A Day Not Forgotten, the Attack on Pearl Harbor

1977 words 8 pages
A Day Not Forgotten, the Attack on Pearl Harbor

K. D.

HIST 102
Instructor Amy Ware
October 23, 2010

The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 remains a clear memory for both nations. Everything seemed to have played in favor of the Empire of Japan; from planning, to gathering the necessary resources, the silent 3,300 nautical mile journey of the task force and ultimately the attack itself. From a tactical standpoint the attack was one of the most ingenious naval operations in history. With the loss of four U.S. battleships, 180 Aircraft, and 2,400 sailors the attack can be chalked up as a “win” for Japan. But since the surprise attack was conducted without a formal declaration of war, it may have been
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What was thought to be the most brilliant naval operations in history has also become the biggest mistake of World War II. “…with the un-bounding determination of our people we will gain the inevitable victory. So help us God”. These were the last words of president Roosevelt addressing the Japanese attack before the chamber in which he stood erupted with cheer. Although, some of the reactions made by the American people were not so level headed; such as the boycotting of Japanese shops and goods, the nation as a whole was geared toward the war effort, American wanted payback. The war in the Pacific was slow to get going because Europe was made a priority. This would mean the forces already committed to the Pacific were without the possibility of reinforcement. The Japanese onslaught came fast and it looked as if it wasn’t slowing down. Position after allied position, was taken by the empire and the outlook of the pacific war looked grim but not for too long. An admiral by the name of Ernest J. King soon devised a raiding strategy after his careful assessment of previous Japanese operations. The strategy consisted of raids on unsuspecting Japanese positions which were to be conducted by carrier groups. The objective of this strategy was to force the Japanese to reinforce these exposed positions; thus spreading their defenses too thin and unable to counter an actual advance. The carriers that were involved