XVII. THE WAR WARNING OF NOVEMBER 27th
A. THE WARNING
Captain Layton testified that he learned of the receipt by CinCPac of the war warning message of 27 November 1941, in the mid‑afternoon of that day on being shown a tape copy in the communications office. He stated that subsequently, at the direction of Admiral Kimmel, he prepared a paraphrase copy of the dispatch which was shown to and approved by Admiral Kimmel, therefore, thereafter, he (Layton) gave to Lieutenant Commander Burr, USNR, for delivery to General Short; that subsequently he checked with Lieutenant Commander Burr and ascertained that the dispatch had been, delivered to General Short. (Page 189-190) .
Captain Layton also testified that at the time he showed Admiral Kimmel his paraphrase copy of the war warning message a large conference in the Admiral's office had just been terminated, and that, while Admiral Kimmel was examining the paraphrase, Captain Earle, Chief of Staff to the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, entered Admiral Kimmel's office stating he had a very urgent message which General Short had delivered to the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District and which was further to be delivered to the Commander‑in‑Chief. Captain Layton stated that Captain Earle delivered the message to which he referred to Admiral Kimmel, and that both of them remarked to the affect that it was the same dispatch in substance that they had just received. (Page 189).
PROCEEDINGS OF HEWITT INQUIRY 431
On November 27th, after delivery of the State Department note of the 26th, but before receipt of the intercepted communications showing the reaction of the Japanese Government, the "war warning" was sent by the Chief of Naval Operations to CinCPac and CincAF. It read:
"This dispatch is to be considered a war warning x negotiations with Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the Pacific have ceased and an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days x The number and equipment of Japanese troops and the organization of naval task forces indicate an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines (printed in ink, "Thai") or Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo x Execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in WPL 46 x Inform district and Army authorities x A similar warning is being sent by War Department x Spenavo inform British x Continental districts Guam Samoa directed take appropriate measures against sabotage"
Exhibit 8 is the November 27 dispatch by CNO to CincPac and CincAF. (p. 30)
B. PREPARATION OF THE WARNING
Admiral Turner said that he prepared the "war warning" after talking to Admiral Stark and that it meant just what it said. Admiral Ingersoll assisted in the drafting of this message (page 839). Admiral Stark testified that the working of the "war warning" dispatch had been carefully considered by him and by his advisers, and also by the Secretary of the Navy (page 54).
Concerning "M" Day, Captain Glover said, "M" Day is commonly understood as the day of execution of a war plan. In the case of WPL‑46, "M" Day, unless otherwise designated, was to be the date of an Alnav dispatch worded as follows: "Execute Navy basic war plan Rainbow No. 5." Upon receipt of this Alnav, the Naval establishment was to proceed with the execution of WPL‑46, including acts of war. WPL‑46 stated that all parts of the plan might be executed at once, or in part by dispatch indicating the enemy, tasks to be executed or excepted, and the preliminary measures to be taken. (p. 177) Captain Glover said that possibly declaring "M" Day west of the Pacific Coastal Frontier would have been more effective in alerting our forces than the method actually used by the Navy Department. He said, however, that the plan did not lend itself very easily to being put into effect as a means of warning only but was based on war activities. (p. 177)
Captain Glover said that Rainbow 5 contemplated the commencement of hostilities after a declaration of war. The Joint Coastal Frontier Defense Plan, he said, might have become effective on "M" Day or certain features of it might have been placed in effect before "M" Day and that plan stated that "M" Day might precede a declaration of war. This plan, therefore, could have been made effective on about November 27 if desirable. (p. 178)
Admiral Turner thought that the war warning was the proper way to advise the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet of the situation and that the war plans could not be partially executed because it would have been an involved situation and not as clear as the warning given. Moreover, it would not have been practicable to have declared a mobilization, in certain areas prior to the existence of the state of war. (p. 270)
Admiral Turner said that the preparation of the dispatches of November 24 and of November 27 was similar to that of the October 16 dispatch. He discussed the situation at the time of the preparation of the November 27 dispatch as follows:
"As I recall, we were informed by the Secretary of State, at a small meeting at which I was present, that the State Department has no further hopes of composing matters with the Japanese. The Secretary of State requested advice from the Military Services as to any further steps that his Department might make. It was apparent from the talks that were going on between the State Department and Mr. Kurusu, as well as from information received from Intelligence sources, that the Japanese were killing time preparatory to an attack. We could not estimate the exact time that the attack would be made, but we knew of troop movements and naval movements in the Far East toward the South. It was at about this time that our search planes first picked up some of the Japanese ships moving along the coast of Indo‑China. I think it may have been after the date of this dispatch that we instituted plane search of the China Sea, but we were conscious of definite amphibious movements being made before the
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dispatch we are discussing was sent. The radio traffic, during the first half and middle of November, had been very heavy on the part of the Japanese, and suddenly it almost stopped some time between the 20th and 25th of November, as I recall it. Very little traffic was then sent out. That convinced us that the Japanese Fleet had put to sea. I was concerned, and had been through this entire period, over whether or not Japanese traffic analyses were being made by the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, and I brought the subject up several times with the Director of Naval Communications and with the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations. I was assured, each time, that the Commander‑in‑Chief was getting everything that we were getting in Washington, and was making proper traffic analyses. Japanese radio traffic analyses were under the cognizance of the Director of Naval Communications, and I am not very familiar with the exact methods employed, nor of the distribution which was made of their deductions. The Director kept War Plans fully informed as to these deductions." p. 265).
