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The Pearl Harbor Messages


  • pg 1
									The Pearl Harbor Messages
by Gregory Douglas

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------

The body of literature on the Pearl Harbor attack is immense.

In seeking to explore, in print, the subject, the writer is faced with hundreds of books and
literally thousands of magazine articles and official reports that are filled with an enormous
number of commentaries, facts and theories.

These works fall into two clearly defined categories: pro-Roosevelt and anti-Roosevelt. Pearl
Harbor has become a political issue fifty years after the fact and factual reportage has taken a
back seat to the maintenance of a myth or its attempted destruction.

Rather than cover hundreds of pages of excerpted official testimony, Japanese and American
period documents, postwar evaluations, accusations and defenses, perhaps the most simple and
direct course is to set out the most important intercepted Japanese secret governmental messages
from the beginning of 1941 through the day of the attack on December 7, 1941 (December 8
Tokyo time).

These intercepted Japanese messages came from a number of sources but the main ones were the
Imperial Japanese Foreign Office (FO in the following compilation), the Japanese Consular
Service (CO ) and the Imperial Japanese military (MI-N for Navy).

Almost without exception, these intercepts have been previously published in one form or
another but they have never been set forth in strict chronological order. Many of the intercepts
have appeared in historical works representing the official history and others in the revisionists
works. Some have been officially released to the public by U.S. and British intelligence agencies
and a few have appeared in German and Soviet records.

A number of these intercepts are significant alone but together, they represent a very powerful
statement concerning what the United States and Britain knew about the Japanese intentions,
who was in possession (and who was not) of this information and, more important, when was
this information known.

The intercepts will be presented as they were sent by the Japanese but it should be noted here
that the British versions of various messages tend to be far more complete and accurate than their
American counterparts. The reason for this is that the British had a much larger and efficient
code-breaking establishment and the Americans had, and have, a much greater reason for

There are two examples of the latter case that should suffice for comparison.
In her book "Pearl Harbor-Warning and Decision" by Roberta Wohlstetter published in1962, the
author speaks to the subject of the so-called "Bomb Plot" messages.

These messages were sent to the Japanese Consul in Honolulu from the Foreign Office and dealt
specifically with the movement of shipping at the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. These reports,
which were extremely specific, called for daily reports on the movement of all U.S. naval units.

Some historians have pointed out that the decoding of these messages should clearly have
indicated the extraordinary interest of the Japanese government in the position of these naval
units on a daily basis. The argument has been made that these requests, and responses which
were also decoded, indicated that Pearl Harbor was a very likely target for a military attack.

Mrs. Wohlstetter states on page 213 that "The intercepts picked up between Tokyo and Honolulu
formed only a small fraction of a large number of requests for similar information from other
important ports in the United States and from the Philippines and the Panama Canal."

The clear implication is that some historians have taken the Hawaiian traffic entirely out of
context. Mrs. Wohlstetter used the phrase "small fraction" specifically.

Among U.S. official records is to be found a report entitled "Consular Shipping Reports" which
gives the specific totals of these requests made within the same time frame.

Seattle had 6 such requests for shipping information.

San Francisco had 18 such requests.

Manila in the Philippines, a major U.S. naval base and headquarters of the Asiatic Fleet had 55
requests and,

Pearl Harbor had 68 specific requests.

There were a large number of requests, as Mrs. Wohlstetter has said, but the impression that
Pearl Harbor was only a small part of a whole is entirely incorrect. Since these figures have been
readily available since 1945, it is difficult to see how Wohlstetter could have passed over this in
such a dismissive manner. (See the Appendix for the original intelligence reports on this subject.)

The second example is an official stamp to be found on most of Japanese Navy messages, many
of which are extremely important in content, released long after the war by the National Security
Agency. These messages, many of which point directly to an attack on Pearl Harbor, are
officially stated to have been translated only in 1945! Other, relatively routine and unimportant
messages seem not to have been difficult to decode.

An official argument has been made that the Japanese altered their codes on December 1, 1941
and the vital pre-Pearl Harbor intercepts could not be deciphered until after the war was over.
It is interesting to note that the U.S. Navy was admittedly able to decrypt messages from the
same sources in Japan and within six months of the Pearl Harbor attack to learn the Japanese
plans for the Battle of Midway.

Each intercept will be credited as to its origins and date of transmission. The overall distribution
of these messages is indicated in a later passage.

It should be noted that there were a very large number of Japanese secret diplomatic and military
messages received by U.S. intelligence on a daily basis. It would have proven impossible to
decode, translate and distribute all of these within a reasonable time frame. In order to facilitate
the work of the translators it was necessary to identify the source of the messages. For example,
a message from Japanese Army Headquarters in Tokyo to Shanghai was not as potentially
important as a communication from the Japanese Foreign Minister Togo or one from Admiral
Yamamoto, Commander of the Combined Fleet. Messages from these sources could be very
quickly identified by the receiving body in the United States and given top priority for translation.

Most of the intercepts identified as coming from key sources were translated and distributed
within two to three days of receipt. As the Pacific crisis deepened, most of the important
messages were translated and distributed in one or at the most, two days.

Also note that the dates of transmissions found on the following intercepts indicate the date in
Japan when the message was sent. Therefore, a critical message with the date of December 6,
1941 would mean December 5, 1941 in the United States.

When these messages were prepared for distribution, they were sent out by either the Army or
the Navy to the personages listed below. This list is taken directly from several official American
sources. In the main, vital intercepts were sent, without fail, to all of those on this list. It has been
an important part of the establishment story that messages of critical importance either could not
be translated until just after the attack or, much more conveniently, not delivered to the parties

The National Security Agency has stated officially that all of the pre-Pearl Harbor original
intercepts were destroyed at a point in time when the official investigations into the disaster
commenced during the course of the Second World War. Confirmation of receipt by various
officials also vanished at the same time. This cannot come as a surprise to anyone acquainted
with the usual behavior of the White House, its occupants and servitors.

