What Happened At Pearl Harbor ?
On seventh December 1941, 7:55 am, as per Hawaii timing, a dive bomber from Japan appeared from the clouds covering Oahu Island. It bore on the wings the insignia of a red rising sun, the symbol of Japan and was followed by a fleet of three hundred and sixty Japanese warplanes. These planes brutally attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. This surprise attack came as a critical setback on the Pacific navy of US and drew the Americans irreversibly into the Second World War.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advice givers sensed the probability of Japanese attack as political negotiations with Japanese was weakening. In spite of this, no security measures had been taken at the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Like any other Sunday morning, on this day, most military personnel were out attending prayer service off the base. It was 7:02 am when a large flight of aircrafts coming towards the island was spotted. Since the US was expecting a flight of B-17s, they did not sound the alarm. So, they were taken by surprise when the Japanese aircraft launched an air assault on Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese reduced most of the island to rubble. The US lost 5 to 8 battleships, 3 destroyers, 7 more ships, and about 200 aircraft. Up to 2,400 American soldiers lost their lives and 1,200 got wounded in an attempt to courageously fight back. Japan, on the other hand, lost around 30 aircraft, 5 midget submarines and less than hundred men. Fortunately, the 3 giant Pacific aircraft carriers had been out for training maneuvers. These were used 6 months later during the Battle of Midway to avenge the earlier unbeaten Japanese navy by a remarkable victory.
One day later after the Pearl Harbor bombing, President Roosevelt at the Congress joint session stated that the attack was perpetrated on purpose by the Empire of Japan. After the speech he requested Congress to agree to a resolution of war amongst America and Japan. The Senate votes for war with Japan were eighty two to zero, whereas the House of Representatives agreed to the resolution vote rate being three hundred eighty eight to one. Only Jeannette Rankin of Montana voted against the US entering the Second World War.
Italy and Germany declared war with America after 3 days, to which the US government responded in kind. The US emerged successful in the 4-year long war, but lost around 400,000 American soldiers.
More Articles :
History.com: Pearl Harbor Bombed