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Counterintelligence And The Pearl Harbor Attack

3072 words - 13 pages

IntroductionA surprise attack on Pearl Harbor left millions of Americans heartbroken. It is one of the most significant moments in American history. In just a short amount of time, so much devastation occurred. If the Americans would have kept better tract of Japanese intelligence, the bombing of Pearl Harbor could have been avoided and many lives could have been saved. Some people believe this attack occurred because of American intelligence failure and the well-planned, secretive attack by the Japanese. I have researched many sources to determine what factors led to the attack of Pearl Harbor; what actually occurred during the attack; how the U.S. intelligence failed; how the Japanese ...view middle of the document...

His corresponding messages to the U.S. proposals, during late November, gave the impression that he agreed with the negotiations and that the relationship between the two nations could soon be settled, but America was deceived. The Japanese government violated their peace agreement. It was later noted that when the U.S. submitted this plan on November 26, 1941 as the Japanese were already in route to Pearl Harbor. They continued to build a navy that would rival the U.S. navy. In accordance with the Washington conference in 1921-1922, the Japanese became the party to the nine and ten power treaties agreeing to limit the number of Capital ships in the Pacific and maintain territorial authority of China (Jewell, 1996). In response to the worldwide depression and desire for more territory with natural resources, the Japanese launched an invasion into Manchuria. The Japanese were not interested in peace in the Pacific. From their perspective, the Europeans had dominated Asian nations for two centuries and it was time for the Japanese to free them. The Japanese believed that this was their destiny to rule over the Asian continent and now was the time for them to seize the moment.What Occurred During the Attack?Throughout the 1930's the Japanese brushed off American cries for peace and Japanese-American relations began to sour, eventually culminating in the Japanese attack on the American fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku was the commander in chief of Japan's fleet at the time. He was one of the people that conscientiously constructed the plans for the attack on Pearl Harbor. On November 26, 1941, a Japanese fleet sailed out to a point about two hundred seventy-five miles north of Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, an estimate of 360 planes were launched.Over 75 warships (including battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and auxiliaries) were based at this "Gibraltar of the Pacific"(Prange, 1982). All United States aircraft carriers were elsewhere. Observing radio silence, the Japanese had reached a launching point at 6 AM, December 7. At 7:50 AM, the first wave of Japanese planes struck Pearl Harbor, bombarding airfields and battleships moored at the concrete docks. The United States, totally taken off guard, had to defend themselves in pajamas. They used anti-aircraft guns in an attempt to stop and hold off the Japanese from their attack. They were trying to do everything in their power to soften the blow of the attack. Soon after, a second wave followed. All of these attacks on Pearl Harbor finally ended a little before ten o'clock. The overall results were devastating; eighteen battleships were hit and more than 200 aircraft were either destroyed or damaged (Farago, 1967). One battleship, the Arizona, was totally lost in the attack and the West Virginia and California were sunk. The Nevada was also heavily damaged. Overall in the attack on Pearl Harbor, there were 2,400 Americans that were killed, 1,300 wounded, and...

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