The Impact of Pearl Harbor on America

At a time in history when there was tension rising between the United States and Japan because Japan’s military forces had invaded countries aggressively for their resources and told them to stop. It was December 7, 1941 and Japan decided to bomb Pearl Harbor, and defeat the US Pacific Fleet to obtain power and gain resources. This tragedy slightly weakened our military forces, killed a lot of innocent people, and left the U.S.

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in shock. This triumph event is significant in history because the U.S. forces bounced back quickly, declared war with Japan and won. The major tragedy for the United States was that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The U.S. lost a lot of people due to the attack. They had about 2,300 deaths and lost over 300 planes and about 20 ships. At first, the U.S. was so surprised because the attack came out of nowhere. Japan had caused mourn in the U.S. for all the lives they had lost that day. The U.S knew that there was tension between the two countries, but they didn’t expect it to get to that point. The United States’ triumph was that later in war, the U.S. had bombed Japan by hitting them with the first deployed atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The bomb killed 80,000 people immediately and destroyed ninety percent of the city. Other people died from an exposure to radiation. The US also deployed an A-bomb on Nagasaki that killed about 40,000 people. This caused Japan’s Emperor Hirohito to say that Japan surrenders from World War II because of a new and most cruel bomb. World War II was happening in Europe and Asia for two whole years, the United States had not entered the war at that time yet.

Although the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise, tension between the United States and Japan had been growing for a long time. The United States wasn’t happy with Japan because of their bad attitude towards China. The ruler of Japan was trying to take over Asia. He was getting worried about the US Navy in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii). Japan decided to attack the US to prevent the US from attacking them. The Japanese thought that if they attacked the war ships in Pearl Harbor, then the US Navy could not attack them. It turns out that the Japanese were mistaken, and the attack they made on Pearl Harbor went the opposite way they wanted it to go, causing the US to declare war the next day. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise. It was completed by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service and against the United States Naval Base. The attack took place on December 7,1941. At the time Franklin Roosevelt was our president. Hundreds of Japanese planes flew in and attacked. Bombers dropped bombs and torpedoes into the US Navy war ships, while the Japanese fighter planes attacked the US fighter planes, there were two waves of attacks. By the end of the second wave most of the U.S. ships were destroyed. Eight battleships, three destroyers, and three cruisers were all used out in the action, and two battleships, Oklahoma and Arizona, were sunk in the harbor. The Japanese destroyed or damaged almost 20 US ships and over 300 planes. More importantly, about 2,400 people lost their lives that day and wounding about 1,000 people. Timeline 3:42 am- An officer on patrol spots a submarine that was out of place.

A sailor nearby confirmed what he was seeing, and the officer alerted the destroyer Ward. 6:10 am-Commander Mitsuo Fuchida was in flight and readied to lead the air attack, noticed that Japan’s aircraft carriers were going through a bumping ride on the rocky waters. The crew had to keep that planes from tumbling over the side. Then 183 fighters, torpedo planes and bombers were the first wave and ready to attack Pearl Harbor.‹ 6:00 am- The first group of Japanese fighter planes take off from the ships located north of Hawaii. 6:26 am- Oahu comes into view of the Japanese planes. The overcast skies and the sunrise made it difficult to see. 7:02 am- An army lieutenant in training at Fort Shafter spots the planes about 70 miles from Hawaii, but doesn’t report it to his trainer. 7:33 am- A message sent from Japan, was decoded in Washington. The message made US believe Japan wanted to fight. They tried to notify the commander in Hawaii, but unfortunately it didn’t reach them until after the attack. 7:49 am- Mitsuo Fuchida commanded to attack and yelled, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” This meant that the attack was a surprise to the US. 7:55 am- The first group of planes bombed Pearl Harbor and hit the Helena, Utah and Oklahoma ships. 8:10 am- The President was notified of the attacks. ‹8:35 am- The first group of the Japanese fighter planes that attacked stopped. 8:50 am- The US Secretary of State, got a message from Japan’s government, saying that they called off all peace treaties and their alliances. 8:54 am- The second group of the Japanese fighter planes started to attack Pearl Harbor. 10:00 am- The first group of planes reached their ships, having achieved their mission. A third attack was considered, but ruled out due to the unknown whereabouts of US carriers. The short-term impact of the Pearl Harbor Attack was tremendously significant. The US had 3,581 casualties. The US was completely shocked because we had tried to stay out of the war but couldn’t just ignore this significant attack.

As a result, the government took action and immediately and declared War on Japan; therefore starting World War II. The Japanese had hoped to break the US, but instead they united them. On the next day December 8th US declared war on Japan. Three days later Japan, Germany, and Italy, all declared war on the United States. The US Navy was able to heal from the attack quickly. The Japanese had not damaged too many of the important facilities on the Hawaiian Islands, this includes oil storage units and repair yards. No aircraft carriers were in Pearl Harbor when the attack was taking place. Air crafts were soon going be the most important vessel in the war. In the war, the US lost over $4 trillion and lost between 50 and 80 million lives. The US’s economy took a huge hit and required women to step in and help with the men’s jobs while they were at war. Their rally cry was Remember Pearl Harbor! and their allies included The Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. The United States of America’s enemies included Japan and Germany. Franklin Roosevelt was the US President at the time and was the one to recommend that his country should go to war. The long-term impacts were that America will forever grieve for the ones that they forever lost to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. We had lost a lot of innocent people in World War II or left them permanently hurt. Also, ever since World War II, there have been more women in the American work force which was an economic improvement for America.

A political impact of the attack was that Americans from that generation had lost trust in people with a Japanese culture. They had lost so much trust that President Roosevelt had established internment camps for descendants of Japanese people to keep them separated from other American citizens. This was a US policy from 1942 to 1945. One website even said that these camps are now considered “atrocious” and that they were “violations of American civil rights”. Other examples of the US’s distrust at the time was when hours after the Pearl Harbor Attack, 1,291 Japanese American citizens were arrested and their money was held from them. Later they moved to the facilities in Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota and most of them were unable to inform their families. Americans believed that none of the Japanese people could be trusted due to the attack. The internment camps involved violence, too. For example, people that tried to leave were shot and killed. This image shows the path of the Japanese bombers during their attack on Pearl Harbor. It illustrates the first and second waves of the attack. As you can see, the Japanese not only bombed Pearl Harbor but they also bombed the Wheeler Airbase, the Kaneohe Airbase, and the Hickam Airbase. ‹ This is an image that compares the number of deaths in the Pearl Harbor Attack, the blue bar, to the number of deaths in the 9/11 Attack, the purple bar. Both attacks had a significant number of deaths.

As you can see, the 9/11 attack had about 600 more deaths. Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd US president and was elected for president four times. He had led the US through World War II and the Great depression. He was the US president at the time when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He had gotten polio in 1921 and had to spend most of his life in a wheelchair. Also, he gave fireside chats that were speeches broadcast live on the radio. Hideki Tojo was the Japanese prime minister during the Pearl Harbor Bombing. He was the eldest son in his family. He went to military school in 1899, following his father’s footsteps who was a lieutenant colonel in the Sino-Japanese War. He went to an army college and gained military experience and later on taught at a war college. In 1936, Hideki Tojo became a lieutenant general. In 1938, he was called out of field service to be the vice-minister of war and by the mid-1940’s he became war minister for the second Fumimaro Konoe government. In 1941 Hideki Tojo became the premier and got to form a new Cabinet. Tojo then decided to bomb Pearl Harbor.

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