FDR Knew about Pearl Harbor?! – WW2 – Reading Comments



Here is another installment of Across the Airwaves where Indy and Sparty take the opportunity to directly address some of the comments left by our community. In this episode, we take a look at some of the more controversial comments left on our videos.

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Hosted by: Indy Neidell and Spartacus Olsson
Director: Astrid Deinhard
Producers: Astrid Deinhard and Spartacus Olsson
Executive Producers: Astrid Deinhard, Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson, Bodo Rittenauer
Creative Director: Wieke Kapteijns
Creative Producer: Maria Kyhle
Written by: Indy Neidell
Research by: Indy Neidell
Edited by: Karolina Dołęga
Maps: Eastory (
Sound design by: Marek Kamiński
Colorizations by: Mikołaj Uchman

Source literature list:

Archive footage: Screenocean/Reuters –

Image sources:
– National Archives NARA
– Bundesarchiv

Soundtracks from Epidemic Sound:
– Rememberance – Fabien Tell
– Please Hear Me Out – Philip Ayers
– Potential Redemption – Max Anson
– Maze Heist – Max Anson
– Last Point of Safe Return – Fabien Tell
– The Inspector 4 – Johannes Bornlöf

A TimeGhost chronological documentary produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH.

50 comments

  1. Each day we go through a wide variety of comments left by our community members from all over the world. In our format 'Across the Airwaves', we take a look at some of the comments that really stood out to us and directly address them, allowing us to expand on our content in a way we were able to before. Thank you to our community, especially the TimeGhost Army members who make it possible for us to regularly release content.

    Hope you enjoy this episode, as always, don't forget to read our rules of conduct before commenting: https://community.timeghost.tv/t/rules-of-conduct/4518

  2. I love this series guys, debunking myths and alternate theories is half the reason I started studying history. You're doing a fantastic job

  3. He didn't know that the attack was coming. Roosevelt even went so far as sending a personal message to Emperor Hirohito on December the 6th, the Saturday night before the attack.

  4. Spartacus makes very good points. But I'd like to point to The Peenemünde Army Research Center, home of the V2. Dornberger, Walter (1954) [1952]. V2- Der Schuss ins Weltall: Geschichte einer grossen Erfindung [V2-The Shot into Space: History of a great invention]. Esslingen: Bechtle Verlag. pp. 41, 85, 247.
    Operation Crossbow included strategic operations against research and development of the weapons, their manufacture, transportation and attacks on their launch site, and fighter intercepts against missiles in flight. At one point, the British government, in near panic, demanded that upwards of 40% of bomber sorties be targeted against the launch sites.

    The crossbow attacks were futile, and every raid against a V-1 or V-2 launch site was one less raid against the Third Reich. The diversion of allied resources from other targets represented a major success for Hitler.
    At 12:35 a.m. on Aug. 18 1943, the first bombs in Operation Hydra began falling on the center for Nazi Germany’s V-1 and V-2 weapons program.
    I am arguing that Operation Hydra's intentional dehousing of engineers and scientists at Peenemünde created a massive brain drain for Germany. Thousands of irreplaceable engineers were lost and Hydra was able to close the facility down completely forcing the Germans to build a new facility underground. Hydra set back the V2 program by nearly a year.
    Imagine the Germans having thousands more V2's on D-day. These weapons were used against the landings, but Operation Hydra had reduced the number available by several factors and they were too little too late.. The year long delay in production alone most likely played a large role in D-day being successful.
    While I mostly agree with Spartacus that dehousing of German civilians in general was futile, Operations crossbow and Hydra give us a clear example of carpet bombing being effective. when more targeted bombing had failed.

  5. You guys do brilliant work here, but if you tell me that you have not every played the game Axis & Allies, I call you a liars. Keep up the great work.

  6. To use as a main argument that if the Japenese only attacked airfields in the phillipines, that the US would have declared war on Japan for that single event is of course , conveniently forgetting, that FDR was re-elected as a part of his fundemental campaign , that the US will not get involved in international conflicts, that the US was OVERWHELMINGLY Isolationalist. Sure the US would have made a military response to a phillipines attack,
    but certainly, to go against his campaign promise of neutrality , would not have declared war. And to say that people who were convinced of FDR's knowledge of the attack, so they are fixed on that, Listen Bro, If people did not have evidence of FDR's pre-knowledge, then they would not have been inclined to believe so, you say to disregard the evidence, because people were already convinced. there people would not have already been convinced it there were not evidence. In summary, if we just regard evidence , and believe your flimsy theory that the isolationalist US would have declared war on Japan , just for a strike in the Phillipines, is just your way of usiing this platform to convey your individual , narcissitic theory.

    s

  7. If you are interested in doing a series of "History Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum” may I recommend the HMAS Sydney sinking?

