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February 13
The Naval Torpedo Station at Newport receives one British Mark XII torpedo for examination from the Royal Navy. The British Mark XII torpedo was used in the British Attack at Taranto142. (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance Research and Development Division, Torpedo Data, 1918-1943, Box 32)
142 It is unclear whether or not these torpedoes were manufactured at the E.W. Bliss plant in Brooklyn. (See July 25, 1940)
February 15
A letter from Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel shrugs off the fear of a torpedo attack in Pearl Harbor. "A minimum depth of water of seventy-five feet may be assumed necessary to successfully drop torpedoes from planes. One hundred and fifty feet of water is desired. The maximum height planes at present experimentally drop torpedoes is 250 feet. Launching speeds are between 120 and 150 knots. The desirable height for dropping is sixty feet or less. About two hundred yards of torpedo run is necessary before the exploding device is armed, but this may be altered." Kimmel was also mistakenly informed "that the depth of the waters in which torpedoes were launched in the successful attacks at Taranto was 84 to 90 feet, with a few runs at 66 - to 72 - foot depths. The depth of the water at Pearl Harbor is 30 feet or less except in the channels, where it is 40 feet." 143 (Wohlstetter, p.369) (See also November 11-13, 1940; June 13, 1941; and Appendix IV - "Taranto")
143 The reference to these depths is misleading for two reasons. The first is that John W.G. Wellham, one of the Swordfish pilots at Taranto, says that the depth at dropping was no more than 37 feet. Second, Wellham points to the use of wire cable technology at Taranto which set a torpedo at its depth. There was no so-called dive depth because the wire device set the torpedoes at their depth. In the case of Taranto, confirms Wellham, that depth was approximately 33 feet. The depth of the Harbor, even if it was as deep as Stark suggests, was inconsequential.
February 18
A letter from Chief of the US. Navy Bureau of Ordnance W.R. Furlong to Rear Admiral E.J. O'B Crocker of the Royal Navy seeks approval for "the production and use" of the 18-inch duplex device "in our 21 inch and 22.4 inch torpedoes." The U.S. Navy hopes to use the British design "with only such changes as may be necessary for attaching the device to our torpedoes." 144 The letter continued: "For this purpose, if approval is granted, we would like to obtain a set of manufacturing drawings of this device for 21-inch torpedoes, if available, otherwise for 18-inch torpedoes, with available information regarding the tests and development work which may be necessary in order to adapt this device to our torpedoes; also information regarding service tests of this device, its effectiveness and reliability, and the defects and difficulties for which we should be on the alert, provided there are any such difficulties which you have not yet overcome. It will be greatly appreciated if you will inform Captain W.H.P. Blandy in the Bureau of Ordnance whether the approval, drawings, and information can be obtained, and what additional action the Bureau of Ordnance should take in order to obtain them." The 18-inch duplex device was used in the British Mark XII torpedo that was launched against the Italians at Taranto. (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance Research and Development Division, Torpedo Data, 1918-1943, Box 32) (See also November 11, 1940)
144 The US. Navy torpedo program was notoriously backward until well into the war. An example of this ineptitude came as late as 1943. On June 23,1943 Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, jr. and Admiral Nimitz meet in an emergency conference concerning submarine related attack failures. Lockwood complains that submarine attack effectiveness was compromised by faulty torpedoes-the magnetic detonators on the American made torpedoes were defective. Nimitz ordered the magnetic detonators deactivated. The Bureau of Ordnance refused, at first, to believe that their torpedoes were faulty. However, an investigation revealed design flaws in the detonators as well as "other defects that caused our torpedoes to run deeper than their set depth." "Temporary measures" were taken to correct the flaws, but it was not until September 1943 that the new Mark XVIII torpedoes arrived in the Pacific. It was not until early 1944 that American torpedo attacks became an effective part of the war effort. Lockwood, you may remember, was the Naval Attaché in London in 1941 who echoed the earlier warnings of Lt. Commander Opie that shallow water torpedoes (with operational magnetic detonators) had been successfully used by the British at Taranto. For a detailed study of the U.S. torpedo program see Robert Gannon's Hellions of the Deep: The Development of American Torpedoes in World War II, University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996. (See also July 15, 1941) (Costello, The Pacific War, p.454; Layton, pp.472-3)
