What Did The Japanese Really Hope To Accomplish with Their Attack on Pearl Harbor?


With the benefit of hindsight, many seemingly rational acts (at the time) tend to blur into the irrational when viewed through the looking glass of history, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is an almost textbook example of this phenomena. This seems even more-so with the inaccurate (but commonly cited belief) that all they had to do was to blow up a few battleships and the Americas would just run away. In reality, NOBODY at the time believed that, not even the most racist Japanese that thought quite poorly of the “fighting spirit” of your average American. They had other ideas.

To your average 21st century resident of the world it seemed as though the entire Empire of Japan (circa 1941) was on some kind of suicidal mission to get their butts handed to them courtesy of the air, land, sea, and Marine forces of the United States, along with the rest of the Anglospere. As with all bad ideas, they usually are incubated in the nursery of misconception and in assuming away the capability of your enemy in an attempt to imagine the enemy as you wish them to be, and not as they are.

Until June 22, 1941 there was a very strong isolationist bent in the American public’s mind. This was not really due to any ambivalent feelings toward Hitler (his poll numbers were quite low and trending lower), but instead the result of a MASSIVE disinformation campaign being run by the Soviets and their agents of influence in the United States (remember the The MolotovRibbentrop Pact that allied Hitler with Stalin), some of whom had President Roosevelt’s ear (Harry Hopkins). That was also largely fueled by the mostly correct belief that WW-I (The Great War) was nothing more than a futile meat grinder that cost Europe an entire generation of young men and accomplished little, and that WW-I was a bullet narrowly ducked by the U.S. was still in much of America’s public consciousness. This was capped off by the also mostly correct belief that any lasting peace offered by President Woodrow Wilson were largely left on the floor as France and Britain’s rushed to pick over Germany’s emaciated nation-state corpse for largely imaginary reparations that could never be repaid.

Rarely are unfriendly foreign governments (such as the Empire of Japan) up to the minute as to what “America” is really thinking (as is occasionally our very own politicians) and so was the case with the Empire of the Sun in late 1941. They really did believe that the “peace at all cost” Americans were soft and lacking in resolve and conviction, largely based on information that was several months out of date, and a very incorrect belief that Americans were addicted to Jazz music and consumer comforts. This is part of assuming away the attributes of your enemy and replacing them with a caricatured stereotype that acts just as you believe they will. Usually this is how wars and battles are lost.

Japan believed that with a decisive blow against the United States in the Pacific they would have 6 months to a year to do anything they wished in the Pacific and to become, in the Japanese’s own words, “an immovable object” that would force America to eventually accept the new status quo with the Empire of Japan the new Masters of Asia and all of the Pacific, or at least as far as the Hawaiian Islands, which suited them just fine.

So, they wanted to own the Pacific and Asia and to dig in so deep in all of the surrounding territory that we would just say “screw it”. The term sue for peace is bandied about with almost a tinges of surrender, but in reality the Japanese never really expected that. They just wanted the White People out of the Pacific, and that eventually would have included Australia and New Zealand.

In my next post I will talk about how the Japanese blew their one really good opportunity at Pearl Harbor by, well, fighting and thinking like Japanese and by the Americans refusing to follow their scripted role.

  • The isolationist camp was much stronger than is generally known today. FDR was lucky that Germany chose to declare war on the USA after Pearl Harbour. Saved him the trouble of arguing in favour of it.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Funny how isolation sentiment was strongest right up until Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, then it just kind of faded away.
      Yes, Hitler did everyone a favor by declaring war on the USA first.
      It was quite a gift.

      • The left did a very hurried about face on Uncle Joe’s orders.

    • Icebow

      And Churchill, after hearing the news, ‘slept the sleep of the saved’.

    • FDR had his rubber arm twisted by Soviet-friendly advisers.

  • mauser 98

    carriers safe at sea

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      With the benefit of hindsight…
      That paper only says that they MIGHT strike SOMEWHERE in the Pacific.

      • mauser 98

        yes. tensions building for years,oil embargo China invasion and all. the carriers out to sea just a coincidence

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          The Enterprise and Lexington were SUPPOSED to be there, on the evening of December 7 (they still would have missed the attack) but they were both delayed by one day due to bad weather and did not arrive until the 8th.

