Pearl Harbor Attack

 

Blue Dunwoody

  

Copyright 2018 by Blue Dunwoody

   

Photo of Japanese plane dropping a torpedo.

The​ ​attack​ ​on​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​was​ ​a​ ​surprise​ ​to​ ​all​ ​of​ ​America,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​a​ ​surprise​ ​to​ ​Japan​ ​that​ ​it was​ ​successful.​ ​Kenneth​ ​T.​ ​Jackson​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Gilder​ ​Lehrman​ ​Institute​ ​of​ ​American​ ​History​ ​claims, "Admiral​ ​Yamamoto​ ​had​ ​every​ ​reason​ ​to​ ​be​ ​proud.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​only​ ​two​ ​reasons​ ​for​ ​immediate​ ​concern.​ ​First, the​ ​three​ ​large​ ​American​ ​aircraft​ ​carriers​ ​attached​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Pacific​ ​Fleet​ ​were​ ​not​ ​in​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​but​ ​were at​ ​sea​ ​on​ ​a​ ​practice​ ​mission,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​aviators​ ​could​ ​not​ ​find​ ​them."​ ​The​ ​article​ ​writes​ ​several ships​ ​were​ ​terminated,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​crewmen​ ​accompanying​ ​them.​ ​The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​protested​ ​against Japan’s​ ​decisions​ ​towards​ ​China,​ ​so​ ​Japan​ ​saw​ ​them​ ​as​ ​a​ ​threat​ ​and​ ​decided​ ​on​ ​war​ ​with​ ​America.​ ​The attack​ ​on​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​was​ ​part​ ​of​ ​a​ ​strategy​ ​of​ ​conquest​ ​in​ ​the​ ​western​ ​Pacific.​ ​Ultimately,​ ​Japan’s​ ​only hope​ ​of​ ​success​ ​was​ ​to​ ​a​ ​quick​ ​and​ ​decisive​ ​victory,​ ​thus​ ​the​ ​origins​ ​of​ ​the​ ​surprise​ ​attack.​ ​By​ ​the beginning​ ​of​ ​1942,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​retreating​ ​without​ ​a​ ​fatal​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​honor​ ​and​ ​bravery​ ​to​ ​America​ ​and​ ​its citizens.

The​ ​commotion​ ​between​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​nations​ ​began​ ​in​ ​1931.​ ​Japanese​ ​army​ ​extremists,​ ​in​ ​defiance of​ ​government​ ​policy,​ ​invaded​ ​the​ ​northernmost​ ​Chinese​ ​province​ ​of​ ​Manchuria.​ ​As​ ​a​ ​result,​ ​Americans protested​ ​against​ ​Japan’s​ ​attack,​ ​but​ ​Japan​ ​ignored​ ​the​ ​protests.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​summer​ ​of​ ​1937,​ ​Japan​ ​launched​ ​a full​ ​attack​ ​on​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​China.​ ​The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​was​ ​not​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​use​ ​military​ ​force​ ​to​ ​halt​ ​Japanese expansion,​ ​nor​ ​was​ ​any​ ​other​ ​nation​ ​protesting​ ​against​ ​Japan’s​ ​acts.

The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​applied​ ​both​ ​diplomatic​ ​and​ ​economic​ ​pressures​ ​to​ ​try​ ​to​ ​resolve​ ​the Sino-Japanese​ ​conflict.​ ​Therefore,​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​government​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​seeing​ ​America​ ​as​ ​a​ ​threat​ ​to​ ​their national​ ​security.​ ​While​ ​the​ ​nations​ ​we​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​settle​ ​the​ ​disputes,​ ​Japan​ ​decided​ ​on​ ​war.​ ​The​ ​author states​ ​the​ ​attack​ ​on​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​was​ ​part​ ​of​ ​a​ ​strategy​ ​of​ ​conquest​ ​in​ ​the​ ​western​ ​Pacific.​ ​The​ ​objective was​ ​to​ ​prevent​ ​the​ ​Pacific​ ​Fleet​ ​from​ ​advancing​ ​so​ ​The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​would​ ​not​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​interfere​ ​with invasion​ ​plans.​ ​Japan​ ​attacked​ ​quickly​ ​with​ ​all​ ​forces​ ​in​ ​their​ ​power.