February 21
A letter to U.S. Navy Captain H.R. Greenlee from the British Admiralty Technical Mission states that the British 18 inch duplex pistol could be used in US. Navy torpedoes with only the simple re-design of the warhead itself. (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance Research and Development Division, Torpedo Data, 1918-1943, Box 32)
A U.S. Navy Torpedo Station "Progress Report on Research and Engineering Work" of "British Aircraft Torpedo" reads, in part, "The British Mark XII torpedo has been broken down and examined carefully. Two machinists have studied the torpedo carefully and have taken it through their entire overhaul routine. The gyro and depth mechanism have been sent to the Gyro Shop for examination and preparation for range firing." The Mark XII torpedo was used by the British during the shallow water torpedo attack at Taranto. It is clear then that the U.S. Navy was aware of the successful development and use of shallow water torpedo technology. They had one in their possession and were studying it with British support. (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance Research and Development Division, Torpedo Data, 1918-1943, Box 23) (See also December 17,1940)
May 12
An entry in Italian Foreign Minister Ciano's diary reads: "The Germans made a request to Tokyo, to which we joined ourselves, to invite Japan to take a clear position against America. I don't know if the message will have any effect. Foreign Minister Matsuoka does not hide his great sympathy towards the United States and is very respectful to them." The contradictions and changes of both the German and Japanese policy towards the United States should be noted. (Diary of Galeazzo Ciano, p.26)160
160 This is in direct contradiction to later events which would indicate otherwise. Ciano seems to have misinterpreted Matsuoka's attitude. He might have stood in awe of the U.S., but as the year progressed his desire to go to war with them was influenced more by German policy and the Anti-Comintem Pact than by any feelings he might have towards the Americans. Following Germany's invasion of the U.S.S.R. Matsuoka insisted that the Japanese honor the Anti-Comintem Pact and attack the Soviets, thereby delaying war with the U.S. (See also July 18, 1941)
May 13
A memo from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to William Knudsen, the Director General of the Office of Production Management discusses torpedo manufacture. The memo confirms that British torpedoes were being manufactured by American companies on U.S. soil. "Torpedoes are now being manufactured in this country for the British at the E.W. Bliss Company, Brooklyn, New York and contracts are in the process of negotiation to manufacture additional British torpedoes at the Excel Foundry and Machine Company, Incorporated, plants at Oil City, Pennsylvania, and Butler, Pennsylvania." (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance, General Correspondence, Box 110)
May 18
The German Luftwaffe makes a request to the Japanese Navy for the transfer of 100 Japanese aerial torpedoes. (Chapman, p, 280-1) (See also November 29, 1941)
June 13
Rear Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, Admiral Stark's deputy, sends a memorandum to the commandants of all naval districts. Admiral Kimmel received a copy. The memo states:
"Recent developments have shown that United States and British torpedoes may be dropped from planes at heights of as much as three hundred feet, and in some cases make initial dives of considerably less than 75 feet, and make excellent runs. Hence ... it cannot be assumed that any capital ship or other valuable vessel is safe at anchor from this type of attack if surrounded by water at a sufficient distance to permit an attack to be developed and a sufficient run to arm the torpedo ... While no minimum depth of water in which naval vessels may be anchored can arbitrarily be assumed as providing safety for torpedo plane attack, it may be assumed that depth of water will be one of the factors considered by any attacking force, and an attack in relatively deep water (10 fathoms/60 feet or more) is more likely ... As a matter of information the torpedoes launched by the British at Taranto were, in general, in thirteen to fifteen fathoms of water, although several torpedoes may' have been launched in eleven or twelve fathoms.165 (Prange, At Dawn We Slept, p.159) (See also February 15, 1941 and Appendix IV - "Taranto")
