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General Marshall, George C.

The Chief of Staff, War Department, was General George C. Marshall. It was to Marshall that the fruits of the espionage activities of Army Intelligence were reported and in particular the product of MAGIC which was capable of reading Purple, the more sophisticated of the Japanese diplomatic codes, and J-19, the less complicated challenge. On 27 November 1941 Marshall sent a message to Lieutenant-General Walter C. Short (Short, Walter C.), army commander in Hawaii, warning him of the imminent likelihood of war with Japan, and instructing him to "undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary, but those measures should be carried out so as not, repeat not, to alarm civil population or disclose intent. Report measures taken." Short, having no conception of the possibility of an attack on Oahu by Japanese aircraft, took precautions against sabotage by Japanese-Americans, nisei, and reported that he had done so. The imperfections of the intelligence gathered rendered the interception of the Winds message less than galvanizing, but Marshall was aware of the instruction from Tokyo to Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura (Nomura, Kichisaburo) to visit Secretary of State Hull (Hull, Cordell) at 1300 hours Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 7 December. The interpretation was that a total rejection of the American peace proposals, and thus war, was inevitable. At 1200 EST (0630 in Hawaii) Marshall sent Short a message to alert him to this possibility. The army radio link was not operating, so commercial channels were used; Western Union and RCA. The messenger in Honolulu set off soon after 0733, but Tadao Fuchikami (Fuchikami,Tadao) did not reach Fort Shafter until 1145, after the Second Attack Wave had gone.

See also: Bratton, Rufus S.; espionage; Fuchikami, Tadao; Hull, Cordell; MAGIC; nisei; Nomura, Kichisaburo; Oahu; Purple; Short, Walter C.; Winds