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In the years leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack, did non-military Americans see Japan as a potential threat to the USA?
Was Japan known to be a potential threat to the USA in the 10 year period prior to 1941
Yes some military experts did realize the inevitability of war between the United States and Japan as early as 1912. Most did not up until the late 1930s.
No conventional wisdom in the 1930's would not permit the American public to have viewed agrarian feudalistic Japan 5300 miles from California much of a threat. Aircraft warfare was yet unproven, much less aircraft carrier warfare. The United States Pacific Fleet was conventionally believed to be more than a match for Japan's navy. Pearl Harbor was seen as a difficult if not impossible venue to attack. In general the US public was more concerned with their own politicians getting them involved in a war rather than being attacked by a foreign nation.
United States General Billy Mitchell, an early visionary of US air power, in March 1912 after touring Russo Japanese War Battle Fields in the Pacific, deemed war between the United States and Japan inevitable. In 1924, General Mitchell delivered a 324-page report, which not only continued to predict war with Japan, but it predicted Japan's surprise attack by air on Pearl Harbor.
History remembers Mitchell as a visionary of the use of airpower in the coming decades. But, at the time, Mitchell did not have much support among the US military leadership. His predictions that Japan would threaten the United States were deemed amazingly misguided by the US military leadership.
Mitchell, who reached the rank of Major General and Assistant Chief of the Air Service, was demoted to colonel and court marshaled in 1925 for "accusing senior leaders in the Army and Navy of incompetence" and "almost treasonable administration of the national defense" after a series of avoidable air accidents. Mitchell would be re-advanced to the rank of Major General posthumously, and thus went down in history as a visionary and outspoken advocate for airpower decades before war in the Pacific would prove him right.
Beyond Billy Mitchell, what really soured relatively good relations between the United States and Japan was 1937 and the Second Sino-Japanese War. This "caused the United States to impose harsh sanctions against Japan, ultimately leading to the Japanese surprise attack against the US naval base at Pearl Harbor." (as put by Japan-United States relations on Wikipedia)
As for Conventional wisdom
Japan wasn't a significant economic nor industrial power. Their economy was agrarian; their government feudalistic. They didn't have domestic oil or iron assets. They lacked the food supply believed to be necessary to wage a prolonged war. Their cities were made of paper and highly vulnerable to fire from air attacks. Their military still used swords as a primary weapon!
What passed for knowledgeable Americans perceived Japan as a politically backwards country known for numerous coups d'état, and their propensity to murder there own high-ranking military and government officials with seeming regularity.
Political murder returns to Japan after 40 years as MP is knifed
In the decades leading up to Japan's entry into the Second World War there were so many attempted coups and political murders of prime ministers and cabinet members that historians sometimes refer to the period of "government by assassination".
List of Japanese Assassinations and Attempted Assassinations
- Nov 4th, 1921 Prime Minister Hara Takashi stabbed to death in a train station.
- Dec 27th, 1923, Toranomon incident Daisuke Namba attempted to assassinate Prince Regent Hirohito.
- 1925 Fumiko Kaneko and Pak Yeol plotted to assassinate Emperor Hirohito.
- Jan 8, 1932 Lee Bong-chang attempted to assassinate the Emperor Hirohito.
- Blood Society Incident-- Feb 9, 1932, Junnosuke Inoue (former finance minister) and Takuma Dan (Mitsui Group) assassinated.
- May 15 (1932) Incident, Coup attempt by Japanese Army and Navy elements. Assassination of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi shot by eleven military officers, who are then given extremely light punishment after court receives petition of 300,000 signatures in blood demanding leniency.
- February 26 (1936) Incident the Army's elite First Infantry Division staged an attempted coup d'état in yet another effort to overthrow civilian rule. Several outstanding statesmen (including compromise PM candidate retired Admiral Saitō Makoto) were murdered; Prime Minister Okada Keisuke escaped when the assassins mistakenly shot his brother-in-law.
Prior to WWII, Americans were secure with their buffer of thousands of miles of ocean to keep them safe from attack by either Germany or Japan. What America feared above attack by a foreign power up through late 1941 was its own politicians getting it involved in a foreign war.
To this end, FDR was coerced by public opinion polls to make numerous declarations during the 1940 election that he would not send American boys to fight foreign wars. Even though today we know he was making significant steps behind the scenes toward the opposite.
How Franklin Roosevelt Lied America Into War
Mr. Roosevelt said at Boston on October 30: "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."
The same thought was expressed in a speech at Brooklyn on November 1: "I am fighting to keep our people out of foreign wars. And I will keep on fighting."
The President told his audience at Rochester, New York, on November 2: "Your national government… is equally a government of peace -- a government that intends to retain peace for the American people."
On the same day the voters of Buffalo were assured: "Your President says this country is not going to war."
And he declared at Cleveland on November 3: "The first purpose of our foreign policy is to keep our country out of war."
Also to this end, isolationists in Congress made a serious attempt to disband the United States Army as late as August of 1941. In 1940 the United States had an army smaller than Portugal and Belgium.
Biennial Reports of the Chief of Staff of the US Army: July 1, 1939-June 30, 1945.
When he (George Marshal, Sept 1939) took office, the 174,000-man U.S. Army ranked nineteenth in size in the world, behind Portugal and only sligl1tly [sic] ahead of Bulgaria. Its half-strength divisions were scattered among numerous posts, its equipment obsolete, its reliance on the horse increasingly anachronistic. Given the strength of isolationist sentin1ent [sic] and apa- thy toward a distant war in Europe, prospects for improvement were anything but promising.
Key to preparing the transformation of the "anachronistic US" army was the Selective Service Act of 1940, which allowed the President to expand the US army by about 900,000 men leading up to WWII. The goal was to grow the army to 1,000,000 men before the end of 1941 in preparation for war. These 900,000 men were nearly sent home when their 1 year call up expired august of 1941, almost cutting the US army by 9/10th on the eve of war with Japan.
The Vote That Saved the Army in the Days After Pearl Harbor
In "Did We Almost Lose the Army?" (Op-Ed, Aug. 12), Thomas H. Eliot, Democrat from Massachusetts in the House of Representatives, 1941-43, writes of the one-vote margin by which the active-service component of the Selective Service Act of 1940 was extended in August 1941, four months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Further, Pearl Harbor, the advanced base for the US Navy, was seen as impervious to air attack due to its shallow harbor right up until the Japanese did attack it on Dec 7th, 1941. The harbor was too shallow for air dropped torpedo use. Capital ships were further believed to be less vulnerable to air dropped bombs.
Finally, the United States enjoyed superiority over Japan in battleships and other capital ships, believed to be the measure of a navy up until Pearl Harbor and early WWII. Japan was just too far removed from America's shores to be conventionally considered a real threat. Japan was also shackled by treaties like the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 which kept the Japanese Navy numerically inferior to the US.
Comments about Comments
@user1605665, Was the selective service act focused on Germany or Japan? -
It was focused on Germany Italy and Japan. Which makes it sound the the nation was vigilant and concerned about war. The alternative view about this take away was Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of the most popular presidents of all time. He didn't even campaign in the 1940 election but allowed his prestige and reputation carry him to his unprecedented 3rd term in office. Even he in 1940 was unable to get more than a 1 year commitment from congress for the military build up which he sold as a vital deterrent to war. Then in August of 1941 FDR was unable to pass an extension to the selective service act of 1940 without the support of 18 republicans in the House. FDR's extension preserving the United States army passed by a single vote, August of 1941.
The Vote That Saved the Army in the Days After Pearl Harbor
It was a New York representative, James Wadsworth, a longtime Republican advocate of military readiness, whose vivid speech decrying Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini rallied just 18 members of his party to support the President.
@user10354138 - I would contest what soured relationship between Japan and the US was not the second Sino-Japanese war, but the invasion/annexation of French Indochina in September 1940. Prior to that there was really no "increasingly harsh sanctions" imposed, e.g. in 1939 the US government first extended a trade agreement with Japan first for 6 months, then fully restored it. -
I can see how one might build that case, however; the United States cooling relationship with Japan predated the Sept 1940 Japanese invasion of Indiachina. As demonstrated by the U.S. adoption of a succession of increasingly restrictive trade policies with Japan in 1938. This included terminating its 1911 commercial treaty with Japan in 1939, further tightened by the Export Control Act of 1940. Also moving the Pacific fleet from its home port of San Diego to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor in October of 1940 to send a message to Japan.
The Japanese invasion of French Indochina lasted 4 days from 22 to 26 September 1940. While this action did prompt the strongest steps taken by the United States, the oil and scrap metal embargo and closing the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping; the objective of the Japanese action in Indiachina was to stop American arms and oil which were already flowing through Indochina to China, to be used in China's ongoing war with Japan.
Comments about Other Answers
by Nik Kyriakides
A Gallup poll conducted just prior to the Pearl Harbour attack in 1941 found that: 52% of Americans expected war with Japan
The poll in question was conducted 72 hours prior to the attack and reported the day after the attack. More important it was conducted after a formal war warning by the US military in Nov, and numerous alerts issued by the US Navy in the Pacific. Also months of formal diplomatic talks aimed at avoiding war between the Empire of Japan and the United States which were public knowledge. That poll, about public opinion days and hours before Pearl Harbor, does not reflect US public opinion in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor much less the preceding decade.
I remember reading a letter FDR sent to Wendell Wilkie, GOP Presidential Nomination in the 1940 election, written early December 1941 where President Roosevelt states that he expects an attack in the Pacific by Japan over the weekend. I looked and could not find the letter online.
Really anybody who read a newspaper knew in late November 1941 knew an attack was imminent. It wasn't just the code breakers who read the diplomatic dispatches between the Empire of Japan and their diplomats in Washington D.C. Many papers ran bold headlines on Nov 30th 1941 predicting a Japanese attack a week prior to Dec 7th. What people didn't know then was exactly when and where that attack would come.
Headlines Nov 30th 1941 a week prior to the Pearl Harbor Attack.
However; this question asks specifically about the 10 year period leading up to Pearl Harbor. Other than the final weeks of that period; the vast majority of the political and military leadership and public did not suspected war with Japan was likely.
War became inevitable from the Japanese when the US embargoed its oil and gasoline, but even then (July 1941) the US leadership and public didn't entertain war was even likely.
- Billy Mitchell
- Russo-Japanese War
- Japan United States Relations
- Japan, China, the United States and the Road to Pearl Harbor, 1937-41
- Washington Naval Treaty of 1922
- Political murder returns to Japan after 40 years as MP is knifed
- Japan's 1930's and the War Economy
- Biennial Reports OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR: July 1, 1939-June 30, 1945
A Gallup poll conducted just prior to the Pearl Harbour attack in 1941 found that:
- 52% of Americans expected war with Japan.
- 27% did not.
- 21% had no opinion.
So there's that.
Some people did, most didn't. Billy Mitchell, among others, warned. But most people didn't see those funny little yellow men with thick glasses and hilarious swords (stereotype of the day) as really dangerous. Not for America, anyway.
Yes, the massacre of Nanking was widely known, but that was somewhere far, far away. In 1937 there had been an incident in which the USS Panay was sunk with loss of life. But the Japanese government apologized and paid for damages.
Look especially at the America First movement. That movement was politically very strong and extreme (certainly by our standards) isolationist. It was their influence that kept America out of the war against Germany. Until the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The America First movement was not aligned with the democrats or the republicans. It was a kind of popular movement, and voiced what the 'Average Joe' thought.
The movement collapsed almost overnight after the attack on Pearl Harbor. They folded (voluntary) on 11 December 1941.
Victory Through Air Power should be seen by anyone interested in the philosophy that air power proponents had in the run up to WW2 and how Japan was viewed.
This Walt Disney film is essentially a propaganda piece crafted by the same people that brought us the U S Air force after WW2. The version cited is a USAF monochrome copy, although it was produced in color, and widely shown in theaters. Short on mention of naval aviation, the principle voice of the film is Alexander de Seversky, who had been an Imperial Russian Naval Aviator. de Seversky became a major in the US Army Air Corps and was a friend of Billy Mitchel. He shared Mitchel's vision of air power, that is, land based air power. Released in 1942, as the US was tooling up for its part in the war, the film lobbies for extreme long range aircraft and avoidance of massive surface combat.