          I just don’t think the Japanese put that much belief (at that time) into thinking that carriers without Battleships were that big of a deal.
          It seems odd now, but prior to all the great carrier battles of the Pacific, neither the Japanese Navy or even the US Navy saw their true potential, at that time.

          It would take the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, and The Battles of Coral Sea for everyone to finally get the idea that airplanes could really sink major capitol ships that were underway, maneuvering and defending themselves out in the open ocean.
          What seems obvious to us now just wasn’t back then.
          I know, weird.

          • mauser 98

            isolationism was very strong in US which makes the idea FDR let attack happen more believable

            Pearl Harbour memo shows US warned of Japanese attack

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            That memo has been around for over a quarter of a century; it’s not newly discovered.
            It only warns of a general attack warning, not when, where, or how. It’s a CYA or a “heads up” memo, but it’s nothing actionable. All the smart people were betting any attack would be in the Philippines.

            It just wasn’t conceivable to any of the powers that be (at the time) that a carrier strike force was capable of attacking Pearl Harbor.
            The USS Ward sank a Japanese midget submarine 5-miles outside of the harbor entrance on the very morning of the attack, and even event THAT was not enough to wake up the U.S. Navy that something unusual was afoot.

          • mauser 98

            and the government would never lie

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            I’m sure they lie all the time.
            It’s just that a war with Japan was not the war Roosevelt wanted.

          • mauser 98

            c’mon… US poked , prodded Japs for years
            sure Japs committed atrocities that are ignored white washed today.

            no clean hands here

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            I’m not sure what you mean, but we were excessively tolerant of the Imperial Japanese.
            We should have ‘lit them up’ almost a decade before we did, but we didn’t have the means or political will to do so.

          • mauser 98

            OK.. will take Bath Tub Gin for $200 Alex

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Get the booze right!!!!

  • Icebow

    I knew there was some reason to watch The Final Countdown today.

    • Freedom

      Great Movie

  • Tom Forsythe

    Maybe it was an inside job…

    • Clausewitz

      I’m sure, somewhere, somehow, some idiot is blaming it on the Joooooos.

  • Gary

    In the last few years some really sick ba$tard in my area puts up posters on utility poles in August to denounce those evil Americans that used the two bombs on innocent Japanese civilians in 1945 . I guess they know how the schools have dumb down students with grade 12 Diplomas that are fake and only equal to the 1960’s Grade 6 level or lower.
    Japan’s Tojo that was head of the Military refused to surrender , he told Hito that there were 5’000’000 Loyal citizens ready to die . There were 2 million troops on the island and 3 million civilians to fight any invasion to the death and even be suicide bomber on the beach to stop Tanks and other vehicles. There were also 5000 Pilots of which 3000 were bomber pilots and 2000 kamikazi’s willing to fly into the Carriers off shore or troop ships.
    Nagasaki and Hiroshima were Industrial Cities for the War effort and the made bomb plus supplied the Submarine pens near by .

    You gotta love that hindsight by Liberal Progressives and Leftists that would be happier if the bombs were not dropped and another 5’000’0000 japanese were killed along with a huge number of ally forces as the War dragged out until 1947. Trudeau was such a genius that he mocked the threat by the Nazi’s and Hitler , andtoday his wiz kid Son mocks the threat from ISIS and islamists in Canada .

    • Frances

      Not to mention all the POWs in the various camps. Sir Laurens van der Post was a POW and wrote memorably in “The Night of the New Moon” (or “The Prisoner and the Bomb” of how he and his fellow prisoners, knowing the war was not going well and convinced their captors would kill them all before retreating north, were frantically trying to get lists of all the captives into the hands of the locals so there would be proof of the camp and its inhabitants. Only the dropping of the bomb, and the quick surrender by the Emperor, saved them.

      • No question, the Japanese would have murdered them.

      • minuteman

        I read something somewhere that stated that during the Russian Japanese war of 1905 that the Japanese where the more civilized of the combatants, They protected civilians in the area of combat and treated prisoners with respect. It shows how much a culture can change in very short time with the right stimulus.

    • MannieP

      I have long said that the Japanese should send us a thank you card every August 6th and 9th. We saved the Japanese people from annihilation. If we had invaded, or more probably returned to the Navy’s old “Blockade & Bombard” plan (Our attitude was rapidly shifting that way after Okinawa.) The Japs would have suffered casualties that would have rendered them questionable as a breeding population. We would have dumped tens of thousands of tons of Mustard gas and Lewisite on their population, and possibly used Anthrax as well. That, and the routine destruction of their food carrying infrastructure, would have been catastrophic to them.

