The Bombing of Pearl Harbor

One of the most major events in American history is the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This bombing affected the lives of many American citizens across the nation. Not only were many Americans killed, it served as a major accomplishment for the Axis forces during World War II. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was an important event in U.S. history that affected most of the nation and brought America into World War II.

Many American citizens wanted Hawaii to become a state because of the sugar that was being traded between America and Hawaii. At this time, the president of the United States was Grover Cleveland, who was opposed to Hawaii becoming a state (United States Takes on the World). America had signed a treaty with the Hawaiian Kingdom in the late 1800’s called the Reciprocity Treaty, which allowed America to gain all rights to Pearl Harbor (Fischer). Later on, Hawaii was eventually annexed to the United States in 1898, and Pearl Harbor started being expanded in 1909. Many of the Hawaiians that lived in that area were extremely mad at the expansion for the first dock (Fischer). By the time Pearl harbor was done being built, its ten square miles, and it had more than 10,000 acres of accessible water. It is the headquarters for the Pacific Fleet (Pearl Harbor, Encyclopedia Britannica). It was used for storing naval vessels and battleships. It is the most important naval base in Hawaii because this event brought America into World War II.

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Since early 1941 the United States and Japan had been engaged in negotiations in an attempt to improve their strained relations and end the war in China. During these negotiations Japan advanced a number of proposals which were dismissed by the Americans as inadequate. China was one country that America frequently traded with, and Japan was gradually starting to take over. Franklin D. Roosevelt had warned Japan not to do anything else to China, or else America would fight back (World War II). Japan, Germany, and Italy signed the Tripartite Pact. This pact said that if any of the countries should need assistance, the other countries would be there to help them fight or recover. Throughout World War II, Italy, Germany, and Japan had been the Axis powers (History.com Editors).

On December 7, 1942 Japan bomb Pearl Harbor in two waves; the first started at 7:53 A.M., and the second started 8:55. It finally ended at around 9:55, and the total bombing lasted for about two hours (www.eyewitnesstohistory.com). The Japanese used bomber planes and aircraft carriers to get to Hawaii. There were over 350 Japanese aircraft and the first aircraft that appeared at 7:53 used a dive bomb technique. It was a total surprise attack for America, and they could not do much to defend themselves. Isoroku Yamamoto planned most of the Pearl Harbor attack (https://visitpearlharbor.org). Japan wanted to bomb the United States because they knew their navy was powerful, and they wanted to attack them before America could injure their navy (www.history.com). After the bombings were over, 2,304 people had died and 1,178 people were injured. Japan had more attacks planned for later in the day. More than 180 aircrafts were destroyed during the bombing. (www.britannica.com). About 3 hours after Pearl Harbor had been bombed, Japan had plans to attack the Philippine facilities. Japan was successful in damaging most of the aircraft that was held there (https://en.wikipedia.org).

Not only was half of the Pacific Fleet dead, more civilians were killed, injured, or their homes destroyed. 49 civilians were killed, and 35 were wounded. One Japanese aircraft crashed into a civilian house. (www.nps.gov). However, Hawaii was not the only place experiencing casualties, there were Japanese deaths too. The Japanese lost from 29 to 60 planes, five midget submarines, perhaps one or two fleet submarines, and fewer than 100 men. (www.britannica.com)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt heard the news about Pearl Harbor very quickly. He made a famous speech called the Infamy Speech, or the Pearl Harbor Speech. This speech was important because he said No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to and absolute victory. This stated that we would be brought into World War II, and that we would fight until we won (www.awon.org). He said that December 7, 1941 is a day that will live in infamy, meaning that it will never be forgotten (https://en.wikipedia.org).

The bombing of Pearl Harbor led to America’s entrance into World War II. It led to many battles during the World War II era, such as the Battle of Midway. President Roosevelt made sure that a bomb hit Japan as soon as possible (Horne).

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