The Attack On Pearl Harbor Essay, Research Paper
Sunday December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack at the U.S Pacific at Pearl Harbor. Japan planned a surprise attack because they did not have the resources for a long war. Many U.S aircraft and submarines were destroyed while trying to save Pearl Harbor. There were 2,335 deaths and 1,178 wounded. The Japanese planes departed, leaving behind a dreadful toll of destruction.
On November 12, 1940, British bombed a harbor in Italy. United States officials were worried that the same thing would happen to them so they took Great Precautions. Rumors were going on about Pearl Harbor getting bombed, but it did not effect anyone. After four or five warnings and several codes being passed through, they took precautions. U.S got their armies ready and they prepared for an attack, but after several months gone by, nothing has happened, so they decided it was just a false alarm.
Before entering World War II, Japan had many other problems to deal with. It had begun to rely more and more for raw materials (especially oil) from outside sources because their land was so lacking in these. Despite these difficulties, Japan began to build a successful empire with a solid industrial foundation and a good army and navy. The military became highly involved in the government, and this began to get them into trouble. In the early 1930’s, the Japanese Army had many small, isolated battles with the Chinese in Manchuria. The Japanese Army prevailed in the series of battles, and Manchuria became a part of the Japanese political system. In 1937, the conflicts began again with the Chinese in the area near Beijing’s Marco Polo Bridge. Whether or not these conflicts began inadvertently or whether they were planned is unknown. These led to a full-scale war known as the second Sino-Japanese War. This was one of the bloodiest wars in world history and continued until the final defeat of Japan in 1945.
There were peace talks occurring up until about November 27, 1941. At that time, negotiations had come to a halt. The United States put its troops on alert. On December 6, 1941, President Roosevelt made an appeal for peace to the Emperor of Japan. Not until late that day did the U.S. decode thirteen parts of a fourteen-part message that presented the possibility of a Japanese attack. Approximately 9 a.m. (Washington time) on December 7,1941, the last part of the fourteen part message was decoded stating a severance of ties with the United States. An hour later, a message from Japan was decoded as instructing the Japanese embassy to deliver the fourteen part message at 1 p.m. (Washington time). The U.S., upon receiving this message sent a commercial telegraph to Pearl Harbor because radio communication had been down.
At 6 a.m. (Hawaiian time) on December 7,1941, the first Japanese attack fleet of 183 planes took off from aircraft carriers 230 miles north of Oahu. At 7:02 a.m., two Army operators at a radar station on Oahu’s north shore picked up Japanese fighters approaching on radar. They contacted a junior officer who disregarded their sighting, thinking that it was B-17 bombers from the United States West Coast. The first Japanese bomb was dropped at 7:55 a.m. on Wheeler Field, eight miles from Pearl Harbor. The crews at Pearl Harbor were on the decks of their ships for morning colors and the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner. Even though the band was interrupted in their song by Japanese planes gunfire, the crews did not move until the last note was sung. The telegraph from Washington had been too late. It arrived at headquarters in Oahu around noon (Hawaiian time), four long hours after the first bombs were dropped. Of the approximately 100 U.S. Navy ships present in the harbor that day, eight battleships were damaged with five sunk. Eleven smaller ships Including cruisers and destroyers were also badly damaged. Among those killed were 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians. The wounded included 1,178 people. The U.S.S. Arizona was dealt the worst blow of the attack. A 1,760-pound bomb struck it, and the ammunition on board exploded killing 1,177 servicemen. Today, there is a memorial spanning the sunken remains of the Arizona dedicated to the memory of all those lost in the bombing.
News of the attack was a shock to the entire nation. The bombing rallied the United States behind the President in declaring war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S., bringing about a global of conflict. The United States would later drop two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing Japan to complete surrender on August 14, 1945.