What this film says about some US thinking prior to the Pearl Harbor attack is striking. The film makes the point about Japanese air power at Pearl Harbor, but not that it was sea based. It also praises the UK for creating a combined and separate military air service (the RAF) at the end of WW1, but fails to mention that Naval Aviation was separated before WW2.
One can see that even after the worth of the aircraft carrier was proven at Pearl Harbor, those on the side of Mitchel still saw air power as primarily land based. And, the Japanese threat as mostly land based air power. Mitchel and his followers (most of the US Army Air Forces by the time of WW2) may have seen a Japanese threat (as did Doug MacArthur), but did not see the audacious Japanese sea based air attack coming. It may have seemed possible, but certainly would have failed, and not attempted, as US land based aircraft would have intercepted it.
The first 15 minutes of this film are sort of silly but after that and despite some factual errors, it needs to be seen as an historic piece of what the American people were being told.
I understand this is a comment more, perhaps, as an answer, but, it is too long for a comment.
I don't think the prospect of a war between Japan and the US was at all of a shocking idea in the thirties. In Will Durant's Our Oriental Heritage the section on Japan near the end of the book ends with a section that has a subhead "Must America fight Japan" that reads:
Must America fight Japan? [… ] Usually in history, when two nations have contested for the same markets, the nation that has lost in the economic competition, if it is stronger in resources and armament, has made war upon its enemy.
There's a footnote on this paragraph that notes "Written in 1934". (The book was originally published in 1935. My copy was a 80s printing of the 1963 edition.)
I don't know if you'd call Durant an "Average Joe", but he wasn't in a military/political service.
Hector Bywater wrote a couple of books on a potential Japanese-US war back in the 1920s. "The Great Pacific War" was published in 1925, and was an account of a hypothetical Japan-US war. While some of the ideas were wrong, there were some good insights as to how the war might develop.
An entire Japanese expansion in the beginning of 20th century, showed that Japan is for expansion and that's what US did not like.
Pearl Harbor aftermath: the fallout from the attack
Stefanos Vasilakes was the embodiment of all that was great about the United States of America. After arriving from Greece in 1910, he had set up a hot peanuts and fresh popped corn cart on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and East Executive Avenue in Washington DC. The spot was actually White House property, but none of the occupiers minded when he sold the best peanuts in town. Presidents Taft, Wilson, Harding and Roosevelt had all been customers, as had Coolidge, who described Vasilakes as his “contact man” with the American public. To reporters, Vasilakes represented the “little man” of the nation.
And on the afternoon of Sunday 7 December the “little man” was livid. When the reporter from Washington’s Evening Star newspaper arrived outside the White House en route to a press conference, hastily called after news broke of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he found an agitated Vasilakes. “Steve was too excited to talk clearly,” wrote the reporter. “And about all he could say was: ‘Just three months, we finish them.’”
The fury of Vasilakes and the rest of the US public at Japan’s ‘sneak attack’ united the country in an instant. On the Sunday afternoon, President Roosevelt met first with his cabinet and then with a delegation from the House of Representatives and the Senate. The next day, Congress voted on whether to sanction FDR’s wish to go to war with Japan, and only the pacifist Jeannette Rankin dissented. For that stance she was scorned by the American people, as were the few isolationists who continued to argue against involvement in armed conflict. One of the most vociferous of these prior to Pearl Harbor had been the celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh, an ardent admirer of Nazi Germany and a man who used his fame to demand that Roosevelt keep the country out of a European war.
In May 1940, Lindbergh, a prominent figure in the isolationist America First Committee, had addressed the nation in a radio broadcast, ridiculing FDR’s warnings that the US was in danger. The country was under threat from no one, said Lindbergh (pictured right in April 1941), unless “American peoples bring it on”. He added: “There will be no invasion by foreign aircraft, and no foreign navy will dare to approach within bombing range of our coasts.”
But Japan had dared, and with devastating consequences. As one newspaper, the Wilmington Morning Star, put it in an editorial: “Japan’s Sunday attack on American outposts ended American isolationism. Leaders of that movement, with the exception of Charles Lindbergh, who has gone into seclusion, lost no time in making it clear that they underwent a change of heart forthwith.”
Aiding the allies
This transformation was welcomed by Roosevelt, who from early in the war had recognised the danger posed by the ruthless ambition of Nazi Germany. In September 1940, Adolf Hitler had signed a Tripartite Pact with Italy and Japan, and on 29 December that year – following his recent historic re-election to a third term of office – Roosevelt addressed the nation in one of his ‘fireside chats’ on the radio. “If Great Britain goes down, the Axis powers will control the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the high seas,” he warned. “It is no exaggeration to say that all of us, in all the Americas, would be living at the point of a gun.”
Such rhetoric not only angered isolationists, it infuriated the Nazis. In September 1940, FDR had signed the Destroyers for Bases Agreement with Great Britain, transferring 50 destroyers to the Royal Navy in exchange for land rights on British possessions. In March 1941, he got his Lend-Lease bill through Congress in the face of fierce opposition from isolationists. Finally he was able to provide aid and military equipment to America’s allies, principally Britain.
By the time the US declared war on Germany and Italy on 11 December 1941, responding to declarations from those nations, the Nazis were putting their own spin on events, with Reich radio accusing Roosevelt of “continually war-mongering” since 1939. As a consequence, it said, the president “has at last got the war he has always been looking for”.
The anger that surged across the United States on 7 December was visceral but controlled. The Evening Star reported that Major Edward Kelly, superintendent of the metropolitan police, was summoned to the White House because there was “fear of a popular demonstration” against some of the Axis embassies. Guards were posted, but no baying mob appeared in search of bloody vengeance.
The reporter from the Star was surprised. So he toured downtown Washington to gauge the mood, and in doing so encountered “something of the strange psychological phenomenon” that was so palpable in London during the Blitz of 1940. “Folks wanted to be together,” he wrote. “Strangers spoke to strangers. A sense of comradeship of all the people was apparent.”
This feeling strengthened in the days that followed the Pearl Harbor attack, as stories emerged of unimaginable grief and suffering. In Wisconsin, Mr and Mrs Barber learned of the deaths of three of their sons, all firemen aboard the USS Oklahoma. “I’m glad they died like men and could give their lives for their country,” said their father, who just days before had received a photo of his sons aboard their ship. “When their [younger] brothers are old enough, I’m sure they will avenge their deaths.”
If the people responded to the attack with a dignified restraint, the same could not be said of many media outlets. Sensationalism abounded in those first frenetic hours after the attack, with fake news spreading like wildfire. “Japanese parachute troops are reported in Honolulu,” reported CBS.
“At least five persons have been reported killed in the city of Honolulu. The Japanese dive bombers have been making continuous attacks, apparently from a Japanese aircraft carrier.”
Some newspapers spewed hatred, like the fiery editorial in the Los Angeles Times on 8 December. “Japan has asked for it,” stormed the paper. “Now she is going to get it. It was the act of a mad dog, a gangster’s parody of every principle of international honour.”
Other papers expressed dismay that the States had been suckered by the Japanese. “It now turns out that Japan was one of our customers who wasn’t right,” said the Arkansas Gazette, a reference to the raw materials that had been shipped to Japan and then returned in the form of bombs.
But a common thread in the analysis was relief that the divisive question of whether the US should join the war had been settled. “The air is clearer,” declared the New York Herald Tribune. “Americans can get down to their task with old controversies forgotten.”
If Roosevelt was reassured with this unanimity, across the Atlantic in London, Winston Churchill was discreetly elated. He phoned FDR on Sunday evening to offer his sympathy and support. “We’ve got at least 2,000 men lost we’ve lost three destroyers, four battleships,” explained a dazed Roosevelt. “That’s fine, Mr President that’s fine,” replied Churchill, trying his best to soothe and reassure his friend and ally. The British prime minister had suffered similar agonies in his 18 months in the job, and while he was sincere in his grief for the president and his people, he knew what it meant for his beleaguered country now that the most powerful nation in the world had joined the fight. That evening, Churchill would later write, “being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful”.
Churchill’s immediate concern, however, was the news that, following Japan’s invasion of northern Malaya the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Britain was now engaged in war with two formidable adversaries. In a statement to the House of Commons shortly after the attack, Churchill said: “When we think of the insane ambition and insatiable appetite which have caused this vast and melancholy extension of the war, we can only feel that Hitler’s madness has infected the Japanese mind and the root of the evil and its branch must be extirpated together.”
Describing the attack on Pearl Harbor as an act of “calculated and characteristic Japanese treachery”, the prime minister was at his bellicose best in issuing a solemn warning. “No one can doubt that every effort to bring about a peaceful solution had been made by the government of the United States and that immense patience and composure had been shown in the face of the growing Japanese menace. Now that the issue is joined in the most direct manner, it only remains for the two great democracies to face their task with whatever strength God may give them.”
But what military strength did the United States have? Thanks to Roosevelt’s foresight, more than its enemies imagined. In September 1940, Washington had passed the Selective Training and Service Act – the first peacetime conscription in US history, whereby all men between the ages of 21 and 36 were compelled to register with local draft boards if drafted, they served on active duty for 12 months. This was expanded to 30 months in August 1941, and following the attack on Pearl Harbor, an amendment to the act made all men between the ages of 20 and 44 liable for military service. There had been much grumbling among draftees before Pearl Harbor, but not afterwards, as outraged young men flocked to the colours. By May 1945, America boasted nearly 8.3 million active-duty soldiers, whereas six years earlier its army of 187,893 soldiers had been smaller than Portugal’s.
Firing on all cylinders
The US had the men to fight both the Japanese and the Germans, but did it have the machines and munitions? As Roosevelt told Congress a few weeks after the declaration of war, “Powerful enemies must be out-fought and out-produced.” It was a repeat of what he had told Americans in his fireside chat of 29 December 1940: that Britain was asking “for the implements of war, the planes, the tanks, the guns, the freighters which will enable them to fight for their liberty and for our security…. We must be the great arsenal of democracy.”
In May 1940, after Germany’s invasion of the Low Countries, the president had stated his wish “to see this nation geared up to the ability to turn out at least 50,000 planes a year”. Once war broke out, a revolution in the workplace was needed to achieve this. With young white men enlisting in their hundreds of thousands, their places on the production lines were taken by women and African-Americans – two demographics hitherto largely excluded from such employment. Both groups, especially the latter, encountered prejudice, so FDR passed Executive Order 8802, which banned racial discrimination in federal defence industries and established the Fair Employment Practices Committee.
By 1943, some 310,000 women were working in the US aircraft industry – around 65 per cent of the industry’s total workforce, compared with just 1 per cent in the 1930s. For the majority, the work brought fulfilment and freedom. “My mother warned me when I took the job that I would never be the same,” said Inez Sauer, a tool clerk at Boeing. “At that time, I didn’t think it would change a thing. But she was right, it definitely did. At Boeing I found a freedom and an independence I had never known… The war changed my life completely. I guess you could say, at 31, I finally grew up.”
As the workers gained in confidence, the American war machine expanded, thanks to their industry in meeting Roosevelt’s demands. He wanted 60,000 aircraft in 1942 and 125,000 the year after, and he nearly got them, with the production of 171,257 aircraft by early 1944. That year alone, the US produced more planes than the Japanese did in the entire war. As for ships, the industry underwent an astonishing transformation at the hands of Henry J Kaiser, who hired most of his workforce from the “destitute labourers of the Dust Bowl states”. In 1941, it took 200 days to assemble one of Kaiser’s Liberty ships, weighing between 9,000 and 10,5000 tons by November 1942 it took just five days, and by 1943 these supply vessels were entering service at the rate of 140 a month.
Roosevelt’s “arsenal of democracy” cost money, of course, and to raise it, his government came up with several strategies, including the rationing of several important commodities, and the sale of war bonds to individuals and financial institutions. Selling the bonds relied on appealing to the nation’s patriotism, as they yielded a 2.9 per cent annual return with a 10-year maturity. Advertising campaigns helped with this – posters were emblazoned with the words: “The greatest investment on earth: For your country, your family, yourself.”
