Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Was FDR to blame for Pearl Harbor?

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by DogFather, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    132
    [​IMG]
     
    formerjughead likes this.
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    I've found that remaining silent on an issue is considered implicit agreement that the CT'ers are correct. I won't do that.
     
    A-58, mikebatzel and formerjughead like this.
  3. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    405
    In all my years of reading and learning, not a single person has ever been able to explain to me how knowing of an impending attack and not telling anyone gets us into the war any faster than knowing and setting an ambush. Japan attacked first. So why did we need to let so many young men die for no reason?
     
    JagdtigerI likes this.
  4. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    132
    Opana, FWIW, I'm on your side.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    Not grousing at you, just statin' my position.
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Yes, you continue to recycle Stinnett. And knowledgable people have spent years debunking him. Including these two gentlemen I will use. These are posts of theirs (not mine), and they take Stinnett apart.

    The short answer is that Stinnett does not even mention in his book the most important documents available in the Crane Files at NARA regarding JN-25 -- documents that thoroughly refute his claim that JN-25 was being read before Pearl Harbor. The documents he does cite in supposed support of his confused, uninformed, and illogical arguments he provides such poor and unorthodox references to in his footnotes that those who have tried to find some of them at NARA archives have found it literally impossible to do so.

    There is at least one instance in which a NARA file Stinnett cited did not contain anything like the document he claimed existed in that location. In other cases Stinnett has misquoted or grossly misrepresented the context of small quotations he has taken from archival documents. Thus true historians are distinctly unimpressed by the conspiratorial claim that "his" documents are being classified or reclassified as part of the grand "cover up." The crucial documents, cited in Cryptologia and Naval Institute Proceedings, are still available at NARA for any and all to see, and have been since at least 1999.

    Much of Stinnett's work was done at the San Bruno section of the NARA, San Francisco, and from a study of those records, Stinnett simply does not know how to properly cite the documents at the NARA because of his way of making copies. He photographs them with his own camera and does not routinely ask for the stamped citations that reference activist routinely stamp on the back of a group of documents. In trying to find documents which he cited as being in files at NARA in San Bruno one fails to find them except one or two times where they were located in other files or in totally different series or in other creating offices. This is not a task that researchers should have to do when trying to verify other researchers' citations.

    Sadly, Stinnett's work could have been good if he had let the documents speak to him, rather than having a pre-conceived agenda in which he tried to 'bend' history to his own thoughts.

    Sincerely,

    David Aiken, Shinjuwan Sakusen sensei.

    (me again) David Aiken is a Director for the Pearl Harbor History Associates, Inc. A non-profit study group founded by members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association to carry the flag of Keeping the Record Straight by holding steadfast to the truth of the battle and dispel the myths that continue to crop up. I hope "Opanapointer" isn't David Aiken in disguise, I will feel foolish if he is.:eek:

    For Aiken’s bona fides, see:

    David's Corner

    And another post from the now deceased Phil H. Jacobsen who worked in the field, at the time:

    Stinnett appears to infer that the release of the Crane (Indiana) Naval Security Group Depository records was due to his FOIA requests. In fact, the declassification of these files was only awaiting the completion of Archives II at College Park, Maryland as there was insufficient space in the Washington, D.C. or Suitland NA facilities. Stinnett fails to mention that these files were "opened up" to a select number of other researchers besides himself including for one, Stephen Budiansky.

    Stinnett claims that David Kahn, Edward Drea and Stephen Budiansky have ties with NSA that taint their views, but provides no proof of such bias. I know for a fact that Kahn refused a position with NSA's Center for Cryptologic History so he would be free to write anything he wished in his book, "The Codebreakers." I can assure everyone that neither Budiansky nor Drea have any ties to NSA that would affect their writings. Yes, I was assigned to NSA from 1957-1960 as a new Ensign (LDO) but even I am not beholding to NSA for any reason either.

    As to the withholding of certain Crane (RG38) documents, my experience from many NA visits including the last one in September this year shows that relatively few such withdrawal requests are in evidence and I saw no indication that these few withdrawals were for any significant historical documents in the Pearl Harbor arena. Furthermore, Stinnett admitted he freely had a year's access to these documents and made thousands of copies of the documents he thought were significant to his revisionist conspiracy theory. I note he does not identify any specific document that has been "withdrawn." Therefore, I see little for him to complain of except to pound on his unsupported claims of continuing cover-up. It has been reported that some of the withdrawals are temporary by NSA's Center for Cryptologic History and other DOD historical studies and that they will be returned when those studies are completed.

    It is Stinnett and not Kahn who "rewrote" a U.S. Naval Communications (sic) [Intelligence] Summary prepared by Commander Rochefort ..." I had better put in those extra two periods that Kahn neglected to add undoubtedly for space reasons or I will be also be accused again of violating journalistic ethics. As you will see when I am finished, Stinnett had to really resort to extremely small nit picks to even begin to accuse his critics of making errors.