Admiral Turner said that Secretary Hull had told Admiral Stark that to all intents and purposes the negotiations were over on November 27th, though he (Hull) was not going to close them. Mr. Hull, he stated, kept Admiral Stark well informed (page 995). This was the basis of the statement in the "warning" that negotiations had ceased.
Admiral Ingersoll believed that the "warning" was sent because the Secretary of State had delivered the note of November 26th to the Japanese (page 851).
Admiral Ingersoll said that the reason for sending the war warning of November 27 was indicated in the dispatch, referring to the number and equipment and organization of Japanese naval forces. He said that the reason why the dispatch referred to an aggressive move in the Western Pacific was that the character of the landing craft referred to in the dispatch were such that they could not have been used in any area other than in the far eastern area. (p. 425)
Admiral Brainard did not recall having had any part in the drafting of the October 16 dispatch or the November 24 dispatch or the war warning. He did not know definitely that a set of war warning dispatches were prepared and held in readiness for dispatch to merchant shipping and that for a period of two or three weeks prior to December 7, they were restraining entry of merchant vessels and vessels of the NTS service into the Western Pacific so as to avoid their being trapped. (p. 402)
C. THE FAILURE TO MENTION HAWAII
Admiral Stark said that he did not mention Hawaii in the "war warning" because he indicated, from the best intelligence which he had, where the blow was most likely to fall (page 793). It was agreed in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, he testified, that an attack on Hawaii was a possibility but that the information available indicated that the Philippines, Guam and the Kra Peninsula would be attacked (page 797). Generally speaking, he and his advisers did not expect a raid on Hawaii (page 798).
At the time of drafting the "war warning," Admiral Turner said, he expected that the Japanese would make some kind of an attack on Hawaii (page 995). He did not mention Hawaii in the "war warning," he said, because the places named were the strategic objectives and he did not believe that the Japanese would launch an amphibious attack on Hawaii (page 1020). He invited attention to the difference between the dispatch of November 24th, which had warned of the possibility of a "surprise aggressive movement," and this dispatch, which warned of "an amphibious expedition." The earlier dispatch, he said, was the result of deduction and covered any type of action by the Japanese. On November 27th, however, they knew that, as a fact, the Japanese were on the move (page 997).
Admiral Ingersoll said that he had made the insertion of "Thai" and "Continental districts" in the "war warning" (page 839). The breaking of diplomatic relations did not necessarily mean war, he said. But, the information as to Japanese movements indicated action at Siam or Kra Peninsula and it was quite evident that if the Japanese made war on the United States, the Philippines were a probable objective and Guam would fall like a ripe plum. In the dispatch they mentioned southeast Asia as a probable Japanese objective because they had no information of an aggressive movement in any other direction. The intention of the war message was to state that war was imminent—on the other hand, there was the wish not to take any step which could provoke war with Japan (page 842). And, Admiral Kimmel never asked for any clarification of the "war warning." (page 842).
PROCEEDINGS OF HEWITT INQUIRY 433
D. THE DIRECTION TO "EXECUTE AN APPROPRIATE DEFENSIVE DEPLOYMENT"
Vice Admiral McMorris directed his attention to:
(a) the provisions of the Rainbow Five War Plan in respect of the initial task of the Pacific Fleet at times when Japanese were not in the war, including the maintaining of Fleet security and protecting the territory of the associated powers (which included Hawaii), and preventing the extension of enemy military power into the Western Hemisphere by patrolling with patrol planes and light forces and by the action of striking groups, and guarding "against a surprise attack by Japan."
(b) the direction in the war warning message of November 27, 1941, to CinCPac, to "execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in WPL‑46,"
and testified in the respect of what appropriate defensive deployment was executed, that, "there was no material change in the disposition and deployment of the fleet forces at that time other than the movements of certain aircraft to Midway and Wake and of the carriers, with their attendant cruisers and destroyers, to those locations to deliver aircraft." (Page 321‑322).
