XIII. RESIGNATION OF JAPANESE CABINET—ARRIVAL OF KURUSU—THE POSSIBILITY OF A SURPRISE AGGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
A. THE DISPATCH OF OCTOBER 18, 1941
Following the resignation of the Japanese Cabinet, Admiral Turner drafted a dispatch to CincPac and others, which the Joint Board approved (page 989).
Admiral Turner said that he prepared the dispatch of October 16 which had been discussed with the Army and modified by the Joint Board. (p. 263)
Admiral Ingersoll said that the dispatch of October 16 concerning the change in the Japanese cabinet was based on an estimate by Admiral Stark and Captain Turner and he had no recollection of any correspondence from the State Department which would have formed the basis for that dispatch. (p. 423)
Admiral Turner said that at this time he was convinced that if the Japanese attacked England in the Far East, the United States would go to war to aid England, and that the Japanese had decided to drive Britain out of the Far East. Some Japanese, he said, wanted to keep the United States out of this war but the United States during 1940 and 1941 had made movements contrary to Japan's interest, and the whole political situation and Japanese interest in the Philippines convinced him that war was not far off. He considered that Japan would take the initiative (page 990).
He estimated where such an attack might be made, and had issued Rainbow War Plan No. 3 in January, which envisaged an attack by Japan against the Philippines, Borneo, and Malaya, and called attention to the fact that the Secretary of the Navy had written to the Secretary of War in January, 1941, stating that such an attack would be accompanied by an attack on Hawaii and on the Fleet by air, submarine or surface vessels (page 990).
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On October 16th, when the dispatch was sent, he still considered that the same considerations set forth in the Secretary of the Navy's January letter continued in effect. These matters, he said, were constantly discussed with Admirals Stark and Ingersoll (page 991).
The dispatch of October 16, 1941 (Exhibit 13), stated that the resignation of the Japanese Cabinet had created a grave situation; if a new cabinet were formed, it would probably be strongly nationalistic and anti‑American; if the Konoye Cabinet remained, it would operate under a new mandate which would not include rapprochement with the United States; in either case, hostilities between Japan and Russia were a strong possibility; since the United States and Britain were held responsible by Japan for her present desperate situation, there was a possibility that Japan might attack these two powers. In view of these possibilities, the addressees were directed to take due precautions, including such "preparatory deployments" as would not disclose strategic intention nor constitute provocative action against Japan. CincPac and CincAF were directed to inform appropriate Army and Navy District authorities.
Exhibit 6 is the October 16, 1941 dispatch from CNO to CincPac. (p. 30) Admiral Leary said that he thought there was complete and free interchange of information among the higher naval command. He, however, did not recall having seen or having heard discussed the October 16 dispatch or the war warning. (p. 364‑5)
Concerning the change in the Japanese Cabinet in October, 1941, Admiral Schuirmann said that the State Department had not taken as serious a view of this Cabinet shift as had the Navy Department. (p. 408)
General Short stated that he had been advised of this dispatch through Admiral Kimmel (page 247). Apparently the Navy Department did not advise the State Department of the dispatch (Schuirmann, page 200)
According to Admiral Turner, the "preparatory deployments" contemplated by the dispatch were the sending of submarines to the Marshalls and sending the Fleet to sea westward of Hawaii and in supporting and covering positions for Midway, Wake, Palmyra, and Johnston Islands (page 991).
