C. CRITICAL PERIOD: OCTOBER 1 TO DECEMBER 7, 1941
1. VITAL MESSAGES: In view of the foregoing, the estimate of the
situation showed that an all-out attack by air was the judgment of the
best military and naval minds in Hawaii. Under established military
doctrine, that called for preparation for this worst eventuality. (R.
436-437) Short so admitted that this was the correct procedure. (R.
The contrast between the written statements of many of the responsible
actors in this matter prior to Pearl Harbor and after Pearl Harbor, as
to their estimate of an air attack by Japan on Oahu, is startling.
The Secretary of the Navy wrote on January 24, 1941, to the Secretary of
"The dangers envisage in their order of importance and probability are
considered to be:
"(1) air bombing attack.
"(2) air torpedo attack.
"(3) sabotage." (Roberts Record, 1824-1825)
However, when Secretary of the Navy arrived in Hawaii a few days after
December 7, following the Japanese attack, Admiral Pye testified his
(Secretary Knox) first remark was: "No one in Washington expected an
attack -- even Kelly Turner." Admiral Kelly Turner was in the War Plans
Division of the Navy and was the most aggressive-minded of all. (R.
General Marshall, in a letter to General Short on February 7, 1941,
"The risk of sabotage and *the risk involved in a surprise raid by air*
and submarine constitute the real perils of the situation." (R. 17)
On October 7, 1944, General Marshall testified before this Board:
"We did not, so far as I recall, anticipate an attack upon Hawaii." (R.
It will be recalled that Admiral Bellinger and General Martin were
responsible for the Joint Estimate, particularly with reference to air,
and that this was based upon the Joint Hawaiian Coastal Frontier Defense
Plan. In that estimate they put attack by air as the primary threat
Contrast what Admiral Bellinger said on this record:
"If anyone knew the attack was coming, why, I assume they would have
been in a functioning status." (R. 1626)
Contrast what General Martin said:
"I didn't see any more danger from attack than General Short did, that
is from a surprise attack with the information we had." (R. 1827)
Admiral Kimmel said:
"We had no reason to believe, from any intelligence we had, that the
Japanese were going to make an air attack on Pearl Harbor or even that
any attack was going to be made on Pearl Harbor." (R. 1771)
The foregoing statement by Kimmel was in 1944 before this Board, whereas
the joint agreements he entered into with the Army and the instructions
from the Secretary of Navy as well as his own recommendations to the
Secretary of the Navy show that an air attack was the principal concern.
Likewise, Admiral Bloch, who signed the Joint Air Agreement based on the
air estimate of Bellinger and Martin, testified as follows:
"General Frank: Was the attack a complete surprise to you"
"Admiral Bloch: Yes, sir." (R. 1518)
General Short was the signer of the agreements specifying
the air attack as a primary threat and he had received the Marshall
letter of February 7, 1941, and similar letters of General Marshall, and
had replied setting forth in letters that the air attack was his primary
Witness what General Short says on this record to the contrary:
"General Grunert: Was the attack of December 7 a complete surprise to
"General Short: It was." (R. 536)
We must therefore conclude that the responsible authorities, the
Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Staff in Washington, down to the
Generals and Admirals in Hawaii, *all expected an air attack before
Pearl Harbor*. As a general statement, when testifying after the Pearl
Harbor attack, they did not expect it.
Apparently the only person who was not surprised was the Secretary of
War, Mr. Stimson, who testified:
"Well, I was not surprised." (R. 4072)
Short's Standard Operating Procedure, which he had formulated with his
staff in July and finally put into complete form on November 5, 1941,
(R. 333) had been sent to the Chief of Staff. (R. 431) General
Marshall wrote General Short on October 10th that it had just come to
his attention and that upon an examination of the Standard Operating
Procedure of the Hawaiian Department, dated July 14, containing those
three alerts, "I am particularly concerned with missions assigned to air
units." (R. 29)
He objected to the assignment to the Hawaiian Air Force of the mission
of defending Schofield Barracks and all
airfields on Oahu against sabotage and ground attacks, and with
providing a provisional battalion of 500 men for military police duty.
He thereby warned General Short that the air force should not be used
for antisabotage, for General Marshall further said in his letter:
"This (the action of using the air force for antisabotage duty) seems
inconsistent with the emphasis we are placing on air strength in Hawaii,
particularly in view of the fact that only minimum operating and
maintenance personnel have been provided." (R. 29)
General Short replied on October 14, as follows:
"The plan was to use them (Air Force personnel) for guarding certain
essential utilities. ... However, this will be unnecessary as the
Legislature has just passed the Home Guard Bill, which will go into
effect very soon."
General Marshall again wrote General Short on the 28th of October, and
in it he clearly indicated to Short that he should change his alert plan
(of which there was no proof that he ever did) and only use the Air
Force for guard during the last stage when the Air Force as such had
been destroyed and a hostile landing effected. General Marshall further
indicated that no potential ground duty should be used as an excuse for
not continuing the specific Air Force training, saying:
"I suggest that you prepare a separate phase of your alert plan based on
the assumption that the Air Force has been destroyed and a hostile
landing effected. This plan could provide for the use of the necessary
Air Corps personnel for ground defense and afford a means of
indoctrinating them in ground defense tactics. It should, however, for
the present at least, be subordinated to their own specific training
"It would appear that the best policy would be to allow them to
concentrate on technical Air Corps training until they have completed
their expansion program and have their feet on the ground as far as
their primary mission is concerned." (R. 30)
Here, again, General Marshall cautioned Short to use his Air Force for
its normal purposes and not upon antisabotage guard duty and emphasizes
that the use of the Air Force must be free and unfettered.
On October 16 Short received the following Navy message:
"The following is a paraphrase of a dispatch from the C.N.O. which I
have been directed to pass to you. Quote: 'Japanese Cabinet
resignation creates a grave situation. If a new cabinet is formed it
will probably be anti-American and extremely nationalistic. If the
Konoye Cabinet remains it will operate under a new mandate which will
not include reapproachment [sic] with the United States. Either way
hostilities between Japan and Russia are strongly possible. Since
Britain and the United States are held responsible by Japan for her
present situation there is also a possibility that Japan may attack
those two powers. In view of these possibilities you will take due
precautions including such preparatory deployments as will not disclose
strategic intention nor constitute provocative action against Japan'."
On October 18, 1941, a radiogram was sent by the War Department to the
Commanding General, Hawaii Department, reading as follows:
"Following War Department estimate of Japanese situation for your
information. Tension between the United States and Japan remain
strained but no abrupt change in Japanese foreign policy appears
imminent." (R. 4258)
This message was dated October 18, 1941, according to the Gerow
statement, Exhibit 63, but in the copy of communications produced by
General Marshall, the same message was dated October 20, 1941, as #266.
On October 28, General Marshall wrote General Short as to details of the
training of the air corps personnel.
On November 24 the Chief of Naval Operations sent the Commander-in-
Chief, Pacific Fleet, a message that Short thinks he saw, reading as
"There are very doubtful chances of a favorable outcome of negotiations
with Japan. This situation, coupled with statements of Nippon
Government and movements of their naval and military force is, in our
opinion, that a *surprise aggressive movement in any direction*,
including an attack on the Philippines or Guam *is a possibility*. The
Chief of Staff has seen this dispatch and concurs and requests action.
... inform senior Army officers in respective areas utmost secrecy is
necessary in order not to complicate the already tense situation or
precipitate Japanese action." (R. 4258)
On November 26, 1941, the following secret cablegram was sent to the
Commanding General, Hawaiian Department:
"It is desired following instructions be given pilots of two B-24s on
special photo mission. Photograph Jaluit Island in the Caroline Group
while simultaneously making visual reconnaissance. Information is
desired as to location and number of guns, aircraft, airfields,
barracks, camps, and naval vessels including submarines XXX before they
depart Honolulu insure that both B-24s are fully supplied with
ammunition for guns." (R. 4259)
On November 27 the Chief of Naval Operations sent to the Commander-in-
Chief, Pacific Fleet, a message which was delivered by the liaison
officer, Lieutenant Burr, to G-3 of General Short, which reads as
"Consider this dispatch a war warning. The negotiations with Japan in
an effort to stabilize conditions in the Pacific have ended. Japan is
expected to make an aggressive move within the next few days. An
amphibious expedition against either the Philippines, Thai, or Kra
Peninsula or possibly Borneo is indicated by the number and equipment of
Japanese troops and the organization of their naval task forces. You
will execute a defensive deployment in preparation for carrying out the
tasks assigned in WPL 46 only. Guam, Samoa and Continental Districts
have been directed to take appropriate measures against sabotage. A
similar warning is being sent by the War Department. Inform naval
district and Army authorities. British to be informed by Spenavo." (R.
And on the same day the Chief of Staff sent the following radio to the
Commanding General, Hawaiian Department:
No. 472. "Negotiations with Japanese 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 U.S. 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 Japanese 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 the civil population or disclose intent. Report measures
taken. Should hostilities occur, you will carry out task assigned in
Rainbow Five as far as they pertain to Japan. Limit dissemination of
this highly secret information to minimum essential officers." (R. 280-
281, 4259-4260) 
This completes the pattern of the communications and information that
was in Short's possession when he made the fatal decision to elect the
antisabotage Alert No. 1 and not select either Alert No. 2 or No. 3
which would have constituted the defense against the most serious attack
that could be made upon him in view of the previous estimate of the
situation and warnings he had received from all quarters of an air raid.
On the same day, November 27, 1941, but *after his decision to select
Alert No. 1* and sending of a reply to the message, Short received from
G-2, War Department, through his G-2, Hawaiian Department, the following
"Advise only the C.G. and the C. of S. It appears that the conference
with the Japanese has ended in an apparent deadlock. Acts of sabotage
and espionage probable. *Also possibilities that hostilities may begin*.
 A full discussion of the message follows.
