Dale Jenkins’ fascination with international affairs, history and the Navy has been a life-long endeavor. He is a former U.S. Navy officer who served on a destroyer in the Pacific, and for a time was home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan. Pacific Fleet commitments took him to the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. While on active duty, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal. After the Navy, Jenkins began a career in international banking and as a staff director at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. 

Jenkins currently serves on the Samuel Eliot Morison Committee of the Naval Order of the United States, New York, and as a Regional Director of the Naval War College Foundation. As a result of his active duty experience and new revelations, Dale provides insights into the diplomacy and strategies of the Pacific region. He has degrees in history and business from Harvard and Columbia University.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Diplomats and Admirals: From Failed Negotiations and Tragic Misjudgments to Powerful Leaders and Historic Deeds, the Untold Story of the U.S. Navy’s Victories at Coral sea and Midway recounts the escalating confrontation of diplomats on opposite shores of the Pacific Ocean prior and during World War II. 

The story begins with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of Japan. Two men on opposite sides of the world, with starkly different childhoods that grew into brilliant and enigmatic leaders, coming of age in a world rapidly churning with super powers angling to establish political, military, and economic dominance. 

Diplomats and Admirals argues that the war in the Pacific was the result of internal divisions in both the United States and Japan, and possible duplicity within the Roosevelt administration.    

Going Deeper — After continued Japanese expansion in the Pacific in 1941 and the total oil embargo imposed by Dean Acheson, the threat of war escalated. Japanese Prime Minister Konoe realized war with the United States would be disastrous for Japan. He made strenuous attempts to arrange a summit meeting with President Roosevelt but was continually rebuffed by Secretary of State Cordell Hull and his pro-China advisors Stanley Hornbeck and Alger Hiss. Roosevelt’s War Council, oblivious to the power of the Japanese Navy, believed the oil embargo would force Japan to withdraw from southern Indo-China. An agreement with Japan was within reach at the end of November 1941, but Chiang Kai-Shek and Madame Chiang exerted powerful lobbying pressure to prevent an agreement – they wanted the United States in the war to aid China. In response, Hull delivered a demanding diplomatic note, known forever as the Hull Note of November 26, which the Japanese viewed as an ultimatum. The result was Pearl Harbor.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, 353 Japanese planes from six aircraft carriers attacked Pearl Harbor. The next day, President Roosevelt went before Congress, depicted the attack as a day of infamy, and rallied the US populace to pursue a righteous victory. Congress declared war on Japan. 

Diplomats and Admirals penetrating historical descriptions and insights before and during WWII and across continents and oceans, culminates at the Battle of Midway, where U.S. Navy carrier pilots snatched victory from defeat in the last possible moments– a decisive victory that stopped further Japanese expansion and turned the momentum of the Pacific War from Japan to the United States.

Diplomats and Admirals is a must-read for history, military and political aficionados.

TALKING POINTS

  • Could Pearl Harbor have been avoided? Is there historical proof to argue for an alternative outcome? 
  • Illuminating account of F.D.R. possibly redefining how history will view the Fireside Chat President. 
  • China’s involvement in Pearl Harbor and that lingering impact on Japan and U.S. relations. 
  • Would the outcome of WWII, with U.S. involvement, been altered if Pearl Harbor had not occurred?  
  • Are we becoming a nation of isolationists once again? What can we learn from our past to better inform our future? What’s the state of our nation?
  • Influence of the U.S. Navy today and of naval powers around the world 
  • Is the Russian invasion of Ukraine a tipping point for other nations?
  • Dale Jenkins is a former U.S. Naval Officer, who was assigned to USS Eldorado (AGC-11), an amphibious command ship, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s.

TIMELY TIE-INS

December

  • 1 – Civil Air Patrol Established (1941)
  • 7 – Pearl Harbor Attacked (1941)
  • 8 – War Declared on Japan (1941)
  • 11 – Germany and Italy Declared War on US (1941)
  • 31 – Official End of WWII (1946)