the United States
World War II
The surprise Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 brought the United States into
World War II. World War II had already been going on in Europe since
September of 1939, and the United States had stayed out of the war but
had help Britain, one of the United State's Allies, a few times.
The U.S. would not declare war on somebody unless there was a exact reason.
was provided by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, where the United States
Navy troops were based. Admiral Yamatnoto Isorku, Commander and Chief
of the Japanese combined fleet, planned the attack. The troops that
sailed to the attack on November 26,1941 was directed by Admiral Naguma
Chuichi. The fleet had six aircraft carriers, two battleships, three
cruisers, eleven destroyers, and about 360 planes. The Japanese
planes took off when the troops were 275 miles north of Hawaii. The
American ships were sitting in the harbor not moving unmanned since Sunday.
The brief battle came in two waves. The first wave reached Pearl
Harbor at 7:55 A.M. Hawaii time. The second wave was at 8:55 and
by 9:55 it was all over.
During this amazing battle, the
Arizona was destroyed with almost all the people on board, the California,
Nevada, and the West Virginia sank in low waters, and the
Oklahoma turned over. About 200 airplanes were damaged and
2,000 American personnel were killed. After that President Roosevelt
told Congress in a speech the event was a "date which will live in infamy",
and then declared war on Japan. In a few days Germany and Italy,
promised by treaty to Japan, declare on the United States.
Pearl Harbor intending to make the American fleet wage a war of victory.
It almost worked, but two things went wrong. First the American aircraft
carriers were not in port when the attack came and second the Japanese
did not bomb the oil supply adjacent to the harbor. This left a huge
supply of fuel for the planes and ships of Pearl Harbor that did survive.
The Pearl Harbor
Memorial is over the remains of the Arizona in Pearl Harbor.