      I always ask those anti-nukers why they hate the Chinese so much. They were losing about a Hiroshima’s worth of casualties monthly in their war with the Japs.

      • Frances

        The death toll is given as 66,000 for Hiroshima, and 39,000 for Nagasaki. Contrast that with the March 9 – 10 firebombing of Tokyo where a conservative estimate of the dead is 125,000. And Tokyo was bombed a lot.

        • True, more died in fire-bombings than due to the atomic bombs.

          The numbers you quoted, however, are low. A lot more died but still more died due to fire-bombings.

          • Frances

            Those are Wikipedia figures.

          • I got this fire-bombing figure here:


            “Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history.”

            Here are estimates of atomic bomb casualties:


          • Frances


          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Hiroshima 66,000
            Nagasaki 39,000
            The anti-nukers like to goose those figures with hypothecated cancer death numbers that they mostly pulled out of their butts.

          • There were any number of atomic bomb-related deaths/conditions a decade or so after the bombs were dropped. This declined over time.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Yes, but quantifying them is somewhat difficult.
            Sure, there were some, but how many?

            Have you read the story of the “Daigo Fukuryū Maru” fishing boat? It’s pretty interesting.
            In short, we accidently lit that fishing boat’s crew up like a Christmas tree (Castle Bravo tests).

            It seems the one ‘obvious’ death was probably caused by the patient’s excessive drinking and the hospital accidently giving him hepatitis while treating him for radiation exposure.
            I would have thought that entire crew would have been toast, but they seemed to have lived long and normal lives.
            I’m just saying that those kinds of deaths are a lot harder to quantify that I thought they would be.
            I don’t know what to believe anymore when it comes to this stuff.

          • This site has the cases of radiation-related illnesses that decreased over time:


            “The Bells of Nagasaki” is recounted by Dr. Takeshi Nagai who was one of the first to see radiation-related illnesses/conditions.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Going by what I remember, all immediate deaths will occur within 90-days (with a sharp drop off after 2-3 days and another after about15-days) and leukemia (and other marrow and lymphoid diseases) peak at about the 5-7 year mark.
            Other than the immediate deaths, it gets murky when you try do do a hard count.
            Obviously it kills people, but the numbers are fuzzy.
            I’d be comfortable with 150% of the immediate death toll, but I’m not so sure even that is all that scientific.

            The only thing I take issue with are the people that claim these massive death toll numbers from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for people that were hundreds of miles away.

            It seems that if it is really going to kill you, you will be dead in a few days (and if you make it past the 15 day marker you are probibly golden) discounting certain cancers that could arrive years later.

            Thanks for the link!

          • The biggest chunk of the deaths occurred right after the bomb due to debris, fire and immediate exposure to radiation. Later deaths occurred in people who were directly exposed or died of previous injuries. This is obvious.

            What shouldn’t be done is the inflation of facts to ban something that Kim Jong-Un never will.

      • I believe had the Koreans or Chinese had the bomb, there would not be a Japan today, such is their hatred of the Japanese.

        • Xavier

          I worked for a Korean while in college; one day a female coworker got mad at him and called him Japanese. She didn’t know what she was saying, just a white trash girl mouthing off.

          He totally wigged out, screaming in Korean/English, spitting and sputtering. I thought he was going to choke her. That was my introduction to East Asian racism.

          • Some say racism, some say centuries of grievances.

            I say take lithium.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            You called, Xavier?

    • It is as specious an argument as any the left has ever made, invasion casualties were estimated to reach 1 million had the mainland been invaded making the porposed solutions you mention very plausible alternatives.

      • Xavier

        As the troops were being brought home from Europe, they were scheduled to be sent to invade Japan – and they knew it would be a house by house fight with massive losses on both sides. The opinion was that the Germans had some honor in battle but the Japanese were animals.

        I’ll cite that with Andy Rooney’s ‘My War’, an excellent book of his WW2 experiences that doesn’t include his liberal opinions.

