Attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor

Overview
The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
The as part of the Supreme War Council was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime...

 (Operation Z in planning) and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike
Military strike
A military strike is a limited attack on a specified target. Strikes are used, amongst other things, to render facilities inoperable , to assassinate enemy leaders, and to limit supply to enemy troops. A strike can often be the prelude to a war or siege, whose initial strike is for a strategic or...

 conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 against the United States naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

 at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive
Preventive war
A preventive war or preventative war is a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. Preventive war aims to forestall a shift in the balance of power by strategically attacking before the balance of power has a chance...

 action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 was planning in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 against overseas territories of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and the United States.

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s.
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Encyclopedia
The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters
Imperial General Headquarters
The as part of the Supreme War Council was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime...

 (Operation Z in planning) and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike
Military strike
A military strike is a limited attack on a specified target. Strikes are used, amongst other things, to render facilities inoperable , to assassinate enemy leaders, and to limit supply to enemy troops. A strike can often be the prelude to a war or siege, whose initial strike is for a strategic or...

 conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 against the United States naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

 at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive
Preventive war
A preventive war or preventative war is a war initiated to prevent another party from attacking, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. Preventive war aims to forestall a shift in the balance of power by strategically attacking before the balance of power has a chance...

 action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 was planning in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 against overseas territories of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and the United States.

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

s, three destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer
Minelayer
Minelaying is the act of deploying explosive mines. Historically this has been carried out by ships, submarines and aircraft. Additionally, since World War I the term minelayer refers specifically to a naval ship used for deploying naval mines...

. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,459 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section
Station HYPO
Station HYPO, also known as Fleet Radio Unit Pacific was the United States Navy signals monitoring and cryptographic intelligence unit in Hawaii during World War II. It was one of two major Allied signals intelligence units, called Fleet Radio Units in the Pacific theaters, along with FRUMEL in...

) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarine
Midget submarine
A midget submarine is any submarine under 150 tons, typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 8, with little or no on-board living accommodation...

s lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor
Kazuo Sakamaki
was a Japanese naval officer who became the first Japanese prisoner of war of World War II captured by American forces.-Biography:Sakamaki was born in what is now part of the city of Awa, Tokushima Prefecture...

 was captured.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in both the Pacific
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 and European theaters
European Theatre of World War II
The European Theatre of World War II was a huge area of heavy fighting across Europe from Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the end of the war with the German unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945...

. The following day (December 8) the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared. Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol
Neutrality Patrol
At the beginning of World War II, when Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 started the hostilities in Europe, President Franklin D...

) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy".

Anticipating war


The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and hence protect Japan's advance into Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

 and the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

, where China sought access to natural resource
Natural resource
Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

s such as oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and rubber. War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility each nation had been aware of (and developed contingency plans for) since the 1920s, though tensions did not begin to grow seriously until Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria. Over the next decade, Japan continued to expand into China, leading to all-out war
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China and achieve sufficient resource independence to attain victory on the mainland; the "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts.

From December 1937 events such as the Japanese attack on the USS Panay and the Nanking Massacre
Nanking Massacre
The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder, genocide and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing , the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second...

 (more than 200,000 killed in indiscriminate massacres) swung public opinion in the West sharply against Japan and increased their fear of Japanese expansion, which prompted the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to provide loan assistance for war supply contracts to the Republic of China
Republic of China (1912–1949)
In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing Dynasty, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism...

.

In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina in an effort to control supplies reaching China. The United States halted shipments of airplanes, parts, machine tool
Machine tool
A machine tool is a machine, typically powered other than by human muscle , used to make manufactured parts in various ways that include cutting or certain other kinds of deformation...

s, and aviation gasoline
Avgas
Avgas is an aviation fuel used to power piston-engine aircraft. Avgas is distinguished from mogas , which is the everyday gasoline used in cars and some non-commercial light aircraft...

, which was perceived by Japan as an unfriendly act. The U.S. did not stop oil exports to Japan at that time in part because prevailing sentiment in Washington was that such an action would be an extreme step, given Japanese dependence on U.S. oil, and likely to be considered a provocation by Japan.

Early in 1941, President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii from its previous base in San Diego and ordered a military buildup in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East. Because the Japanese high command was (mistakenly) certain any attack on the British Southeast Asian colonies would bring the U.S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to avoid U.S. naval interference. An invasion of the Philippines was also considered to be necessary by Japanese war planners. The U.S. War Plan Orange
War Plan Orange
War Plan Orange refers to a series of United States Joint Army and Navy Board war plans for dealing with a possible war with Japan during the years between the First and Second World Wars....

 had envisioned defending the Philippines with a 40,000 man elite force. This was opposed by Douglas MacArthur, who felt that he would need a force ten times that size, and was never implemented. By 1941, U.S. planners anticipated abandonment of the Philippines at the outbreak of war and orders to that effect were given in late 1941 to Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 Thomas Hart
Thomas C. Hart
Thomas Charles Hart was an admiral of the United States Navy, whose service extended from the Spanish-American War through World War II. Following his retirement from the Navy, he served briefly as a United States Senator from Connecticut.-Life and career:Hart was born in Genesee County, Michigan...

, commander of the Asiatic Fleet
United States Asiatic Fleet
The United States Asiatic Fleet was part of the U.S. Navy. Preceding the World War II era, until 1942, the fleet protected the Philippines.Originally the Asiatic Squadron, it was upgraded to fleet status in 1902. In 1907, the fleet became the First Squadron of the Pacific Fleet. However, on 28...

.

The U.S. ceased oil exports
History of petroleum
Petroleum, in one form or another, is not a recent discovery but is now an important part of politics, society, and technology. The invention of the internal combustion engine was the major influence in the rise in the importance of petroleum.-Early history:...

 to Japan in July 1941, following Japanese expansion into French Indochina after the fall of France, in part because of new American restrictions on domestic oil consumption. This in turn caused the Japanese to proceed with plans to take the Dutch East Indies, an oil-rich territory. The Japanese were faced with the option of either withdrawing from China and losing face or seizing and securing new sources of raw materials in the resource-rich, European-controlled colonies of South East Asia.

Preliminary planning for an attack on Pearl Harbor to protect the move into the "Southern Resource Area" (the Japanese term for the Dutch East Indies and Southeast Asia generally) had begun very early in 1941 under the auspices of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Isoroku Yamamoto
was a Japanese Naval Marshal General and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II, a graduate of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and a student of Harvard University ....

, then commanding Japan's Combined Fleet
Combined Fleet
The was the main ocean-going component of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Combined Fleet was not a standing force, but a temporary force formed for the duration of a conflict or major naval maneuvers from various units normally under separate commands in peacetime....

. He won assent to formal planning and training for an attack from the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff
Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff
The was the highest organ within the Imperial Japanese Navy. In charge of planning and operations, it was headed by an Admiral headquartered in Tokyo.-History:...

 only after much contention with Naval Headquarters, including a threat to resign his command. Full-scale planning was underway by early spring 1941, primarily by Captain Minoru Genda
Minoru Genda
was a well-known Japanese military aviator and politician. He is best known for planning the Pearl Harbor attack.- Early life :Minoru Genda was the second son of a farmer from Hiroshima. Two brothers were graduates of Tokyo University, another brother graduated from Chiba Medical College, and his...

. Japanese planning staff studied the 1940 British air attack on the Italian fleet
Battle of Taranto
The naval Battle of Taranto took place on the night of 11–12 November 1940 during the Second World War. The Royal Navy launched the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history, flying a small number of obsolescent biplane torpedo bombers from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea...

 at Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 intensively. It was of great use to them when planning their attack on U.S. naval forces in Pearl Harbor.

Over the next several months, pilots trained, equipment was adapted, and intelligence collected. Despite these preparations, the attack plan was not approved by Emperor Hirohito until November 5, after the third of four Imperial Conferences called to consider the matter. Final authorization was not given by the emperor until December 1, after a majority of Japanese leaders advised him the "Hull Note
Hull note
The Hull note or officially Outline of Proposed Basis for Agreement Between the United States and Japan was the final proposal delivered to the Empire of Japan by the United States before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war between the two nations...

" would "destroy the fruits of the China incident, endanger Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

 and undermine Japanese control of Korea."