Admiral Smith said concerning the directive to take "preparatory deployment that an alert was sent to the forces in the operating areas, the training exercises were halted, the ships assembled with their destroyer screens and placed until further orders as a fleet and kept at sea, and directed to advise of any attacks or hostile planes sighted in the operating area; the ships in port, however, were not moved out although conditions of readiness were prescribed; this was not done for the protection of the base. (p. 49‑50)
Admiral Halsey said that the "preparatory deployments" effected after the October 16 dispatch included readiness of the ships to take action and the dispatch of submarines to Midway and Wake, and also sending additional guns and ammunition there. (p. 296)
Concerning "preparatory deployments" directed in the October 16 dispatch, Admiral Ingersoll said:
"I think the preparatory deployments that would not constitute provocative action and disclose strategic intention against Japan referred more to the withdrawal of certain units of the Asiatic Fleet from the China Sea area toward the southern Philippines, rather than to any particular deployment of the Pacific Fleet, with the possible exception of sending out submarines for observation. It will be noted that the dispatch is addressed to both the Commander‑in‑Chief, Pacific Fleet, and the Commander‑in‑Chief, Asiatic Fleet. I wish to state here, in connection with this dispatch and others which followed, that they were released by me. In all cases, such dispatches were drafted in the War Plans Division and were presented to Admiral Stark for consideration before being sent. In many cases, I am quite certain that he may have notified both the State Department and the President of his intention to send dispatches of this character. The fact that it bears my release simply means that after the original draft was presented and corrected by Admiral Stark, in order to save time and not bother him further, I released the dispatch in the form which he had approved." (p. 423)
Admiral Ingersoll said further he did not recall that they expected the Pacific Fleet, as distinguished from the Asiatic Fleet, to make any important new dispositions. (p. 423)
The direction not to take provocative action against Japan was inserted by him because the State and Navy Departments were agreed that the United States should get as much time as possible to prepare, and there were conversations with
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the Japanese which appeared on the surface to be a possible solution so there would be no war, and this government did not desire war with the Japanese at that time. Therefore, they did not want the Fleet to assume a threatening position by cruising near the Marshalls or sending submarines near the Japanese islands. Nor did they want to arrest disloyal people in Hawaii. They wanted to retain peace as long as possible and to make sure that when war came, it would be Japan and not the United States which started it (page 992). The question of shifting the Fleet back to the West Coast had been continuously discussed, he said. This was put up to the President and each time it was decided to keep the Fleet out there, except that about one‑third or one‑quarter of the Fleet would come to the West Coast for repairs and recreation. But, by October 16th, every one believed that the Fleet should stay at Pearl Harbor (page 992).
It is of interest to note that at about this time Admiral Turner had a conference with Nomura, at which, according to Nomura, Admiral Turner said to him that what the United States wanted was not just a pretense, but a definite promise; that should a conference be held between the leaders of the two governments without a definite preliminary agreement, and should an advance be made into Siberia, the President would be placed in a terrible predicament; that Japan spoke of peace in the Pacific as if she could decide matters independently, and so it would seem to Admiral Turner that Japan could set aside most of her obligations toward the Three‑Power Alliance (Doc. 2‑Exhibit 63).
B. ADMIRAL STARK'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 17, 1941
On October 17, 1941, Admiral Stark wrote to Admiral Kimmel (exhibit 38). In this letter, Admiral Stark advised that things had been popping here for the last twenty‑four hours, but from the dispatches Admiral Kimmel knew about all that they did. He said, "Personally, I do not believe the Japanese are going to sail into us and the message I sent you merely stated the 'possibility;' in fact, I tempered the message handed me considerably. Perhaps I am wrong, but I hope not. In any case after long pow‑wows in the White House, it was felt that we should be on guard, at least until something indicates the trend."
Admiral Stark continued that Admiral Kimmel would recall that in an earlier letter, when War Plans was forecasting a Japanese attack on Siberia in August, Admiral Stark had said that his own judgment was that they would make no move in that direction until the Russian situation showed a definite trend. In this letter he said that he thought this whole thing worked up together. He stated that efforts would be made to maintain the status quo in the Pacific. How long it could be kept going, he did not know, but the President and Hull were working on it. To this letter was annexed a postscript, stating in part, "General Marshall just called up and was anxious that we make some sort of reconnaissance so that he could feel assured that on arrival at Wake, a Japanese raider attack may not be in order on his bombers. I told him that we could not assure against any such contingency, but that I felt it extremely improbable and that, while we keep track of Japanese ships so far as we can, a carefully planned raid on any of these island carriers in the Pacific might be difficult to detect. However, we are on guard to the best of our ability, and my advice to him was not to worry."
Also annexed was a memorandum of October 17, 1941, by Rear Admiral Schuirmann, estimating the importance of changes in the Japanese Cabinet. The substance of this analysis was that the military would determine Japanese action whether to attack Russia or move southward, and would make that decision on the basis of opportunity and what they could get away with, and that it would not be determined by the cabinet in power.
C. JAPANESE MESSAGES CONCERNING GERMAN ATTITUDE: NOMURA'S DESIRE TO RESIGN
On October 18, 1941, the Navy translated an intercepted Japanese communication from Berlin to Tokyo, dated October 1, 1941, which stated that the Germans were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with Japan's position, particularly because Japan was not advising Germany of the negotiations with the United States, although the United States was advising England (Document 4, Exhibit 63).
