1. VITAL MESSAGES: In view of the foregoing, the estimate of the 
situation showed that an all-out attack by air was the judgment of the 
best military and naval minds in Hawaii.  Under established military 
doctrine, that called for preparation for this worst eventuality.  (R. 
436-437)  Short so admitted that this was the correct procedure.  (R. 

The contrast between the written statements of many of the responsible 
actors in this matter prior to Pearl Harbor and after Pearl Harbor, as 
to their estimate of an air attack by Japan on Oahu, is startling.

The Secretary of the Navy wrote on January 24, 1941, to the Secretary of 

"The dangers envisage in their order of importance and probability are 
considered to be:

"(1) air bombing attack.

"(2) air torpedo attack.

"(3) sabotage."  (Roberts Record, 1824-1825)

However, when Secretary of the Navy arrived in Hawaii a few days after 
December 7, following the Japanese attack, Admiral Pye testified his 
(Secretary Knox) first remark was: "No one in Washington expected an 
attack -- even Kelly Turner."  Admiral Kelly Turner was in the War Plans 
Division of the Navy and was the most aggressive-minded of all.  (R. 

General Marshall, in a letter to General Short on February 7, 1941, 

"The risk of sabotage and *the risk involved in a surprise raid by air* 
and submarine constitute the real perils of the situation." (R. 17)

Page 106

On October 7, 1944, General Marshall testified before this Board:

"We did not, so far as I recall, anticipate an attack upon Hawaii."  (R. 

It will be recalled that Admiral Bellinger and General Martin were 
responsible for the Joint Estimate, particularly with reference to air, 
and that this was based upon the Joint Hawaiian Coastal Frontier Defense 
Plan.  In that estimate they put attack by air as the primary threat 
against Hawaii.

Contrast what Admiral Bellinger said on this record:

"If anyone knew the attack was coming, why, I assume they would have 
been in a functioning status."  (R. 1626)

Contrast what General Martin said:

"I didn't see any more danger from attack than General Short did, that 
is from a surprise attack with the information we had."  (R. 1827)

Admiral Kimmel said:

"We had no reason to  believe, from any intelligence we had, that the 
Japanese were going to make an air attack on Pearl Harbor or even that 
any attack was going to be made on Pearl Harbor."  (R. 1771)

The foregoing statement by Kimmel was in 1944 before this Board, whereas 
the joint agreements he entered into with the Army and the instructions 
from the Secretary of Navy as well as his own recommendations to the 
Secretary of the Navy show that an air attack was the principal concern.

Likewise, Admiral Bloch, who signed the Joint Air Agreement based on the 
air estimate of Bellinger and Martin, testified as follows: 

"General Frank:  Was the attack a complete surprise to you"

"Admiral Bloch:  Yes, sir."  (R. 1518)

General Short was the signer of the agreements specifying

Page 107

the air attack as a primary threat and he had received the Marshall 
letter of February 7, 1941, and similar letters of General Marshall, and 
had replied setting forth in letters that the air attack was his primary 

Witness what General Short says on this record to the contrary:

"General Grunert: Was the attack of December 7 a complete surprise to 

"General Short: It was." (R. 536)

We must therefore conclude that the responsible authorities, the 
Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Staff in Washington, down to the 
Generals and Admirals in Hawaii, *all expected an air attack before 
Pearl Harbor*. As a general statement, when testifying after the Pearl 
Harbor attack, they did not expect it.

Apparently the only person who was not surprised was the Secretary of 
War, Mr. Stimson, who testified:

"Well, I was not surprised."  (R. 4072)

Short's Standard Operating Procedure, which he had formulated with his 
staff in July and finally put into complete form on November 5, 1941, 
(R. 333) had been sent to the Chief of Staff.  (R. 431)  General 
Marshall wrote General Short on October 10th that it had just come to 
his attention and that upon an examination of the Standard Operating 
Procedure of the Hawaiian Department, dated July 14, containing those 
three alerts, "I am particularly concerned with missions assigned to air 
units."  (R. 29)

He objected to the assignment to the Hawaiian Air Force of the mission 
of defending Schofield Barracks and all

Page 108

airfields on Oahu against sabotage and ground attacks, and with 
providing a provisional battalion of 500 men for military police duty.  
He thereby warned General Short that the air force should not be used 
for antisabotage, for General Marshall further said in his letter:

"This (the action of using the air force for antisabotage duty) seems 
inconsistent with the emphasis we are placing on air strength in Hawaii, 
particularly in view of the fact that only minimum operating and 
maintenance personnel have been provided."  (R. 29)

General Short replied on October 14, as follows:

"The plan was to use them (Air Force personnel) for guarding certain 
essential utilities. ... However, this will be unnecessary as the 
Legislature has just passed the Home Guard Bill, which will go into 
effect very soon."

General Marshall again wrote General Short on the 28th of October, and 
in it he clearly indicated to Short that he should change his alert plan 
(of which there was no proof that he ever did) and only use the Air 
Force for guard during the last stage when the Air Force as such had 
been destroyed and a hostile landing effected.  General Marshall further 
indicated that no potential ground duty should be used as an excuse for 
not continuing the specific Air Force training, saying:

"I suggest that you prepare a separate phase of your alert plan based on 
the assumption that the Air Force has been destroyed and a hostile 
landing effected.  This plan could provide for the use of the necessary 
Air Corps personnel for ground defense and afford a means of 
indoctrinating them in ground defense tactics.  It should, however, for 
the present at least, be subordinated to their own specific training 

"It would appear that the best policy would be to allow them to 
concentrate on technical Air Corps training until they have completed 
their expansion program and have their feet on the ground as far as 
their primary mission is concerned."  (R. 30)

Page 109

Here, again, General Marshall cautioned Short to use his Air Force for 
its normal purposes and not upon antisabotage guard duty and emphasizes 
that the use of the Air Force must be free and unfettered.

On October 16 Short received the following Navy message:

"The following is a paraphrase of a dispatch from the C.N.O. which I 
have been directed to pass to you.  Quote:  'Japanese Cabinet 
resignation creates a grave situation.  If a new cabinet is formed it 
will probably be anti-American and extremely nationalistic.  If the 
Konoye Cabinet remains it will operate under a new mandate which will 
not include reapproachment [sic] with the United States.  Either way 
hostilities between Japan and Russia are strongly possible.  Since 
Britain and the United States are held responsible by Japan for her 
present situation there is also a possibility that Japan may attack 
those two powers.  In view of these possibilities you will take due 
precautions including such preparatory deployments as will not disclose 
strategic intention nor constitute provocative action against Japan'." 
(R. 279)

On October 18, 1941, a radiogram was sent by the War Department to the 
Commanding General, Hawaii Department, reading as follows:

"Following War Department estimate of Japanese situation for your 
information.  Tension between the United States and Japan remain 
strained but no abrupt change in Japanese foreign policy appears 
imminent."  (R. 4258)

This message was dated October 18, 1941, according to the Gerow 
statement, Exhibit 63, but in the copy of communications produced by 
General Marshall, the same message was dated October 20, 1941, as #266.

On October 28, General Marshall wrote General Short as to details of the 
training of the air corps personnel.

On November 24 the Chief of Naval Operations sent the Commander-in-
Chief, Pacific Fleet, a message that Short thinks he saw, reading as 

Page 110

"There are very doubtful chances of a favorable outcome of negotiations 
with Japan.  This situation, coupled with statements of Nippon 
Government and movements of their naval and military force is, in our 
opinion, that a *surprise aggressive movement in any direction*, 
including an attack on the Philippines or Guam *is a possibility*.  The 
Chief of Staff has seen this dispatch and concurs and requests action.  
... inform senior Army officers in respective areas utmost secrecy is 
necessary in order not to complicate the already tense situation or 
precipitate Japanese action."  (R. 4258)

On November 26, 1941, the following secret cablegram was sent to the 
Commanding General, Hawaiian Department:

"It is desired following instructions be given pilots of two B-24s on 
special photo mission.  Photograph Jaluit Island in the Caroline Group 
while simultaneously making visual reconnaissance.  Information is 
desired as to location and number of guns, aircraft, airfields, 
barracks, camps, and naval vessels including submarines XXX before they 
depart Honolulu insure that both B-24s are fully supplied with 
ammunition for guns." (R. 4259)

On November 27 the Chief of Naval Operations sent to the Commander-in-
Chief, Pacific Fleet, a message which was delivered by the liaison 
officer, Lieutenant Burr, to G-3 of General Short, which reads as 

"Consider this dispatch a war warning.  The negotiations with Japan in 
an effort to stabilize conditions in the Pacific have ended.  Japan is 
expected to make an aggressive move within the next few days.  An 
amphibious expedition against either the Philippines, Thai, or Kra 
Peninsula or possibly Borneo is indicated by the number and equipment of 
Japanese troops and the organization of their naval task forces.  You 
will execute a defensive deployment in preparation for carrying out the 
tasks assigned in WPL 46 only.  Guam, Samoa and Continental Districts 
have been directed to take appropriate measures against sabotage.  A 
similar warning is being sent by the War Department.  Inform naval 
district and Army authorities.  British to be informed by Spenavo."  (R. 

And on the same day the Chief of Staff sent the following radio to the 
Commanding General, Hawaiian Department:

Page 111

No. 472. "Negotiations with Japanese appear to be terminated to all 
practical purposes with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese 
Government might come back and offer to continue.  Japanese future 
action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment.  If 
hostilities cannot, repeat cannot, be avoided, the U.S. desires that 
Japan commit the first overt act.  This policy should not, repeat not, 
be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might 
jeopardize your defense.  Prior to hostile Japanese action, you are 
directed to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem 
necessary but these measures should be carried out so as not, repeat 
not, to alarm the civil population or disclose intent.  Report measures 
taken.  Should hostilities occur, you will carry out task assigned in 
Rainbow Five as far as they pertain to Japan.  Limit dissemination of 
this highly secret information to minimum essential officers."  (R. 280-
281, 4259-4260) [1]

This completes the pattern of the communications and information that 
was in Short's possession when he made the fatal decision to elect the 
antisabotage Alert No. 1 and not select either Alert No. 2 or No. 3 
which would have constituted the defense against the most serious attack  
that could be made upon him in view of the previous estimate of the 
situation and warnings he had received from all quarters of an air raid. 