But while Roosevelt braced himself for a long and bitter struggle, he also yearned for a quick retaliatory strike. Four days before Christmas, he summoned his military chiefs to the White House and demanded they come up with a way of hitting the Japanese in their own backyard. The result was the ‘Doolittle raid’ of April 1942, when 16 modified B-25 bombers, led by Lieutenant Colonel James H Doolittle, took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet and flew 650 miles to strike targets on the Japanese mainland.
The material damage inflicted on Japan was slight, but the psychological hurt was immense. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, said it was “a disgrace that the skies over the imperial capital should have been defiled without a single enemy plane being shot down”.
Above all, the Doolittle mission was a huge fillip to Americans back home, one seized upon by the media. Describing the attack as a “daring raid”, Washington’s Evening Star showed no sympathy for Japan, which had, it said, “experienced for the first time in her history the destruction and terror of air assault which she has visited on scores of cities”.
Vasilakes, the presidential peanut vendor, had called on his compatriots to finish off Japan in three months. It would take four years – and an apocalyptic new weapon – for that to happen, and neither he nor President Roosevelt would live to see the end of a war that, for Americans, began with a day of infamy one December Sunday.
The injustice of internment
On 19 February 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted his secretary of war, Henry L Stimson, “to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he, or the appropriate military commander, may determine”. In short, anyone considered an enemy alien could be rounded up and incarcerated in what were euphemistically called ‘relocation centres’, but in reality were internment camps. Particularly affected was the large Japanese-American community living on the Pacific coast: not only were an estimated 110,000 people interned, but the US Department of the Treasury froze the assets of all citizens and resident aliens who were born in Japan.
One of those detained was 28-year-old Roy Matsumoto – despite the fact he had been born and schooled in California. “It was very hard when I lost my freedom,” he recalled. “I lost just about everything – almost all my personal property and financial assets. The government’s excuse: it was enemy alien property. I was so mad.”
Matsumoto was one of the ‘lucky’ internees – in that, as a fit young man, he was given the chance to join the military as a ‘Nisei’ (US-born children of Japanese immigrants) interpreter. He subsequently served with distinction in Burma with the special forces unit Merrill’s Marauders, winning a Bronze Star for his courage. But most Japanese-Americans remained interned for the war’s duration.
It wasn’t until 1976 that President Gerald Ford officially rescinded Executive Order 9066, and in 1988 Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act, acknowledging that a “grave injustice” had been inflicted on Japanese-Americans during the war.
Was Japan known to be a potential threat to the USA in the 10 year period prior to 1941 - History
The war has been variously termed a war of production and a war of machines. Whatever else it is, so far as the United States is concerned, it is a war of logistics. The ways and means to supply and support our forces in all parts of the world--including the Army--of course have presented problems nothing short of colossal, and have required the most careful and intricate planning. The profound effect of logistic problems is described elsewhere in this report, but to all who do not have to traverse them, the tremendous distances, particularly those in the Pacific, are not likely to have full significance. It is no easy matter in a global war to have the right materials in the right place at the right times in the right quantities. 1
As the war in the Pacific was one of logistics for the United States, it was also a war of logistics for Japan. Japan had no more than 10 percent of the industrial potential of the United States and was nearly totally reliant on its sea lines of communication for the importation of raw materials. 2
The Japanese strategy, was therefore one of securing interior lines of communications by a ring of fortified bases in the Central, South and Southwest Pacific, as well as Southeast Asia. The U.S. strategy became one of stopping Japan's advance and then penetrating the interior lines of communication.
Joint Logistics in the Pacific Theater
- Pre-World War II planning and early wartime situation in the Pacific.
- Early logistics issues (shipping and advance bases).
- Service and theater logistics organization.
- The evolution of logistics systems in the Pacific.
- The Pacific campaigns from the logistics standpoint.
- Priorities and competition for resources.
- Influence of key Commanders.
A Two-Ocean WarAt the outset of World War II, the U.S. military was ill prepared logistically to support a two-ocean war. Our Pacific and Asiatic Fleets had no prior combat experience, whereas the U.S. Atlantic Fleet had been "engaging" Axis submarines and had been on a wartime state of readiness. 3
The Pacific and European Theaters were vastly different in geography and military situation. Although a common industrial base and controlling organizations existed in the United States, the logistical problems and requirements were often unique. When the requirements were not unique, there was competition when the same resource was needed by both theaters at the same time. Shipping, landing craft, and support personnel in particular, would become sources of competition and would have significant strategic implications.
The Pacific Theaters involved several types of warfare. It was in varying phases: a naval war wherein the world's last great sea battles were fought a large scale air war with intense air-to-air, air-to-ship, and air-to-ground combat involving the Navy and Army Air Corps, culminating in the concentrated bombing campaign against the Japanese Home Islands an island hopping amphibious campaign involving Army, Navy and Marine amphibious units as well as a significant land war as in the Philippines and New Guinea. Therefore, there was not the clear cut distinction that existed in the European theater of a land war being supported by air and naval forces. In the Pacific, each Service or component at any one time one could
think of the war as primarily a naval, air, or land war with the other services as supporting forces.
It therefore can be said that, whereas in the European Theater the Army was the dominant service, with the Navy playing a major but supporting role, primarily in the areas of anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations and naval gunfire support, in the Pacific Theater which service was dominant was largely dependent upon the location and time. In the Central Pacific and South Pacific the Navy and the Marine Corps were dominant with key support from the Army and Army Air Corps. In the Southwest Pacific, the Army was the dominant service with the Navy and Marine Corps in supporting roles. The U.S. Navy's campaign against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet was controlled by the Commander in Chief Pacific (CINCPAC), and encompassed all of the Pacific Ocean area. Which service was the dominant one was frequently in the eye of the beholder, which in part explains some of the inter-service and inter-theater rivalries which reportedly took place in the Pacific.
In the Pacific, geography was key. Initially, complicated logistics problems as well as the definition of logistics were not fully appreciated or understood at the higher levels. As the war progressed, these problems gained a greater appreciation.
Pre-War Situation and Planning
The main war plan for the Pacific was Plan O RANGE , which in 1935 assumed loss of the Philippines and then a progressive U.S. offensive to the Western Pacific through the Marshalls and the Carolines. The Army did not believe that the plan was worth the cost and looked toward the 1934 Philippine Independence Act as a means of cutting back its commitment in the area. The Navy believed that the United States should be prepared to take the offensive in the event of a war with Japan. In 1938 a compromise was reached which took into account the differences between the services in a revised plan which would seek to deny Manila Bay to the Japanese. It was clear, however, that in the event of war with Japan, there would be little hope of reinforcing the Philippines. 5 Whether the Philippines could withstand an attack by Japan had always been an issue.
Planners and senior leaders naturally did not want to admit that the Philippines, with its 7,000 islands as well as the lightly defended Guam, were "sacrificial lambs." However, most conceded that, even with the fortress on Corregidor at the entrance to Manila Bay, a foothold in the Philippines could only be maintained for a few months, which is precisely what happened in 1942. Further, the Bataan Peninsula was also essential to maintaining this foothold because it extended into Manila Bay to within two miles of Corregidor. Bataan's elevation provided an excellent field of fire against Corregidor. Therefore, when Bataan fell in 1942, Corregidor's fate was sealed. The planning situation was further complicated during the years between World Wars I and II, first by assertions in 1923 by retired Army Chief of Staff, General Leonard Wood, Governor-General of the Philippines, that the Philippines could be successfully defended by a properly armed Philippine Army backed up by U.S. power, and subsequently by General MacArthur. In 1941 General MacArthur made essentially the same claim as General Wood, and specifically recommended U.S. manned artillery fortifications and a strong U.S. air element be provided. MacArthur had become the Commander of the Philippine Army upon his retirement as Chief of Staff in 1935. The earlier assertions by Wood had been supported by the Navy, but MacArthur's did not have Navy support. 6
As the international situation deteriorated in 1938 and 1939, it became clear that the United States, in conjunction with Great Britain and France, might be called upon to fight a war on multiple fronts against Germany, Italy, and Japan. The service planners were therefore called upon to draft a series of plans which became known as R AINBOW Plans. These plans included hemispheric defense, war against Japan, and war against Germany and Italy in concert with Great Britain and France, in Africa and Europe. 7
There were other significant preparations also being made prior to the commencement of the war. In 1938, the Navy, commissioned a board to review the need for advanced bases in the event of war. This board led by Rear Admiral Hepburn reported on the potential for establishing bases in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the Pacific. The report of this board, and a subsequent board convened by the Secretary of the Navy under Rear Admiral Greenslade were to prove very useful in the actual establishment of advance bases. 8
The rapid fall of France in 1940 and the fear that Britain would soon collapse brought home the fact that the United States was woefully unprepared for war at that time. When it became apparent that Britain would survive, the primary R AINBOW Plan, R AINBOW 5 was revived and formed the basis for the "Europe First" strategy. Between 1939 and early 1941, Congress authorized the Army to make serious preparations for war which included increasing the regular Army strength to 375,000, calling up of reserves and National Guard personnel and the Selective Service Act of 1940. 9 Army and Army Air Corps procurement programs were greatly accelerated, and the Navy underwent a major expansion authorized by the Naval Construction Act of 1940. In December 1940 President Roosevelt made his "Arsenal of Democracy" speech, which led to the Lend Lease Act of 1941 and resulted in a major portion of United States industrial output supporting Great Britain. (This has also been described
- Enforce the Monroe Doctrine by defending the Western Hemisphere from foreign attack.
- Protect U.S. possessions in the Pacific and maintain a sufficient force to deter war in the western Pacific.
- Create task forces capable of fighting in the Americas, the Caribbean, and in conjunction with Great Britain in Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe. 13
Personalities, Initial Organization, and Theater AlignmentAt the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor there was no theater command organization as such in the Pacific. There were four commands in the Pacific: one Army and one Navy in the Philippines, and one Army and one Navy in Hawaii. The Navy's Asiatic Fleet, commanded by Admiral Hart, was based in the Philippines. In addition to the 22,000 man U.S. Army Command in the Philippines under Lieutenant General Wainwright, General MacArthur, as noted above, was in command of the 100,000 man Philippine Army. In April 1941, the Philippine Army was brought under U.S. Army control, and General MacArthur was recalled to active duty and placed in command of the defense of the Philippines with the title "Commander in Chief U.S. Army Forces Far East (USAFE)." 14 The Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor was Admiral Kimmel and his Army Counterpart, was Lieutenant General Short, Commander of the Hawaiian Department. Both of these officers were relieved following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Additionally, Admiral Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations was relieved in early 1942 (subsequently to serve as Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe), and Admiral King assumed duties as Chief of Naval Operations and Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet.
Prior to the war, the four commands in the Pacific had operated more or less independently, and joint operations were the exception. After the war began it became obvious that unity of command would be essential in order to successfully prosecute the war. The Pacific had traditionally been a Navy domain, but with MacArthur in Australia after the fall of the Philippines, senior to all other U.S. flag officers and a national hero, there was strong pressure to make him the
Operational Situation in the Pacific 1941-1942
in Plan O RANGE . This did not, however stop some desperate efforts to save the Philippines as well as the then Dutch East Indies. In mid-December 1941, then Brigadier General Eisenhower, serving on the Army Staff proposed a plan which was accepted by General Marshall for a base in Australia from which to reinforce the Philippines and the East Indies. A U.S. Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA) command was established and the allied forces in the East Indies came under the American, British, Dutch, Australia (ABDA) command under British General Wavell. By February 1942, however it was apparent that this effort was doomed. Overwhelming Japanese force in the area and a blockade of the Philippines thwarted any resupply effort. Reinforcement shipping for the Indies as well as nearly the entire U.S. Asiatic Fleet and the ABDA fleet were destroyed. A large scale Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia on February 19 destroyed several supply ships and large quantities of supplies. With the conclusion of the Battle of the Java Sea in late February 1942, the Dutch East Indies were firmly in Japanese hands. In March 1942 General MacArthur was ordered to Australia where he was initially made Supreme Commander Allied Forces Australia and the Philippines. He subsequently assumed command of the Southwest Pacific area and USAFIA. 17
The first few months of 1942, therefore, found the U.S. Military with a Pacific Fleet heavily damaged, an Asiatic Fleet destroyed, and Army and Army Air Corps assets heavily damaged or lost. The U.S. possessions--Guam, Wake Island, and the Philippines had fallen to Japan, as well as the Dutch, British and French colonies in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Midway Island and Hawaii as well as Australia and New Zealand were threatened. The Japanese fleet had broad freedom of movement throughout the Pacific and was consolidating its hold on the Central Pacific and moving into the South Pacific. Most importantly, tens of thousands of American personnel had been killed or captured, as well as several thousand allied personnel. The initial task of the U.S. military in the Pacific, along with our allies was one of survival, centered on saving Australia and New
Zealand from Japanese attack, and trying to blunt the efforts of the Japanese fleet.
