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Pearl Harbour


Guest David Guyatt
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Guest David Guyatt

It is just over 40 days until the 66th anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbour that brought America into the WWII.

That being the case I wonder what the general consensus among members is regarding the attack. Was it, as increasingly appears to be the case, a situation that the US engineered in order to overcome domestic resistance to the US entering into the European war; was it a cunning plan laid in secret and finely tuned via the US, UK and Dutch oil embargo, that was designed to engineer the Japanese into starting a war that they could not hope to win and which would give the US the excuse to extend their political and economic reach to the far corners of the world; or was it a simply a sneak attack on America by a vicious enemy intent on dominating Asia?

A strong argument that favours the conspiratorial view largely revolves around the view that the Allies had defeated the Japanese cryptographic codes “Purple” of the Japanese Foreign Office, and “JN-25” the Japanese naval code – and that, as a consequence, the UK and America were able to read Japanese intention and were privy to details of the planned attack on Pearlr Harbour, allowing it to take place.

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To the best of my knowledge, the Americans didn't read specific intentions codes at this time. IIRC, 'Purple' was a diplomatic code and only spoke of the intention to break off diplomatic relations. The reaction to this could be seen, with US military forces throughout Asia being put on heightened alert.

'JN25' was a military code and may have been far more useful in revealing the Imperial Fleet movements... but I think that the US were only making occasional breaks in this cipher until early 1942.

I understand Bletchley Park was having greater success, and it may have been possible that Churchill deliberately withheld any warning in order to draw the US into the conflict.

Out of interest, we are also nearing the anniversary of the Battle of Taranto, where the Fleet Air Arm launched a sneak attack against the Italian Fleet in Taranto Harbour. This action resulted in a crippling blow to the Italian navy, which could have otherwise threatened Allied shipping.

It has been said that the success of Taranto was a major factor in the Japanese deciding to attack Pearl Harbour.

Edited by Evan Burton
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The Italian navy ...

A very dear friend was stationed aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier during the Afghanistan operation. As a high-ranking officer, he was invited by his opposite number to visit the nearby Italian carrier for what turned out to be a memorable lunch.

The food was spectacular. The wine was ... superb ... plentiful ... simply intoxicating.

Since I am of Italian descent, I feel free to opine that the Allies had little to fear from the Terrors of Taranto.

Other than hangovers, that is.

Carlo

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Guest David Guyatt

Food, wine, women and song. The Italians have the balance right methinks.

I make no claims to any sort of expertise on Pearl Harbour or breaking the Diplomatic or Naval ciphers etc. But someone once sent me the following notes that struck me as of interest:

Quote:

From Irving's Churchill's War, Volume II - The Triumph in Adversity, Chapter 10: "Gaps in the Archives," on page 163, " ... After the Japanese weighed in with their own pre-emptive strike, officials in the United States spent the next four years purging their files of all evidence that might lead to an impeachment of the president or the disgrace of his military advisers. Telephoned one evening in November 1944 by Roosevelt's secretary of the treasury, the secretary of war Henry L. Stimson would snap that he was tired out 'from working the last two weeks on [the] Pearl Harbor report to keep out anything that might hurt the Pres[ident.]'

In Britain there was no such bungling and incompetence to conceal from post-was investigators, but the files on Japan were doctored before their release to the public, or destroyed. ..."

unquote

The same person stated that selected and important files regarding Japanese Naval Movement intercepts remain "beyond public inspection even today". An example, apparently, is Sheet No. 96464 of these US radio direction finding logs. Ditto the communications summary CONSUM 14 dated 30th November 1941, which noted that Japanese warship AKAGI was heard on "tactical circuits" hailing oil tankers (marus). I understand that all source materials concerning how this summary was developed, remains classified. Likewise FOIA requests for raw intercepts for specific messages (known as SRNs). Nor has all PURPLE diplomatic traffic been released.

Most of this is too technical for a man of my haircut, but the general impression gained is that there is something mighty important about US prior knowledge of Pearl Harbour that is being concealed, even as we speak.

David

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Guest David Guyatt

Deanmean away at will, Charles. I hold humour generally and wicked humour specifically, to be amongst my favourite occupations. If we can't laught at serious subjects, and ourselves, in equal measure then we're doomed...doomed, I say.

David

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  • 4 weeks later...

Anyone interested in the Pearl Harbor question should read the book Day of Deceit, by Robert B. Stinnett. He makes a strong case for FDR's foreknowledge of the attack, and relates how the U.S. had put into a play a specific step-by-step plan to force the Japanese into war.

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Anyone interested in the Pearl Harbor question should read the book Day of Deceit, by Robert B. Stinnett. He makes a strong case for FDR's foreknowledge of the attack, and relates how the U.S. had put into a play a specific step-by-step plan to force the Japanese into war.

