The ships anchored in the harbour made perfect targets for the Japanese bombers, and, because it was Sunday morning a time chosen by the Japanese for maximum surprisethey were not fully manned. Most of the damage to the battleships was inflicted in the first 30 minutes of the assault. The battleship USS Arizona blew up with a tremendous explosion.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaiiis located near the center of the Pacific Ocean, roughly 2, miles from the U. Therefore, no one believed that the Japanese would start a war with an attack on the distant islands of Hawaii.
Additionally, American intelligence officials were confident that any Japanese attack would take place in one of the relatively nearby European colonies in the South Pacific: Because American military leaders were not expecting an attack so close to home, the naval facilities at Pearl Harbor were relatively undefended.
Almost the entire Pacific Fleet was moored around Ford Island in the harbor, and hundreds of airplanes were squeezed onto adjacent airfields. To the Japanese, Pearl Harbor was an irresistibly easy target.
Destroy the Pacific Fleet. On December 7, after months of planning and practice, the Japanese launched their attack.
At about 8 a. Bombs and bullets rained onto the vessels moored below. The ship exploded and sank with more than 1, men trapped inside. Next, torpedoes pierced the shell of the battleship USS Oklahoma.
With sailors aboard, the Oklahoma lost her balance, rolled onto her side and slipped underwater. Impact of the Pearl Harbor Attack In all, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor crippled or destroyed nearly 20 American ships and more than airplanes.
Dry docks and airfields were likewise destroyed. Most important, 2, sailors, soldiers and civilians were killed and about 1, people were wounded. But the Japanese had failed to cripple the Pacific Fleet. By the s, battleships were no longer the most important naval vessel: Some had returned to the mainland and others were delivering planes to troops on Midway and Wake Islands.
As a result, the U. Navy was able to rebound relatively quickly from the attack. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of the U. Congress on December 8, the day after the crushing attack on Pearl Harbor. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
Rankin was a pacifist who had also voted against the American entrance into World War I. For the second time, Congress reciprocated, declaring war on the European powers.
Start your free trial today.Legacy US Navy web content. A Brief History of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers Pearl Harbor - Carrier aircraft of the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor.
In the spring of , Japanese carrier pilots began training in the special tactics called for by the Pearl Harbor attack plan.
In October the naval general staff gave final approval to Yamamoto's plan, which called for the formation of an attack force commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. Pearl Harbor had been an obvious target—so obvious, in fact, that John Huston was at work at the time on a movie about a fictional Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor.
After the attack, Huston scurried to change the target in the film from Pearl Harbor to the Panama Canal. Shortly before on 7 December , Japanese forces launched an attack on Pearl Harbor.
The intent was to undermine the ability of the U.S. Pacific Fleet to counter expansion of the Japanese empire in Southeast Asia. The following article on what happened after the attack of Pearl Harbor is an excerpt from Bill Yenne’s Panic on the Pacific.
It is available to order now from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. December 7, , arrived as a quiet Sunday morning on the West Coast. It didn’t stay that way for. No American military engagement has undergone more post-mortems than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Between and , various departments of .