A Japanese message from Tokyo to Washington, dated October 16, 1941, was intercepted and translated on October 17, 1941. In this Toyoda advised Nomura that although he had been requested by both the German and Italian Ambassadors in Tokyo to give them confidential information on the Japanese‑United States negotiations, he had in consideration of the nature of the negotiations, been declining to do so. However, early in October, following the German attacks on American merchant ships and the consequent revival of the movement for revision
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of the neutrality act, the German authorities demanded that the Japanese Government submit to the American Government a message that if the Roosevelt Administration continued to attack the Axis powers, a belligerent situation would inevitably arise between Germany, Italy and the United States, which, under the Three‑Power Agreement, might lead Japan to join immediately the war against the United States. It was indicated that such a message was being considered and there were reasons which would not permit of postponement (Document 3, Exhibit 63) .
On October 22, 1941, Nomura sent a message to Tokyo which was intercepted and translated on October 23, 1941, in which he said that he was sure that he, too, should go out with the former cabinet; that be knew that the Secretary of State realized how sincere he was and yet how little influence he had in Japan; that there were some Americans who trusted him and who said that things would get better for him, but that their encouragement was not enough; that among his confreres in the United States there were some who felt the same way, that they were all poor deluded souls; that the instructions could be carried out by Wakasugi; that Nomura did not want to be the bones of a dead horse; that he did not want to continue "this hypocritical existence, deceiving other people"; that he was not trying to flee from the field of battle, but as a man of honor, that was the only way open for him to tread; and that he sought permission to return to Japan (Document 5, Exhibit 63).
On October 23, 1941, a message from Tokyo to Washington of the same date was intercepted and translated, which stated that the efforts Nomura was making were appreciated; that, as he was well aware, the outcome of those negotiations had a great bearing upon the decision as to which road the Imperial Government would proceed; that as such it was an exceedingly important matter; that they were placing all of their reliance on Nomura's reports for information on this matter; that for these reasons they hoped that he would see fit to sacrifice his personal wishes and remain at his post (Document 6, Exhibit 83).
D. ADMIRAL BLOCH'S LETTER ON INADEQUACY OF LOCAL DEFENSE
On October 17, 1941, Admiral Bloch wrote a letter dealing with the local defense forces. and their inadequacy (Exhibit 46). In this letter, Admiral Bloch stated that he recently had tried to obtain, without much success, the assignment from the Commander‑in‑Chief of certain planes which could be used in connection with anti‑submarine patrol; the only planes available for the purpose were Army planes, the types and numbers of which were inadequate for the purpose. Admiral Kimmel's endorsement pointed out that any assumption that forces could be diverted from the Fleet for thin purpose were false; that a Fleet tied to its base by diversion of light forces necessary for its security at sea is no Fleet at all, and that the Fleet was assigned, in the event of war, certain tasks which would require all of its units and men.
E. ADMIRAL KIMMEL'S ESTIMATE AND ACTION
Admiral Kimmel stated that after receiving the October 18th dispatch, he did not consider war imminent. He tried to find out, he said, what the United States would do if Japan attacked the maritime provinces, but received no answer; he learned, after December 7th, that the United States had made a commitment to England to the effect that, even if not attacked, she would aid England in the Far East (page 297).
Admiral Turner said, "That detachment went to Australia for the purpose of indicating to Japan solidarity between the United States and the British Commonwealth, and to indicate to Japan that if British interests were attacked that the United States would enter the war on the side of the British. Admiral Stark kept the Commanders‑in‑Chief informed, to the best of his ability, as to the international political situation and the probabilities of the future. While the Government could not guarantee that we would enter the war if Japan attacked Great Britain, they fully believed that we would do so. In our conversations with the British, we never could make a firm commitment that at any particular time the United States would enter the war, for the reason that unless we were attacked first, the Executive Department did not have the power to put the Country into war. Conversations were held in the Far East with the Dutch and the British authorities, and joint plans, not too definite in nature, were drawn up but we never could be sure that if the Netherlands East Indies or the British were attacked the United States would surely come into the war. (p. 254)
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He took the action described in his letter of October 22nd (Exhibit 14), which was approved by the Chief of Naval Operations (page 297). In his letter, Admiral Kimmel advised that the action taken included maintaining two submarines for patrol at Midway, dispatching twelve patrol planes to Midway, preparing to send six patrol planes from Midway to Wake, and to replace the six at Midway from Pearl Harbor, sending two submarines to Wake, and sending additional Marines and stores there, dispatching additional Marines to Palmyra, placing Admiral Pye and his ships on twelve hours notice, getting six submarines ready to depart for Japan on short notice, putting some additional security measures in effect in the operating areas outside Pearl Harbor.
