Author Topic: Pearl Harbor Attack (1941)  (Read 2639 times)

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Pearl Harbor Attack (1941)
« on: December 16, 2018, 02:53:16 AM »
From: britannica.com
Quote
Pearl Harbor attack, (December 7, 1941), surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, by the Japanese that precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II. The strike climaxed a decade of worsening relations between the United States and Japan.

< snipped >

Prelude To War

In the late 1930s, American foreign policy in the Pacific hinged on support for China, and aggression against China by Japan therefore necessarily would bring Japan into conflict with the United States. As early as 1931 the Tokyo government had extended its control over the Chinese province of Manchuria, and the following year the Japanese cemented their hold on the region with the creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo. A clash at the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing on July 7, 1937, signaled the beginning of open warfare between Japan and the United Front of Chinese Nationalists and the Chinese Communist Party. In response, the United States government extended its first loan to China in 1938.

In July 1939 the U.S. announced the termination of the 1911 Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Japan. Beginning in the summer of 1940, the U.S. began to restrict the export to Japan of materials useful in war. Between June 1940 and the fateful crisis of December 1941, the tension constantly mounted. In July 1941, by which time the Japanese had occupied all of Indochina and had entered into an alliance with the Axis powers (Germany and Italy), the U.S. government severed all commercial and financial relations with Japan. Japanese assets were frozen, and an embargo was declared on shipments to Japan of petroleum and other vital war materials. Militarists were steadily gaining in influence in the Tokyo government; they bitterly resented U.S. aid to China, which by this time had been stepped up. They saw in the German invasion of the Soviet Union an unrivaled opportunity to pursue a policy of aggression in the Far East without danger of an attack upon their rear by the forces of the Red Army. Nonetheless, negotiations looking to find some kind of understanding between the United States and Japan took place through the autumn of 1941, and not until near the end of November did it become clear that no agreement was possible.

Although Japan continued to negotiate with the United States up to the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, the government of Prime Minister Tōjō Hideki decided on war. Adm. Yamamoto Isoroku, the commander in chief of Japan’s Combined Fleet, had planned the attack against the U.S. Pacific Fleet with great care. Once the U.S. fleet was out of action, the way for the unhindered Japanese conquest of all of Southeast Asia and the Indonesian archipelago would be open. The order for the assault was issued on November 5, 1941, and on November 16 the task force began its rendezvous in the Kuril Islands. Commanders were instructed that the fleet might be recalled, however, in case of a favourable outcome of the negotiations in Washington, D.C. On November 26, Vice Adm. Nagumo Chuichi led a fleet including 6 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, and 11 destroyers to a point some 275 miles (440 km) north of Hawaii. From there about 360 planes in total were launched.

< snipped >

The Attack

The first Japanese dive-bomber appeared over Pearl Harbor at 7:55 AM (local time). It was part of a first wave of nearly 200 aircraft, including torpedo planes, bombers, and fighters. Within a quarter of an hour the various airfields at the base were subjected to savage attack. Due to Short’s anti-sabotage measures, the U.S. military aircraft were packed tightly together at the Naval Air Station on Ford Island and adjoining Wheeler and Hickam fields, and many were destroyed on the ground by Japanese strafing. At Wheeler Field in particular the destruction was fearful. Of the 126 planes on the ground, 42 were totally destroyed, 41 were damaged, and only 43 were left fit for service. Only 6 U.S. planes got into the air to repel the attackers of this first assault. In total, more than 180 aircraft were destroyed.

At the same time a massive action was directed against Kimmel’s fleet. The ships anchored in the harbour made perfect targets for the Japanese bombers, and, because it was Sunday morning (a time chosen by the Japanese for maximum surprise), they were not fully manned. Most of the damage to the battleships was inflicted in the first 30 minutes of the assault. The battleship USS Arizona blew up with a tremendous explosion. Riddled with bombs and torpedoes, the USS West Virginia settled on an even keel on the bottom of the harbour. The USS Oklahoma, hit by four torpedoes within five minutes, rolled completely over, with its bottom and propeller rising above the waters of the harbour. The USS California, the flagship of the Pacific Battle Force, was torpedoed and ordered abandoned as it slowly sank in shallow water. The target ship USS Utah also was sunk. Hardly a vessel escaped damage. The antiaircraft crews on the various vessels were fairly prompt in getting into action, and army personnel fired with what they had, but the force of the attack was in no serious way blunted.