 Significant naval messages from the Chief of Naval Operations to the
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, under dates of December 3, 4, and 6,
1941, relating to the destruction of codes and secret documents by
Japanese consulates and instructions regarding destruction of similar
means of our own evidently never reached General Short. (R. 424-425)
Short was asked what were his reasons for his action.
The following colloquy is important:
"General Frank: I would like to develop this thought for just a minute.
This is in consideration generally of military operations. In
estimating the situation with which a military commander is confronted,
our teachings in the military establishment generally have been along
the lines of taking all information that is available, evaluating it and
using it as a guide. Is that correct?
"General Short. Yes
"General Frank: That is in accordance with our Leavenworth teaching, our
War College teaching and our actual practice in the organization. Now,
in coming to a decision on military disposition and general practice in
the Army, Army teachings, as perhaps Army tradition, indicate that a
commander should prepare for enemy action of what character?
"General Short: The worst.
"General Frank: The worst. Now, can you tell me why that was not done
in this instance?
"General Short: Everything indicated to me that the War Department did
not believe that there was going to be anything more than sabotage; and,
as I have explained, we had a very serious training proposition with the
Air Corps particularly, that if we went into Alert N. 2 or 3 instead of
No. 1 at the time that we couldn't meet the requirements of the
Philippine ferrying business. Also the fact that they told me to report
the action taken unquestionably had an influence because when I reported
action and there was no comment that my action was too little or too
much I was a hundred percent convinced that they agreed with it. They
had a lot more information than I had." (R. 436-437)
"General Frank: All right. Now, you have given considerable testimony
about how you arrived at your conclusion of the adequateness of Alert
No. 1, and in general may we say that you came to this conclusion as a
result of your faith in the effectiveness of naval operations and the
influence of Naval opinion and to a certain extent of the line of
thought as a result of what was contained in messages between the 16th
of November and the 27th?
"General Short: Yes, sir. And that was later confirmed by, may I add,
actions of the War Department in not replying to my message and stating
that they wanted more, and in sending planes without ammunition.
"General Frank: All right. Did you feel that the wording of messages
coming here in there to you indicated an effort toward a supervisory
"General Short: I thought that it indicated very definitely two things:
That they wanted me to be extremely careful and not have an incident
with the Japanese population that would arouse Japan, and the other
thing was not to violate territorial laws in my eagerness to carry out
"General Frank: The question has arisen in the minds of the Board as to
why, when that air estimate anticipated just exactly what happened,
steps were not taken to meet it. I assume that the answer --
"General Short: You mean the estimate of the year -- you mean the year
"General Frank: No. The Martin-Bellinger estimate.
"General Short: Oh.
"General Frank: Of 1941.
"General Short: Yes.
"General Frank: I assume the answer is the answer that you gave to the
question asked two or three questions back.
"General Short: Yes." (R. 471-472)
General Short within an hour after receiving the message from the Chief
of Staff of November 27 ordered the No. 1 Alert, which continued up to
the attack on December 7. (R. 282) His message in reply to General
"Report Department alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with Navy.
Reuard [sic] four seventy two Nov. 27th." (R. 38, 286)
The endorsements so appearing on this reply are as follows: In the
handwriting of the Secretary of War there appear the words "Noted HLS",
written in pen; "Noted - Chief of Staff", stamped by a rubber stamp on
the message without initials; and a rubber stamp "Noted, WPD" (in red
ink) followed by pen initials "L.T.G." (R. 38, 4287)
An examination of the wire received from General MacArthur, in response
to a similar message sent to General Short,  shows the same
endorsements, including "Noted - Chief of Staff", with a rubber stamp
but no initials. However, this message has written in General
Marshall's handwriting the words "To Secretary of War, GCM", This
endorsement does not appear on the following message that came from
Short. (See General Marshall's explanation below.)
The message from Short to the Chief of Staff indicates that it was the
"Action Copy" as noted in pencil at its foot "OCS/18136-120".
When questioned about this vital message, the Chief of Staff said:
"General Russell: Subsequently General Short sent a reply to that
message in which he refers to the November 27 message from you over your
signature by number. That message of General Short reporting action
" 'Report Department alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with Navy
REURAD for seven two twenty-seventh.'
"The original of General Short's report indicates that it was initialed
by Secretary Stimson and has a stamp "Noted - Chief of Staff," and was
initialed by General Gerow.
"The Board has been interested to know the procedure in your office as
it relates to stamping documents which do not bear your signature. Does
that indicate that you did or did not see those messages?
 On November 27th the War Department sent messages similar to one
sent to General Short, to MacArthur in the Philippines, Andrews in
Panama, and DeWitt on the West Coast, each of which called for a report
of measures taken. All replies except that from Short indicated the
taking of measures of greater security that those envisaged in the
Hawaiian Alert No. 1.
"General Marshall: Well, I think if you look at the preceding message
from the Philippines you will find that same rubber stamp on there,
"Noted - Chief of Staff."
"General Russell: That is true.
"General Marshall: And you will find it at the top of the message. You
will find my initials.
"General Russell: Yes; I do see them.
"General Marshall: But not on the other one. I do not know about that.
I do not know what the explanation is. I initial them all; that is my
practice. One goes to the particular section that has the
responsibility for working on it, which in this case was the War Plans
Division, now the Operations Division, and then one comes to me. I
initial it and then it goes out to the record. Where I think the
Secretary of War ought to see it, and if he is not in the distribution,
I check it to him. Where I think there is somebody else that should be
notified, I indicate on the face of my copy who else is to be informed
of this. As a matter of routine one agency is charged with the
execution of the matter pertaining to the message. But in this
particular case I do not know. I have no recollection at all.
"General Russell: The fact that it reached the Secretary of War's
office and was by him initialed -- would that or not indicate that you
had sent it up to him or that it might have been sent up to him by
"General Marshall: In this connection I invite your attention to the
fact that this was filed behind a message from General MacArthur. I
note that I did not initial it. They evidently came in together.
"General Russell: If they were together you might or might not have
"General Marshall: I have no recollection at all. The presumption
would be that I had seen it." (R. 38-40)
No one of these persons, or any of their subordinates, have any record,
either internally in the War Department or externally, of any message to
Short showing the slightest exception taken to his course of action. It
will be noted as to the Chief of Staff, that while he did not initial
the Short reply, he did initial the top message from General
MacArthur on the same subject, and apparently they both went together to
the Secretary of War, as they had come at substantially the same time in
answer to the same message from the Chief of Staff. The inference from
General Marshall's testimony is that possibly he only initialed the top
one, but that is speculation, as he said, "I don not know what the
explanation is." (R. 39)
2. ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION FROM NOVEMBER 24 TO NOVEMBER 27: The vital
message of November 27, #472, heretofore quoted as having been sent by
the Chief of Staff to the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, can
be understood and its proper place in this narrative determined only
when we know the events which led up to its being sent; when we know by
whom drafted and by what procedure the drafting was accomplished; and
the circumstances under which it was forwarded. Its relationship to
surrounding circumstances and other documents must also be understood
before we proceed to analyze the message and the meaning of each part of
 The Secretary of War has cleared some ambiguity in this record, and
an ambiguity in the White Papers by defining with precision the War
Council. There were really three bodies that were loosely referred to
from time to time by this title. The true War Council was that
established under the National Defense Act of 1920, solely within the
War Department. The second body was that created by the Secretary of
War, Mr. Stimson, and the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Knox, when they
entered into their positions, by which they gathered together at regular
intervals with the Secretary of State, and sometimes with General
Marshall and Admiral Stark. The third group was that which joined the
President at fairly regular intervals, consisting of the President, the
Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy, and from
time to time General Marshall and Admiral Stark, and occasionally,
General Arnold. (R. 4041-4042-4043-4044, 4047-4048, 5-6)
The War Council met on the 25th of November 1941. Fortunately, we have
the advantage of the contemporaneous diary of the Secretary of War, Mr.
Stimson, who has pictured in his diary with great clarity and precision
the events as they transpired, which were material to this issue. This
"At 9:30 Knox and I met in Hull's office for our meeting of three. Hull
showed us the proposal for a three months' truce which he was going to
lay before the Japanese today or tomorrow. It adequately safeguarded
all our interests, I though, as we read it, but I don't think that there
is any chance of the Japanese accepting it because it was so drastic.
... We were an hour and a half with Hull, and then I went back to the
Department, and I got hold of Marshall. Then at twelve o'clock I went
to the White House where we were until nearly half past one. At the
meeting were Hull, Knox, Marshall, Stark, and myself. There the
President brought up the relations with the Japanese. He brought up the
event that we were likely to be attacked perhaps as soon as -- perhaps
next Monday, for the Japs are notorious for making an attack without
warning, and the question was what we should do. We conferred on the
general problem. (R. 4050-4051)
This was the end of the discussions on the 25th of November, 1941 (R.
4050-4051), with the exception that when the Secretary of War returned
to his office, he found a G-2 message that a Japanese expedition had
started southward, south of Formosa; and he at once called Mr. Hull and
sent him copies of the report and a copy to the President.