In late January 1942 the Japanese captured Rabaul on the Island of New Britain in the Bismarks close by to New Guinea, exposing the thinly manned Australian garrison at Port Moresby. Effectively, Japan controlled the sea approaches to Australia, thus leaving it open to attack or invasion. By Spring 1942 the Japanese had moved into New Guinea from the north, had established a major base at Rabaul, and had moved into the Solomons. By June, they were building air bases on Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Not only were Australia and New Zealand threatened, but also New Caledonia and the Fiji Islands. 18 The limits of Japanese advance are depicted on the map at Figure 2.
After the string of disastrous defeats and the threat of further reverses, American and Allied morale was boosted by the strategic naval victory in the Battle of the Coral Sea (taking place as Corregidor fell in May 1942), and the battle of Midway in June 1942, the turning point of the Pacific war. These victories had been costly, for both sides. The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April 1942 had given American morale another psychological boost and had demonstrated to Japan that even the home islands were not invulnerable to air attack. Early on, the U.S. Navy had also declared unrestricted submarine warfare on all shipping flying the Japanese flag and began to penetrate its interior lines of communication. 19
Europe First--Holding Action in the Pacific?
by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Stark in 1940 and concurred in by General Marshall. In January 1941 it had been approved by the Joint Army-Navy Board and confirmed in secret conversations with British staff officers. 20 This fact notwithstanding, there was pressure to wage a concentrated effort against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor 21 (certainly from the Congress and the American public as well as from within the military). The Europe First strategy remained in effect throughout the war, however the terms "holding action" and "limited offensive" in the Pacific were subject to various interpretations and modifications of plans by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and at allied leaders conferences. This resulted in considerable competition for resources, particularly in the latter stages of the war as operations were greatly accelerated in both theaters. Frequent conflicts arose among the senior commanders of the Pacific and European Theaters as well as within the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff. It was however, the strategic situation in the Pacific and the logistics situation which governed our early actions and placed initial primary emphasis on the Pacific. 22
In order to conduct a holding action in the Pacific and protect Australia and New Zealand, it was necessary to deploy large numbers of troops (approximately 75,000 in the first few months of 1942) to Australia and build a major logistics base there as well as establish a presence in New Zealand and advance bases in New Caledonia, Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides, and other areas. Initial plans to create a "second England" out of Australia proved infeasible due to the geography of that vast continent and an inadequate road and rail system. However, Australia was to become the anchor of defense in the Southwest Pacific. 23
One U.S. Army division was ordered to Australia in February 1942, and in March two additional divisions were sent, one to Australia and one to New Zealand on the request of Prime Minister Churchill so that divisions from those countries could remain in the Middle East. 24 This large deployment to the Pacific actually had the effect
Early Logistics Issues
- Logistic support for Armed Forces overseas
- Lend-Lease shipments to the allies
- Shipments to sustain allied civilian populations
- Imports of raw materials to the United States
- Normal Western Hemisphere sea trade 27
Navy undertaking to be manned by 3,900 Army personnel for the garrison and 500 Navy personnel to construct the base and operate the fueling facility. The expedition sailed in January in spite of problems with shipping and cargo-handling equipment. Equipment to establish the base was taken from stocks destined for British bases. Considerable problems were encountered with Bora Bora. Proper maps were not available and much of the equipment was unsuitable. Further the Navy Construction Battalions (Seabees) were not fully trained. 29 In spite of these problems, there were many important lessons learned and soon bases were being established in the South Pacific in Samoa, the New Hebrides as well as New Caledonia. These early bases were critical in order to contain the Japanese in the Central Pacific and protect the lifeline to Australia. (See maps at Figures 1 and 3.)
As the war progressed, the bases took on different meanings to the services. In the very beginning they were critical to the Navy, as fueling and supply depots for the fleet. As the Navy developed an afloat mobile logistics system fleet, units became less dependent upon the advance bases. However, as the U.S. offensive moved across the Pacific, advance bases remained critical staging areas for subsequent operations. As we moved closer to the Japanese home islands, these bases enabled long-range, land-based bombers to launch a bombing campaign against the home islands and other key Japanese held areas. They also enabled our Submarine Force to move its primary logistic support forward from Pearl Harbor to Guam. No matter what anybody's perception is of the purpose of the advance bases, the bottom line is that they gave us strategic reach and enabled the U.S. military to penetrate and destroy Japan's interior lines of communication. Fleet Admiral King described the role of advance bases to the Secretary of the Navy as follows:
As we progressed across the Pacific, islands captured in one amphibious operation were converted into bases which became spring boards for the next advance. These bases were set up for various purposes depending upon the next operation. At first they were mainly air bases for the support of bombers and for the
Joint Logistics Situation/Organization at the Outset of the War
Service logistics organizations were vastly different. Although logistics organizations were established for each service, a significant
amount of logistics planning remained with the War Plans Divisions of the Service Staffs.
Army Logistics Organization
Shortly after Pearl Harbor it became apparent that not only was there no semblance of joint logistics, but within the Army:
Lack of effective top level coordination and the dispersion of procurement and supply activities among the supply activities again threatened to delay the service and supply of the Army as mobilization measures quickened after Pearl Harbor. As had been the case in 1917, the demands of war revealed serious weaknesses in the organizational machinery. There was, in fact no machinery for the close coordination of the whole logistics area anywhere below the Secretary of War himself. 33
The situation was further complicated by pressures from the Army Air Corps for a greater degree of autonomy. Accordingly, in March 1942 the War Department underwent a major reorganization which included the establishment of the Army Service Forces under General Brehon Somervell, and was based upon General Pershing's World War I logistics organization for the American Expeditionary Force. The establishment of the Army Services Forces resulted in ". . . authoritative direction over the supply services. . . . ," however it also reportedly resulted in confusion in the Army Logistics System, because the individual supply services continued to function as they formerly did. Further, the Service Forces taking most of the functions of the G-4 led to the logistics planning function being subsequently assumed by the War Plans Division of the Army Staff. 34
Navy Logistics Organization
During World War I much of the Navy's logistics planning was done by the Technical Bureaus under the control of the Secretary of the Navy, and in fact the position of Chief of Naval Operations was not established until 1915. Logistics planning and the determination
of requirements did not become firmly established under a Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics until World War II. Initially, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations oversaw the logistics functions. The logistics staff however relied heavily upon the Technical Bureaus for much of the determination of logistics requirements in close coordination with the strategic plans division. 35
The foregoing notwithstanding, early on in the war the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral King and General Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army recognized the need for logistics cooperation. Marshall redesignated the Army Supply and Services Command as the Army Service Forces with the greatly expanded duties discussed above under General Somervell. Admiral King charged his Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Vice Admiral Frederick Home, with the responsibility for the Navy's logistics planning, procurement, and distribution. Horne and Somervell worked closely throughout the war. 36 Also throughout the war the issue of a unified logistics system was repeatedly addressed at the Joint Chiefs level, at the service level and the theater and sub-theater level. As can be seen from the following, what evolved were agreements at the top level which in their implementation at the operational level reflected the unique situations in each theater and sub-theater.
Theater LogisticsPacific Theater
Admiral Nimitz' principal logistics organizations after late 1943 were the J4 section of the CINCPAC Staff, and the Service Force Pacific Fleet. The Service Force was responsible for implementing all Navy logistics plans except for Naval air and Marine Corps who had their own logistics organizations. Army plans were implemented by the component Army Service Forces Command. During 1942 and much of 1943, however, joint logistics and supply matters were handled on an ad hoc basis by logistics committees at the CINCPAC level. The initial inter-service logistics issues arose in the Central and
South Pacific areas relative to the establishment and reinforcement of advance bases. The problems were both administrative and logistic. The Navy exercised operational control but administrative and supply support were the responsibilities of the services, consequently problems arose at bases garrisoned by the Army. Administration of the Army elements was a shared responsibility of the War Department, the San Francisco Port, the Hawaiian Department, and even in part by USAFIA. The only well-established Army command in the Pacific in the initial months of the war was the Hawaiian Department, commanded by General Emmons. He was therefore assigned a large degree of the responsibility for the island bases by the War Department. However, this responsibility was assigned on a piecemeal and ad hoc basis. The situation was further complicated by the fact that until June 1942 no South Pacific Area Commander was on the scene. In July 1942 the Army established a separate Army component command for the South Pacific under Major General Harmon who was also the Chief of the Air Staff under Vice Admiral Ghormley. As Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces South Pacific Area (USAFISPA) he was responsible to the War Department for administration and supply of Army forces in the area. He exercised no operational control but assisted Commander South Pacific (COMSOPAC) with Army force planning. The establishment of this separate Army command separated these forces from the Central Pacific and USAFIA. 37 As is so often the case the issues of joint logistics and supply were worked out initially and informally at the tactical level.
As early as April 1942 the Joint Chiefs were examining the issue of a joint supply system for the Pacific. Joint purchasing boards were created at the newly established Navy supply point in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as in Australia in order to take advantage of local resources and eliminate duplication. The Joint Chiefs also posed the question to the theater CINCs as to the desirability of a joint supply system and the pooling of shipping resources for distribution to the advance bases. Nimitz favored a joint supply system for the SOPAC area under the command of COMSOPAC as part of the Service Squadron South Pacific, and with a joint supply center in Auckland. His proposal included joint usage of shipping and storage facilities.
- The Army to supply rations to shore based personnel (except in Samoa) which could not be obtained through the Joint Purchasing Board.
- The Navy to provide all fuel.
- The Navy to provide all local purchase items through the Joint Purchasing Board including clothing, construction materials, and rations.
- All Services to request items not available from the above sources from their parent services.
The Challenge of Theater Logistics: Guadalcanal (W ATCHTOWER )--The CrucibleEighty percent of my time was given to logistics during the first 4 months of the W ATCHTOWER operations (because) we were living from one logistics crisis to another.
--Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner 41
Perhaps no other operation in the Pacific theater brought early logistics problems into greater focus than this campaign, particularly the issue of advanced bases, shipping problems and joint coordination.
Up until the August 1942 landings on Guadalcanal, much of the services' efforts had been focused on their areas of competence. The Navy was focused on primarily a defensive battle to stop the advance of the Japanese fleet. After the loss of the Philippines, the Army was focused on establishing a base of operations in Australia to ensure that nations's survival. With Japan's Northern Pacific advance blunted at the Battle of Midway, attention was turned to a limited offensive to stop Japan's occupation of the Solomon Islands and the threat it posed to Australia and New Zealand.
The South Pacific Sub-Theater was a transitional theater between the Pacific and Southwest Pacific areas. In fact the Southern
Solomons, including Guadalcanal, were in the South Pacific Command's area, while the Northern Solomons were in the Southwest Pacific Command area. As W ATCHTOWER was commencing, General MacArthur sent an Australian force along with the U.S. 32nd Division to Port Moresby in order to counter a Japanese offensive. Thus began the long and protracted New Guinea campaign. 42 Guadalcanal was the first U.S. amphibious operation of the war, it was the first test for amphibious doctrine developed in the inter-war years by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and it would be the Navy's first indoctrination into amphibious warfare. Guadalcanal and the subsequent battles for the other Solomon Islands would include some of the worlds last "slugfests" between capital ships. Most importantly, the battle for Guadalcanal was paid for dearly in blood and treasure. Iron Bottom Sound, Savo Island, Henderson Field still have a haunting ring, particularly in Navy and Marine Corps circles. The name Guadalcanal is proudly emblazoned on the First Marine Division emblem. Guadalcanal was the crucible. For both the United States and Japan, logistics was the critical element and the outcome came down to our ability to keep Guadalcanal resupplied and Japan's inability to do so.