It may be noted that in connection with his need for cruisers, Admiral Kimmel stated in this letter that, "I can easily keep three or four more divisions profitably occupied when war breaks." The letter also stated, among other things, that Admiral Kimmel was forwarding an exhaustive study on the installations and defenses of Wake, Midway, Johnston, and Palmyra.
Admiral Stark testified that Admiral Kimmel's action, as set forth in his letter, was considered satisfactory.
Admiral Kimmel's War Plans Officer, Admiral McMorris, testified that the October 16th dispatch had indicated to him that there was a greater chance that the United States would be involved in war with Japan (page 887). Admiral Pye stated that he had not seen the October 16th dispatch, nor did he have any knowledge of it. He was on the Pacific Coast and about that time received a dispatch from CincPac to be prepared to return to Oahu, whereupon he recalled his officers and men and put his force on twelve hours sailing notice (page 423).
Admiral Bloch recalled that after the dispatch advising of the change in the Japanese Cabinet there was a conference with Admiral Kimmel, whom he saw practically every day. He does not recall who else was present. (p. 14)
Concerning the October 16, 1941 dispatch, Admiral Smith said that to the best of his recollection no specific change of plans was made because they had received warnings constantly for a period of more than a year; he did not recall that anything was done particularly about that dispatch; he believed that everyone of the dispatches of that nature were discussed by General Short, Admiral Kimmel, Admiral Bloch, and usually with members of the staff. (p.48)
F. THE FIRST JAPANESE "DEADLINE" MESSAGE
It will be recalled that throughout this period the Navy Department was receiving information from intercepted Japanese communications. Some of these indicated that the Japanese Government had established "deadlines" for the completion of diplomatic negotiations. The first was a Navy translation on November 5, 1941 (Exhibit 63, Document 7), of an intercepted Japanese message from Tokyo to Washington, dated November 5, 1941, the substance of which was: This message is of "utmost secrecy." It is absolutely necessary that all arrangements for the signing of the agreement be completed by the 25th of the month: . . . I realize that this is a difficult order, but under the circumstances it is an unavoidable one. Please understand this thoroughly and tackle the problem of saving Japanese‑United States relations from falling into a chaotic, condition. . . .
G. ADMIRAL STARK'S LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1941
On November 7, 1941, Admiral Stark wrote to Admiral Kimmel in reply to Admiral Kimmel's letter of October 22nd (Exhibit 74). He stated, among other things, "O. K. on the dispositions which you made in connection with recent change in the Japanese cabinet. The big question is—what next?!" Also, "Things seem to be moving steadily towards a crisis in the Pacific. Just when it will break, no one can tell. The principal reaction I have to it all is what I have written you before; it continually gets 'worser and worser'! A month may see, literally, most anything: Two irreconcilable policies cannot go on forever—particularly if one party cannot live with the setup. It doesn't look good."
Admiral Kitts said that he was in Washington on temporary duty between October 6 and November 8, and that when he returned to Hawaii he carried a message from Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel to be delivered orally, that Admiral Stark outlined the courses of action which the Japanese might follow, and that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was in no way indicated by the message which he carried. (p. 187)
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H. JAPANESE INTEREST IN SHIPS AT THE PHILIPPINES AND SEATTLE
During the first half of November, there were translated in Washington various intercepted Japanese communications concerning ships and planes at Manila and Seattle (Documents 1‑8, Exhibit 68). According to one of these messages, which was dated November 5, 1941, the Navy General Staff wanted investigation done at Manila as to the conditions of airports, types of planes and numbers of planes there, warships there, machinery belonging to land farces, and the state of progress being made on all equipment and establishments.
I. ARRIVAL OF KURUSU; STARK AND MARSHALL RECOMMENDATION AS TO ULTIMATUM
The special Japanese emissary Kurusu arrived in Washington at this time.