By late 1941, many observers believed that hostilities between the U.S. and Japan were imminent. A Gallup poll just before the attack on Pearl Harbor found that 52% of Americans expected war with Japan "some time in the near future", while 27% did not. While U.S. Pacific bases and facilities had been placed on alert on multiple occasions, U.S. officials doubted Pearl Harbor would be the first target. They expected the Philippines to be attacked first, due to the threat that air bases there, as well as the naval base at Manila, would pose to sea lanes, and the shipment of supplies to Japan from territory to the south, They also incorrectly believed that Japan was not capable of mounting more than one major naval operation at a time.

Objectives


The attack had several major aims. First, it intended to destroy important American fleet units, thereby preventing the Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese conquest of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya. Second, it was hoped to buy time for Japan to consolidate its position and increase its naval strength before shipbuilding authorized by the 1940 Vinson-Walsh Act
Two-Ocean Navy Act
The Two-Ocean Navy Act, was an American Act of Congress passed on July 19, 1940, to increase the size of the United States Navy by 70%, making it the largest naval procurement bill in U.S...

 erased any chance of victory. Finally, it was meant to deliver a severe blow to American morale, one which would discourage Americans from committing to a war extending into the western Pacific Ocean and Dutch East Indies. To maximize the effect on morale, battleships were chosen as the main targets, since they were the prestige ships of any navy at the time. The overall intention was to enable Japan to conquer Southeast Asia without interference.

Striking the Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor carried two distinct disadvantages: the targeted ships would be in very shallow water, so it would be relatively easy to salvage and possibly repair them; and most of the crews would survive the attack, since many would be on shore leave
Shore leave
Shore leave is the leave that professional sailors get to spend on dry land. It is culturally infamous for its excess. Sailors without family obligations and with basic lodging needs provided aboard ship may spend their wages for the journey in a brief period of extravagance ashore and return to...

 or would be rescued from the harbor. A further important disadvantage—this of timing, and known to the Japanese—was the absence from Pearl Harbor of all three of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's aircraft carriers . Ironically, the IJN top command was so imbued with Admiral Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide...

's "decisive battle" doctrine—especially that of destroying the maximum number of battleships—that, despite these concerns, Yamamoto decided to press ahead.

Japanese confidence in their ability to achieve a short, victorious war also meant other targets in the harbor, especially the navy yard, oil tank farms, and submarine base, could safely be ignored, since—by their thinking—the war would be over before the influence of these facilities would be felt.

Approach and attack


On November 26, 1941, a Japanese task force (the Striking Force) of six aircraft carriers (Akagi
Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi
Akagi was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy , originally begun as an . She was converted while still under construction to an aircraft carrier under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty...

, Kaga
Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga
Kaga was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy , named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture...

, Sōryū
Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu
was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. During the Second World War, she took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Port Darwin and raids in the Indian Ocean before being sunk at the Battle of Midway.-Design:...

, Hiryū
Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu
was a modified Sōryū-class aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was one of the carriers that began the Pacific War with the attack on Pearl Harbor...

, Shōkaku
Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku
Shōkaku was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the lead ship of her class. Along with her sister ship , she took part in several key naval battles during the Pacific War, including the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands...

, and Zuikaku
Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku
Zuikaku was a Shōkaku-class aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Her complement of aircraft took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor that formally brought the United States into the Pacific War, and she fought in several of the most important naval battles of the war, finally being sunk...

) departed northern Japan en route to a position northwest of Hawaii, intending to launch its aircraft to attack Pearl Harbor. In all, 408 aircraft were intended to be used: 360 for the two attack waves, 48 on defensive combat air patrol
Combat air patrol
Combat air patrol is a type of flying mission for fighter aircraft.A combat air patrol is an aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, over the force protected, over the critical area of a combat zone, or over an air defense area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile...

 (CAP), including nine fighters from the first wave.

The first wave was to be the primary attack, while the second wave was to finish whatever tasks remained. The first wave contained the bulk of the weapons to attack capital ships, mainly specially adapted Type 91
Type 91 torpedo
The Type 91 was an aerial torpedo of the Imperial Japanese Navy which was designed to be launched from an aircraft. It was used in the naval battles of carrier task forces in World War II.The Type 91 aerial torpedo rev.2 won the admiration of the world...

 aerial torpedo
Aerial torpedo
The aerial torpedo, airborne torpedo or air-dropped torpedo is a naval weapon, the torpedo, designed to be dropped into water from an aircraft after which it propels itself to the target. First used in World War I, air-dropped torpedoes were used extensively in World War II, and remain in limited...

es which were designed with an anti-roll mechanism and a rudder
Rudder
A rudder is a device used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft or other conveyance that moves through a medium . On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane...

 extension that let them operate in shallow water. The aircrews were ordered to select the highest value targets (battleships and aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s) or, if these were not present, any other high value ships (cruisers and destroyers). Dive bomber
Dive bomber
A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy for the bomb it drops. Diving towards the target reduces the distance the bomb has to fall, which is the primary factor in determining the accuracy of the drop...

s were to attack ground targets. Fighters were ordered to strafe and destroy as many parked aircraft as possible to ensure they did not get into the air to counterattack the bombers, especially in the first wave. When the fighters' fuel got low they were to refuel at the aircraft carriers and return to combat. Fighters were to serve CAP duties where needed, especially over US airfields.

Before the attack commenced, two reconnaissance aircraft
Surveillance aircraft
A surveillance aircraft is an aircraft used for surveillance — collecting information over time. They are operated by military forces and other government agencies in roles such as intelligence gathering, battlefield surveillance, airspace surveillance, observation , border patrol and fishery...

 launched from cruisers were sent to scout over Oahu and report on enemy fleet composition and location. Another four scout planes patrolled the area between the Japanese carrier force (the Kido Butai) and Niihau
Niihau
Niihau or Niihau is the seventh largest of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii, having an area of . Niihau lies southwest of Kauai across the Kaulakahi Channel. Several intermittent playa lakes provide wetland habitats for the Hawaiian Coot, the Black-winged Stilt, and the...

, in order to prevent the task force from being caught by a surprise counterattack.

Submarines


Fleet submarines I-16, I-18, I-20, I-22
Japanese submarine I-22
I-22 was a submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy which saw service during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. I-22 was commissioned at Yokosuka, Japan on March 10, 1941. The submarine participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea and attack on Sydney Harbour in May and June 1942...

, and I-24
Japanese submarine I-24
I-24 was a submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy which saw service during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. I-24 was commissioned at Sasebo, Japan on October 31, 1941...

 each embarked a Type A
Ko-hyoteki class submarine
The class was a class of Japanese midget submarines used during World War II. They had hull numbers but no names. For simplicity, they are most often referred to by the hull number of the mother submarine...

 midget submarine
Midget submarine
A midget submarine is any submarine under 150 tons, typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 8, with little or no on-board living accommodation...

 for transport to the waters off Oahu. The five I-boats left Kure Naval District
Kure Naval District
was the second of four main administrative districts of the pre-war Imperial Japanese Navy. Its territory included the Inland Sea of Japan and the Pacific coasts of southern Honshū from Wakayama to Yamaguchi prefectures, eastern and northern Kyūshū and Shikoku....

 on November 25, 1941, coming to 10 Nm (19 km) off the mouth of Pearl Harbor and launched their charges, at about 01:00 December 7. At 03:42 Hawaiian Time, the minesweeper
Minesweeper (ship)
A minesweeper is a small naval warship designed to counter the threat posed by naval mines. Minesweepers generally detect then neutralize mines in advance of other naval operations.-History:...

 USS Condor
USS Condor (AMc-14)
USS Condor was a coastal minesweeper of the United States Navy. The ship was constructed as the wooden-hulled purse seiner New Example at Tacoma, Washington in 1937. Acquired by the U.S. Navy on 28 October 1940 and converted into a coastal minesweeper, she was commissioned as Condor on 18 April...

 spotted a midget submarine periscope southwest of the Pearl Harbor entrance buoy and alerted the destroyer USS Ward
USS Ward (DD-139)
USS Ward was a Wickes-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I, later APD-16 in World War II...

. The midget may have entered Pearl Harbor. However, Ward sank another midget submarine at 06:37 in the first American shots fired in World War II
First American shots fired in World War II
Determining when the first engagement of the United States in World War II occurred may depend from scholar and if such actions led to formal entry of the United States into the conflict.-Attacks on American armed forces:...