British/German double-agent Ivor Popov - aka Trycicle - was requested by his German handlers to get the goods on Pearl Harbor, a request from their Japanese friends.

The British and Popov passed on this info to JEHover at the FBI - responsible for counter-intelligence at the time, and were preparing to send bogus info to the Germans/Japs but Hover sat on it.

And apparently Hover didn't do anything at all, including at least warning the President and Navy - or did he?

In addition, as former Navy Sec John Lehman said at the first meeting of the 9/11 Commission, when Pearl Harbor was attacked the commanding officer was playing golf.

The Pearl Harbor Commission as one of the first of the coverup Commissions.

BK

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Guest David Guyatt

I also think that one of the clearest indicators that there was foreknowledge is the fact that critical radio intercepts remain classified to this day. What's to hide? The technology is vastly outdated, so it can't be that... has to be the content.

David

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Anyone interested in the Pearl Harbor question should read the book Day of Deceit, by Robert B. Stinnett. He makes a strong case for FDR's foreknowledge of the attack, and relates how the U.S. had put into a play a specific step-by-step plan to force the Japanese into war.

British/German double-agent Ivor Popov - aka Trycicle - was requested by his German handlers to get the goods on Pearl Harbor, a request from their Japanese friends.

The British and Popov passed on this info to JEHover at the FBI - responsible for counter-intelligence at the time, and were preparing to send bogus info to the Germans/Japs but Hover sat on it.

Richard Sorge was one of the agents who got this information. The son of a German mining engineer, he was born in Baku, Russia. In 1919 he joined the newly formed German Communist Party (KPD). Sorge was recruited as a spy for the Soviet Union and using the cover of being a journalist he was sent to various European countries to assess the possibility of communist uprisings taking place. In 1929 Sorge arrived in England to "study the labour movements, the status of the Communist Party and the political and economic conditions in Britain." He was instructed to remain undercover and not to become involved in politics while living in England.

In November 1929 Sorge returned to Germany where he was instructed to join the Nazi Party and not to associate with left-wing activists. To help develop a cover for his spying activities he obtained a post working for the newspaper, Getreide Zeitung. Sorge moved to China and made contact with another spy, Max Klausen. Sorge also met Agnes Smedley, the well-known left-wing journalist working for the Frankfurter Zeitung. She introduced Sorge to Ozaki Hotsumi, who was employed by the Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun. Later Hotsumi agreed to join Sorge's spy network.

As a journalist Sorge established himself as an expert on Chinese agriculture. This gave him the freedom to travel around the country making contacts with members of the Chinese Communist Party.

In May 1933 the Soviet Union decided to get Sorge to organize a spy network in Japan. As cover Sorge went to Nazi Germany where he was able to get commissions from two newspapers, the Borsen Zeitung and the Tagliche Rundschau. He also got support from the Nazi theoretical journal, Geopolitik. Later he was to get work from the Frankfurter Zeitung.

Sorge arrived in Japan in September 1933. He was warned by his spymaster not to have contact with the underground Japanese Communist Party or with the Soviet Embassy in Tokyo. His spy network in Japan include Max Klausen, Ozaki Hotsumi, and two other Comintern agents, Branko Vukelic, a journalist working for the French magazine, Vu and a Japanese journalist, Miyagi Yotoku, who was employed by the English-language newspaper, the Japan Advertiser.

Sorge soon developed good relations with several important figures working at the German Embassy in Tokyo. This included Eugen Ott and the German Ambassador Herbert von Dirksen. This enabled him to find out information about Germany's intentions towards the Soviet Union. Other spies in the network had access to senior politicians in Japan including prime minister Fumimaro Konoye and they were able to obtain good information about Japan's foreign policy.

As a result of the information accumulated by the network Sorge was able to give Joseph Stalin advance warning about the Anti-Comintern Pact (1936), the German-Japanese Pact (1940) and Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour. His greatest achievement was to inform the Soviet Union in December, 1940, of the proposed Operation Barbarossa.

Despite the efforts of Sorge, Joseph Stalin did not believe that the German Army would attack at that time and did not take the necessary action. As Leonard Trepper, the head of Red Orchestra, later pointed out: "The generalissimo preferred to trust his political instinct rather than the secret reports piled up on his desk. Convinced that he had signed an eternal pact of friendship with Germany, he sucked on the pipe of peace."

At the end of August, 1941, Sorge was able to tell Joseph Stalin that Japan would not attack the Soviet Union that year. Two months later Sorge was arrested in Tokyo and was held in prison for three years. The Soviet Union refused to exchange Sorge for Japanese prisoners they held and he was hung on 7th November, 1944.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERsorge.htm

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