On the same day, November 27, 1941, but *after his decision to select 
Alert No. 1* and sending of a reply to the message, Short received from 
G-2, War Department, through his G-2, Hawaiian Department, the following 

"Advise only the C.G. and the C. of S.  It appears that the conference 
with the Japanese has ended in an apparent deadlock.  Acts of sabotage 
and espionage probable. *Also possibilities that hostilities may begin*.  
(R. 4260)


[1] A full discussion of the message follows.
[2] Significant naval messages from the Chief of Naval Operations to the 
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, under dates of December 3, 4, and 6, 
1941, relating to the destruction of codes and secret documents by 
Japanese consulates and instructions regarding destruction of similar 
means of our own evidently never reached General Short. (R. 424-425)

Page 112

Short was asked what were his reasons for his action.

The following colloquy is important:

"General Frank: I would like to develop this thought for just a minute.  
This is in consideration generally of military operations.  In 
estimating the situation with which a military commander is confronted, 
our teachings in the military establishment generally have been along 
the lines of taking all information that is available, evaluating it and 
using it as a guide.  Is that correct?

"General Short. Yes

"General Frank: That is in accordance with our Leavenworth teaching, our 
War College teaching and our actual practice in the organization.  Now, 
in coming to a decision on military disposition and general practice in 
the Army, Army teachings, as perhaps Army tradition, indicate that a 
commander should prepare for enemy action of what character?

"General Short:  The worst.

"General Frank:  The worst.  Now, can you tell me why that was not done 
in this instance?

"General Short:  Everything indicated to me that the War Department did 
not believe that there was going to be anything more than sabotage; and, 
as I have explained, we had a very serious training proposition with the 
Air Corps particularly, that if we went into Alert N. 2 or 3 instead of 
No. 1 at the time that we couldn't meet the requirements of the 
Philippine ferrying business.  Also the fact that they told me to report 
the action taken unquestionably had an influence because when I reported 
action and there was no comment that my action was too little or too 
much I was a hundred percent convinced that they agreed with it.  They 
had a lot more information than I had."  (R. 436-437)


"General Frank:  All right.  Now, you have given considerable testimony 
about how you arrived at your conclusion of the adequateness of Alert 
No. 1, and in general may we say that you came to this conclusion as a 
result of your faith in the effectiveness of naval operations and the 
influence of Naval opinion and to a certain extent of the line of 
thought as a result of what was contained in messages between the 16th 
of November and the 27th?

"General Short:  Yes, sir.  And that was later confirmed by, may I add, 
actions of the War Department in not replying to my message and stating 
that they wanted more, and in sending planes without ammunition.

Page 113

"General Frank:  All right.  Did you feel that the wording of messages 
coming here in there to you indicated an effort toward a supervisory 

"General Short:  I thought that it indicated very definitely two things:  
That they wanted me to be extremely careful and not have an incident 
with the Japanese population that would arouse Japan, and the other 
thing was not to violate territorial laws in my eagerness to carry out 
defensive measures.

"General Frank:  The question has arisen in the minds of the Board as to 
why, when that air estimate anticipated just exactly what happened, 
steps were not taken to meet it.  I assume that the answer --

"General Short:  You mean the estimate of the year -- you mean the year 

"General Frank:  No. The Martin-Bellinger estimate.

"General Short:  Oh.

"General Frank:  Of 1941.

"General Short:  Yes.

"General Frank:  I assume the answer is the answer that you gave to the 
question asked two or three questions back.

"General Short:  Yes."  (R. 471-472)

General Short within an hour after receiving the message from the Chief 
of Staff of November 27 ordered the No. 1 Alert, which continued up to 
the attack on December 7.  (R. 282)  His message in reply to General 
Marshall was:

"Report Department alerted to prevent sabotage.  Liaison with Navy.  
Reuard [sic] four seventy two Nov. 27th."  (R. 38, 286)

The endorsements so appearing on this reply are as follows: In the 
handwriting of the Secretary of War there appear the words "Noted HLS", 
written in pen;  "Noted - Chief of Staff",  stamped by a rubber stamp on 
the message without initials; and a rubber stamp "Noted, WPD" (in red 
ink) followed by pen initials "L.T.G."  (R. 38, 4287)

Page 114

An examination of the wire received from General MacArthur, in response 
to a similar message sent to General Short, [1] shows the same 
endorsements, including "Noted - Chief of Staff", with a rubber stamp 
but no initials.  However, this message has written in General 
Marshall's handwriting the words "To Secretary of War, GCM",  This 
endorsement does not appear on the following message that came from 
Short.  (See General Marshall's explanation below.)

The message from Short to the Chief of Staff indicates that it was the 
"Action Copy" as noted in pencil at its foot "OCS/18136-120".

When questioned about this vital message, the Chief of Staff said:

"General Russell:  Subsequently General Short sent a reply to that 
message in which he refers to the November 27 message from you over your 
signature by number.  That message of General Short reporting action 
merely states:

" 'Report Department alerted to prevent sabotage.  Liaison with Navy 
REURAD for seven two twenty-seventh.'

"The original of General Short's report indicates that it was initialed 
by Secretary Stimson and has a stamp "Noted - Chief of Staff," and was 
initialed by General Gerow.

"The Board has been interested to know the procedure in your office as 
it relates to stamping documents which do not bear your signature.  Does 
that indicate that you did or did not see those messages?


[1]  On November 27th the War Department sent messages similar to one 
sent to General Short, to MacArthur in the Philippines, Andrews in 
Panama, and DeWitt on the West Coast, each of which called for a report 
of measures taken.  All replies except that from Short indicated the 
taking of measures of greater security that those envisaged in the 
Hawaiian Alert No. 1.

Page 115

"General Marshall:  Well, I think if you look at the preceding message 
from the Philippines you will find that same rubber stamp on there, 
"Noted - Chief of Staff."

"General Russell:  That is true.

"General Marshall:  And you will find it at the top of the message.  You 
will find my initials.

"General Russell:  Yes; I do see them.

"General Marshall:  But not on the other one.  I do not know about that.  
I do not know what the explanation is.  I initial them all; that is my 
practice.  One goes to the particular section that has the 
responsibility for working on it, which in this case was the War Plans 
Division, now the Operations Division, and then one comes to me.  I 
initial it and then it goes out to the record.  Where I think the 
Secretary of War ought to see it, and if he is not in the distribution, 
I check it to him.  Where I think there is somebody else that should be 
notified, I indicate on the face of my copy who else is to be informed 
of this.  As a matter of routine one agency is charged with the 
execution of the matter pertaining to the message.  But in this 
particular case I do not know.  I have no recollection at all.

"General Russell:  The fact that it reached the Secretary of War's 
office and was by him initialed -- would that or not indicate that you 
had sent it up to him or that it might have been sent up to him by 
someone else?

"General Marshall:  In this connection I invite your attention to the 
fact that this was filed behind a message from General MacArthur.  I 
note that I did not initial it.  They evidently came in together.

"General Russell:  If they were together you might or might not have 
seen them?

"General Marshall:  I have no recollection at all.  The presumption 
would be that I had seen it."  (R. 38-40)

No one of these persons, or any of their subordinates, have any record, 
either internally in the War Department or externally, of any message to 
Short showing the slightest exception taken to his course of action.  It 
will be noted as to the Chief of Staff, that while he did not initial 
the Short reply, he did initial the top message from General

Page 116

MacArthur on the same subject, and apparently they both went together to 
the Secretary of War, as they had come at substantially the same time in 
answer to the same message from the Chief of Staff.  The inference from 
General Marshall's testimony is that possibly he only initialed the top 
one, but that is speculation, as he said, "I don not know what the 
explanation is."  (R. 39)

message of November 27, #472, heretofore quoted as having been sent by 
the Chief of Staff to the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, can 
be understood and its proper place in this narrative determined only 
when we know the events which led up to its being sent;  when we know by 
whom drafted and by what procedure the drafting was accomplished; and 
the circumstances under which it was forwarded.  Its relationship to 
surrounding circumstances and other documents must also be understood 
before we proceed to analyze the message and the meaning of each part of 
it. [1]


[1] The Secretary of War has cleared some ambiguity in this record, and 
an ambiguity in the White Papers by defining with precision the War 
Council.  There were really three bodies that were loosely referred to 
from time to time by this title.  The true War Council was that 
established under the National Defense Act of 1920, solely within the 
War Department.  The second body was that created by the Secretary of 
War, Mr. Stimson, and the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Knox, when they 
entered into their positions, by which they gathered together at regular 
intervals with the Secretary of State, and sometimes with General 
Marshall and Admiral Stark.  The third group was that which joined the 
President at fairly regular intervals, consisting of the President, the 
Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy, and from 
time to time General Marshall and Admiral Stark, and occasionally, 
General Arnold.  (R. 4041-4042-4043-4044, 4047-4048, 5-6)

Page 117

The War Council met on the 25th of November 1941.  Fortunately, we have 
the advantage of the contemporaneous diary of the Secretary of War, Mr. 
Stimson, who has pictured in his diary with great clarity and precision 
the events as they transpired, which were material to this issue. This 
diary reads:

"At 9:30 Knox and I met in Hull's office for our meeting of three.  Hull 
showed us the proposal for a three months' truce which he was going to 
lay before the Japanese today or tomorrow.  It adequately safeguarded 
all our interests, I though, as we read it, but I don't think that there 
is any chance of the Japanese accepting it because it was so drastic. 
... We were an hour and a half with Hull, and then I went back to the 
Department, and I got hold of Marshall.  Then at twelve o'clock I went 
to the White House where we were until nearly half past one.  At the 
meeting were Hull, Knox, Marshall, Stark, and myself.  There the 
President brought up the relations with the Japanese.  He brought up the 
event that we were likely to be attacked perhaps as soon as -- perhaps 
next Monday, for the Japs are notorious for making an attack without 
warning, and the question was what we should do.  We conferred on the 
general problem.  (R. 4050-4051)

This was the end of the discussions on the 25th of November, 1941 (R. 
4050-4051), with the exception that when the Secretary of War returned 
to his office, he found a G-2 message that a Japanese expedition had 
started southward, south of Formosa; and he at once called Mr. Hull and 
sent him copies of the report and a copy to the President.

