And Washington had every reason for this. Back in the 1920s, U.S. Navy intelligence focused on revealing Japanese codes fleet. Since 1920, FBI agents regularly secretly made their way to the Japanese Consulate in New York. They photographed Japanese cryptographic books. It took several more years to crack a complex cipher. And the innovations introduced by the Japanese led to a series of new hacks in 1926-1927. As a result, from the second half of the 1920s, US intelligence agencies could read the secret correspondence of the Japanese fleet, the so-called. red code (according to the color of bindings in which American cryptologists kept their work). This provided a serious advantage to the American fleet over the Japanese.
American intelligence had a serious technical advantage over the enemy. Since 20, the US naval intelligence has deployed a network of radio signal interception posts and radio talks on the Japanese Navy. Already in the middle of the 20s, such posts were established in diplomatic missions in Shanghai and Beijing. Subsequently, powerful radio interception stations appeared in the Philippines, Guam, California and Florida. Stations C on Bainbridge Island off Seattle on the US Pacific Coast and Station X on Oahu were specifically aimed at Japan. Military intelligence had its own network of radio intercept stations. Thus, in the United States created such a system that virtually no message transmitted from Japan to Japanese ships or between them, did not pass by the American radio intelligence. And the number of encrypted materials emanating from Japan as it approached the war increased so much that, from the 1940 year, to streamline the work, the US naval and military intelligence divided the functions: on odd days, they were engaged in the first, and on the even days - the second.
In 1937, the US Navy launches the Central Pacific Strategic Object Detection Network against Japan. In a huge arc from Cavite in the Philippines through Samoa, Midway, Hawaii to Dotch Harbor in Alaska, special radio stations with very sensitive antennas are located. These stations allowed the ship to detect the ship in the direction of the signal, and by repeated listening set its course and speed. At the end of the 30s, Americans thought they knew where every Japanese ship was. Provided that a potential adversary has not resorted to radio silence. In addition, the Americans underestimated the effectiveness of countermeasures - frequent change of call signs, false radio messages, imitation of lively negotiations, etc. As a result, American officers and staff working in the radio department of Hawaii’s Naval District in Hawaii were convinced that not a single Japanese ship will slip unnoticed in the western (US) part of the Pacific.
The American special services won one more victory just before the war. Intelligence has revealed the secret of the Japanese encryption machine. The most important government code of Japan - "pink" read easily by the Americans. Japanese experts did not allow the idea that the code can be cracked - the car gave millions of combinations. However, it happened. A group of cryptanalysts led by W. Friedman in August 1940 of the year after 20-month labor presented the decrypted texts of the “pink code”. The top military and political leadership of the United States was aware of the "miracle." Tokyo’s most important cipher-correspondence for them was now an open book. From 227 encrypted documents between Tokyo and the Japanese embassy in the United States concerning the US-Japan negotiations in February-December 1941, only 4 was not intercepted! That is, in Washington were aware of all the political secrets of the Japanese Empire. But with military secrets it was more difficult than they thought in America. The codes were less complicated, but more numerous, and American analysts revealed only a part of them.
Before the German attack on the USSR, American diplomacy won time, demonstrated a love of peace, a willingness to find a compromise in Far Eastern affairs, especially on the Chinese issue, in order to avoid aggravating relations between Japan and the United States. Washington knew that Germany was attacking the Soviet Union. And when the American government became convinced that only a few hours remained before the start of the German-Soviet war, Secretary of State Hell took a completely different tone. 21 June 1941, the Japanese ambassador Nomura received an American note from the hands of the Secretary of State. Washington announced that the Sino-Chinese agreement should be based on "mutual respect for sovereignty and territory", although the issue of the withdrawal of Japanese troops from China and the status of Manzhou-Guo were subject to further discussion. The principles of equal economic opportunities (in which the United States had a complete advantage) were to be applied not only in the South-West Pacific, but throughout the Pacific Ocean. Hell also told the Japanese ambassador that Tokyo’s loyalty to the Tripartite Pact (Berlin, Rome and Tokyo) “expresses a policy that cannot be ignored.” Thus, Washington made it clear to Tokyo that it would not allow the Japanese to establish their sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific region, to preserve their conquests in China, etc.
