Could Pearl Harbor Have Been Prevented ?
Perhaps the most important event in the US military history is surprise attack of Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941. It was this attack that saw the US entering the Second World War. It was also this attack that prompted the US to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. While the US had a lot of success in the war, people often wonder whether Pearl Harbor could have been prevented. Certain facts have come out that make people believe that the dreadful bombing of Pearl Harbor that caused massive US casualties could have been prevented.
Some papers belonging to the US ambassador to Japan were discovered after the Second World War. According to these papers, it is believed that the ambassador got intelligence report from the ambassador of Peru to Japan that Japan was planning to attack Pearl Harbor. This intelligence report came to the US ambassador nearly one year prior to the actual attack. He passed on this information to the US, but since it did not have too much detail, the intelligence department did not think that an attack was eminent.
Furthermore, before the Pearl Harbor attack occurred, already the relations between the US and Japan were not very good. Both countries were fighting over their interests in China. The US did not want Japan to get a foothold in China, as it would mean that Japan, who had joined Germany and Italy, would be able to defeat the British. Because if Japan went to war with the British, automatically Germany and Italy would join the war due to the alliance the 3 countries had. So, the US used covert methods to undermine Japan's authority in China. This did not go down well with the Japanese. The US also put embargo on iron ore as well as oil trading with the Japanese. Japan needed both these commodities during the war.
To overcome these embargoes, Japan wanted their prime minister to meet the US president. However, the meeting kept getting postponed and never took place. Maybe if the meeting had taken place, Pearl Harbor would have never been bombed and so many US soldiers would not have died or succumbed to injuries.
The US was certain that Japan would not attack them. So, the government disregarded all the signs of an impending war. If the US government had paid heed to the warnings, Pearl Harbor attack could have been prevented. However, by the time the US woke up and realized that the Japanese propaganda against the US was working, it was too late. Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor and US was sucked into World War II.
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Historic Mysteries: Could the Attack on Pearl Harbor Have Been Avoided?