165 Roberta Wohlstetter also cites Ingersoll's memo in her classic work Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Oddly enough she leaves out the final section from the memo that spoke about Taranto, The reason for this is unknown, even though that bit of information seems vital to the larger picture, After the war the Naval Court of Inquiry concluded, Admiral Kimmel tells us, "that the torpedoes launched by the Japanese in the shallow water of Pearl harbor constituted, in effect, a secret weapon in the category of the robot bomb, which was unknown to the best professional opinion in Great Britain and the United States at the time, The Secretary, in his endorsement of that report, stated that the Navy Department had information from British sources that aircraft torpedoes were successfully launched in forty-two feet of water in the year 1940. Such information was never supplied to me, and was apparently unknown to the Chief of Naval Operations," There are two problems with this statement. First, we know that Kimmel was apprised, in the form of Lt. Commander Opie's report, of the shallow water torpedo launch by the British in Taranto Harbor. Second, we know that American and British torpedo experts were sharing new torpedo technologies, Is everyone, including Kimmel, lying about the shallow water torpedoes? None of the authors who write about Pearl Harbor pay much attention to the Taranto precedent or American/British cooperation on torpedo development. This oversight remains one of the great lapses in the literature of that period, (Wohlstetter, p.370; Kimmel, p.20)
Summer 1941
Reichsfuehrer S.S. Heinrich Himmler sends a special envoy to Tokyo "to persuade the Japanese government to extend the Holocaust to Japanese occupied China." Hitler wanted the Final Solution applied to the European Jews, numbering about sixty-five thousand, mostly from Germany and Austria, who had fled from Nazi persecution to China and Manchukuo." The Japanese government, probably at the behest of the Emperor, denied this request. Extremists in the Japanese Army "tried to force the government's hand on the issue." They planned to round up the Jews without government sanction to pressure their cooperation. The plot was uncovered and never executed. "There was speculation that Sorge might have had a hand in betraying the plot." (Downton, p.294)
Late June
Yugoslav Dusan "Dusko" Popov, a British/German double agent code named "Tricycle"171 is given important information concerning a possible Japanese attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor.172 Popov, en route to the United States to set up, under British control, a German spy network, learns of the possible attack in Lisbon, Portugal from Johann Jebsen, his German Abwehr contact (Popov was considered one of the Germans' most valuable agents).173 Jebsen, had been sent by the Abwehr on behalf of the Japanese to survey the wreckage at Taranto in December 1940. When asked by Popov "Why are the Japanese so interested in Taranto?" Jebsen replied, "Why? Because it shows how one successful attack may annihilate a large part of an enemy fleet. Cunningham, the British Admiral, sneaked his aircraft carrier, the Illustrious, to about a hundred a seventy miles from Taranto... The Japanese wanted every last detail: the effectiveness of the nets protecting the anchored ships, damage done to the dockyards, the petrol installations, the workshops. Everything. Now if they're planning something similar, they've got a yardstick to go by." Jebsen continued, wondering about the chances for war between the Japanese and the US. "I got an expert opinion on the situation from an old friend, Baron Gronau, last week. Gronau was in Taranto with me, also for prestige. He's the German Air Attaché in Tokyo and was one of our aces in the First World War. Also he's an intimate friend of Goering's. Gronau says the Japanese will be forced into the war if Roosevelt keeps insisting that they evacuate China and Indo-China and above all if he declares an oil embargo against them. They Japanese Navy has about eighteen months' reserves of oil. Gronau says the logistics are that they'll have to strike before the reserves drop below twelve months... If my calculated opinion interests you the Japanese will attack the United States." (The attack on Taranto took place in the night of November 12- 13, 1940. The raid, as shown above, was an inspiration to Japanese strategy at Pearl Harbor) (Popov, pp.116-120) (See December 15, 1940; Early August 1941)
