THE PRESIDENCY: Battle Stations

Everything was ready. From Rangoon to Honolulu, every man was at battle stations. And Franklin Roosevelt had to return to his. This was the last act of the drama.

The U.S. position had the simple clarity of a stone wall. One nervous twitch of a Japanese trigger finger, one jump in any direction, one overt act, might be enough. A vast array of armies, of navies, of air fleets were stretched now in the position of track runners, in the tension of the moment before the starter's gun.

A bare chance of peace remained—of...

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