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Topic: Did FDR really know?, Did Roosevelt really know of the Japanese attack before it t< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 11
ben e fox Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2001,7:08  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mr. Masahiro Washio:

Who is it that you believe should share the responsibility with Japan for Pearl Harbor and other events in the war in the Pacific and East?

There are some fatal flaws in your logic and the hackneyed and factually unsupportable arguments that FDR "wanted war" or that Pearl Harbor was "convenient" and just what he wanted.  The usual revisionist argument maintains that FDR wanted war so that he could lead the U.S. to "save" England or because he felt it was strategeically in the U.S. interests to enter the war against Germany, and he needed the Japanese attack to do it, for all of the reasons you list.  Unfortunately, they are not parsimonious and cannot be supported with any facts, but they are (and have been) rebutted by so many facts that they can't be listed here.  FDR had more than enough bases, if given the proper spin, to get a declaration of war against Germany, and for that matter, Japan.  The U.S. entered WWI on far less.  Gallup polls were and still are very frail, and do not reflect the action that Congress will take.  Contra your argument, the U.S. had little reason to want a war with Japan and was unprepared. If it was convenient for FDR so he could enter the war against Germany, his "Date of Infamy" speech before Congress on Dec. 8 (U.S.) is hard to understand.  He asked Congress for a declaration of war on Japan, not Germany or the Axis as some encouraged him to do.  As you know, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S., not the U.S. on them.  As far as the "budget" or the economy, or your other points, you must be aware that there were demands in Congress for a much larger defense budget than FDR wanted, and the U.S. was clearly coming out of the depression.  There was no need for a war for either.  As far as his "pledge" or the next election, it seems unlikely that a majority of Americans would expect the pledge to be kept in the face of the attrocities being perpetrated by Japan in the East (not just China) and the Nazis in Europe, and both Japan's and Germany's open claims that it was their destiny and rightful purpose to rule the world.  Japan should be thankful that it made the error of attacking the U.S. when it did, because you can predict that within ten more years, Japan would have been defeated by Germany and the U.S.S.R., and the "Post-war occupation" by the U.S.S.R. would have been very different from the U.S. occupation.  Maybe you've never noticed that Germany was heading toward Iran after Africa while Japan was heading for India, and the two planned to meet.  That would have been an interesting meeting.  You must also be aware that Japan and the U.S.S.R. had been involved in a major, bloody war in 1939-41, which Japan lost, and Japan fully intended to try to end the "Russian Issue."  The 500,000 Japanese soldiers the Emperor gave the U.S.S.R. as slave laborers as a war reparation should give you some idea of what would have happened.  The U.S.S.R. would have imposed the same kind of occupation on Japan that Japan imposed on the nations and peoples it conquered, and I don't think Japan would have enjoyed being on the receiving end of their own tactics.  Rape as a strategy, as employed by the U.S.S.R. and Japan impacts "racial purity" and the "divine" nature of a people as described recently by former PM Mori and others.  It would have been very unpleasant, as the various peoples of Asia continue to try to tell Japan that it was.
   As for China, as you point out, there was a civil war.  Chinese were killing each other.  You will note that the Chinese were killing each other, not Japanese.  Rereading your comment, you will note that China did not invade Japan, Japan invaded China.  The Chinese killing each other is tragic, but not as tragic as (or a basis for) Japan murdering 30 million of them.  Or 10 million of them.  Or one of them.  Just as Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not justify Japan's much earlier intentional indiscriminate terror bombings of civilians at Chunking, Manila, Java and elsewhere.  Just as nothing at the time or subsequently relates to or justifies the murder and enslavement of millions of people from the peaceful Chamarros to the gentle Burmese to the Vietnamese, and others, by Japan.  Your logic fails.
  Before using the "they did it too" or "two wrongs make a right" argument to try to spread "responsibility" for Japan's actions, you should consider the relevence of your argument, the validity of your facts, and how or whether what you say would or could justify what you seek to justify.  If not relevent and not valid, there is no justification.  That is a logical imperative.  Using the "if not for" defense requires relevence.

Edit:  There is nothing personal in this, I hope you will not take offense.  These discussions are good.  Your contributions are very helpful.  There are things to think about if it is to never happen again, and it can never be allowed to happen again.

(Edited by ben e fox at 4:53 am on May 1, 2001)

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 Post Number: 12
macandrew Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2004,3:32 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think it's agreed that we'll never know for certain - at least, not in this life - but my fifty cents-worth is that I believe FDR KNEW an attack was coming. WHERE and exactly WHEN is another story.

One opinion I've heard is that he may have known and chose to or had to let it happen, in order that the country would be rallied to and willing to go to war. This is, of course, a possibility. But, I find it difficult to completely accept that he would be so motivated as to allow the resultant two-thousand-plus deaths plus other casualties to become reality. Also, would/could he, one who was so much a Navy-oriented person, allow the damage to the U.S. Pacific Fleet? One can only wonder. I would prefer to think that he would not.

One thing I do wonder about is - how might the outcome have been affected if the reports from the Opana radar station had been taken seriously and acted upon? And, had the flight of B-17's been armed and ready for combat. Again, I can only wonder.

Macandrew
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Curtis Croulet Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 31 2004,5:57 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote (macandrew @ May 20 2004,12:32)
but my fifty cents-worth is that I believe FDR KNEW an attack was coming.

Quote
but my fifty cents-worth is that I believe FDR KNEW an attack was coming.


And your evidence is?

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Jason Tyler Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2004,3:00 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My take on this is split...