171 Popov's nickname allegedly arose from his "sexual athleticism," he supposedly liked to bed two women at once. A former FBI Special Agent recalls that "Popov was partial to twins, but, lacking a matched pair, often made do with a couple other accommodating ladies." In his tell-all spy autobiography Popov tells another story. He wrote: "Since I was now running a team with two subagents, British Intelligence saw fit to give me a new code name: Tricycle, Descriptive, I suppose." The sexual "tricycle" may have been a concoction of the FBI in its attempt to delegitimize Popov. Or, perhaps, one of the spy genre writers "sexed" up the Popov tale with this fabrication, (Popov, p.98; Toland, Infamy, p,270; Gentry, p,270)
172 In December 1940, Popov, one of MI5' s and SIS's double agents, had been recruited into the newly formed British intelligence group called the Twenty Committee (after the Roman numerals for double-cross, XX).The Double-Cross system, founded to supervise double agents, was so successful because the transmissions of recruited agents could be monitored by British Intelligence who were intercepting and reading all cipher traffic to Germany, of Popov J.C. Masterman, Popov's British control and chairman of the XX-Committee (Double Cross) wrote, "We had in him a new agent of high quality who could plausibly meet persons in any social stratum, who was well established with the Germans at the instance of an Abwehr official [Jebsen], and who had an excellent business cover for frequent journeys to Lisbon or to other neutral countries," Jebsen too was later recruited by Masterman. He was, however, arrested and later executed by the Gestapo in 1944 for activities not related to his spying. The Gestapo never knew he had become a double agent. (Waller, p.214; Cave Brown, Bodyguard of Lies, p.487)
173 The Germans were sending Popov to replace Major Ulrich von der Osten who had been knocked-down by a taxi and run-over by a second car in Times Square on March 18, 1941. Sir William "Intrepid" Stevenson, head of the British Security Coordination (BSC), claims that the BSC "removed" von der Osten "from circulation," The taxi accident was no accident after all, (See also footnote #228 and November 26, 1941) (Stevenson, p.176; Popov, p.110-111)
July 2
Imperial Conference of July 2. Decision by the Japanese Government is to go south, but the possibility to strike north (against the Soviets) is reserved. The Spy Ring, according to most of the Sorge authors, does not learn of this decision until late August.174 However, French journalist Robert Guillain vehemently argues that the literature is wrong, and, in fact, Sorge learned the outcome of the Imperial Conference that same day. Guillain states, contrary to the rest of the Sorge historiography, that Sorge was immediately informed "right away after the ultra-secret meeting. In effect, the essential resume of the decisions of the conference reached me at 4pm the same day coming from Sorge via Vukelic." Sorge was privy to information that only a few people, even in Japanese political and diplomatic circles, knew of. That same night Guillain coincidentally attended a dinner at French Ambassador Arsčne Henri's residence. Among those in attendance at the dinner were Eugene Dooman, Minister of the U.S. Embassy, and second in command to Grew. Guillain used the occasion to "compare the information of the American Embassy and probably those of my Ambassador with my own information." After the dinner Guillain told the French Ambassador what he had learned about the Imperial Conference. He told him that Japan was not going to go to war, for the moment, against Russia, regardless of Hitler's demands. That Soviet-Japanese neutrality would hold for now, and that Konoye was to relay these sentiments to Stalin. Third, if the Germans took Moscow, Japan would then join Hitler (Japanese had serious doubts about the German ability to take Moscow). And finally, that Japan would not stay with its arms crossed as Hitler proceeded to carve the world. Therefore, they would soon advance south against French Indochina (see July 26). Reacting to this information, the French Ambassador accused Guillain of rumor-mongering. Guillain angrily responded that as a journalist he was interested only in facts, and not in lies. The Ambassador also said, "My dear Guillain, do you know that if the Japanese found out what you know... you could hang at the end of a rope tomorrow?" Guillain also shared his information with Eugene Dooman. Dooman arrogantly told Guillain that, for all intents and purposes, he did not believe him (most authors suggest that he already knew of this). Guillain told neither the French Ambassador Henri, nor Dooman, how he got the information, which, he surmises, came to Sorge through both Ozaki and Ott. (Guillain, pp.120-4; Johnson, p.157) (See also Late August, 1941, Late 1941-Early1942, and footnote #250)
174 The Kwantung Army would attack only if it had a three to one "superiority in troops over the Soviet Far East Army" and "if the German invasion [successes] produced disunity and broken morale among the Siberian forces." (Johnson, p.157)
