that has made America stronger. It helped America unite as
a country, allowing them to overcome greater obstacles. One
example is the recent tragedy of September 11. I believe that Pearl
Harbor helped unite America as a nation so when the bombing on
September 11 happened, it helped the U.S.
handle this tragedy.
In my report, I would like to tell you of the events leading up to the
day of the attack on Pearl harbor Essay and subsequent events.
In 1937, Japan invaded China and began waging a war on
them. Since Japan was militaristic, the official head of the Japanese
government did not have real power. Instead, the reins of
power were held by military officials. Military leaders convinced
Japanese people that they were under divine protection and could not
On September 27, 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite
Treaty with Germany and Italy, which joined them to the Axis Powers.
The Japanese invasion of China disturbed America, for the U.S.
and China had always been close allies. Many Americans were
alarmed by the increasingly hostile nature of Japan’s leaders and by
her powerful military thus when Chinese leader asked the U.S.
assistance, President Roosevelt declared a moral embargo. He also
started strengthening American defenses in the Pacific. The center
of activity was the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Japan saw the embargo on China as a threat. Japan asked to
be left alone, but America refused, insisting that they withdraw from
China. Soon the embargo began to hurt Japan’s economy.
decided to push America out of the Pacific. Japanese military leaders
warned that a long war with the U.S. would result in a Japanese
defeat. Japan believed that a knockout blow must be dealt to the
American’s at the very beginning. They decided to launch a sneak
attack on Pearl Harbor knowing that by destroying America’s Pacific
fleet, the U.
S. would not be able to fight back, and they would have to
surrender. In the months before the attack on United States bases in
the Pacific, the young Japanese men trained rigorously for service in
their country’s air forces. Several factors prevented the American
command from anticipating the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. Even
though the Americans had broken the secret Japanese diplomatic
code, the decoded messages were closely guarded. People in
important positions never received the valuable information in
Also, because of the economic depression
carried over from the 1930s, there was little money for new
equipment and more servicemen. Since Pearl Harbor was so
shallow, the American command felt that underwater torpedoes could
not be used against ships there. Finally, the Americans felt that
Japanese equipment and servicemen were inferior to their American
counterparts. However, the Americans did worry that sabotage was
likely at Pearl Harbor. To keep and eye on things, the commanders
grouped ships closely together in the harbor to keep them safe from
submarines. Airplanes on the island were lined up wingtip to wingtip
so that all could be watched by a few men.
This sort of thinking was
a setup for disaster. The ships and planes crammed together made
perfect sitting targets.
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the Japanese
took off to make a surprise attack on the U.S. naval fleet and airfield
at Pearl Harbor. Just before 8:00, waves of planes were swooping
down out of the sky.
The sailors thought they were just army planes
showing off; but then the lead plane released its bombs and a loud
alarm sounded”AIR RAID! NO DRILL!” The Japanese plan had
two parts. The most important target as “Battleship Row,” where the
most deadly of the United States ships were anchored. The airplanes
at the two main airfields were the second important target. With in
the first few minutes of the sneak attack, most of the United States
aircraft on the ground were in shambles, useless heaps of torn and
melting metal. The first battleship hit was the West Virginia, it sank
just a few minutes after the attack began. Then the battleship
Oklahoma was hit by three torpedoes.
The only possible order was
given: Abandon ship! Sailors began leaping into .