Friday, December 07, 2007

Pearl Harbor: The Real McCoy

"A day of infamy," said President Franklin Roosevelt about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. (On a documentary, a surviving sailor recalled his feelings less poetically: "Holy smokes! Those are Japs! This is the real McCoy!") Reams have been written about what FDR knew and when he knew it. As the United States had broken the Japanese diplomatic code, there was speculation that the president deliberately withheld knowledge of impending attack from the military so as to use the bombing as an excuse to enter World War II.

But we were already fighting German U-boats in the Atlantic. Not to mention that a Japanese mini-sub was sunk inside Pearl Harbor by one of our ships hours before the aerial assault. Mostly we battled a mindset that said, despite two years of war all around us, we'd be just fine.

December 7th changed all that.

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