On the following day, November 26, 1941, the diary continues:

"Hull told me over the telephone this morning that he had about made up 
his mind not to make the proposition that Knox and I passed on the other 
day (the 25th) to the Japanese, but to kick the whole thing ever and to 
tell them that he had no other proposition at all."  (R. 4051-40520

There is some proof that, before General Marshall left Washington for 
North Carolina on maneuvers on the afternoon of

Page 118

the 26th, he had drafted in the rough a proposed message to General 
Short apprising him of the situation as it was developed.  General 
Gerow, Chief of the War Plans Division, testifies that he believes he 
discussed such a draft with General Marshall.  (R. 4244-4246)

General Marshall was away on the 27th and returned on the 28th, at which 
time he saw the complete draft of the message of the 27th together with 
the report from General Gerow of the events during the 27th which we are 
now about to relate. (R. 36-37)

Before the closing of the story of the 26th, Mr. Stimson defines it as:

"The 26th was the day he (Hull) told me he was in doubt whether he would 
go on with it."  (R. 4051-4052-4053)

What the Secretary of State appears to have done was to have his 
conference with the Japanese Ambassadors and to hand to them the "Ten 
Points".  As Ambassador Grew testifies, the Japanese considered these 
"Ten Points" to be an ultimatum.  (R. 4221)  Whether or not the 
Secretary of State considers now that this is not an ultimatum  (see his 
letter of September 28, 1943), nevertheless, the Japanese did so 
consider it and acted upon it as such by notifying the task force, as 
the evidence shows was waiting at Tankan Bay, to start the movement 
against Hawaii, and it did move out on the 27-28th of November.  As well 
put by Ambassador Grew:

"Naturally, they (the Japanese) had all their plans made for years 
beforehand, in the case of war with America.  They were very foresighted 
in those respects, and they had their plans drawn up probably right down 
to the last detail; but as for the moment at which the button was 
touched.  I don't myself know exactly how long it would have taken their 
carriers to get from where they were to the point at which

Page 119

they attacked Pearl Harbor; but it has always been my belief that it was 
*about the time of the receipt of Mr. Hull's memorandum of November 26 
that the button was touched*." (R. 4215)

On the morning of the 27th of November 1941. Mr. Stimson's diary reads:

"The first thing in the morning, I called up Hull to find out what his 
final decision had been with the Japanese -- whether he had handed them 
the new proposal which we passed on two or three days ago or whether, as 
he suggested yesterday, he had broken the whole matter off.  He told me 
now he had broken the whole matter off.  As he put it, 'I have washed my 
hands of it, and it is now in the hands of you and Knox, the Army and 

Then the Secretary of War states:

"I then called up the President and talked with him about it."

He (Stimson) then approved the orders presented to him by General Arnold 
to move two large planes over the Mandated Islands to take pictures. (R. 

The Secretary related that General Marshall "is down at the maneuvers 
today." and "Knox and Admiral Stark came over and conferred with me and 
General Grew."  At this point he says:

"A draft memorandum from General Marshall and Admiral Stark to the 
President was examined, and the question of the need for further time 
was discussed."  (R. 4054)

This is the memorandum asking the President not to precipitate an 
ultimatum with the Japanese and to give the Army and Navy more time 
within which to prepare; but it was too late, as the die had been cast 
by the Secretary of State in handing the "Ten Points"  counter-proposal 
to the Japanese on the previous day, which was, as the Secretary of 
State remarked, "washing his hands of the matter."

Page 120

When Ambassador Grew so testified he apparently did not know of the very 
complete evidence in this record of the movement of the Japanese task 
force starting on the 27th-28th from Tankan Bay to the attack.  Mr. 
Hull's statement on this subject is of interest:

"I communicated on November 26 to the Japanese spokesman -- who were 
urgently calling for a reply to their proposals of November 20 -- what 
became the last of this Government's counter-proposal.  ... It will thus 
be seen that the document under reference did not constitute in any 
sense an ultimatum."  (Letter from Secretary of State to the Army Pearl 
Harbor Board, September 28, 1944.)

3. THE DRAFTING OF THE MESSAGE #472 OF THE 27TH: We now turn to the 
drafting of the message of the 27th as related by the Secretary of War, 
Mr. Stimson, General Bryden and General Gerow.   (R. 4239-4240)  A 
second meeting between Secretary Stimson, Secretary Knox, Admiral Stark 
and General Gerow was held later in the day.  (R. 4240)  As the diary of 
Mr. Stimson says:

"But the main question at this meeting was over the message that we 
shall send to MacArthur.  We have already sent him a quasi-alert or the 
first signal for an alert; and now, on talking with the President this 
morning over the telephone, I suggested and he approved the idea that we 
should send the final alert, namely that he should be on the *qui vive* 
for any attack, and telling him how the situation was."  (R. 4055)

To continue with the diary:

"So Gerow and Stark and I went over the proposed message to him (Mr. 
Stimson here verbally testified -- 'We were sending the message to four 
people, not only MacArthur, but Hawaii, Panama, and Alaska').  So Gerow 
and Stark and I went over the proposed message to him from Marshall very 
carefully, finally got it into shape, and with the help of a telephone 
talk I had with Hull I got the exact statement from him of what the 
situation was."  (R. 4056)

Page 121

The Secretary of War then stated:

"The thing that I was anxious to do was to be sure that we represented 
with correctness and accuracy what the situation was between the two 
governments, and this part I got from Hull, as I said, by telephone, to 
be sure I was right."  (R. 4056)

The two sentences which the Secretary of War apparently wrote in the 
message of the 27th were these:

"Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical 
purpose with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese Government 
might come back and offer to continue.  Japanese future action 
unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment." [1]

The Secretary continues his testimony:

"That was what I was interested in getting out at the time, because that 
had been a decision which I had heard from the President, as I have just 
read, and I had gotten the exact details of the situation between the 
State Department and the envoys from Mr. Hull; and, as I pointed out 
here, the purpose in my mind, as I quote my talk with the President, was 
to send a final alert, namely, that the man should be on the *qui vive* 
for any attack, and telling him how the situation was here."  (R. 4056)

The task that the Secretary of War was engaged upon was normally that of 
the Chief of Staff.  As Mr. Stimson said:

"That was why I was in this matter.  Marshall was away.  I had had a 
decision from the President on that subject, and I regarded it as my 
business to do what I of course normally do; to see that the message as 
sent was framed in accordance with the facts."  (R. 4057)

The message to Hawaii now under consideration of the 27th has endorsed 
upon it, "Shown to the Secretary of War".  (R. 4057)


[1] However, General Gerow (R. 4247) testified that he believed that the 
sentence "Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action 
possible at any moment" was inserted by him or Colonel Bundy.

Page 122

The Secretary testified:

"I went over very carefully the whole message. ... And I saw it after it 
was finally drawn, as was shown by the memorandum there."  (R. 4058)

With reference to the other messages that took place on the 27th in the 
drafting of this message, #472, General Gerow's testimony is that at the 
meeting with the Secretary of War the first two sentences, reported by 
the Secretary of War as being drafted by him, were sentences which were 
softened by instructions or information furnished by the Secretary of 
State in a conversation over the telephone with the Secretary of War the 
morning of the 27th.  (R. 4247)  General Gerow testifies that the 
sentences so softened originally read "Negations with Japan have been 
terminated."  (R. 4270)

The sentence, "Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action 
possible at any moment" was put in by General Gerow or Colonel Bundy.  
(R. 4247)

The sentence, "If hostilities cannot, repeat cannot, be avoided, the 
United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act," was thus 
phrased because as Gerow said he testified before the Roberts 

"We pointed out in the message the possible danger of attack and 
directed reconnaissance and other necessary measures without fully 
carrying into effect the provisions of this plan, which would have 
required hostile action against Japan, and the President had definitely 
stated that he wanted Japan to commit the first overt act."  (R. 4251-

The next sentence:

"This policy should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting you to 
a course of action that might jeopardize your defense"

was inserted by General Gerow or by Colonel Bundy.  The

Page 123

purpose of this language was to insure freedom of action to the 
Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department.  (R. 4252)

General Gerow said that there had been no discussion of the ambiguity of 
the message or its apparent conflicting instructions as a "Do-or-Don't" 
message.  (R. 4252)

He said that nothing in the message told General Short about the 
relations between the American Government and the Japanese Empire.  (R> 
4256)  The sole information passed on to General Short by the War 
Department from October 20th to November 27th about what the soldier 
calls "enemy information" was in this particular message.  (R. 4263)  
The only previous message that Short had had of the international 
situation from the War Department was on October 20, which read, [1] [2]


[1] However, General Gerow testified (R. 4258) that there was a Navy 
Department message of November 24th which contained information of the 
Japanese aggressive action and which directed the Commander-in-Chief 
Pacific Fleet to inform General Short of its contents.
[2] Information gleaned by the Board indicates that G-2, War Department, 
on November 3, 1941, sent a letter to G-2, Hawaiian Department, in which 
was set forth the prophecy of war between Japan and the United States in 
December 1941 or February 1942, as made by a prominent Japanese.

Page 124

"Following War Department estimate of Japanese situation for your 
information.  Tension between the United States and Japan remains 
strained but no abrupt change in Japanese foreign policy appears 
imminent." (R. 4264)

The sentence:

"This policy should not be construed as restricting you to a course of 
action that might jeopardize your defense"

was put in by the War Plans Division.  (R. 4271)

With reference to the phrase, "You are directed to take such 
reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary" apparently at 
that time no investigation was made by the War Department to ascertain 
just what means General Short had of conducting the reconnaissance; but 
aside from this fault, the fact is that General Short did have some 
planes plus radar to conduct a degree of reconnaissance. This the record 
shows he did not fully and gainfully employ these means for this 
purpose.  General Short was recalled at substantially the end of all the 
testimony and questioned on this point.  Short's position on this 
message was that the direction to him to conduct reconnaissance was a 
futile directive and that it indicated to him that the man who wrote the 
message was entirely unfamiliar with the fact, "that the Navy was 
responsible for long distance reconnaissance".  He said this was

"in spite of the fact that the Chief of Staff had approved that plan 
that provided for that, whoever wrote the message was not familiar with 
it, or it had slipped his mind that it was the Navy and not the Army 
that was responsible."  (R. 4436-4437)

He said when questioned as to why he did not call attention to this 
matter in his reply to the War Department:

"I think if the War Department had intended to abrogate that agreement, 
they would have told me so."

Page 125

He said he based everything on the responsibility of the Navy for long 
distance reconnaissance, because it had been approved by the Chief of 
Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations.  (R. 4438)

He could not explain why he failed to use his own reconnaissance 
aircraft even though the agreement was not actually in effect at that 
time or the War Department had overlooked the agreement because he says, 
as elsewhere admitted, that the Army and Navy agreement was not to go 
into effect until hostilities, or their equivalent, had occurred.  His 
reconnaissance planes were still under his control and could have been 
used by him to carry out this direct order in this message.