In Tokyo, unlike Washington, they were not informed that Germany was attacking the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The Japanese government learned about the start of the German-Soviet war along with the rest of the world. Again, as in 1939, Germany confronted a Japanese ally with a fait accompli. This strengthened the party of Japanese militarists, which spoke of the need to turn the tip of the strike south. The question arose about the attitude to this war. Supporters of the war with the USSR were in the minority. The emperor was skeptical. The command reported that the Kwantung Army had not yet recovered from the defeat at Khalkin-Gol and was weaker than Soviet troops in the Far East. Soviet bases aviation and the fleet is nearby, and from Vladivostok to Tokyo by air - a stone's throw. Therefore, it was decided that since Berlin had not previously notified Tokyo of its plans to attack the USSR, it would take at least six months to prepare for a war with the Russians.
The Kwantung Army continued to strengthen. In Manchuria, reinforcements were coming in a continuous stream. 6 August 1941, the deputy US military attache in China, reported: “Although it is impossible to draw precise conclusions from contradictory reports, most are inclined to think that Japan will invade Siberia. During June, troops and various equipment were transferred to Manchuria. Moreover, a large number of rails, rolling stock, equipment were seized in Northern China, and all this was sent to Mukden via Tianjin. ” September 25 from Tokyo in the same vein was reported by the US military attache G. Creswell: Most of the newly mobilized power of Japan is sent to Manchuria. Here they think ... that in case of the collapse of Russia, the Japanese will resolve the northern problem ... with or without the permission of Germany. " In mid-September, the American liaison officer in Singapore, Colonel F. Brink, said: The British believe that they have "at least four months to strengthen their strategic positions ... for the Japanese have concentrated their forces to advance to the north and cannot quickly switch them to the south ".
It seemed that Japan would soon hit the USSR. By the beginning of 1942, the size of the Kwantung Army exceeded one million soldiers, the number tanks doubled, and the aircraft tripled. A new army was deployed in Korea. As the United States noted, “this mobilization and concentration of ground and air forces was the greatest in all the preceding stories Japanese Army. " 2 July from Tokyo to Berlin said: "Japan is ready for all possibilities with regard to the USSR to unite with Germany in an active struggle against communism and the destruction of the communist system in Eastern Siberia." The Japanese Ambassador Oshima in Berlin passed a note and additionally told Ribbentrop: “If you, the Germans, had timely notified us that you were going to fight with Russia soon, we would have already prepared.”
The decisions of the Japanese Imperial Conference were not a secret to Washington. The United States at that time had four sets of equipment for decrypting the Japanese "pink code" - two in Washington, at the disposal of the army and navy, one for the commander of the American fleet in Asian waters in the Philippines. The fourth was originally intended for the commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral H. Kimmel. But in the summer of 1941, this kit was given to the UK. It was believed that the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii was provided with a sufficient amount of information from Washington.
Thus, in Washington it was decided that the war of Japan against the USSR is still inevitable. Japan is actively preparing for war with the Soviet Union. At the same time, the US military was convinced that the Wehrmacht would need from six weeks to two months until the complete defeat of the Soviet armed forces. 23 June naval minister F. Knox wrote to the president: "It will take Hitler from six weeks to two months to deal with Russia." The military potential of the Union was rated low by the US military. The White House and the State Department did not question this estimate. And Tokyo was going to start hostilities against the USSR at the moment when the Russian forces would be undermined. therefore in the United States did not doubt, the Russian-Japanese war is inevitable, and will soon begin.
Based on this conclusion, the command of the Pacific Fleet was informed that soon Japan would annul the neutrality pact with Russia and attack it. The commanders of the American garrisons in the Philippines and Hawaii, as well as in other places, were warned that Japanese aggression against the Dutch or British possessions was possible, but the most likely object was the Soviet Union. Chief of Staff of the Army J. Marshall reported: "The treaty of neutrality will be canceled, and the main military efforts of Japan will be directed against the coastal regions of Russia, perhaps at the end of July or will be postponed until the collapse in European Russia."
After the German attack on the USSR, the United States declared that they were on the side of the Soviet people and were ready to assist. The US military, on the basis of military expediency, offered to immediately enter the war in Europe, so that the United States would not be left alone before a powerful coalition of enemies, after Germany would crush the USSR and England would be defeated. The head of the US naval operations, Harold Stark, spoke of the need to begin escorting convoys to England, which certainly involved the US in the war against Germany. Naval Minister F. Knox also noted the need to use the beginning of the war of Germany against Russia and strike hard, "the sooner the better." War Minister G. Stimson, in a letter to F. Roosevelt on June 23, insisted: "We must act quickly and overcome the initial difficulties before Germany pulls its legs out of the Russian quagmire." They were supported by the Minister of Internal Affairs G. Ickes, who wrote to the US President also 23 of June: “If we don’t go to war now, we will be without a single ally in the world when our turn comes”. A similar position was held by the Minister of Finance G. Morgyontau.