      • Gary

        I focused on the insanity for a culture that saw their leader as a God to die for much like the Islamists we are dealing with that embrace death to please allah for killing god’s children.
        I left out the part about Tojo giving orders to the Officers in POW camps that if the Allies step on the island from an invasion they would get a Message to behead every POW as punishment.
        The media and Liberal progressives don’t see ISIS and Hamas as a threat , these are the same types of people on December 6th 1941 and September 10th 2001 that were awaken that next day but THEN jumped to blame someone that we weren’t ready or allowed it to happen.
        I do think the War could have gone to late 1947 because of the power structure for Hito seen as their God and protector. With 5 million ready to die to save the mainland , the first attacks to weaken japan and break up the fighting forces would be to take out radio towers, power stations, railway tracks, and key bridges.
        But this would cut-off the people from the Emperor and put 3 million civilians that were ready to die in a mind set that the War was always on and they would continue the fight as did the Troops in the jungles or remote areas after the Surrender.
        If Hito died he would not be there to control the people and tell them the War was over and to put down the weapons . Hito was kept in power as a figurehead and spared the noose because the people worshiped him and would riot or kill themselves if he was hanged and the Invaders took control to order them around.

        Justin doesn’t get that the ISIS savages and common islamist are worse than the Nazi’s and the suicidal japanese fighters because the islamism is a global cancer with the quran at its core for each homicidal maniac obeying Allah and not a Commander that can surrenders and end the jihad .
        The two islamist terrorists we had in October were proof of a threat because ISIS did not Order them like a Military Structure does, they just reminded the two Jihadists of their duty to fight for the Global caliphate ruled by sharia law as does many mosque in Canada even if the imams deny it .

        There were about 5000 Japanese soldiers fighting the Vietnamese of which many deserted after japan surrendered because of the shame , they found a friend among the North Vietnamese Communists that wanted to dominate the whole Nation as a struggle for the people to be as one which attracted the Imperialist Army deserters for the shared goals .
        This is why I am not shocked by the alliance with the islamists and Leftist Liberal Progressives and Rainbow groups because of the shared-hatred for the West and what it stands for. The honeymoon will end once these useful idiots in the West fulfill their purpose and the swords will come out to behead them .
        The proof is in the PRIDE parade where 2 Pro-hamas/ISIS/Sharia groups are allowed to march under the banner of LGBT Diversity and Inclusiveness as Progressives much smart than us peons. Sharia is homphobic, misogynistic, racist, and barbaric when it metes out punishment , and yet the LGBT and Liberal Leftist Progressives chose to have a suicide-pact based on that shared-hatred for now keeping the peace.

    • minuteman

      There were also a million odd troops in China who were available for defence of the home islands if necessary. Throughout the entire war the Japs had more troops in China than they had fighting the allied armies in Burma/India/Pacific.

    • Just a thought

      I’ve heard the following before, but here’s a reference I just found for it. Looks like it might be reliable enough, on brief inspection.
      ” The target of Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance,
      containing Japan’s Second Army Headquarters, as well as being a
      communications center and storage depot.”

      Also, as I recall, Nagasiki was an important “manufacturing center” (civilians even worked on small assembly of military equipment in their homes), as well as being an important sea port.

      No question, they were valid military targets.

      Also, some in the Japanese military didn’t want to surrender even after the second bomb, and tried to prevent the emperor from doing so. Fortunately they failed.

  • AlanUK

    I realise I am an Englishman and don’t know all the facts.
    But. It was my understanding that the Japanese knew that carrier-based aircraft (floating airfields, if you will) were key to the war. Pearl Harbour, then was a huge mistake because the US carriers weren’t there – they were at sea. Entering the war without neutralising the US carrier force ensured that the war was lost, just as they started it.

    • They certainly were aware that America was a sleeping giant.

    • Clausewitz

      The worm turned on June 4, 1942 during the battle of Midway when those missed carriers took out all four of the Japanese fleet carriers. After that date the Imperial Japanese Navy was on the defensive.

      • minuteman

        That is my understanding. The Japs had really bad luck at Pearl Harbour, and then really bad luck again at Midway. If Pearl Harbour had got the carriers, Midway wouldn’t have happened. They then missed them again (and lost their own carriers at Midway. A few better aimed bombs at Midway and it would probably have gone the way they intended.

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          Had they taken out our carriers at Pearl Harbor, the battle of Coral Sea would have been a Japanese strategic victory and they would have undertaken the invasion of Port Moresby and would have had a pretty good chance of cutting off Australia completely.
          That would have been an extremely bad thing, especially for our Australian friends.