    Stinnett is the one who is guilty of completely rewriting Rochefort's Comint Summary of 25 November 1941 that he most vigorously attacks Kahn for. On pages 162-163 of "Day of Deceit, he says:

    "The first to ignore Yamamoto's silence order was Vice Admiral Nagumo. As he departed Hitokappu Bay at 6:00 A.M. on 26 (Tokyo time) HE HELD EXTENSIVE RADIO EXCHANGES WITH JAPAN'S CENTRAL PACIFIC COMMANDER AND THE SUMBMARINE FORCE COMMANDER. THEIR THREE-WAY CONVERSATIONS WERE INTERCEPTED BY STATION H OPERATORS AT MIDMORNING ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25. (Emphasis added).

    Joseph Rochefort revealed the Nagumo broadcasts directly to Admiral Kimmel in the Communications (sic) [Intelligence] Summary dated November 25 but delivered to the Admiral the next morning. "COMMANDER CARRIERS WAS IN EXTENSIVE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE SUBMARINE COMMANDER AND CENTRAL PACIFIC FORCES. (Emphasis added) (note 43) Rochefort's source was the intercept operators at Station H, WHO OVERHEARD NAGUMO USING THE AKAGI'S RADIO TRANSMITTER AND COORDINATING WAR TACTICS WITH VICE ADMIRAL SHIGEYOSHI INOUE, JAPAN'S CENTRAL PACIFIC COMMANDER (FOURTH FLEET), AND VICE ADMIRAL MITSUMI SHIMIZU, COMMANDER OF JAPANESE SUBMARINES (SIXTH FLEET). .... NONE OF THESE "EXTENSIVE COMMUNICATIONS" INTERCEPTS HAVE BEEN RELEASED BY US CENSORS." (Emphasis added).

    However, when you actually look at Rochefort's Communications Intelligence Summary for November 25th 1941, you see nothing whatsoever to support Stinnett's egregious allegations. First of all, if Rochefort intended to report such activity by Nagumo as the main actor in such "extensive communications", he would have put that entry under the heading of "Combined Fleet" which Nagumo and his carriers fell operationally and administratively under. However, the actual words that Rochefort used in that summary were:

    GENERAL (This section usually contains significant activities by entities not covered by other regular sections like, Combined Fleet. These particulars are omitted for clarity.)

    COMBINED FLEET - (This is the section where Nagumo's Commander Carriers, which was later determined to by CinC 1st Air Fleet, as well as First and Second Fleets information would be located. There are many examples, that are too numerous to mention here, in November and December 1941 of entries appearing here to describe when Nagumo as Commander Carriers/CinC 1st Air Fleet was observed either sending or receiving messages.)

    CHINA - (Nothing in this summary)

    AIR - (Omitted for clarity)

    THIRD FLEET (Nothing in this summary)

    FOURTH FLEET - CINC. FOURTH FLEET IS STILL HOLDING EXTENSIVE COMMUNICATIONS WITH COMMANDER SUBMARINE FLEET, THE FORCES AT JALUIT AND COMMANDER CARRIERS. HIS OTHER COMMUNICATIONS ARE WITH THE THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH BASE FORCES [within his jurisdiction in the mandated islands.] (Emphasis added.)

    It is crystal clear that Rochefort is talking specifically about and only about the unusual activity of CinC Fourth Fleet, Admiral Inoue's "extensive communications" with six different entities, of which Nagumo is only one. In the radio intelligence parlance of those days, Inoue originated messages to those six entities. Most likely these messages were only seen of the Tokyo Fleet broadcast. Most likey, the message to Nagumo indicated by Rochefort was received by Nagumo through the Tokyo broadcast and it was not necessary for him to transmit to obtain this message from the Tokyo broadcast. Stinnett specifically stated that Nagumo sent messages from the Akagi's transmitter even to Admiral Shimizu, CinC Sixth Fleet [submarines] but when you read the actual summary from which Stinnett bases that allegation, there is nothing in the summary saying that Nagumo was in communication with Shimizu. It is Inoue who is doing all the talking to the six other entities. Thus, it is Stinnett who misquotes Rochefort in his effort to advance his predetermined revisionist conspiracy agenda and Kahn was right.

