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Transcript of Pearl Harbor
There were many events that caused Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor. It began in September 1940, when the United States placed an embargo on Japan, outlawing certain exports because Japan was taking over more land. Also, the US, Netherlands, and Great Britain froze Japanese assets in their countries, thus cutting off 90% of raw materials required by Japan for war production. The US then demanded that the Japanese stop making actions towards further taking over areas in Asia, but this broke the Japanese diplomatic code.
Pearl Harbor was very unprepared for the attack. The day of the attack, anti-aircraft weapons were not manned, most of the ammunition was locked down, anti-submarine procedures were not cared for, and so on. Because of the ignorance of the United States towards incoming warnings, no one was prepared for the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor. Military officers in Pearl Harbor believed that Japan did not have an aircraft that could compete against the Army's B-24 bombers. The Navy had 33 PBYs in the islands, but only had three on patrol at the time of the attack. Because it was believed that Pearl Harbor had natural defenses against torpedo attacks, the navy didn't deploy any torpedo nets, because they are thought to be a difficulty on normal operation days. Overconfidence in their weapons and unpreparedness were two of the reasons that Pearl Harbor was such a fatal event.
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japan launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, ruining a peaceful Hawaiian morning, and damaging much of the naval vessels of the US. More than two thousand American soldiers and sailors were killed, and another one thousand were wounded. The Japanese destroyed about twenty American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and almost 200 airplanes. Pearl Harbor was a terrible event in our nation's history, one that will forever "live in infamy".
In addition, Japanese immigrants in America were under fire due to American racism, economic anxiety, and fear against the Japanese. This hatred resulted in many restrictions upon Japanese immigration and landholding. It also sparked boycotts, school segregation, and even personal violence against the Japanese. The Japanese were outraged by these discriminatory acts.
Although the attack on Pearl Harbor came as a shock to some Americans, it wasn't such a surprise to those who had been closely observing the affairs between the United States and Japan. Many clues support the fact that Japan might attack. A coded cablegram was collected from the United States Ambassador, Joseph Grew, and reported,"Japanese military forces plan to attempt a surprise mass attack." In addition, the United States intelligence officers were able to decode and read Japanese military communications, until shortly before the attack. There were several clues that should have caused the United States to be more alert about an attack. However, when all these clues were sent to the United States, no one took them as seriously as they should have, and were not alert or prepared for the attack. This lack of urgency was another reason why the United States was unprepared for the attack.
Joseph C. Grew, the United States Ambassador in Japan
He collected much information about the Japanese intentions and tactics, and sent them to the United States in a report. This helped the United States intelligence to figure out how to understand what the Japanese were intending to do.
The United States had many advantages over the Japanese. The Army and the Navy had special sections to decipher Japanese communications, two operations called MAGIC and PURPLE. Using these, the United States military and political leaders could see the most secretive communications between the Japanese government and its ambassadors in other countries. They could easily locate various Japanese Fleet units on naval maps. Despite Japan having a strict secrecy policy, the United State collected an incredible amount of information. However, even with many sources of information, they could not collect much information about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor was a terrible event in our nation's history. However, several actions of the United States provoked Japan to attack. Unpreparedness and miscommunication at Pearl Harbor also contributed to this fatal incident. The attack on Pearl Harbor could have been completely prevented, had it not been for many actions of the United States.
Japanese admiral who planned the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
and was a big reason for the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The disrespect towards Japan fueled the growing tensions between the United States and Japan,