President Roosevelt

Secretary of State, Cordell Hull

Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox

Chief of Staff of the Army, George Marshall

Chief of Naval Operations, Harold Stark
Secretary of War, Henry Stimpson

Chief of the War Plans Division, U.S. Army, Brigadier General Leonard Gerow

Acting Assistant Chief of Staff G-2, Brigadier General Sherman Miles

Chief, Far Eastern Section G-2, Colonel Rufus Bratton

Chief, Navy Communications Division, Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes

Director of Naval Intelligence, (until October 15, 1941, Captain Alan Kirk) Captain T.S.

Chief of Navy War Plans, Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner

Chief of Far East Section, Office of Naval Intelligence, Commander Arthur McCollum

Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll

There were others who also saw these intercepts but this list represents the main recipients.

Some mention has been made by establishment historians that Roosevelt was cut off from
receiving many of these documents because military authorities feared that lax security at the
White House might have compromised their codebreaking successes. There is no proof
whatsoever that this statement is correct and in retrospect it appears to be just another attempt to
comfortably distance the President from the realities of the intercepts.

The number of intercepts from all sources runs into the thousands. Many were administrative or
historically unimportant. The ones chosen here have been selected because of what they clearly
show and they are in chronological order so that the reader can see exactly what information was
available to the Roosevelt Administration and the senior command levels of the American
military in the months and weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack. Also noted are the vital
intercepts dealing specifically with Pearl Harbor that were not sent to the Hawaiian commanders
although known in Washington to Roosevelt's senior military commanders, General George
Marshall and Admiral Harold Stark.

Other messages of considerable importance that indicate the probability of war but that do not
deal with Pearl Harbor are marked with a *. This information, serious as it was, was never
conveyed by any means to the Hawaiian commanders by their respective commands in
Washington. They are included in this section as a brief sampling of a very large and significant
body of intercepts that had been decoded, translated and disseminated to those leading Roosevelt
administration figures noted above.

The most important messages referred to in this study were Japanese Naval Operations messages.
These coded messages were sent in what the United States Intelligence community called "JN-
25", JN standing for Japanese Navy. This system was what was called a "code book system",
very similar to one that had been used by the American military from 1898 and discontinued in
1917 because it was not considered a secure code. The JN-25 code had a dictionary of 33,333
words and phrases, each one of these given an arbitrary five figure number. To these numbers
were added random numbers that were contained in a second code book. The main code book
was changed on December 1, 1940 and the secondary book was changed every three to six

When the Japanese changed their main code in 1940, they permitted the continued use of the
secondary book for a period of two months until new books could be issued. Since both the U.S.
and British had broken the original code book as well as the secondary codes, they were very
quickly able to read the new code. In mid-January, 1941, the United States government gave the
British two of the new JN-25B code books and all the material they needed to easily decode the
new Japanese operational codes.

The Japanese Navy issued a new secondary, or random, code book on August 1, 1941, and were
scheduled to issue another change on December 1, 1941. It is very important here to note that the
Strike Force assigned to attack Pearl Harbor, sailed from Japanese waters on November 26, 1941
and was at sea on December 1, the day the codes were supposed to be changed. Therefore all
coded messages sent to this Strike Force from Naval Headquarters in Japan were sent in the old
codes which had been broken

by both the U.S. and British.

Tokyo radio relayed hundreds of important messages to Vice Admiral Nagumo, commander of
the Strike Force, clearly indicating Pearl Harbor as the target of the attacking fleet between
November 26 and December 7, many of these messages being sent several times to insure
delivery. Of these hundreds of messages, all of which were intercepted, decoded and read at the
time, only about 20 are currently available in the U.S. National Archives. As has been said
previously, the NSA has stated that all the pre-Pearl Harbor intercepts have been destroyed and
what now exists in their records are reconstructions of the originals.

The U.S. Navy has a large file of various intercepts stored at a secure facility at Crane, Indiana,
but these, according to the Navy, cannot be released because of what is euphemistically called
national security, even after a lapse of fifty years.

This is exactly the same rationale given for the refusal by both the CIA and the U.S. Army
Intelligence Command to release certain postwar documents about the fate of Heinrich Müller.

Note that all the dates on the following messages were on Japanese time, one day ahead of
American time.


MI-N Origin: Chief of Staff, Combined Fleet

To: All Fleet Chiefs of Staff
Date: September 9, 1941

As conditions become more and more critical, each and every ship and unit will aim at being
fully prepared for commencing war operations by the first part of November. Individual ships
and units will speed up battle preparations while carrying out all scheduled drills and training to
the fullest extent so as to achieve maximum fighting power and to enable them to perform their
duties to perfection. In this connection, your especial attention is called to the necessity of
completing all personnel changes ordered August 3rd as speedily as possible, so as to leave no
personnel deficiency problems. *

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: September 24, 1941

Henceforth, we wish you to make reports concerning naval vessels in the

harbor to the best of your ability.

1. Pearl Harbor itself is to be divided into sub-areas. (These may

be abbreviated as you see fit)

Area A: Waters between Ford Island and the ammunition

storage areas.

Area B: Waters adjacent to Ford Island to the south and

west, opposite to Area A

Area C: East Loch

Area D; Middle Loch

Area E: West Loch and the routes into the harbor proper

2. Regarding naval units and aircraft carriers, we wish reports on those

at anchor (not of primary importance), berthed at piers, buoys and in drydocks.