July 15
An "Intelligence Report" from Captain Charles A. Lockwood, Jr., U.S. Naval Attaché in London, urges a continued review of torpedo dropping depths. Lockwood writes "The War Plans office of the Eleventh Naval District made several enquiries of units at N.A.S. San Diego regarding the depth to which an aircraft torpedo would dive on its initial drop. The security of fleet anchorages was in question. The information supplied by Torpedo Squadrons varied, but ten to twelve fathoms was believed to be the shallowest dive that would result from an aircraft torpedo launching. Records of the R.N. 18" Mk. XII indicate that this torpedo may be dropped in water as shallow as 4 fms. This shallow dive is only possible when torpedo is set in low speed (27 knots) setting. In high speed setting torpedo dives to approximately 3 fms. beyond its depth setting. In low speed setting six feet deeper than the set depth is the average launching dive depth." This information was among the most important and neglected pieces of intelligence gathered before the war. The U.S. either ignored or downplayed it to its own devastation. Later in the war Lockwood became Vice Admiral and the Commander of Submarines, Pacific Fleet. (National Archives, RG38, Chief of Naval Operations, Intelligence Division, Secret Reports of Naval Attachés) (see also November 14, 1940 and footnote 144)
Late August
Popov's German control agent in Lisbon Major Ludovico von Karsthoff gives Popov his final orders before his departure for the United States where he is to set up a spy ring. Von Karsthoff tells Popov that as part of his mission that he was to go to Pearl Harbor and gather the requested intelligence. With German assistance, Popov is told, the Japanese were seeking detailed reconnaissance information on the U. S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. A detailed questionnaire is given to Popov on microdot. 179 The questionnaire sought "details about naval ammunition and mine depot on the Isle of Kushua (Pearl Harbor) ... Exact details and sketch about the situation of the state wharf, of the pier installations, workshops, petrol installations, situations of dry dock No.1 and of the new dry dock which is being built. ... Where is the station for mine search formations? How far has the dredger work progressed at the entrance and in the east and southeast lock? Depths of water? .. Reports about torpedo protection nets newly introduced in the British and U.S. Navy. How far are they already in existence in the merchant and naval fleet?" The questionnaire also called for an "exact report regarding position, number of hangars, depots, and workshops" at Pearl Harbor and Hickam and Wheeler Fields. Popov immediately informs his British control and chairman of the XX-Committee (Double Cross) J.C. Masterman of the Japanese plans. Upon reading the questionnaire Masterman said, "It is ... surely a fair deduction that the questionnaire indicated very clearly that in the event of the United States being at war, Pearl Harbor would be the first point to be attacked, and that plans for this attack had reached an advanced state by August 1941." This assessment was not, however, passed on to the Americans." Said Masterman, "Obviously it was for the Americans to make their appreciation and to draw their deduction from the questionnaire rather than for us to do so."180 Before his departure from Lisbon Popov is tailed by MI6 agent Ian Fleming, better known to the world in the years to come as the creator and author of the James Bond series. Popov claims to have been told that Fleming based his Bond character "to some degree on me and my experiences. As for me, I rather doubt that a bond in the flesh would have survived more than forty-eight hours as an espionage agent." (Popov, pp.120-127; Knightley, p.149; Cave Brown, "e" p.371-3) (See also November 12-13, 1940 and August 12, 1941)
179 Popov was the first German agent to use the microdot system in the field, (Popov, pp.122-124)
180 Phillip Knightley tells us that "had Popov not been going to the United States to establish a notional German spy ring, then his Pearl Harbor information would almost certainly have been given to William Stephenson's organization in New York ... It would then have been passed to the Office of the Co-ordinator of Information - the forerunner of the OSS and the CIA - which was in regular touch with the BSC. Had it followed this route, Popov's warning would doubtlessly have eventually landed on the desk of President Roosevelt himself." (Knightley, p.149)