. A midget on the north side of Ford Island missed the seaplane tender Curtiss
USS Curtiss (AV-4)
USS Curtiss was a seaplane tender of the United States Navy. The ship was launched on 20 April 1940 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey, sponsored by Mrs. H. S. Wheeler, and commissioned on 15 November 1940, Commander S. P...

 with her first torpedo and missed the attacking destroyer Monaghan
USS Monaghan (DD-354)
USS Monaghan was the last ship built of the Farragut class destroyers. She was named for Ensign John R. Monaghan. The Monaghan was laid down 21 November 1933 at Boston Navy Yard, and launched 9 January 1935. She was sponsored by Miss Mary F. Monaghan, niece of Ensign Monaghan and commissioned 19...

 with her other one before being sunk by Monaghan at 08:43.

A third midget submarine grounded twice, once outside the harbor entrance and again on the east side of Oahu, where it was captured on December 8. Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki
Kazuo Sakamaki
was a Japanese naval officer who became the first Japanese prisoner of war of World War II captured by American forces.-Biography:Sakamaki was born in what is now part of the city of Awa, Tokushima Prefecture...

 swam ashore and was captured, becoming the first Japanese prisoner of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

. A fourth had been damaged by a depth charge attack and was abandoned by its crew before it could fire its torpedoes. A United States Naval Institute
United States Naval Institute
The United States Naval Institute , based at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense issues...

 analysis of photographs from the attack conducted in 1999 indicated a midget may have successfully fired a torpedo into USS West Virginia
USS West Virginia (BB-48)
USS West Virginia , a , was the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 35th state.Her keel was laid down on 12 April 1920 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 17 November 1921 sponsored by Miss Alice Wright Mann,...

. Japanese forces received a radio message from a midget submarine at 00:41 December 8 claiming damage to one or more large war vessels inside Pearl Harbor. The submarine's final disposition has been unknown, but she did not return to her "mother" sub. On December 7, 2009 the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 reported that there is circumstantial evidence that three pieces of a submarine discovered three miles south of Pearl Harbor between 1994 and 2001 could be that of the missing submarine. The publication also reported that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the submarine fired two torpedoes at Battleship Row. The debris was dumped outside the harbor as part of an effort to conceal the West Loch Disaster
West Loch Disaster
The West Loch Disaster was a previously secret American World War II maritime accident which led to the deaths of 163 men at the U.S. naval base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on 21 May 1944...

, a 1944 ammunition explosion that destroyed six tank landing ships preparing for Operation Forager, the invasion of the Marianas.

Japanese declaration of war



The attack took place before any formal declaration of war was made by Japan, but this was not Admiral Yamamoto's intention. He originally stipulated that the attack should not commence until thirty minutes after Japan had informed the United States that peace negotiations were at an end. The Japanese tried to uphold the conventions of war while still achieving surprise, but the attack began before the notice could be delivered. Tokyo transmitted the 5,000-word notification (commonly called the "14-Part Message") in two blocks to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, but transcribing the message took too long for the Japanese Ambassador to deliver it in time. (In fact, U.S. code breakers had already deciphered and translated most of the message hours before he was scheduled to deliver it.) The final part of the "14 Part Message" is sometimes described as a declaration of war. While it neither declared war nor severed diplomatic relations, it was viewed by a number of senior U.S Government and military officials as a very strong indicator that negotiations were likely to be terminated and that war might break out at any moment. A declaration of war was printed on the front page of Japan's newspapers in the evening edition of December 8, but not delivered to the U.S. government until the day after the attack.

For decades, conventional wisdom held that Japan attacked without any official warning of a break in relations only because of accidents and bumbling that delayed the delivery of a document to Washington hinting at war. In 1999, however, Takeo Iguchi, a professor of law and international relations at the International Christian University
International Christian University
There are several rankings related to ICU, shown below.-Alumni rankings:According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings and the PRESIDENT's article on 2006/10/16, graduates from ICU have the 24th best employment rate in 400 major companies, and their average graduate salary is the 4th best in...

 in Tokyo, discovered documents that pointed to a vigorous debate inside the government over how, and indeed whether, to notify Washington of Japan's intention to break off negotiations and start a war, including a December 7 entry in the war diary saying, "our deceptive diplomacy is steadily proceeding toward success." Of this, Iguchi said, "The diary shows that the army and navy did not want to give any proper declaration of war, or indeed prior notice even of the termination of negotiations ... [a]nd they clearly prevailed."

First wave composition


The first attack wave of 183 planes was launched north of Oahu, commanded by Captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

 Mitsuo Fuchida
Mitsuo Fuchida
was a Japanese Captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service and a bomber pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy before and during World War II. He is perhaps best known for leading the first air wave attacks on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941...

. It included:
  • 1st Group (targets: battleships and aircraft carriers)
    • 50 Nakajima B5N
      Nakajima B5N
      |-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Bridgwater, H.C. and Peter Scott. Combat Colours Number 4: Pearl Harbor and Beyond, December 1941 to May 1942. Luton, Bedfordshire, UK: Guideline Publications, 2001. ISBN 0-9539040-6-7....

       Kate bombers armed with 800 kg (1760 lb) armor piercing bombs, organized in four sections
    • 40 B5N bombers armed with Type 91 torpedo
      Type 91 torpedo
      The Type 91 was an aerial torpedo of the Imperial Japanese Navy which was designed to be launched from an aircraft. It was used in the naval battles of carrier task forces in World War II.The Type 91 aerial torpedo rev.2 won the admiration of the world...

      es, also in four sections
  • 2nd Group – (targets: Ford Island
    Ford Island
    Ford Island is located in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It is connected to the main island by the Ford Island Bridge. Before the bridge was built, Ford Island could only be reached by a ferry boat which ran at hourly intervals for cars and foot passengers. The island houses several naval...

     and Wheeler Field)
    • 54 Aichi D3A
      Aichi D3A
      The , Allied reporting name "Val") was a World War II carrier-borne dive bomber of the Imperial Japanese Navy . It was the primary dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor....

       Val dive bombers armed with 550 lb (249 kg) general purpose bombs
  • 3rd Group – (targets: aircraft at Ford Island, Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Barber’s Point, Kaneohe)
    • 45 Mitsubishi A6M
      A6M Zero
      The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

       Zeke fighters for air control and strafing


Six planes failed to launch due to technical difficulties.
As the first wave approached Oahu a U.S. Army SCR-270
SCR-270 radar
The SCR-270 was one of the first operational early warning radars. It was the U.S. Army's primary long-distance radar throughout World War II and was deployed around the world...

 radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 at Opana Point
Opana Radar Site
The Opana Radar Site is a National Historic Landmark and IEEE Milestone that commemorates the first operational use of radar by the United States in wartime, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is located off the Kamehameha Highway just inland from the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, south of...

 near the island's northern tip (a post not yet operational, having been in training mode for months) detected them and called in a warning. Radar had been in use in a training mode by the U.S Army Hawaiian Department for some time but was not fully operational. Although the operators, Privates George Elliot Jr. and Joseph Lockard, reported a target, a newly assigned officer at the thinly manned Intercept Center, Lieutenant Kermit A. Tyler, presumed the scheduled arrival of six B-17 bombers was the source. The direction from which the aircraft were coming was close (only a few degrees separated the two inbound courses), while the operators had never seen a formation as large on radar; they neglected to tell Tyler of its size, while Tyler, for security reasons, could not tell them the B-17s were due (even though it was widely known).

Several U.S. aircraft were shot down as the first wave approached land, and one at least radioed a somewhat incoherent warning. Other warnings from ships off the harbor entrance were still being processed or awaiting confirmation when the attacking planes began bombing and strafing. Nevertheless it is not clear any warnings would have had much effect even if they had been interpreted correctly and much more promptly. The results the Japanese achieved in the Philippines were essentially the same as at Pearl Harbor, though MacArthur had almost nine hours warning that the Japanese had already attacked at Pearl.

The air portion of the attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time (3:18 a.m. December 8 Japanese Standard Time, as kept by ships of the Kido Butai), with the attack on Kaneohe. A total of 353 Japanese planes in two waves reached Oahu. Slow, vulnerable torpedo bombers led the first wave, exploiting the first moments of surprise to attack the most important ships present (the battleships), while dive bombers attacked U.S. air bases across Oahu, starting with Hickam Field, the largest, and Wheeler Field, the main U.S. Army Air Force fighter base. The 171 planes in the second wave attacked the Air Corps' Bellows Field near Kaneohe on the windward side of the island, and Ford Island
Ford Island
Ford Island is located in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It is connected to the main island by the Ford Island Bridge. Before the bridge was built, Ford Island could only be reached by a ferry boat which ran at hourly intervals for cars and foot passengers. The island houses several naval...