(Request brief descriptions of ship types and classes. Please specify if two or

more ships are moored at the same pier.)
Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO From: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo, Japan

Date: September 29, 1941

The following codes will be used hereafter to designate the location of vessels:

1. Repair dock in Navy Yard: (the repair basin referred to in my message

to Washington #48) KS

2. Navy dock in the Navy Yard (the Ten Ten Pier): KT

3. Moorings in the vicinity of Ford Island: FV

4. Alongside at Ford Island: FG (East and west sides will be differentiated by A and B

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N From: Commander in Chief, 6th Fleet

To: All 6th Fleet Submarines

Date: November 10, 1941

Maintain wartime radio silence on short-wave commencing midnight, November 11. *

FO From: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Hong Kong

Date: November 14, 1941

Though the Imperial Government entertains great hopes from the Japanese-American
negotiations, they do not permit an optimistic outlook for the future. Should the negotiations in
Washington collapse, the international situation in which the Empire will find itself will be one
of great crisis. It is, accordingly, the foreign policy of the Empire, insofar has it has been
determined through the cabinet, that our attitude towards China is as follows;

a. We will completely destroy British and American power in China.

b. We will seize all enemy concessions and rights (customs and natural resources) in China.
c. We will take over all rights and interests owned by enemy powers, even though they might
have connections with our Chinese government, but only if this should prove necessary.

In achieving these goals in China, we will avoid, insofar as possible, exhausting our military
forces. Thus we will deal with a world war on a long time basis. Should our reserves for total
war and our future military strength lessen in the China theater, we have decided to reinforce
these forces from the whole Far Eastern area. This has now become the fundamental policy of
the Empire. Therefore, in consideration of the desirability to lighten our personnel and material
loads, we will encourage the activities of prominent Chinese in their efforts within the occupied
territories to the fullest extent that we may do so. Japan and China, working in cooperation, will
take over foreign military bases (Russian, British and American) and thus establish a firm peace
throughout the entire Far East. At the same time, we place great importance on the acquisition of
natural resources (especially those located in the presently unoccupied areas). In order to
accomplish, the cabinet agrees in unison that a certain relaxation of present regulations
concerning the cooperating Chinese officials, must be permitted. Please, however, wait for
specific instructions from us before altering any of the present policies. *

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: November 15, 1941

As relations between Japan and the United States are most critical, make

your 'Ship in Harbor' report irregular but at the rate of twice a week.

Although as you are no doubt aware, please take extra care in insure secrecy.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: November 18, 1941

Please make report on the following areas as to the units at anchor in them:

Area "N", Pearl Harbor, Mamala Bay and the adjoining areas. (These

investigations must be made in all secrecy.)

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii
To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: November 18, 1941

1. The naval units at anchor in Pearl Harbor on the 15th were as

I advised you in my message 219 of that date.

Area A: A battleship of the Oklahoma class entered and

one tanker departed.

Area C: 3 heavy cruisers at anchor

2. On the 17th, the carrier Saratoga was not in the harbor, the

carrier Enterprise or a similar type was in Area C. Two heavy cruisers of the

Chicago class, one of the Pensacola class were tied up at docks "KS". 4

merchant vessels were anchored in area D.

3. At 10:00 AM on the 17th, 8 destroyers were observed entering

Pearl Harbor. Their course was as follows: In single file at a distance of

1,000 meters apart and at a speed of 3 knots per hour, entered Pearl Harbor.

From the Harbor entrance through Area B to the buoys in Area C, where

they moored. They changed course 5 times, approximately 30 degrees

each time. The time elapsed was one hour. One of these destroyers

entered Area A passing the water reservoir on the east side.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N Origin: Commander in Chief, Combined Fleet (Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto)

To: CIC 2nd Fleet

CIC 3rd Fleet

CIC 4th Fleet
CIC 11th Air Fleet

CIC 1st Air Fleet

CIC Southern Expeditionary Fleet

Date: November 20, 1941

This dispatch is Top Secret

To be decoded only by an officer

This order effective as of the date within the text to follow.

At midnight, November 21, repeat November 21, carry out Second Phase of preparations for
opening hostilities.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Ambassador, Washington

Date: November 19, 1941

Regarding the broadcast of a special message in an emergency

In case of emergency (danger of cutting of our diplomatic relations) and the cutting off of
international communications, the following warning will be added in the middle of the daily
Japanese language short wave news broadcast:

1. In case of a Japan-U.S. relations in danger HIGASHI NO KAZEAME (East Wind Rain)

2. Japan-U.S.S.R. relations: KITANOKAZE KUMORI (North Wind Cloudy)

3. Japan-British relations: KITANOKAZE KUMORI (West Wind Clear)

This signal will be given in the middle and at the end as a weather forecast and each sentence
will be repeated twice. When this is heard, please destroy all code papers, etc. This is as yet to be
a completely secret arrangement.

Forward as urgent intelligence. *

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Ambassador, Washington
Date: November 19, 1941

When diplomatic relations are becoming dangerous we will add the following at the beginning
and end of our general intelligence broadcasts.

1. If it Japan U.S. relation HIGASHI

2. Japan Russia relations KITA

3. Japan British relations (including Thai, Malaya and NEI) NISHI

The above will be repeated five times and repeated five times at beginning and end.

Relay to Rio de Janeiro, BA., Mexico City and San Francisco. *

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: November 24, 1941

Strictly Secret.

1. According to normal practice, the fleet leaves Pearl Harbor, conducts maneuvers and forthwith

2. Recently, the fleet has not remained for a long period of time nor conducted maneuvers in the
neighborhood of Lahaina Roads. Destroyers and submarines are the only vessels who ride at
anchor there.

