French Indo-China; and several other
divisions in Hainan Island, on the high seas, or
on the island of Formosa. ... Perhaps 1,000 of
Japan's 3,000 to 5,000 tactical planes are in
China; there are several hundred in French
Indo-China; the others may be scattered from
Japan to Formosa. ... Japan possibly has 11
battleships. She has at least seven, possibly
nine aircraft carriers [most of which were at
this time due north of Hawaii bearing south in
complete radio silence],
a number of seaplane
carriers, and large squadrons of cruisers,
destroyers, and submarines. ... Approximately
50 percent of the United States naval strength
was in the Pacific at last report, with the bulk
of our hitting power concentrated in the Pacific
Fleet based on Hawaii.
Hawaii is a great
fortress, more heavily garrisoned, land, sea,
and air, than ever in its history, and bases in
Alaska, Midway, Wake, and many other mid-
Pacific islands are being completed and
garrisoned. ... The Philippines have been
heavily strengthened, both with land and air
forces, and Lieut. Gen. Douglas MacArthur
has now assumed command of United States
armed forces in the Far East, with 150,000
Filipinos under his orders. ... At Singapore
Britain has recently stationed two capital ships.
There may now be 70,000 to 150,000 men in
Malaya with several hundreds of planes, and an
unknown garrison in Burma, probably small on
land, but considerable in the air. There are
probably 10,000 men in Hong Kong and
perhaps a few British submarines, but almost
no planes. ... Russia has drawn upon her Far
Eastern Forces
to reinforce her hard-pressed
armies in the West [these forces were now
counterattacking with success Hitler's armies
on the western outskirts of Moscow],
but it is
likely that more than 20 divisions still are
stationed in Eastern Siberia, with some tanks
and several hundred planes. ... China has a
large, though badly equipped, army of
guerrillas and regulars estimated at 2 to 6
million. ... The Netherlands Indies' naval
forces consist of about three cruisers, eight
destroyers, 40 torpedo boats, some 15
submarines, 200 to 300 bombers, and 200 or
so fighters to supplement the British Far
Eastern forces. ... Thailand has an army of
about 80,000 with numerous reserves but little
equipment. ... In a full-blown war, Japan's
task is spread all over the map.
She may
attack Siberia, hold the Chinese in check,
smash at Singapore, reduce Hong Kong,
perhaps attack the Philippines, and eventually
she must move into [the oil rich] Netherlands

Washington, Special to The New York Times,
Saturday, December 6, 1941: President
Roosevelt made a personal appeal to Emperor
of Japan tonight as a result of reports
reaching the State Department of heavy troop
movements and concentrations in Indo-China.

... The State Department announced that a
message was being sent by President Roosevelt
to the Japanese Emperor but gave no details as
to the character of the message. ... It was
obvious, however, that it was a direct appeal to
stay Japan's hand and to avoid a conflict in the
Pacific caused by an attack on Thailand.
The President acted tonight on the basis of
reports that 125,000 Japanese troops were in
Indo-China, on land, and along the coast in
transports. The reports indicated that a serious
warlike move was being made
and served to
offset completely the assurances that were
formally given to the President by the Japanese
Government yesterday that Japanese troops had
entered Indo-China only as protection against
the Chinese across the northern border, that
they were within the limits -- reported to be
40,000 -- laid down in the treaty between
Vichy and Tokyo, and that the reports of heavy
troop concentrations in that area were
exaggerated. ... Reports received today
completely upset these assurances and made the
Japanese crisis more acute than ever by posing
the dangers of war through a Japanese invasion
of Thailand. ... The State Department said
that reports reaching it showed that Japanese
troops being assembled in the Indo-China area
were a force of 82,000 in South Indo-China,
25,000 in the north, and 18,000 on ships in
harbors in Indo-China, a total of 125,000. ...
Other reports, it added, have reached the
department indicating that two large Japanese
were seen this morning southwest of
Point Camau, the southern part of Indo-China,
steaming westward toward the Gulf of Siam.

Tokyo, United Press, The New York Times,
Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941: [December 6, U.S.
Japan indicated early today that she was
on the verge of abandoning efforts to achieve
a settlement of Pacific issues by diplomatic
negotiation at Washington. ... The press,
bellwether of Japanese opinion, thundered that
the moment of supreme crisis was at hand. A
government spokesman said Japan's "patience"
may be tried only a little longer. ... ... [In
Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, after launching that
morning from carriers to the north, swarms of
Japanese attack planes fanned out and began
accurately blasting military targets. At 7:58
A.M., 1:28 EST, Commander Logan Ramsey at
Ford Island Command Center ordered all radio
operators to begin transmitting in plain English:
"Air raid, Pearl Harbor. This is not drill!"]