. The only aerial opposition came from a handful of P-36 Hawk
P-36 Hawk
The Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, was an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design...

s, P-40 Warhawks and some SBD Dauntless
SBD Dauntless
The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a naval dive bomber made by Douglas during World War II. The SBD was the United States Navy's main dive bomber from mid-1940 until late 1943, when it was largely replaced by the SB2C Helldiver...

 dive bombers from the carrier USS Enterprise
USS Enterprise (CV-6)
USS Enterprise , colloquially referred to as the "Big E," was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Launched in 1936, she was a ship of the Yorktown class, and one of only three American carriers commissioned prior to World War II to...

.

Men aboard U.S. ships awoke to the sounds of alarms, bombs exploding, and gunfire, prompting bleary-eyed men into dressing as they ran to General Quarters
General quarters
General Quarters or Battle Stations is an announcement made aboard a naval warship to signal the crew to prepare for battle or imminent damage....

 stations. (The famous message, "Air raid Pearl Harbor. This is not drill.", was sent from the headquarters of Patrol Wing Two, the first senior Hawaiian command to respond.) The defenders were very unprepared. Ammunition lockers were locked, aircraft parked wingtip to wingtip in the open to deter sabotage, guns unmanned (none of the Navy's 5"/38s, only a quarter of its machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s, and only four of 31 Army batteries got in action). Despite this low alert status
Alert state
An alert state is an indication of the state of readiness of the armed forces for military action or a State against terrorism or military attack.Examples are the DEFCON levels of the US armed forces, and the British government's UK Threat Levels....

, many American military personnel responded effectively during the battle. Ensign Joe Taussig, Jr., the only commissioned officer aboard USS Nevada
USS Nevada (BB-36)
USS Nevada , the second United States Navy ship to be named after the 36th state, was the lead ship of the two Nevada-class battleships; her sister ship was...

, got the ship underway during the attack but lost a leg. The ship was beached in the harbor by the Senior Quartermaster. One of the destroyers, USS Aylwin
USS Aylwin (DD-355)
USS Aylwin , a Farragut-class destroyer, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Lieutenant John Cushing Aylwin ....

, got underway with only four officers aboard, all ensigns, none with more than a year's sea duty; she operated at sea for 36 hours before her commanding officer managed to get back aboard. Captain Mervyn Bennion, commanding USS West Virginia
USS West Virginia (BB-48)
USS West Virginia , a , was the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 35th state.Her keel was laid down on 12 April 1920 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 17 November 1921 sponsored by Miss Alice Wright Mann,...

 led his men until he was cut down by fragments from a bomb which hit USS Tennessee
USS Tennessee (BB-43)
USS Tennessee , the lead ship of her class of battleship, was the third ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 16th US state. During World War II in the Pacific Theater, she was damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 but was repaired and modernized...

, moored alongside.

Second wave composition


The second wave consisted of 171 planes: 54 B5Ns, 81 D3As, and 36 A6Ms, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki
Shigekazu Shimazaki
, was a Japanese career officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service during World War II.-Biography:Shimazaki was a native of Ōita Prefecture and a graduate of the 57th class of the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy in 1929, ranking 31st of 122 cadets...

. Four planes failed to launch because of technical difficulties. This wave and its targets comprised:
  • 1st Group – 54 B5Ns armed with 550 lb (249 kg) and 132 lb (59.9 kg) general purpose bombs
    • 27 B5Ns – aircraft and hangars on Kaneohe, Ford Island, and Barbers Point
    • 27 B5Ns – hangars and aircraft on Hickam Field
  • 2nd Group (targets: aircraft carriers and cruisers)
    • 81 D3As armed with 550 lb (249 kg) general purpose bombs, in four sections
  • 3rd Group – (targets: aircraft at Ford Island, Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Barber’s Point, Kaneohe)
    • 36 A6Ms for defense and strafing

The second wave was divided into three groups. One was tasked to attack Kāneohe, the rest Pearl Harbor proper. The separate sections arrived at the attack point almost simultaneously, from several directions.

Ninety minutes after it began, the attack was over. 2,386 Americans died (55 were civilians, most killed by unexploded American anti-aircraft shells landing in civilian areas), a further 1,139 wounded. Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships.


Of the American fatalities, nearly half of the total (1,177) were due to the explosion of Arizona
USS Arizona (BB-39)
USS Arizona, a , was built for the United States Navy in the mid-1910s. Named in honor of the 48th state's recent admission into the union, the ship was the second and last of the Pennsylvania class of "super-dreadnought" battleships. Although commissioned in 1916, the ship remained stateside...

's forward magazine
Gunpowder magazine
A gunpowder magazine is a magazine designed to store the explosive gunpowder in wooden barrels for safety. Gunpowder, until superseded, was a universal explosive used in the military and for civil engineering: both applications required storage magazines...

 after it was hit by a modified 40 cm (16 in.) shell.

Already damaged by a torpedo and on fire amidships, Nevada attempted to exit the harbor. She was targeted by many Japanese bombers as she got under way and sustained more hits from 250 lb (113 kg) bombs which started further fires. She was deliberately beached to avoid blocking the harbor entrance.

California
USS California (BB-44)
USS California , a Tennessee-class battleship, was the fifth ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 31st state. Beginning as the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, she served in the Pacific her entire career. She was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor at her moorings in Battleship Row,...

 was hit by two bombs and two torpedoes. The crew might have kept her afloat, but were ordered to abandon ship just as they were raising power for the pumps. Burning oil from Arizona and West Virginia drifted down on her, and probably made the situation look worse than it was. The disarmed target ship
Target ship
A target ship is a vessel — typically an obsolete or captured warship — used for naval gunnery practice or for weapons testing.-Rationale:Sinking redundant warships is an effective way of testing new weapons and warships in as realistic a manner as possible. Whilst practice torpedoes are fired...

 Utah
USS Utah (BB-31)
USS Utah was a battleship that was attacked and sunk in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. A Florida-class battleship, she was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the U.S. state of Utah...

 was holed twice by torpedoes. West Virginia
USS West Virginia (BB-48)
USS West Virginia , a , was the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 35th state.Her keel was laid down on 12 April 1920 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 17 November 1921 sponsored by Miss Alice Wright Mann,...

 was hit by seven torpedoes, the seventh tearing away her rudder. Oklahoma
USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
USS Oklahoma , the only ship of the United States Navy to ever be named for the 46th state, was a World War I-era battleship and the second of two ships in her class; her sister ship was . She, along with her sister, were the first two U.S...

 was hit by four torpedoes, the last two above her belt armor
Belt armor
Belt armor is a layer of heavy metal armor plated on to or within outer hulls of warships, typically on battleships, battlecruisers and cruisers, and on aircraft carriers converted from those types of ships....

, which caused her to capsize
Capsize
Capsizing is an act of tipping over a boat or ship to disable it. The act of reversing a capsized vessel is called righting.If a capsized vessel has sufficient flotation to prevent sinking, it may recover on its own if the stability is such that it is not stable inverted...

. Maryland
USS Maryland (BB-46)
USS Maryland , a , was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the seventh state.Her keel was laid down 24 April 1917 by Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 20 March 1920, and sponsored by Mrs. E. Brook Lee, wife of the...

 was hit by two of the converted 40 cm shells, but neither caused serious damage.

Although the Japanese concentrated on battleships (the largest vessels present), they did not ignore other targets. The light cruiser
Light cruiser
A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck...

 Helena
USS Helena (CL-50)
USS Helena was a St. Louis-class light cruiser of the United States Navy, damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and subsequently active in the Pacific War until she was sunk at the battle of Kula Gulf in 1943...

 was torpedoed, and the concussion from the blast capsized the neighboring minelayer Oglala
USS Oglala (CM-4)
USS Oglala was a minelayer in the United States Navy. Commissioned as Massachusetts, she was renamed Shawmut a month later, and in 1928 was renamed for the Oglala, a sub-tribe of the Lakota, residing in the Black Hills of South Dakota.She was originally built as Eastern Steamship Company's SS...

. Two destroyers in dry dock
Dry dock
A drydock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform...