The landing ships and craft which were to play such a crucial role in later amphibious operations in all theaters of the war were still largely on the drawing board at the time of Guadalcanal. Consequently,
the guts of logistical support for the first phase of W ATCHTOWER had to be winch-lifted out of deep, deep holds of large transports and cargo ships, and loaded like sardines into small landing craft dancing on the undulating seas, and then hand lifted and piled at a snail's pace onto the beaches by tired sailor men or by combat-oriented Marines . . . 43
The problem of getting the right stuff at the right place at the right time was exacerbated by the issue of combat loading versus commercial loading of ships. Even as the learning curve progressed, there was still the problem of the operational situation dictating
changes in unloading priorities. 44 Again, many of these problems were eliminated in subsequent operations with the availability of landing ships and craft which could be rapidly off loaded as well as by taking advantage of lessons learned from earlier operations. Many of the logistics problems associated with W ATCHTOWER resulted from decisions made outside the South Pacific area, and stemmed from a lack of appreciation of the logistics situation. Soon after their establishment, the Naval elements of advance bases requested and received their logistic support directly from their agencies in the United States rather than through CINCPAC. The Army directed its activities to be supplied directly through the Port of Embarkation, San Francisco. Therefore, none of the Army, Army Air Corps, Navy, or Marine Corps forces at the advance bases had joint logistics support. Each Service had its own individual procedures. 45 Commander Service Force Pacific Fleet had offered to handle logistics support for all of the bases in the South Pacific area whether they were Army or Navy in order to eliminate the confusion from differing instructions.
Although the Joint Logistics Plan for the Support of United States Bases in the South Pacific Area had been agreed to in July, it was just beginning to be implemented when W ATCHTOWER took place. In the meantime a supply center had been established in Auckland, New Zealand to serve as a clearing house for all requests. The result was an extremely long supply line from San Francisco. In one instance Marines on Guadalcanal did not receive their rations until October 1942. 46
An example of the distances in the South Pacific area alone from logistics support to Guadalcanal is depicted in Figure 3. Although both the United States and Japan had problems in resupplying Guadalcanal, the U.S. supply line from the nearest advance base was 50 percent longer than the distance from Japan's nearest advance base. This situation prevailed until the base at Espiritu Santo was fully operational, which did not occur until February 1943. The problem was further complicated by the fact that the harbor at
Noumea, New Caledonia was inadequate for large scale support. Additionally, U.S. forces in the Guadalcanal area were under nearly constant attack and resupply operations frequently had to be suspended. Army and Marine troops on Guadalcanal frequently subsisted on captured Japanese rations. 47
In late September 1942 General "Hap" Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Corps, visited the area and made the following observations:
It was so obvious the Navy could not hold Guadalcanal if they could not get supplies in and they could not get the supplies in if the Japanese bombers continued to come down and bomb the ships unloading supplies.
. . . So far, the Navy had taken one hell of a beating and . . . was hanging on by a shoestring. They did not have a logistic setup efficient enough to ensure success.
General Patch (Commanding General, Americal Division based on New Caledonia) was very insistent that the Navy had no plan of logistics that the Marines and the Navy would both have been in one hell of a fix had he not dug into Iris reserve stock and furnished them with supplies. 48
General Arnold added that he was not sure whether it was worthwhile to send Army Aircraft to the South Pacific that could be better ". . . used against the Germans. . . ." In his further travels in the region, General Arnold gained the distinct impression that the Navy considered the war against Japan as the Navy's fight and in the South Pacific area wanted to carry out the Guadalcanal campaign with as little help as possible from the Army. In his report to General Marshall, General Arnold stated:
General Arnold's reports and briefings succeeded in focusing the highest level of attention on the situation on Guadalcanal and on October 24, 1942 President Roosevelt directed the Joint Chiefs to:
. . . make sure that every possible weapon gets into the area to hold Guadalcanal, and that having held in this crisis, munitions, planes and crews are on the way to take advantage of our success. 50
President Roosevelt's directive was particularly significant in view of the previous pressures exerted on the South Pacific command for troops and shipping to support General MacArthur's forthcoming operations in the Southwest Pacific, and for the pending North Africa landings. Supply shipping had been reduced to a mere handful due to losses to Japanese submarines and aircraft. In spite of the "Europe First" strategy Roosevelt had no choice but to ensure W ATCHTOWER 's success. To do otherwise would have dealt a devastating blow to U.S. morale and probably would have meant political suicide for Roosevelt. However it has been reported that, had the high level decision makers had a full appreciation for the logistics problems associated with Guadalcanal, the operation probably would not have taken place with the possibility that Japan would have been that much more difficult to dislodge from the Solomons.
In October 1942, then Vice Admiral Halsey assumed command of the South Pacific area and moved his headquarters ashore in Noumea, New Caledonia and directed the development of a full blown logistics support base there eliminating the need for the extended line of communication to Auckland, New Zealand. It would be well into 1943 before this base, Espiritu Santo, as well as Guadalcanal were sufficiently developed to support further amphibious operations in the Solomons. Some of these delays could be attributed to early confusion beginning in August 1942 regarding the precise role of the advance base unit (code named CUB) commander for Espiritu Santo who was also charged with establishing the advance bases on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, but was unaware of this latter mission until
he arrived in the area. There was further confusion as to who this CUB unit commander (Commander Compton) worked for with the result that he often received conflicting orders from several senior commanders. In Commander Compton's words:
The basic difference between Kelly Turner (Admiral R.K. Turner) and me was: Why were the CUBS in SOPAC--to build bases or support troops? 51
Progression in Joint Logistics--1943
Somervell ultimately agreed with Lutes and proposed additionally that, since 75-90 percent of all military forces overseas were Army that the single supply services commander should be an Army officer. Navy objected, preferring "closely coordinated, possibly unified supply systems in theaters of joint operations." The critical argument actually came down to who would control the shipping and shipping priorities. Further, the Navy supply system which evolved during 1942 was far more decentralized than the Army's. The Army's supply system was geared to support ground forces ashore while the
Navy's was designed for fleet support. Although the Army system was more structured, the Navy's was more flexible. 53
Huston in Sinews of War provides the following assessment of these differences:
The Army, geared for massive land campaigns, had developed a system of centralized control and orderly distribution. The Navy, emphasizing the support of forces at sea, retained a high degree of decentralization, concentrating its depots at the ports, relying on the supply bureaus to carry out their responsibilities without close over-all command, and granting much autonomy and flexibility to supply distribution in forward areas. . . . With fuel, ammunition, provisions, and other supplies, as well as repair facilities, afloat, the fleets had the "long legs" needed to move and fight almost indefinitely without returning to any fixed advanced base. The Navy system might well have been more readily adaptable to the Army's island warfare needs than the closely organized communications system that worked so well in Europe. 54
- Establish unified supply systems.
- J41 Transportation and Priorities
J47 Administration and Statistics
of logistics planning emanated from the CINCPAC headquarters. 57 This organization, and by 1943, the extraordinarily capable Service Force Pacific Fleet, developed largely as a result of the necessities of the Central Pacific Campaign which began in the fall of 1943. Throughout 1942 the main focus had been on standing up and supporting SOPAC and the Guadalcanal Campaign. By early 1943 a reasonably effective system of logistics coordination existed at the local level in the South Pacific area.
In the Southwest Pacific Theater, as noted above, the issue of joint logistics was not as acute. Coordination was done at the top through "centralized planning" and not at the operational level. Therefore, very little of the Basic Logistics Plan was reflected in General MacArthur's organization. There were no major changes made in the system of supply and logistics at that time. The service components each maintained their own supply systems. General MacArthur dictated overall priorities and believed the services should maintain their own supply services. The Navy component, the Seventh Fleet, was supported bv Service Force Seventh Fleet in much the same fashion as the Army forces were supported by the Army Service Forces command in the theater. There was cross servicing support provided. Local procurement was used as much as possible. The Army provided the Marine Corps with supply support except for those items unique to the Marine Corps. As in several of the other areas of the Pacific, the Army provided food for shore based personnel, and the Navy provided fuel. The Navy also provided spare parts and other support for the landing craft provided to Army amphibious units. Another unusual aspect of the area was that it had significant numbers of local shipping of various types Dutch which had escaped from the East Indies, Australian, and others, both civilian and military, some Army manned and some Navy manned. This was a carry-over from the early days and a local expedient. 58
In the South Pacific area the issue of interservice coordination
Overall Strategy for 1943 and Early 1944
Combatant ships mostly needed in the Atlantic were destroyers and other anti-submarine warfare ships. Later in the war they were escort carriers and ships for naval gunfire support of amphibious landings. Due to shorter distances, older and slower cruisers and battleships were more than adequate for the naval gunfire support role. Due to availability of airfields in England and after 1942 in North Africa, carrier based air played a very limited role in the European Theater.
The strategy in the Pacific is often termed a strategy of opportunism, in part because there was lack of agreement on any one path of advance toward Japan, and also because it had been necessary to move against Japan's advance in several areas at once. 61 Until the fall of 1943, most of the action, at least against Japanese-held islands, was in the South Pacific.
Operations in the South and Southwest PacificIn March 1943 a Pacific Military Conference was held in Hawaii which laid out goals for that year. The goals for Admiral Halsey were to advance up the Solomons as far as Bougainville. Meanwhile MacArthur was to occupy the northern coast of New Guinea as far west as Madang and to take Cape Gloucester on the Island of New Britain. The objective of these two converging forces was to be the key Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain. This operation involving the forces in two adjacent theaters was code named Cartwheel and it lasted from June 1943 until March 1944. 62
During this period assault operations by Halsey's forces included operations against New Georgia, Vella Lavella, Arundel Island, the Treasury Islands, Emirau Island, and Bougainville.
Advanced bases and airfields, including Guadalcanal and Tulagi, were key to these operations. These were hard fought battles with the Japanese Navy making repeated attempts to reinforce these islands from its bastion at Rabaul. (Rabaul was subsequently reduced
Operations in the Central PacificWhile operations in the South and Southwest Pacific were rolling back the Japanese, attention was being focused by Admiral Nimitz on the Central Pacific. A Central Pacific campaign had been the key objective of the old Plan O RANGE . The Central Pacific, however presented several new and unique challenges. Whereas some of the key challenges in the South Pacific had initially been long steaming distances and establishing advance bases as a defensive perimeter for fleet support, and from which to stage subsequent assault operations, the problem with the Central Pacific was that there were no potential locations for advance bases between Pearl Harbor and the Islands to be taken, the Gilberts, Marshalls, and Carolines. For example, Espiritu Santo was over 1,000 miles from Tarawa, and Pearl Harbor was 2,100 miles from Tarawa. The challenge was to resupply the Gilbert Islands after they were taken while at the same time prepare for an assault on the Marshalls. 63 (See maps at Figures 1 and 2).
The answer was a mobile logistics base--a floating base. Under the able direction of Vice Admiral Calhoun, Commander Service Force Pacific Fleet, Service Squadron 4 was created and commissioned on November 1, 1943 just before the Marshall Islands operations commenced. The Navy had by the time of World War II developed a system of underway replenishment for its fleet units however,
Shortages Become an Issue
distances involved and widely dispersed forces in the Pacific precluded the establishment of central reserve stocks and a systematic flow of supplies through depots. 65
In order to mount the Central Pacific Campaign larger amphibious assault shipping were needed. In particular, Attack Transports (APAs) and Attack Cargo (AKAs) ships were needed to cover the long distances discussed above. Larger landing ships such as LSTs and all manner of small landing craft were needed, especially tracked amphibian craft to traverse coral reefs on the atolls of the Central Pacific. Transports, landing ships and craft were also in short supply in the South and Southwest Pacific. The biggest impact was felt at Bougainville where Admiral Halsey had only enough APAs and AKAs to lift one division because the operation was being conducted at the same time as the landings in the Gilberts. 66 These shortages resulted in some shifting of assets among the theaters. Phasing was further complicated by the fact that operations in the Central Pacific were progressing at a faster rate than initially anticipated.
