Was the US prepared for the attack on Pearl Harbor?
This depends on the level of preparedness. The US was
anticipating a Japanese attack at the command level, however the
Admiral of the Pacific Fleet at the time thought it was from
sabotage so took different defensive postures. The US was well
aware that the Japanese were being forced into an attack, however
the rank and file Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, were not
informed. As Secretary of War Stimpson noted in his diary BEFORE
the attack "The question was how we could maneuver them (the
Japanese) into firing the first shot without too much danger to
The US policy had been to maneuver the Japanese into an
engagement in the Pacific to trigger war. In 1940 a general call up
of US reservists and National Guardsmen had taken place and the US
was beginning mobilization posture within the industrial base by
the time the 7th of December attack began.
So at the leadership levels, the US was prepared for the attack,
but the individual servicemen at Pearl Harbor were not.