On the following day, November 26, 1941, the diary continues:
"Hull told me over the telephone this morning that he had about made up
his mind not to make the proposition that Knox and I passed on the other
day (the 25th) to the Japanese, but to kick the whole thing ever and to
tell them that he had no other proposition at all." (R. 4051-40520
There is some proof that, before General Marshall left Washington for
North Carolina on maneuvers on the afternoon of
the 26th, he had drafted in the rough a proposed message to General
Short apprising him of the situation as it was developed. General
Gerow, Chief of the War Plans Division, testifies that he believes he
discussed such a draft with General Marshall. (R. 4244-4246)
General Marshall was away on the 27th and returned on the 28th, at which
time he saw the complete draft of the message of the 27th together with
the report from General Gerow of the events during the 27th which we are
now about to relate. (R. 36-37)
Before the closing of the story of the 26th, Mr. Stimson defines it as:
"The 26th was the day he (Hull) told me he was in doubt whether he would
go on with it." (R. 4051-4052-4053)
What the Secretary of State appears to have done was to have his
conference with the Japanese Ambassadors and to hand to them the "Ten
Points". As Ambassador Grew testifies, the Japanese considered these
"Ten Points" to be an ultimatum. (R. 4221) Whether or not the
Secretary of State considers now that this is not an ultimatum (see his
letter of September 28, 1943), nevertheless, the Japanese did so
consider it and acted upon it as such by notifying the task force, as
the evidence shows was waiting at Tankan Bay, to start the movement
against Hawaii, and it did move out on the 27-28th of November. As well
put by Ambassador Grew:
"Naturally, they (the Japanese) had all their plans made for years
beforehand, in the case of war with America. They were very foresighted
in those respects, and they had their plans drawn up probably right down
to the last detail; but as for the moment at which the button was
touched. I don't myself know exactly how long it would have taken their
carriers to get from where they were to the point at which
they attacked Pearl Harbor; but it has always been my belief that it was
*about the time of the receipt of Mr. Hull's memorandum of November 26
that the button was touched*." (R. 4215)
On the morning of the 27th of November 1941. Mr. Stimson's diary reads:
"The first thing in the morning, I called up Hull to find out what his
final decision had been with the Japanese -- whether he had handed them
the new proposal which we passed on two or three days ago or whether, as
he suggested yesterday, he had broken the whole matter off. He told me
now he had broken the whole matter off. As he put it, 'I have washed my
hands of it, and it is now in the hands of you and Knox, the Army and
Then the Secretary of War states:
"I then called up the President and talked with him about it."
He (Stimson) then approved the orders presented to him by General Arnold
to move two large planes over the Mandated Islands to take pictures. (R.
The Secretary related that General Marshall "is down at the maneuvers
today." and "Knox and Admiral Stark came over and conferred with me and
General Grew." At this point he says:
"A draft memorandum from General Marshall and Admiral Stark to the
President was examined, and the question of the need for further time
was discussed." (R. 4054)
This is the memorandum asking the President not to precipitate an
ultimatum with the Japanese and to give the Army and Navy more time
within which to prepare; but it was too late, as the die had been cast
by the Secretary of State in handing the "Ten Points" counter-proposal
to the Japanese on the previous day, which was, as the Secretary of
State remarked, "washing his hands of the matter."
When Ambassador Grew so testified he apparently did not know of the very
complete evidence in this record of the movement of the Japanese task
force starting on the 27th-28th from Tankan Bay to the attack. Mr.
Hull's statement on this subject is of interest:
"I communicated on November 26 to the Japanese spokesman -- who were
urgently calling for a reply to their proposals of November 20 -- what
became the last of this Government's counter-proposal. ... It will thus
be seen that the document under reference did not constitute in any
sense an ultimatum." (Letter from Secretary of State to the Army Pearl
Harbor Board, September 28, 1944.)
3. THE DRAFTING OF THE MESSAGE #472 OF THE 27TH: We now turn to the
drafting of the message of the 27th as related by the Secretary of War,
Mr. Stimson, General Bryden and General Gerow. (R. 4239-4240) A
second meeting between Secretary Stimson, Secretary Knox, Admiral Stark
and General Gerow was held later in the day. (R. 4240) As the diary of
Mr. Stimson says:
"But the main question at this meeting was over the message that we
shall send to MacArthur. We have already sent him a quasi-alert or the
first signal for an alert; and now, on talking with the President this
morning over the telephone, I suggested and he approved the idea that we
should send the final alert, namely that he should be on the *qui vive*
for any attack, and telling him how the situation was." (R. 4055)
To continue with the diary:
"So Gerow and Stark and I went over the proposed message to him (Mr.
Stimson here verbally testified -- 'We were sending the message to four
people, not only MacArthur, but Hawaii, Panama, and Alaska'). So Gerow
and Stark and I went over the proposed message to him from Marshall very
carefully, finally got it into shape, and with the help of a telephone
talk I had with Hull I got the exact statement from him of what the
situation was." (R. 4056)
The Secretary of War then stated:
"The thing that I was anxious to do was to be sure that we represented
with correctness and accuracy what the situation was between the two
governments, and this part I got from Hull, as I said, by telephone, to
be sure I was right." (R. 4056)
The two sentences which the Secretary of War apparently wrote in the
message of the 27th were these:
"Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical
purpose 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." 
The Secretary continues his testimony:
"That was what I was interested in getting out at the time, because that
had been a decision which I had heard from the President, as I have just
read, and I had gotten the exact details of the situation between the
State Department and the envoys from Mr. Hull; and, as I pointed out
here, the purpose in my mind, as I quote my talk with the President, was
to send a final alert, namely, that the man should be on the *qui vive*
for any attack, and telling him how the situation was here." (R. 4056)
The task that the Secretary of War was engaged upon was normally that of
the Chief of Staff. As Mr. Stimson said:
"That was why I was in this matter. Marshall was away. I had had a
decision from the President on that subject, and I regarded it as my
business to do what I of course normally do; to see that the message as
sent was framed in accordance with the facts." (R. 4057)
The message to Hawaii now under consideration of the 27th has endorsed
upon it, "Shown to the Secretary of War". (R. 4057)
 However, General Gerow (R. 4247) testified that he believed that the
sentence "Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action
possible at any moment" was inserted by him or Colonel Bundy.
The Secretary testified:
"I went over very carefully the whole message. ... And I saw it after it
was finally drawn, as was shown by the memorandum there." (R. 4058)
With reference to the other messages that took place on the 27th in the
drafting of this message, #472, General Gerow's testimony is that at the
meeting with the Secretary of War the first two sentences, reported by
the Secretary of War as being drafted by him, were sentences which were
softened by instructions or information furnished by the Secretary of
State in a conversation over the telephone with the Secretary of War the
morning of the 27th. (R. 4247) General Gerow testifies that the
sentences so softened originally read "Negations with Japan have been
terminated." (R. 4270)
The sentence, "Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action
possible at any moment" was put in by General Gerow or Colonel Bundy.
The sentence, "If hostilities cannot, repeat cannot, be avoided, the
United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act," was thus
phrased because as Gerow said he testified before the Roberts
"We pointed out in the message the possible danger of attack and
directed reconnaissance and other necessary measures without fully
carrying into effect the provisions of this plan, which would have
required hostile action against Japan, and the President had definitely
stated that he wanted Japan to commit the first overt act." (R. 4251-
The next sentence:
"This policy should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting you to
a course of action that might jeopardize your defense"
was inserted by General Gerow or by Colonel Bundy. The
purpose of this language was to insure freedom of action to the
Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department. (R. 4252)
General Gerow said that there had been no discussion of the ambiguity of
the message or its apparent conflicting instructions as a "Do-or-Don't"
message. (R. 4252)
He said that nothing in the message told General Short about the
relations between the American Government and the Japanese Empire. (R>
4256) The sole information passed on to General Short by the War
Department from October 20th to November 27th about what the soldier
calls "enemy information" was in this particular message. (R. 4263)
The only previous message that Short had had of the international
situation from the War Department was on October 20, which read,  
 However, General Gerow testified (R. 4258) that there was a Navy
Department message of November 24th which contained information of the
Japanese aggressive action and which directed the Commander-in-Chief
Pacific Fleet to inform General Short of its contents.
 Information gleaned by the Board indicates that G-2, War Department,
on November 3, 1941, sent a letter to G-2, Hawaiian Department, in which
was set forth the prophecy of war between Japan and the United States in
December 1941 or February 1942, as made by a prominent Japanese.
"Following War Department estimate of Japanese situation for your
information. Tension between the United States and Japan remains
strained but no abrupt change in Japanese foreign policy appears
imminent." (R. 4264)
"This policy should not be construed as restricting you to a course of
action that might jeopardize your defense"
was put in by the War Plans Division. (R. 4271)
With reference to the phrase, "You are directed to take such
reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary" apparently at
that time no investigation was made by the War Department to ascertain
just what means General Short had of conducting the reconnaissance; but
aside from this fault, the fact is that General Short did have some
planes plus radar to conduct a degree of reconnaissance. This the record
shows he did not fully and gainfully employ these means for this
purpose. General Short was recalled at substantially the end of all the
testimony and questioned on this point. Short's position on this
message was that the direction to him to conduct reconnaissance was a
futile directive and that it indicated to him that the man who wrote the
message was entirely unfamiliar with the fact, "that the Navy was
responsible for long distance reconnaissance". He said this was
"in spite of the fact that the Chief of Staff had approved that plan
that provided for that, whoever wrote the message was not familiar with
it, or it had slipped his mind that it was the Navy and not the Army
that was responsible." (R. 4436-4437)
He said when questioned as to why he did not call attention to this
matter in his reply to the War Department:
"I think if the War Department had intended to abrogate that agreement,
they would have told me so."
He said he based everything on the responsibility of the Navy for long
distance reconnaissance, because it had been approved by the Chief of
Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations. (R. 4438)
He could not explain why he failed to use his own reconnaissance
aircraft even though the agreement was not actually in effect at that
time or the War Department had overlooked the agreement because he says,
as elsewhere admitted, that the Army and Navy agreement was not to go
into effect until hostilities, or their equivalent, had occurred. His
reconnaissance planes were still under his control and could have been
used by him to carry out this direct order in this message.
For instance, the following colloquy occurred:
"62. General Grunert: You might clear up two additional points.
First, we will take up the point that you have brought out, there, that
the War Department had evidently overlooked the agreement that your
command had with the Navy, as to distant reconnaissance. Did you call
the War Department's attention to the fact, when you were ordered to
make reconnaissance, about that agreement?
"General Short: I did not, but I reported to them exactly what I was
"63. General Grunert: Then you considered your report the answer to
"General Short: They called on me for a report. If they had not called
on me for a report, I think the situation would have been quite
different; but they definitely told me to 'report action taken' which I
did; and I heard nothing further from them.
