Why Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Happen – Pearl Harbor, a US naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, was the scene of a shocking surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Before 8:00 a.m. that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base. They destroyed or damaged nearly 20 US naval vessels, including eight battleships and over 300 aircraft. More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 were wounded. A day after the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was sudden, but Japan and the United States had been heading toward war for decades.
Why Did The Pearl Harbor Attack Happen
The United States was dissatisfied with Japan’s increasingly belligerent attitude toward China. The Japanese government believed that the only way to solve its economic and demographic problems was to expand into its neighbor’s territory and capture the import market.
How The Japanese Did It
To this end, Japan declared war on China in 1937, leading to the Nanjing Massacre and other atrocities.
US officials responded to the aggression with a battery of economic sanctions and trade embargoes. They argued that Japan would have to reinvigorate its expansion without access to money and goods, especially important supplies such as oil.
Instead, the punishment made the Japanese more determined to stand their ground. In months of talks between Tokyo and Washington, neither side is wavering. It seemed that war was all but inevitable.
Pearl Harbor in Hawaii is located in the center of the Pacific Ocean, about 2,000 miles from the US mainland and 4,000 miles from Japan. No one believed that the Japanese would attack the remote Hawaiian Islands and start a war.
America Learned The Wrong Lessons From Pearl Harbor
Additionally, American intelligence officials believed that any Japanese attack would be against one of the (relatively nearby) European colonies in the South Pacific: the Dutch East Indies, Singapore, or Indochina.
Because U.S. military leaders did not intend to attack too close to home, the naval facilities at Pearl Harbor were relatively unprotected. Almost the entire Pacific Fleet was grounded around Ford Island in the harbor, and hundreds of aircraft were crammed into the nearby airfield.
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. In the attack, 2,403 servicemen were killed, 1,178 were wounded, and six American ships were sunk or destroyed. They also destroyed 169 US Navy and Army aircraft.
Japanese torpedo bombers flew 50 feet above the water when they opened fire on the American ships in port, while other planes strafed the decks and dropped bombs.
The Uss Arizona’s Last Salvo
A sailor stands among the wrecked aircraft at Ford Island Naval Air Station as he watches the USS Shaw explode.
A sailor at Kenohee Bay Naval Station was attacked by a dive bomber that blew up Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field.
In a sneak attack on December 7, the Japanese blew up a pile of debris and the battleship USS Arizona ran aground in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Three of the dreaded nothing guns, on the left side, are made of almost completely submerged turrets. The control tower leans at a dangerous angle.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a white canvas-covered sloop was removed from the battleship USS Arizona.
What Happened In Seattle After The Pearl Harbor Attack In 1941
The Japanese army trained for about a year to prepare for this attack. The Japanese attack force, consisting of six aircraft carriers and 420 aircraft, departed from Hitokappu Bay in the Kuril Islands, covering a distance of 3,500 miles and 230 miles. From Oahu, Hawaii.
This Dec. 7 file photo shows an aerial view of a US Pacific Fleet warship in Pearl Harbor after a massive surprise attack by 360 Japanese warplanes.
A damaged B-17C Flying Fortress bomber sits on the tarmac near Hangar 5 at Hickam Field after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In the flooded dry harbor, the destroyer Cassin was partially submerged and another destroyer, Downeys, leaned against it. The battleship Pennsylvania, shown at the stern, was relatively undamaged.
Pearl Harbor: Attack, Deaths & Facts
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, two servicemen at Hickam Field sit on the wreckage of a bomber surrounded by bombs and sandbags.
The wreckage of a Japanese torpedo plane salvaged from the bottom of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1942.
Military personnel pay their respects near the mass graves of 15 officers and others who died in the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. An American flag was draped over the casket.
May 1942: Recruits at Naval Air Station Kaneho, Hawaii, rest at the graves of comrades killed in the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Graves have dug up the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Ulupa’U Crater at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe can be seen in the background.
What Today’s Leaders Can Learn From Pearl Harbor
Japan’s plan was simple: destroy the Pacific Fleet. In this way, the Americans would not be able to counterattack as Japanese armed forces were spread across the South Pacific. On December 7, after months of planning and training, the Japanese attacked.
Around 8 a.m., Japanese planes filled the skies over Pearl Harbor. Bombs and cannons rained down on the ships. At 8:10 a.m., a 1,800-pound bomb hit the battleship’s deck;
And landed in the ammunition magazine in front of him. The ship exploded and more than 1,000 people were trapped inside.
In all, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor crippled nearly 20 American ships and over 300 aircraft. Dry ports and airports were also destroyed. Most importantly, more than 2,000 people died.
How (almost) Everyone Failed To Prepare For Pearl Harbor
But the Japanese could not cripple the Pacific Fleet. By the 1940s, battleships were no longer the most important naval vessels: aircraft carriers became, and as it happened, all the carriers of the Pacific Fleet departed from the base on December 7 (some returned to the mainland, others delivered aircraft. Midway and Wake to the soldiers on the island.)
Moreover, the attack on Pearl Harbor cut off the base’s most important land facilities—oil storage depots, repair shops, shipyards, and submarine docks. As a result, the US Navy recovered relatively quickly from the attack.
The attack on Pearl Harbor killed 403 American personnel, including sailors, soldiers and civilians. In addition, 1,178 people were injured. 129 Japanese soldiers were killed.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses a joint session of the United States Congress on December 8, the day after the crushing attack on Pearl Harbor.
Why Did It Happen And What Came After It: The Attack On Pearl Harbor
“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, the day that will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the Navy and Air Force of the Empire of Japan.”
“No matter how long it takes for us to overcome this premeditated invasion,” he continued, “the American people, in their righteous power, will win an absolute victory.” “I believe I will express the will of Congress and the people in not only protecting ourselves to the utmost, but in making sure that this type of treachery never again endangers us.”
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, for the first time in years of discussion and debate, the American people were united in their determination to enter the war.
The Japanese wanted the United States to make an agreement to lift economic sanctions against them. Instead, they pushed their rivals into a global conflict that eventually led to Japan’s occupation by foreign powers.
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Do you know? The lone vote against Congress declaring war on Japan came from Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana. Rankin was a pacifist who also voted against US entry into World War I. “As a woman, I cannot go to war, and I refuse to send others.”
On December 8, Congress approved Roosevelt’s declaration of war on Japan. Three days later, Japan’s allies Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.
Congress responded a second time and challenged the great powers of Europe. More than two years after the start of World War II, the United States entered the conflict.
Take a trip through “The Day That Lived in Fame” by exploring the details that still amaze us 75 years later, including experts, military intelligence and even those who lived through it. History » World War II » Pearl Harbor » Why did it? Japan attacked Pearl Harbor? Comprehensive analysis
Pearl Harbor Facts To Remember About The Day Of Infamy
More than 75 years later, the question remains for students of World War II history: Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?
The attack on Pearl Harbor was the most successful military surprise attack in the early years of the Allied Sea-Air War. On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 led directly to the entry of the United States into WW2 and ultimately the release of the atomic bomb.
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