Long before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the world’s second major war in action. This war is now known as World War II. It was a European problem between Germany, but it was a conflict fought worldwide. World War II started on September 1st, 1939 and ended September 2nd 1945. The two powers fighting against each other during this war were the Allies and the Axis powers. The Allies were made up of Republic of China, Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The leaders were Chiang Kai-Shek Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt. Meanwhile, the Axis powers had Germany Italy, and Japan on their side. Their leaders were Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo. (Encarta Encyclopedia and Wikipedia WWII) The battles during WWII were in diverse locations. Locations included Europe, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and Africa. World War II resulted in the deaths of over sixty million people, making it the deadliest conflict in human history. During six years of war, two radically new weapons were presented to the world, the long-range rocket and the atomic bomb. The final result ended with the Allied powers taking the victory and the creation of the United Nations. (Encarta Encyclopedia)
The attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the most horrible events during World War II. This was a surprise attack on the United States naval base located at Pearl Harbor. At dawn, on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, at exactly 7:55 A.M., Japan sent in their aircraft fleet to destroy the U.S Pacific Fleet. Later on December 8th, Japan attacked the Philippines, which was controlled by the U.S at the time, and it quickly fell to Japanese forces. On December 11th, Germany and Italy declared was on the United States. (Dauben 218-219)
Franklin Roosevelt was the leader of the United States at the time. Although known as a great leaser, there has been a rumor that he knew all about the attack at Pearl Harbor. The U.S had already broken the Japanese secret code known as the “Purple Code”. Shouldn’t have been enough access to a message alerting what the Japanese intentions were? Also, many people had discussed some reasonable points to believe that Roosevelt knew about the attack. They thought that it’s very strange that, the day before the attack, Roosevelt had spoken throughout the media pleading and begging the Japanese not to attack the United States. The next day, the catastrophe happened at the naval base at Pearl Harbor. (Sullivan 54-55 and Wikipedia WWII)
Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States had not taken part in the war, because when Japan invaded Asia, the U.S protested, cutting off all exports to Japan. As a result. The Japanese decided to cripple the U.S Pacific fleet. Admiral Yamamoto was the designer of the attack on Pearl Harbor and his plan was to cripple the fleet for about eighteen months. His plan was to attack and demolish certain parts of the base and leave the U.S without their powerful ships and aircraft. This way, Japan could then attack and capture the Philippines and Indo-China and secure access to raw material in order to maintain its economic power. Sadly for Yamamoto, the U.S was up and running effectively in about a year after December 7th. On December 8th, 1941, the U.S was partnering with the Allies powers to fight in war. (Encarta Encyclopedia) Many lives were lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Two thousand-four hundred and three people died, and estimates of one thousand-one hundred and seventy eight people were severely injured. The lost of battleships and aircraft was tragical. There was 5battleships, 3 destroyers, 3 cruisers, and 188 planes destroyed. One of the most famous battleships lost at Pearl Harbor was the U.S.S. Arizona which was hit by huge sixteen inch armor. Seconds later, it sunk to the bottom of the harbor. (Encarta Encyclopedia and Wikipedia WWII) During the whole war itself, tons of people died. On the side of the Allied powers, 17,000,000 military men, and 33,000,000 civilians were killed. On the Axis side a total of 12,000,000 both soldiers and civilians died. In all that’s 62,000,000 people in grave yards. (Encarta Encyclopedia) In order to fight in war, something had to be sacrificed. What better way then to let our most powerful weapon be attacked. That’s what the United States thought during the war in 1941. Many people died at the battle, but the U.S got its way of joining the war and partnering with the Allied powers. President Roosevelt well knew what was happening and didn’t do much about it. Instead he just sat back and acted surprised on December 7th, 1941, the day of the attack. Pearl Harbor wasn’t just another battle during World War II, it was what the U.S felt they had to sacrifice in order to fight in war.
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plead v. to use a particular reason or circumstance to excuse or justify behavior.
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Dauben, W. Joseph. Pearl Harbor (background). World Book 2001. 2001
Leaders. Wikipedia. <http://en.wikipedia.ord/wiki/World_War_Two#War_in_Asia_and_the _Pacific>
Sullivan, Robert. Our Call to Arms (The attack at Pearl Harbor). New York: LIFE BOOKS. 2001
World War II. Encarta Encyclopedia. <http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563737/World_War_II.html>
World War II. Wikipedia.