The competition for shipping between the European and Pacific Theaters, particularly in landing craft, (the "Europe First" strategy notwithstanding) intensified with the march across the Pacific on the one hand and our greatly accelerated buildup commencing in early 1944, for the Normandy Invasion. The problem was further complicated by competition for shipping and landing craft between Nimitz and MacArthur for their simultaneous campaigns in the Central and Southwest Pacific. The acceptance of these simultaneous campaigns was the result of compromise on the part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Huston describes this process in the following manner:
Central direction of the war was not characterized by hard decisions . . . the committee procedures of the Joint Chiefs of Staff resulted in a strategy of opportunism where it was easier to agree on specific operations as opportunity presented than it was to agree upon a consistent grand design . . . Faced with dilemmas growing out of limitations of resources, when no decision could
The Joint Chiefs did caution the Theater Commanders that the shipping shortage could adversely affect both the European and Pacific Theaters unless all concerned made maximum effort to conserve resources. Further, it was clear that the shortage in landing craft would remain until after the Normandy invasion. 68
Shipping was not the only shortage in the Pacific. Army logistics personnel were also a critical item. As we continued to capture Pacific islands and developed them into bases for subsequent operations or as security perimeters, the task of garrisoning many of them fell to the Army. In addition to garrisoning the islands, considerable base development had to be accomplished. Unlike Europe where existing infrastructure could be used by our advancing forces, in the Pacific most of the islands had either none initially, or had it completely destroyed in its capture. Even though nearly the entire U.S. Marine Corps was deployed to the Pacific as well as most of the Navy's Seabees, the job called for large numbers of Army logisticians. Further, even as preparations were being finalized for the Normandy Invasion, seven new divisions were being transferred to the Pacific for a total of twenty divisions by June 1944, six in the Central Pacific and fourteen in the Southwest Pacific. Each new division being transferred either from the United States or from another area in the Pacific required shipping and logistics support. In the words of General MacArthur:
The Marianas CampaignAt the Cairo Conference in November 1943 the Combined Chiefs agreed on a plan for the defeat of Japan. The key decision taken here was that the main avenue of approach to Japan should be through the Pacific instead of through China, thereby further reducing the Southeast Asia and China-Burma and India Theaters to minor roles. The Marianas became key objectives, particularly in light of the need for bases to stage the new B-29 bombers for a bombing campaign against Japan now that the China basing option was ruled out. It was agreed that Guam, Saipan, and Tinian would be taken, that Truk would be reduced by bombing, and that the Carolines would be isolated. Admiral King had long believed that the Marianas were key to the Pacific campaign but until the basing for the B-29s became an issue he did not have much support. 70
As stated above, due to the competition between file Central Pacific and Southwest Pacific advocates (read Navy and Army), the Joint Chiefs maintained the position of the "two pronged" approach to either the Philippines or Taiwan (formerly Formosa). 71 There was considerable disagreement among the Joint Chiefs as to whether the Philippines or Taiwan should be the next operation beyond the Marianas which would ultimately lead to the defeat of Japan. Several approaches, including one from the North Pacific had been examined during the course of the war, but finally the choices were reduced to the Philippines or Taiwan. Throughout much of the war, the Joint Chiefs believed that positions must be occupied on the China coast prior to any operation directly against Japan. Admiral King therefore argued for attacking Taiwan as the logical next step after the Marianas. General MacArthur, supported by General Marshall argued for retaking the Philippines. MacArthur considered the Philippines the logical next step to his advance through the Southwest Pacific. He also felt strongly that the Philippines should be retaken on moral grounds based upon his close ties with the islands. He went as far as to argue against the taking of the Marianas asserting that the forces planned for that operation could be better used in the
Philippines. The issue also hinged on relatively short island hopping between shore bases in the Southwest Pacific, and more modest shipping requirements, versus long steaming distances and large requirements for shipping. 72 The argument further reflected Service Chief and Theater Commander positions. An attack against Taiwan would be led by Admiral Nimitz and a attack against the Philippines would be led by General MacArthur. In addition to the shipping question it reflected a difference between Army and Navy logistics philosophy. The Army believed in large land bases to support subsequent operations, whereas the Navy had been quite successful with mobile seabased logistics and carrier-based air in the Central Pacific. 73
The landings on Guam, Saipan, and Tinian took place on June 15, 1944, 9 days after the Normandy landings. The force consisted of 535 warships, amphibious ships and support shipping, and 127,500 men, two-thirds of whom were Marines. The force was staged from Eniwetok atoll 1,000 miles away. The planning phase done from Pearl Harbor 3,600 miles away took only 3 months. The timing of this amazing undertaking still sparks controversy today, because of the large number of landing craft used in the operation had been diverted from Europe and had forced the delay of the landings in southern France by 1 month until August 1944.
Retaking of the PhilippinesIn the end the argument of the Philippines versus Taiwan hinged upon resources. By the summer of 1944 it was determined that sufficient troops (particularly service troops) and cargo shipping for an assault on Taiwan would not be available until they could be released from the European Theater. Further, based upon a carrier raid on the Philippines, and a recommendation by Admiral Halsey, approval was given in September for an amphibious assault on Leyte Gulf for October 1944. The Taiwan debate was laid to rest. 74
The force which invaded Leyte in October 1944 consisted of
Iwo Jima and OkinawaThe battle for the Philippines went on for most of the rest of the war, but in order to establish air bases still closer to the home islands, and bases for staging the invasion of the home islands of Japan, the Taiwan option had to be abandoned. The costly invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were launched in February and April 1945, respectively. The Marine Corps suffered more casualties on Iwo Jima than in any other battle in history, and the Okinawa operation was the costliest operation of the Pacific War.
The U.S. assault force which landed on Okinawa was the largest launched against Japan, consisting of 183,000 Army and Marine Corps troops, carried in 430 ships and craft, and over 747,000 measurement tons of cargo, staged from Ulithi atoll in the Carolines (a major fleet anchorage and staging base), Eniwetok, Saipan and Leyte. 76 The determination with which the Japanese fought in these two operations in spite of the fact that by this time in the war their Navy and merchant fleet had been destroyed along with most of their Air Force, and the damage they were still able to inflict with
Redeployment--Preparations for Invasion of Japan
it was more or less suitable for the Southwest Pacific, but it would not have worked for the Navy. What worked best for the Navy in the Pacific was a decentralized flexible system, in spite of the fact that there was duplication particularly as regards shipping and port facilities. The logistics systems that evolved in the Pacific resulted in large measure from the unique requirements of the theaters and subtheaters. Jointness in logistics planning as well as in other functions was best achieved on the CINCPAC Staff. Cross servicing agreements, formal and informal, were in place at various levels, and probably worked best at the tactical level. Could logistics have been more joint in the Pacific? Certainly. Did logistics work about as well as could be expected owing to the circumstances? Probably. Fleet Admiral King, in his Second Report to the Secretary of the Navy Covering Combat Operations 1 March 1944 to 1 March 1945 summed them up as follows:
Supply operations in the Pacific are not solely naval. The Army has a task of at least equal magnitude in supplying its air and ground forces. The supply systems of the two services have been merged together, as much as possible, under Fleet Admiral Nimitz in the Central Pacific and General of the Army MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific. In some cases, in which only one service uses an item, that item is handled entirely by the service concerned . . . In other instances, it has been found convenient to have one service look out for the needs of both. 78
Although the 50 years since the end of World War II have witnessed considerable consolidation of logistics functions in the Armed Forces, they have vet to reach the level of centralized control as envisioned by General Somervell, nor should they. The unique requirements of the Services dictate flexibility. The Services are responsible for providing, equipping, and training forces for the CINCS. The CINCS have limited control over logistics. The system is far from perfect and needs to be continually improved. Many of the improvements made in logistics over the years have been as a result of lessons learned in World War II, particularly in the area of transportation and common user supply.
Classes and Castes. Japanese society has been portrayed as being essentially classless or as having a class structure in which very tiny elite groups and underclasses bracket an enormous number of middle-class people. However, there are significant social differences among rural and urban residents, including family composition, educational attainment, and labor force participation. Within the urban population, social differentiation exists between the white-collar, salaried "new middle class," blue-collar industrial workers, and the self-employed petty entrepreneurial classes of shopkeepers and artisans.
The neo-Confucian class system was abolished in the 1870s, but remnants of it continue to influence cultural attitudes toward social position, including the entitlement of elite groups to lead society and ideas about conformity to social expectations. Other legacies of premodern stratification include the continued existence of "outcaste" populations. This "untouchable" status results
Other marginalized urban social categories include a large floating population of day laborers and migrant laborers, who have been joined by an increasing number of illegal and quasi-legal immigrants from China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Symbols of Social Stratification. One of the most important determinants of social stratification is educational attainment. Japanese people refer to a "credential" society, and educational credentials have often been regarded as the most important criteria for employment and marriage, particularly among the urban middle classes.
Pearl Harbour memo shows US warned of Japanese attack
On the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbour, the attack that propelled America into the Second World War, a declassified memo shows that Japanese surprise attack was expected.
It was described by President Franklin D.Roosevelt as "a date that will live in infamy", a day on which the slaughter of 2,400 US troops drew America into Second World War and changed the course of history.
Now, on the 70th anniversary of Japan's devastating bombardment of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, evidence has emerged showing that President Franklin D.Roosevelt was warned three days before the attack that the Japanese empire was eyeing up Hawaii with a view to "open conflict."
The information, contained in a declassified memorandum from the Office of Naval Intelligence, adds to proof that Washington dismissed red flags signalling that mass bloodshed was looming and war was imminent.
"In anticipation of possible open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii," stated the 26-page memo.
Dated December 4, 1941, marked as confidential, and entitled "Japanese intelligence and propaganda in the United States," it flagged up Japan's surveillance of Hawaii under a section headlined "Methods of Operation and Points of Attack."
It noted details of possible subversives in Hawaii, where nearly 40 per cent of inhabitants were of Japanese origin, and of how Japanese consulates on America's west coast had been gathering information on American naval and air forces. Japan's Naval Inspector's Office, it stated, was "primarily interested in obtaining detailed technical information which could be used to advantage by the Japanese Navy."
"Much information of a military and naval nature has been obtained," it stated, describing it as being "of a general nature" but including records relating to the movement of US warships.
The memo, now held at the Franklin D.Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in upstate New York, has sat unpublicised since its declassification 26 years ago. Its contents are revealed by historian Craig Shirley in his new book "December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World."
Three days after the warning was delivered to the White House, hundreds of Japanese aircraft operating from six aircraft carriers unleashed a surprise strike on the US Navy's base at Pearl Harbour, wiping out American battleships, destroyers and air installations. A total of 2,459 US personnel were killed and 1,282 injured.
Conspiracy theorists have long claimed that Roosevelt deliberately ignored intelligence of an imminent attack in Hawaii, suggesting that he allowed it to happen so that he would then have a legitimate reason for declaring war on Japan. Up to that point, public and political opinion had been against America's entry into what was seen largely as a European war, despite Roosevelt's private support for the Allies' fight against the so-called Axis - Germany, Italy and Japan.
But Mr Shirley said: "Based on all my research, I believe that neither Roosevelt nor anybody in his government, the Navy or the War Department knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbour. There was no conspiracy.
"This memo is further evidence that they believed the Japanese were contemplating a military action of some sort, but they were kind of in denial because they didn't think anybody would be as audacious to move an army thousands of miles across the Pacific, stop to refuel, then move on to Hawaii to make a strike like this."
As with the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, US leadership was guilty of a "failure of imagination" in its inability to translate warning signs into a specific prediction of the horror that lay ahead, he said.
Roosevelt declared war on Japan the day after the blitz on Pearl Harbour. Japan, Germany and Italy reciprocated with their own declarations, but America's involvement in the war turned the tide against the Axis powers and ultimately led the Allies to victory.