At 8:50 AM the second wave of the attack began. Less successful than the first, it nonetheless inflicted heavy damage. The battleship USS Nevada had sustained a torpedo hit during the first wave, but its position at the end of Battleship Row allowed it greater freedom of action than the other moored capital ships. It was attempting to get underway when the second wave hit. It was struck by seven or eight bombs and was grounded at the head of the channel. The battleship USS Pennsylvania was set ablaze by bombs, and the two destroyers moored near it were reduced to wrecks. The destroyer USS Shaw was split in two by a great explosion. Shortly after 9:00 AM the Japanese withdrew.

No one could doubt that the Japanese had gained a great success. The Arizona and the Oklahoma were destroyed with great loss of life, and six other battleships suffered varying degrees of damage. Three cruisers, three destroyers, and other vessels were also damaged. U.S. military casualties totaled more than 3,400, including more than 2,300 killed. Heavy damage was inflicted on both army and navy aircraft on the ground. The Japanese lost from 29 to 60 planes, five midget submarines, perhaps one or two fleet submarines, and fewer than 100 men. The Japanese task force retired from the theatre of battle without being attacked.

There was, however, one consoling feature to the tragedy. As a result of the dispositions made by Kimmel, two U.S. aircraft carriers were not in the harbour. The USS Enterprise, under Adm. William F. Halsey, was on a mission to reinforce the Wake Island garrison with marine planes and aviators. The USS Lexington was undertaking a similar mission to ferry marine dive-bombers to Midway. These operations also meant that seven heavy cruisers and a division of destroyers were at sea. The Enterprise was scheduled to return to Pearl Harbor on December 6 but was delayed by weather. A third carrier, the USS Saratoga, was embarking a fresh complement of aircraft in San Diego on the morning of the attack.

The Pearl Harbor attack severely crippled U.S. naval and air strength in the Pacific. However, of the eight battleships, all but the Arizona and Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service, and the Japanese failed to destroy the important oil storage facilities on the island. The “date which will live in infamy,” as U.S. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt termed it, unified the U.S. public and swept away any earlier support for neutrality. On December 8 Congress declared war on Japan with only one dissenting vote (Rep. Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who had also voted against U.S. entry into World War I).

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Pearl Harbor Attack (1941)
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 03:10:52 AM »

Pearl Harbor attack. The U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu Island, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc./Kenny Chmielewski
-

Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as seen from a Japanese aircraft during the attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, December 7, 1941. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Pearl Harbor Attack (1941)
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 03:20:01 AM »
Pearl Harbor Attack Footage (1941) by Naval History and Heritage
Quote
This footage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was shot by CWO4 Clyde Daughtry. The original footage has since been lost, and the poor quality of this footage is due to the fact that it is a copy. Among the many valuable portions of this footage are shots of USS Nevada (BB-36) underway and firing back at Japanese aircraft, USS Oglala (CM-4) rolling over and sinking, and USS St. Louis underway (CL-4). Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section, UM-10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeLWNadsQpE

=====

Attack on Pearl Harbor 1941
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6cz9gtMTeI


Ayoshi

  • Timawan
  • Boffin
  • *
  • Posts: 5679
    • View Profile
Re: Pearl Harbor Attack (1941)
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 03:53:31 AM »

Three U.S. battleships are hit from the air during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Japan's bombing of U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor brings the U.S. into World War II. From left are: USS West Virginia, severely damaged; USS Tennessee, damaged; and USS Arizona, sunk. (AP Photo)
-

An undamaged light cruiser steams out past the burning USS Arizona and takes to sea with the rest of the fleet during the Japanese aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941 during World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)
-

American ships burn during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1942. (AP Photo)
-

A small boat rescues a USS West Virginia crew member from the water after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 during World War II. Two men can be seen on the superstructure, upper center. The mast of the USS Tennessee is beyond the burning West Virginia. (AP Photo)
-

Black smoke rises from the burning wrecks of several U.S. Navy battleships after they had been bombed during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. (AP Photo)

adroth

  • Administrator
  • Boffin
  • *****
  • Posts: 14030
    • View Profile
    • The ADROTH Project
Re: Pearl Harbor Attack (1941)
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2021, 06:09:10 AM »
29 iconic images of the attack on Pearl Harbor

https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/29-iconic-images-of-the-attack-on-pearl-idUSRTXL81HF


====

The forward superstructure of the sunken battleship USS Arizona burns after the attack. U.S. Navy/U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

« Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 06:11:18 AM by adroth »