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Operation Magic

Operation Magic

Operation Magic research paper due and don't know how to start it? How about like this?

The U.S. Department of the Navy had a machine which intercepted all messages Tokyo sent to its Japanese embassies. Operation Magic, as it was known, printed the messages in Japanese, and then they had to be translated to English. This decoding system informed the U.S. on "how the Japanese ambassadors in Washington were advised" and what and how much they were told to say. From the Operation Magic intercepts the U.S. learned that if negotiations with Japan failed, Japan planned to go to war with the U.S.

Operation Magic Intercepts

Only the "Twelve Apostles" were allowed to see the Operation Magic intercepts; this included the following:

  • Lieutenant Commander Alvin Kramer
  • Colonel Rufus Bratton
  • The President
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of War
  • Secretary of the Navy
  • The three top Army officials
  • The three top Navy officials

Not one of the overseas commanders was allowed to see the intercepts. The Army and Navy Intelligence agencies should have been "the fountainhead" for information but often were not sent new intercepts and messages decoded by Operation Magic. The top officials who did receive Operation Magic intercepts did not make good use of the information either. The Army Intelligence seemed to pay the closest attention to the Japanese Army, while the Navy Intelligence watched the moves of the Japanese Navy.

The US Government and Operation Government

The US government had one momentary chance to come clean of their part in the secretive activities, even before World War II was over, in the autumn of 1944. Making use of information they had received from honest government intelligence sources, John T. Flynn and others had discovered that the United States had broken the Japanese Purple Diplomatic Code in August 1940, and had been reading all Japanese diplomatic messages for a year and a half before Pearl Harbor. Hence, President Roosevelt had good reason for expecting a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but had failed to warn the American commanders there, General Walter C. Short and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. He gravely needed a surprise attack to enable him to get into the war with a united country behind him.

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