, Cassin
USS Cassin (DD-372)
was a Mahan-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the second Navy ship named for Stephen Cassin.Cassin was launched 28 October 1935 by Philadelphia Navy Yard , and commissioned 21 August 1936, Lieutenant Commander A. G...

 and Downes
USS Downes (DD-375)
USS Downes was a in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the second Navy ship named for John Downes.-Pre-war service:...

 were destroyed when bombs penetrated their fuel bunkers. The leaking fuel caught fire; flooding the dry dock in an effort to fight fire made the burning oil rise, and both were burned out. Cassin slipped from her keel blocks and rolled against Downes. The light cruiser Raleigh
USS Raleigh (CL-7)
USS Raleigh was an Omaha-class light cruiser of the United States Navy. She was the third Navy ship named for the city of Raleigh, North Carolina....

 was holed by a torpedo. The light cruiser Honolulu
USS Honolulu (CL-48)
USS Honolulu of the United States Navy was a Brooklyn-class light cruiser active in the Pacific War...

 was damaged but remained in service. The repair vessel Vestal
USS Vestal (AR-4)
USS Vestal was a repair ship in service with the United States Navy from 1913 to 1946. Before her conversion to a repair ship, she had served as collier since 1909. The Vestal served in both World Wars...

, moored alongside Arizona, was heavily damaged and beached. The seaplane tender
Seaplane tender
A seaplane tender is a ship that provides facilities for operating seaplanes. These ships were the first aircraft carriers and appeared just before the First World War.-History:...

 Curtiss
USS Curtiss (AV-4)
USS Curtiss was a seaplane tender of the United States Navy. The ship was launched on 20 April 1940 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey, sponsored by Mrs. H. S. Wheeler, and commissioned on 15 November 1940, Commander S. P...

 was also damaged. The destroyer Shaw
USS Shaw (DD-373)
USS Shaw , a Mahan-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Captain John Shaw, a Naval officer. Commissioned in 1936, she was plagued by construction deficiencies and was not fully operational until 1938...

 was badly damaged when two bombs penetrated her forward magazine.

Of the 402 American aircraft in Hawaii, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged, 155 of them on the ground. Almost none was actually ready to take off to defend the base. Eight Army Air Corps pilots managed to get airborne during the battle and six were credited with downing at least one Japanese aircraft during the attack, 1st Lt. Lewis M. Sanders, 2nd Lt. Philip M. Rasmussen
Phil Rasmussen
Philip M. Rasmussen was an Army Air Corps second lieutenant assigned to the 46th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. He was one of the few American pilots to get into the air that day.Rasmussen was awarded a Silver Star for his...

, 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor
Kenneth M. Taylor
Kenneth Marlar Taylor was a new United States Army Air Forces Second Lieutenant pilot stationed at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Along with his fellow pilot and friend George Welch, they got airborne while under fire and Taylor shot down four Japanese dive bombers...

, 2nd Lt. George S. Welch, 2nd Lt. Harry W. Brown, and 2nd Lt. Gordon H. Sterling Jr. Sterling was shot down and killed by friendly fire returning from the fight. Of 33 PBYs in Hawaii, 24 were destroyed, and six others damaged beyond repair. (The three on patrol returned undamaged.) Friendly fire
Friendly fire
Friendly fire is inadvertent firing towards one's own or otherwise friendly forces while attempting to engage enemy forces, particularly where this results in injury or death. A death resulting from a negligent discharge is not considered friendly fire...

 brought down some U.S. planes on top of that, including five from an inbound flight from Enterprise
USS Enterprise (CV-6)
USS Enterprise , colloquially referred to as the "Big E," was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Launched in 1936, she was a ship of the Yorktown class, and one of only three American carriers commissioned prior to World War II to...

. Japanese attacks on barracks killed additional personnel.

Fifty-five Japanese airmen and nine submariners were killed in the action, and one was captured. Of Japan's 414 available planes, 29 were lost during the battle (nine in the first attack wave, 20 in the second), with another 74 damaged by antiaircraft fire from the ground.

Possible third wave


Several Japanese junior officers, including Mitsuo Fuchida
Mitsuo Fuchida
was a Japanese Captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service and a bomber pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy before and during World War II. He is perhaps best known for leading the first air wave attacks on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941...

 and Minoru Genda
Minoru Genda
was a well-known Japanese military aviator and politician. He is best known for planning the Pearl Harbor attack.- Early life :Minoru Genda was the second son of a farmer from Hiroshima. Two brothers were graduates of Tokyo University, another brother graduated from Chiba Medical College, and his...

, the chief architect of the attack, urged Nagumo to carry out a third strike in order to destroy as much of Pearl Harbor's fuel and torpedo storage, maintenance, and dry dock facilities as possible. Military historians have suggested the destruction of these would have hampered the U.S. Pacific Fleet far more seriously than loss of its battleships. If they had been wiped out, "serious [American] operations in the Pacific would have been postponed for more than a year"; according to American Admiral Chester Nimitz
Chester Nimitz
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz, GCB, USN was a five-star admiral in the United States Navy. He held the dual command of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet , for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas , for U.S...

, later Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, "it would have prolonged the war another two years." Nagumo, however, decided to withdraw for several reasons:
  • American anti-aircraft performance had improved considerably during the second strike, and two thirds of Japan's losses were incurred during the second wave. Nagumo felt if he launched a third strike, he would be risking three quarters of the Combined Fleet's strength to wipe out the remaining targets (which included the facilities) while suffering higher aircraft losses.
  • The location of the American carriers remained unknown. In addition, the admiral was concerned his force was now within range of American land-based bombers. Nagumo was uncertain whether the U.S. had enough surviving planes remaining on Hawaii to launch an attack against his carriers.
  • A third wave would have required substantial preparation and turnaround time, and would have meant returning planes would have had to land at night. At the time, only the (British) Royal Navy had developed night carrier techniques, so this was a substantial risk.
  • The task force's fuel situation did not permit him to remain in waters north of Pearl Harbor much longer, since he was at the very limit of logistical support. To do so risked running unacceptably low on fuel, perhaps even having to abandon destroyers en route home.
  • He believed the second strike had essentially satisfied the main objective of his mission—the neutralization of the Pacific Fleet—and did not wish to risk further losses. Moreover, it was Japanese Navy practice to prefer the conservation of strength over the total destruction of the enemy.


At a conference aboard Yamato the following morning, Yamamoto initially supported Nagumo. In retrospect, sparing the vital dockyards, maintenance shops, and oil depots meant the U.S. could respond relatively quickly to Japanese activities in the Pacific. Yamamoto later regretted Nagumo's decision to withdraw and categorically stated it had been a great mistake not to order a third strike.

Photographs


The first aerial photograph
Aerial photography
Aerial photography is the taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position. The term usually refers to images in which the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure. Cameras may be hand held or mounted, and photographs may be taken by a photographer, triggered remotely or...

s of the attack on Pearl Harbor were taken by Lee Embree
Lee Embree
Lee Embree was an American Army staff sergeant and photographer who took the first air-to-air photographs of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941...

, who was aboard a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress en route from Hamilton Field, California, to the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. Lee's 38th Reconnaissance Squadron
38th Reconnaissance Squadron
The 38th Reconnaissance Squadron is part of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. It operates the RC-135 aircraft conducting reconnaissance missions.-Mission:...

 had scheduled a refueling stop at Hickam Field at the time of the attack.

Battleships

: Exploded; total loss. 1,177 dead.: Capsized; refloated November 1943; capsized and lost while under tow to the mainland May 1947 429 dead.: two bombs, seven torpedoes, sunk; returned to service July 1944. 106 dead.: two bombs, two torpedoes, sunk; returned to service January 1944. 100 dead.: six bombs, one torpedo, beached; returned to service October 1942. 60 dead.: two bombs; returned to service February 1942. 5 dead.: two bombs; returned to service February 1942. 4 dead (including floatplane pilot shot down).(Kimmel’s Flagship) : in drydock with Cassin and Downes, one bomb, debris from USS Cassin; remained in service. 9 dead.

Cruisers

: One torpedo; returned to service January 1942. 20 dead.: One torpedo; remained in service.: Near miss, light damage; remained in service.

Destroyers

: in drydock with Downes and Pennsylvania, One bomb, burned; returned to service February 1944.: in drydock with Cassin and Pennsylvania, caught fire from Cassin, burned; returned to service November 1943.: Three bombs; returned to service June 1942.

