Some people believe that the attack on Pearl Harbor could have been prevented from happening. Others believe that the attack was a surprise and that we didn’t see it coming. Actually Pearl Harbor could have been prevented in many ways and we did see it coming we just weren’t prepared. If we would have had better communication, used our resources, and believed that the Japanese would attack us we might have been able to fight back.
If we would have had better communication it could have been one way that would had prevented the attack on Pearl Harbor. One example is that the United States placed an embargo act on all oil and iron ore trade with Japan (http://www.mobile-qr-codes.org/pearl-harbor-facts.html ). Also we requested that Japan move its troops out of China. All of this created problems between us and Japan. The Japanese Prime Minister, Fumimaro Konoye, decided to arrange a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Japanese Prime Minister wanted to have this meeting in Hawaii but the President changed the location to Alaska. The meeting kept being put off and never actually got to happened. A couple months later the Prime Minister was replaced. If the President would have personally meet the Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoye to settle out all issues with the Japanese they might have not attacked us. Another example is, Ricardo Rivera Schreiber, the Peruvian ambassador of Japan, called Ambassador Joseph Grew, the American Ambassador of Tokyo, telling him that he had information that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor. Grew thanked Schreiber and prepared a cable to be dispatched to the State of Department but it was never actually sent ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4206060). Grew and Schreiber were both repatriated and sent back to the United States on a ship where Schreiber confronted Grew and asked him why he dind’t warn Washington about the information that he knew about the attack. Grew just walked away. Later Grew wrote a note to the President blaming him on the attack since he didn’t meet the Prime Minister and make economic concessions with Japan. If we would have communicated better with other countries and with people in our own country the attack might not have happened, and even if it had we
could have been prepared.
Another way it could have been prevented was if we would have used our resources. One resource we should have used better was radar information. One way we could have used radar information better was, Private Joseph Lockard was training Private George Elliot when they spotted a large reflection on the radar just north of Oahu, Hawaii. They tracked the signal for eighteen minutes then called the private on duty from the Information Center. The lieutenant dismissed the report and told them it was nothing to get excited about. They kept tracking the reflection until a bus came and picked them up to take them to breakfast. Sixteen minutes later the planes hit Pearl Harbor (http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1364.htm). Another way is, we should have realized something when the USS Condor, a coastal minesweeper of the U.S. navy, spotted what looked like a periscope out of water. Later we found out that it was a periscope to a Japanese midget submarine and fired the first shots of the Pacific War and sank this submarine (http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/pearlhbr/ph-misc.htm).
If we would have been more aware that Japan could attack us and been more prepared we could have been ready for the attack. One example of this is we underestimated Japan and we didn’t believe that they would really attack us. Pearl Harbor was not in the state of high alert when the attack started and Anit-Aircraft guns were left unmanned (http://www.erikanderson.net/pearlharbor/facts.html). We ignored all warnings and we could have been prepared for this attack if we would have taken precautions. We had nearly a year to prepare for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also a gallop poll was taken and 52% of Americans expected war with Japan with 27% not expecting it and 21% with no opinion. We didn’t believe that Pearl Harbor would be there first target either. We thought, if they would attack they would attack the Philippines first because of the threat the air bases throughout the country and the naval bases in Manila posed to sea lanes. Also because of the shipments of supplies to Japan from the south. We underestimated Japan because we didn’t believe that they were capable of pulling off more than one major naval operation at a time.
If we would have communicated better, used our resources, and believed that the Japanese would attack us, the damage that was done to Pearl Harbor wouldn’t have been as bad as they were. This attack on our country taught us a lesson. It taught us that we need to be prepared at all times, alert, and ready for an attack at any time of day. It also taught us that we need to take things more seriously and look further into clues or signs that something bad could happen. Our country is stronger, better equipped, and takes thing more seriously because of this attack.