Vice Admiral McMorris testified that the language in the war warning of 27 November 1941, with reference to the defensive deployment preparatory to carryout the tasks assigned in WPL‑46, "was a direction." (Page 322).
He stated further that he considered that the action taken constituted an appropriate defensive deployment, (page 322), that it was a major action in line with the measure to execute an appropriate defensive deployment, that the major portion of the fleet was disposed in Hawaiian waters and that reinforcements were sent to Midway and Wake; that it was likewise in accordance with the directive that the ships were maintained with a full supply of ammunition and a minimum quantity of fuel. (Page 323‑324).
Vice Admiral McMorris testified that the establishing of an air patrol from Oahu to guard against a surprise attack by Japan would have been an appropriate act, "but no one act nor no one disposition can be examined independent of other requirements." (Page 324).
Vice Admiral McMorris testified that the establishment of long distance air patrol from Oahu would have been an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in W PL‑46. (Page 324).
The "war warning" directed the addressees to "execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in WPL‑46.
Admiral Bloch recalled a discussion between Admiral Kimmel and someone else in his presence discussing the directive to carry out a "defensive deployment." So far as Admiral Bloch knew, he had never encountered that terminology before. He doesn't recall what it meant to him at the time nor does he know whether or not Admiral Kimmel regarded the submarines at Midway and Wake as a "defensive deployment." (p. 22)
Admiral Turner said that the things they expected CincPac to do were not communicated to CincPac in detail because the Navy Department's plan was to give broad discretion to commanders. They expected CincPac to take appropriate action on the "War Warning" dispatch (page 998).
The expectation in the Navy Department as to the "Defensive Deployment" that would be taken was summarized by Admiral Turner as follows:
"It will be noted that the dispatch orders a defensive deployment. We expected all war scouting measures to be undertaken, submarines to be sent out to protect our Fleet and territory against enemy naval forces; we expected the carriers with their protective vessels to put to sea and stand in readiness for war; we expected, in the Asiatic, the movement of ships to be made to the South in accordance with the plan agreed on. We expected a high degree of readiness on board ships against attack of any form; and on shore, we expected a high degree of readiness of defensive troops, including anti‑aircraft. The dispatch was prepared jointly with the Army. We expected a deployment of the Army on shore appropriate with a defensive state of readiness, such as manning the coastal guns, and moving troops out to their deployment for defense of territory." (p. 265)
Admiral Stark said that he had anticipated that full security measures would be taken, that the Army would set a condition of readiness for aircraft and the aircraft warning service, that Admiral Kimmel would invoke full readiness
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measures, distant reconnaissance and A/S measures, and that the measures previously agreed on with the Army would be implemented. He did not require a report of the actions taken pursuant to this message (pages 54‑62, 84). He considered that after this message Admiral Kimmel had a "free hand" (page 801).
Admiral Ingersoll said that he considered that the "war warning" put additional tasks on the Pacific Fleet of security of itself and readiness for any eventuality, but that the message was not to completely interrupt training (page 849). Training, however, should have been secondary after this message (page 821). The October 16th dispatch had directed CincPac to make certain dispositions; he had informed the Chief of Naval Operations and those had been considered satisfactory (page 849). After November 27th, any measures that were necessary to guard the security of a fleet were necessary in all fleets.
Admiral Pye said that as to the directives in the November 27 dispatch concerning deployment, it would have been necessary to recall the Task Forces which were at that time absent, in order to prepare them from a logistic point of view and consequently, there was no deployment that could be made immediately which would have better prepared Task Force One; Task Force Two was on its way to ferry some fighting planes and was not expected to return for over a week; there appeared to be no action to be taken by the Fleet that would have better prepared it against an indefinite date of beginning operations, than that which was then in progress. Admiral Pye said that no change was made in the scheduled deployment of his task force after the November 27 dispatch. (p. 155)
Concerning the deployment referred to in the War Warning, Admiral Ingersoll said, "Again, this dispatch is addressed to both the Commander-in‑Chief, Asiatic Fleet, and to the Commander‑in‑Chief, Pacific Fleet. The deployment referred more to the movements which were contemplated in the Asiatic Fleet regarding the withdrawal of forces from the Manila Bay area for operations contemplated elsewhere, and the movements in the Hawaiian area were those regarding observation, the establishment of patrols, and the reenforcement of outlying positions in our own islands. It will be remembered that an earlier dispatch in October had warned both Commanders-in‑Chief against taking action which would provoke war." (p. 426)
The reason why Admiral Kimmel was not called upon to report what he was doing after the War Warning was Admiral Ingersoll said, because they knew that submarines were out on observation missions, that reenforcement of Wake and Midway was contemplated and they believed that the routine air patrols around Oahu and search patrols which had been in effect for some time were being continued. They believed at that particular time that the air patrol was by no means as complete as it should have been. (p. 926 and p. 427).