Pearl Harbor Dbq Essay

The attack on Pearl Harbor is an event in United States history that had a massive effect on the American people and the actions of the country. It is referred to as the event that directly caused the U. S. to get involved in World War II, and is arguably one of the biggest events in U. S. history for this reason. The attack resulted in thousands of unsuspecting American people injured and killed. These Americans were unprepared and unable to prevent the devastating attack from happening.

However, many believe that president Roosevelt, on the other hand, could very well have prevented the attack, but chose to allow it instead. It is a conspiracy that many people have believed since the attack first occurred, and since then, the amount of belief has only increased. Some may then ask why Roosevelt would do such a thing in the first place. Surely whatever the reason was not worth the deaths of over a thousand innocent people, Americans at that.

Those who disagree with the claim would never believe that Roosevelt would intentionally allow such a tragedy. Although it is widely believed that the attack on Pearl Harbor was unexpected, and that the U. S. was unable to evade the attack, records and information of the event corroborate the theory that the attack was allowed to happen in order to give President Roosevelt justification to declare war. Many pieces of information support this claim, that FDR allowed the attack to happen. However, a great deal of this key information was either destroyed or hidden.

This, albeit minor, is the first indication of an allowed attack- covered up and hidden information. While hidden information is not necessarily a reason why this claim is true, it does both raise suspicion and begin to push those who believe otherwise into believing the claim is in fact true. After all, it makes no sense for someone to go so far to keep a secret hidden when there is no secret to be found. If the attack was in fact unavoidable and there was nothing that could be done, there would be no information to be hidden, and no conspiracy to be had.

Roosevelt’s administration was in charge of taking several affirmative actions that directly contributed to the Pearl Harbor attack succeeding, many of which involved hiding information to allow the attack to succeed. One such action was that commanders in Hawaii were denied requests to search for Japanese ships. This, as a result, supported Roosevelt in his plan. There were also several other instances of cover ups that acted as a way of leading the public to believe a certain way.

Admiral James Richardson, Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. leet, was relieved of his duty after refusing to place his sailors and ships in deliberate danger. He was then replaced with a vague naval officer, Admiral Kimmel, who was then put in charge of commanding the fleet in Hawaii. On the night before the attack, the heads of the Navy and Army were conveniently unreachable, and afterwards claimed a lack of memory of where they were. Then, as the attacks actually came around, things became increasingly more dubious. As the Japanese forces head toward Hawaii, Commanders Kimmel and Short were cut off and did not receive the intel that located these forces.

After the raid succeeded, the two were relieved of their commands, blamed for failure to prevent the attack, and demoted in rank. Immediately after the attack, military communications documents that reveal American foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor were locked away in the U. S. Navy vaults. Two weeks after the event, all documents were classified as top secret, and a message was sent out demanding all commanders “destroy all notes or anything in writing” related to the attack.

Additionally, all radio operators and cryptographers were threatened to be imprisoned if they revealed anything. The government also denied any foreknowledge of the event, and anyone who claimed to know this foreknowledge was labeled as just a crazy conspiracy theorist. All this hidden information and knowledge only suggests that the Government is hiding the truth behind the Pearl Harbor attack and how it really happened. Even if these situations and events do not indicate that Roosevelt deliberately allowed the attack to occur, they definitely raise a great amount of suspicion.

If the government and Roosevelt himself would really go to the extent that they did in handling information about the attack, it is reasonable to assume that a greater secret is being kept from the U. S. citizens. There have been several instances of the U. S. government receiving warnings indicating an attack on Pearl Harbor, so there is little reason to think that the attack was unavoidable. Many of these warnings occurred as far as months before the attack, and each became more and more specific as to where and when the attack would occur.

Such warnings were key in how the attack would play out. They gave Roosevelt plenty of information needed to prevent the attack. The U. S. government obtained these warnings from several different sources- each of which gave details about either the plans of the Japanese, the date of the attack, or the specifics about the actual attack itself. To say that the U. S. did not know what the Japanese were planning is a false statement. Several of the various warnings they received indicated, or at the very least, suggested, what their plans were.

On July 10, the US military attache in Tokyo reported that the Japanese Navy were secretly practicing airborne torpedo attacks on targets secured in Ariake Bay-a bay closely resembling Pearl Harbor. In Mexico, the US military attache revealed that the Japanese were building submarines with plans to tow them to Hawaii for an attack on Pearl Harbor. Then, on September 24, a message from Japanese Naval Intelligence headquarters in Tokyo to the Japanese consul general in Honolulu was interpreted. It requested the precise whereabouts of all US Navy ships in Pearl Harbor. Two months later, another message was intercepted.

