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Road To Pearl Harbor The attack on the military forces of the US at Pearl Harbor Hawaii did not just happen nor was it a quick reaction to initiatives instituted by President Roosevelt The Japanese believed that they were being pushed into a corner by Roosevelt and felt that they must act to protect the Empire Gordon Prange in At Dawn We Slept describes pre-attack events in detail The description of these events note the mistakes made on each side 1937 July The Japanese Army invaded North China from Manchuria eight years of combat with the Chinese began December The gunboat USS Panay while on routine duty in Chinese waters was attacked by Japanese aircraft We do not know if the attack was intentional or an accident but Roosevelt looked for ways to punish Japan Nothing became of this incident because the Japanese government apologized paid for all damages and promised to protect American nationals 1938 October With the continued German military rearmament program and European leadership capitulation at the Munich conference President Roosevelt asked Congress for 500 Million to increase Americas defence forces This action was done because he believed that Germany was a threat to the US The Japanese saw this build up as a direct threat to their Empire because the US was the only country in the Pacific which could impede their expansion 1939 Join the Navy Poster February Japan continues its conquest of China by occupying Hainan Island of the Southern coast This occupation improved Japans ability to interdict maritime trade routes Because the US was the primary military threat in the Pacific Japan had prepared war plans to deal with this problem the US had similar war plans aimed at Japan The Japanese plan was to conduct one large naval battle against the American Navy destroying it resulting in the inability of the US to
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