Truth about Pearl Harbor - John T. Flynn

This book is a critical look at the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor disaster. The author makes a compelling case that the crisis was intentionally provoked by American diplomacy, with the object of forcing Japan to make the 'first move', to justify American entry into WWII. Evidence is presented that Roosevelt expected a Japanese attack but declined to take defensive measures so that the American public would be alarmed enough to support a full-fledged war effort in both the Pacific and Europe.

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[Book Cover] from The Truth about Pearl Harbor by John T. Flynn
[Book Cover] from The Truth about Pearl Harbor by John T. Flynn

Publisher's Preface

This pamphlet was set up for the British edition before the death of President Roosevelt. Many persons will object to this criticism being circulated now that Roosevelt is dead. His diplomacy belongs to history, and even death ought not to alter our desire to seek and know the truth. In this spirit, and not because I wish to speak ill of the dead, I stand by my purpose of publishing a British edition of The Truth About Pearl Harbor.

If this pamphlet was true when issued by the author in New York during the President's life, it is true to-day when I issue it in Britain after his death.

Whilst, as an individual, I may sympathize with the widow and family of the dead President, I sympathize no less with the surviving relatives of every person who has been killed in this war. Death comes to us all, soon or late: sometimes in peace and sometimes in horror. The President died in peace. Not so, those killed in Europe, or in the Pacific. They died violently—many in the springtime of their lives. Truth must be spoken, even at the graveside.


Glasgow, April 19, 1945.

Author's Foreword

This is an attempt to examine the evidence bearing on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in order to establish responsibility for that disaster.

It is not a brief for Admiral Kimmel or General Short, both of whom are unknown to the author. Nor have I had any communication with either. It frequently happens that what is looked upon as a profound secret lies open to the eye of any student who has the patience to examine with care the newspapers, the public reports and the testimonies of interested persons which appear in books and magazines. Bits of information meaningless in themselves when brought together serve to make a complete picture. This is all I have done. I have read the newspapers day by day since before the Atlantic meeting of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill. I have read with care the official reports of Japanese-American relations published in three large volumes by the government. I have studied the Report of the Roberts Commission. I have read numerous magazine articles and books such as Ambassador Grew's Ten Years in Japan, Col. Allison Ind's Bataan, the Judgment Seat and many others. In this material is to be found all the evidence necessary to make clear to the reader why Pearl Harbour and the Philippines were so helpless when the Japanese appeared over them on Dec. 7 and 8, 1941, and who was responsible for it.


New York City, October 17, 1944.