Americans, who a year previously had been assured by Roosevelt that they would not be sent to fight foreign wars, suddenly found their fates transformed. The US military swelled, with 16 million heading off to war, and women took on new and more widespread roles in the workforce, and in the military.
Washington became a global power base and the War Powers Act gave the president supreme executive authority. The "America First" movement, which had lobbied against the country's entry into the war and at its peak had 800,000 members, disbanded within days.
"December 7, 1941, was the powder-keg that changed the world. It changed America instantly from an isolationist country on the morning of December 7 to an internationalist country on the morning of December 8," said Mr Shirley.
The 70th anniversary of the tragedy at Pearl Harbour is being marked with a week of commemorative events in Hawaii. They culminate on Wednesday in a minute's silence and a ceremony of remembrance overlooking the wreck site of the USS Arizona, which sank with the loss of 1,177 lives.
Of the 29,000 survivors who joined the Pearl Harbour Survivors Association following its foundation in 1958, only ten per cent are still alive, most aged in their late 80s and beyond. With so few left, and most unable to travel to reunions or help with the group's administration, the PHSA will close down after the anniversary.
"It's going to be a poignant moment. Sooner or later we're all going to be gone," said Duane Reyelts of St Augustine, Florida, who was a 19-year-old signalman aboard the USS Oklahoma when it was bombed at Pearl Harbour.
He will turn 90 later this month, but still has vivid memories of waking in his bunk after working the midnight watch, when the ship's warning system sprang to life with the order: "All hands man your battle stations."
Seconds later, a torpedo hit with a thunderous explosion. He could hear vast amounts of water pouring in below, and eight more torpedoes. The ship turned over, forcing him to scramble up a wall to escape.
"I happened to be small enough to get out of a porthole. When I got out, I was sitting on the bottom of the ship and I couldn't believe what I was seeing: planes were attacking and the whole harbour seemed to be on fire. Bodies in the water, smoke, screams." he said.
He hesitated to jump in the water, but had no choice as a stream of machine-gun fire rained around him from the aircraft overhead. He swam to the USS Maryland, where he joined a line of sailors hauling ammunition.
"The Navy and armed forces must have had notification that something could happen being a signalman on the bridge and being on lookout, that was something we were told - if you see a periscope out there, it may not be ours. But we never really imagined an assault of this nature," he said.
He will re-tell his story once more during a remembrance service aboard a US Navy vessel on Wednesday, when the ashes of Pearl Harbour veterans who have died during the last year will be scattered at sea.
"Those of us who are left try to tell our stories as much as possible, not just for history's sake but because America needs to be kept alert today," he said. "America needs to remember the lessons of Pearl Harbour."
Was Japan known to be a potential threat to the USA in the 10 year period prior to 1941 - History
Promulgated on November 3, 1946
Came into effect on May 3, 1947
We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.
We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.
We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of political morality are universal and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.
We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.
Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.
Article 2. The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet.
Article 3. The advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet shall be responsible therefor.
Article 4. The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government.
The Emperor may delegate the performance of his acts in matters of state as may be provided by law.
Article 5. When, in accordance with the Imperial House Law, a Regency is established, the Regent shall perform his acts in matters of state in the Emperor's name. In this case, paragraph one of the preceding article will be applicable.
Article 6. The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet.
The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.
Article 7. The Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people:
Article 8. No property can be given to, or received by, the Imperial House, nor can any gifts be made therefrom, without the authorization of the Diet.
Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE PEOPLE
Article 10. The conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law.
Article 11. The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate rights.
Article 12. The freedoms and rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be maintained by the constant endeavor of the people, who shall refrain from any abuse of these freedoms and rights and shall always be responsible for utilizing them for the public welfare.
Article 13. All of the people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.
Article 14. All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.
Peers and peerage shall not be recognized.
No privilege shall accompany any award of honor, decoration or any distinction, nor shall any such award be valid beyond the lifetime of the individual who now holds or hereafter may receive it.
Article 15. The people have the inalienable right to choose their public officials and to dismiss them.
All public officials are servants of the whole community and not of any group thereof.
Universal adult suffrage is guaranteed with regard to the election of public officials.
In all elections, secrecy of the ballot shall not be violated. A voter shall not be answerable, publicly or privately, for the choice he has made.
Article 16. Every person shall have the right of peaceful petition for the redress of damage, for the removal of public officials, for the enactment, repeal or amendment of laws, ordinances or regulations and for other matters nor shall any person be in any way discriminated against for sponsoring such a petition.
Article 17. Every person may sue for redress as provided by law from the State or a public entity, in case he has suffered damage through illegal act of any public official.
Article 18. No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited.
Article 19. Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.
Article 20. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.
No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.
The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.
Article 21. Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.
No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.
Article 22. Every person shall have freedom to choose and change his residence and to choose his occupation to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare.
Freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.
Article 23. Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Article 24. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.
With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.
Article 25. All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.
In all spheres of life, the State shall use its endeavors for the promotion and extension of social welfare and security, and of public health.
Article 26. All people shall have the right to receive an equal education correspondent to their ability, as provided by law.
All people shall be obligated to have all boys and girls under their protection receive ordinary education as provided for by law. Such compulsory education shall be free.
Article 27. All people shall have the right and the obligation to work.
Standards for wages, hours, rest and other working conditions shall be fixed by law.
Children shall not be exploited.
Article 28. The right of workers to organize and to bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.
Article 29. The right to own or to hold property is inviolable.
Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare.
Private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation therefor.
Article 30. The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law.
Article 31. No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.
Article 32. No person shall be denied the right of access to the courts.
Article 33. No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended, the offense being committed.
Article 34. No person shall be arrested or detained without being at once informed of the charges against him or without the immediate privilege of counsel nor shall he be detained without adequate cause and upon demand of any person such cause must be immediately shown in open court in his presence and the presence of his counsel.
Article 35. The right of all persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be impaired except upon warrant issued for adequate cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized, or except as provided by Article 33.
Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued by a competent judicial officer.
Article 36. The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.
Article 37. In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal.
He shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all witnesses, and he shall have the right of compulsory process for obtaining witnesses on his behalf at public expense.
At all times the accused shall have the assistance of competent counsel who shall, if the accused is unable to secure the same by his own efforts, be assigned to his use by the State.
Article 38. No person shall be compelled to testify against himself.
Confession made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention shall not be admitted in evidence.
No person shall be convicted or punished in cases where the only proof against him is his own confession.
Article 39. No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he has been acquitted, nor shall he be placed in double jeopardy.
Article 40. Any person, in case he is acquitted after he has been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law.
Article 41. The Diet shall be the highest organ of state power, and shall be the sole law-making organ of the State.
Article 42. The Diet shall consist of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
Article 43. Both Houses shall consist of elected members, representative of all the people.
The number of the members of each House shall be fixed by law.
Article 44. The qualifications of members of both Houses and their electors shall be fixed by law. However, there shall be no discrimination because of race, creed, sex, social status, family origin, education, property or income.
Article 45. The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Representatives is dissolved.
Article 46. The term of office of members of the House of Councillors shall be six years, and election for half the members shall take place every three years.
Article 47. Electoral districts, method of voting and other matters pertaining to the method of election of members of both Houses shall be fixed by law.
Article 48. No person shall be permitted to be a member of both Houses simultaneously.
Article 49. Members of both Houses shall receive appropriate annual payment from the national treasury in accordance with law.
Article 50. Except in cases provided by law, members of both Houses shall be exempt from apprehension while the Diet is in session, and any members apprehended before the opening of the session shall be freed during the term of the session upon demand of the House.
Article 51. Members of both Houses shall not be held liable outside the House for speeches, debates or votes cast inside the House.
Article 52. An ordinary session of the Diet shall be convoked once per year.
Article 53. The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the Diet. When a quarter or more of the total members of either House makes the demand, the Cabinet must determine on such convocation.
Article 54. When the House of Representatives is dissolved, there must be a general election of members of the House of Representatives within forty (40) days from the date of dissolution, and the Diet must be convoked within thirty (30) days from the date of the election.
When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Councillors is closed at the same time. However, the Cabinet may in time of national emergency convoke the House of Councillors in emergency session.
Measures taken at such session as mentioned in the proviso of the preceding paragraph shall be provisional and shall become null and void unless agreed to by the House of Representatives within a period of ten (10) days after the opening of the next session of the Diet.
Article 55. Each House shall judge disputes related to qualifications of its members. However, in order to deny a seat to any member, it is necessary to pass a resolution by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present.
Article 56. Business cannot be transacted in either House unless one-third or more of total membership is present.
All matters shall be decided, in each House, by a majority of those present, except as elsewhere provided in the Constitution, and in case of a tie, the presiding officer shall decide the issue.
Article 57. Deliberation in each House shall be public. However, a secret meeting may be held where a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present passes a resolution therefor.
Each House shall keep a record of proceedings. This record shall be published and given general circulation, excepting such parts of proceedings of secret session as may be deemed to require secrecy.
Upon demand of one-fifth or more of the members present, votes of the members on any matter shall be recorded in the minutes.
Article 58. Each House shall select its own president and other officials.
Each House shall establish its rules pertaining to meetings, proceedings and internal discipline, and may punish members for disorderly conduct. However, in order to expel a member, a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present must pass a resolution thereon.
Article 59. A bill becomes a law on passage by both Houses, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution.
A bill which is passed by the House of Representatives, and upon which the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, becomes a law when passed a second time by the House of Representatives by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present.
The provision of the preceding paragraph does not preclude the House of Representatives from calling for the meeting of a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law.
Failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within sixty (60) days after receipt of a bill passed by the House of Representatives, time in recess excepted, may be determined by the House of Representatives to constitute a rejection of the said bill by the House of Councillors.
Article 60. The budget must first be submitted to the House of Representatives.
Upon consideration of the budget, when the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, and when no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or in the case of failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within thirty (30) days, the period of recess excluded, after the receipt of the budget passed by the House of Representatives, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
Article 61. The second paragraph of the preceding article applies also to the Diet approval required for the conclusion of treaties.
Article 62. Each House may conduct investigations in relation to government, and may demand the presence and testimony of witnesses, and the production of records.
Article 63. The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State may, at any time, appear in either House for the purpose of speaking on bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not. They must appear when their presence is required in order to give answers or explanations.
Article 64. The Diet shall set up an impeachment court from among the members of both Houses for the purpose of trying those judges against whom removal proceedings have been instituted.
Matters relating to impeachment shall be provided by law.
Article 65. Executive power shall be vested in the Cabinet.
Article 66. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be its head, and other Ministers of State, as provided for by law.
The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State must be civilians.
The Cabinet, in the exercise of executive power, shall be collectively responsible to the Diet.
Article 67. The Prime Minister shall be designated from among the members of the Diet by a resolution of the Diet. This designation shall precede all other business.
If the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors disagree and if no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or the House of Councillors fails to make designation within ten (10) days, exclusive of the period of recess, after the House of Representatives has made designation, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
Article 68. The Prime Minister shall appoint the Ministers of State. However, a majority of their number must be chosen from among the members of the Diet.
The Prime Minister may remove the Ministers of State as he chooses.
Article 69. If the House of Representatives passes a non-confidence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution, the Cabinet shall resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within ten (10) days.
Article 70. When there is a vacancy in the post of Prime Minister, or upon the first convocation of the Diet after a general election of members of the House of Representatives, the Cabinet shall resign en masse.
Article 71. In the cases mentioned in the two preceding articles, the Cabinet shall continue its functions until the time when a new Prime Minister is appointed.
Article 72. The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet, submits bills, reports on general national affairs and foreign relations to the Diet and exercises control and supervision over various administrative branches.
Article 73. The Cabinet, in addition to other general administrative functions, shall perform the following functions:
Administer the law faithfully conduct affairs of state.
Manage foreign affairs.
Conclude treaties. However, it shall obtain prior or, depending on circumstances, subsequent approval of the Diet.
Administer the civil service, in accordance with standards established by law.
Prepare the budget, and present it to the Diet.
Enact cabinet orders in order to execute the provisions of this Constitution and of the law. However, it cannot include penal provisions in such cabinet orders unless authorized by such law.