Did Roosevelt want the US to enter the war? Absolutely, IIRC, his personal documents and comments seem to support his desire to enter into the war. I also think he knew that we would eventually be drawn in, one way or another. But, FDR's focus, I believe, was more directed at the threat of Nazi Germany.

That being said, I think the White House knew we would end up fighting Japan, but that the war would begin in late '42 or early 1943. (If we had to pick) Evidence of this would be the number of capital ships ordered from 1937 to 1940, (see below) this would be a sizeable upgrade to the fleet. (And all of these ships entered service in 1942 or later...

Also of note, if you want to be in a war with Japan, why would you sacrifice the bulk of your fighting fleet? It was no secret that the IJN had 6 fleet carriers, and was constructing the Yamato class, plus an array of older BB's. It would be fool-hardy to allow 8 of your battleships to be sunk, and if FDR wanted the IJN to attack, why wait till after Dec. 7 to transfer Yorktown, Hornet, and #### to PACFLT?

U.S. Navy
Capitol Ship Building Orders:
(Fiscal Year 1937-1941)

A Capital Ship is denoted as a battle cruiser,
or larger, warship, including aircraft carriers.


Battleships:
North Carolina class:
North Carolina (BB 55)
Washington (BB 56)
South Dakota class:
South Dakota (BB 57)
Indiana (BB 58)
Massachusetts (BB 59)
Alabama (BB 60)
Iowa class:
Iowa (BB 61)
New Jersey (BB 62)
Missouri (BB 63)
Wisconsin (BB 64)
Illinois (BB 65)
Kentucky (BB 66)
Montana class:
Montana (BB 67)
Ohio (BB 68)
Maine (BB 69)
New Hampshire (BB 70)
Louisiana (BB 71)

Aircraft Carriers:
Yorktown Class:
Hornet (CV 8)
Essex Class:
Essex (CV 9)
Yorktown (CV 10)
Intrepid (CV 11)
Hornet (CV 12)
Franklin (CV 13)
Lexington (CV 16)
Bunker Hill (CV 17)
#### (CV 18)
Bennington (CV 20)
Bon Homme Richard (CV 31)

Battle Cruisers:
Alaska Class:
Alaska (CB-1)
Guam (CB-2)
Hawaii (CB-3)
Philippines (CB-4)
Puerto Rico (CB-5)
Samoa (CB-6)

Edited by Jason Tyler on --
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fightnjoe Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2004,1:29 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

please accept my apologies if this comment seems to repeat others.

after reading much on this and trying to be as fully behind the idea that fdr did know.  i have come to the opinion that fdr did not know about this attack.  he had no knowledge of impending doom and reacted accordingly.  there are indicators that he may have known but these things show me otherwise....

-fdr was navy to the core.  there was no possible way he would have risked his navy to any attack.  if he would have had any knowledge of an impending attack he would have made sure the fleet was prepared.

-fdr may have wanted to go to war but everything he did indicated he thought this war would be with germany.  hence the lend-lease agreement with england.

-the navy wanted to pull many ships from the pacific to the atlantic.  this in itself would say yes but if you knew an attack was coming what would you pull the capital ships or the smaller ships.

again i apologize if this repeats any earlier comment.  i just glanced over the thread before adding my opinion.  but now if you were to make the comment that churchill knew i would tend to agree with it.


joe

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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2004,5:40 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote
but now if you were to make the comment that churchill knew i would tend to agree with it.


I thought about it a bit and I don't believe this to be true. If you postulate that there's no way that Roosevelt would want his fleet's ability to fight degraded then the same would go for Churchill. Churchill too wanted the U.S. in the war.... in the atlantic. Any Japanese attack that focused the U.S. on the pacific theatre would be detrimental to England. IF he knew in advance it would have been to his advantage to warn FDR so that in the case of war we had more to spread out. As it is the Atlantic lost the Yorktown to the Pacific theatre on 16 December, 1941, not welcome news for Churchill.

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Let's see what this does...

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http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
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fightnjoe Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2004,7:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

that is a good point.  hadnt thought about that angle.  


joe

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 20 2004,9:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For those who "believe" President Roosevelt "knew" that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, pray tell me exactly with documented proof how FDR get that intelligence information and no one else in naval or military intelligence "knew." Please don't give me that garbabe about Grogan, Ogg or the McCollum memo.

PHJ
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 22 2004,8:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi, I'm new here and will have a couple Pearl Harbor questions of my own, but I wanted to add my perspective on this topic as well.

It may well have been in the United States' best interests if FDR had known of an attack and allowed it to be made. However, I believe any attack, regardless of magnitude, would have been sufficient. Therefore, I highly doubt that he knew about the Pearl Harbor attack. It was risking too much.  From what I know of the attack, yes, it was bad, but not nearly as bad as it could well have been.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2005,12:53 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote (Ken Hackler @ April 14 2001,1:15)
You've touched on a subject that will get a lot of responses from many people on both sides of the argument.  For myself, based on the facts and not on the evidence twisted by the revisionists, no - he did not know.

Roosevelt knew that war with Japan could start at any moment, and that based on past Japanese actions it would most likely be a sneak attack.

That does NOT mean that he knew it would happen at Pearl Harbor.

An attack was expected on either the Philippines or on the British colonies, or on the Dutch East Indies.

The wide spread attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Midway, Wake, and Malaya was stunning, the most wide spread attack in a single day the world had ever seen. Nobody was expecting anything like that.

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No government which fails to provide for its own preservation against the assaults of every probable foe is entitled to the support of its people. (Carl Vinson)
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