    Stinnett is and was dead wrong as is clear to any objective observer who has access to the document Stinnett claims is his source. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

    There is an old saying that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing." That works in spades when one has a revisionist historical agenda. Unbelievable, Stinnett who claims to be a self-appointed expert in this field, erroneously asserts that Rochefort Communications (sic) [Intelligence] Summary of 25 November 1941 reflects Japanese naval communications activity of 26 November due to time zone changes and the International Date Line. However, even a neophyte researcher in this field would have noted that the major Japanese radio call sign changes of 1 November and 1 December 1941, where Japanese communications used Tokyo -9 time zone, were reflected in Rochefort's summaries of the same dates [1 November and 1 December] instead of on 31 October and 30 November 1941 which would have been the case if Stinnett allegations were true. Furthermore, all U.S. naval intercept logs, intercepted messages, supervisor's reports and Comint Summaries used Tokyo -9 time zone to avoid confusion and errors in converting Japanese naval activity that used Tokyo time to any specific U.S. time zone. This is just another example of the hundred or so errors in Stinnett's book and his subsequent writings.

    As to John Toland's reference to "Seaman Z," the allegations attributed to Robert D. Ogg were thoroughly debunked by Commander Irvin Newman's interview of him. See RG457 SRH-255 NA, College Park, Maryland. Ogg admitted that he did not know the source of the radio transmissions for the bearing he plotted for his superior, Hosmer. Furthermore, Ogg stated that they came from two DF stations, one in San Francisco and one "about 100 miles down the California coast." The only DF station in the San Francisco area was at the Farallon Islands off the coast in the Pacific Ocean and the only DF station down the California coast was some 300 miles generally southeast of San Francisco at Point Arguello. When plotted on a DF tracking chart, the bearings from those two locations towards Japan or the Northeast Pacific Ocean would appear as almost parallel lines due to the NW/SE orientation of the California coastline. Thus, no real fix or transmitter location in the North Pacific Ocean could be made from those two supposed locations from transmitters in the alleged locations.

    Since Hosmer was interested in the location of Japanese commercial ships, it is most likely that such bearings from whichever DF stations were involved were Japanese commercials ships not the Kido Butai. Apparently, Stinnett recognized his problems with the Toland/Ogg reports from the Newman interview so he changed the DF station locations in his paperback version of Day of Deceit. Now he says they were from Station T, Pt. St. George several hundred miles North of San Francisco and a mysterious "Station X" which he claims was the commercial Mackay Radio Station at Half Moon Bay some 50 miles south of San Francisco. However, RG38 records indicate that Station X was a Canadian DF station located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Again, Stinnett is wrong.

    A review of Station H supervisor’s reports, penciled notes on TESTM reports, and Rochefort's Comint summaries for 1941 show that Station Cast is almost invariably referred to as "Cavite." This is obviously a hangover from the many, many years the station was at Cavite and the fact that its military administration was still at Cavite. Thus, when Stinnett lambasts Budiansky for such a picayunish nit pick, Budiansky is in good company. It is clear that Stinnett is desperate to find something to complain about in the reviews by Kahn, Budiansky and Drea and will stoop to any lengths to achieve that end.

    It is Stinnett and not Drea who does not understand cyrptanalytic terminology. I note throughout the book and even in his various speeches and writings Stinnett improperly uses the term "Cryptographer" for those U.S. naval personnel working on Japanese naval codes when he should use "Cryptanalysts." Cryptographers construct codes or work on code of their own country while cryptanalysts try to break existing codes usually of foreign countries.

    As Budiansky thoroughly discussed in his article, "Too Late For Pearl Harbor" in the December 1999 issue of U.S. Naval Proceedings, official OP-20-GYP-1 records show zero decrypts of JN-25B (Stinnett's "5-num" or AN-1) code and cipher combination by any U.S. naval entity before December7th 1941.

    Then Lieutenant John "Honest John" Lietwiler was only discussing his basic code value and overlying cipher value recovery process. Commander Rudolph Fabian testified before the Pearl Harbor Congressional hearings under oath and noted that just before the outbreak of hostilities, "We (at Station C) had established liaison with the British unit at Singapore. We were exchanging values, both code and cipher recoveries, but we had not developed either to the point where we could read enemy intercepts." See; Secret Allies in the Pacific by Roland H. Worth, Jr. p. 105.

    As one can see, Fabian spoke directly to actual decrypts while Lietwiler was talking about code and cipher recoveries. OP-20-GYP-1 records show that the U.S. Navy had only recovered some 3,900 basic JN-25B book values out of the total of over 55,000. I had the experience of working for "Honest John" Lietwiler in 1946 and 1948 at Bainbridge Island, Washington. Since I had been at Guadalcanal and he was later evacuated to Melbourne, we often had small conversations about the pre-war and early war years. Lietwiler was quite surprised by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and felt quite disappointed that they had not been able to decrypt JN-25B in time to be of help to the Navy ships and personnel prior to December7th, 1941. So Stinnett is wrong again when he claims Station C was decrypting JN-25B messages.