Admiral Smith said that when Kurusu was en route to the United States, his plane broke down at Midway. Admiral Bellinger called up at night and asked permission to fly him on in a PBY, and Admiral Smith told him not to do this for it might be that the plane had been told by the administration to break down; that they knew more about what was going on than Admirals Bellinger and Smith knew and that Kurusu should be permitted to stay there.
Captain Wellborn discussed the general reaction to Kurusu's visit. (p. 386)
The situation then existing was summarized by Nomura, in a report to Tokyo, dated November 10, 1941, intercepted on November 12th (Document 8, Exhibit 63) by reference to a report from the legal adviser to the Japanese Embassy, who had conferred with Senator Thomas and Secretary Hull, that the United States was not bluffing, that if Japan invaded again, the United States would fight with Japan, that psychologically the American people were ready, that the Navy was ready and prepared for action. Nomura also reported that he had a conversation with "a certain Cabinet member" who had said that Nomura was indeed a dear friend, that he would tell him alone this: that the American government was receiving reports that Japan would be on the move again and did not believe that Nomura's visit to the President or the coming of Kurusu would have any effect on the general situation. Nomura said that he had explained how impatient the Japanese had become since the freezing, how eager they were for a quick understanding, how they did not desire a Japanese‑American war, and how they hoped for peace until the end. The Cabinet member replied, however, that the President and Secretary of State believed "those reports." Nomura also said that his friend had stated that the United States could not stop because if Japan moved, something would have to be done to save the "face" of the United States.
Admiral Stark was not hopeful that anything in the way of better understanding between the United States and Japan would come from Kurusu's visit. His opinion was that it would be impossible to reconcile the Japanese and American views. Admiral Stark so advised Admiral Kimmel by letter dated November 14, 1941 (Exhibit 39).
Concerning the withdrawal of Marines and gunboats from the Chinese territory and waters, Admiral Schuirmann said: "I remember this proposal but the United States and British armed forces from China were withdrawn principally because they were in jeopardy and not because of a desire to withdraw our forces as an example to the Japanese. Naturally, the suggestion to the Japanese that they undertake to withdraw all their military, naval, air, and police forces from China and from Indo‑China was probably based on desire to capitalize on this action in diplomatic course. The question of withdrawal of our gunboats and Marines from China had been under discussion for since sometime during 1940. Various recommendations were received from the Commander‑in‑Chief, Asiatic Fleet, and the question was taken up with the State Department at various times during the year 1941. The difficulty in reaching a decision was because of a number of factors, such as the effect on the Chinese of our withdrawal, i.e., would it appear to them that we were abandoning China to its fate; the question of the effect on the Japanese, principally whether the Japanese would regard it as withdrawing from China in fear of the Japanese or whether they would regard it as a step preparatory to clearing the decks for action. As the situation became more tense and upon receipt of Admiral Hart's letter of August 28, 1941, which was transmitted to the State Department on October 3, 1941, the question was discussed many times with the State Department. Failing to reach an agreement with the State Department, I prepared a memoran‑
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dum, dated November 4, 1941, which Secretary Knox approved, suggesting a plan for withdrawing from Shanghai, and on 8 November, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a confidential message to the Commander‑in‑Chief, Asiatic, stating that the President had approved the withdrawal of Marines from China except those required for communication and custodial duties, and subject to State and Navy making a plan for orderly that civilians, nationals, and others might have prior notice. November 14, the President announced the decision to withdraw the Marines from Shanghai, and that withdrawal would begin shortly." (p. 409‑410)
Admiral Schuirmann said that the delay in taking the foregoing action was due to a lack of agreement as to the effect on the Japanese and the Chinese and a certain lack of agreement as to the urgency of withdrawing the Marines. The State Department was of the view that sufficient time should be allowed to withdraw civilians in China before completely evacuating the Marines. The State Department generally was in opposition to the removal at least to the extent that the Navy was unable to get a definite answer as to whether or not prior to November 4 the State Department would agree. (p. 410)
With this letter Admiral Stark also sent to Admiral Kimmel a copy of a memorandum, dated November 5, 1941, by Admiral Stark and General Marshall, for the President. This was concerned with the belief of Chiang‑Kai‑Shek that a Japanese attack on Kunming was imminent and that outside military support was the sole hope for the defeat of that threat. The memorandum considered whether the United States would be justified in undertaking offensive operations against the Japanese to prevent her from severing the. Burma Road. The memorandum stated that the Fleet in the Pacific was inferior to the Japanese Fleet and could not undertake an unlimited strategic offensive in the Western Pacific. It pointed out that by the middle of December 1941, United States air and submarine strength in the Philippines would become a positive threat to any Japanese operations south of Formosa. The recommendations were in general that all aid short of war be given to China and that no ultimatum be given to Japan.
