The Battle of Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor is a United States naval base located around six miles west of the Hawaiian island Honolulu. The naval base itself is on the southside of the island O’ahu. The Japanese attack, also called the Battle of Pearl Harbor, was first thought of in January of nineteen forty-one, by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of Japan. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was a military officer who believed that in order to shatter the hopes of the American people, the American aircraft carriers must be destroyed.

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By destroying all aircraft carriers, the pride vessel of the American people, the confidence of the American population would be crushed.

Yamamoto did not get what he wanted in the slightest. The pride and confidence of the Americans was not even faltered; the American people responded with a massive uproar wanting war with the Japanese.Franklin Roosevelt, the american president, was meeting with Harry Hopkins, an American social worker, and the eighth Secretary of Commerce at the time of the attack. Franklin Roosevelt was completely unaware of the bombing for a short time. 

Frank Knox, Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Navy, interrupts and informes Roosevelt of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After the Bombing, President Franklin Roosevelt didn’t accept the congressional vote for war until later that day. Long waits upsetted the American People. Considerable amounts of Americans were helping support the war. Overnight, Americans joined together against the Japanese empire forming response calls to “Remember Pearl Harbor.”The Japanese used the code name “Operation Hawaii” for the attack which later changed to “Operation Z.”

The attack lasted for a for an hour and fifty minutes (110 minutes) on December seventh, nineteen forty-one. For Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, who led the attack, the bombing of Pearl Harbor had two main goals. Chuichi Nagumo wanted to destroy the American aircraft carriers and destroy the American battleships. Fortunately for the United States, the aircraft carriers were not at Pearl Harbor to witness the attack. The Japanese stationed two fleets of aircrafts. The two waves attacked around forty-five minutes apart.

The First fleet attacked at seven fifty-five a.m. and the second at eight forty a.m. The bombing ended at nine forty-five a.m. The attack needed a lot of time to plan. Planning for the attack began as early as January and was carried out in December. The Japanese planned the attack to be carried out on a Sunday morning. Sunday would be the best time for an attack because many americans would be off guard for the church service. In fact, many United States servicemen woke up frightened to the sounds of bombs falling and planes flying around them.

Many servicemen were still in pajamas and many were eating breakfast in the time of the bombing. The United States servicemen were wearing anything from green with purple stripes to black and white polka dots. While the Japanese wore green and/or white uniforms.The Japanese trained for a year for this attack. Everything needs to be precise or “Operation Z” would fail. The Japanese servicemen were serious about the mission.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, they underestimated the United States ability to recover from an attack and remobilize for an attack. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Built multiple of the United States battleships. Building of the battleships took time but each ship was built to last. The Japanese attacked the United States when they did is so they could destroy the Americans before they had enough ships to overcome the Japanese army.Japanese pilots targeted the battleship’s forward magazine. The forward magazine is the ammunition room in battleships.

The Japanese airmen targeted the ammunition rooms in the ships to ensure the destruction of the ship. Ammunition rooms are highly explosive, and targeting them would cause a massive explosion causing the ship to collapse. Sometimes when an ammunition room gets breached, the explosions would be so bad the ships would turn completely upside down and sink. Eight battleships were stationed in Pearl Harbor. Eight battleships were in Battleship Row at the time of the attack seven stable and one ship mobile. “Battleship Row” is the formation of the United States Ships.

The eight battleships were along Ford Island and were used to bear up against the Japanese assault.Four of the eight American battleships were sunk and one was capsized after the attack. Amazingly, all American ships except for two, the United States Ship Oklahoma and the United States Ship Arizona, were able to return to active duty after the attack. The United States Ship Arizona was breached in the ammunition room and exploded. According to, around one-thousand one-hundred United States servicemen were killed by the explosion of the United States Ship Arizona.

The attack stationed three-hundred and fifty-three Japanese aircrafts.The attack was not all aircrafts, however, there were also Japanese submarines that helped attack the battleships. All of the Japanese’s planes and submarines were labeled with their flag. The Japanese flag is white with a big, red circle and rays around it. The Flag is named the “Rising Sun Flag” When the flag did not have the sun rays around the circle, the United States servicemen called the big, red circle a meatball as a joke to cope with the stress.

There were as few as five midget submarines to aid the aerial fleet. Impressively for the Japanese, the five midget submarines took out the United States Ship Oklahoma almost all by themselves. The United States Ship Oklahoma was torpedoed a total of nine times, after the eighth time the United States Ship Oklahoma was already in the middle of flipping and was capsized. The ninth torpedo was fired while the ship was sinking in the mud. so badly the ship flipped completely upside down in the water and could not be repaired.

A total of four-hundred twenty-nine sailors and Marines were killed. The battleships that survived were the United States Ship Nevada, United States Ship Tennessee, United States Ship West Virginia, United States Ship Maryland, United States Ship California, and the United States Ship Pennsylvania.Nearly twenty United States vessels were damaged or destroyed in the attack. Over two thousand Americans were killed in the bombing, including civilians.

The United States Ship Arizona, resting place of one-thousand one hundred and two of these Americans, and now serves as a memorial, or a structure used to remind someone of a person or event. The United States Ship Arizona was renovated by an austrian-born architect Alfred Preis, and opened as a memorial on March thirtieth, nineteen sixty-two, twenty-one years after the attack. Oil is still leaking from the United States Ship Arizona.

The United States Ship Arizona was carrying one and a half million gallons (five point seven million liters) of oil. The battleship is currently leaking anywhere between two-to-nine gallons per day. After the United States Ship Arizona got destroyed, the ship burst into a ball of flames burning an unknown amount of the ships oil. After seventy-six years the United States Ship Arizona is still polluting the environment with all of its oil. The Battle of Pearl Harbor is still affecting the world today.The Battle of Pearl Harbor was one of the most important battles in all of world war two. The Japanese people later got stopped completely by the United States using the world’s first atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

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The Battle of Pearl Harbor. (2019, Dec 11). Retrieved from