The Pearl Harbor attack was a surprise aerial attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor is the United States naval base located on Oahu Island, Hawaii. The Japanese’s entry on Pearl Harbor provoked United States involvement in World War II. This attack caused the worst relationship between the United States and Japan for more than a decade. Like the surprise Japanese attack, these interesting facts about Pearl Harbor leave you in surprise.
This attack was known as the most devastating Japanese assault in history. On Saturday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes appeared on the base, where these forces successfully destroyed or damaged around 20 American naval vessels that include eight battleships and more than 300 aeroplanes. Over 2,400 Americans died during this attack, including civilians and 1000 people were injured. On the next day, Franklin D. Roosevelt,32nd president of the United States, urged Congress to declare war on Japan.
Why Did Japanese Forces Attack Pearl Harbour?
Who Bombed Pearl Harbor?
- A. China
- B. Australia
- C. Israel
- D. Japan
The Japanese forces initiated the attack as a defensive action to stop the United States Pacific Fleet from engaging with its planned military activities in Southeast Asia. Japan believed that once the U.S. Pacific Fleet was weakened, all of Southeast Asia could be easily conquered. The Pearl Harbor assault was one of the most significant moments of the war.
The Impact of the Pearl Harbor Attack
The attack not only caused destruction and damages on nearly 20 US ships but also caused 2403 deaths and 1000 were wounded.
As a result of this assault, American naval presence in the Pacific was weakened. Japan ignored the harbor’s infrastructure and several damaged ships were repaired on-site so that they could be returned to duty. Additionally, the Pacific Fleet’s three aircraft carriers were no longer kept at Pearl Harbor. One was registered to return the day before the attack, but due to bad weather, it was delayed. American was made up their minds to favour war with Japan.
Interesting Facts About the Pearl Harbor That You May Not Know
The idea of an attack on Pearl Harbor was devised by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. He was a former student of Harvard University who also served as Japan naval attaché in Washington. Yamamoto knew that the United States had more resources than Japan. He also knew Japan could not stand a chance against the US. Japan only could win if they attacked surprisingly without declaring the news.
Japanese forces received training for almost a year to prepare themselves for the attack. They used wooden fins to their aerial torpedoes and made other changes so that they could execute the plan of destroying Pearl Harbor, standing 45 feet.
Japan used six aircraft carriers and 420 planes for this attack and sailed from Hitokappu Bay in the Kuril Islands.
During the first wave of the attack, Japanese forces used 180 aircraft that included high-level bombers, torpedo planes, dive bombers and fighters. In the second wave, they used the same aircraft with more dive bombers and did not use torpedo planes.
As per the 2016 article by retired US Navy Commander Alan D Zimm, Mitsuo Fuchida, a Japanese Captain led the aerial attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese attack lasted almost 2 hours.
Though the Japanese attacked without any alert, the US service fought back hard and managed to fire over 284,000 loads of ammunition at the Japanese forces.
Japan also suffered the loss including 29 aircraft, five midget submarines and 129 people died and one person was taken to prison.
Challenge yourself with our exciting Pearl Harbor trivia to expand your US history knowledge.