Sunday, December 07, 2008

December 7, 1941: The Infamous Myths and Rumors of Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 is still a day that remains in infamy. 2,400 persons were killed by the Japanese in a surprise Sunday morning raid on the United States at the naval shipyard in Honolulu.

Over the years, a number of myths have circulated about that attack. These rumors actually started during World War II, and they have pesisted ever since. Ending those myths was made more difficult by the fact that the Congressional Investigation Report on Pearl Harbor was not released until July 26, 1946. While the report contained information that addressed most of the rumors, the Pearl Harbor Attack Investigation Report (PHA for short) was in 40 parts bound in about 23 volumes. Extracting the answers to the bizarre stories that ran rampant was a daunting task for even the most serious researcher.

One of the most persistent and most foul rumors was that US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and sacrificed American lives for his own desire to enter the war. You can read for yourself a year's worth of intercepted Japanese communications, events leading up to World War II, and a diplomatic message from Tokyo to the Japanese Embassy in London to destroy code machine, burn codes dated December 1, 1941.

While everyone knows of the air attack on pearl harbor, less well known is the fleet of 28 submarines sent by Japan to Hawaii to aid in their attack on America.


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