Attack on Pearl Harbor
On the morning of December
7, 1941, warplanes took off from the decks of six aircraft carriers
of the Japanese Imperial Navy. Their mission was to strike a
crippling blow to the United States military forces stationed at
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Japanese leaders were ready to seize the rich
oil fields of the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia, and
believed a pre-emptive attack on the American military was necessary
to prevent American interference in the invasion plans. To accomplish
what they hoped was a "knockout blow", Japanese forces planned to
launch attacks on U.S. forces in the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam,
and, most importantly, at the U.S. Navy ships stationed at Pearl
Tensions between the U.S.
and Japan had been escalating for several years over America's
displeasure at the brutal war Japan was waging in China. The U.S.
gave moral support to the Chinese, including the fateful act of
cutting off sales of oil, tin, and scrap metals to Japan's industry.
As Japan had no oil resources of her own, the Japanese government
looked to their south at the lucrative oil fields of the Dutch East
Indies. In 1940, Nazi Germany conquered the Dutch homeland in Europe,
leaving the Dutch colonies in Asia in a very lonely and exposed
Given America's opposition
to their war in China, Japanese leaders assumed the U.S. would oppose
their attacks on the Dutch. U.S. military forces stationed in the
Philippines (located between Japan and the Dutch East Indies) and
based out of Pearl Harbor posed too great a threat to be left alone.
Thus, Japan decided to begin her Pacific War with a powerful blow at
Pearl Harbor, followed by attacks on American forces in the
Philippines and elsewhere. Japan harbored similar fears of British
involvement, and also launched successful attacks on British forces
at Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaya.
The attack on Pearl Harbor
caused great damage, sinking several powerful battleships, but the
top prize, America's Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, were not in
port at the time, as they were at that time delivering new planes and
supplies to American outposts on other islands. Japan damaged the
U.S. Navy, but did not cripple it. What they did do was make America
extremely angry and thirsting for revenge and retribution on their
new enemies. Thus began the four-year Pacific War portion of World
War Two between the U.S. and Japan.
and Pictures of the Attack on Pearl
between China and Japan)
Outcome: Japanese tactical victory
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Conflict: World War II, Pacific
Date: December 7, 1941
Location: Pearl Harbor,
Outcome: Japanese tactical
United States of America
Empire of Japan
Husband Kimmel --Admiral, U. S.
Walter Short -General--U.S.
Chuichi Nagumo --Admiral, Japanese
8 battleships, 6 cruisers,
29 destroyers, 9 submarines,
6 carriers, 2 battleships,
3 cruisers, 9 destroyers, 441 planes,
5 midget submarines
3,581 military, 103 civilians killed or
injured; 5 battleships sunk, 3 damaged;
3 cruisers sunk; 3 destroyers sunk;
188 planes destroyed,
155 planes damaged
29 planes destroyed,
55 airmen killed, 5 midget submarines
sunk, 9 submariners killed,
Sources on Pearl
Dawn We Slept-- by Gordon W.
Harbor Ghosts : The Legacy of December 7, 1941
Harry Turtledove: This speculative novel examines what could
have happened if the Japanese had launched a third air strike
and a follow-up invasion of Oahu.
Geographic - Pearl Harbor: Legacy of
on the Pearl Harbor attack.
fictional movie starring Ben Affleck. Not overly accurate in a
detailed historical sense, but it does give an idea of what the
attack itself was like to those at Pearl Harbor.
History Channel's Pearl
on the Pearl Harbor attack.
Geographic: Remembering Pearl
Harbor - with
multimedia map and time line, survivors' stories, and more.
At Pearl Harbor, 1941
- eyewitness account of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor Casualty List:December 7, 1941
Japanese Pilot Remembers
--account by a pilot from the Japanese carrier Akagi.
Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
- extensive information including images, action reports, and oral
histories from the U. S. Naval Historical Center.
Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
- overview and photos of the attack from the Naval Historical
- includes information about the Pearl Harbor visitors center and
the Arizona Memorial. Plus history, battle maps of the attack, and
personal accounts of survivors.