According to General Marshall, during 1941 he felt that war with Japan was imminent and both he and Admiral Stark exerted their efforts to delay a break with Japan as long as possible in order to be better prepared (page 860).
J. FURTHER AND FINAL JAPANESE "DEADLINE MESSAGES"
At this time, information was received in Washington that the Japanese Government had established a further and final deadline for the completion of diplomatic negotiations. This consisted of two messages from Tokyo to Washington, which were intercepted and translated by the Army, as follows:
(a) A translation on November 17, 1941 (Document 10, Exhibit 63), of a dispatch, dated November 16th, the highlights of which were:
". . . The fate of our Empire hangs by the slender thread of a few days, so please fight harder than you ever did before.
"What you say is of course so but I have only to refer you to the fundamental policy laid down in my #725 (in which Togo says that conditions within and without Japan will not permit any further delay in reaching a settlement with the United States) . . . try to realize what that means. In your opinion we ought to wait and see what turn the war takes and remain patient . . . the situation renders this out of the question. "I set the deadline for the solution of these negotiations in my #736, and there will be no change. Please try to understand that. You see how short the time is; therefore, do not allow the United States to side‑track us and delay the negotiations any further. Press them for a solution on the basis of our proposals, and do your best to bring about an immediate solution."
(b) On November 22, 1941 (Document 11, Exhibit 63), a translation of a dispatch of the same date, reading in substance:
"To both you Ambassadors.
"It is awfully hard for us to consider changing the date we set in my #736. You should know this, however, I know you are working hard. Stick to our fixed policy and do your very best. Spare no efforts and try to bring about the solution we desire. There are reasons beyond your ability to guess why we wanted to settle Japanese‑American relations by the 25th, but if within the next three or four days you can finish your conversations with the Americans; if the signing can be completed by the 29th (let me write it out for you—twenty ninth); if the pertinent notes can be exchanged; if we can. get an understanding with Great
Britain and the Netherlands; and in short if everything can be finished, we have decided to wait until that date. This time we mean it, that the deadline absolutely cannot be changed. After that things are automatically going to happen. Please take this into your careful consideration and work harder than you ever have before. This, for the present, is for the information of you two Ambassadors alone."
General Marshall had no definite recollection but thought that he had been informed of the various intercepts concerning the course of diplomatic conversations prior to December 6, 1941, such as the preceding "deadline" message (page 871).
Admiral Turner was familiar with the second message establishing November 29th as the final "deadline" date. He interpreted this as meaning that Japan was going to attack England, the United States, or both, and that forces were already under way which could not be recalled. He knew such movements were under way from sightings and dispatches from China and he thought that troops were moving south and into Indo‑China (page 904).
K. THE POSSIBILITY OF A SURPRISE AGGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
Mr. Grew said that on or about November 17, 1941, he telegraphed the State Department and emphasized the need to guard against sudden Japanese action, naval or military, in areas not involved in the Chinese theatre. He was taking into account the probability that the Japanese would exploit the advantage of surprise (page 1063). He had no idea of the definite date Japan would attack, though he knew they had been preparing for any eventuality (page 1065).
Admiral Stark testified that he had received intelligence early in November that the Japanese situation was so bad that the Japanese government had concluded that a war or a diplomatic victory was necessary to distract popular attention, and that a deadline had been fixed and then changed (page 159) He probably saw the "deadline message."
