World War 2, Pacific
SOME KEY SPEECHES

SubjectWhoDateWhere
14-PartsEmissaryDec 7, 1941While Pearl Harbor is being Attacked
WarRoosevelt  Dec 8, 1941Before the Congress
I Shall ReturnMacArthurMar 12, 1942On arrival in Australia
I Have Returned  MacArthurOct 20, 1944On wading ashore
A-BombTrumanAug 9, 1945Announcing the attack
SurrenderHirohitoAug 15, 1945   Recording played on radio
The EndTrumanAug 15, 1945Announcing the end
VictoryHalseyAug 15, 1945Statement to the Third Fleet
SigningMacArthurSept 2, 1945Aboard USS Missouri
To the FleetNimitzSept 2, 1945Upon the Signing
North Forces  FletcherSept 8, 1945In Mitsu Wan harbor

The 14-Part Message delivered an hour after the strike on Pearl Harbor began.
The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American Government that in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations.

President Roosevelt addresses the Congress of the United States.
    Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United State of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
    The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking towards the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after the Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While the reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
    It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
    The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
    Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
    Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.
    Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.
    I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in gave danger. With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God. I ask that Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dasterly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state if war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

MacArthur's arrival in Australia having escaped from Corregidor.
The President of the United states ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed from Corregidor to Australia for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary object of which is the relief of the Philippines. I came through and I shall return.

MacArthur after wading ashore at Leyte.
    People of the Philippines. I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil. The hour of your redemption is here. Your patriots have demonstrated an unswerving and resolute devotion to the principles of freedom. . . . Rally to me. Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan an Corregidor lead on. As the line of battle roll forward to bring you within the zone of operations, rise and strike. . . . For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike ! In the name of your sacred dead, strike ! Let every arm be steeled.

President Truman on the second atomic bomb.
    Having found the bomb we have used it. . . .
    We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretence of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans. We will continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop it.

President Truman's statement that resistance to the Allies was at an end.
I have received a note from the Japanese government in reply to the message forwarded to that government by the Secretary of State on August 11. I deem this reply a full acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, which specifies the unconditional surrender of Japan.

Halsey announcement to the Fleet with kamikaze falling on the horizon, the last one by destroyer fire.
    Men of the Third Fleet, the war is ended . You, in conjunction with our bothers in arms, of all services and all branches of all services, have contributed inestimably to this final result. You have brought an implacable, treacherous, and barbaric foe to his knees in abject surrender. This is the first time in the recorded history of the misbegotten Japanese race that they as a nation have been forced to submit to his humiliation. I said in 1942 the Nips were no superman. You have helped write finis on that estimate in 1945. Your names are writ in golden letters on the pages of history -- your fame is and shall be immortal. Whenever you have met the foe, on the sea, on the land, in the air, or under the water, you have been supreme. Whether in the early days, when fighting with a very frayed shoestring, or at the finish, when fighting with the mightiest combined fleet the world has ever seen, the result have been the same -- victory has crowned your efforts. The forces of righteousness and decency have triumphed. At this moment our thoughts turn to our happy and fortunate homeland, to our loved ones. Deeply rooted in each and every heart is a desire, now that the tumult and glory of war has ceased and victory -- absolute and unconditional victory -- has crowned our efforts -- to return to our homes. . . .

In his first ever address to his people, played at noon, Hirohito gives up.
    "We, the Emperor, have ordered the Imperial Government to notify the four countries, the United States, Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union, that We accept their Joint Declaration. To ensure the tranquillity of the subjects of the Empire and share with all the countries of he world the joys of co-prosperity, such is the rule that was left to Us by the Founder of the Empire of Our Illustrious Ancestors, which We have endeavored to follow. Today, however, the military situation can no longer take a favorable turn, and the general tendencies of the world are not to our advantage either.
    "What is worse, the enemy, who has recently made use of an inhuman bomb, is increasingly subjecting innocent people to grievous wounds and massacre. The devastation is taking on incalculable proportions. To continue the war under these conditions would not only lead to the annihilation of Our Nation, but to the destruction of human civilization as well."

A Japanese military and a government official sign the document of surrender in Tokyo Bay ; MacArthur concludes :
We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. The issues involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate. Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the people of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice, or hatred. but rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to serve, committing all peoples unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here formally to assume. It is my earnest hope, indeed the hope of all mankind, that form this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past . . . a world dedicated to the dignity of man . . . Let us pray that peace be restored tot he world, and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed.

Nimitz broadcast to the Fleet upon the signing of surrender.
    On board all naval vessels at sea and in port, and at our many island bases in the Pacific, there is rejoicing and thanksgiving. The long and bitter struggle . . . is at an end. . . .
    Today all freedom-loving peoples of the world rejoice in the victory and feel pride in the accomplishments of our combined forces. We also pay tribute to those who defended our freedom at the cost of their lives.
    On Guam is a military cemetery in a green valley not far from my headquarters. The ordered rows of white crosses stand as reminders of the heavy cost we have paid for victory. On these crosses are the names of American soldiers, sailors, and marines -- . . . ---names that are a cross-section of democracy They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side. To them we have a solemn obligation -- the obligation to insure that their sacrifice will help to make this a better and safer world in which to live.
    Now we turn to the great tasks of reconstruction and restoration. I am confident that we will be able to apply the same skill, resourcefulness and keen thinking to these problems as were applied to the problems of winning the victory.

On acceptance of surrender of the Japanese North Pacific forces, Fletcher says,
"Recalling the rape of Nanking, the treachery of Pearl Harbor, the Death March of Bataan, and the murder, torture, and starvation of our comrades in arms, ours will not be an occupation in the Japanese manner. We have shown the Japanese and the world the superiority of our arms. We must now demonstrate to the world and the Japanese people the superiority of these standards of justice and decency for which we fought."

Return to: WW2 Menu      
About this page: Speeches - Some key comments during WW2 Pacific.
Last updated on June 9, 2005.
Contact us at
URL: http://www.ww2pacific.com/speeches.html