"64. General Grunert: We have had testimony before the Board, from a
member of the Navy, calling the Board's attention to the fact that this
Joint Hawaiian Coastal Frontier Defense Plan was not operative until an
emergency arose, and apparently the emergency, or the imminency of
such an emergency, was not agreed to, locally, to make the provisions
operative. With that understanding, was it the Navy's business to
conduct long-distance reconnaissance, prior to such an emergency?
"General Short: If the emergency existed, it was their business; if it
did not exist, there was no necessity.
"65. General Grunert: Then, when do you judge the emergency came about?
"General Short: It very definitely cam about, at 7:55 on the morning of
the 7th." (R. 4438-4439)
This is sufficient in itself to clearly demonstrate that Short was not
taking the action which he could and should have taken of either more
fully carrying out the order, or of specifically and definitely
reporting the complete circumstances of his inability to do so. He did
not call the attention of the War Department to what was an apparent
misunderstanding on its part. He was relying upon the Navy
reconnaissance without any reasonable energetic inquiry to ascertain the
correctness of his assumption that the Navy was conducting long distance
reconnaissance. He has no adequate explanation for not using the radar
24 hours a day (which was in full operation Sunday prior to December 7)
after getting the message of the 27th, and which was used continuously
after December 7. (R. 4441-4444) For some time after December 7th the
situation as to the dearth of spare parts was the same as before
The Secretary of War did not know the authorship of the part, "Report
measures taken ... Limit dissemination ... to minimum essential
officers". (R. 4071) He said he knew it was there and he understood it.
There were two conferences with the Secretary of War, one
at 9:30 the morning of the 27th, and one later in the day. At the first
conference, the Secretary of War, General Bryden, Deputy Chief of Staff,
and General Gerow were there. At that time General Gerow received
instructions with reference to the preparation of the message. He then
consulted Admiral Stark. (R. 4239-4240) The second conference took
place later with Secretary Knox, Admiral Stark, and Mr. Stimson. (R.
4240) General Bryden has testified that although he was Deputy Chief of
Staff, and Acting Chief of Staff in General Marshall's absence, he does
not remember the message nor the conference thereon. (R. 900) While
the Chief of Staff reviewed the message of the 27th on the 28th, it is
unfortunate that during this critical period he was off on maneuvers in
North Carolina and missed the drafting of the message which was the
composite work of a number of people, which may account for its
confusing and conflicting tenor. Possibly had he been present, the
Marshall-Stark memorandum might have reached the President in time to
have influenced the momentous decisions of November 26th.
It is equally obvious that the November 27th message was the only
message that attempted to translate the long and tempestuous course of
events terminating in the counter-proposal on the 26th of November to
No other picture of the situation was given to Short, except in this
message. It is apparent that the message of November 27 was entirely
inadequate to properly and adequately translate to Short's mind the
background of events that had been taking place. While this does not
excuse Short, it does necessitate an assessment for the responsibility
The three principal Major Generals who were commanders under Short have
testified that they received substantially nothing by way of information
as the international situation except what they read in the newspapers.
The fact that the newspapers were urgent and belligerent in their tone
was discounted by them, because they were not receiving any confirmatory
information from the War Department through Short. Information that was
of tremendous value both as to content and substance, which the
Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Chief of Staff, and other high
staff officers of the War Department had, was not transmitted to short.
The only summary of this information was the brief and conflicting tone
of the message of November 27, which was but a faint echo of what had
It is significant that the Japanese upon the termination of negotiations
by the counter-proposals of the 26th, considered by them as an
ultimatum, were thereby in full possession of all the information, which
our ultra-secrecy policy did not permit of full transmission to field
commanders. The Japanese knew everything. The War and Navy Departments
transmitted to Short and Kimmel only so much of what they knew as they
judged necessary. 
It is also significant that the Secretary of War had to go and call Mr.
Hull to get the information on what amounted to the practical cessation
of negotiations, which was the most vital thing that had occurred in
1941. If it had not been for
 Both General Marshall and Admiral Stark expressed themselves as of
the opinion that the warnings transmitted to Short and Kimmel were
sufficient to properly alert their respective commands.
Mr. Stimson's initiative in calling the Secretary of State, it is
uncertain as to when he would have been advised of this most important
event. As it turned out, the delay of from ten to twelve hours in
getting the information was not material, since the Japanese delayed
striking until December 7th.
The effect of the counter-proposals of November 26th on the resulting
responsibilities of the Army and Navy is indicated in Mr. Stimson's
quotation of Mr. Hull's comment to him, as follows:
"Now it is up the Army and Navy to take care of the matter. I have
washed my hands of the Japanese."
4. ANALYSIS OF THE NOVEMBER 27, 1941, MESSAGE: The message of November
27, 1941, from the Chief of Staff to Commanding General, Hawaiian
Department, consists of the following component parts:
"Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practicable
purposes with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese Government
may come back and offer to continue. Japanese future action
unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment."
Comment: This statement on Japanese information is inadequate. It did
not convey to Short the full import of the information concerning the
American-Japanese relations which was in the hands of the War
Department. It was misleading in that it stated that there was a bare
possibility of the resumption of negotiations, which carried with it the
implication that such resumption would influence the Japanese-American
relations, i.e., that war might not come. The War Department was
convinced then that war would come.
The statement that "Japanese future action unpredictable"
was in conflict with the Navy message which the War Department had
directed to be shown to Short, to the effect that the attack would be in
the Kra Peninsula and elsewhere in the Far East. It did not convey to
Short the fixed opinion of the War Department General Staff as to the
probable plan of Japanese operations.
A warning that "hostile action possible at any moment" indicated the
necessity of taking adequate measures to meet that situation. This is
particularly true in view of the Navy message of 16 October, 1941, which
said that there was a possibility that Japan might attack. There was
also received from the Navy on November 27 a message containing these
"Consider this dispatch a war warning. The negotiations with Japan in
an effort to stabilize conditions in the Pacific have ended. Japan is
expected to make an aggressive move within the next few days."
The next statement in the Chief of Staff's message to the Commanding
General, Hawaiian Department:
"If hostilities cannot comma repeat cannot comma be avoid comma the
United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This
policy should not comma repeat not comma be construed as restricting you
to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense."
Comment: This instruction embodied our well known national policy
against initiating war. The responsibility for beginning the war must
be Japan's. It give Short the right to defense, notwithstanding the
restriction, but creates an atmosphere of caution which he must exercise
in preparing for such defense.
The third portion of the message is this:
"Prior to hostile Japanese 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 comma repeat not comma alarm
the civilian population or disclose intent. Report measures taken."
Comment: This was an order. Short could take such measures, including
reconnaissance, as he deemed necessary. What was available to Short for
reconnaissance and defensive action and the measures taken by him are
fully discussed elsewhere.
Here again we find the limitation that he must act cautiously. However,
the weight of evidence indicates that a higher form of alert than that
taken would not have alarmed the public.
Short did report within an hour the measures taken. (R. 286)
Short's answer to General Marshall's radio said:
"Department alerted to prevent sabotage. Liaison with the Navy. Reuard
four seven two twenty seventh."
This in itself was sufficient to show that such steps were inadequate,
but as he did not say he was taking any other steps, the War Department
erroneously assumed that its responsible commander was alert to sabotage
and to liaison with the Navy and was taking the necessary responsible
other steps mentioned in the radio because he had been warned in this
radio of the 27th by General Marshall.
Having asked for a report of what he was doing, the War Department
placed itself in the position of sharing the responsibility if it did
not direct Short to take such measures as they considered adequate to
meet this serious threat. This is particularly true in view of the fact
that much material information relating to Japanese-American relations
was in the War Department, which had not been made available to Short.
The next and last portion of the message:
"should hostilities occur, you will carry out tasks assigned in Rainbow
Number 5 as far as they pertain to Japan. Limit dissemination of this
highly secret information to minimum essential officers."
Comment: (a) This was a clear recognition, and advice to Short, that his
basic war plan and all joint Army and Navy plans based upon it was to be
used and was a clear indication to him to adopt adequate preparatory
measures to insure the execution of Rainbow Number 5.
(b) As to the directive to "Limit dissemination of this highly secret
information to minimum essential officers:
The War Department was security-conscious. The construction which Short
appears to have placed upon this language may have unduly limited the
information which reached responsible subordinate commanders. This part
of the message left broad discretion in Short as to the dissemination of
the information contained in the message, and had the personnel
operating the Air Warning Service on the morning of December 7th known
of the absolute imminence of war they doubtless would have interpreted
the information obtained from the radar station much differently.
It is of a piece with the other provisions of the instructions -- not to
alarm the public, not to disclose intent, and to avoid commission of the
first overt act.
*Comment on the message as a whole*: General Short, ass the Commanding
General, Hawaiian Department, was charged with the defense of the
Hawaiian Islands and as such had a fundamental duty to properly employ
all available means at his disposal for that purpose in the face of any
threat, with or without notification of impending hostilities.
Notwithstanding receipt of conflicting and qualifying information, which
undoubtedly had its effect on Short's mental conception of the
situation, the responsibility rested on him to take measures to meet the
worst situation with which he might be confronted, and such action on
his part, as Commander on the spot, was mandatory despite the fact that
he was not kept fully advised by the War Department of the critical
situation and of the positive, immediate imminence of war.
The same day G-2 of the War Department wired to G-2 Hawaiian Department,
which clearly indicated that *both* sabotage and hostilities might and
be concurrent. This message said:
"Advise only the Commanding General and the Chief of Staff that it
appears that the conference with the Japanese has ended in an apparent
deadlock. Actions of sabotage and espionage probable. *Also* probable
that *hostilities* may begin."
This G-2 message nullifies all Short's explanation that his mind was put
on sabotage because of the War Department's emphasis on this subject.
The message shows that hostilities were just as possible as sabotage.