A "Progress Report on Research and Engineering Work" for Project Re6a-160-Short Streamline Torpedo and Aircraft Use indicates the successful test run of torpedoes "suitable for war shot in a harbor, all of run shoal of 6 fathoms." Additional runs were "suitable for war shot inshore, dive exceeds 6 fathoms, but is less than 16 fathoms." The success of shallow water drops continues through 1942. These torpedoes were never to be used in wartime. (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance, Research and Development Division, Torpedo Data, 1918-1943, Box 23) (See also April 1941)
September 29
Ozaki briefs Sorge on US.-Japanese negotiations and southern operations. This is probably the closest the Sorge Ring got to uncovering Pearl Harbor (on record). However, it is possible that Sorge did know, and informed Stalin of a possible Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Fellow Department Four spy Aino Kuusinen believes that Sorge did tell Stalin about Pearl Harbor, and that the information was not given to the Americans: "Sorge gave timely information of the date of that attack [Operation Barbarossa] and of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor." We can only speculate where this information might have come from. Did Kuusinen hear this from her husband Otto Kuusinen? From someone else inside Department Four? Or, was she herself speculating? 197 (Kuusinen, p.125)
197 There is a belief among some in the intelligence community in Moscow that Stalin was well aware of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. (See also the following footnote)
October 4
Clausen's last transmission.198 It includes the final message guaranteeing the U.S.S.R.'s safety for the remainder of 1941: "There will be no attack until the spring of next year at the earliest." The message also contains information on Japanese-U.S. discussions and southern operations. The full text of this transmission reads: "According to information obtained from various Japanese official sources, if no satisfactory reply is received from the U.S. to Japan's request for negotiation by the 15th or 16th of this month, there will either be a general resignation or a drastic reorganization of the Japanese Government. In either event ... there will be war with the U.S. this month or next month. The sole hope of the Japanese authorities is that Ambassador Grew will present some sort of eleventh-hour proposal though which negotiations can be opened. With respect to the Soviet Union, top-ranking elements are generally agreed that, if Germany wins, Japan can take over her gains in the Far East in the future and that therefore it is unnecessary for Japan to fight Russia. They feel that if Germany proves unable to destroy the Soviet government and force it out of Moscow, Japan should bide her time until next spring. In any event, the American issue and the question of the advance to the south is of far more importance than the northern problem." (Toland, Rising Sun, pp.121-2; Johnson, p.158)
198 Ralph De Toledano believes that there were more transmissions in October concerning U.S./ Japanese negotiations. The text of an early October transmission reads: "In Konoye's opinion they will end successfully if Japan decreases her forces in China and French Indochina and gives up her plan of building eight naval and air bases in French Indochina ... However, there will be war only if the talks break down, and there is no doubt that Japan is doing her best to bring them to a successful conclusion, even at the expense of her German ally." A mid-October transmission stated that the Japanese had no hope of arriving at an agreement with the U.S., and that a December or January attack against the U.S. or Great Britain was imminent. De Toledano asserts that the Kremlin, therefore, knew in advance of the impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and withheld the information from the Americans. Former KGB agent Colonel Yuri Modin concurs with De Toledano, asserting that "Sorge warned Stalin of ... the date of an impending Japanese surprise air attack on the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor." Modin's warning deserves special attention. As one of the successive control agents for the Cambridge Five, and later a KGB Colonel, Modin was most probably privy to the information that travelled on the Soviet's world wide web of espionage. (De Toledano, pp.112-3; Modin, p.4) (See also November 5 and November 17 for a discussion of Japan's modus vivendi)
October 17
Sorge spends the night with his on-again off-again mistress Helma Ott,209 wife of his close associate, Ambassador Eugen Ott.210 Franz Krapf points out that Mrs. Ott was so tall, well over six feet, that it was impossible for her to go unnoticed as she travelled around Tokyo.
209 Prange believes that Sorge spent the evening at his home with Eugen Ott's daughter, not his wife. (Prange, p.441) This, however, is a ridiculous assertion as Ott's daughter was only 14-years-old at the time.