  8. I understand, from the historic point of view, how difficult is the job of the historian. Poor man.

  9. Admiral King allowed hundreds of oil ships to be sunk on east coast and along with at least 5 thousand sailors killed by German submarines, simply because he was an Anglophile ?
    The truth is that some historical things/facts we will never know because there was a lot of scapegoating going on like fitting up admiral Husband E. Kimmel for dereliction of duty for an example. Like Gen Douglass MacArthur who called Australian troops cowards in New Guinea campaign only to backtrack and eat his own word a couple of months later where he described them as the greatest jungle soldiers he had ever seen. History is fairly clear but also peppered with a lot of unknown and of course, a lot of bullshit.

  10. Yes strategic bombing was not a “nice thing to do” but neither is invading and occupying most of Europe. Are we really talking about how NICE the allies were when the Axis were objectively less nice and were the aggressors? Are you Nazi apologists now?

    This is total war we’re talking about. I’m not saying the Allies didn’t commit war crimes but Germans bombed British cities first did you expect them to turn the other cheek?

    You said you haven’t seen anything about how strategic bombing affected the outcome, but the comment you replied to literally gave you stats on how it affected German production. But you somehow waved it away with vague statements about how the land war was more important. Obviously the land war was more important but can you not see economics and production numbers have a huge effect on that?

    I’ve been subbed to this channel since the beginning but this is ridiculous. The war would not have ended in the same timeframe without strategic bombing. Do you actually think it prolonged the war? No, it just approached the Germans in callousness.

    Definitely not the same unless you’re an apologist

  11. This was great, because it bends the "History Channel" over and gives it to them harder than a group of drill sergeants on a bus load of new recruits.

  12. I've said for years if FDR knew, the morning of; the fleet could have sailed and the aircraft could be up to engage. As soon as the Japanese got there it was war. And the fleet could have pursued. You don't kill over 2k when you can defend yourself.

  13. So, we are to believe that knowing the US and Britain had BY FAR the BEST intel gathering networks known to man at that time, that they simply "missed" the formation and departure of the LARGEST NAVAL ARMADA to have ever set sail to that point in time? C'mon man…they knew forshizzle…😎

  14. For that history doesn’t happen in a vacuum series, I wonder if it would be possible to tackle some of the modern conspiracies around things like JFK’s death or 9/11

  15. I would love to see a similar special refuting rumors about the Nazi invasion of Poland. I’ve also wondered personally about the German decision to commit to that invasion, and how it played out since ultimately this single event would ultimately lead to war and their eventual downfall. Did any high-ranking Nazis protest this course of action? Was Hitler the main driving force behind the decision?

  16. “History in a Vacuum” is continuing today with very recent events Nov 2020, Jan 2021 ughh.
    Thank you again for a very insightful commentary based on facts 👊🏼

  17. They knew an attack was probably coming but the tricky part they had no clue where the attack would come or a specific date. Militarily the Manila attack or an attack on the Dutch colonies were thought most likely.

  18. See, people need to learn something.

    FDR wanting the Japanese/Germans to give him a reason to intervene (which he clearly did) DOESN'T MEAN HE WOULD JUST LET THEM FUCKING KICK AMERICAS ARSE.

    The Americans got got. The many surprise attacks got them into the war, which they wanted, but it also stopped them from actually combating the Japanese in the way they had planned and resulted in the total loss of the Philippines, which they obviously did not want and suggesting that FDR or any American Command elements wanted the Pacific fleet out of action for month and wanted to lose a bunch of Islands perfectly situated to fuck Japans South Asian Operations in the arse is absurd. They wanted into the war, but not like this.

  19. Let us not forget the Japanese began the Malayan Campaign against the British at the same time as Pearl Harbor. This led to the fall of Singapore, the Gibraltar of the East

  20. Sparty Sir……..why is there an American Flag just laying there draped over the end of a table to your left in the video? Please either display it in it's full glory or have it setting there properly folded……as an American Veteran it just bothers me when ever I see Old Glory being treated like any other prop…..which it Is Not!…..Thank You….

  21. In schools , teaching about bombing of Pearl Harbor should also include on the same day the Phillipineswere bombed thus, getting rid of notion of FDR knew ahead of time.. Thank you for telling me , and others , because even though I'm a war baby and a fan of your show , I didnt know about the 2 prong attacks by Japan !

  22. I guess that one point FOR the strategic bombing of civilian targets in 1941 and 1942 remains – political reasons. The Alliens needed to have something they could show to Stalin and say: "Hey, see! We're doing something to fight the Germans. Keep fighting yourself." Or can that point also be dismissed?

  23. It is true that the US government including FDR allowed themselves to be struck first. FDR's secretary of war Henry Stimson said "The question was how we should maneuver the Japanese into firing the first shot." A navy with a very long supply line and a tight harbor made for easy shooting.

