"If we could only find some way to have them [the Chinese] drop some bombs on Tokyo." 

- Secretary of State Cordell Hull in conversation with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., December 10, 1940


Preemptive Strike is now available for purchase on this website!!! 

Alan Armstrong discusses the American Plan to Bomb Japan before Pearl Harbor. View the three part video below.

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

See Alan Armstrong in a Pearl Harbor Interview Video here!

5 Minute Full Length Video - DOWNLOAD (12.1 MB)

Full Length Video in Three Parts -
Part 1 (2.6 MB) - Part 2 (4.9 MB) - Part 3 (4.7 MB)


  Alan Armstrong’s Preemptive Strike presents a rare view of how strong personalities shape important historical events.  While President Roosevelt, his cabinet and staff, together with Captain Claire Lee Chennault and representatives of the Chinese Nationalist Government worked secretly on a plan to bomb Japan before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the failure to timely implement and execute the plan had devastating consequences for America.  The lessons to be learned from Preemptive Strike are relevant today as America attempts to avoid the catastrophic consequences that can befall America due to initiatives of terrorists and rogue nations with ambitions of mounting attacks on American soil.

   On July 23, 1941, President Roosevelt signed Joint Army/Navy Board 355 (the “Joint Board Plan”) which authorized the bombing of key Japanese industrial centers.  The Joint Board Plan has remained an obscure and overlooked chapter in American history.  Stone Phillips of ABC News on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1991, did a story on the Joint Board Plan, but confessed that he did not know whether the Japanese knew of the American plan.  We know far more today about the Joint Board Plan than Mr. Phillips did in 1991.  For example, intercepted Japanese radio communications confirm that as early as May of 1941, even before Roosevelt signed the order, a spy in or near Chiang Kai-shek’s government, identified only as “PA,” disclosed to Japanese agents America’s ambitions to bomb Japan, under the auspices of the newly formed American Volunteer Group which became known as the Flying Tigers.  

  At the heart of this story of political espionage and intrigue is Claire Chennault, a fighter pilot and instructor in fighter tactics who had been banished from the Army Air Corps because of his heresy in disputing the conventional wisdom of the day that bombers were the supreme weapon in aerial warfare.  Forced into early retirement, Chennault found employment as a mercenary flying in air combat for the Chinese Government.  It is no small irony that both the Chinese and the American Governments believed that this washed out Air Corps instructor should champion the bombing missions against the Japanese Empire.

     Please check back soon for exciting details on one of the more interesting historical works of the 21st Century!

Alan Armstrong's feature article on Preemptive Strike in the June issue of Flight Journal can be viewed HERE.  (Adobe Acrobat .pdf)

Official Book Press Release may be viewed HERE.

Published by Globe Pequot Press

 

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