For instance, the following colloquy occurred:

"62.  General Grunert:  You might clear up two additional points.  
First, we will take up the point that you have brought out, there, that 
the War Department had evidently overlooked the agreement that your 
command had with the Navy, as to distant reconnaissance.  Did you call 
the War Department's attention to the fact, when you were ordered to 
make reconnaissance, about that agreement?

"General Short: I did not, but I reported to them exactly what I was 

"63. General Grunert: Then you considered your report the answer to 

"General Short: They called on me for a report.  If they had not called 
on me for a report, I think the situation would have been quite 
different; but they definitely told me to 'report action taken' which I 
did; and I heard nothing further from them.

"64.  General Grunert:  We have had testimony before the Board, from a 
member of the Navy, calling the Board's attention to the fact that this 
Joint Hawaiian Coastal Frontier Defense Plan was not operative until an 
emergency arose, and apparently the emergency, or the imminency of

Page 126

such an emergency, was not agreed to, locally, to make the provisions 
operative.  With that understanding, was it the Navy's business to 
conduct long-distance reconnaissance, prior to such an emergency?

"General Short:  If the emergency existed, it was their business; if it 
did not exist, there was no necessity.

"65. General Grunert: Then, when do you judge the emergency came about?

"General Short: It very definitely cam about, at 7:55 on the morning of 
the 7th."  (R. 4438-4439)

This is sufficient in itself to clearly demonstrate that Short was not 
taking the action which he could and should have taken of either more 
fully carrying out the order, or of specifically and definitely 
reporting the complete circumstances of his inability to do so.  He did 
not call the attention of the War Department to what was an apparent 
misunderstanding on its part.  He was relying upon the Navy 
reconnaissance without any reasonable energetic inquiry to ascertain the 
correctness of his assumption that the Navy was conducting long distance 
reconnaissance.  He has no adequate explanation for not using the radar 
24 hours a day (which was in full operation Sunday prior to December 7) 
after getting the message of the 27th, and which was used continuously 
after December 7.  (R. 4441-4444) For some time after December 7th the 
situation as to the dearth of spare parts was the same as before 
December 7th.

The Secretary of War did not know the authorship of the part, "Report 
measures taken ... Limit dissemination ... to minimum essential 
officers".  (R. 4071) He said he knew it was there and he understood it.

There were two conferences with the Secretary of War, one

Page 127

at 9:30 the morning of the 27th, and one later in the day. At the first 
conference, the Secretary of War, General Bryden, Deputy Chief of Staff, 
and General Gerow were there.  At that time General Gerow received 
instructions with reference to the preparation of the message.  He then 
consulted Admiral Stark.  (R.  4239-4240)  The second conference took 
place later with Secretary Knox, Admiral Stark, and Mr. Stimson.  (R. 
4240)  General Bryden has testified that although he was Deputy Chief of 
Staff, and Acting Chief of Staff in General Marshall's absence, he does 
not remember the message nor the conference thereon.  (R. 900)  While 
the Chief of Staff reviewed the message of the 27th on the 28th, it is 
unfortunate that during this critical period he was off on maneuvers in 
North Carolina and missed the drafting of the message which was the 
composite work of a number of people, which may account for its 
confusing and conflicting tenor.  Possibly had he been present, the 
Marshall-Stark memorandum might have reached the President in time to 
have influenced the momentous decisions of November 26th.

It is equally obvious that the November 27th message was the only 
message that attempted to translate the long and tempestuous course of 
events terminating in the counter-proposal on the 26th of November to 

No other picture of the situation was given to Short, except in this 
message.   It is apparent that the message of November 27 was entirely 
inadequate to properly and adequately translate to Short's mind the 
background of events that had been taking place.  While this does not 
excuse Short, it does necessitate an assessment for the responsibility 
on others.

Page 128

The three principal Major Generals who were commanders under Short have 
testified that they received substantially nothing by way of information 
as the international situation except what they read in the newspapers.  
The fact that the newspapers were urgent and belligerent in their tone 
was discounted by them, because they were not receiving any confirmatory 
information from the War Department through Short.  Information that was 
of tremendous value both as to content and substance, which the 
Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Chief of Staff, and other high 
staff officers of the War Department had, was not transmitted to short.  
The only summary of this information was the brief and conflicting tone 
of the message of November 27, which was but a faint echo of what had 
actually occurred.

It is significant that the Japanese upon the termination of negotiations 
by the counter-proposals of the 26th, considered by them as an 
ultimatum, were thereby in full possession of all the information, which 
our ultra-secrecy policy did not permit of full transmission to field 
commanders.  The Japanese knew everything.  The War and Navy Departments 
transmitted to Short and Kimmel only so much of what they knew as they 
judged necessary. [1]

It is also significant that the Secretary of War had to go and call Mr. 
Hull to get the information on what amounted to the practical cessation 
of negotiations, which was the most vital thing that had occurred in 
1941.  If it had not been for

[1] Both General Marshall and Admiral Stark expressed themselves as of 
the opinion that the warnings transmitted to Short and Kimmel were 
sufficient to properly alert their respective commands.

Page 129

Mr. Stimson's initiative in calling the Secretary of State, it is 
uncertain as to when he would have been advised of this most important 
event.  As it turned out, the delay of from ten to twelve hours in 
getting the information was not material, since the Japanese delayed 
striking until December 7th.

The effect of the counter-proposals of November 26th on the resulting 
responsibilities of the Army and Navy is indicated in Mr. Stimson's 
quotation of Mr. Hull's comment to him, as follows:

"Now it is up the Army and Navy to take care of the matter. I have 
washed my hands of the Japanese."

4. ANALYSIS OF THE NOVEMBER 27, 1941, MESSAGE: The message of November 
27, 1941, from the Chief of Staff to Commanding General, Hawaiian 
Department, consists of the following component parts:

"Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practicable 
purposes with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese Government 
may come back and offer to continue.  Japanese future action 
unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment."

Comment:  This statement on Japanese information is inadequate.  It did 
not convey to Short the full import of the information concerning the 
American-Japanese relations which was in the hands of the War 
Department.  It was misleading in that it stated that there was a bare 
possibility of the resumption of negotiations, which carried with it the 
implication that such resumption would influence the Japanese-American 
relations, i.e., that war might not come.  The War Department was 
convinced then that war would come.

The statement that "Japanese future action unpredictable"

Page 130

was in conflict with the Navy message which the War Department had 
directed to be shown to Short, to the effect that the attack would be in 
the Kra Peninsula and elsewhere in the Far East.  It did not convey to 
Short the fixed opinion of the War Department General Staff as to the 
probable plan of Japanese operations.

A warning that "hostile action possible at any moment" indicated the 
necessity of taking adequate measures to meet that situation.  This is 
particularly true in view of the Navy message of 16 October, 1941, which 
said that there was a possibility that Japan might attack.  There was 
also received from the Navy on November 27 a message containing these 

"Consider this dispatch a war warning.  The negotiations with Japan in 
an effort to stabilize conditions in the Pacific have ended.  Japan is 
expected to make an aggressive move within the next few days."

The next statement in the Chief of Staff's message to the Commanding 
General, Hawaiian Department:

"If hostilities cannot comma repeat cannot comma be avoid comma the 
United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act.  This 
policy should not comma repeat not comma be construed as restricting you 
to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense."

Comment:  This instruction embodied our well known national policy 
against initiating war.  The responsibility for beginning the war must 
be Japan's.  It give Short the right to defense, notwithstanding the 
restriction, but creates an atmosphere of caution which he must exercise 
in preparing for such defense.

The third portion of the message is this:

"Prior to hostile Japanese action you are directed to undertake such 
reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary, but these 
measures should be carried out so as not comma repeat not comma alarm 

Page 131

the civilian population or disclose intent.  Report measures taken."

Comment:  This was an order.  Short could take such measures, including 
reconnaissance, as he deemed necessary.  What was available to Short for 
reconnaissance and defensive action and the measures taken by him are 
fully discussed elsewhere.

Here again we find the limitation that he must act cautiously.  However, 
the weight of evidence indicates that a higher form of alert than that 
taken would not have alarmed the public.

Short did report within an hour the measures taken.  (R. 286)

Short's answer to General Marshall's radio said:

"Department alerted to prevent sabotage.  Liaison with the Navy. Reuard 
four seven two twenty seventh."

This in itself was sufficient to show that such steps were inadequate, 
but as he did not say he was taking any other steps, the War Department 
erroneously assumed that its responsible commander was alert to sabotage 
and to liaison with the Navy and was taking the necessary responsible 
other steps mentioned in the radio because he had been warned in this 
radio of the 27th by General Marshall.

Having asked for a report of what he was doing, the War Department 
placed itself in the position of sharing the responsibility if it did 
not direct Short to take such measures as they considered adequate to 
meet this serious threat.  This is particularly true in view of the fact 
that much material information relating to Japanese-American relations 
was in the War Department, which had not been made available to Short.

Page 132

The next and last portion of the message:

"should hostilities occur, you will carry out tasks assigned in Rainbow 
Number 5 as far as they pertain to Japan.  Limit dissemination of this 
highly secret information to minimum essential officers."

Comment: (a) This was a clear recognition, and advice to Short, that his 
basic war plan and all joint Army and Navy plans based upon it was to be 
used and was a clear indication to him to adopt adequate preparatory 
measures to insure the execution of Rainbow Number 5.

(b)  As to the directive to "Limit dissemination of this highly secret 
information to minimum essential officers:

The War Department was security-conscious.  The construction which Short 
appears to have placed upon this language may have unduly limited the 
information which reached responsible subordinate commanders.  This part 
of the message left broad discretion in Short as to the dissemination of 
the information contained in the message, and had the personnel 
operating the Air Warning Service on the morning of December 7th known 
of the absolute imminence of war they doubtless would have interpreted 
the information obtained from the radar station much differently.

It is of a piece with the other provisions of the instructions -- not to 
alarm the public, not to disclose intent, and to avoid commission of the 
first overt act.

*Comment on the message as a whole*:  General Short, ass the Commanding 
General, Hawaiian Department, was charged with the defense of the 
Hawaiian Islands and as such had a fundamental duty to properly employ 
all available means at his disposal for that purpose in the face of any 
threat, with or without notification of impending hostilities.

Page 133

Notwithstanding receipt of conflicting and qualifying information, which 
undoubtedly had its effect on Short's mental conception of the 
situation, the responsibility rested on him to take measures to meet the 
worst situation with which he might be confronted, and such action on 
his part, as Commander on the spot, was mandatory despite the fact that 
he was not kept fully advised by the War Department of the critical 
situation and of the positive, immediate imminence of war.