On​ ​November​ ​26,​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​attack​ ​fleet​ ​sent​ ​33​ ​warships​ ​and​ ​auxiliary​ ​craft​ ​from​ ​northern Japan​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Hawaiian​ ​islands.​ ​By​ ​December​ ​7,​ ​the​ ​ships​ ​had​ ​reached​ ​their​ ​destination,​ ​230​ ​miles​ ​north​ ​of Oahu.​ ​At​ ​6​ ​a.m.​ ​the​ ​first​ ​wave​ ​of​ ​bombers​ ​and​ ​torpedoes​ ​took​ ​off.​ ​The​ ​night​ ​before​ ​December​ ​7,​ ​five​ ​mini-submarines​ ​stood​ ​10​ ​miles​ ​outside​ ​the​ ​entrance​ ​to​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor.​ ​The​ ​mini-submarines​ ​carried​ ​two crewman​ ​and​ ​two​ ​torpedoes,​ ​each.​ ​They​ ​had​ ​to​ ​enter​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​before​ ​the​ ​airstrike,​ ​remain​ ​submerged until​ ​the​ ​attack​ ​got​ ​underway,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​cause​ ​as​ ​much​ ​damage​ ​as​ ​possible.

Seven​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fleet’s​ ​nine​ ​battleships​ ​were​ ​tied​ ​up​ ​along​ ​Battleship​ ​Row,​ ​on​ ​the​ ​southeast​ ​side​ ​of Ford​ ​Island.​ ​Naval​ ​aircraft​ ​were​ ​lined​ ​up​ ​at​ ​Ford​ ​Island​ ​and​ ​Kaneohe​ ​Bay​ ​Naval​ ​Air​ ​Stations,​ ​and​ ​Marine aircraft​ ​at​ ​Ewa​ ​Marine​ ​Corps​ ​Air​ ​Station.​ ​At​ ​Hickam,​ ​Wheeler​ ​and​ ​Bellows​ ​airfields,​ ​aircraft​ ​of​ ​the​ ​U.S. Army​ ​Air​ ​Corps,​ ​were​ ​set​ ​in​ ​groups​ ​as​ a ​defense​ ​against​ ​possible​ ​attacks.​ ​At​ ​6:40​ ​a.m.,​ ​the​ ​crew​ ​of​ ​the destroyer​ ​USS​ ​Ward​ ​noticed​ ​the​ ​conning​ ​tower​ ​of​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mini​-submarines​ ​heading​ ​towards​ ​the entrance​ ​of​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor.​ ​The​ ​Ward​ ​sank​ ​the​ ​submarine​ ​with​ ​depth​ ​charges​ ​and​ ​gunfire.​ ​Shortly​ ​after​ ​they sunk​ ​the​ ​submarine,​ ​they​ ​radioed​ ​the​ ​situation​ ​to​ ​headquarters.

A​ ​little​ ​before​ ​7​ ​a.m.,​ ​the​ ​radar​ ​station​ ​at​ ​Opana​ ​Point​ ​picked​ ​up​ ​a​ ​signal​ ​indicating​ ​a​ ​large​ ​flight of​ ​planes​ ​approaching​ ​from​ ​the​ ​north.​ ​These​ ​were​ ​thought​ ​to​ ​be​ ​either​ ​aircraft​ ​flying​ ​in​ ​from​ ​the​ ​carrier Enterprise​ ​or​ ​an​ ​anticipated​ ​flight​ ​of​ ​B-17s​ ​from​ ​the​ ​mainland​ ​so​ ​no​ ​action​ ​was​ ​taken.​ ​The​ ​first​ ​wave​ ​of Japanese​ ​aircraft​ ​arrived​ ​over​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​before​ ​7:55​ ​a.m.​ ​The​ ​Japanese​ ​leader,​ ​Commander​ ​Mitsuo Fuchida,​ ​sent​ ​coded​ ​messages​ ​telling​ ​the​ ​fleet​ ​that​ ​the​ ​attack​ ​had​ ​begun,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​successfully​ ​surprised the​ ​Americans.

At​ ​approximately​ ​8:10​ ​a.m.​ ​the​ ​USS​ ​Arizona​ ​had​ ​exploded,​ ​hit​ ​by​ ​a​ ​1,760​-pound​-armor-piercing shell.​ ​This​ ​bomb​ ​slammed​ ​through​ ​the​ ​ship’s​ ​deck​ ​suddenly,​ ​launching​ ​her​ ​forward.​ ​When​ ​the​ ​ship​ ​sank, 1,177​ ​crew​ ​members​ ​went​ ​down​ ​with​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​USS​ ​Oklahoma,​ ​after​ ​it​ ​was​ ​hit​ ​by​ ​several​ ​torpedoes,​ ​rolled over​ ​and​ ​trapped​ ​over​ ​400​ ​men​ ​inside.​ ​The​ ​USS​ ​Utah,​ ​converted​ ​to​ ​a​ ​training​ ​ship,​ ​capsized​ ​with​ ​more than​ ​50​ ​crew​ ​members.​ ​Many​ ​other​ ​ships​ ​were​ ​damaged​ ​and​ ​destroyed in the​ ​attack.​ ​The​ ​USS Nevada​ ​attempted​ ​to​ ​escape​ ​any​ ​further​ ​attacks but​ ​was​ ​hit​ ​several​ ​times.