    As a matter of accuracy, Stinnett is wrong again when he states that Lietwiler was the "commanding officer" of Station Cast. First, that entity was headed up by a simple Officer-in-Charge and the command was the District Communications Officer at Cavite. More importantly, it was Fabian not Lietwiler who was the military and administrative head of Station C. Lietwiler was sent out to relieve Fabian, but Fabian's wife was confined to a sanitorium for a lung ailment and he was allowed to stay on. Even though Lietwiler was senior to Fabian, by agreement Fabian, who was not a cryptanalyst nor a language officer kept on as the OIC thus freeing Lietwiler who was both a cryptanalys and language officer to continue the work on JN-25B code and cipher recoveries and Purple diplomatic decrypts and translations. So once again, Stinnett is wrong.

    It is abundantly clear from official records and the personal testimonies of many naval analysts that there were no decrypts of JN-25B (5-num - AN-1) until the first one was made by Rochefort's Hawaiian group in January 1942.


    OP-20-GYP-1 records show all the contemporary decrypts with assigned numbers starting with #1 in January 1942 by Hawaii.

    All text in italics are other author’s, not my own.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    Serious students of this topic know that FDR was trying to avoid war with Japan. He needed the forces in the Atlantic to fight der Unterseebooten, so the LAST thing he needed or wanted was a war in the biggest body of water on the planet. That really is not hard to figure out if you think about it.
     
  8. DogFather

    DogFather Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    5
    If " the LAST thing he (FDR) needed or wanted was a war in the biggest body of water on the planet", is true.

    Why then did FDR consider a preemptive strike? It was called Joint
    Army/Navy Board 355, Serial 691 (the Joint Board Plan). The document
    was dated 7-18-1941. The US had the ability to help Great Britain, in
    the ETO and also take on Japan in the PTO, we just needed to gear
    up our industry for war time production. We had plenty of men and materials for both.

    OP, you just seem unwilling to face the reality, that FDR took actions
    that would lead to war with Japan. A war we were not ready for yet. We weren't just sitting bye minding our own business. I think this was the right thing to do, it's just that FDR made some big mistakes doing it.
    Like putting our fleet at risk for political reasons, rather than military reasons.

    Anyone wishing to know more about Joint Board Plan, let me know. I can
    send you a PDF file on the plan.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    What do you mean by condsider it? The US considered all sorts of plans pre war including war with Canada and Britain.
    The US was gearing up our production. FDR's advisors told him the US would be "ready" for war in the summer of 42 and ready for offensive action that winter. Until then we weren't really "ready" for war with anyone.
     
  10. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    9
    I don’t think anyone would reasonably suspect Nagumo to act like an idiot and chat away on the radio while sailing to Pearl under orders of strict radio silence. However, this statement says that the source document showing no contact is the Nov 25th HYPO summary, and that cannot be so. The source document must be the original working logs for Hypo on November 25th, not the summary.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    Send it on, I'll put it online so people can make up their own minds about the material.

    As noted above, "it is better to have a plan and not need than to have no plan and need one."

    AND, as usual, you are ignoring the fact that some of things FDR did were at the insistence of the Republicans, the oil embargo being one. Check out Gerald Nye's speeches regarding this, they're in the Congressional Record for the appropriate date.
     
  12. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    As I pointed out in my post, that was from another post at a different forum (that lame THC) by Philip H. Jacobsen in reply to Stinnett's shoddy research and citations used in his Day of Deceit.

    LCDR Philip H. Jacobsen’s bona fides can be checked out here:

    The United States Navy in the Pacific War 1941 -- 1945 -- Main Index page

    and scrolling down to the Intel section.

    Those are his words, not my own. Whether they are a summary or the working logs are unknown to myself, and Commander Jacobsen is deceased. I think he passed on in 2004 or 05 or something.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    "The US had the ability to help Great Britain, in the ETO and also taken on Japan in the PTO". So why didn't we just sail over to Japan in January of 1942, give them a sound thrashing, and then swan over to the Atlantic and deal with that Hitler person?

    I read your article. Massively unimpressed.
     
  14. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,625
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Yeah maybe FDR woke up one morning and decided that he had enough of being a caring altruistic and magnanimous President who lead is country out of the Great Depression. Afterall it looked like Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini were having a great time invading other countries and forcing there will onto others; alot more fun than Churchill was having with his "Milk toast" diplomacy.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    The article in question complains that FDR didn't allocate B-17s to China. As we didn't have enough B-17s for HAWAII I don't see the issue there. The author is a classic example of "amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics."
     
  16. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,625
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Well that's because "tactics" are sexy and "logistics" are boring. This whole: "revisionist hindsight conspiracy theory expert" stuff is really starting to bore. It seems that it is easier to interpet history when you don't take historical fact and context into account. That's just tmy opinion though
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    11,423
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    Research is too much work.

    I blame Darwin.
     
  18. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,625
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Maybe Darwin will smack some of them in the head and bring them to their senses.
     
  19. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,551
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Didn't the Japs bomb Darwin?
     
  20. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,625
    Likes Received:
    1,001

    Only because Darwin provoked them
     

Share This Page