“It is the cause and not the death that makes the martyr.”
On December 7th, 1941, before many Americans were even awake, the Japanese Navy struck the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor with a surprising and deadly attack.
- Pearl Harbor is a United States naval base located west of Honolulu on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii.
- It was the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II.
- Due to the fact that it was a Sunday morning, many of the soldiers were sleeping and were completely unaware of the catastrophe that was soon to be upon them all.
- The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan was supposed to be a preventive attack used to scare the United States from interfering with Japans’ plan to wage war against Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Although this was a very good strategic victory for the Japanese, they used huge amounts of resources for this one attack.
- There were two waves of planes that attacked the U.S Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The first arrived at 7:55 a.m. and consisted of 183 planes. The second wave arrived almost an hour later with 167 planes. There were very few soldiers ready to fight on cue, thus the damage and devastation was quite severe.
- In all, the Japanese sank or damaged 188 aircraft, eight U.S. Navy battleships, three destroyers, three cruisers, and one minelayer. The damage caused to the Japanese navy was very small, Only 29 aircraft out of 350 were destroyed.
- There were 2,403 people killed, 68 of those were civilians. 1,178 were wounded.
- There had been a declaration of war sent to the United States by the Japanese before the attack even happened, but the United States thought that it was an ending to negotiations. This mistake proved deadly.
- The Four U.S. Navy battleships that were destroyed were the USS Arizona, the USS Nevada, the USS Oklahoma, and the USS West Virginia.
- The Japanese thought that the battleships were the primary source of the United States strength, but they failed to realize that the aircraft carriers and submarines would be sufficient enough to stop them in the end.
- Although the Empire of Japan caused huge amounts of damage to the United States, there were still many members in congress that did not want to go to war, and felt the need was quite small. However, this did not stop the United States from declaring war with Japan the very next day.
- Lastly, one of the main reasons that the Pearl Harbor attack did not succeed was because this very attack helped spur the Americans onward and proved to be a huge rallying point for the troublesome days, months, and years that lay ahead.
December 26, 2010, 4:20pm / 35