His decision to adopt Alert Number 1 came on the 27th, before receipt of
any message having reference to sabotage. He had two threats: he only
took measures as to one. The third message, upon which he particularly
relies as to sabotage, which came on November 28 from the War Department
(G-2), came *after* he had made his decision to go to Alert Number 1.
This last message again mentions the critical situation as to sabotage
activities. It does not in any way change previous messages. Short
should have known, as a trained soldier, that a G-2 message is
informative and is of
lesser authority than a command message from the Chief of Staff.
When General Short was asked if he had known that negotiations with
Japan had practically ended when he received the message of November
27th, he said:
"I think it would have made me more conscious that war was practically
unavoidable......If I knew it was immediately imminent......but if I had
known it was immediately imminent, then I should think I would have gone
into Alert Number 3......It would have looked to me definite that the
war was almost upon us." (R. 450)
"General Russell: General Short, did you know that on the 26th of
November the State Department handed to the Japanese representatives a
memorandum which G-2 of the War Department at least considered as an
ultimatum to the Japanese government?
"General Short: I knew nothing of anything of the kind until a year or
so afterwards, whenever the State Department paper came out.
"General Russell: Did you know on the 27th of November when you
received that message that the Secretary of State had in a meeting that
the Secretary of State had in a meeting on the 25th of November told the
Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, and probably the Chief of
Staff of the Army, and Admiral Stark, that the State Department had gone
as far as it could in its negotiations with the Japanese and that the
security of the nation was then in the hands of the armed forces?
"General Short: I did not.
"General Russell: Did you know that in January of 1941 Ambassador Grew
made a report to the State Department or to the Secretary of State in
which he stated that there were rumors in Japan that in event of trouble
with America the Japs would attack Pearl Harbor?
"General Short: At that time I was not in command; but I have known of
that later, I think probably a year or so later. I do not think I knew
anything about it at that time." (R. 451)
This concludes the status of affairs to the 27th. There still remained
the period from the 27th to the 6th of December, inclusive, during which
time messages and even letters could have been sent outlining and
completely delineating the entire
situation to Short. Even a courier could have reached Honolulu in 36
hours from Washington. The War Department, although it had additional
information of a most positive character, left Short with this fragment
of information regarding the U.S.-Japanese negotiations contained in the
two sentences inserted in the message of the 27th by the Secretary of
War, and took no action either to investigate Short's reply to the
message of November 27 to determine the steps being taken for defense,
or to assure that adequate defensive measures were being taken.
5. MESSAGES 28TH NOVEMBER TO 6TH DECEMBER, INCLUSIVE: On November 28th
the War Department sent message No. 482 to Short, reading as follows:
"Critical situation demands that all precautions be taken immediately
against subversive activities within field of investigative
responsibility of War Department (See paragraph 3 MID SC thirty dash
forty-five) stop. Also desired that you initiate forthwith all
additional measures necessary to provide for protection of your
establishments comma protection of your personnel against subversive
propaganda and protection of all activities against espionage stop.
This does not repeat not mean that any illegal measures are authorized.
stop. Protective measures should be confined to those essential to
security comma avoiding unnecessary publicity and alarm. To insure
speed of transmission identical telegrams are being sent to all air
stations but this does not repeat no affect your responsibility under
 A similar message, No. 484, was sent on the same day to the
Commanding General Hawaiian Air Force by General Arnold.
Short sent a reply to wire 482 of November 28th on the same day which
outlined at length the sabotage precautions he was taking. The War
Department copy of this wire, which is addressed to the A.G.O., shows
that a copy was sent to the Secretary of the General Staff, but no other
endorsements are on it showing it was read or considered by anyone else.
This wire reads:
"Re your secret radio four eight two twenty eight, full precautions are
being taken against subversive activities within the field of
investigative responsibility of War Dept paren paragraph three MID SC
thirty dash forty five and paren and military establishments including
personnel and equipment. As regards protection of vital installations
outside of military reservations such as power plants, telephone
exchanges and highway bridges, this Hqrs by confidential letter dated
June nineteen nineteen forty one requested the Governor of Territory to
use the broad powers vested in him by Section sixty seven of the organic
act which provides, in effect, that the Governor may call upon the
Commanders of Military and Naval Forces of the United States in the
Territory of Hawaii to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion,
insurrection etc. Pursuant to the authority stated the Governor on June
twentieth confidentially made a formal written demand on this Hqrs to
furnish and continue to furnish such adequate protection as may be
necessary to prevent sabotage, and lawless violence in connection
therewith, being committed against vital installations and structures I
the territory. Pursuant to the foregoing request appropriate military
protection is now being afforded vital civilian installations. In this
connection, at the instigation of this headquarters the city and county
of Honolulu on June thirtieth nineteen forty one enacted an ordnance
which permits the Commanding General Hawaiian Dept. to close, or
restrict the use of and travel upon, any highway within the city and
county of Honolulu, whenever the Commanding General deems such action
necessary in the interest of national defense. The authority thus given
has not yet been exercised. Relations with FBI and all other federal and
territorial officials are and have been cordial and mutual cooperation
has been given on all pertinent matters. Short."
It is to be noted that the official file does not show a copy of radio
#482, sent to Short by the War Department on
On December 3, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operation sent the following
wire to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet:
"On 3d December we have, 'Op Nav informs' -- this is a paraphrase, you
understand, sir. . . --'informs C in C Asiatic, CincPac, Combat 14-16
that highly reliable information has been received that instructions
were sent Japanese diplomatic and consular posts at Hong Kong,
Singapore, Batavia, Washington and London to destroy most of their codes
and ciphers at once and to burn secret documents'." (Admiral Bloch, Vol.
13, Page 1513, APHB) 
The story as to whether Short ever saw or received this message is as
follows: Admiral Kimmel visited Short December 2 and December 3, 1941.
(R. 1513) Short says: "I never saw that message" (R. 424), referring
to the 3 December message. He also denied seeing the message from the
Navy of December 4th and 6th hereinafter quoted. (R. 424-425) However,
Short was advised by the F.B.I. that it had tapped the telephone line of
the Japanese Consul's cook and had found the Consul was burning his
papers. (R. 3204) All other lines were tapped by the Navy. (R. 3204)
Phillips testified Short was "informed of it," but nothing was done
about it. (R. 1243) Short denies such G-2 information, saying: "I am
sure he didn't inform me." (R. 525) Colonel Fielder says the matter
was discussed by Colonel Phillips at a staff conference, but nothing was
done about it. Colonel Bicknell, G-2, Hawaiian Department, confirmed
Fielder. (R. 1413-1414)
 This message also paraphrased by General Grunert, Vol. 4, Page 424.
This same message also paraphrased in Roberts Testimony, Vol. 5, Page
583, and Vol. 17, Page S-85
This record does not provide either a true copy or a paraphrase copy of
the message of December 4, 1941, or December 6, 1941. The information
we have is no better than that contained in the Roberts Report, which
reads as follows:
"the second of December 4, 1941, instructed the addressee to destroy
confidential communication, retaining only such as were necessary, the
latter to be destroyed in event of emergency (this was sent to the
Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet for information only); and the
third of December 6, 1941, directing that in view of the tense situation
the naval commands on the outlying Pacific islands might be authorized
to destroy confidential papers then or later, under conditions of
greater emergency, and that those essential to continued operation
should be retained until the last moment." (Roberts Report, page 8)
These messages were received because Admiral Bloch testified that he
remembered them. (R. 1513-1514)
Irrespective of any testimony on the subject the record shows that on
December 3, 1941, Short and Kimmel had a conference about a cablegram
relative to the relief of marines on Wake and Midway. (R. 302, 394)
There is a serious question raised why the War Department did not give
instructions to Short direct which would have put him on his guard as to
the tenseness of the situation.
On December 6 there was reported to the Chief of Staff, Phillips, the
message about the Japanese burning their papers, and he reported it at a
staff meeting on December 6. (R. 1414)
6. DECEMBER 7, 1941 MESSAGE: This brings us to the final message from
Washington. It was filed by the Chief of Staff at 12:18 p.m. Washington
time, December 7th, which was 6:48 a.m. Honolulu time.
"Japanese are presenting at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today what
amounts to an ultimatum.
Also they are under orders to destroy their code machine immediately
stop. Just what significance the hour set may have we do not know but
be on alert accordingly stop. Inform naval authorities of this
The story of the sending of this message, which, if it could have been
sent so as to have reached Short a few hours prior to the attack might
at least have greatly lessened the results of the attack, will be set
forth at length. It was sent by commercial radio, the R.C.A. This is a
commercial line. Early in the morning in Honolulu the Hawaiian
Department radio had had great difficulty in keeping in communication
with the War Department radio. It is significant that the Hawaiian
Department only had a small 10 k.g. set. It was not a powerful set,
like that of the Navy or the R.C.A. The Message Center of the War
Department, which is charged with the expeditious handling of messages,
decided to send this vital message by commercial R.C.A. instead of War
Department radio, because it could not get through on its own net. Why
this message was not sent by the Navy radio, by F.B.I. radio, or by
telephone, and why these means of possibly more rapid communication were
not investigated, is not satisfactorily explained. The explanation that
"secrecy" was paramount does not appear to apply to these means.
Shivers of the F.B.I. testified:
"We had our own radio station...I would say within -- depending on the
length of the message: a 20-word message could be probably gotten to
Washington by -- could have gotten to the receiving station in
Washington within a period of twenty minutes...our channels were not
jammed...we used a frequency that was assigned to us by the F.C.C...All
of the stuff that went out from here to -- that went out over that
radio, was coded." (R. 3221)
"General Grunert: Then any message that Washington wanted to get to you
during that morning or just prior to the attack on that morning you
think could have gotten to you within the leeway of an hour?
"Mr. Shivers: The message could have been sent out within an hour, yes.
