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Pearl Harbour: was it a deliberate attack?

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Pearl Harbour: was it a deliberate attack? Before Pearl Harbour, Americans were not in favour of going to war against Germany, as the United States was a booming country, with a prospering economy, which they did not particularly want to see spent on costly warfare. Roosevelt himself felt sympathy toward Britain's plight, but the majority of the people did not back him on this, hence he could not support them in the war. However, conspiracy theories have suggested that Pearl Harbour May have been a highly effective, albeit cruel, way of persuading Americans to join the war. The American Government was extremely likely to know about a planned attack, and possibly know of its location. However, I personally do not think that they had correctly estimated its scale if they had purposely let it occur. When people talk about the events at Pearl Harbour today, they do not talk about it as being the fault of the U.S. government. This is due to all blame which had the potential to be attached to it was quietly hushed up, and was not made commonly known, for obvious reasons. ...read more.


The findings of these enquiries were rather shocking, and as Kimmel and Short had prepared themselves this time, they refused to let blame be pinned on themselves. There was a secret station based in Hawaii which intercepted Japanese messages but had to send them back to Washington for decryption. Kimmel and Short had not been told about it. Messages received included one asking for the precise position of ships in Pearl harbour and one from the Japanese to its worldwide embassies telling them to listen for a warning in which the country they would attack would be revealed. A fourteen-part message was also received, from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy based in Washington. This was not shown to Kimmel and Short either. As the case continued, it became clearer that Washington was probably to blame, and that they had concealed some vital evidence from the two Generals. The Government's explanation for the lack of messages shown to Kimmel and Short was that large amounts of information being sent to Pearl Harbour may ultimately have resulted in the Japanese realising their codes had been broken. ...read more.


Kimmel and Short had to undergo many more years of legal battles in order to clear their names. There are two explanations for what might have occurred at Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. One reason is conspiracy, and the other reason is accident. Because of the way huge amounts of information were kept from Kimmel and Short, a conspiracy may leap to mind. However, the explanation given for this is plausible, as increased communications may have alerted the Japanese about their codes having been broken. Roosevelt was genuinely shocked at hearing the consequences of the Japanese attack - even if he had known an attack was coming, he had not necessarily known how large it was going to be. It is highly unlikely that U.S. commanders would have wanted to sacrifice their own fleet, even if miscalculations were involved. There is much more evidence that extensive human error occurred than a Government plot, and that the purpose of the enquiry was to keep blame from being pinned to the Government, and to give the nation scapegoats in Kimmel and Short. I do not think that Roosevelt allowed this attack to go ahead purposely. ...read more.

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