On 7 December 1941 the greatest disaster in United States history occurred. Truly this was and is, “’A date which will live in infamy.’”(Costello 1), but not for the bombing of Pearl Harbor Essay, rather for the deception and the mis-guidance used by the Government and Franklin D. Roosevelt. In a purely artificial chess game Roosevelt sacrificed over 2400 American Seamen’s lives, thanks to his power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
By over-looking the obvious 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 society before the Pearl Harbor bombing believed in the idea of isolationism. Franklin D. Roosevelt knew this, and knew the only way in which United States countrymen would take arms and fight in Europe’s War was to be an overt action against the United States by a member of the Axis Power. Roosevelt also believed Hitler would not declare war on the United States unless he knew they were beatable. There are numerous accounts of actions by Roosevelt and his top armed forces advisors, which reveal they were not only aware of an attack by Japan, but also they were planning on it, and instigating that attack.
On 7 October 1940, Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence, wrote the eight-action memo. This memo outlined eight different steps the United States could do that he predicted would lead to an attack by Japan on the United States. The day after this memo was giving to Franklin D. Roosevelt, he began to implement these steps. By the time that Japan finally attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, all eight steps had occurred (Willy 1).
The eight steps consisted of two main subject areas; the first being a sign of United States military preparedness and threat of attack, the second being a forceful control on Japans trade and economy.
The main subject area of the eight-action memo was the sign of United States military preparedness and threat of attack. McCollum called for the United States to make arrangements with both Britain (Action A) and Holland (Action B), for the use of military facilities and acquisition of supplies in both Singapore and Indonesia. He also suggested for the deployment of a division of long-range heavy cruisers (Action D) and two divisions of submarines (Action E) to the Orient. The last key factor McCollum called for was to keep the United States Fleet in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands (Action F). Roosevelt personally took charge of Action’s D and E; these actions were called “pop up” cruises.
Roosevelt had this to say about the cruises, “’I just want them to keep popping up here and there and keep the Japs guessing (Stinnett 9).’” With the fleet located around Hawaii and particularly in Pearl Harbor a double-sided sword was created; it allowed for quicker deployment times into South Pacific Water, but more importantly it lacked many fundamental military needs, and was vulnerable due to its geographic location.
To understand the true vulnerability of Pearl Harbor one must look at Oahu, the Hawaiian Island that the military base is located. The North part of the island is all mountains, these mountains hinder the vision of military look out points, making an attack from the North virtually a surprise until the sound of fighter planes are over head. There were many key military needs that were missing from Pearl Harbor, and they were; a lack of training facilities, lack of large-scale ammunition and fuel supplies, lack of support craft such as tugs and repair ships, and a lack of overhaul facilities such as dry-docking and machine shops. Commander in Chief, United States Fleet – Admiral James O.
Richardson, was outraged when he was told by President Roosevelt of his plans on keeping the fleet in Hawaiian Waters. Richardson knew of the problems and vulnerability of Pearl Harbor, the safety of his men and warships was paramount. In a luncheon with Roosevelt, Richardson confronted the President, and by doing so ended his military career. Four months later Richardson .