Yes, sir." (R. 3221)
It is to be noted in this connection that no only was the F.B.I. radio
working between Washington and Honolulu on December 6-7, but that
testimony shows numerous telephone conversations were conducted just
after the attack, over the telephone between Washington and Honolulu.
The story of the sending of this message in the War Department is as
This message arrived in Honolulu at 7:33 a.m., Honolulu time, December
7th. The attack struck 22 minutes later. The message was not actually
delivered to the signal office of the Hawaiian Department until 11:45
a.m., the attack having taken place at 7:55 a.m. The message was
decoded and delivered to The Adjutant General at 2:58 p.m., 7 hours and
3 minutes after the attack.
The status of communications between Washington and Hawaii on the
morning of December 7th and for 24 hours previous to that time was as
follows: The Hawaiian Department had a scrambler telephone connection
direct with Washington by which you could ordinarily get a message
through from Washington to Hawaii in ten or fifteen minutes. After the
attack on December 7, Colonel Fielder (G-2) himself talked to Washington
twice on this phone and received a call from Washington on the same
phone: it took no more than an hour as a maximum to get the call
through despite the heavy traffic to Hawaii by reason of the attack.
(R. 2999) Furthermore, a war message could have demanded priority.
It is important to observe that only one means of communication was
selected by Washington. That decision violated all rules requiring the
use of multiple means of communication in an emergency. In addition to
the War Department telephone there also existed the F.B.I. radio, which
was assigned a special frequency between Washington and Hawaii and over
which it only took twenty minutes to send a coded message from Hawaii to
Washington or vice versa. Shivers of F.B.I. so testified. (R. 3222)
"General Marshall stated that the reason he did not telephone was that
it took more time, that he had called the Philippines before he called
Hawaii, and there was a
possibility of a leak which would embarrass the State Department. In
other words, I think there was a feeling still at that time that secrecy
was more important than the time element in getting the information to
us as rapidly as possible. Whatever the reason was, we got that
information seven hours after the attack." (R. 310)
Apparently, the War Department at that time did not envisage an
immediate attack, rather they though more of a breaking of diplomatic
relations, and if the idea of an attack at 1:00 p.m. E.S.T. did enter
their minds they thought of it as probably taking place in the Far East
and not in Hawaii. Hence secrecy was still of paramount interest to
them. We find no justification for a failure to send this message by
multiple secret means either through the Navy radio or F.B.I. radio or
the scrambler telephone or all three.
The result was the message did not get through in time due to failure of
the War Department to use the telephone as the Chief of Staff used it to
the Philippines (Short R. 310) or take steps to insure that the message
got through by multiple channels (by code over naval or F.B.I. radio to
Hawaii), if the War Department radio was not working. He left Short
without this additional most important information. Short testified as
"If they had used the scrambled phone and gotten it through in ten or
fifteen minutes we would probably have gotten more of the import and a
clearer idea of danger from that message and we would have had time to
warm up the planes and get them in the air to meet any attack." (R.
Colonel French, in charge of Traffic Operations Branch, Chief Signal
Office, in the War Department testified that on December 7, 1941,
Colonel Bratton brought the message to the code room in the handwriting
of the Chief of Staff which "I had typed for clarity" in a few minutes.
Colonel Bratton read and authenticated it. The message was given to the
code clerk and transmission facilities checked. It was decided to send
the message by commercial means, choosing Western Union, as the fastest.
He stated that he personally took the message from the code room to the
teletype operator and advised Colonel Bratton it would take 30 to 45
minutes to transmit the message to destination. It left at 12:01
(Eastern Standard Time, 6:31 a.m. Honolulu time). The transmission to
Western Union was finished 12:17 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or 7:33
a.m. Honolulu time. It took 45 minutes in transmission. The message
was actually delivered at 11:45 p.m. Honolulu time. The messenger was
diverted from his course during the bombing. (R. 189-202)
Colonel French had no knowledge of the type of communication the F.B.I.
used to Hawaii; he never used the scrambler telephone and sometimes he
used the Navy to send messages, but did not inquire on the morning of
December 7, although the Navy has a more powerful radio. (R. 203-204)
7. FAILURE OF NAVY TO ADVISE SHORT OF ENEMY SUBMARINE IN PEARL HARBOR ON
MORNING OF DECEMBER 7, 1941.
The second failure was the Navy Department, upon whom Short so
trustingly relied. A two-man submarine entered Pearl Harbor area at
6:30 a.m. Between 6:33 and *6*:45 a.m. it was sunk by the Navy. This
was reported at 7:12 a.m. by naval base officers to the Chief of Staff
but the Navy made no such report to Short. (R. 310-311; See Roberts
Report p. 15) As Short said:
"That would, under the conditions, have indicated to me that there was
danger. The Navy did not visualize it anything by a submarine attack.
They considered that and sabotage their greatest danger; and it was
Admiral Bloch's duty as Commander of the District to get that
information to me right away. He stated to me in the presence of
Secretary Knox that at the time he visualized it only as a submarine
attack and was busy with that phase of
it and just failed to notify me; that he could see then, after the fact,
that he had been absolutely wrong, but that at the time the urgent
necessity of getting the information to me had not -- at any rate, I did
not get the information until after the attack." (R. 311)
8. FAILURE OF AIRCRAFT WARNING SERVICE TO ADVISE OF APPROACHING PLANES,
DECEMBER 7, 1941.
The third event that might have saved the day was the following:
The aircraft warning service had established mobile aircraft warning
stations on the Island of Oahu, as elsewhere related in detail, and had
set up an Information Center to utilize the aircraft warning
information, plot the course of any incoming planes and to advise the
responsible authorities. The organization was set up and operating and
was being utilized from 4 a.m. to 7 o'clock on the morning of December
7th as a training method and had been so used for some time past. The
Navy was supposed to have detailed officers in the Information Center to
be trained as liaison officers, but had not yet gotten around to it. In
the Information Center that morning was a Lieutenant Kermit A. Tyler, a
pursuit officer of the Air Corps, whose tour of duty thereat was until 8
o'clock. It was Tyler's second tour of duty at the Center and he was
there for training and observation, but there were no others on duty
after 7 o'clock except the enlisted telephone operator. He was the sole
officer there between 7 and 8 o'clock that morning, the rest of the
personnel that had made the Center operative from 4:00 to 7:00 had
At one of the remote aircraft warning stations there were two privates
who had been on duty from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. One of them was Private
Lockard, who was skilled in operating the radar aircraft detector, and a
Private George E. Elliott, who was
the plotting man to plot the information picked up on the radar. This
plotter was anxious to learn how to operate the radar, and Private
Lockard agreed to show him after the station was supposed to close at 7
o'clock and while they were waiting for the truck to take them to
breakfast. He kept the radar open for further operation to instruct his
partner, Private Elliott. While Lockard was adjusting the machine to
begin the instruction of Private Elliott, he observed on the radar
screen an unusual formation he had never seen in the machine. He
thought there was something wrong with it, as the indicator showed such
a large number of planes coming in that he was sure that there was
nothing like it in the air and there must be a machine error. He
continued to check, however, and finally concluded that the machine was
operating correctly and that there was a considerable number of planes
132 miles away from the island approaching from a direction 3 degrees
east of north. The time was 7:02 a.m., December 7, 1941.
In this record Private Elliott, now Sergeant Elliott, testified that he
plotted these planes and suggested to Lockard that they call up the
Information Center. After some debate between them, Lockard did call
the Information Center and reported to the switchboard operator. The
switchboard operator, an enlisted man who testified, was unable to do
anything about it, so he put Lieutenant Tyler on the phone. Tyler's
answer proved to be a disastrous one. He said, in substance, "Forget
it." Tyler's position is indefensible in his action, for he says that
he was merely there for training and had no knowledge upon which to base
any action, yet he assumed to give directions instead of seeking someone
competent to make a decision.
If that be a fact, and it seems to be true, then he should
not have assumed to tell these two men, Private Lockard and Private
Elliott, to "forget it", because he did not have the knowledge upon
which to premise any judgment. (R. 1102) He should, in accordance with
customary practice, have then used initiative to take this matter up
with somebody who did know about it, in view of the fact that he said he
was there merely for training and had no competent knowledge upon which
to either tell the men to forget it or to take action upon it. By his
assumption of authority, he took responsibility and the consequences of
his action should be imposed upon him.
If Tyler had communicated this information, the losses might have been
very greatly lessened. As General Short testified:
"IF he had alerted the Interceptor Command there would have been time,
if the pursuit squadrons had been alerted, to disperse the planes.
There would not have been time to get them in the air...It would have
made a great difference in the loss...It would have been a question of
split seconds instead of minutes in getting into action." (R. 312-313)
The attack actually took place at 7:55 a.m.
When the information that showed up on the oscilloscope was
communicated, apparently Lieutenant Tyler had in his mind that a flight
of B-17s was coming from the mainland and he thought that they might
represent what was seen on the screen of the radar machine. As a matter
of fact, that probably had something to do with it, as they did come in
about this period and were attacked by the Japanese, some of them being
9. NAVY FAILURE TO ADVISE SHORT OF SUSPECTED NAVAL CONCENTRATION IN THE
About November 25, the Navy through its intelligence sources in the 14th
Naval District at Pearl Harbor and in Washington had reports showing the
presence in Jaluit in the
Marshall Islands of the Japanese fleet composed of aircraft carriers,
submarines, and probably other vessels. Information of this fleet
ceased about December 1, 1941. As Jaluit was 1,500 miles closer to Oahu
than the mainland of Japan, the presence of such a strong force capable
of attacking Hawaii was an important element of naval information. This
information was delivered to G-2 of the War Department as testified to
by General Miles. No information of this threat to Hawaii was given to
General Short by either the War or Navy Departments in Washington nor
the Navy in Hawaii. Short and his senior commanders testified that such
information would have materially alerted their point of view and their
Such information should have been delivered by the War Department or the
Navy for what it was worth to permit Short to evaluate it; this was not
The fact that the actual forces which attacked Hawaii has now been
identified does not change the necessity for the foregoing action.