Auxiliaries

(minelayer): Damaged by torpedo hit on Helena, capsized; returned to service (as engine-repair ship) February 1944. (repair ship): Two bombs, blast and fire from Arizona, beached; returned to service by August 1942. (seaplane tender): One bomb, one Japanese aircraft; returned to service January 1942. 19 dead.

Salvage


After a systematic search for survivors, formal salvage operations began. Captain Homer N. Wallin
Homer N. Wallin
Vice Admiral Homer Norman Wallin was a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy, best known for his salvage of ships sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor.-Biography:...

, Material Officer for Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was immediately ordered to lead salvage operations. ‘Within a short time I was relieved of all other duties and ordered to full time work as Fleet Salvage Officer’.

Around Pearl Harbor, divers from the Navy (shore and tenders), the Naval Shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

, and civilian contractors (Pacific Bridge and others) began work on the ships that could be refloated. They patched holes, cleared debris, and pumped water out of ships. Navy divers worked inside the damaged ships. Within six months, five battleships and two cruisers were patched or refloated so they could be sent to shipyards in Pearl and on the mainland for extensive repair.

Intensive salvage operations continued for another year, a total of some 20,000 man-hours under water. Oklahoma, while successfully raised, was never repaired, and capsized while under tow to the mainland in 1947. Arizona and the target ship Utah were too heavily damaged for salvage, though much of their armament and equipment was removed and put to use aboard other vessels. Today, the two hulks remain where they were sunk, with Arizona becoming a war memorial
USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day...

.

Aftermath


In the wake of the attack, 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Cross
Navy Cross
The Navy Cross is the highest decoration that may be bestowed by the Department of the Navy and the second highest decoration given for valor. It is normally only awarded to members of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard, but can be awarded to all...

es, 53 Silver Stars, four Navy and Marine Corps Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Medal
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the second highest non-combatant medal awarded by the United States Department of the Navy to members of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps...

s, one Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The...

, four Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree...

es, one Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (United States)
The Distinguished Service Medal is the highest non-valorous military and civilian decoration of the United States military which is issued for exceptionally meritorious service to the government of the United States in either a senior government service position or as a senior officer of the United...

, and three Bronze Stars were awarded to the American servicemen who distinguished themselves in combat at Pearl Harbor. Additionally, a special military award
Awards and decorations of the United States military
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...

, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal
Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal
The Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Medal, is a decoration of the United States military which was established by the United States Congress in 1991. The medal recognizes veterans of the U.S...

, was later authorized for all military veterans of the attack.

The day after the attack, Roosevelt delivered his famous Infamy Speech
Infamy Speech
The Presidential Address to Congress of December 8, 1941 was delivered at 12:30 p.m. that day to a Joint Session of Congress by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one day after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii...

 to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. Congress obliged his request less than an hour later. On December 11 Germany and Italy, honoring their commitments under the Tripartite Pact, declared war on the United States. The Tripartite Pact was an earlier agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan which had the principal objective of limiting U.S. intervention in any conflicts involving the three nations. The United States Congress issued a declaration of war against Germany and Italy later that same day. Britain actually declared war on Japan nine hours before the US did, partially due to Japanese attacks on Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong, and partially due to Winston Churchill's promise to declare war "within the hour" of a Japanese attack on the United States.

The attack was an initial shock to all the Allies in the Pacific Theater. Further losses compounded the alarming setback. Japan attacked the Philippines hours later (because of the time difference, it was December 8 in the Philippines). Only three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk
Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse
The sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse was a Second World War naval engagement that took place north of Singapore, off the east coast of Malaya, near Kuantan, Pahang where the British Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse were sunk by land-based bombers and...

 off the coast of Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

, causing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 later to recollect "In all the war I never received a more direct shock. As I turned and twisted in bed the full horror of the news sank in upon me. There were no British or American capital ships in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 or the Pacific except the American survivors of Pearl Harbor who were hastening back to California. Over this vast expanse of waters Japan was supreme and we everywhere were weak and naked".

Throughout the war, Pearl Harbor was frequently used in American propaganda
American propaganda during World War II
During World War II, American propaganda was used to increase support for the war and commitment to an Allied victory. Using a wide variety of media, propagandists fomented hatred for the enemy and support for America's allies, urged greater public effort for war production and victory gardens,...

.

One further consequence of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath (notably the Niihau Incident
Niihau Incident
The Niihau Incident occurred on December 7, 1941, when Japanese Zero pilot Shigenori Nishikaichi crash-landed on the Hawaiian island of Niihau after participating in the attack on Pearl Harbor....

) was that Japanese American residents and citizens were relocated to nearby Japanese-American internment camps. Within hours of the attack, hundreds of Japanese American leaders were rounded up and brought to high-security camps such as Sand Island
Sand Island (Hawaii)
Sand Island, formerly known as Quarantine Island, is a small island within the city of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. The island lies at the entrance to Honolulu Harbor.-History:...

 at the mouth of Honolulu harbor and Kilauea Military Camp
Kilauea Military Camp
Kilauea Military Camp is currently operated as a Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility on Hawai’i Island, also known as the Big Island, in Hawaiʻi. It is located inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. This U.S...

 on the island of Hawaii
Hawaii (island)
The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

. Later, over 110,000 Japanese Americans, including United States citizens, were removed from their homes and transferred to internment camps in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas.

Niihau Incident

The Japanese planners had determined that some means of rescuing fliers whose aircraft were too badly damaged to return to the carriers was required. The island of Niihau, only 30 minutes flying time from Pearl Harbor, was designated as the rescue point.

The Zero flown by Petty Officer Saikaijo of Hiryu was damaged in the attack on Wheeler, and he flew to the rescue point on Niihau. The aircraft was further damaged on landing, and Saikaijo was helped from the wreckage by one of the native Hawaiian inhabitants. The island’s residents had no telephones or radio and were completely unaware of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The pilot’s maps and other documents had been retained by his local rescuers, and when Saikaijo realized this he enlisted the support of the only two Japanese residents of the island in an attempt to recover them. During the ensuing struggles, Saikaijo was killed, one of the Japanese residents committed suicide and the other disappeared.

The ease with which the local Japanese residents apparently went to the assistance of Saikaijo was a source of concern for many, and tended to support those who believed that local Japanese could not be trusted.
Today, the USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors the lives lost on the day of the attack. Visitors to the memorial access it via boats from the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Alfred Preis is the architect responsible for the memorial's design. The structure has a sagging center and its ends strong and vigorous. It commemorates "initial defeat and ultimate victory" of all lives lost on December 7, 1941. Although December 7 is known as Pearl Harbor Day, it is not considered a federal holiday in the United States. The nation does however, continue to pay homage remembering the thousands injured and killed when attacked by the Japanese in 1941. Schools and other establishments across the country respectfully lower the American flag to half-staff.

Strategic implications


Admiral Hara Tadaichi summed up the Japanese result by saying, "We won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war." While the attack accomplished its intended objective, it turned out to be largely unnecessary. Unbeknownst to Yamamoto, who conceived the original plan, the U.S. Navy had decided as far back as 1935 to abandon 'charging' across the Pacific towards the Philippines in response to an outbreak of war (in keeping with the evolution of Plan Orange). The U.S. instead adopted "Plan Dog" in 1940, which emphasized keeping the IJN out of the eastern Pacific and away from the shipping lanes to Australia while the U.S. concentrated on defeating Nazi Germany.

Fortunately for the United States, the American aircraft carriers were untouched by the Japanese attack, otherwise the Pacific Fleet's ability to conduct offensive operations would have been crippled for a year or so (given no diversions from the Atlantic Fleet). As it was, the elimination of the battleships left the U.S. Navy with no choice but to rely on its aircraft carriers and submarines—the very weapons with which the U.S. Navy halted and eventually reversed the Japanese advance. While six of the eight battleships were repaired and returned to service., their relatively slow speed limited their deployment, and they served mainly in shore bombardment roles. A major flaw of Japanese strategic thinking was a belief the ultimate Pacific battle would be fought by battleships, in keeping with the doctrine of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide...

. As a result, Yamamoto (and his successors) hoarded battleships for a "decisive battle" that never happened.

Ultimately, targets not on Genda's list, such as the submarine base and the old headquarters building, proved more important than any battleship. It was submarines that immobilized the Imperial Japanese Navy's heavy ships and brought Japan's economy to a virtual standstill by crippling the transportation of oil and raw materials: import of raw materials was down by half what it had been at the end of 1942, "to a disastrous ten million tons", while oil import "was almost completely stopped". Also, the basement of the Old Administration Building was the home of the cryptanalytic unit
Station HYPO
Station HYPO, also known as Fleet Radio Unit Pacific was the United States Navy signals monitoring and cryptographic intelligence unit in Hawaii during World War II. It was one of two major Allied signals intelligence units, called Fleet Radio Units in the Pacific theaters, along with FRUMEL in...

 which contributed significantly to the Midway ambush and the Submarine Force's success.