The same day G-2 of the War Department wired to G-2 Hawaiian Department, 
which clearly indicated that *both* sabotage and hostilities might and 
be concurrent.  This message said:

"Advise only the Commanding General and the Chief of Staff that it 
appears that the conference with the Japanese has ended in an apparent 
deadlock.  Actions of sabotage and espionage probable.  *Also* probable 
that *hostilities* may begin."

This G-2 message nullifies all Short's explanation that his mind was put 
on sabotage because of the War Department's emphasis on this subject.  
The message shows that hostilities were just as possible as sabotage.  
His decision to adopt Alert Number 1 came on the 27th, before receipt of 
any message having reference to sabotage.  He had two threats: he only 
took measures as to one.  The third message, upon which he particularly 
relies as to sabotage, which came on November 28 from the War Department 
(G-2), came *after* he had made his decision to go to Alert Number 1.  
This last message again mentions the critical situation as to sabotage 
activities.  It does not in any way change previous messages.  Short 
should have known, as a trained soldier, that a G-2 message is 
informative and is of

Page 134

lesser authority than a command message from the Chief of Staff.

When General Short was asked if he had known that negotiations with 
Japan had practically ended when he received the message of November 
27th, he said:

"I think it would have made me more conscious that war was practically 
unavoidable......If I knew it was immediately imminent......but if I had 
known it was immediately imminent, then I should think I would have gone 
into Alert Number 3......It would have looked to me definite that the 
war was almost upon us."  (R. 450)

"General Russell:  General Short, did you know that on the 26th of 
November the State Department handed to the Japanese representatives a 
memorandum which G-2 of the War Department at least considered as an 
ultimatum to the Japanese government?

"General Short:  I knew nothing of anything of the kind until a year or 
so afterwards, whenever the State Department paper came out.

"General Russell:  Did you know on the 27th of November when you 
received that message that the Secretary of State had in a meeting that 
the Secretary of State had in a meeting on the 25th of November told the 
Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, and probably the Chief of 
Staff of the Army, and Admiral Stark, that the State Department had gone 
as far as it could in its negotiations with the Japanese and that the 
security of the nation was then in the hands of the armed forces?

"General Short:  I did not.

"General Russell:  Did you know that in January of 1941 Ambassador Grew 
made a report to the State Department or to the Secretary of State in 
which he stated that there were rumors in Japan that in event of trouble 
with America the Japs would attack Pearl Harbor?

"General Short:  At that time I was not in command; but I have known  of 
that later, I think probably a year or so later.  I do not think I knew 
anything about it at that time."  (R. 451)

This concludes the status of affairs  to the 27th.  There still remained 
the period from the 27th to the 6th of December, inclusive, during which 
time messages and even letters could have been sent outlining and 
completely delineating the entire

Page 135

situation to Short.  Even a courier could have reached Honolulu in 36 
hours from Washington.  The War Department, although it had additional 
information of a most positive character, left Short with this fragment 
of information regarding the U.S.-Japanese negotiations contained in the 
two sentences inserted in the message of the 27th by the Secretary of 
War, and took no action either to investigate Short's reply to the 
message of November 27 to determine the steps being taken for defense, 
or to assure that adequate defensive measures were being taken.

the War Department sent message No. 482 to Short, reading as follows: 

"Critical situation demands that all precautions be taken immediately 
against subversive activities within field of investigative 
responsibility of War Department (See paragraph 3 MID SC thirty dash 
forty-five) stop.  Also desired that you initiate forthwith all 
additional measures necessary to provide  for protection of your 
establishments comma protection of your personnel against subversive 
propaganda and protection of all activities against espionage stop.  
This does not repeat not mean that any illegal measures are authorized. 
stop.  Protective measures should be confined to those essential to 
security comma avoiding unnecessary publicity and alarm.  To insure 
speed of transmission identical telegrams are being sent to all air 
stations but this does not repeat no affect your responsibility under 
existing instructions."


[1] A similar message, No. 484, was sent on the same day to the 
Commanding General Hawaiian Air Force by General Arnold.

Page 136

Short sent a reply to wire 482 of November 28th on the same day which 
outlined at length the sabotage precautions he was taking.  The War 
Department copy of this wire, which is addressed to the A.G.O., shows 
that a copy was sent to the Secretary of the General Staff, but no other 
endorsements are on it showing it was read or considered by anyone else.  
This wire reads:

"Re your secret radio four eight two twenty eight, full precautions are 
being taken against subversive activities within the field of 
investigative responsibility of War Dept paren paragraph three MID SC 
thirty dash forty five and paren and military establishments including 
personnel and equipment.  As regards protection of vital installations 
outside of military reservations such as power plants, telephone 
exchanges and highway bridges, this Hqrs by confidential letter dated 
June nineteen nineteen forty one requested the Governor of Territory to 
use the broad powers vested in him by Section sixty seven of the organic 
act which provides, in effect, that the Governor may call upon the 
Commanders of Military and Naval Forces of the United States in the 
Territory of Hawaii to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion, 
insurrection etc.  Pursuant to the authority stated the Governor on June 
twentieth confidentially made a formal written demand on this Hqrs to 
furnish and continue to furnish such adequate protection as may be 
necessary to prevent sabotage, and lawless violence in connection 
therewith, being committed against vital installations and structures I 
the territory. Pursuant to the foregoing request appropriate military 
protection is now being afforded vital civilian installations.  In this 
connection, at the instigation of this headquarters the city and county 
of Honolulu on June thirtieth nineteen forty one enacted an ordnance 
which permits the Commanding General Hawaiian Dept. to close, or 
restrict the use of and travel upon, any highway within the city and 
county of Honolulu, whenever the Commanding General deems such action 
necessary in the interest of national defense.  The authority thus given 
has not yet been exercised. Relations with FBI and all other federal and 
territorial officials are and have been cordial and mutual cooperation 
has been given on all pertinent matters.  Short."

It is to be noted that the official file does not show a copy of radio 
#482, sent to Short by the War Department on

Page 137

November 28th.

On December 3, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operation sent the following 
wire to the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet:

"On 3d December we have, 'Op Nav informs' -- this is a paraphrase, you 
understand, sir. . . --'informs C in C Asiatic, CincPac, Combat 14-16 
that highly reliable information has been received that instructions 
were sent Japanese diplomatic and consular posts at Hong Kong, 
Singapore, Batavia, Washington and London to destroy most of their codes 
and ciphers at once and to burn secret documents'." (Admiral Bloch, Vol. 
13, Page 1513, APHB) [1]

The story as to whether Short  ever saw or received this message is as 
follows: Admiral Kimmel visited Short December 2 and December 3, 1941.  
(R. 1513)  Short says: "I never saw that message" (R. 424), referring  
to the 3 December message.  He also denied seeing the message from the 
Navy of December 4th and 6th hereinafter quoted.  (R. 424-425)  However, 
Short was advised by the F.B.I. that it had tapped the telephone line of 
the Japanese Consul's cook and had found the Consul was burning his 
papers.  (R. 3204)  All other lines were tapped by the Navy.  (R. 3204)  
Phillips testified Short was "informed of it," but nothing was done 
about it.  (R. 1243)  Short denies such G-2 information, saying: "I am 
sure he didn't inform me."  (R. 525)  Colonel Fielder says the matter 
was discussed by Colonel Phillips at a staff conference, but nothing was 
done about it.  Colonel Bicknell, G-2, Hawaiian Department, confirmed 
Fielder. (R. 1413-1414)


[1] This message also paraphrased by General Grunert, Vol. 4, Page 424.  
This same message also paraphrased in Roberts Testimony, Vol. 5, Page 
583, and Vol. 17, Page S-85

Page 138

This record does not provide either a true copy or a paraphrase copy of 
the message of December 4, 1941, or December 6, 1941.  The information 
we have is no better than that contained in the Roberts Report, which 
reads as follows:

"the second of December 4, 1941, instructed the addressee to destroy 
confidential communication, retaining only such as were necessary, the 
latter to be destroyed in event of emergency (this was sent to the 
Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet for information only); and the 
third of December 6, 1941, directing that in view of the tense situation 
the naval commands on the outlying Pacific islands might be authorized 
to destroy confidential papers then or later, under conditions of 
greater emergency, and that those essential to continued operation 
should be retained until the last moment." (Roberts Report, page 8)

These messages were received because Admiral Bloch testified that he 
remembered them.  (R. 1513-1514)

Irrespective of any testimony on the subject the record shows that on 
December 3, 1941, Short and Kimmel had a conference about a cablegram 
relative to the relief of marines on Wake and Midway. (R. 302, 394)

There is a serious question raised why the War Department did not give 
instructions to Short direct which would have put him on his guard as to 
the tenseness of the situation.

On December 6 there was reported to the Chief of Staff, Phillips, the 
message about the Japanese burning their papers, and he reported it at a 
staff meeting on December 6.  (R. 1414)  

6. DECEMBER 7, 1941 MESSAGE: This brings us to the final message from 
Washington.  It was filed by the Chief of Staff at 12:18 p.m. Washington 
time, December 7th, which was 6:48 a.m. Honolulu time.

"Japanese are presenting at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today what 
amounts to an ultimatum.

Page 139

Also they are under orders to destroy their code machine immediately 
stop.  Just what significance the hour set may have we do not know but 
be on alert accordingly stop.  Inform naval authorities of this 

The story of the sending of this message, which, if it could have been 
sent so as to have reached Short a few hours prior to the attack might 
at least have greatly lessened the results of the attack, will be set 
forth at length.  It was sent by commercial radio, the R.C.A.  This is a 
commercial line.  Early in the morning in Honolulu the Hawaiian 
Department radio had had great difficulty in keeping in communication 
with the War Department radio.  It is significant that the Hawaiian 
Department only had a small 10 k.g. set.  It was not a powerful set, 
like that of the Navy or the R.C.A.  The Message Center of the War 
Department, which is charged with the expeditious handling of messages, 
decided to send this vital message by commercial R.C.A. instead of War 
Department radio, because it could not get through on its own net.  Why 
this message was not sent by the Navy radio, by F.B.I. radio, or by 
telephone, and why these means of possibly more rapid communication were 
not investigated, is not satisfactorily explained.  The explanation that 
"secrecy" was paramount does not appear to apply to these means.