Decide on general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
Article 74. All laws and cabinet orders shall be signed by the competent Minister of State and countersigned by the Prime Minister.
Article 75. The Ministers of State, during their tenure of office, shall not be subject to legal action without the consent of the Prime Minister. However, the right to take that action is not impaired hereby.
Article 76. The whole judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as are established by law.
No extraordinary tribunal shall be established, nor shall any organ or agency of the Executive be given final judicial power.
All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this Constitution and the laws.
Article 77. The Supreme Court is vested with the rule-making power under which it determines the rules of procedure and of practice, and of matters relating to attorneys, the internal discipline of the courts and the administration of judicial affairs.
Public procurators shall be subject to the rule-making power of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court may delegate the power to make rules for inferior courts to such courts.
Article 78. Judges shall not be removed except by public impeachment unless judicially declared mentally or physically incompetent to perform official duties. No disciplinary action against judges shall be administered by any executive organ or agency.
Article 79. The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Judge and such number of judges as may be determined by law all such judges excepting the Chief Judge shall be appointed by the Cabinet.
The appointment of the judges of the Supreme Court shall be reviewed by the people at the first general election of members of the House of Representatives following their appointment, and shall be reviewed again at the first general election of members of the House of Representatives after a lapse of ten (10) years, and in the same manner thereafter.
In cases mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, when the majority of the voters favors the dismissal of a judge, he shall be dismissed.
Matters pertaining to review shall be prescribed by law.
The judges of the Supreme Court shall be retired upon the attainment of the age as fixed by law.
All such judges shall receive, at regular stated intervals, adequate compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of office.
Article 80. The judges of the inferior courts shall be appointed by the Cabinet from a list of persons nominated by the Supreme Court. All such judges shall hold office for a term of ten (10) years with privilege of reappointment, provided that they shall be retired upon the attainment of the age as fixed by law.
The judges of the inferior courts shall receive, at regular stated intervals, adequate compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of office.
Article 81. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act.
Article 82. Trials shall be conducted and judgment declared publicly.
Where a court unanimously determines publicity to be dangerous to public order or morals, a trial may be conducted privately, but trials of political offenses, offenses involving the press or cases wherein the rights of people as guaranteed in Chapter III of this Constitution are in question shall always be conducted publicly.
Article 83. The power to administer national finances shall be exercised as the Diet shall determine.
Article 84. No new taxes shall be imposed or existing ones modified except by law or under such conditions as law may prescribe.
Article 85. No money shall be expended, nor shall the State obligate itself, except as authorized by the Diet.
Article 86. The Cabinet shall prepare and submit to the Diet for its consideration and decision a budget for each fiscal year.
Article 87. In order to provide for unforeseen deficiencies in the budget, a reserve fund may be authorized by the Diet to be expended upon the responsibility of the Cabinet.
The Cabinet must get subsequent approval of the Diet for all payments from the reserve fund.
Article 88. All property of the Imperial Household shall belong to the State. All expenses of the Imperial Household shall be appropriated by the Diet in the budget.
Article 89. No public money or other property shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association, or for any charitable, educational or benevolent enterprises not under the control of public authority.
Article 90. Final accounts of the expenditures and revenues of the State shall be audited annually by a Board of Audit and submitted by the Cabinet to the Diet, together with the statement of audit, during the fiscal year immediately following the period covered.
The organization and competency of the Board of Audit shall be determined by law.
Article 91. At regular intervals and at least annually the Cabinet shall report to the Diet and the people on the state of national finances.
Article 92. Regulations concerning organization and operations of local public entities shall be fixed by law in accordance with the principle of local autonomy.
Article 93. The local public entities shall establish assemblies as their deliberative organs, in accordance with law.
The chief executive officers of all local public entities, the members of their assemblies, and such other local officials as may be determined by law shall be elected by direct popular vote within their several communities.
Article 94. Local public entities shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law.
Article 95. A special law, applicable only to one local public entity, cannot be enacted by the Diet without the consent of the majority of the voters of the local public entity concerned, obtained in accordance with law.
Article 96. Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify.
Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people, as an integral part of this Constitution.
Article 97. The fundamental human rights by this Constitution guaranteed to the people of Japan are fruits of the age-old struggle of man to be free they have survived the many exacting tests for durability and are conferred upon this and future generations in trust, to be held for all time inviolate.
Article 98. This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the nation and no law, ordinance, imperial rescript or other act of government, or part thereof, contrary to the provisions hereof, shall have legal force or validity.
The treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed.
Article 99. The Emperor or the Regent as well as Ministers of State, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public officials have the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution.
Article 100. This Constitution shall be enforced as from the day when the period of six months will have elapsed counting from the day of its promulgation.
The enactment of laws necessary for the enforcement of this Constitution, the election of members of the House of Councillors and the procedure for the convocation of the Diet and other preparatory procedures necessary for the enforcement of this Constitution may be executed before the day prescribed in the preceding paragraph.
Article 101. If the House of Councillors is not constituted before the effective date of this Constitution, the House of Representatives shall function as the Diet until such time as the House of Councillors shall be constituted.
Article 102. The term of office for half the members of the House of Councillors serving in the first term under this Constitution shall be three years. Members falling under this category shall be determined in accordance with law.
Article 103. The Ministers of State, members of the House of Representatives and judges in office on the effective date of this Constitution, and all other public officials who occupy positions corresponding to such positions as are recognized by this Constitution shall not forfeit their positions automatically on account of the enforcement of this Constitution unless otherwise specified by law. When, however, successors are elected or appointed under the provisions of this Constitution, they shall forfeit their positions as a matter of course.
What Happened in 1945 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture
What happened in 1945 Major News Stories include USS Indianapolis is sunk by Japanese Submarine, War In Europe Ends May 7th ( V-E Day ), Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide, Harry S. Truman becomes US President following the death of President Roosevelt, Nuclear Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan surrender on August 14 ( V-J Day ), Germany Concentration Camps Liberated, Yalta Agreement signed, Germany is divided between Allied occupation forces, United Nations Charter creates United Nations .
1945 Following effects from Polio as a young man President Roosevelt died on April 12th . Following the defeat of Germany in early 1945 the war officially ended in Europe on May 7th ( V-E Day ). President Harry S. Truman orders the use of the new Nuclear Bombs developed by ( Robert Oppenheimer's team ) the first an atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, Japan, and after the 2nd atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the city of Nagasaki, Japan 5 days later Japan surrendered August 14th ( V-J Day ) .
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Continuing Relevance of the Incarceration
By the end of WWII, 117,000 innocent Japanese Americans had been affected by the government’s order for removal and incarceration (U.S. National Archives and Research Administration, 2017). Their imprisonment, based solely on country of ancestry, represents one of the greatest constitutional injustices in American history. The impacts of this race-based trauma resulted in a culture of silence that had far-reaching consequences extending across multiple generations of Japanese Americans. Healing has occurred at individual, group, and community levels, drawing upon psychotherapeutic, artistic, and legal efforts, including a successful demand for a governmental acknowledgment of wrongdoing and redress. While it is tempting to view redress success as signaling the 𠇎nd” of the incarceration trauma, Japanese Americans have continued to experience race-based stressors. A chapter building of the Japanese American Citizens League was spray-painted with a swastika and the words White Supreme as redress efforts were underway (Arizona JACL, 1990) and anti-Japanese sentiments increased significantly during the economic downturn in the 70s and 80s when angry U.S. autoworkers bashed Japanese-made cars. In 1982, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American who had been called “Jap” and accused of causing American unemployment, was beaten to death with a baseball bat by two white autoworkers (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1992). Contemporary social media and the Internet can also facilitate the spread of offensive racial stereotypes, such as the video of a major league baseball player pulling the corners of his eyes into “slant eyes” after hitting a homerun from a Japanese pitcher.
Despite the passage of 75 years, the Japanese American incarceration remains highly relevant. Terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 elicited calls to round up and confine individuals who might be a security threat, as was done with Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor (Groves & Hayasaki, 2001). Even before the attacks, Saito (2001) had cautioned, “Just as Asians were ‘raced’ as foreign, and “presumptively disloyal”, Arab Americans and Muslims have been ‘raced’ as ‘terrorists’” (p. 12). Reference to the incarceration has also re-emerged amidst more recent national security tensions. It is important to note in this context that although judicial decisions in the1980s vacated the wartime convictions of the three Nisei who challenged the exclusion orders, they did not overturn the Supreme Court’s original 1944 Korematsu v. United States decision supporting the government’s actions.
In June, 2018, the Supreme Court decided to uphold President Trump’s executive order on national security banning or severely restricting travel from specific countries to the U.S. The original Korematsu case was noted in the case opinions. Justices on both sides agreed that the Korematsu decision, justified at the time as necessary for national security during World War II, had been gravely wrong. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, writing for the majority opinion, stated that “the forcible relocation of U.S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of presidential authority.” However, there was marked disagreement regarding the relevance of the Korematsu case to the travel ban. Chief Justice Roberts noted, “… it is wholly inapt to liken that morally repugnant order [Executive Order 9066] to a facially neutral policy denying certain foreign nationals the privilege of admission”. In contrast, the opinion of dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor saw the decision to uphold the travel ban as “redeploying the same dangerous logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one ‘gravely wrong’ decision with another.” Response to the decision by the Japanese American Citizens League’s (JACL) also voiced concern, pointing out that the original World War II exclusion order was also ially neutral … and did not specify Japanese or Japanese Americans … However, in its application, it was entirely discriminatory in its effect, and that is what the court has failed to recognize in its ruling today” (Japanese American Citizens League, 2018, p. 5).
Obvious differences exist between the context and nature of the travel ban and the incarceration. Japanese Americans already living in the United States were rounded up and imprisoned solely because of their ethnic ancestry, without regard to citizenship. Nonetheless, national security arguments underlay both the incarceration and the travel ban policies. Clearly, critical problems often lie between written intent and actual implementation, and the traumatic sequelae experienced by Japanese Americans demonstrate the serious consequences of governmental policies that are enacted in unjust, discriminatory ways.
The incarceration also has continued relevance to psychology’s long history of addressing social justice (Leong, Pickren, & Vasquez, 2017). Japanese Americans’ incarceration-based experiences encourage psychologists to consider the broad scope of racial trauma impacts, coping, and resilience in relation to individual differences, family and multigenerational processes, and community responses. It also points to the value of a psychology that “is fully grounded in history and culture” and attends to the silence surrounding memories that accompany major social and political disruption (Apfelbaum, 2000, p. 1008). At the same time, the incarceration trauma underscores the importance of psychological research on the processes that underlie racism and discrimination. The long history of racial prejudice that fueled the exclusion and imprisonment of Japanese Americans characterizes the experiences of ethnoracial minority groups. Contemporary studies indicate that most people unknowingly sort others into “us” versus “them” with minimal effort, systematically reinforcing inequalities (Richeson & Sommers, 2016) and that subtle and unintentional mechanisms such as in-group favoritism contribute to racism and discrimination (Greenwald & Pettigrew, 2014). Continued efforts to understand these processes and identify conditions for reducing prejudice can assist in tackling these challenges. Finally, the incarceration highlights the importance of studying cross-group alliances and community activism in response to racial trauma. Japanese Americans collaborated with African American activists to address 1960s civil rights at the infancy of the incarceration redress effort. Today, spurred by a sense of responsibility to draw attention to the dangers and consequences of wrongful incarceration, they focus on supporting Muslim and Arab American communities facing ongoing hostilities and suspicion (Japanese American Citizens League, 2016 Rahim, 2017).
Cost of Living 1931
How Much things cost in 1931
Average Cost of new house $6,790.00
Average wages per year $1,850.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 10 cents
Average Cost for house rent $18.00 per month
A loaf of Bread 8 cents
A LB of Hamburger Meat 11 cents
Alarm Clock $3.50
New Car Average Price $640.00
Shoulder of Ohio Spring lamb 17 cents per pound Ohio 1932
Dozen Eggs 18 Cents Ohio 1932
Bananas 19 cents for 4 Pounds Ohio 1932
Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 600