210 Ralph De Toledano and other Sorge biographers show that the secret police estimated thirty women had "been in and out of his [Sorge's] bed during the Tokyo years." Margareta "Eta" Harich-Schneider, world renowned German harpsichordist (claimed as the best pupil of master harpsichordist Wanda Landowska) and musicologist, claims that she was Sorge's lover from soon after her arrival in Tokyo in 1940 until his arrest. There is no independent confirmation of this assertion, Journalist Robert Guillain, however, in his work on Sorge, says that a man whom he refuses to mention, believes that Sorge had a true love in Japan (not Hanako), that only a few people were aware of. This mysterious man refuses to name the woman, and Guillain, in turn, refuses to give away the identity of the man, The man died in 1981, at the time of the publication of Guillain's book. The man, it can be assumed, was most likely talking about Harich-Schneider, Franz Krapf, junior Germany Embassy staff member at this time, however, does not remember Sorge and Ms. Harich-Schneider as a couple, and most certainly does not recall Harich-Schneider in any way appear as Sorge's widow following his death as Guillain suggests, Krapf recalls that Harich-Schneider dated many S.S. Officers including a man named S.S. Captain Kölin (whom she dated after Sorge's incarceration). Furthermore, Krapf says that Harich-Schneider was not very attractive, (De Toledano, p,5; Guillain, pp, 188-9; Author's interview with Ambassador Franz Krapf, 3/96)
October 21
The U.S. Navy successfully tests a shallow water torpedo in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The modified Mark XIII torpedo makes an initial dive of 35 to 40 feet. This shallow dive should have been an impetus for the Navy to prepare for all eventualities, including a torpedo attack, in Pearl Harbor. The results of the test were sent from the Chief of Naval Operations to the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance on November 10, 1941, a full month before the Pearl Harbor Attack.215 (National Archives, RG 74, Bureau of Ordnance, General Correspondence, Box 122) (See also August 11, 1941)
215 One should not forget that the British had already shown to all at Taranto that torpedoes could be launched in shallow waters. (See November 11, 1940)
October 25
Sorge's full confession. Prosecutor Yoshikawa Mitsusada interrogates Sorge. Ikoma Yosbitoshi, professor of German at Tokyo Foreign Languages University, is interpreter. Once Sorge agreed to a full confession, he demanded a Pelikan fountain pen and a hard-covered notebook with blank sheets. Sorge joked with Yoshikawa: "Honorable Procurator, this fountain pen is a poisonous fountain pen." Yoshikawa replied: "Honorable Spy, it is the redeeming fountain pen." They both laughed. Also present at the confession are Nakamura, Tamazawa, Ogata, and Yamaura Tatsuji of the Tokko Foreign Section. There are rumors, still unconfirmed, that Sorge's confession included a statement suggesting that he had sent information about Japanese war plans to American spies operating in Shanghai during 1940 and 1941. (Prange, pp.462-5; Hemon, p.16; Downton, p.294) 218
218 D&S contend that Yoshikawa mistakenly dates the day of Sorge's confession. They believe that Ott visited Sorge on approximately October 23. They claim to have a telegram dated October 23 from Ott to Berlin that states: "So far it has been possible to pay only a short formal visit to Sorge." Thus, if D&S's information is accurate, Yoshikawa would be incorrect to suggest that Sorge confessed before Ott's initial visit. (D&S, pp.267-8) There is further evidence to confirm this idea. A purple decrypt dated October 24, 1941 from Tokyo (Foreign Minister Togo) to Japanese Ambassador Oshima in Berlin reads in pan: "Now, when Sorge was arrested the amazement of Ambassador Ott knew no bounds. He called me up and frantically asked to be allowed to interview the correspondent. In view of our particular relations with Germany, I made an exception and let him talk with Sorge in the presence of police officials. While we are investigating this matter fully please keep it in the strictest secrecy."
Late October
Kilsoo Haan, an agent for the Sino-Korean People's League tells Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa that the Japanese were planning a December or January attack against Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, Guam, and Wake Island. Gillette informs Army and Naval Intelligence, as well as the State Department. This chillingly precise prediction went ignored. (Prange, At Dawn We Slept, p.741; Toland, Infamy, pp.271-2) 219
219 Pearl Harbor and the Philippines were attacked on December 7, and Guam shortly after Wake Island. In an AFTERWORD to Prange's At Dawn We Slept co-authors Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon suggest that Haan's warnings went ignored because it was believed that he had earlier been a double agent for Tokyo in 1936. Goldstein and Dillon therefore argue that "one can readily understand why the U.S. government would hesitate to act upon his unsupported word in such an important matter." Goldstein and Dillon fail, however, to mention Haan's accuracy -- and that Prange overlooked Haan altogether. (Prange, At Dawn We Slept, p.741).
