Example research essay topic: Historic Accuracy Of The Film “tora! Tora! Tora!” – 886 words

In the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, the American Naval
Base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese
Air and Naval forces. The main question that is
trying to be answered is; did the Americans know
that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl
Harbor? There is sufficient evidence to supply
both sides with an argument. Nevertheless, I feel
that the evidence supporting the statement that
the Americans were previously unaware of the
attack on Pearl Harbor outweigh the evidence
supporting the statement that the Americans knew
beforehand of the attack. I feel that the
Americans could have discovered Japans plans, but
through a series of unfortunate coincidences, were
unable to know the location and time of the
attack. The American Government was definitely
suspicious of the Japanese, and took precautionary
measures resulting from the trade embargo between
America and Japan that began when the Japanese
occupied French Indo-China. To keep a close watch
on Japans actions, the Navy intelligence set up a
confidential task force to intercept all outgoing
messages from Tokyo to every Japanese embassy in
the world.

When an alert was sent to look out for
a possible Japanese attack, there were suggestions
from the Navy that 180 planes were to keep a 360
degree patrol of Pearl Harbor. Since there were an
insufficient number of planes to carry out this
order, the navy set up a new radar system to
monitor any planes coming onto the island. They
were planning to put it on the highest point on
the island, a mountain peak. Through an order from
the national park system, they were unable to put
it up on the high peak, but instead on a low beach
shore with many objects blocking radar reception.
Lieutenant General Walter C. Short also concluded
that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor, but
in a different way. He believed that the huge
Japanese population on the Hawaiian Islands would
up rise, and sabotage the airplanes on the Naval

His solution was to round up all the planes
together and keep them heavily guarded. This
proved to be a fatal decision. Many doubted that
the Japanese would attack America at Pearl Harbor,
and gave sufficient evidence for their reasoning.
Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the Commander of the US
Pacific Fleet pointed out that torpedoes plunge to
a depth of 75 feet, where Pearl Harbors depth only
reaches 40 feet. Others looked towards the past,
stating that Japan has never launched an attack on
another country preceding a Declaration of War.
President Roosevelt himself was quoted in saying
that the Japanese ambassador to America was
someone trustworthy, and would not stall with
negotiations. America also received numerous hints
that the Japanese were going to attack.

the intercepting and decoding machine, Lieutenant
Commander Alvin D. Kramer found that the Japanese
wanted to end negotiations on November 29th, and
afterwards, things will happen. He believed that
America would be attacked the next day, and sent
out a full alert because of that suspicion. An
argument for the side that believes America knew
of the attacks beforehand was the advisory sent
out stating that in the event of a breakdown in
negotiating, the US wants Japan to make the first
attack. A counterargument would be that this was
for the attacks thought to occur on November 30th,
not December 4th. The last suspicious advisory was
sent out warning that Japan would attack the
Philippines, Thailand, the Crop Peninsula, or
Borneo, not including Pearl Harbor.

The events of
December 3rd and 4th were the defining events that
prove the hypothesis that America was unaware of
the attack about to be carried out on them. Many
coincidences occurred that kept the American
Government from preparing to defend themselves
from the Japanese. First of all, the 13 messages
sent in from Japan to the Japanese embassy in
America were not read by the President, and any
other officers just said to wait until the morning
for the 14th message. Little did they know that it
would be too late. When the 14th message was
received, it stated to destroy the ambassadors
code translating machine, and to deliver the
message at 1:00. When the Naval Intelligence
intercepted this message, they attempted to
contact General Marshall, but he was out horse

At 11:00, Washington D.C. time, Admiral
Harold R. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations decided
to notify the President about their findings,
instead of any Navy officer in Hawaii. Later, an
American battleship blew up a Japanese submarine,
but this event was ignored and thought of as a
false sighting. The radar that was set up detected
aircraft coming in, but when it was reported, the
superior of the people who monitored the radar
told them that it was the B-17s coming in from
mainland America. Lastly, the Japanese ambassador
typing out the Declaration of War typed too
slowly, therefore not getting it in to the
government officials as a warning before the

In conclusion, all the coincidences
stated, and the attitudes of the military
officials towards the attack, kept the Americans
from realizing the exact place and time of the
attack. The unpreparedness of all the sailors and
soldiers when the attacks actually occurred proved
to be the defining factor to represent Americas
ultimate mistakes in prevention of being attacked
by the Empire of Japan..

Research essay sample on Historic Accuracy Of The Film tora Tora Tora