What Date Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Occur

What Date Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Occur – The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941 marked the official entry of the United States into World War II.

During the 1930s, Japan, having already annexed Korea in 1910, sought to further expand its empire, particularly to acquire natural resources. In 1931, the Japanese invaded Manchuria, a small, resource-rich province in northern China, and established a puppet state called Manchukuo. In 1937, Japan invaded the rest of China and by some estimates killed up to 300,000 people during the infamous Nanking Massacre. China would lose up to 14 million people by the end of World War II.

What Date Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Occur

What Date Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Occur

Western powers were concerned by Japanese expansion, particularly because it violated the League of Nations-backed “Open Door” Policy (a precursor to the United Nations), which was established to ensure equal trade opportunities with China. The League of Nations reprimanded Japan, but this did nothing to stop its expansion.

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Since Japan had limited natural resources, 55.4% of its imports at the time came from the United States (Rhodes 39). Beginning in 1937, the US began embargoing oil, steel, and iron supplies. In December of the same year, Japanese planes sank

, an American gunboat, in the Yangtze River, killing three Americans. Although Japan said it was a mistake and paid reparations, it further stoked sympathy for China and anger against Japan in the United States.

In 1940, Japan became part of the Axis Alliance with Germany and Italy and occupied parts of French Indochina (modern Vietnam) with the permission of the Vichy government, the puppet state created after the fall of France. In response, the United States imposed a complete embargo on all trade with Japan. President Roosevelt also moved most of the US Pacific Fleet from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor.

The embargo created a dilemma for Japan. The Japanese relied on American resources to fuel their war effort and eventually concluded that they needed to occupy the resource-rich territories in Southeast Asia to continue. In July 1941, Japan moved into southern Indochina, on the doorstep of colonies controlled by Western powers such as India, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and the American-controlled Philippines. Japan knew that this move risked war with the United States.

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The attack on Pearl Harbor was the brainchild of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, who argued that it would deal a fatal blow to the enemy fleet (Rhodes 392). In October 1941, the attack was approved by the Japanese naval general staff. Commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, the Japanese fleet included six aircraft carriers, 24 support ships and a fleet of submarines.

The United States expected an attack. Continued negotiations to end Japanese expansion were not producing results, especially since the beginning of the US trade embargo. Just hours before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, received a message from the Navy: “This dispatch should be considered a warning. Negotiations with Japan aimed at stabilizing conditions in the Pacific have ceased. and an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days. Execute an appropriate defensive preparatory deployment to carry out the assigned tasks” (390). However, the message did not mention Pearl Harbor as a possible site of attack, as the United States in the country of this they expected an attack on the Philippines.

The first sign of the Japanese fleet racing toward Pearl Harbor came at 7:00 a.m. on December 7, when two U.S. Army privateers on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were about to shut down a mobile radar station they had been manning since 4 a.m.: 00:00. A slight disturbance on the screen paused their actions – a large but indistinct patch of light, which appeared to the men to come from 50 planes, seemed to be heading for the island. Confused, one of the privates called the island-wide information center, reaching an Army lieutenant who assured them the light was simply a fleet of American B-17s. The lieutenant had heard Hawaiian music playing on the radio station earlier that morning, a signal that usually indicated an American aircraft approaching Hawaii, and determined that the blob on the radar oscilloscope screen must be the incoming fleet.

What Date Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Occur

Careful Japanese precautions and comprehensive planning allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to remain completely protected by American intelligence. For nearly two weeks before the attack, Japanese battleships and destroyers had escorted 43 fighters, 51 dive bombers, 49 high-level bombers, and 40 torpedo planes from six carriers sailing 200 miles north of Pearl Harbor. The plane had traveled in complete radio silence to catch the Americans by surprise.

The Path To Pearl Harbor

At 7:58 a.m., the Ford Island command center finally sent out a radio alert: “AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR. THIS IS NOT EXERCISE.” Upon reaching Pearl Harbor, the Japanese torpedo bombers skillfully maneuvered themselves into the harbor in groups of twos and threes in a sudden and powerful attack that lasted only a few minutes. In another hour, a second fleet of 167 additional Japanese planes bombarded the country.

American residents who watched the attack from afar watched in horror as the screams of the men on the sunken warships rang out in the air, smoke rose from the sea, and the wounded and dead floated in the bloody, oil-stained waters. When the effects of the attack subsided, the grim toll became known: 2,403 American civilians and military personnel had been killed and 1,178 wounded. Two warships and 188 aircraft were destroyed.

The attack caught American military personnel by surprise and was certainly costly, but it did not cripple the US Navy as the Japanese had anticipated. Fortunately, the three American aircraft carriers stationed at Pearl Harbor were not there on the morning of December 7. USS

Had been sent on missions during the previous days. Aircraft carriers are larger and more difficult to build than other ships, and their survival would be vital during the Pacific War.

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On December 8, President Roosevelt delivered a speech in which he famously called the attack on Pearl Harbor “a date that will live in infamy,” while Congress quickly passed a declaration of war on Japan. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. The War Department was completely reorganized, as key positions were shifted to various trusted officers in order to prepare for the new conflict.

Before Pearl Harbor, the United States had sent large amounts of financial aid and military equipment to the Allied cause. The Japanese attack launched the US into an all-out war against the Axis powers and brought American soldiers into combat for the first time. It also united the country, as a Gallup poll conducted in the days after Pearl Harbor showed that 97% of Americans approved of the declaration of war.

The December 9 article reported that the armed forces were “accepting applicants in numbers unprecedented in the nation’s history” and that “many of the men had been in line [at recruiting stations] all night.”

What Date Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Occur

Added the next day that the military had received 2,684 applications in the two days since war was declared on Japan.

Pearl Harbor Bombed

Pearl Harbor also had a noticeable effect on the Manhattan Project. The S-1 Committee, which directed atomic research prior to the creation of the Manhattan Project, officially held its first meeting on December 18, 1941. This meeting initiated an official shift from the research phase to the development phase of the project. As S-1 official James Conant noted, “The atmosphere was charged with emotion—the country had been at war for nine days, the expansion of the S-1 program was now a done deal. The king of enthusiasm and optimism” (Rhodes 398).

Japan quickly expanded its Pacific empire, attacking American and British territorial possessions in the Philippines, Guam, Midway Island, Wake Island, Malaya, and Hong Kong. Their tactics were brutal and many more Americans lost their lives. The attack on Pearl Harbor as well as the Bataan Death March are often cited as justifications for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. President Truman’s statement notifying the American public of the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, included the following words: “The Japanese started the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many times over.”

Today, a memorial exists at Pearl Harbor to honor those who lost their lives that day. It includes the USS

Memorial, parts of Ford Island and Battleship Row. Built on the battleship that bears its name, the USS Arizona Memorial receives over 1.8 million visitors each year. You can read Alexandra Levy’s account of her visit to the memorials here.

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In December 2016, Shinzo Abe became the first sitting Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor. Abe asserted, “We must not repeat the horrors of war again. This is the solemn pledge that we, the people of Japan, have taken.” He also spoke of the “spirit of tolerance and the power of reconciliation” and offered

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