          • Clausewitz

            The ability of the US naval yards to get the Yorktown back into the fight after the Battle of Coral Sea was instrumental in the US having three carriers when the Imperial Navy thought they would only have two.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Yes, that was one of the ‘miracles of Midway’.

            The Yorktown had 9-lives and she made the Japanese personally show up and extinguish every single one of them.

        • Clausewitz

          The biggest weapon at the Battle of Midway was not the carriers, but the fact that the American cryptographers had broken the Japanese Naval Code, and knew exactly when and where the attack was going to happen. They stationed the three US Fleet carriers at Point Lucky, and the rest as they say is history.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Hindsight is always 20/20.
      At that time in the war, neither side (Japanese or American) really appreciated how valuable aircraft carriers were. That lesson didn’t begin to sink-in until after the Battle of Coral Sea, but was carved in stone by the Battle of Midway.
      At the time of Pearl Harbor, the aircraft carrier was seen to be about as valuable as a light cruiser. The Japanese, as well as the Americans, and the British still believed that the battle ship was king.

      • Clausewitz

        Actually by that time both nations knew about the value of carriers after the Brits took out the Italian Navy at the battle of Taranto. In fact it was this battle that inspired the attack on Pearl Harbour.

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          It did inspire the attack by the Japanese “Carrier Mafia” but the rest of the Imperial Japanese had yet to have that epiphany, as did the U.S. Navy at the time.

          • Clausewitz

            The old school navy men still clung to their view that Battleships were the prime weapons of the war. The Admirals that would go on to win the war for the US by 1936 were fully believing in the Supremacy of the Carrier Task Forces. Aircraft having their way with heavy ships was punctuated by the destruction of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse at the start of the Pacific War.

  • Brett_McS

    They wouldn’t bomb Hawaii again; they own most of the real estate.

  • Solo712

    The isolationist movement in the US was not manipulated by the Soviets. That is cock-eyed history. (Molotov-Ribbentropp pact was not an “alliance” but a “non-aggression” pact of ideological rivals). It was generally Republican, at any rate anti FDR, anti “New Deal”. It is true that generally Hitler was never popular in America but the politically active isolationists, especially the America First Committee, had closet Nazi sympathizers (led by none other than Charles Lindbergh) who bought into Hitler’s racial theories as a natural complement to their own home-grown racism. That is well known and available to anyone who cares to look.


    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Kindly FUCK OFF!

      The isolationist movements (notice the plural) were controlled by the CPUSA and to a much lesser degree by those sympathetic to Germany, but it was 90% Red controlled.
      While Hitler was bombing London he was doing it with petrol sold to him by Joseph Stalin.

      • Solo712
        • Drunk_by_Noon

          Are you such a screw headed fuck-nugget that you think NONE of us have heard of Lindberg and his infatuation with the Luftwaffe?
          Seriously, why are the dumbest bastards always the most condescending and arrogant?

          Just go fuck yourself Solo.
          Seriously, just take your ‘named after a stupid moped’ handle and jam it right up your ass.

          • Solo712

            Evidently, we are not impressed with each other, dear Drunk. Naturally, you believe that inviting an opponent to ‘jam things up his ass’ is a way to win an argument. Well, guess what I? It isn’t so among intelligent and civilized people.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Oh yes, I do so apologize good sir. Where were my manners?

            Please allow me delineate as to why I hate you, and why I immediately decided to dispense with all manner or pleasantry and the associated presentation of articulated and reasoned debate.

            Like the “French Resistance”, the American isolationist movement (American Peace Mobilization and other front groups) was almost entirely a creature of Stalin as controlled through the CPUSA and their various front organizations. The Nazis, other than their early efforts with the German American Bund, really were not all that successful with their efforts. My 90% is likely a very conservative estimate.

            As for Lindberg, he was no more of a Nazi than my cat, and much of what he was doing in Germany in the late 1930’s was done at the behest of the U.S. government!
            Lindbergh traveled several times to Germany to report on German aviation and the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) from 1936 to 1938.
            His warning was that we must not go to War with Nazi Germany or we will LOSE.
            At the time he made that statement, he was right.
            So in closing dear gentleman, you are a revisionist fuck-head, undeserving of even the slightest morsel of respect or courtesy as you are either willfully ignorant, yet attempt to arrogantly portray yourself as a learned man, or are intentionally spreading disinformation.
            Good day to you good sir!