Media


Fiction

  • The Final Countdown is a movie set around Pearl Harbor, in which the nuclear aircraft carrier
    Aircraft carrier
    An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

    , , from 1980 is time-warped
    Time travel
    Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

     back to December 6, 1941, one day before the attack on the base.
  • From Here to Eternity
    From Here to Eternity
    From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. It deals with the troubles of soldiers, played by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine stationed on Hawaii in the months leading up to the...

    by James Jones
    James Jones (author)
    James Jones was an American author known for his explorations of World War II and its aftermath.-Life and work:...

    . The attack on Pearl Harbor plays a crucial role for Robert E. Lee Prewitt.
  • In Harm's Way
    In Harm's Way
    In Harm's Way is a 1965 American epic war film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Stanley Holloway, Burgess Meredith, Brandon De Wilde, Jill Haworth, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda.It was the last black-and-white...

    , a 1965 Otto Preminger
    Otto Preminger
    Otto Ludwig Preminger was an Austro–Hungarian-American theatre and film director.After moving from the theatre to Hollywood, he directed over 35 feature films in a five-decade career. He rose to prominence for stylish film noir mysteries such as Laura and Fallen Angel...

     film version of a James Bassett novel which opens on the eve of 6 December 1941 in Hawaii, and depicts the attack from the point of view of the men of a ship that is able to leave the harbor.
  • Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor (film)
    Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American action drama war film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay...

    is a 2001 film directed by Michael Bay
    Michael Bay
    Michael Benjamin Bay is an American film director and producer. He is known for directing high-budget action films characterized by their fast edits, stylistic visuals and substantial practical special effects...

    , a love story of little historical accuracy.

Historical fiction

  • Air Force, a 1943 propaganda
    Propaganda
    Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

     film depicting the fate of the crew of the Mary-Ann, one of the B-17 Flying Fortress bombers that fly into Hickam Field during the attack.
  • December 7th
    December 7th (film)
    December 7th is a propaganda film produced by the US Navy and directed by John Ford, about the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the event which sparked the Pacific War and American involvement in World War II.-Production background:...

    , directed by John Ford
    John Ford
    John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

     for the U.S. Navy in 1943, is a film that recreates the attacks of the Japanese forces. Other documentaries, as well as media stories, have mistakenly replayed images from this film, passing them off as authentic footage of the actual Pearl Harbor attack.
  • Storm Over the Pacific also known as Hawai Middouei daikaikusen: Taiheiyo no arashi (Hawaii -Midway Battle of the Sea and Sky: Storm in the Pacific Ocean) was produced by the Japanese studio Toho Company Ltd.
    Toho
    is a Japanese film, theater production, and distribution company. It is headquartered in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group...

     in 1960 telling the story of Japanese airmen who served in the Pearl Harbor Raid and Battle of Midway. An edited version dubbed into English as I Bombed Pearl Harbor was given U.S. release in 1961.
  • Tora! Tora! Tora!
    Tora! Tora! Tora!
    is a 1970 American-Japanese war film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, to the extent these facts were known at the time of production. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer and stars an all-star cast, including So Yamamura, E.G...

    is a 1970 movie about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which is meticulous in its approach to dissecting the situation leading up to the December 7, 1941. It depicts the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from both American and Japanese points of view, with attention to historical fact, including the U.S. use of cryptanalysis
    Cryptanalysis
    Cryptanalysis is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information, without access to the secret information that is normally required to do so. Typically, this involves knowing how the system works and finding a secret key...

     (known as MAGIC
    Magic (cryptography)
    Magic was an Allied cryptanalysis project during World War II. It involved the United States Army's Signals Intelligence Section and the United States Navy's Communication Special Unit. -Codebreaking:...

    ).
  • The Winds of War
    The Winds of War
    The Winds of War is Herman Wouk's second book about World War II, the first being The Caine Mutiny . Published in 1971, it was followed up seven years later by War and Remembrance; originally conceived as one volume, Wouk decided to break it in two when he realized it took nearly 1000 pages just to...

    , a novel by American writer Herman Wouk
    Herman Wouk
    Herman Wouk is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of novels including The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.-Biography:...

    , written between 1963 and 1971. The novel finishes in December 1941 with the aftermath of the attack. The TV miniseries based on the book was produced by Dan Curtis, airing in 1984. It starred Robert Mitchum
    Robert Mitchum
    Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer and is #23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time...

     and Ali MacGraw
    Ali MacGraw
    Elizabeth Alice "Ali" MacGraw is an American actress. She is known for her role in Love Story, for which she won a Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination.-Early life:...

    , with Ralph Bellamy
    Ralph Bellamy
    Ralph Bellamy was an American actor whose career spanned sixty-two years.-Early life:He was born Ralph Rexford Bellamy in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Lilla Louise , a native of Canada, and Charles Rexford Bellamy. He ran away from home when he was fifteen and managed to get into a road show...

     as President Roosevelt.

Non-fiction/historical

  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor: An Illustrated History by Larry Kimmett and Margaret Regis is a careful recreation of the "Day of Infamy" using maps, photos, unique illustrations, and an animated CD. From the early stages of Japanese planning, through the attack on Battleship Row
    Battleship Row
    Battleship Row was the grouping of eight US battleships in port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941. These ships bore the brunt of the Japanese assault. They were moored next to Ford Island when the attack commenced. The ships were , , , , , , , and...

    , to the salvage of the U.S. Pacific fleet, this book provides a detailed overview of the attack.

  • At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. Prange is an extremely comprehensive account of the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack and is considered by most scholars to be the best single work about the raid. It is a balanced account that gives both the Japanese and American perspectives. Prange spent 37 years researching the book by studying documents about Pearl Harbor and interviewing surviving participants to attempt the most exhaustive account of what happened: the Japanese planning and execution, why US intelligence failed to warn of it, and why a peace agreement was not attained. The Village called the book, "By far the most exhaustive and complete account we are likely to have of exactly what happened and how and why." The book is the first in the so-called "Prange Trilogy" of Pearl Harbor books co-written with Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, the other two being:
  • Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History – a dissection of the various revisionist
    Historical revisionism
    In historiography, historical revisionism is the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event...

     theories surrounding the attack.
  • December 7, 1941: The Day The Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor – a recollection of the attack as narrated by eyewitnesses.

  • Day of Infamy by Walter Lord
    Walter Lord
    John Walter Lord, Jr. , was an American author, best known for his documentary-style non-fiction account A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the RMS Titanic.-Early life:...

     was one of the most popular nonfiction accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • Pearl Harbor: Final Judgment by Henry C. Clausen and Bruce Lee tells of Clausen's top-secret investigation of the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack. Much of the information in this book was still classified when previous books were published.

  • Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson by Skipper Steely is an insightful and detailed account of the events leading up to the attack. Through his comprehensive treatment of the life and times of Admiral James O. Richardson, Steely explores four decades of American foreign policy, traditional military practice, U.S. intelligence, and the administrative side of the military, exposing the largely untold story of the events leading up to the Japanese attack.

  • Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans, released by Goldstein and Dillon in 1993, used materials from Prange's library to further flesh out the Japanese perspective of the attack, including diaries from some officers and ship logs.

Alternate history

  • Days of Infamy is a novel by Harry Turtledove
    Harry Turtledove
    Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.- Life :...

     in which the Japanese attack on Hawaii is not limited to a strike on Pearl Harbor, but is instead a full-scale invasion and eventual occupation after U.S. forces are driven off the islands (something one of the key planners of the attack, Commander Minoru Genda
    Minoru Genda
    was a well-known Japanese military aviator and politician. He is best known for planning the Pearl Harbor attack.- Early life :Minoru Genda was the second son of a farmer from Hiroshima. Two brothers were graduates of Tokyo University, another brother graduated from Chiba Medical College, and his...

     wanted but the senior officers realized was impossible). The many viewpoint characters (a Turtledove trademark) are drawn from Hawaiian civilians (both white and Japanese) as well as soldiers and sailors from both Japan and the USA. Turtledove has to date written one sequel, The End of the Beginning.
  • The airstrike and Hawaii-invasion premise of Days of Infamy was earlier used in the first episode of the anime OVA series Konpeki no Kantai
    Konpeki no Kantai
    is a Japanese alternate-history original video animation series produced by J.C.Staff. The series focuses on a technologically advanced Imperial Japanese Navy and a radically different World War II that was brought about by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's revival in the past due to unexplained...

