Pearl Harbor and US Entry in WWII

Pearl Harbor and US Entry in WWII

The United States fleet in the Pacific was anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, while most American sailors were still asleep in their bunks, Japanese planes from aircraft carriers flew over Pearl Harbor bombing every ship in sight. The “surprise” attack lasted less than a few hours. In that time though, 2,400 Americans were killed, with 1,100 deaths solely from the battleship Arizona, and almost 1,200 were wounded. Besides that, 20 warships were sunk or severely damaged, and approximately 150 airplanes were destroyed. The American public was stunned by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but high government officials were only a bit surprised. After cracking the Japanese code sent through encryption over Japanese communications, the United States government had inklings of a Japanese attack in the Pacific. Their ideas though, mostly pointed to violence erupting in the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and Malaya. When the word reached them that nearly all of the entire Pacific fleet had been exterminated in Pearl Harbor with the exception of three battleships, they received a metaphorical “punch in the gut.” This “unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan,” as President Roosevelt put it, drew the United States into war with Japan, and was the sole reason, in this author’s nationalistic opinion, of the United States entry in World War II. In October of 1941, a final agreement was attempted by the Japanese to solve the problem of increasing aggression between the two nations over the problem of the United States embargo on oil. Japan needed oil to survive and without a sufficient oil supply arriving from the US, then Japan warned of a conquest in the Pacific to somehow get its oil. The United States offered a plan of a broad but simple settlement covering the entire Pacific area as a counter proposal to Japan’s previous offer. “The proposals which were presented by the Japanese Amb…


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