December 1941

US and World Events plus Additional Resources


FDR grew acutely concerned about apparent Japanese preparations for a military offensive in the Pacific in the days immediately preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor. Through several intelligence sources, the President had learned of massive troop buildups in Indo-China far above what had been agreed to by the Vichy French government. In this memorandum dated December 1, 1941, Roosevelt instructs his top diplomats to immediately learn the intentions behind the Japanese government’s latest move, and he discusses the obvious parallels between Japan’s actions in the Pacific and Germany’s actions in Europe. The revisions are in President Roosevelt’s handwriting.