Shivers of the F.B.I. testified:

"We had our own radio station...I would say within -- depending on the 
length of the message: a 20-word message could be probably gotten to 
Washington by -- could have gotten to the receiving station in 
Washington within a period of twenty minutes...our channels were not 
jammed...we used a frequency that was assigned to us by the F.C.C...All 
of the stuff that went out from here to -- that went out over that 
radio, was coded." (R. 3221)

Page 140

"General Grunert: Then any message that Washington wanted to get to you 
during that morning or just prior to the attack on that morning you 
think could have gotten to you within the leeway of an hour?

"Mr. Shivers: The message could have been sent out within an hour, yes.  
Yes, sir."  (R. 3221)

It is to be noted in this connection that no only was the F.B.I. radio 
working between Washington and Honolulu on December 6-7, but that 
testimony shows numerous telephone conversations were conducted just 
after the attack, over the telephone between Washington and Honolulu.

The story of the sending of this message in the War Department is as 

Page 141

This message arrived in Honolulu at 7:33 a.m., Honolulu time, December 
7th.  The attack struck 22 minutes later.  The message was not actually 
delivered to the signal office of the Hawaiian Department until 11:45 
a.m., the attack having taken place at 7:55 a.m.  The message was 
decoded and delivered to The Adjutant General at 2:58 p.m., 7 hours and 
3 minutes after the attack.

The status of communications between Washington and Hawaii on the 
morning of December 7th and for 24 hours previous to that time was as 
follows: The Hawaiian Department had a scrambler telephone connection 
direct with Washington by which you could ordinarily get a message 
through from Washington to Hawaii in ten or fifteen minutes.  After the 
attack on December 7, Colonel Fielder (G-2) himself talked to Washington 
twice on this phone and received a call from Washington on the same 
phone:  it took no more than an hour as a maximum to get the call 
through despite the heavy traffic to Hawaii by reason of the attack.  
(R. 2999)  Furthermore, a war message could have demanded priority.

It is important to observe that only one means of communication was 
selected by Washington.  That decision violated all rules requiring the 
use of multiple means of communication in an emergency.  In addition to 
the War Department telephone there also existed the F.B.I. radio, which 
was assigned a special frequency between Washington and Hawaii and over 
which it only took twenty minutes to send a coded message from Hawaii to 
Washington or vice versa.  Shivers of F.B.I. so testified.  (R. 3222) 
Short testified:

"General Marshall stated that the reason he did not telephone was that 
it took more time, that he had called the Philippines before he called 
Hawaii, and there was a

Page 142

possibility of a leak which would embarrass the State Department.  In 
other words, I think there was a feeling still at that time that secrecy 
was more important than the time element in getting the information to 
us as rapidly as possible.  Whatever the reason was, we got that 
information seven hours after the attack."  (R. 310)

Apparently, the War Department at that time did not envisage an 
immediate attack, rather they though more of a breaking of diplomatic 
relations, and if the idea of an attack at 1:00 p.m. E.S.T. did enter 
their minds they thought of it as probably taking place in the Far East 
and not in Hawaii.  Hence secrecy was still of paramount interest to 
them.  We find no justification for a failure to send this message by 
multiple secret means either through the Navy radio or F.B.I. radio or 
the scrambler telephone or all three.

The result was the message did not get through in time due to failure of 
the War Department to use the telephone as the Chief of Staff used it to 
the Philippines (Short R. 310) or take steps to insure that the message 
got through by multiple channels (by code over naval or F.B.I. radio to 
Hawaii), if the War Department radio was not working.  He left Short 
without this additional most important information. Short testified as 

"If they had used the scrambled phone and gotten it through in ten or 
fifteen minutes we would probably have gotten more of the import and a 
clearer idea of danger from that message and we would have had time to 
warm up the planes and get them in the air to meet any attack."  (R. 

Colonel French, in charge of Traffic Operations Branch, Chief Signal 
Office, in the War Department testified that on December 7, 1941, 
Colonel Bratton brought the message to the code room in the handwriting 
of the Chief of Staff which "I had typed for clarity" in a few minutes.  
Colonel Bratton read and authenticated it.  The message was given to the 
code clerk and transmission facilities checked.  It was decided to send

Page 143

the message by commercial means, choosing Western Union, as the fastest.  
He stated that he personally took the message from the code room to the 
teletype operator and advised Colonel Bratton it would take 30 to 45 
minutes to transmit the message to destination.  It left at 12:01 
(Eastern Standard Time, 6:31 a.m. Honolulu time). The transmission to 
Western Union was finished 12:17 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or 7:33 
a.m. Honolulu time.  It took 45 minutes in transmission.  The message 
was actually delivered at 11:45 p.m. Honolulu time.  The messenger was 
diverted from his course during the bombing.  (R. 189-202)

Colonel French had no knowledge of the type of communication the F.B.I. 
used to Hawaii; he never used the scrambler telephone and sometimes he 
used the Navy to send messages, but did not inquire on the morning of 
December 7, although the Navy has a more powerful radio.  (R. 203-204)


The second failure was the Navy Department, upon whom Short so 
trustingly relied.  A two-man submarine entered Pearl Harbor area at 
6:30 a.m.  Between 6:33 and *6*:45 a.m. it was sunk by the Navy.  This 
was reported at 7:12 a.m. by naval base officers to the Chief of Staff 
but the Navy made no such report to Short.  (R. 310-311; See Roberts 
Report p. 15) As Short said:

"That would, under the conditions, have indicated to me that there was 
danger.  The Navy did not visualize it anything by a submarine attack.  
They considered that and sabotage their greatest danger; and it was 
Admiral Bloch's duty as Commander of the District to get that 
information to me right away.  He stated to me in the presence of 
Secretary Knox that at the time he visualized it only as a submarine 
attack and was busy with that phase of

Page 144

it and just failed to notify me; that he could see then, after the fact, 
that he had been absolutely wrong, but that at the time the urgent 
necessity of getting the information to me had not -- at any rate, I did 
not get the information until after the attack." (R. 311)

DECEMBER 7, 1941.

The third event that might have saved the day was the following:

The aircraft warning service had established mobile aircraft warning 
stations on the Island of Oahu, as elsewhere related in detail, and had 
set up an Information Center to utilize the aircraft warning 
information, plot the course of any incoming planes and to advise the 
responsible authorities.  The organization was set up and operating and 
was being utilized from 4 a.m. to 7 o'clock on the morning of December 
7th as a training method and had been so used for some time past.  The 
Navy was supposed to have detailed officers in the Information Center to 
be trained as liaison officers, but had not yet gotten around to it.  In 
the Information Center that morning was a Lieutenant Kermit A. Tyler, a 
pursuit officer of the Air Corps, whose tour of duty thereat was until 8 
o'clock.  It was Tyler's second tour of duty at the Center and he was 
there for training and observation, but there were no others on duty 
after 7 o'clock except the enlisted telephone operator.  He was the sole 
officer there between 7 and 8 o'clock that morning, the rest of the 
personnel that had made the Center operative from 4:00 to 7:00 had 

At one of the remote aircraft warning stations there were two privates 
who had been on duty from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.  One of them was Private 
Lockard, who was skilled in operating the radar aircraft detector, and a 
Private George E. Elliott, who was

Page 145

the plotting man to plot the information picked up on the radar.  This 
plotter was anxious to learn how to operate the radar, and Private 
Lockard agreed to show him after the station was supposed to close at 7 
o'clock and while they were waiting for the truck to take them to 
breakfast.  He kept the radar open for further operation to instruct his 
partner, Private Elliott.  While Lockard was adjusting the machine to 
begin the instruction of Private Elliott, he observed on the radar 
screen an unusual formation he had never seen in the machine.  He 
thought there was something wrong with it, as the indicator showed such 
a large number of planes coming in that he was sure that there was 
nothing like it in the air and there must be a machine error.  He 
continued to check, however, and finally concluded that the machine was 
operating correctly and that there was a considerable number of planes 
132 miles away from the island approaching from a direction 3 degrees 
east of north.  The time was 7:02 a.m., December 7, 1941.

In this record Private Elliott, now Sergeant Elliott, testified that he 
plotted these planes and suggested to Lockard that they call up the 
Information Center.  After some debate between them, Lockard did call 
the Information Center and reported to the switchboard operator.  The 
switchboard operator, an enlisted man who testified, was unable to do 
anything about it, so he put Lieutenant Tyler on the phone.  Tyler's 
answer proved to be a disastrous one.  He said, in substance, "Forget 
it."  Tyler's position is indefensible in his action, for he says that 
he was merely there for training and had no knowledge upon which to base 
any action, yet he assumed to give directions instead of seeking someone 
competent to make a decision.

If that be a fact, and it seems to be true, then he should

Page 146

not have assumed to tell these two men, Private Lockard and Private 
Elliott, to "forget it", because he did not have the knowledge upon 
which to premise any judgment.  (R. 1102)  He should, in accordance with 
customary practice, have then used initiative to take this matter up 
with somebody who did know about it, in view of the fact that he said he 
was there merely for training and had no competent knowledge upon which 
to either tell the men to forget it or to take action upon it.  By his 
assumption of authority, he took responsibility and the consequences of 
his action should be imposed upon him.  

If Tyler had communicated this information, the losses might have been 
very greatly lessened.  As General Short testified:

"IF he had alerted the Interceptor Command there would have been time, 
if the pursuit squadrons had been alerted, to disperse the planes.  
There would not have been time to get them in the air...It would have 
made a great difference in the loss...It would have been a question of 
split seconds instead of minutes in getting into action."  (R. 312-313)

The attack actually took place at 7:55 a.m.

When the information that showed up on the oscilloscope was 
communicated, apparently Lieutenant Tyler had in his mind that a flight 
of B-17s was coming from the mainland and he thought that they might 
represent what was seen on the screen of the radar machine.  As a matter 
of fact, that probably had something to do with it, as they did come in 
about this period and were attacked by the Japanese, some of them being 


About November 25, the Navy through its intelligence sources in the 14th 
Naval District at Pearl Harbor and in Washington had reports showing the 
presence in Jaluit in the 

Page 147

Marshall Islands of the Japanese fleet composed of aircraft carriers, 
submarines, and probably other vessels.  Information of this fleet 
ceased about December 1, 1941.  As Jaluit was 1,500 miles closer to Oahu 
than the mainland of Japan, the presence of such a strong force capable 
of attacking Hawaii was an important element of naval information.  This 
information was delivered to G-2 of the War Department as testified to 
by General Miles.  No information of this threat to Hawaii was given to 
General Short by either the War or Navy Departments in Washington nor 
the Navy in Hawaii.  Short and his senior commanders testified that such 
information would have materially alerted their point of view and their 

Such information should have been delivered by the War Department or the 
Navy for what it was worth to permit Short to evaluate it; this was not 

The fact that the actual forces which attacked Hawaii has now been 
identified does not change the necessity for the foregoing action.