3. Battleships seldom, if ever, enter the ports of Hilo, Hanaleo or Kaneohe. Virtually no one has
observed battleships in maneuver area.

4. The manner in which the fleet moves:

Battleships exercise in groups of three or five, accompanied by lighter craft. They conduct
maneuvers for roughly one week at sea, either to the south of Maui or to the southwest. Aircraft
carriers maneuver by themselves, whereas seaplane tenders operate in concert with another
vessel of the same class. Airplane firing and bombing practice is conducted in the neighborhood
of the southern extremity of the island of Kahoolawe.

The heavy cruisers in groups of six carry on their operations over a period of two or three weeks,
doubtless going to Samoa. The length of time that they remain at anchor in Pearl Harbor or tied
up at docks is roughly four or five days at a stretch.
The light cruisers in groups of five spend one to two weeks in operation. It would seem that they
carry on their maneuvers in the vicinity of Panama.

The submarines go out on 24-hour trips Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

The destroyers, in addition to accompanying the capital units of the fleet, carry on the personnel
training activities in the waters adjacent to Hawaii.

Minelayers (old-style destroyers) in groups of three or four have been known to spend more than
three weeks in operations in the Manila area.

Furthermore, on the night of the 23rd, five minelayers conducted mine laying operations outside
Manila Harbor.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N Origin: Commander in Chief, Combined Fleet

To: All Flagships

Date: November 25, 1941

From November 26, all ships of the Combined Fleet will observe radio communications
procedures as follows:

1. Except in extreme emergency, the Main Striking Force and its attached force will cease

2. Other forces are at the discretion of their respective commanders.

3. Supply ships, repair ships, hospital ships, etc., will report directly to parties concerned.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

Roosevelt-Churchill Conversation of November 26, 1941

This conversation is taken directly from a German transcript of a trans-Atlantic scrambled
telephone conversation initiated by British Prime Minister Winston Spencer-Churchill and
American President Franklin Roosevelt. The original was taken down in English and a German
translation is in the German State Archives. It is included here, as are other non-Japanese reports,
because this material is directly relevant in a chronological sense.

Conversation Participants

A=Franklin Roosevelt, Washington
B= Winston Churchill, London

B: I am frightfully sorry to disturb you at this hour, Franklin, but matters of a most vital import
have transpired and I felt that I must convey them to you immediately.

A: That's perfectly all right, Winston. I'm sure you wouldn't trouble me at this hour for trivial

B: Let me preface my information with an explanation addressing the reason I have not alluded
to these facts earlier. In the first place, until today, the information was not firm. On matters of
such gravity, I do not like to indulge in idle chatter. Now, I have in my hands, reports from our
agents in Japan as well as the most specific intelligence in the form of the highest level Japanese
naval coded messages (conversation broken) for some time now.

A: I felt this is what you were about. How serious is it?

B: It could not be worse, A powerful Japanese task force comprising (composed of) six of their
carriers, two battleships and a number of other units to include (including) tankers and cruisers,
has sailed yesterday from a secret base in the northern Japanese islands.

A: We both knew this was coming. There are also reports in my hands about a force of some size
making up in China and obviously intended to go (move) South.

B: Yes, we have all of that. (Interruption) ..are far more advanced than you in our reading of the
Jap naval operations codes. But even without that, their moves are evident. And they will indeed
move South but the force I spoke of is not headed South, Franklin, it is headed East..

A: Surely you must be...will you repeat that please?

B: I said to the East. This force is sailing to the East...towards you.

A: Perhaps they set an easterly course to fool any observers and then plan to swing South to
support the landings in the southern areas. I have...

B: No, at this moment, their forces are moving across the northern Pacific and I can assure you
that their goal is the (conversation broken) fleet in Hawaii. At Pearl Harbor.

A: This is monstrous. Can you tell me...indicate...the nature of your intelligence? (conversation
broken) reliable? Without compromising your sources...

B: Yes, I will have to be careful. Our agents in Japan have been reporting on the gradual
(conversation broken) units. And these have disappeared from Japanese home waters. We also
have highly reliable sources in the Japanese foreign service and even the military...

A: How reliable?
B: One of the sources is the individual who supplied us the material on the diplomatic codes that
(conversation broken) and a Naval officer whom our service has compromised. You must trust
me, Franklin and I cannot be more specific.

A: I accept this.

B: We cannot compromise our codebreaking. You understand this. Only myself and a few
(conversation broken) not even Hopkins. It will go straight to Moscow and I am not sure we
want that.

A: I am still attempting to...the obvious implication is that the Japs are going to do a Port Arthur
on us at Pearl Harbor. Do you concur?

B: I do indeed. Unless they add an attack on the Panama Canal to this vile business. I can hardly
envision the canal as a primary goal, especially with your fleet lying athwart their lines of
communications with Japan. No, if they do strike the canal, they will have to first neutralize
(destroy) your fleet (conversation broken).

A: The worse form of treachery. We can prepare our defenses on the islands and give them a
warm welcome when they come. It would certainly put some iron up Congress' ass (asshole).

B: On the other hand, if they did launch a bombing raid, given that the aircraft would only be of
the carrier-borne types, how much actual damage could they inflict? And on what target?

A: I think torpedoes would be ruled out at the outset. Pearl is far too shallow to permit a
successful torpedo attack. Probably they would drop medium bombs on the ships and then shoot
(conversation broken) damage a number of ships and no doubt the Japs would attack our
airfields. I could see some damage there but I don't think either an airfield or a battleship could
sink very far. What do your people give you as the actual date of the attack?

B: The actual date given is the eighth of December. That's a Monday.

A: The fleet is in harbor over the weekend. They often sortie during the week...

B: The Japs are asking (conversation broken) exact dispositions of your ships on a regular basis.

