Many misinformed Japanese believe that America is a nation divided, isolationist, and that Americans are only interested in enjoying a life of luxury, and are spiritually and morally corrupt. But that is a great mistake. If war becomes inevitable, America would be the most formidable foe that we have ever fought. I've lived in Washington and studied at Harvard, so I know that the Americans are a proud and just people. ~ Isoroku Yamamoto
[At a meeting of senior officers discussing the potential for recalling the fleet if a peaceful solution is reached, some officers are disheartened about it and voice their thoughts. Yamamoto will have none of it] Enough! If any commander here is inclined to reject an order to return when the path for peace is open, let him resign now! Finally, gentlemen, many misinformed Japanese believe that America is a nation divided, isolationist, and that Americans are only interested in enjoying a life of luxury, and are spiritually and morally corrupt. But that is a great mistake. If war becomes inevitable, America would be the most formidable foe that we have ever fought. I've lived in Washington and studied at Harvard, so I know that the Americans are a proud and just people.
I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.
Admiral Chuichi Nagumo: The Commander-in-Chief has sent us a message wishing us good luck. That, plus the Imperial Proclamation, has undoubtedly stirred your loyalty to the Empire. The success of this mission depends on surprise. If we achieve it, the code words "Tora, Tora, Tora" will be sent out. Now that the battle draws near, I will not burden you with the usual pep talk. Instead I shall hoist the famous "Z Flag," beneath which, Commander-in-Chief Togo led his fleet to victory in the historic battle against the Russians.
Capt. Kameto Kuroshima AKA Gandhi: [fumes at being invited to a luncheon meeting with Yamamoto and other officers] Please don't bother me! This is important matter for the Combined Fleet, so I'm not going! [slaps hand on Operation Z ops plan] Genda's plan for attacking Pearl Harbor is foolproof. It's brilliant! He stresses the importance of combat aircraft. [goes into trance as officer slips away] Just think of it, we use six aircraft carriers...torpedo planes, high-level bombers, dive bombers...Zero fighters for cover. Go the northern route, use the new torpedoes...we attack on a weekend. Genda has thought of everything... refueling, the weather.
[Before the arrival honors for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto aboard the battleship Nagato, a number of officers exchange banter about his appointment]
Lt Cdr Mitsuo Fuchida: I hope our new commander-in-chief isn't the coward they say he is.
Officer #1: Whatever they say, Yamamoto is the kind of leader they need. He believes in the value of the airplane.
Officer #2: But why a vice-Navy minister for such an important position?
Officer #3: Maybe the climate in Tokyo was detrimental to Yamamoto's health. The Army is against him for opposing their policies.
Fuchida: So he runs away. Now he has the entire fleet to guard him. [officers laugh]
[USAAF 2nd Lts. Ken Taylor and George Welch are curious about an order for them to be on standby at Haleiwa]
2nd Lt Ken Taylor: You know why we're being transferred.
2d Lt George Welch: Them poker games. Been winning too often.
Taylor: Yeah. Some sucker loses his shirt, so he bitches to the general.
Welch: That's it.
[Yamamoto has an audience with Prime Minister Prince Konoe Fumimaro]
Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto: It's hard to believe that the Emperor agreed to a date by which the final decision must be made between war and peace.
Prince Konoe Fumimaro: His Majesty's signature is a mere formality. The Cabinet is responsible for all matters of national policy. The Emperor recently read a poem to his ministers to show how he feels. "If all people are brethren, then why are the winds and waves so restless?"
Yamamoto: [repeats poem and realizes its logic] This clearly shows how much the Emperor wants to avoid a war.
Konoe: Yes, he has urged us to solve our differences with Washington.
Yamamoto: But sir, the deadline is October. Can't a solution be found by then?
Konoe: Perhaps, but if we fail and war does come... tell me frankly, from the Navy's viewpoint, what are our chances against the Americans?
Yamamoto: If we must, we can raise havoc with them for a year, after that I can guarantee nothing. Mr Prime Minister, I hope you will continue the negotiations. Please remember that there is no last word in diplomacy.
[Aboard the Akagi bridge, an officer reads to Admiral Nagumo a message passed down from the radio room]
IJN Officer: Sir, a message! [Nagumo turns around]
IJN Officer: [in Japanese] No, you idiot! It's the Akagi, your own flagship! [Other pilots tease the quick-answering pilot]
[The Opana Point radar station's crew alerts the Pearl Harbor Intercept Center about an incoming flight of planes]
Pvt. George Elliot: Sir, this is Private Elliot at Opana Point. There's a large formation of planes coming in from the north - 140 miles, three degrees east.
Lt. Kermit Tyler: Yeah? Well... Don't worry about it. [Hangs up; to fellow officer] The boys at Opana Point must have picked up the B-17s coming in from the mainland.
Elliot: [replaces phone; to colleague] He said not to worry about it.
Pvt. Joseph Lockard: Come on, let's go eat.
[Lt Kaminski calls up 14th Naval District commander Capt John Earle regarding an alert from the USS Ward]
Lt. Harold Kaminski: [reads Ward's message] "Have dropped depth charges on a sub operating in our security zone".
Capt. John Earle: [Sighs] We've had so many of these false sightings, Kaminsky.
Kaminski: Yes, sir, but never one this close before. Just off the harbor entrance.
Earle: Yeah, but you know as well as I, the skipper of that destroyer's a green kid. I'll pass word on to Admiral Bloch.
Kaminski: Will all due respect, sir, I think we should alert all commanders.
Earle: Confirmation, Kaminski. I WANT CONFIRMATION.
[Later, after arriving at the office, Earle is shocked to see the entire fleet on fire]
Kaminski: You wanted confirmation, Captain? [gestures to the burning harbor] Take a look! THERE'S YOUR CONFIRMATION!
[Secretary of State Cordell Hull finishes reading the 14-part message from Japanese Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu about breaking of US-Japan negotiations after learning of the attack.]
Cordell Hull: In all my 50 years of public service, I have never seen a document so crowded with infamous falsehoods and distortions, on a scale so huge that I never imagined until today that any government on this planet was capable of uttering them.