It ordered for more routines, one such involving attacks on capital ships at anchor in preparation to ‘ambush and completely destroy the US enemy. ‘ The only American fleet within reach was at Pearl Harbor. These select few warnings alone suggested what the plans of the Japanese were, so it would be foolish to say that the U. S. was not expecting an attack. If the plan foreknowledge were not enough, the U. S. government also received various warnings about specifically when the attack would occur. The information received from numerous sources collectively stated that December 7 would be the day of the attack.

Additionally, on November 29, US Secretary of State Cordell Hull showed a reporter from The New York Times a message stating that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked on December 7. Lastly, the U. S. received various cautionary advice about the attack itself- where it would occur, when, and other specific information. One such warning was received as early as January 27, a whole 11 months before the time of the attack. This warning came from the Peruvian envoy in Tokyo, and it notified the third secretary of the U. S. embassy that they had learned from intelligent sources that the Japanese had a war plan to attack Pearl Harbor.

Still, nothing was done about this, and the many other warnings that came. A British agent, codenamed ‘Tricycle,’ told the FBI of the Japanese’s plan, but his knowledge was disregarded. A Korean agent told an American broadcaster of the attack as well, and went on to get the information to the President himself. The U. S. also received some very insightful dispatches warning of the attack. The first dispatch, received on November 24, and from Navy Department to Pacific Commanders, stated, “Chances of favorable outcome of negotiations with Japan very doubtful.

This situation, coupled with statements of Japanese Government and movements of their naval and military forces, indicates in our opinion that a surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on Phillipines or Guam, is a possibility. ” Three days later, a dispatch from Navy Department to Asiatic and Pacific Fleets stated, “This dispatch is considered to be a war warning. 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.

The number and equipment of Japanese troops, and the organization of naval task forces, indicates an amphibious expedition against either Philippines, Thai, or Kra peninsula, or possibly Borneo…”. These two dispatches specifically alerted the U. S. of a suspected attack, and while they may not have specified exactly where, they were enough for U. S. forces to at least be prepared for wherever the attack may occur. Even more sources provided notifications of the Japanese offensive against Pearl Harbor. On November 30, Honolulu advertiser published “Japanese May Strike Over Weekend”.

Public sources added to the great deal of knowledge the U. S. had obtained, but a just-as-equally large portion of that knowledge also came from Japanese codes indicating the specifics of the attack. A minimum of 1,000 Japanese military and diplomatic radio messages were intercepted per day, and the contents of these messages were summarized and sent to the White House. The messages were clear: On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor would be attacked by Japanese forces progressing through the Central and North Pacific Oceans. The U. S. was constantly being alerted, each instance a decent amount of time before the attack.

One such instance occurred 53 minutes before the attack. Even the newly installed army radar detected the Japanese planes in advance, but this too did not bring about any preventive action. With such innumerable amounts of warnings and information received, some nearly a year before the actual attack, the U. S. should easily have been capable of creating a plan to avoid such an attack, whether the warnings were true or not. It is entirely within reasonable knowing all of this to make the assumption that the attack was allowed to happen- perhaps even wanted to happen.

If several questionable actions and countless ignored warnings are still not yet enough to convince someone that Roosevelt allowed the attack to happen, there is still one more indication that will help put the whole argument together. While the previous two reasons may have supported that the attack was ignored, they do not support or explain why it was ignored. This is assuming, however, that the attack was in fact allowed to happen. The next question to ask would be why? The answer is simple- it was a justification for Roosevelt to involve the U. S. in the war, as Americans wanted nothing to do with “Europe’s war. As a result, the attack could be seen as a major convenience for Roosevelt.

Roosevelt had already believed that the United States would have to go to war against Germany, but the American people had no desire to get involved in a European war. Even Roosevelt confessed that ‘the American people would never agree to enter the war in Europe unless they were attacked within their own borders. ‘ Roosevelt’s desire was to aid his allies in fighting the Nazis and the axis powers, and he knew that an attack by Japan would be just what he needed to justify his involvement.

This attack would then allow the U. S. to get into the war against Germany, “through the back door”, so to speak. By permitting the Japanese attack, Roosevelt would counter the country’s isolationist views and trigger the assistance of its allies, successfully allowing America to be brought into the war. After the attack succeeded, Americans, who previously wanted nothing to do with the war, were now willing, if not eager, to go to war, which was exactly what Roosevelt wanted. With all the evidence and support provided, it is difficult to believe that the U. S. did try to prevent the attack from happening.

Suspicious behavior, hidden information, disregarded warnings, FDR’s desire to enter the war, each of these point to the same thing- the Pearl Harbor attack was an allowed attack. All of the support is there, but it comes down to whether or not people are willing to believe such a seemingly-outrageous act. The American people do not disbelieve the claim because it is unreasonable, as all of the evidence needed to prove it is there, but rather because they do not want to believe it. The argument now becomes whether or not Roosevelt would commit such an act, as opposed to whether or not he did.