Richard Collier wrote The Road to Pearl Harbor Essay: 1941 to talk about how the actions of individuals and governments brought the United States into World War II, as a result of the Pearl Harbor massacre caused by the Japanese.
The book starts out a dinner that Winston Churchill is hosting in order to recruit the support of the United States during the war. Winston Churchill is pleased to find out that he will have access to all sorts of American war materials, thanks to the lend-lease policy, which many saw as a slick business deal for the United States. The United States gained many assets in return for war materials not worth nearly as much.
One German who made a huge difference in the book was Rudolf Hess, a personal friend of Hitler’s who took it upon himself to fly an unarmed plane into Britain to try and negotiate a peace talk in order to keep Germany from having to fight a two front war following the execution of Operation Barbarossa, the code name for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
The British did not know what to make of Hess, and treated him as a prisoner of war, leaving him mentally unstable and in no condition to negotiate a peace between Germany and Britain. Hitler was outraged when he found out about Hess’s mission, and played it off like Hess was the victim of hallucinations. Hitler did this because he did not really want peace with Britain and was desperate to keep up the morale of his troops getting ready to invade the Soviet Union. Hitler was also worried that Hess would be given a truth serum and reveal the plan to invade the Soviet Union to Winston Churchill.
Another interesting man from Germany was called the “Desert Fox.” Erwin Rommel earned his nickname by using new tactics to defeat the British in Africa despite being outnumbered for the most part.
Rommel would make it look like he had more forces than he did by putting wooden turrets on top of BMWs and placing them next to real artillery during battles, influencing the British’s decision to retreat.
The turning point in both the war and the book come when the Japanese decide to invade Pearl Harbor early in the morning of December 7, 1941. Collier goes on to talk about how the Japanese got ready for the invasion by eating a traditional breakfast, wearing red shirts and loin cloths, and donning the traditional hashamaki head bands.
The Americans noticed blips on their radar screens that morning, but dismissed them as normal traffic. This proved to be a fatal mistake that cost America tons of lives and military materials. The Arizona, Oklahoma, New Orleans, Nevada, Enterprise, West Virginia, Tennessee, California, all were either sunk or sustained huge amounts of damage.
Even though some ships like the Nevada had the chance to cruise out of the channel, if a ship was sunk at the mouth of the channel the whole fleet would be bottled in.
Roosevelt was shocked to find out about the attack on Pearl Harbor, due to the Japanese cutting it close. They broke off talks only twenty minutes before the first attack on Pearl Harbor, and the message was delayed an hour in part because of a slow typist that only used two fingers on the keyboard.
Churchill found it hard to contain his excitement to know that the United States would finally be entering the war, an action that gave Britain hope for victory.
After America entered the war, Germany did not have much of a chance. The Americans joined the Allied Forces for Operation D-Day, on which the Allied Forces invaded France on the beaches of Normandy.
Soon the Allied Forces even had Rommel, the Desert Fox, on the run. Rommel abandoned his prized post of Tobruk without hesitation, fleeing across the dessert. At the same time General Macarthur was leading the battle on the islands near Japan, despite having only limited resources. At the end of the book, both Roosevelt and Churchill have a reason to feel optimistic about their chances to bring peace and democracy back to the world.
Collier’s book goes right along with what we had talked about .