The attack was scheduled on Sunday because it was believed the Navy would be stood down for religious services. A party was held the night before, and the USS Arizona’s band won best honors at the party. Little did they know that most of them would be dead in Turret #2 in a few short hours. By 4 AM most of the sailors had returned to their bunks.
The Navy and Army facilities were thoroughly unprepared for the onslaught they were about to receive. Standard doctrine called for the defense of the Philippines. The idea that the Japanese could get to Hawaii undetected was unthinkable. Army General Short and Navy Admiral Husband E. Kimmel did not think such an attack was possible. Short’s Army Air Corps P-40s were parked in neat rows to prevent sabotage, but were grouped close together as easy targets for bombs. Kimmel didn’t think torpedoes could work in Pearl’s shallow draft. Actually, during maneuvers, Navy aircraft had successfully attacked, and one officer remarked that with only one narrow entrance, the harbor could be blocked if a single ship was sunk in the right place.
The coming attack was sighted. Richard Sorge, the Russian spy in Tokyo, informed Stalin that the attack was about take place. American intelligence thought Pearl could be a target, but the repeated war warnings did not include Pearl. The USS Ward sank a midget submarine outside the entrance at 4:55 AM. A British-made radar station caught the planes coming in at 7 AM, but the warning was ignored.