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Running Head: THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 1

Title: The Pearl Harbor Attack

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Running Head: THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 2

Pearl Harbor attack came as a surprise to the United States, despite both States (Japan

and United States) pushing for war for decades. Japans hostility attitude towards China made

United States Unhappy for this behavior. The government of Japan presumed the only way of

solving the demographic and economic issues in the country was by expanding its borders to its

neighbors region and over through its import markets. In 1937 Japanese Government had

proclaimed war against China. United States officials reacted to this hostility with a series of

trade bans and economic penalties. Americans thought with all the trade bans and financial

punishments Japan would withdraw their attack towards China, but these prohibitions and

penalties made Japan stand their ground and more determined on their attack. Negotiations

between Washington D.C and Tokyo both sides did not agree, and the war was inevitable.

War declaration against Japan was a single vote which was against the Congress, from a

pacifist Jeannette Rankin of Montana. She also had voted against America joining World War I.

She said. I cannot go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.

No one imagined that Japan was in a position of starting a war with an attack on America

region. For one, it would be inconvenient: Japan and Hawaii were very close about 4,000 miles.

Another reason, United States intelligence officials had confidence over any attack from Japan

would not be anywhere close to home (America). A Naval facility at the Pearl Harbor had no

defense, so the entire Fleet of the Pacific was secured around the Ford Island in the harbor,

Planes pushed to neighboring airfields. According to Japanese Government, the Pearl Harbor

was an irresistible target.


Running Head: THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 3

The government of Japan strategy was simple; eliminate the Pacific Fleet and that way

the United States would not be in a position to fight back as Japanese army was spread across the

South Pacific. On 7th December several months after strategizing, the Japanese Government

attacked the Pearl Harbor.

Around 8 A.M Japanese forces flew over the Pearl Harbor raining bullets and bombs on

the secured vessels below. Ten minutes later a 1,800- pound bomb destroyed the deck of the

battleship USS Arizona landing in her ammunition magazine, exploding and sinking the ship

with more than 1,000 men onboard (Twomey, 2016). Next, an underwater missile exploded the

USS Oklahoma battleship with 400 people onboard. At the time the attack was coming to an end

all the Pearl Harbor battleships were destroyed (in all of the battleships only two were recovered

and repaired; USS Arizona and USS Utah).

Pearl Harbor attack killed almost twenty battleships and aircraft of the Americans. At

least 2,500 soldiers were killed, and 1,000 more were injured. Japanese Government despite the

assault failed to destroy the Pacific Fleet. BY the time they launched their attack the battle ship

was not the most famous naval vessel, the Americans had advanced to Aircraft carriers. It

happened that the fleet carriers were not on the Pearl Harbor on 7th December. Also, the Pearl

Harbors assaults and other vital on shore facilities like the oil storage depots, shipyards,

submarine docks, and repair shops had been moved to the mainland.

Japanese Government wanted to provoke the United States into the lift of the economic

punishments agreement against them, but instead, they had pushed their enemy into a global

conflict resulting to Japan being occupied by a foreign power (Dahl, 2013).


Running Head: THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 4

The United States before the attack was trying to solve the Japanese problem with

interstate talks which the US intelligence did not see any future of the diplomatic relation. The

American communication specialist using the sensitive missive method broke the Japanese codes

and so they could read all messages from Tokyo to other embassies. But still, they thought Japan

was not a threat to them. Japan took advantage of the America's ignorance to launch their attack

on their territory.
Running Head: THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK 5

References

Dahl, E. J. (2013). Intelligence and Surprise Attack. California: Georgetown University Press.

Twomey, S. (2016). Countdown to Pearl Harbor. Washington, DC: Simon and Schuster.