10. THE NAVY ACCOUNT OF THE JAPANESE TASK FORCE THAT ATTACKED PEARL
HARBOR; SOURCES OF INFORMATION TO JAPANESE.
The following account is based upon the testimony of Captain Layton, who
has been Fleet Combat Intelligence Officer, and was at the time of
December 7th and shortly before Fleet Intelligence Officer of the
He said that the task force which had been identified by the Navy
through numerous captured documents, orders, maps, and from interviewing
prisoners who were in a position to know personally the orders and
preparations for the attack, had the following history, according to the
Navy view of the correct
Japan started training its task force in either July or August, 1941,
for the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were evidently trained with great
care and precision as disclosed by the maps which were found in the
planes which were shot down in the attack on Pearl Harbor and in the
two-man submarines. These papers and orders show meticulous care in
planning and timing, which would take very considerable practice. The
initial movement from Japan to the rendezvous at Tankan Bay was about
November 22nd, and they awaited word to act before the force moved out
on the 27th-28th of November, 1941. 
The elements of the fleet for this task force consisted of six carriers,
two battleships, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and a destroyer
division. This is one of the *most powerful task forces ever assembled
and after the date of*
 The Japanese striking force assembled in home waters during November
and departed from the Bungou Channel area in Japan about 22 November,
proceeding to Tankan Bay (sometimes called Hittokapu Bay). This
assembly had started between the 7th and 2nd of November. Tankan Bay is
located at Ktorofu Island in North Japan. It does not appear on the
ordinary maps or charts, but is shown in a map of the Japanese Empire in
a Japanese encyclopedia under the title "Hittokapu Bay." The task force
arrived in this bay approximately November 25th. The entire force
departed on the 27th-28th of November (see footnote 2), taking a
northerly route south of the Aleutians directly to the east(to avoid
being sighted by shipping) and then headed for a position to the north
of Oahu, arriving there on the early morning of the 8th of December
(Japanese time) or the 7th of December (Hawaiian time). The date of
departure of November 27th-28th, according to numerous documents and
prisoners interviewed who had intimate knowledge of this matter and who
independently picked the same date, is confirmed beyond doubt according
to Admiral McMorris and Captain Layton. This force consisted of six
aircraft carriers, two fast battleships, two heavy cruisers, one light
cruiser, and some destroyers as well as submarines.
 Japanese time and date must be taken into consideration because our
December 7th at Honolulu is Japanese December 8th. The time difference
between Tokyo and Hawaii is 4 1/2 hours, the time difference between
Washington and Tokyo is 10 hours.
the attack upon Pearl Harbor, it took part in a number of similarly
successful and very disastrous attacks in the Pacific southwest. The
elements of this task force left individually from the Japanese mainland
and assembled at Tankan Bay in an uninhabited spot where they would be
unobserved. The assembly was completed and the task force departed on
November 27th-28th Eastern Longitude Time, which was apparently after
the date that the counter-proposal (considered by the Japanese as an
ultimatum) were delivered by the President of the United States to Japan
through Secretary Hull on November 26, 1941. It is significant that the
attack of the Japanese task force aircraft upon the Army and Navy planes
parked together wing-to-wing as protection against sabotage (Alert #1)
must have been as a result of knowledge of that fact, in view of their
carefully rehearsed and scheduled attack formations in which they ran
down the aprons, setting the planes on fire with incendiary ammunition:
it is equally significant that it was well known in the island that
Alert #1 was put into effect November 27th and therefore can be assumed
to have been communicated to Japan, and that advantage of such
information was apparently taken by reason of the nature of the attack
and the way it was conducted.
It is also significant, a map having been found upon the pilot of a
shot-down Japanese attacking plane, and another map having been found
upon one of the crew in a two-man submarine, that there had been entered
on these map, which were old Geodetic Survey maps of the Pearl Harbor
area, the location of the hangars that had been built on Hickam Field
and of those that were yet to be built. Five of these hangars had been
built. Earlier 1936 maps issued by the Hawaiian Department
or by the Air Force, showing Hickam Field, showed five of these hangars
in full lines and three in dotted lines as being hangars yet to be
built. The Japanese are well known as precise copyists. It is apparent
that when they made the maps found on the aviator and the submarine crew
members they had knowledge later than 1936 of construction either that
had been or was to be constructed, because the entered on such maps the
additional three hangars in full lines.
The task force proceeded in radio silence due east to a point
substantially due north of Oahu and thence proceeded southward under
forced draft to a point between 300 and 250 miles from Oahu, from which
the flight took off. The two-man submarines were carried on top of the
mother submarines and released adjacent to the harbor.
Captain Layton further testified that the orders that were captured and
those that they had knowledge of did exist, as reported by captured
prisoners, show that the attacking forces were to destroy without a
trace any third power's vessels including Japanese and Russian within
600 miles of the destination of the task force; to capture and maintain
in radio silence any such vessels including Japanese and Russian within
600 miles of the destination of the task force, but if such vessels had
sent any radio communications to destroy them. (R. 3043) This is a
good evidence of Japanese character, being unwilling to trust their own
people and to sink them without mercy because they happened to be
operating by accident in this vacant sea where no vessels normally
This task force was very powerful in the air, having a total of
approximately 424 planes; (R. 3048) of this number about 300 actually
attacked Pearl Harbor. (R. 3053) The pilots
were of the highest quality and training that have ever been encountered
in this war with the Japanese, with the exception of the Battle of
Midway where four of these same carriers were engaged and sunk. (R.
3046) The maximum total number of airplanes on carriers that the United
States could muster on December 7th, on the carriers "Lexington" and
"Enterprise", was approximately 180 planes. (R. 3049)
Captain Layton testified that our Navy in Pearl Harbor would have been
unable to have brought the Japanese task force under gunfire because our
battleships were too slow and the remainder of our forces would probably
have suffered severe superiority in the air before our superior gunfire
could have been brought to bear. The only possible hope of overcoming
such a Japanese force would be in weather that prevented flight of their
planes so that the United States force would have superiority of
gunfire, irrespective of Japanese superiority of air power.
He stated that no word of this task force was received in any way, from
any source, by the Navy. The attack was wholly unexpected, and if it
had been expected the probability of the United States' winning in any
engagement of this task force was not a bright one. He stated that this
task force represented a substantial per cent of the entire Japanese
Navy. It provided alone on the Jap carriers 424 aircraft against a
possible 180 which we might have mustered if we had our own two carriers
available to operate against them. (R. 3048-3049)
The information upon which the story of the attack is based has been
revealed so far as coming from several sources.
First, the Otto Kuehn trial revealed his complete disclosure of the
fleet dispositions and locations in Pearl Harbor in the period December
1 to December 6, and a code delivered with the information, so that
communication of the information to Japanese offshore submarine adjacent
to Oahu could be used. The same information was delivered to the
Japanese Consul direct to the homeland.
Otto Kuehn and his co-conspirators, Japanese of the Japanese Consulate
in Honolulu, had conspired to send information as to the units of the
fleet in Pearl Harbor and their exact positions in the harbor. This
information the Japanese Consulate communicated principally by
commercial lines to Japan. Additionally Kuehn provided a code
indicating what units were in the harbor and what were out and means of
signaling consisting of symbols on the sails of his sailboat, radio
signals over a short-wave transmitter, lights in his house, and fires in
his yard, all in order to signal to Japanese submarines offshore. The
period during which the signals were to be given was December 1 to 6.
If such information had been available to our armed forces it would have
clearly indicated the attack. The messages taken from the Japanese
Consulate on the subject show clearly what was done and the intention of
the Japanese. If authority had existed to tap these lines, this
information would have been available to both the Army and Navy. Kuehn
was tried by a military commission after signed confessions of his
actions and sentenced to death. This was later commuted to imprisonment
for fifty years. If is significant the Kuehn was a German agent and had
for a long time been living on funds forwarded to him from Japan and had
conducted his espionage with impunity until after Pearl Harbor, right
under the nose of the Army, the F.B.I., and Naval Intelligence.
As Shivers, head of the F.B.I. in the islands, said:
"If we had been able to get the messages that were sent to Japan by the
Japanese Consul, we would have known, or we could have reasonably
assumed, that the attack would come, somewhere, on December 7; because,
if you recall, this system of signals that was devised by Otto Kuehn for
the Japanese Consul general simply included the period from December 1
to December 6." (R. 3218)
Shivers testified that the reason why the information being sent over
the commercial lines to Japan, other than telephone, was not secured was
that while he had the approval of the Attorney General to tap the
telephone wires and intercept telephone conversations, yet they could
not get the information out of the cable offices. He testified:
"Colonel Toulmin: I would like to ask him one question. What other
means of communication did the Japanese Consul have with the homeland
other than a telephone connection?
"Mr. Shivers: He had commercial communication system.
"Colonel Toulmin: Did you have any opportunity of tapping the commercial
lines or of securing any information off the commercial lines?
"Mr. Shivers: Off the lines themselves?
"Colonel Toulmin: Yes.
"Mr. Shivers: No, sir.
"Colonel Toulmin: So that he did have a free, undisturbed communication
over those lines?
"Mr. Shivers: Yes, sir." (R. 3223)
It was later discovered, when the torn messages of the Japanese Consul
were reconstructed after they had been taken on December 7th, that many
vital messages were being sent by the Japanese Consul, who was keeping
Japan advised of the entire military and naval situation and every move
we made in Hawaii.
Another example of this Japanese activity is the telephone
message on December 5th from the house of Dr. Mori by a woman newspaper
reporter, ostensibly to her newspaper in Japan, an apparently
meaningless and therefore highly suspicious message. It was this
message that was tapped from the telephone by the F.B.I., translated,
and delivered to Military Intelligence and submitted by it to General
Short at six o'clock on December 6th. (R. 1417-1419, 2993) As Short
was unable to decipher the meaning, he did nothing about it and went on
to a party. (R. 1420) The attack followed in the morning.