A Final Struggle Over the Pearl Harbor
--Sixty-three years ago today, Americans were shocked by news that
a Japanese force had attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl
Harbor. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the family of a U.S.
commander blamed for the attack refuses to accept the government's
version of events.
- moderated message board featuring expert information and serious
discussion on the attack of Pearl Harbor.
Raid Pearl Harbor
- collection of American and Japanese photographs showing Pearl
Harbor and the U.S. fleet before, during, and after the attack.
Monograph No. 97 : PEARL HARBOR OPERATIONS: General Outline of
Orders and Plans--Collection
of English-language orders from the Japanese military related to
the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Story: Pearl Harbor
- eyewitness accounts, chronology of events, a timeline of three
centuries of relations between the U.S. and Japan, and a teacher's
guide offered by Scholastic.
photographic look at the United States Navy during the attack on
of Infamy: December 7 and 9/11
- American Radioworks presents the recorded voices of ordinary
Americans as they reacted to two deadly surprise attacks against
the United States: Japan's assault on Pearl Harbor on December 7,
1941, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Harbor Attack, 1941
- presents a timeline of events, photos, and a map of the harbor
at 7:55 a.m., December 7, 1941.
- contains two Department of State bulletins from after the attack
and the text of a December 6th message from the President to the
Emperor of Japan.
Institute: Pearl Harbor
- compilation of magazine articles, books, photographs, oral
histories, and multi-media about Dec. 7, 1941, and the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor.
Diary - account
of a 17-year-old American girl living at Hickam Field, Hawaii, at
the time of the Pearl Harbor bombing.
Harbor Survivors Association
- veterans group that encourages the historical study of "The Day
Harbor Attack Hearings, The
- includes the Joint Congressional Committee report and eight
other official investigations into the attack.
Magazine: The Attack on Pearl
Harbor - picture
History Magazine: Pearl Harbor - Attack from
Below - naval
experts using digital photo imagery argue that Japanese midget
submarines did inflict damage during the attack.
Navy Ships -- Midget Submarines
- article about the Type A midget submarines used in the attack
plus images of recovered subs.
Geographic: Expedition Pearl
underwater investigation and reporting on the Arizona memorial
wreckage and other WWII ships, planes, and a possible Japanese
submarine on the seafloor off Pearl Harbor.
After Pearl Harbor, The
- documentary from Sound Portraits exploring recordings made by
the Library of Congress on December 8, 1941 interviewing U.S.
citizens about the Pearl Harbor bombing.
Harbor Pictures, Maps and Historical
features overview of the events on December 7, 1941 and
- collection of Japanese orders and plans regarding the attack on
U.S. Ships at Pearl
- straddles the sunken hull of the battleship USS Arizona and
commemorates the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor. From the National Park Service.
Memorial Museum Association
- produces interpretive and educational materials and operates
book and memorabilia shops at the USS Arizona Memorial visitor
center and parks on Molokai and Guam.
Harbor Memorial Fund
- campaign to raise funds to construct a new Pearl Harbor Memorial
Museum and Visitor Center. Site includes details on the memorial,
as well as facts and history about the tragic event.
Harbor and Arizona Memorial Web
Cam - live
Cultural Resources Study: USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor National
- document dealing with the sunken ship of Pearl
Arizona - University of Arizona Special
papers, photographs, and memorabilia of the USS
Arizona and Pearl Harbor
pictures and background.
Harbor: The USS Utah (BB31/AG16)
Story - official
site covering Pearl Harbor attack, actions of the crew, survivor
list, photo gallery, and more.
Utah (BB 31) -
official site from the United States Navy featuring ship
information, pictures, and statistics for the USS Utah.
Utah Story -
includes ship statistics, information, and pictures of the USS
USS West Virginia
USS West Virginia (BB-48)
- tribute to those who served aboard the Wee-Vee. Features the
ship's history, crew list, stories, and more.
Photo Archive: USS West Virginia
Virginia BB-48 -
article from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting
history of the ship plus statistics from the California Military
Ships -- USS California (BB-44)
- short article and images from the U.S. Naval Historical
the USS Oklahoma
- with photos, a roster of crew members, and more.
BB-37 - article
from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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History Guy Media; Last Modified: 12.04.16
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