    . In the episode, Japan carries out the attack in the early hours of the morning, having perfected night carrier operations. The raid begins with a flare
    Flare (pyrotechnic)
    A flare, also sometimes called a fusee, is a type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion. Flares are used for signalling, illumination, or defensive countermeasures in civilian and military applications...

     drop by pathfinders. The entire base (including the repair facilities) and a number of supply ships in the harbor are destroyed by daybreak. As for the main body of the Pacific Fleet, the Combined Fleet regroups and annihilates them while they return to Pearl Harbor. The episode, which is divided into three stages in the series' game version, ends with Japanese troops landing at all islands in Hawaii.

See also



  • Air warfare of World War II
    Air warfare of World War II
    Air warfare of World War II was a major component of World War II in all theatres, and consumed a large fraction of the industrial output of the major powers....

  • Attack on Howland Island
  • List of United States Navy ships present at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
  • Nagai Kita
    Nagai Kita
    was a Japanese Consul stationed in Hawaii. He received instructions on March 22, 1941 to gather information about the schedule of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, by bribery, if necessary. These instructions were intercepted by U.S...

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
    National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
    National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is observed annually on December 7, is to remember and honor all those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On August 23, 1994, United States Congress, by , designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day...

  • Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory
  • Pearl Harbor Survivors Association
    Pearl Harbor Survivors Association
    The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, founded in 1958 and recognized by the United States Congress in 1985, is an organization whose members were at or in the vicinity of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during the Japanese attack of December 7, 1941....

  • USS Arizona Memorial
    USS Arizona Memorial
    The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day...

  • Winds Code
    Winds Code
    The “Winds Code” is a confused military intelligence episode relating to the Attack on Pearl Harbor, especially the advance-knowledge debate.The Winds Code was an instruction from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Washington on November 19, 1941...



Further reading


  • James Dorsey. "Literary Tropes, Rhetorical Looping, and the NIne Gods of War: 'Fascist Proclivities' Made Real," in The Culture of Japanese Fascism, ed. by Alan Tansman (Durham & London: Duke UP, 2009), pp 409–431. A study of Japanese wartime media representations of the submarine component of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • McCollum memo
    McCollum memo
    The McCollum memo, also known as the Eight Action Memo was a memorandum, dated October 7, 1940 The McCollum memo, also known as the Eight Action Memo was a memorandum, dated October 7, 1940 The McCollum memo, also known as the Eight Action Memo was a memorandum, dated October 7, 1940 (more than a...

     A 1940 memo from a Naval headquarters staff officer to his superiors outlining possible provocations to Japan, which might lead to war (declassified in 1994).
  • Gordon W. Prange, At Dawn We Slept (McGraw-Hill, 1981), Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History (McGraw-Hill, 1986), and December 7, 1941: The Day the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor (McGraw-Hill, 1988). This monumental trilogy, written with collaborators Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon, is considered the authoritative work on the subject.
  • Larry Kimmett and Margaret Regis, The Attack on Pearl Harbor: An Illustrated History (NavPublishing, 2004). Using maps, photos, unique illustrations, and an animated CD, this book provides a detailed overview of the surprise attack that brought the United States into World War II.
  • Walter Lord
    Walter Lord
    John Walter Lord, Jr. , was an American author, best known for his documentary-style non-fiction account A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the RMS Titanic.-Early life:...

    , Day of Infamy (Henry Holt, 1957) is a very readable, and entirely anecdotal, re-telling of the day's events.
  • W. J. Holmes, Double-Edged Secrets: U.S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific During World War II (Naval Institute, 1979) contains some important material, such as Holmes' argument that, had the U.S. Navy been warned of the attack and put to sea, it would have likely resulted in an even greater disaster.
  • Michael V. Gannon, Pearl Harbor Betrayed (Henry Holt, 2001) is a recent examination of the issues surrounding the surprise of the attack.
  • Frederick D. Parker, Pearl Harbor Revisited: United States Navy Communications Intelligence 1924–1941 (Center for Cryptologic History, 1994) contains a detailed description of what the Navy knew from intercepted and decrypted Japan's communications prior to Pearl.
  • Henry C. Clausen and Bruce Lee, Pearl Harbor: Final Judgment, (HarperCollins, 2001), an account of the secret "Clausen Inquiry" undertaken late in the war by order of Congress to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
    Henry L. Stimson
    Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

    .
  • Robert A. Theobald, Final Secret of Pearl Harbor (Devin-Adair Pub, 1954) ISBN 0-8159-5503-0 ISBN 0-317-65928-6 Foreword by Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.
  • Albert C. Wedemeyer
    Albert Coady Wedemeyer
    General Albert Coady Wedemeyer was a United States Army commander who served primarily in Asia during World War II. His most notable command was the China theater in the South-East Asia Theater. During the Cold War, Wedemeyer was a chief supporter of the Berlin Airlift.-Early Life and military...

    , Wedemeyer Reports! (Henry Holt Co, 1958) ISBN 0-89275-011-1 ISBN 0-8159-7216-4
  • Hamilton Fish
    Hamilton Fish
    Hamilton Fish was an American statesman and politician who served as the 16th Governor of New York, United States Senator and United States Secretary of State. Fish has been considered one of the best Secretary of States in the United States history; known for his judiciousness and reform efforts...

    , Tragic Deception: FDR and America's Involvement in World War II (Devin-Adair Pub, 1983) ISBN 0-8159-6917-1
  • John Toland, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath (Berkley Reissue edition, 1986 ISBN 0-425-09040-X).
  • Robert Stinnett
    Robert Stinnett
    Robert B. Stinnett is a former American sailor who earned ten battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. He is the author of Day of Deceit, regarding U.S. government advance knowledge of the World War II Pearl Harbor attack.-Biography:...

    , Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (Free Press, 1999) A study of the Freedom of Information Act documents that led Congress to direct clearance of Kimmel and Short. ISBN 0-7432-0129-9
  • Edward L. Beach, Jr.
    Edward L. Beach, Jr.
    Edward Latimer Beach, Jr. was a highly-decorated United States Navy submarine officer and best-selling author....

    , Scapegoats: A Defense of Kimmel and Short at Pearl HarborISBN 1-55750-059-2
  • Andrew Krepinevich, (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments) contains a passage regarding the Yarnell attack, as well as reference citations.
  • Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision, (Stanford University Press: 1962). Regarded by many as the most important work in the attempt to understand the intelligence failure at Pearl Harbor. Her introduction and analysis of the concept of "noise" persists in understanding intelligence failures.
  • John Hughes-Wilson, Military Intelligence Blunders and Cover-Ups. Robinson, 1999 (revised 2004). Contains a brief but insightful chapter on the particular intelligence failures, and broader overview of what causes them.
  • Seki, Eiji. (2006). Mrs. Ferguson's Tea-Set, Japan and the Second World War: The Global Consequences Following Germany's Sinking of the SS Automedon in 1940. London: Global Oriental
    Global Oriental
    Global Oriental is an imprint of the Dutch publishing house Brill . It used to be trade publishing company based in Kent, United Kingdom. It is the publisher of scholarly books on Japan and East Asia in fields such as History, Martial Arts, Arts and Literature...

    . ISBN 1-905246-28-5; ISBN 978-1-905246-28-1 (cloth) Reprinted by University of Hawaii Press
    University of Hawaii Press
    The University of Hawaii Press is a university press that is part of the University of Hawaii.The University of Hawaii Press was founded in 1947, with the mission of advancing and disseminating scholarship by publishing current research in all disciplines of the humanities and natural and social...

    , Honolulu, 2007. Previously announced as Sinking of the SS Automedon and the Role of the Japanese Navy: A New Interpretation.
  • Daniel Madsen, Resurrection-Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor. U.S. Naval Institute Press. 2003. Highly readable and thoroughly researched account of the aftermath of the attack and the salvage efforts from December 8, 1941 through early 1944.
  • Takeo, Iguchi, Demystifying Pearl Harbor: A New Perspective From Japan, I-House Press, 2010, ASIN: B003RJ1AZA.


External links





Accounts

Media

Historic documents