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The Attack on Pearl Harbor


Japan had recently signed an alliance with Germany and Italy stating that they were united as the Axis forces in 1940. The United States couldn't resolve problems with Japan, and citizens of the United States feared that the United States would intervene in the war, especially after Japan took control of China. Expecting war, the United States started to stock on supplies and weapons for their armies, and put their defenses on the Pacific coast. Part of the United States' navy was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The navy at Pearl Harbor would be the United States' main means of defending their territory and was there to help disrupt Japanese trade routes. The Japanese was forced to split the attention of its troops between their own country, where it was attacking, and defending a possible attack from the United States. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was responsible for planning and executing the suprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Peace talks with Japan had come to a halt, and on December 6th, 1941, the United States decoded a message that might have had an attack message. The United States immediately sent a commercial telegraph warning to Pearl Harbor, but for some reason the radio was down. The message didn't reach the base until after it was destroyed. The Japanese commenced the suprise attack promptly on December 7th, 1941. There were some aircraft on radar, but they thought that the aircraft was just reinforcements from the United States. (Radars weren't that sophisticated and high-tech back then.) When the attack came the crews were on the decks singing the national anthem, but they did not respond until the anthem was over. In the short battle eight battle ships were damage and five were sunk. Many other small ships were damaged and a total of 2,335 sailors died along with 68 civilians. When the news reached the people of the United States, a shock spread over the country. The United States then declared war on Japan, and the rest of the Axis forces quickly declared war on the United States in return. It wasn't until this point that the war was given the title World War II.


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Last updated  2008/09/28 06:40:59 PDTHits  683