Early November
Japanese Army and Naval Operations Orders concerning an attack on (to be carried out December 8th in Japan/December 7th in Pearl Harbor) are circulated to important government and military officials. Important Japanese Embassies across the globe are sent copies of the plan, thereby increasing "the number of personnel who knew all or part of Japan's great secret... several thousandfold." 700 copies of the plan were circulated. It is possible that early drafts of the plan circulated much earlier 221 (See January 21 and 27, 1941) The plan details an attack "in the east [against] the American Fleet." It also discusses an attack against British Malaya, the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies and Burma, and the American outposts on Guam and Wake. Specific references to the impending attack on Pearl Harbor are minimal: "Will observe and attack American Fleet in Hawaii area. Will make a surprise attack on the channel leading into Pearl Harbor..." As Sorge confirmed the Japanese move South to the Soviets back in October, it is possible that Sorge had advanced intelligence of the details of the plan. (Costello, The Pacific War, pp.635-636).
221 Copies of the original Pearl Harbor attack plan were, according to official sources, destroyed by the Japanese just before the end of the war. However. one complete version of Admiral Yamamoto's orders concerning the plan was captured from the Japanese cruiser Nachi in 1944. It was numbered "145 of 700 Copies." We must ask ourselves why there was a copy of the plan on this ship at such a late date, and why the plan was to be found nowhere else after the war? (Costello, The Pacific War, p.635). It should also be mentioned that the Japanese were known for not keeping secrets. Sorge himself said of Japanese secrecy: "Every major event in Japan is preceded by widely spread rumor. The Japanese are rumor traders, and one can say that information is easy to find in Japan." (Guillain, p.17) The Japanese were not, however. stupid. Towards the end of the war, in order to protect themselves, the Japanese allegedly destroyed reams upon reams of political and military archives. James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy and author of the critically praised The Emperor's General suggests that Japanese documents were "lost" in the firebombings of Tokyo. "They claim the war ministry's records office was hit by firebombs, destroying all the files. They say the navy ministry was burnt out, too. Anything we really need command chronologies, minutes of key meetings-they're burnt. By our fire bombs. That's what they maintain... Very convenient. By our firebombs." (Webb, p.197)
November 28
In Washington Major General H.H. "Hap" Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Corps, orders that warnings be sent out to all Air Force bases to "take all precautions against sabotage." Short responded by clustering his planes on their runways. According to standard procedure, such an action would prevent sabotage - the clustered planes would be more manageable and visible to their overseers. The planes unfortunately become very easy targets for Japanese bombers just a few days later. (Prange, At Dawn We Slept, p.420)
December 5
Kilsoo Haan telephones Maxwell Hamilton of the State Department telling him that the Korean Underground had reliable information that the Japanese were to attack Pearl Harbor the coming weekend. 240 (Toland, Infamy, p.303)
240 In a letter to author John Toland in 1980 esteemed journalist Eric Sevareid recalls the Kilsoo Haan warning. "I saw him several times in the fall of 1941. He felt certain that the attack would come at Pearl Harbor. He told me of his frustration in trying to get in to see the higher officials at State. But of course, warning and predictions were pouring in from many sources, naming various potential actions by the Japanese at various points. But I did not come across anyone else in Washington in those months who was talking about Pearl Harbor itself." (Letter from Sevareid to Toland, John Toland Papers, Box 119, Folder "Ka-Kilsoo").
December 7
Maxwell Hamilton of the State Department threatens Korean Kilsoo Haan with imprisonment if he speaks to the press regarding his December 5 warning (to Hamilton) of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Toland, Infamy, p.325) (See also December 5, 1941 and footnote #240)