On November 24, 1941 (Exhibit 15), a dispatch (which Admiral Stark said was based in part on the "deadline" intercept‑page 775), was sent by the Chief of Naval Operations to CincAF, CincPac, ComELEVEN, ComTWELVE, ComTHIRTEEN, and ComFIFTEEN for action, reading:
"Chances of favorable outcome of negotiations with Japan very doubtful x This situation coupled with statements of Japanese Government and movements their naval and military forces indicate in our opinion that a surprise aggressive movement in any direction including attack on Philippines or Guam is a possibility x Chief of Staff has seen this dispatch concurs and requests action addressees to inform senior Army officers their areas x Utmost secrecy necessary in order not to complicate an already tense situation or precipitate Japanese action x Guam will be informed separately"
Exhibit 7 is the November 24 dispatch from CNO to CincPac. (p. 30)
Admiral McMorris said that the dispatch of November 24th did not indicate to him any new information. (p. 244)
Admiral Stark testified that he personally was responsible for the statement that " . . . a surprise aggressive movement in any direction . . . " was a possibility. He stated that he had thought at the time that it might be on Hawaii and had said so when he wrote these words in (page 49‑50). The Philippines and Guam were mentioned specifically, he said, because Japanese movements indicated an attack to the south; this dispatch was intended to give a condensed picture of the situation and left up to Admiral Kimmel the question of any additional measures to be taken. No specific instructions were sent; they did not wish to go "all‑out" at the time (pages 50‑53). Admiral Stark said that he always considered Japanese hostile action without declaration of war possible, and that Hawaii was a possible place of attack, but that the information which he had did not indicate that it was a probable place of attack (page 792)
Admiral Turner said that the dispatch of November 24th was discussed in the Joint Board and that at this time Admiral Stark and General Marshall were conferring daily. Admiral Turner prepared this dispatch and it was referred to General Marshall. It was changed in order to keep it from being too specific. The Navy Department and War Department were not specific as they did not want Admiral Kimmel not to be on guard as to other matters under his cognizance. At this time, Admiral Turner was convinced that the Japanese were going into Siam, Malaya, and attack the Philippines (page 996). He pointed out that late in October 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations was convinced that
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war was coming and had diverted merchant shipping from the Central Pacific to the south so that the ships would not be captured (page 1013).
Admiral Kimmel testified (page 298) that he felt that the dispatch of November 24th required no action other than the action which he had already taken; that he considered an air attack on Pearl Harbor as a remote possibility; that he expected a submarine attack at Pearl Harbor if the Philippines were attacked; that he considered the words "in any direction," as used in the November 24th dispatch, included Pearl Harbor only as regards submarine attack, and that any other attack, other than on the Philippines or Guam, would be on foreign territory (page 299).
Admiral Smith stated that the words of this dispatch "in any direction including Philippines or Guam" implied that the Japanese were not going any farther eastward (page 534).
On November 25, 1941 (Exhibit 47), Admiral Stark wrote to Admiral Kimmel in response to his letter of October 17, 1941, on the inadequacy of local defense forces in Hawaii (Exhibit 46). Admiral Stark stated that CincPac had taken cognizance of his responsibilities in connection with tasks pertaining to the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier and that the forces available in the Hawaiian area, both Fleet and local defense forces, and the actual operations of our own and hostile forces would indicate the numbers of Fleet vessels or aircraft required to be assigned to local defense tasks. Admiral Stark's letter continued by summarizing the situation in regard to increasing the local defense forces and, among other things, pointed out that the Department had no additional airplanes available for assignment to the FOURTEENTH Naval District. A marginal note on a copy of this letter, apparently written in Hawaii, stated, "In other words, look to the Fleet. They seem to forget that the Fleet has offensive work to do."
On November 25, 1941 (Exhibit 16), Admiral Stark also wrote a personal letter to Admiral Kimmel stating, among other things, that Admiral Stark agreed with Admiral Kimmel that, for example, to cruise in Japanese home waters, Admiral Kimmel should have a substantial increase in the strength of his fleet, but pointed out that neither ABC‑1 nor Rainbow‑5 contemplated this as a general policy; after the British strengthened Singapore, and under certain auspicious occasions, opportunity for raids in Japanese waters might present themselves, but this would be the exception rather than the rule. A postscript to this letter stated that both Mr. Hull and the President confirmed the gravity of the situation indicated by the message which Admiral Stark sent a day or two before. It stated further that neither the President nor Mr. Hull would be surprised over a Japanese surprise attack; that from many angles an attack on the Philippines would be the most embarrassing thing that could happen to us; and there were some who thought it likely to occur. Admiral Stark further stated: "I do not give it the weight others do, but I included it because of the strong feeling among some people. You know I have generally held that it was not the time for the Japanese to proceed against Russia. I still do. Also I still rather look for an advance into Thailand, Indo‑China, Burma Road area as the most likely. I won't go into the pros and cons of what the United States may do. I will be damned if I know. I wish I did. The only thing I do know is that we may do most anything and that's the only thing I know to be prepared for; or we may do nothing—I think it is more likely to be anything."