Pearl Harbor Attack
War is one of the calamities that have affected many nations since time immemorial. United States and Japan have a complex history on war and many other conflicts. For instance, the road to war between Japan and Untied States began in 1930s when there were differences on who to imperialize China. This conflict and struggle to seize China and utilize is resources led to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. It was a surprise attack conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base.
It all started in 1931 when Japan captured Manchuria, a region within China and then began a campaign to seize the rest of China by 1937. In 1940, Japanese government formed the Axis Alliance with Nazi Germany and seized all of Indochina. The U.S was alarmed by the Japanese motives to capture most of China as it had hidden political and economic interests in the East Asia and surrounding areas. U.S increased its financial and military aid to china in order to strengthen its military power and detach any oil and raw material shipment to Japan.
Japan did not take this idea by its rival well and anticipated it as a threat to its survival. Surprisingly, it had to respond immediately before all available resources could be drained by U.S. with this plan well set, the only problem to the Japanese forces was the U.S Pacific fleet based at the Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander of the Japanese fleet opted for one solution, a surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor. The key components of the commander were to use aircraft carriers and naval aviation and attack the U.S troops in the Harbor.
The Japanese attack force placed six heavy aircraft carriers combined with 24 supporting vessels. A distinct group of submarines was also deployed for the attack in order to sink any American warships which could escape the Japanese carrier force. Prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, two reconnaissance aircraft launched cruisers to scout over Oahu and then report about the U.S fleet composition and location. On the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Japanese bout on the Pearl Harbor began. The first wave of Japanese aircraft carriers reached the U.S naval station in the Harbor at 7.55 a.m. a coded message informed Japanese navy that the American troops in the harbor have been caught unaware.
Being a surprise attack, most of the American warships were hit and destroyed by the first torpedoes and bombs and the damage was severe. Fortunately, none of the U.S aircraft carriers was caught in the attack as they were out to the sea, but not at the harbor. The seven U.S battleships that were caught following the surprise attack were Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland, Oklahoma and California.
An attack on the airfields meant that the Japanese had control over the skies above Pearl Harbor and it will not be easy for the U.S to respond using their aircrafts. The first wave caught most of the navies unaware after hitting the dormitories, mess balls and the planes, hangers and other buildings in the vicinity. There was little for the U.S troops to do though they were able to shoot a few Japanese planes. By 9:45 a.m., the attack on the Pearl Harbor was over and the Japanese planes returned to their aircraft carriers.
The damage was already done as American lost much weaponry and the death toll was quite high. A total of 2,334 servicemen were killed and 1,143 were injured. 68 civilians were killed and 35 wounded. On the other hand, Japan lost 29 aircraft and five midget subs and damage that never affected their mission. It did not take long before news of the Pearl Harbor attack spread like wildfire throughout the U.S. by 12:30 a.m. the following day after attack; President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave an address to congress where he asked the congress to declare war on Japan. The congress declared war and United States was ready to join the World War II.
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