On December 7, 1941, one of the biggest disasters in United States history occurred. Truthfully, this was and is, “‘A date which will live in infamy. ‘”(Costello 1), but not for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but for the trickery and the confusion used by the Government and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
To him, this was a chess game and Roosevelt sacrificed over 2400 American Seamen’s lives, thanks to his power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. By overlooking the facts of an attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was able to control both the political and economic systems of the United States. Most of American life before the Pearl Harbor bombing believed in the idea of not participating in political or economic relations with other countries. Roosevelt knew this, and knew the only way United States countrymen would stand up and fight in Europe’s War was to be a clear action against the United States.
Roosevelt also thought Hitler would not declare war on the U.S. unless he knew they were beatable. There are several actions by Roosevelt and his armed forces advisors, which show they were aware of the attack by Japan, but they were also planning on it, and encouraging it. On October 7, 1940, Lieutenant Commander Arthur H.McCollum wrote the eight-action memo.
The memo outlined eight different steps that the U. S. could do that he thought would lead to an attack by Japan on the United States. The day after this memo was given to Roosevelt, he began to use these steps. By the time that Japan finally attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, all eight steps had occurred (Willy 1).
The eight steps were made of two main ideas; a sign of United States military preparedness and threat of attack, and being a forceful control on Japans trade and economy. McCollum called for the United States to make plans with both Britain and Holland, to use military facilities and to gain supplies in both Singapore and Indonesia. He also thought for the use of a division of long-range heavy cruisers and submarines. The last key factor that McCollum called for was to keep the United States in the area of the Hawaiian Islands. With the fleet located around Hawaii and mainly in Pearl Harbor, a double-sided sword was created.
It helped quicker deployment times into South Pacific Water, but it also lacked many necessary military needs. The geographic location was also poor. The north part of the island was all mountains, which got in the way of the vision of military look out points. That made an attack from the North practically a surprise. There were also many military needs that were missing from Pearl Harbor. They were; no training facilities, not enough ammunition and fuel, no support craft such as tugs and repair ships, and no repair facilities like dry-docking and machine shops.
James O. Richardson, was angered when Roosevelt told him of his plans on keeping the fleet in Hawaii. Richardson knew the problems and weakness of Pearl Harbor. In a lunch in with Roosevelt, Richardson approached the President, and for him doing that he ended his military career. Four months later Richardson was removed as commander-in-chief, and replaced by Rear Admiral Husband Kimmel. Kimmel by many top people was looked down upon for taking orders from Roosevelt and not thinking of the dangers he was putting everybody in.
McCollum also knew that if Japan controlled the Pacific, it would put a hurt on America’s resources for copper, rubber, tin, and other valuable goods. The imports from the Pacific were all essential to the U. S. Economy, and to help protect the trading routes, McCollum encouraged all possible aid to be given to the Chinese government.
Japan had some control over China because of a military operation, which took over part of the country. Thanks to that, Japan took, and used many goods from China that were rare in their homeland. The government of China was completely against Japan, and with support from the United States, they were able to deny certain possessions from Japan.The United States Government and United States Navy withheld important information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.