Dear Mr. History,

Did FDR plan for the Japanese to attack? Did he want the USA to be in the war?


Dear Anonymous,

Barely had war been declared on Japan on December 8, 1941, when conspiracy theories began surfacing about the Japanese carrier strike on Pearl Harbor being part of a plot by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to draw the United States into World War II through the “back door.” He had certainly regarded war against Nazi Germany as inevitable, but the “sneak attack” on Pearl was far more effective in overruling the isolationists and advance congressional approval for American entry into the conflict. Nevertheless, there remains no solid evidence or eyewitness testimony to support any claims of a deliberate setup on the president’s part.




Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History

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