          • Solo712

            You can twist and shout but you will not be able to obliterate the facts: Lindbergh travelled to Germany several times at the invitation of the Nazis btw 1936-38. It was not ‘at the behest of the US government’ as you claim. He wrote in his diaries that the diplomats were aware of his trips and he did report his findings to the US Army (he was a colonel which rank he resigned in 1941). The meeting btw him and Goering was arranged by the US ambassador in Germany in October 1938. Goering bestowed on Lindbergh the highest civilian order of the Reich. Few days later after Kristallnacht, US officials pressed Lindbergh to return the medal. He refused. His diary shows where his sympathies lay. He wrote he did not understood the widespread rioting [sic] but he understood Germany had a “Jewish problem”. After 1939 meeting with the US Vice-Prez John Garner, he wrote in his diary “We are both anxious to avoid to be pushed into a European war by British and Jewish propaganda.” Surely, this was Goebbles’ view of who was responsible for the war and no wonder then the Nazis considered Lindbergh their greatest publicity asset in the US. See eg. two large footnotes in Shirer`s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, in which the German embassy complains about the Jews trying to manipulate the administration and destroy the great man’s reputation. FWIW you falsely impute to me a belief that Lindbergh was a Nazi. I simply believe that in his “neutrality” he was more in sympathy with the Nazis than the Allies. But that may be a too fine a distinction for your cat and its owner.
            BTW, Still no source on CP USA owning 90% of the isolationist movement.

          • Clink9

            I’ve known some girls that are like mopeds. Fun to ride but you don’t want your friends to see you on them.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            I love that show! 🙂

    • G

      Ask a Polish citizen what the difference is between an “alliance” and a “non-aggression pact” you stupid fuck.

      • Solo712

        Yes, that would be the hysterical argument. I am sure you will find those who are persuaded by froth at the mouth. I asm not one of them.

        • b_marco


  • Just a thought

    What did they hope to achieve? Well, it seems like they were sending the world a message we couldn’t ignore.

    December 7, 1941 – Japanese bomb

    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; also attack
    the Philippines,
    Wake Island,
    Shanghai and

    It’s called “Shock And Awe.” And it was only the beginning, as you can see from the link.

  • RevnantDream

    Just like where doing to Islamic supremacists. Not only that but inviting them to attack by weakness

  • Xavier

    All you need to know about the effectiveness of nuclear weapons is: ‘the Japanese are an industrious and cooperative ally’.

    That lesson needs to be retaught in other parts of the world.

  • simus1

    The Japanese miliary were seasoned by sustained combat for years in China prior to their entry into WW2. Their armed forces basic training was some of the most brutal ever seen in modern times and any of their enemies, military or civilian, who fell into their clutches were slated for unpleasant deaths.
    Their western opponents as the war began consisted mostly of poorly trained colonial troops badly led by officers from “home office” in Britain, Holland, or USA. The reason for all this was the war in Europe and the perception that keeping a low profile with Japan was essential to avoid provoking them.

    The implications for war as far as the Japanese Army were concerned was a war with the USSR and the conquest of Siberia. This was their unchanging war plan since earliest times. The Japanese Navy had to seize and hold the territories in Asia needed to provide the raw materials, especially oil, that would enable the Army to defeat Stalin in the far east at the same time Hitler was defeating him in the west.

    Everything depended on the aircraft carriers of the US Navy. And the Sorge spy ring working for Stalin in Japan.
    The American Army was still far from being a real threat to anyone.
    The US marines who were dumped on Guadalcanal in Aug 1942 to fight the Japanese had seen their Navy support promptly flee for safety with most of their stuff still on board. If they hadn’t captured massive amounts of stored Japanese rations (including beer!) in the first couple of days of fighting they would all have likely starved to death or been too weak for prolonged combat.

  • Robert Coxon

    Japan was cornered by US oil sanctions – without oil they were done for and they knew it.The only thing to do was what they did, buy time and dig in.One more unnecessary war our politicians crafted for us.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      They could have stopped invading and slaughtering their neighbors and gone back to buying their oil form either us or the Dutch, but they decided they would rather conquer and steal and start a war instead.