But most of the US ministers and the military did not understand the real course of the masters of Washington. Their main goal was to stay out of the war as long as possible. The ministers - Knox, Stimson, Ickes - were in favor of the war with Germany, as it was associated with a fight with the Soviet Union. Roosevelt and Hell, who were engaged in US foreign policy, were against immediate action. The German-Soviet war was a guarantee that in the near future a collision between the USA and Germany was impossible. The German-Soviet war completely suited the masters of Washington.
It seemed that now the only problem was the position of Japan. The Japanese empire was to attack the USSR, and then the owners of the United States could realize all their plans for the future world order. Having avoided a fight with Japan, America got the opportunity to enter the world war only when it needed it. But it was impossible to sit passively: Japan was preparing to speak not only in the north, but also in the south. American diplomacy had to act in such a way as not to expose the United States to the blow of Japan.
Meanwhile, the Japanese continued expansion in French Indochina. Back in September, 1940, Japan achieved agreement from the Vichy regime on the deployment of its troops in the northern part of French Indochina. Further capture was delayed. In Indochina, revolts began under the authority of the Communists. The Japanese and French colonialists acted jointly against the rebels. Only by the end of spring 1941, the Japanese were able to prepare for the seizure of the rest of the country, but postponed actions until the situation between Germany and the USSR was clarified. Soon after Germany attacked the USSR, Japan demanded that the French occupy strategic points in Southern Indochina. 21-23 July, the relevant agreements were signed and the Japanese troops began to occupy the southern part of French Indochina. Thus, Japan came out on the nearest approaches to Singapore, the Dutch India and the Philippine Islands.
In the US, they were concerned about this move of the Japanese to the south. Washington gave the "green light" to the movement of Japan to the north, to the Japanese advance to the south, the States always reacted painfully. Thus, the establishment of a system of licenses for the export from the United States to Japan of certain types of strategic materials and raw materials followed the establishment of Japanese control over the northern part of Indochina in September 1940. True, most of the restrictions remained only on paper. For example, imports of iron, sheet steel, and scrap metal from the USA to Japan in 1941 increased by an average of 1940 times in 4 year. The American government did not and did not intend to exacerbate the trade measures with Japan, which could sharply exacerbate the relations of the two powers.
At the same time, the policy of individual ministers who did not have access to complete information on the course of Washington was in contradiction with the policy of the White House. Thus, at the beginning of 1941, the Minister of the Interior Ickes was appointed to another post - the head of the fuel distribution administration for national defense purposes. He soon found out that a huge amount of gasoline and oil needed by the US military was exported to Japan. At the end of June, he, with his authority, imposed an embargo on the export of fuel to Japan from the ports of the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico of the USA. The minister reasoned that it was impossible to sell strategic raw materials to a potential enemy; tomorrow, Japanese planes and ships could attack the United States. However, the president looked at this matter differently. He immediately canceled Ikes's order.
Roosevelt asked the minister if he would advocate an embargo, if "introducing it upsets the delicate balance on the scales and prompts Japan to choose between attacking Russia and attacking Dutch India." Further Roosevelt noted: “This is not about fuel economy, but about foreign policy, which the president is working on and under his leadership the state secretary. Considerations in this area are now extremely delicate and very secret. They are not known and cannot be known to you or anyone else. With the exception of these two persons ... the president and the secretary of state fully agree on the export of oil and other strategic materials, knowing that in the present conditions, as we know them, this policy is most beneficial for the United States. "
In another letter to Ikesa, 1 July, Roosevelt stressed: “... the Japanese fight each other to death, trying to decide who to jump on: towards Russia, towards the South Seas (thereby linking their fate definitively with Germany), or they will continue to“ sit on the fence And more friendly to us. No one knows what decision will be ultimately made, but, as you understand, in order to control the Atlantic, we urgently need to preserve peace in the Pacific Ocean. ”
Battleship "Arizona", sunk as a result of a raid by Japanese aircraft on Pearl Harbor
To be continued ...