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Transcript of Pearl Harbor
December 7th, 1941 Japan was very dependent on America for resources: they received 80% of their oil from the USA
America set a partial embargo on Japan when they became too militarily aggressive in their territorial claims in Asia
By 1941, Japan was not able to get any resources from the USA, which they needed
Knew they would either have to give up territories or go to war with USA Pearl Harbor Naval Base At 6:00 a.m. on 7 December, the 6 Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 181 planes composed of torpedo bombers, dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters
A second wave of 170 Japanese planes, launched 30 minutes after the first
They concentrated their attacks on the moving battleship, hoping to sink it in the channel and block the narrow entrance to Pearl Harbor Both countries could foresee war as early as 1907
Japan knew that any war with America would be a naval war
America had one of the strongest navies at the time
Japan set up defense plan; staked submarines outside coast of Hawaii to destroy as many US ships as possible for they knew their navy was nowhere near as strong as USA’s
This plan worked until the outbreak of WW2 when USA decided to expand navy back to where it was for defense purposes
Purpose of Pearl Harbor was to destroy US’s naval base which was located in Oahu Hawaii Once America set a full embargo on Japan, the
attack plan for Pearl Harbor was devised Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, suggested an air attack on the US Pacific Fleet
Plan approved in October 1941 by naval general staff
Actual attack December 7th 1941
Attack lead by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo At 7:00 a.m., radar station at Opana spotted the approaching first wave of the attack force
Attack centered around 6 heavy aircraft carriers accompanied by 24 supporting vessels.
A separate group of submarines was to sink any American warships which escaped the Japanese carrier force.
Primary targets out of 90 American ships were the 8 battleships anchored there
All of these battle ships suffered varying degrees of damage in first half hour of the attack by 10:00, not even two hours after attack had started:
Twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged
188 aircrafts were completely destroyed and 159 damaged
Casualties reached a total of 2,403 American Perspective American Soldier William Czako wrote the following detailed letter of the attack
"It is now 9:05 Sunday morning and we've been bombed now for over an hour. Our anti aircraft guns are yammering and every so often a bomb strikes so close as to rock this ship. Again a bomb. We're helpless down here in the Forward Engine Room because our main engines are all tore down...
They really caught us sleeping this time...All the Battleships are in -- they came in this week and have been laying tied up. We have a few light cruisers that are out and we hope they can keep that invading fleet at bay until our ships that are undamaged and can get underway can get out of this trap. For a trap this Pearl Harbor has become...
We were under fire for nearly two hours and I'm going to sneak up to topside to see what happened." On December 6th, President Roosevelt wrote a letter to Emperor Hirohito of Japan
that letter stated Roosevelt's fear of an American-Japanese conflict
"Developments are occurring in the Pacific area which threaten to deprive each of our nations and all humanity of the beneficial influence of the long peace between our two countries. These developments contain tragic possibilities."
"I'm certain that it will be clear to Your Majesty, as it is to me, that in seeking these great objectives both Japan and the United States should agree to eliminate any form of military threat"
"a withdrawal of the Japanese forces from Indo-China would result in the assurance of peace throughout the whole of the South Pacific area." American Reaction American’s foresaw a conflict with japan but did not realize that the exact attack in Pearl Harbor was coming
Japan’s surprise attack was a success
Reaction of America went from shock, to disbelief, to anger
Day after attack, president Rosavelt made infamous speech that labeled December 7th as day that will live in infamy
Congress voted unanimously for war Japanese Perspective Japanese felt territorial expansion was vital for the survival of the country, for they too were suffering from the world wide depression
Japan's army occupied Manchuria, controlled China north of the Great Wall
The Japanese Army had over 700,000 troops in China,
Acts of aggression in Mukden, Shanghai
The Japanese captured Nanking, the Nationalist capital
Japan invaded Indo-China against America's wishes These territories provided with supplies and resources vital to Japan's survival One can see why Japan chose to go to war rather than give up all of their territories
For Japan, the Pearl Harbor attack was a way to ensure they could keep their land and survive as a country, despite the depression and the embargo placed upon the country
Japan saw the attack as a success
They felt their "command of the air was unchallenged" Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the first wave of the air attack shares his thoughts
"One hour and forty minutes after leaving the carriers I knew that we should be nearing our goal. Small openings in the thick cloud cover afforded occasional glimpses of the ocean"
"The effectiveness of our attack was now certain, and a message, 'Surprise attack successful!' was accordingly sent to Akagi at 0753."
"Pearl Harbor and the air bases had been pretty well wrecked by the fierce strafings and bombings. The imposing naval array of an hour before was gone. Antiaircraft fire had become greatly intensified, but in my continued observations I saw no enemy fighter planes. "  [1,4]   [5,2]    [4,6]