A: But Monday seems odd. Are you certain?

B: It is in the calendar. Monday is the eighth. (conversation broken).

A:...then I will have to reconsider the entire problem. A Japanese attack on us, which would
result in war between us...and certainly you as well...would certainly fulfill two of the most
important requirements of our policy. Harry has told me repeatedly...and I have more faith in
him than I do in the Soviet ambassador...that Stalin is desperate at this point. The Nazis are at the
gates of Moscow, his armies are melting away...the government has evacuated and although
Harry and Marshall feel that Stalin can hang on and eventually defeat Hitler, their is no saying
what could transpire (happen) if the Japs suddenly fell on Stalin's rear. In spite of all the
agreements between them and the Japs dropping Matsuoka, there is still strong anti-Russian
sentiment in high Japanese military circles. I think that we have to decide what is more
important...keeping Russia in the war to bleed the Nazis dry to their own eventual destruction
(conversation broken) supply Stalin with weapons but do not forget, in fact he is your ally, not
mine. There is strong isolationist feelings here and there are quite a number of anti-Communists...

B: Fascists...

A: Certainly, but they would do all they could to block any attempt on my part to do more than
give some monetary assistance to Stalin.

B: But we too have our major desperations, Franklin. Our shipping upon which our nation
depends, is being sunk by the huns faster than we could ever replace (conversation broken) the
Japs attack both of us in the Pacific? We could lose Malaya which is our primary source of
rubber and tin. And if the Japs get Java and the oil, they could press South to Australia and I
have told you repeatedly, we cannot hold (conversation broken) them much but in truth I cannot
deliver. We need every man and every ship to fight Hitler in Europe...India too. If the Japs get
into Malaya, they can press on virtually unopposed into Burma and then India. Need I tell you of
the resultant destruction of our Empire? We cannot survive on this small island, Franklin,
(conversation broken) allow the nips (knips?) to attack, you can get your war declaration through
your Congress after all. (conversation broken)

A: Not as capable as you are at translating there messages and the army and navy are very
jealous of each other. There is so much coming in that everyone is confused. We have no agents
in place in Japan and every day dozens of messages are (conversation broken) that contradict
each other or are not well translated. I have seen three translations of the same message with
three entirely different meanings (conversation broken) address your concern about British
holdings in the Pacific...if the Japanese do attack both of us, eventually we will be able to crush
them and regain all of the lost territories. As for myself, I will be damned glad to be rid of the

B: I see this as a gamble (conversation broken) what would your decision be? We cannot
procrastinate over this for too long. Eleven or twelve days are all we have. Can we not agree in
principle now? I should mention that several advisors have counseled (advised) against
informing you of this and allowing it to happen. You see by notifying you where my loyalty lies.
Certainly to one who is heart and soul with us against Hitler.

A: I do appreciate your loyalty, Winston. What on the other hand, will happen here if one of our
intelligence people is able to intercept, decipher and deliver to me the same information you just
gave me? I cannot just ignore it...all of my intelligence people will know about it then. I could
not ignore this.

B: But if it were just a vague message then?

A: No, a specific message. I could not just sweep it under the rug like that (conversation broken).
B: Of course not. I think we should matters develop as they will.

A: I think that perhaps I can find a reason to absent (leave) myself from Washington while this
crisis develops. What I don't know can't hurt me and I too can misunderstand messages,
especially at a distance (conversation broken)

B: Completely. My best to you all there.

A: Thank you for your call.

Following the receipt of this message on November 26, Roosevelt spoke with his Secretary of
State, Cordell Hull.

Hull had been working with Japanese diplomats, attempting to find a modus vivendi or a
diplomatic solution to the growing crisis that Roosevelt's machinations had created.

After the conversation with the President, Hull at once drafted and gave to the Japanese
Ambassador a Note. This has been called the Ten Point Memorandum and it amounted to an
ultimatum to the Japanese government. Three of the ten points were absolutely impossible for
the Japanese government to accede to and Hull knew this when he presented the Note:

3. The Government of Japan will withdraw all military, naval, air and police forces from China
and Indochina.

4. The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan will not support- militarily,
politically, economically- any government or regime in China other than the National
Government of the Republic of China with capitol temporarily at Chunking.

5. Both Governments will give up all extraterritorial rights in China.

The Japanese official view of this document was completely negative and it resulted in a
declaration of war.

On November 27, 1941, the following message was sent by the Chief of Naval Operations,
Admiral Stark, to Admiral Husband Kimmel, CIC Pacific Fleet. It should be noted when reading
this that Admiral Stark was in constructive possession of copies of all the intercepted and
decoded messages contained in this study.

From CNO

To: CIC Pacific Fleet

This is to be considered 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 the Philippines Thai or Kra Peninsula or
possibly Borneo. Execute an appropriate defensive deployment prepatory to carrying out the
tasks assigned in WPL 46. Inform District and Army authorities. A similar warning is being sent
by War Department. SPENAVO inform British, Continental Districts Guam Samoa directed take
appropriate measures against sabotage.

On the same day, the following cable was sent by George Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army,
to General Walter Short, the Army commander in Hawaii. As in the case of Admiral Stark,
General Marshall was in constructive possession of all the decoded intercepts listed in this study
plus a great many more.

No 472 November 27, 1941

Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical purposes with only the barest
possibilities that the Japanese Government might come back and offer to continue. Japanese
future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot, repeat,
cannot be avoided, the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy
should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize
your defense. Prior to hostile action you are directed to undertake such reconnaissance and other
measures as you deem necessary but these measures should be carried out so as not, repeat not,
to alarm civil population or disclose intent. Report measures taken. Should hostilities occur you
will carry out the tasks assigned in Rainbow Five so far as they pertain to Japan. Limit
dissemination of this highly secret information to minimum essential officers.

