At 7:55 a.m. on December 7, 1941 the Japanese launched a savage attack on Pearl Harbor from the sky and from the sea. In less than two hours, more than 300 U.S. aircraft were wrecked, 21 U.S. Navy ships damaged or sunk and more than 2400 Americans lay dead or dying.
Now more than 60 years after the attack questions still remain about who should bear the burden of blame for the catastrophe at Pearl Harbor. Was it simply a colossal intelligence failure, a lack of readiness or, as some claim, part of a secret plot at the top of the U.S. government to get America into World War II?
Was the raid really a total surprise? You'll be shocked to hear how much intelligence was gathered about Japan's war plans. And we will explore how and why this intelligence was not more fully shared with Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Why did General Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief United States Army Forces Far East, headquartered in the Philippines, receive a "magic" decoding machine and Admiral Kimmel did not?
In this episode of "War Stories Investigates with Oliver North," we'll explore the secrets, the evidence and the controversy surrounding the attacks.
You'll hear from Robert Stinnett, who says that FDR wanted Pearl Harbor to be bombed to get America into World War II. He cites recently de-classified documents, to lend support to his theory.
You'll also hear from Tom Kimmel, grandson of Admiral Kimmel, who explains why he believes that his grandfather became the chief scapegoat for the success of the Japanese attack.
And in a rare interview, you'll meet Lt Zenji Abe. As a Japanese bomber pilot, he didn't find out that his country's attack was a surprise till 20 years after World War II had ended.