    Defensive wars are so much more popular than offensive wars.

  24. a simple claim that needs a simple question and a simple answer
    FDR wanted to get involved in the war but couldnt because he didnt have public support, the US moved its entire pacific fleet to Pearl in a provocation to the Japanese essentially saying "here is our navy ready to be deployed, what are you going to do about it?"

    some US official WANTED the Japanese to attack America as a means to drag the country in the war, what Japan did to Pearl Harbor was probably better than anyone could have hoped for because it pissed the US public off really bad and fueled the engine of war into full gear

    FDR may not have known that Pearl was going to happen as no one in America was probably expecting the Japanese navy be ballsy and hit Pearl and the US navy directly but its no coincidence that it happened, some people WANTED America to be attacked and dragged into the war

    the US did not initially declare war on Germany, why?
    its obvious that the US only planned to supply the allies while fighting Japan quietly on the other side without actually trading blows with Germany, however Hitler declared war on the US as a means to try and get Japan to help him with the soviet union

    while all of this is not necessarily written everywhere, you can easily connect the dots the same way a detective or a scientist connects the dots: with data, analysis and logic

  25. I agree we did not let our fleet or aircraft get bombed, but given the oil embargo of Japan. We must of expected an attack on something to try to break the embargo. My understanding is that Japan only had a 90 day supply of oil before their industry and army would grind to a halt.

  26. Great video guys! But you shouldn't indulge these conspiracy, safespace fools? It's beneath you. Keep up the great work by simply stating the facts!

  27. This "Roosevelt knew" is a bunch of crap. The people who began this back in the 1940's were all conservatives who had it in for Roosevelt for starting Social Security.
    That's the first point. The second is that those same conservatives, who were, I might add, leading the isolationist charge with "America First" and they couldn't accept that their isolationism was one very important reason why we were so unprepared for war.

  28. Inspiration for Yamamoto’s plan to attack Pearl Harbor may have been books published in 1921 and 1925 written by Hector C. Bywater a British journalist and military writer who was the naval correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph. The title of the first book was “Sea Power in the Pacific.” Part of the book was later expanded into another novel, “The Great Pacific War.” In that book, Bywater describes a surprise attack on the U.S. Asiatic Fleet at Pearl Harbor, with simultaneous attacks at Guam and the Philippines. The Japanese Navy General Staff had “Sea Power in the Pacific’ translated and distributed to their top naval officers. They also adopted “The Great Pacific War” for the curriculum at the Japanese Naval War College. Many people do not know that the Japanese made simultaneous attacks on Thailand, Malaya, China, and the Philipines on December 8, 1941, and not just on Pearl Harbor. Hawaii is on the other side of the International Date Line so the date at Pearl Harbor was December 7.

  29. Gen. Marshall went to talk to Dewey about this very thing. Gen. Marshal pleaded with Dewey not to bring this up while campaigning against Roosevelt. The british broke the Japanese Code pre pearl harbor.

  30. The first conspiracy theory I heard on this was that Churchill knew and didn’t tell FDR, that was over thirty years ago I heard that.

  31. One thing I didn't hear you talk about was if there was any intelligence that FDR knew about? There is a potential third theory. That FDR was aware of the intelligence but didn't think it was accurate or the Japanese would actually do it. Not to say there was anything nefarious going on but maybe it was missed with all the other intelligence noise during that time?

    I believe we were reading intercepted messages with the Japanese embassy but we're we monitoring communication on the Philippines? Was there a Japanese embassy on the Philippines?

  32. Hi, I totally get Indy’s point on the Pearl Harbour conspiracy theory. However, I pose this point what if it wasn’t a FDR conspiracy? The whole premise is that the Americans knew about the attack and buried it. Indys premise is based on the Japanese knocking out the two American strong points of Pearl harbour and the Philippines. One can suppose that Pearl harbour was the most important because it was attacked first. What if the task force was discovered en route? Would the Japanese continue with both attacks or abort? Because the declaration of war was timed to coincide with the Pearl harbour attack one can surmise that this gave them an option to abort if necessary. In this scenario do you think that is possible that the Brits or Australians did receive notification from say the Dutch sub K-XVII on the task force and not pass it on to the Americans?

  33. The carrier argument always amuses me. They do realize that it was the lack of battleships following the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the US navy using carriers, and realizing that they were actually quite useful? Before ww2, carriers were little more than a military novelty

  34. Thank you!! Cause it was bugging me and FDR is like any politicien who thinks the end justify the means so iffy!!
    Yes take into account the bombing also of the air fleet and it puts it all to rest. Using 2 movies about Pearl Habour makes us morons to question it. Like D-Day failing what if but Rome fell at the same time. Russia would have more of Europe but the allies had started the long road to Berlin also. what ifs the marvel universes money making pit!!

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