Note: Establishment defenders have made a great deal of these two so-called "war warnings" and
have often and vociferously stated that these warnings were more than sufficient to alert the
Hawaiian commanders to the perils of an impending war.

The failure of these commanders, Admiral Kimmel and General Short, to properly react to these
"war warnings" permitted the Japanese Main Strike Force to wreak havoc on an undefended
Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt's defenders stoutly maintain.

Given the large number of very telling intercepts received in Washington, these two brief and
relatively uninformative messages most certainly did not indicate to the Hawaiian commanders
the very serious nature of Japanese interest in the Pearl Harbor naval base, an interest that was
plainly evident in Washington.

Both the American President, General Marshall and Admiral Stark were fully briefed in a very
timely fashion about the contents of these intercepts and their obviously willful failure to notify
those military officers who had the most direct concern is nothing more nor less than criminal

MI-N Origin: First Secretary, Navy Minister

To: CIC Main Strike Force

Date: November 27, 1941
Although there are some indications of several U.S. ships operating in the Aleutian area, the
shipping in the Northern Pacific appears to be Russian in origin.

These are the Usbekistan of about 3,000 tons, speed about 12 knots and the Azerbaidschan of
about 6,114 tons, speed about 10 knots or less. The former left San Francisco on the 12th and the
latter on the 14th. Both are westbound

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: November 29, 1941

We have received your reports on ship movements but in future,

please report even when there are no movements.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: November 28, 1941

Re your message #243.

Intelligence of this kind which is of major importance, please transmit to us in the following

1. When battleships move out of the harbor, if we report such movement but once a week, in the
interim, the vessels could not only be in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, but could also have
traveled far. Use your judgment in deciding on reports covering such movements.

2. Report on the entrance of departure of capital ships, and the length of time they remain at
anchor from the time of entry into Pearl Harbor until their departure.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: November 28, 1941
Military Report.

1. There are eight "B-17" planes at Midway and the altitude range of their antiaircraft guns is
5,000 meters.

2. Our observations at the Sand Island maneuvers are: Number of shots 12; interval of flight 13
seconds; interval between shots 2 minutes; direct hits none.

3. 12,000 men (mostly Marines) are expected to reinforce the troops in Honolulu during
December or January.

4. There has usually been one cruiser in the waters about 15,000 meters south of Pearl Harbor
and one or two destroyers at the entrance of the harbor.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Embassy, London

Date: December 1, 1941

Please discontinue the use of your code machine and dispose of it immediately.

In regard to the disposition of the machine, please be very careful to carry out the instructions
you have received regarding this,. Pay particular attention to taking apart and breaking up the
important parts of the machine.

As soon as you have received the telegram with the one word SETJU in plain language and as
soon as you have carried out the instructions, wire the one word HASSO, also in plain language,

Also at this time, you will of course burn the machine codes and YU GO No 26 of my telegram.
(The rules for the use of the machine between the head office and the Ambassador resident in
England.) *

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 1, 1941

Re your #119

Report on ship maneuvers in Pearl Harbor.

1. The place where practice maneuvers are held is about 500 nautical miles south-east of here.
Direction based on:

(1) The direction taken when the ships start out is usually southeast by south and ships disappear
beyond the horizon in that direction.

(2) Have never seen the fleet go westward or head for the Kaiwi straits northward.

(3) The west sea of the Hawaiian Islands has many reefs and islands and is not suitable as an
ocean maneuver practice area.

(4) Direction of practice will avoid all merchant ship routes and official routes.

Distance based on:

(1) Fuel is plentiful and long distance high speed is possible.

(2) Guns cannot be heard here.

(3) In one week's time, (actually the maneuver mentioned in my message #231 were for the
duration of four full days of 144 hours), a round trip to a distance of 864 nautical miles could be
reached (if speed is 12 knots), or 1152 nautical miles (if speed is 16 knots), or 1440 nautical
miles (if speed is 20 knots) is possible, however, figuring 50% of the time being used for
maneuver technicalities, a guess that the point at which the maneuvers are held would be a point
of about 500 miles from Pearl Harbor.

2. The usual schedule for departure and return of the battleships is: leaving on Tuesday and
returning on Friday, or leaving on Friday and returning of Saturday of the following week. All
ships stay in port about a period of one week.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Embassy, Washington

Date: December 2, 1941

1. Among the telegraphic codes with which your office is equipped, burn all but those now used
with the machine and one copy each of the "O" code (Oite) and abbreviating code (L). (Burn also
the various other codes which you have in your custody.)

2. Stop at once using one code machine unit and destroy it completely.

3. When you have finished this, wire me back with the one word HARUNA.
4. At the time and in the manner you deem most proper, dispose of all files of messages coming
and going and all other secret documents.

5. Burn all the codes which telegraphic official KOSAKA brought you.

(Hence, the necessity of getting in contact with Mexico mentioned in my #890 is no longer
recognized.) *

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: December 2, 1941

Because of the present situation, it is vital to get reports on all naval

units, aircraft carriers and cruisers. From this moment on, please advise on

a daily basis. Advise in any circumstance if there are any observation or

barrage balloons above Pearl Harbor or if there are any indications if these

will be placed into operation. Also please advise if the naval units are

provided with anti-torpedo nets.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 2, 1941

Activities Pearl Harbor as of 8 AM, November 28:

Departed: 2 battleships Oklahoma and Nevada

1 carrier Enterprise

1 heavy cruiser

12 destroyers

Arrived: 5 battleships
3 heavy cruisers

3 light cruisers

12 destroyers

1 seaplane tender

Ships entering port today are those which left on November 22.