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41]
Last edited by Globalization41 on 29 Aug 2004 03:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Links to Pearl Harbor

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Mar 2004 08:13

Another key link to the Pearl Harbor raid
would be the U.S. colonization of the
Philippines in the early 1900s. ... The
American presence in the P.I. in 1941
threatened the eastern flank of the long
sea lanes from Japanese-occupied
Indochina to the Dutch Indies' oil
supplies, needed to sustain Japan's
self-sufficiency. (The British in Malaysia
flanked the vulnerable sea lanes from the
west.) Thus in the Japanese view, these
flanks had to be cleared prior to
snatching the Netherlands Indies. This
led to the idea of knocking out the main
bulk of the U.S. fleet in Hawaii
simultaneous to neutralizing the British
and American dangers in South East


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Suquence of events leading to Pearl Harbor.

Post by Simon Gunson » 30 Mar 2004 09:20

Dear Christopher

Surrender ... Don't shoot. Gee maybe I should lighten up ?

That's what ya get for being the new boy on the block.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread...

If you like revision have a look at my post about the execution of German soldiers on my father's ship off Normandy.

For my money the airtight wreck of the I-124 on the seabed near Darwin is pretty good proof that the Yanks didn't need to refloat her to obtain Japanese fleet codes, because they were already reading Jap signals before Pearl Harbour. Fancy sending Kimmel a low priority telegram when they knew war was impending.

They say the Isrealis knew the Yom Kippur war was going to happen in advance in 1973, but let the Arabs fire the first shots to gain sympathy.
Makes one wonder if Kimmel's trial wasn't just a set-up to exonerate others ?

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Reading Japanese Codes

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Mar 2004 09:36

I heard the Americans could read the
Japanese diplomatic ciphers, but not the
Naval operational codes.


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Suquence of events leading to Pearl Harbor.

Post by Simon Gunson » 30 Mar 2004 12:54

Yeah well the CIA have a term for that called plausible deniability.

The diplomatic signals were codenamed PURPLE and these were the source of a 9 part signal to the Japanese embassy in Washington DC.

It was fairly predictable what was happening as the eight earlier parts were being read in Purple decrypts. Purple was encrypted on an encyphering machine. JN-25C was a numerical code table.

All IJN units including submarines had to call in their positions at noon Tokyo time throughout the war. The Pearl fleet was observing radio silence, but still receiving signals from Japan and these were being read.

It has been conceeded that Roosevelt knew the Japanese fleet had put to sea, but has always been denied that they knew the target. The British intercepted and decoded a JN-25c signal on 4th December 1941 for the fleet raiding Pearl ordering tankers to refuel the Japanese carriers at sea.
The British also decoded the signal to put to sea in November. Churchill notified Roosevelt of this. Roosevelt ordered the US embassy in Tokyo to destroy all cyphers on 3rd December 1941.

Against this and shades of 9/11, the FBI took into custody from a liner which arrived at New York from Spain a Croatian spy for the Nazis called Dusko Popov codenamed SCOUT. He volunteered all sorts of information to the FBI about the topics of interest to the Nazis in USA.

I believe there was some sort of microfilm with a long questionaire from the Abwher with two sections soley about Pearl Harbour intercepted by the British on 19 August 1941. Other sections were merely asking about industrial plants on mainland USA. Questions about pearl stood out as they were so specific. The British tipped off Hoover's FBI who met him off the ship from Spain. Popov was released and basically allowed to run free as a big spender in Florida.

There were also FBI telephone interceptions of a Japanese doctor or dentist with a surgery overlooking Pearl. He went on fishing trips all arond the harbour using his rod and line to take depth soundings. The FBI knew what he was reporting back.

The British Royal Navy radio interception station at Hong Kong on Stonecutter's island was intercepting signals since 1920. The Dutch had broken the IJN fleet code JN-25b and were working closely with the British and Americans on JN-25c. The British FECB office at singapore was coalating all the gathered intelligence and reading JN-25 from June 1940 and JN-25b from 1st December 1940.

Some time before Pearl the Japanese switched from JN-25b to JN-25c, but many units had still not received new codebooks so identical signals were broadcast on both codes, which made the changeover meaningless.
The US Navy station at Cavite in the Philippines, codenamed CAST was already reading JN-25C in December 1941.

Christopher is right that McArthur and Roosevelt would have known. :roll:

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