Pearl Harbor Facts and Information
Many Americans believe that the attack on Pearl Harbor came out of the blue, but in reality tensions had steadily been building between the two countries since the 1920s. The United States was concerned over Japan’s attempt to expand its borders in order to have access to a wider range of natural resources. In an attempt to gain access to more goods, Japan had begun a military campaign into China and Manchuria in 1931. As a result of this the United States of America had started enforcing trade sanctions against Japan. The two countries began a series of tense negotiations over policies and other issues that lasted for nearly a decade.
As Japan expanded its plan to gain more natural resources by conquering other countries, it remained in negotiations with the United States in an attempt to end the embargo that the United States had placed against them. The United States government realized that there may be a conflict or a war between the country and Japan and had begun to build up its military presence in the Pacific Ocean. After failure to come to an agreement by November 26, 1941, Japan’s emperor made the decision to move aggressively against the United States. The attack also served as a way to protect itself as Japan began a new military campaign in southern Asia.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was designed to destroy the military force in the Pacific. Japan launched nearly four hundred aircraft from six different carriers as well as using midget submarines to launch torpedoes at the battleships in Pearl Harbor. The Japanese pilots were effective in wiping out the airfields and destroying or damaging over 300 planes, making it difficult for the United States to retaliate and drive off the force. The attack stayed primarily on the military bases, and did not directly endanger the major cities on Oahu. Japan managed to damage eight battleships and ten other ships in the harbor. The United States loss 2403 lives, most of which occurred when the U.S.S. Arizona exploded and sank. Japan lost more than sixty lives in the attacks.
The response to the attack was immediate, and it is what pushed the United States into World War II. The United States set up internment camps for Japanese Americans and forced them to stay there throughout the remainder of the war. The battle in the Pacific Ocean lasted longer than the war in Europe, and the end result was the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan. People still remember the attack on Pearl Harbor in the United States each year.
General Pearl Harbor Facts
- Although many people know that Pearl Harbor is what catapulted the United States into World War II, it is also the place where the peace treaty between Japan and the United States was signed.
- Pearl Harbor is located on the Hawaii Island Oahu. There are four museums to visit and over 1.5 million people go each year.
- The word Oahu means gathering place, and though this is only the third largest island, it is the most populated. In addition to having Pearl Harbor, it also has the state capital of Honolulu on it.
- Speaking of the attacks president Roosevelt said that December 7th would be “a date that will live in infamy.” Many Americans still remember the attacks.
- President Roosevelt called an investigation into why the attacks were so successful, but the generals in charge of the bases were not charged with a crime.
Japan and the Attack on Pearl Harbor
- The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted for nearly two hours. It came in two waves of bombing planes.
- The trade embargos, set by the United States against Japan to inhibit their growth, are what caused Japan to attack the United States.
- Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagume was in charge of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
- Japan used wartime propaganda to win over its people to the idea that United States and other countries were oppressing them. Additionally they carried the propaganda campaign into the other nations they conquered during World War II.
- The talks between the U.S. and Japan disintegrated around November 26, 1941, and President Roosevelt sent a message to the Emperor of Japan on December 6th about his concerns of the actions in the Pacific regions.
Facts About the Battleships
- Nearly half of the casualties from the attack on Pearl Harbor happened aboard the U.S.S. Arizona, which sunk as a result of the attack.
- The U.S.S Arizona continues to leak fuel today. Additionally, veterans who served on the U.SS. Arizona can have their remains interred there with special permission from the U.S. Navy.
- Of the eight battle ships located in Pearl Harbor during the attacks, half of them were destroyed. Although some of them were later rebuilt and repaired.
- The U.S.S Nevada continued firing after it was hit and managed to take down a torpedo plane.
- The reason the U.S.S. Arizona sank was because it took a direct hit to its ammunition stores, which caused it to blow up.
Facts About the Airfields at Pearl Harbor
- The airfields were one of the targets on the attack list. There were over 140 planes on the airfield at the time of the attack and two thirds of them were destroyed.
- Mitsuo Fuchia was the general who led the air attack on Pearl Harbor. He was thirty-nine years old at the time of the attack.
- There were three military airfields on the island of Oahu during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Hickman, Wheeler and Bellows fields. The Hickman field focused on bombers, while the Wheeler and Bellows fields focused on fighter jets.
- The Army Air Corp pilots were the ones who were able to send up fighter jets and take down Japanese planes as a defense measure during the attack.
- One reason the planes could not retaliate is because japan was successful in damaging 159 planes and destroying 188 more.
Aftermath of Attack of Pearl Harbor
- 2388 people from the United States were killed in the attacks on Pearl Harbor. 64 Japanese soldiers were killed.
- There were at least nine different songs recorded about the attacks on Pearl Harbor in the year following the attacks. These songs served as a rallying cry throughout the United States.
- As a result of the attack many internment camps were set up in the United States for Japanese Americans. These people were forced into camps similar to concentration camps for the protection of the United States, even if they were currently U.S. citizens.
- The attacks on Pearl Harbor pulled the United States into World War II. The country up to this point had been reluctant to get involved with the affairs in Europe and Asia.
- The attacks on Pearl Harbor changed the way the country viewed national security and affected the policies at all different levels of law enforcement, including the FBI.