Japan​ ​also​ ​attacked​ ​military​ ​establishments​ ​on​ ​the​ ​island​ ​of​ ​Oahu.​ ​Hundreds​ ​of​ ​planes​ ​were destroyed​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ground​ ​and​ ​hundreds​ ​of​ ​men​ ​killed​ ​or​ ​wounded.​ ​Several​ ​airfields​ ​and​ ​air​ ​stations suffered​ ​damage.​ ​Clearly,​ ​Americans​ ​shortly​ ​fired​ ​back,​ ​although​ ​many​ ​shells​ ​had​ ​been​ ​fused​ ​and​ ​fell​ ​on Honolulu.​ ​Honolulu​ ​residents​ ​assumed​ ​these​ ​strikes​ ​to​ ​be​ ​Japanese.

At​ ​8:40, the second​ ​wave​ ​of​ ​Japanese​ ​planes​ ​followed​ ​the​ ​first​ ​wave.​ ​The​ ​objective​ ​was​ ​to​ ​finish​ ​off Pearl​ ​Harbor.​ ​This​ ​attack​ ​destroyed​ ​the​ ​remaining​ ​Naval​ ​ships​ ​at the shore.​ ​The​ ​Japanese​ ​also​ ​attacked Hickam​ ​and​ ​Kaneohe​ ​airfields,​ ​causing​ ​heavy​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​life.

Army​ ​Air​ ​Corps​ ​pilots​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​take​ ​off​ ​in​ ​a​ ​few​ ​fighters​ ​and​ ​may​ ​have​ ​shot​ ​down​ ​12​ ​enemy planes.​ ​At​ ​10​ ​a.m.,​ ​the​ ​second​ ​wave​ ​of​ ​attacking​ ​planes​ ​withdrew​ ​to​ ​the​ ​north​ ​and​ ​the​ ​assault​ ​was​ ​over. The​ ​Japanese​ ​lost​ ​29​ ​planes​ ​and​ ​five​ ​miniature​ ​submarines.​ ​More​ ​importantly,​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​was​ ​still functional​ ​after​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​hit.

After​ ​Japan​ ​attacked​ ​America,​ ​The​ ​United​ ​States’​ ​citizens​ ​were​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​fight​ ​back.​ ​America was​ ​in​ ​dispute​ ​about​ ​joining​ ​the​ ​war​ ​of​ ​China,​ ​Japan,​ ​and​ ​their​ ​allies.​ ​The​ ​author​ ​reports​ ​after​ ​the​ ​tragic event​ ​that​ ​occurred​ ​at​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor,​ ​America​ ​was​ ​more​ ​united​ ​than​ ​ever.​ ​President​ ​Franklin​ ​D.​ ​Roosevelt addressed​ ​the​ ​situation,​ ​“No​ ​matter​ ​how​ ​long​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​us​ ​to​ ​overcome​ ​this​ ​attack,​ ​the​ ​American​ ​people​ ​in their​ ​moral​ ​strength​ ​will​ ​win​ ​the​ ​absolute​ ​victory.”​ ​The​ ​nation​ ​was​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​join​ ​World​ ​War​ ​II.

Japan​ ​began​ ​World​ ​War​ ​II​ ​with​ ​plans​ ​to​ ​conquer​ ​China.​ ​The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​attempted​ ​to​ ​halt​ ​the invasion,​ ​which​ ​led​ ​to​ ​Japan​ ​seeing​ ​America​ ​as​ ​a​ ​threat.​ ​Japan​ ​decided​ ​their​ ​only​ ​hope​ ​was​ ​to​ ​surprise attack​ ​Pearl​ ​Harbor​ ​on​ ​the​ ​fateful​ ​day​ ​of​ ​December​ ​7,​ ​1941.​ ​Many​ ​naval​ ​ships​ ​were​ ​terminated​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as 2,403​ ​men​ ​serving​​ ​our​ ​country.​ ​America​ ​was​ ​successfully​ ​surprised but​ ​did​ ​not​ ​hesitate​ ​to​ ​fight​ ​back almost​ ​instantly.

My name is Blue Dunwoody. I am a 14 year old female. I have been told I am an excellent writer, so I figured I’d send my work to some professionals and see what they have to say. I hope by doing this I can improve my writing skills.


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