Ships in port on the afternoon of November 28 are as follows:

6 battleships ( 2 Maryland Class, 2 California class

2 Pennsylvania class)

1 carrier ( Lexington)

9 heavy cruisers (5 San Francisco class, 3 Chicago class,

Salt Lake City)

5 light cruisers (4 Honolulu class and Omaha)

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N Origin: Commander in Chief, Combined Fleet

To: All CICs, Combined Fleet

Date: December 2, 1941

This dispatch is Top Secret

To be decoded only by an officer

This order is effective on 1730 on December 2.

Climb Niitakayma 1208, repeat, 1208

Note: This was the order to follow through on the pending attack. Admiral Yamamoto had
previously ordered Vice Admiral Nagumo, commander of the Main Strike Force that was headed
for Pearl Harbor, to await his signal. Yamamoto was awaiting the outcome of the Japanese-
American diplomatic talks in Washington. 1208 refers to December 8th. The 8th of December in
Japan was the 7th in Hawaii.
CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 3, 1941

Ships in Pearl Harbor on afternoon of November 29,

District A (between Naval Yard and Ford Island)

KT (docks northwest of Naval Yard): Pennsylvania

and Arizona

FV (mooring posts): California, Tennessee, Maryland.

and West Virginia

KS (naval yard repair docks): heavy cruiser Portland

In docking areas: 2 heavy cruisers and one destroyer; Also in harbor: 4 submarines, 1 destroyer
tender, 2 patrol

boats, 2 fleet oilers, 2 repair ships and 1 minesweeper

District B (northwest area of Ford Island)

FV (mooring posts): Lexington

Also in area: Utah (target ship), 1 light cruiser (San Francisco class) 2 light cruisers (Omaha

3 gunboats

District C (East Loch)

3 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers (Honolulu class),

3 gunboats

District D (Middle Loch)

12 minesweepers

District E (West Loch)
No units

No changes observed by afternoon of December 2. So far they do not seem to be alerted. Shore
leaves as usual.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 3, 1941

(Military Secret)

From Ichiro Fujii to the Chief of #3 Section of Military Staff Headquarters.

1. I wish to change my method of communicating by signals to the following:

I. Arrange the eight signals in three columns as follows:

Meaning Signal

Battleship divisions : Preparing to sortie : 1

including scouts and : :

screen units : :


A number of carriers : Preparing to sortie : 2


Battleship divisions : All departed between :

: 1st and 3rd : 3


Carriers : Several departed :

: between 1st and 3rd : 4

Carriers : All departed between :

: 1st and 3rd : 5


Battleship divisions : All departed between :

: 4th and 6th : 6


Carriers : Several departed :

: between 4th and 6th : 7


Carriers : All departed between :

: 4th and 6th : 8


2. Signals.

I. Lanikai Beach. House will show lights during the night as follows:


One light between 8 and 9 PM 1

" " " 9 and 10 PM 2

" " " 10 and 11 PM 3

" " " 11 and 12 PM 4


Two lights between 12 and 1 am 5

" " " 1 and 2 am 6

" " " 2 and 3 am 7
" " " 3 and 4 am 8

III. Lanikai Bay (between Waimanalo and Kailua Beaches on east coast of Oahued.) during

If there is a "star" on the head of the sail of the Star Boat, it indicates signals 1,2,3 or 4.

If there is a "star" and a Roman numeral III it indicates signal 5,6,7 or 8.

IV. Lights in the attic window of Kalama House (a beach village on east coast of Oahu, 1 mile
northwest of Lanikai, ed) will indicate the following:

Times Signal

1900-2000 3

2000-2100 4

2100-2200 5

2200-2300 6

2300-2400 7

0000-0100 8

V. KCMB (a Honolulu radio station, ed.) Want Ads

A. Chinese rug, etc. for sale, apply P.O. Box 1476 indicates signal

3 or 6.

B. CHIC., CO farm etc. apply P.O. Box 1476 indicates signal

4 or 7.

C. Beauty operator wanted etc. apply P.O. Box 1476 indicates signal 5 or 8.

3. If the above listed signals and wireless messages cannot be made from Oahu, then on Maui
Island, 6 miles to the northward of Kula Sanatorium at a point halfway between Lower Kula
Road and Haleakala Road (latitude 20º 40' N, Longitude 156° 19' W. , visible from seaward to
the northeast and southwest of Maui Island) the following signal bonfire will be made daily until
your EXEX signal is received:

Time Signal
From 7-8 3 or 6

From 8-9 4 or 7

From 9-10 5 or 8

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 3, 1941

Air patrols in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor unknown, but so far no indications

of sea patrol flight being conducted. It seems that occasional patrols are being made to Palmyra


Midway Islands

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N Origin: Bureau of Military Preparations (Navy)

To: Naval Attaché, Washington

Naval Attaché, Mexico (copy to Naval Attaché, London)

Date: December 5, 1941

This message is Bureau of Military Preparations Serial #311. Dispose of the Cipher Machine and
all its Rules for Use at once. *

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 5, 1941

1. During Friday morning, the 5th, the three battleships mentioned in my message #239 arrived
here. They had been at sea for eight days.

2. The LEXINGTON and five heavy cruisers left port on the same day.
Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 6, 1941

On American continent in October, the Army instituted training of barrage

balloon troops at Camp Davis, NC. For hundred to five hundred balloons

being considered for use in defense of Hawaii and Panama. So far as

Hawaii is concerned, our investigations indicate no mooring fixtures have

been installed and no units assigned for these duties. Also, no signs of such

balloons and no training for personnel. Assumed that the probability is

excellent now for a surprise attack on these targets. It is our belief that

the battleships do not have torpedo nets. Actual details not available.

