Pearl Harbor
Japan in WW2
US in WW2

Was the US prepared for the attack on Pearl Harbor?

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December 12, 2010 6:09PM




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.

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