The following account is based upon the testimony of Captain Layton, who 
has been Fleet Combat Intelligence Officer, and was at the time of 
December 7th and shortly before Fleet Intelligence Officer of the 
Pacific Fleet.

He said that the task force which had been identified by the Navy 
through numerous captured documents, orders, maps, and from interviewing 
prisoners who were in a position to know personally the orders and 
preparations for the attack, had the following history, according to the 
Navy view of the correct

Page 148

story: [1]

Japan started training its task force in either July or August, 1941, 
for the attack on Pearl Harbor.  They were evidently trained with great 
care and precision as disclosed by the maps which were found in the 
planes which were shot down in the attack on Pearl Harbor and in the 
two-man submarines.  These papers and orders show meticulous care in 
planning and timing, which would take very considerable practice.  The 
initial movement from Japan to the rendezvous at Tankan Bay was about 
November 22nd, and they awaited word to act before the force moved out 
on the 27th-28th of November, 1941. [2]

The elements of the fleet for this task force consisted of six carriers, 
two battleships, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and a destroyer 
division.  This is one of the *most powerful task forces ever assembled 
and after the date of*


[1] The Japanese striking force assembled in home waters during November 
and departed from the Bungou Channel area in Japan about 22 November, 
proceeding to Tankan Bay (sometimes called Hittokapu Bay).  This 
assembly had started between the 7th and 2nd of November.  Tankan Bay is 
located at Ktorofu Island in North Japan.  It does not appear on the 
ordinary maps or charts, but is shown in a map of the Japanese Empire in 
a Japanese encyclopedia under the title "Hittokapu Bay."  The task force 
arrived in this bay approximately November 25th.  The entire force 
departed on the 27th-28th of November (see footnote 2), taking a 
northerly route south of the Aleutians directly to the east(to avoid 
being sighted by shipping) and then headed for a position to the north 
of Oahu, arriving there on the early morning of the 8th of December 
(Japanese time) or the 7th of December (Hawaiian time).  The date of 
departure of November 27th-28th, according to numerous documents and 
prisoners interviewed who had intimate knowledge of this matter and who 
independently picked the same date, is confirmed beyond doubt according 
to Admiral McMorris and Captain Layton.  This force consisted of six 
aircraft carriers, two fast battleships, two heavy cruisers, one light 
cruiser, and some destroyers as well as submarines.
[2]  Japanese time and date must be taken into consideration because our 
December 7th at Honolulu is Japanese December 8th.  The time difference 
between Tokyo and Hawaii is 4 1/2 hours, the time difference between 
Washington and Tokyo is 10 hours.

Page 149

the attack upon Pearl Harbor, it took part in a number of similarly 
successful and very disastrous attacks in the Pacific southwest.  The 
elements of this task force left individually from the Japanese mainland 
and assembled at Tankan Bay in an uninhabited spot where they would be 
unobserved.  The assembly was completed and the task force departed on 
November 27th-28th Eastern Longitude Time, which was apparently after 
the date that the counter-proposal (considered by the Japanese as an 
ultimatum) were delivered by the President of the United States to Japan 
through Secretary Hull on November 26, 1941.  It is significant that the 
attack of the Japanese task force aircraft upon the Army and Navy planes 
parked together wing-to-wing as protection against sabotage (Alert #1) 
must have been as a result of knowledge of that fact, in view of their 
carefully rehearsed and scheduled attack formations in which they ran 
down the aprons, setting the planes on fire with incendiary ammunition: 
it is equally significant that it was well known in the island that 
Alert #1 was put into effect November 27th and therefore can be assumed 
to have been communicated to Japan, and that advantage of such 
information was apparently taken by reason of the nature of the attack 
and the way it was conducted.

It is also significant, a map having been found upon the pilot of a 
shot-down Japanese attacking plane, and another map having been found 
upon one of the crew in a two-man submarine, that there had been entered 
on these map, which were old Geodetic Survey maps of the Pearl Harbor 
area, the location  of the hangars that had been built on Hickam Field 
and of those that were yet to be built.  Five of these hangars had been 
built.  Earlier 1936 maps issued by the Hawaiian Department

Page 150

or by the Air Force, showing Hickam Field, showed five of these hangars 
in full lines and three in dotted lines as being hangars yet to be 
built.  The Japanese are well known as precise copyists.  It is apparent 
that when they made the maps found on the aviator and the submarine crew 
members they had knowledge later than 1936 of construction either that 
had been or was to be constructed, because the entered on such maps the 
additional three hangars in full lines.

The task force proceeded in radio silence due east to a point 
substantially due north of Oahu and thence proceeded southward under 
forced draft to a point between 300 and 250 miles from Oahu, from which 
the flight took off.  The two-man submarines were carried on top of the 
mother submarines and released adjacent to the harbor.

Captain Layton further testified that the orders that were captured and 
those that they had knowledge of did exist, as reported by captured 
prisoners, show that the attacking forces were to destroy without a 
trace any third power's vessels including Japanese and Russian within 
600 miles of the destination of the task force; to capture and maintain 
in radio silence any such vessels including Japanese and Russian within 
600 miles of the destination of the task force, but if such vessels had 
sent any radio communications to destroy them.  (R. 3043)  This is a 
good evidence of Japanese character, being unwilling to trust their own 
people and to sink them without mercy because they happened to be 
operating by accident in this vacant sea where no vessels normally 

This task force was very powerful in the air, having a total of 
approximately 424 planes; (R. 3048) of this number about 300 actually 
attacked Pearl Harbor. (R. 3053)  The pilots

Page 151

were of the highest quality and training that have ever been encountered 
in this war with the Japanese, with the exception of the Battle of 
Midway where four of these same carriers were engaged and sunk.  (R. 
3046)  The maximum total number of airplanes on carriers that the United 
States could muster on December 7th, on the carriers "Lexington" and 
"Enterprise", was approximately 180 planes.  (R. 3049)

Captain Layton testified that our Navy in Pearl Harbor would have been 
unable to have brought the Japanese task force under gunfire because our 
battleships were too slow and the remainder of our forces would probably 
have suffered severe superiority in the air before our superior gunfire 
could have been brought to bear.  The only possible hope of overcoming 
such a Japanese force would be in weather that prevented flight of their 
planes so that the United States force would have superiority of 
gunfire, irrespective of Japanese superiority of air power.

He stated that no word of this task force was received in any way, from 
any source, by the Navy.  The attack was wholly unexpected, and if it 
had been expected the probability of the United States' winning in any 
engagement of this task force was not a bright one.  He stated that this 
task force represented a substantial per cent of the entire Japanese 
Navy.  It provided alone on the Jap carriers 424 aircraft against a 
possible 180 which we might have mustered if we had our own two carriers 
available to operate against them. (R. 3048-3049)

The information upon which the story of the attack is based has been 
revealed so far as coming from several sources.

Page 152

First, the Otto Kuehn trial revealed his complete disclosure of the 
fleet dispositions and locations in Pearl Harbor in the period December 
1 to December 6, and a code delivered with the information, so that 
communication of the information to Japanese offshore submarine adjacent 
to Oahu could be used.  The same information was delivered to the 
Japanese Consul direct to the homeland.

Otto Kuehn and his co-conspirators, Japanese of the Japanese Consulate 
in Honolulu, had conspired to send information as to the units of the 
fleet in Pearl Harbor and their exact positions in the harbor.  This 
information the Japanese Consulate communicated principally by 
commercial lines to Japan.  Additionally Kuehn provided a code 
indicating what units were in the harbor and what were out and means of 
signaling consisting of symbols on the sails of his sailboat, radio 
signals over a short-wave transmitter, lights in his house, and fires in 
his yard, all in order to signal to Japanese submarines offshore.  The 
period during which the signals were to be given was December 1 to 6.  
If such information had been available to our armed forces it would have 
clearly indicated the attack.  The messages taken from the Japanese 
Consulate on the subject show clearly what was done and the intention of 
the Japanese.  If authority had existed to tap these lines, this 
information would have been available to both the Army and Navy.   Kuehn 
was tried by a military commission after signed confessions of his 
actions and sentenced to death.  This was later commuted to imprisonment 
for fifty years.  If is significant the Kuehn was a German agent and had 
for a long time been living on funds forwarded to him from Japan and had 
conducted his espionage with impunity until after Pearl Harbor, right

Page 153

under the nose of the Army, the F.B.I., and Naval Intelligence.

As Shivers, head of the F.B.I. in the islands, said:

"If we had been able to get the messages that were sent to Japan by the 
Japanese Consul, we would have known, or we could have reasonably 
assumed, that the attack would come, somewhere, on December 7; because, 
if you recall, this system of signals that was devised by Otto Kuehn for 
the Japanese Consul general simply included the period from December 1 
to December 6."  (R. 3218)

Shivers testified that the reason why the information being sent over 
the commercial lines to Japan, other than telephone, was not secured was 
that while he had the approval of the Attorney General to tap the 
telephone wires and intercept telephone conversations, yet they could 
not get the information out of the cable offices.  He testified:

"Colonel Toulmin:  I would like to ask him one question.  What other 
means of communication did the Japanese Consul have with the homeland 
other than a telephone connection?

"Mr. Shivers:  He had commercial communication system.

"Colonel Toulmin: Did you have any opportunity of tapping the commercial 
lines or of securing any information off the commercial lines?

"Mr. Shivers: Off the lines themselves?

"Colonel Toulmin: Yes.

"Mr. Shivers: No, sir.

"Colonel Toulmin: So that he did have a free, undisturbed communication 
over those lines?

"Mr. Shivers:  Yes, sir."  (R. 3223)

It was later discovered, when the torn messages of the Japanese Consul 
were reconstructed after they had been taken on December 7th, that many 
vital messages were being sent by the Japanese Consul, who was keeping 
Japan advised of the entire military and naval situation and every move 
we made in Hawaii.

Another example of this Japanese activity is the telephone

Page 154

message on December 5th from the house of Dr. Mori by a woman newspaper 
reporter, ostensibly to her newspaper in Japan, an apparently  
meaningless and therefore highly suspicious message.  It was this 
message that was tapped from the telephone by the F.B.I., translated, 
and delivered to Military Intelligence and submitted by it to General 
Short at six o'clock on December 6th.  (R. 1417-1419, 2993)  As Short 
was unable to decipher the meaning, he did nothing about it and went on 
to a party.  (R. 1420)  The attack followed in the morning.