Report will follow.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

FO Origin: Foreign Office, Tokyo

To:: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

Date: December 6, 1941

Please notify at once with reference my message 123 any movements

of the fleet subsequent to the fourth.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 6, 1941
1. On night of the fifth, one submarine tender accompanied the

battleships entering the harbor. The following units observed at anchor in the

harbor on the sixth:

9 battleships, 3 light cruisers, 3 submarine tenders, 17 destroyers.

In addition, 4 light cruisers, 2 destroyers in dry-docks. Note: Heavy

cruisers and aircraft carriers have departed previously.

2. No observation of reconnaissance by naval air units.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 6, 1941

Activities at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 5:

Arrived: Oklahoma and Nevada which have been absent

for 8 days,

Departed: Lexington and 5 heavy cruisers

Ships in harbor as of 6 PM December 5:

8 battleships, 3 light cruisers, 16 destroyers

In docks: 4 light cruisers (Honolulu class), 5 destroyers

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 6, 1941

No balloons
No torpedo-defense nets deployed around battleships

No indications from enemy radio interceptions that ocean patrol

flights are being made in Hawaiian island area

Lexington left harbor yesterday December 5, local time and recovered


Enterprise is believed operating at sea with her aircraft aboard

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N Origin: CIC Combined Fleet

To: CIC Main Strike Force

Date: December 6, 1941

The last carrier has left the target area. Its destination is not known but presumed to be moving
towards south. Lack of carriers diminishes targets but

also diminishes enemy airpower.

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

CO Origin: Japanese Consulate, Honolulu, Hawaii

To: Foreign Office, Tokyo

Date: December 6, 1941

Utah and seaplane tender entered harbor evening of December 5

(Left harbor on December 4)

Ships in harbor as of December 6,

9 battleships

3 light cruisers

3 seaplane tenders

17 destroyers
In docks: 4 Light Cruisers, 3 Destroyers

All carriers and heavy cruisers are at sea

No indication of alerts in fleet

Ohau is quiet and no blackout

Intercept not furnished to Hawaiian commanders

MI-N Origin: CIC Combined Fleet

To: The Combined Fleet

Date: December 6, 1941

On last December 3rd, when I was granted an audience with His Imperial Majesty the Emperor,
the Imperial Rescript, sent under separate wire, was bestowed upon me, which I hereby
respectfully pass on.

I wish to add that on this occasion, I humbly answered the Imperial words with the following

"I am overwhelmed to receive, prior to the declaration of war, such a gracious Imperial Rescript.
I humbly accept Your Majesty's order and promise that every officer and man of the Combined
Fleet is ready to give all their body and soul to achieve the goal of this expedition in answer to
the Imperial Command."

Supplement: Imperial Rescript

I, the Emperor, on the occasion of ordering the expedition, leave the matter up to you, as the
Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet. The responsibility of the Combined Fleet is indeed
a great one as the entire rise or fall of our nation rests on its success or failure. You, the
Commander-in-Chief, must prove my trust by summoning all your resources acquired during the
many years of training of our fleet towards advancing on the enemy to annihilate it, and to prove
to the whole world the greatness of our forces.

Until recently, speculation that President Roosevelt and his top military leaders had been
forewarned of the Japanese strike have been just that: speculation. Now, with more and more
incriminating documentation becoming available, the speculation is rapidly hardening into

The chronicle of the successful U.S. and British intercepts of Japanese diplomatic and military
coded messages prior to the Pearl Harbor attack have shown with devastating clarity that the
American President was fully aware of the gravity of the diplomatic crisis with Japan that he had
engineered and was also fully and completely aware of the impending attack on the Hawaiian
bases of the American military.

Not only did Roosevelt have prior knowledge of this attack but there is a growing body of
evidence that others in his administration were also privy to this information. Certainly, it is
obvious that Winston Churchill knew as did a number of his senior advisors and we now know
that Adolf Hitler and his top leadership were aware of the imminent attack. In point of fact, it
seems very clear that the only responsible senior officials of the American government who did
not know about this, and who certainly should have been the first to have been notified by
Roosevelt, were Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short, the commander of the
Pacific Fleet and the U.S. Army facilities at Pearl Harbor respectively.

The deliberate and willful withholding of absolutely vital information, information well known
to Roosevelt and his cohorts, from the commanders most directly responsible for the well-being
and defense of the Pacific Fleet is nothing short of criminal dereliction of duty and an excellent
case could be made for charging the President with treasonable activity.

A number of postwar writers have been employed to protect the maintenance of Roosevelt's
reputation as well as the reputations of a number of very senior members of his political and
military staff in the matter of the Pearl Harbor attack. To accomplish this whitewash, these
writers have accused the outrageously scapegoated Hawaiian commanders of negligence and
dereliction of duty and have insisted that their cashiering after the attack was entirely justified.

For this reason, they believe, any retroactive rehabilitation of the two officers is contraindicated.
Their views have been eagerly endorsed by the governmental agencies who would have to
perform the rehabilitation. No government has ever admitted it was wrong. This is called
institutional maintenance and has been prevalent since men left their caves.

In fact, if Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the U.S.
Armed Forces had received specific intelligence information concerning this pending attack from
a source that he could only consider entirely reliable, eleven full days before this attack, and
made no effort whatsoever to notify those commanders against whom the Japanese attack was
clearly aimed, the only conclusion to which a reasonable person could arrive is that the sole
responsibility for the results of the disastrous attack must lie on Roosevelt's shoulders and on his
shoulders alone.

In this matter, rehabilitation of the reputations of both of the Hawaiian commanders, Admiral
Kimmel and General Short by the U.S. Government is not only a moral obligation but a legal

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