In the same connection, the story of the spying activities of the
German, von Osten, is in point. (R. 2442-2443, 3003) The telephone lines
of the Japanese Consulate were tapped by the Navy with the exception of
one telephone line to the cook's quarters, which was overlooked, and
this was tapped by the F.B.I. (R. 3204)
The last and one of the most significant actions of the Japanese was the
apparent actual entry of their submarines into Pearl Harbor a few days
prior to December 7th, their circulation in the harbor, by which they
secured and presumably transmitted complete information as to our fleet
movements and dispositions.
The story of the bold Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor prior to the
attack on December 7th is even more astounding as to the complete
freedom with which Japan operated in getting intelligence out of Hawaii.
Shivers of the F.B.I. produced maps 1 and 2, which were copies of maps
captured from Japanese two-man submarines that came into Pearl Harbor on
December 7th. The F.B.I., in endeavoring to reconstruct the
intelligence operations of any agent who may have been operating in
Hawaii prior to the attack, secured these maps from Naval Intelligence.
(R. 3210) Maps 1 and 2 have a legend translating all of the Japanese
characters and writing appearing on the maps. Shivers said:
"An examination of the map indicated to me rather definitely that there
had been Japanese submarine in Pearl Harbor immediately before the
attack." (R. 3210)
"Now, on this map is various information relating to the installations
at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor, and areas adjacent to both places." (R.
There appeared on the map a code in Japanese which was translate by the
F.B.I. and shows that it was intended for use by the submarine
commanders in communicating with the Japanese task force enroute to
Hawaii. It contains such messages as "indication strong that enemy
fleet will put out to sea," or "enemy fleet put out to sea from or
through;" in other words, describing the presence, size, composition,
and movement of the fleet. (R. 3212)
As this map shows the complete timed movement in and out of the harbor
of the submarine and this information had been prepared partly written
in Japanese, it is obvious that the Japanese must have been in the
harbor a few days before the attack and evidently were moving in and out
of the harbor at will. The data on the chart shows the submarine was so
well advised that it went in at about 0410 when the submarine net was
open to permit the garbage scow to leave the harbor, and stayed in the
harbor until about 0600 and then left by the same route. The map shows
the location of our battleships and other naval vessels observed by the
submarine. (R. 3212-3213) As the ships actually in the harbor on
December 7th were somewhat different from those shown on the map, it is
that this submarine was in the harbor and probably advising the fleet of
Japan as to our dispositions prior to December 7th. (R. 3210-3213)
The real action that should have been feared from the Japanese was not
open sabotage, but espionage. It is obvious that the reason why the
Japanese aliens did not commit sabotage was that they did not want to
stimulate American activity to stop their espionage and intern them.
That was the last thing they intended to do; and Short appears to have
completely misapprehended the situation, the psychology and intentions
of the enemy, by putting into effect his sabotage alert.
Undoubtedly the information of the alert, the placing of planes wing-to-
wing, etc., as well as the disposition of the fleet was reported by
Kuehn through the Japanese Consul, were all known to the Japanese task
force proceeding toward Hawaii. That will explain why they were able to
conduct such precise bombing and machine-gunning. The bomb pattern on
Hickam Field and the machine-gunning of that field, as well as other
fields, show that the attack was concentrated on the hangars, marked on
the Japanese maps, and upon the ramps where the planes were parked wing
to wing. There was no attack of any consequence upon the landing
From the foregoing it appears that there were a large number of events
taking place bearing on the attack; and that a clue to such events and
the Japanese actions was in part available to Short and in part not
available to him. Both the War Department and the Navy failed to inform
him of many vital matters, and our governmental restrictions as to
intercepting the communications of the Japanese Consul prevented him
from getting still additional information.
If General Short had any doubt on the subject of his authority, he had
ample opportunity from November 27th to December 6th to inquire of
higher authority and make his position and his actions certain of
support and approval. This he did not do.
11. INFORMATION NOT GIVEN SHORT. In judging the actions of General
Short and whether he carried out his responsibilities, there must be
taken into account information that he was not told either by the War
Department or by the Navy. Briefly summarized, the fundamental pieces of
information were following:
1. The presence of the task force in the Marshall Islands at Jaluit from
November 27th to November 30th and the disappearance of that force.
Neither the War Department nor the Navy Department saw fit to advise
Short of this important piece of information.
2. The fact that the Chief of Staff with the Chief of Naval Operations
had jointly asked (on November 27th) the President not to force the
issue with the Japanese at this time. (R. 9)
3. The delivery on the 26th of November to the Japanese Ambassadors by
the Secretary of State of the counter-proposals; and the immediate
reaction of the Japanese rejecting in effect these counter-proposals
which they considered an ultimatum and indicating that it was the end of
4. Short not kept advised of the communications from Grew reporting the
progressive deterioration of the relationship with the Japanese.
5. No reaction from the War Department to Short as to whether his report
of November 27th as to "measures taken", i.e., a sabotage alert and
liaison with the Navy, were satisfactory or inadequate in view of the
information possessed by the War Department.
6. The following information not furnished also existed in the War
Information from informers, agents and other sources as the activities
of our potential enemy and its intentions in the negotiations between
the United States and Japan was in possession of the State, War and Navy
Departments in November and December of 1941. Such agencies had a
reasonably complete knowledge of the Japanese plans and intentions, and
were in a position to know their potential moves against the United
States. Therefore, Washington was in possession of essential facts as
to the enemy's intentions and proposals.
This information showed clearly that war was inevitable and late in
November absolutely imminent. It clearly demonstrated the necessity for
resorting to every trading act possible to defer the ultimate day of
breach of relations to give the Army and Navy time to prepare for the
eventualities of war.
The messages actually sent to Hawaii by the Army and Navy gave only a
small fraction of this information. It would have been possible to have
sent safely, information ample for the purpose of orienting the
commanders in Hawaii, or positive directives for an all-out alert.
Under the circumstances, where information has a vital
bearing upon actions to be taken by field commanders, and cannot be
disclosed to them, it would appear incumbent upon the War Department
then to assume the responsibility for specific directives to such
Short got neither form of assistance after November 28th from the War
Department, his immediate supervising agency. It is believed that the
disaster of Pearl Harbor would have been lessened to the extent that its
defenses were available and used on December 7 if properly alerted in
time. The failure to alert these defenses in time by directive from the
War Department, based upon all information available to it, is one for
which it is responsible. The War Department had a abundance of vital
information that indicated an immediate break with Japan. All it had to
do was either get it to Short or give him a directive based upon it.
Short was not fully sensitive to the real seriousness of the situation,
although the War Department thought he was. It is believed that
knowledge of the information available in the War Department would have
made him so.
General discussion of the information herein referred to follows:
The records show almost daily information on the plans of the Japanese
Government. In addition to that cited above and in conjunction
therewith the War Department was in possession of information late in
November and early in December from which it made deductions that Japan
would shortly commence an aggressive war in the South Pacific; that
every effort would be made to reach an agreement with the United States
Government which would result in eliminating the American people as a
contestant in the war to come; and that failing to reach the agreement
Japanese Government would attack both Britain and the United States.
This information enabled the War Department to fix the probable time of
war with Japan with a degree of certainty.
In the first days of December this information grew more critical and
indicative of the approaching war. Officers in relatively minor
positions who were charged with responsibility of receiving and
evaluating such information were so deeply impressed with its
significance and the growing tenseness of our relations with Japan,
which pointed only to war and was almost immediately, that such officers
approached the Chief of the War Plans Division (General Gerow) and the
Secretary of the General Staff (Colonel Smith) for the express purpose
of having sent to the department commanders a true picture of the war
atmosphere which, at that time, pervaded the War Department and which
was uppermost in the thinking of these officers in close contact with
it. The efforts of these subordinate officers to have such information
sent to the field were unsuccessful. They were told that field
commanders had been sufficiently informed. The Secretary to the General
Staff declined to discuss the matter when told of the decisions of the
War Plans Division.
Two officers then on duty in the War Department are mentioned for their
interest and aggressiveness in attempting to have something done. They
are Colonel R. S. Bratton and Colonel Otis K. Stadler.
The following handling of information reaching the War Department in the
evening of December 6 and early Sunday morning December 7 is cited as
illustrative of the apparent lack of appreciation by those in high
places in the War Department of the seriousness of this information
which was so
clearly outlining the trends that were hastening us into war with Japan.
At approximately 10:00 o'clock p.m. on December 6, 1941, and more than
15 hours before the attack at Pearl Harbor, G-2 delivered to the office
of the War Plans Division and to the office of the Chief of Staff of the
Army information which indicated very emphatically that war with Japan
was a certainty and that the beginning of such was in the immediate
future. The officers to whom this information was delivered were told
of its importance and impressed with the necessity of getting it into
the hands of those who could act, the Chief of Staff of the Army and
Chief of the War Plans Division.
On the following morning December 7 at about 8:30 a.m. other information
reached the office of G-2, vital in its nature and indicating an almost
immediate break in relations between the United States and Japan.
Colonel Bratton, Chief, Far Eastern Section, G-2, attempted to reach the
Chief of Staff of the Army in order that he might be informed of the
receipt of this message. He discovered that the General was horseback
riding. Finally and at approximately 11:25 a.m. the Chief of Staff
reached his office and received this information. General Miles, then
G-2 of War Department, appeared at about the same time. A conference
was held between these two officers and General Gerow of the War Plans
Division who himself had come to the Office of the Chief of Staff.
Those hours when Bratton was attempting to reach someone who could take
action in matters of this importance and the passing without effective
action having been taken prevented this critical information from
reaching General Short in time to be of value to him.
About noon a message was hastily dispatched to overseas department
commanders including Short in the Hawaiian Department. This message
which had been discussed elsewhere in this report, came into Short's
possession after the attack had been completed.
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