In the same connection, the story of the spying activities of the 
German, von Osten, is in point. (R. 2442-2443, 3003) The telephone lines 
of the Japanese Consulate were tapped by the Navy with the exception of 
one telephone line to the cook's quarters, which was overlooked, and 
this was tapped by the F.B.I. (R. 3204)

The last and one of the most significant actions of the Japanese was the 
apparent actual entry of their submarines into Pearl Harbor a few days 
prior to December 7th, their circulation in the harbor, by which they 
secured and presumably transmitted complete information as to our fleet 
movements and dispositions.

The story of the bold Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor prior to the 
attack on December 7th is even more astounding as to the complete 
freedom with which Japan operated in getting intelligence out of Hawaii.  
Shivers of the F.B.I. produced maps 1 and 2, which were copies of maps 
captured from Japanese two-man submarines that came into Pearl Harbor on 
December 7th.  The F.B.I., in endeavoring to reconstruct the

Page 155

intelligence operations of any agent who may have been operating in 
Hawaii prior to the attack, secured these maps from Naval Intelligence.  
(R. 3210)  Maps 1 and 2 have a legend translating all of the Japanese 
characters and writing appearing on the maps.  Shivers said:

"An examination of the map indicated to me rather definitely that there 
had been Japanese submarine in Pearl Harbor immediately before the 
attack."  (R. 3210)

"Now, on this map is various information relating to the installations 
at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor, and areas adjacent to both places."  (R. 

There appeared on the map a code in Japanese which was translate by the 
F.B.I. and shows that it was intended for use by the submarine 
commanders in communicating with the Japanese task force enroute to 
Hawaii.  It contains such messages as "indication strong that enemy 
fleet will put out to sea," or "enemy fleet put out to sea from or 
through;" in other words, describing the presence, size, composition, 
and movement of the fleet. (R. 3212)

As this map shows the complete timed movement in and out of the harbor 
of the submarine and this information had been prepared partly written 
in Japanese, it is obvious that the Japanese must have been in the 
harbor a few days before the attack and evidently were moving in and out 
of the harbor at will.  The data on the chart shows the submarine was so 
well advised that it went in at about 0410 when the submarine net was 
open to permit the garbage scow to leave the harbor, and stayed in the 
harbor until about 0600 and then left by the same route.  The map shows 
the location of our battleships and other naval vessels observed by the 
submarine.  (R. 3212-3213)  As the ships actually in the harbor on 
December 7th were somewhat different from those shown on the map, it is 
conclusive proof

Page 156

that this submarine was in the harbor and probably advising the fleet of 
Japan as to our dispositions prior to December 7th.  (R. 3210-3213)

The real action that should have been feared from the Japanese was not 
open sabotage, but espionage.  It is obvious that the reason why the 
Japanese aliens did not commit sabotage was that they did not want to 
stimulate American activity to stop their espionage and intern them.  
That was the last thing they intended to do; and Short appears to have 
completely misapprehended the situation, the psychology and intentions 
of the enemy, by putting into effect his sabotage alert.

Undoubtedly the information of the alert, the placing of planes wing-to-
wing, etc., as well as the disposition of the fleet was reported by 
Kuehn through the Japanese Consul, were all known to the Japanese task 
force proceeding toward Hawaii.  That will explain why they were able to 
conduct such precise bombing and machine-gunning.  The bomb pattern on 
Hickam Field and the machine-gunning of that field, as well as other 
fields, show that the attack was concentrated on the hangars, marked on 
the Japanese maps, and upon the ramps where the planes were parked wing 
to wing.  There was no attack of any consequence upon the landing 

From the foregoing it appears that there were a large number of events 
taking place bearing on the attack; and that a clue to such events and 
the Japanese actions was in part available to Short and in part not 
available to him.  Both the War Department and the Navy failed to inform 
him of many vital matters, and our governmental restrictions as to 
intercepting the communications of the Japanese Consul prevented him 
from getting still additional information.

Page 157

If General Short had any doubt on the subject of his authority, he had 
ample opportunity from November 27th to December 6th to inquire of 
higher authority and make his position and his actions certain of 
support and approval.  This he did not do.

11. INFORMATION NOT GIVEN SHORT.  In judging the actions of General 
Short and whether he carried out his responsibilities, there must be 
taken into account information that he was not told either by the War 
Department or by the Navy. Briefly summarized, the fundamental pieces of 
information were following:

1. The presence of the task force in the Marshall Islands at Jaluit from 
November 27th to November 30th and the disappearance of that force.  
Neither the War Department nor the Navy Department saw fit to advise 
Short of this important piece of information.

2. The fact that the Chief of Staff with the Chief of Naval Operations 
had jointly asked (on November 27th) the President not to force the 
issue with the Japanese at this time.  (R. 9)

3. The delivery on the 26th of November to the Japanese Ambassadors by 
the Secretary of State of the counter-proposals; and the immediate 
reaction of the Japanese rejecting in effect these counter-proposals 
which they considered an ultimatum and indicating that it was the end of 

4. Short not kept advised of the communications from Grew reporting the 
progressive deterioration of the relationship with the Japanese.

Page 158

5. No reaction from the War Department to Short as to whether his report 
of November 27th as to "measures taken", i.e., a sabotage alert and 
liaison with the Navy, were satisfactory or inadequate in view of the 
information possessed by the War Department.

6. The following information not furnished also existed in the War 

Information from informers, agents and other sources as the activities 
of our potential enemy and its intentions in the negotiations between 
the United States and Japan was in possession of the State, War and Navy 
Departments in November and December of 1941.  Such agencies had a 
reasonably complete knowledge of the Japanese plans and intentions, and 
were in a position to know their potential moves against the United 
States.  Therefore, Washington was in possession of essential facts as 
to the enemy's intentions and proposals.

This information showed clearly that war was inevitable and late in 
November absolutely imminent.  It clearly demonstrated the necessity for 
resorting to every trading act possible to defer the ultimate day of 
breach of relations to give the Army and Navy time to prepare for the 
eventualities of war.

The messages actually sent to Hawaii by the Army and Navy gave only a 
small fraction of this information.  It would have been possible to have 
sent safely, information ample for the purpose of orienting the 
commanders in Hawaii, or positive directives for an all-out alert.

Under the circumstances, where information has a vital

Page 159

bearing upon actions to be taken by field commanders, and cannot be 
disclosed to them, it would appear incumbent upon the War Department 
then to assume the responsibility for specific directives to such 

Short got neither form of assistance after November 28th from the War 
Department, his immediate supervising agency.  It is believed that the 
disaster of Pearl Harbor would have been lessened to the extent that its 
defenses were available and used on December 7 if properly alerted in 
time.  The failure to alert these defenses in time by directive from the 
War Department, based upon all information available to it, is one for 
which it is responsible.  The War Department had a abundance of vital 
information that indicated an immediate break with Japan.  All it had to 
do was either get it to Short or give him a directive based upon it.  
Short was not fully sensitive to the real seriousness of the situation, 
although the War Department thought he was.  It is believed that 
knowledge of the information available in the War Department would have 
made him so.

General discussion of the information herein referred to follows:

The records show almost daily information on the plans of the Japanese 
Government.  In addition to that cited above and in conjunction 
therewith the War Department was in possession of information late in 
November and early in December from which it made deductions that Japan 
would shortly commence an aggressive war in the South Pacific; that 
every effort would be made to reach an agreement with the United States 
Government which would result in eliminating the American people as a 
contestant in the war to come; and that failing to reach the agreement 

Page 160

Japanese Government would attack both Britain and the United States.  
This information enabled the War Department to fix the probable time of 
war with Japan with a degree of certainty.

In the first days of December this information grew more critical and 
indicative of the approaching war.  Officers in relatively minor 
positions who were charged with responsibility of receiving and 
evaluating such information were so deeply impressed with its 
significance and the growing tenseness of our relations with Japan, 
which pointed only to war and was almost immediately, that such officers 
approached the Chief of the War Plans Division (General Gerow) and the 
Secretary of the General Staff (Colonel Smith) for the express purpose 
of having sent to the department commanders a true picture of the war 
atmosphere which, at that time, pervaded the War Department and which 
was uppermost in the thinking of these officers in close contact with 
it.  The efforts of these subordinate officers to have such information 
sent to the field were unsuccessful.  They were told that field 
commanders had been sufficiently informed.  The Secretary to the General 
Staff declined to discuss the matter when told of the decisions of the 
War Plans Division.

Two officers then on duty in the War Department are mentioned for their 
interest and aggressiveness in attempting to have something done.  They 
are Colonel R. S. Bratton and Colonel Otis K. Stadler.

The following handling of information reaching the War Department in the 
evening of December 6 and early Sunday morning December 7 is cited as 
illustrative of the apparent lack of appreciation by those in high 
places in the War Department of the seriousness of this information 
which was so

Page 161

clearly outlining the trends that were hastening us into war with Japan.

At approximately 10:00 o'clock p.m. on December 6, 1941, and more than 
15 hours before the attack at Pearl Harbor, G-2 delivered to the office 
of the War Plans Division and to the office of the Chief of Staff of the 
Army information which indicated very emphatically that war with Japan 
was a certainty and that the beginning of such was in the immediate 
future.   The officers to whom this information was delivered were told 
of its importance and impressed with the necessity of getting it into 
the hands of those who could act, the Chief of Staff of the Army and 
Chief of the War Plans Division.

On the following morning December 7 at about 8:30 a.m. other information 
reached the office of G-2, vital in its nature and indicating an almost 
immediate break in relations between the United States and Japan.  
Colonel Bratton, Chief, Far Eastern Section, G-2, attempted to reach the 
Chief of Staff of the Army in order that he might be informed of the 
receipt of this message.  He discovered that the General was horseback 
riding.  Finally and at approximately 11:25 a.m. the Chief of Staff 
reached his office and received this information.  General Miles, then 
G-2 of War Department, appeared at about the same time.  A conference 
was held between these two officers and General Gerow of the War Plans 
Division who himself had come to the Office of the Chief of Staff.  
Those hours when Bratton was attempting to reach someone who could take 
action in matters of this importance and the passing without effective 
action having been taken prevented this critical information from 
reaching General Short in time to be of value to him.

Page 162

About noon a message was hastily dispatched to overseas department 
commanders including Short in the Hawaiian Department.  This message 
which had been discussed elsewhere in this report, came into Short's 
possession after the attack had been completed.

Page maintained by Larry W. Jewell, lwjewell@omni.cc.purdue.edu. Created: 12/12/96 Updated: 12/12/96