Pearl Harbor Essay was one of the most vicious attacks on American soil. The surprise attack by Japan took place on Sunday morning December 7, 1941. Japan wanted to immobilize U.S.s Pacific fleet and destroy any chance of a counter strike in from the Pacific.
The United States responded by creating Japanese-American Internment Camps, which uprooted tens of thousands of Japanese-American families. And later America decided to use atomic weapons to end the war with Japan.
Tension between Japan and the United States started in 1931. Japan had taken over Manchuria, which was then a part of China. In 1937 Japan had started a campaign to conquer the rest of China that was long lasting and didnt work. In 1940 Japan signed the Axis Alliance with Germany and occupied all of Indochina the next year.
The U.S. was worried by Japans movements because of economic interests that the United States had in East Asia. The U.S. strengthened military aid to China and increased financial aid.
They also built up the military in the Pacific. The U.S. also cut off shipments of oil and raw materials to Japan. Japanese government saw this move as a threat to Japans survival because Japan doesnt have many natural resources. Japans next plan was to take control of the territories of South East Asia that have good amounts of natural resources, even though it would start a war with the United States.
(Lord,Walter. Day of Infamy ) (www.history.navy.mil) (http://campus.northpark.
The only thing that stood in the way of this plan was the threat posed by the U.S. Pacific fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the leader of the Japanese fleet, was the mastermind behind the plan to cripple the U.S. fleet.
Yamamoto wanted to disable the U.S. Pacific fleet by destroying enough ships, airfields, runways, planes, support facilities, and 4.5 billion gallons of fuel so that there was no chance for a counter attack. As Yamamoto put it he wanted to destroy the dagger pointed at our throat. (Beck, Roger.
Black, Linda. Krieger, Larry. Naylor, Phillip. Ibo Shabaka, Dahia. World History pg.827 830)
Yamamoto devised a clever plan that would have the attacking Japanese follow a storm front and keep strict radio silence to avoid being detected by American radar.
The Japanese attack was led by Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo and consisted of 6 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, and 2 cruisers. They got within 275 miles of Oahu before they launched their first attack wave at 6:00 AM, which arrived at Pearl Harbor at 7:55 AM and ended their attack at 9:45 AM. The first wave was made up of 49 bombers, 40 torpedo planes, 51 dive-bombers, and 43 fighters. The second wave started shortly after the first wave ended and was composed of 54 bombers, 78 dive-bombers, and 36 fighters. After the first two waves all 8 battleships in Pearl Harbor were sunk or disabled as well as 11 other ships. 164 planes were destroyed and 2,335 military personnel were killed along with 68 civilians.
Even though Yamamotos plan of attack called for a third wave of attack that would target 4.5 billion gallons of fuel and support facilities Nagumo called off the strike. He thought that there was enough damage, but the U.S. did end up rebuilding and launching a counterstrike. (www.
The Unite States responded to the attack on Pearl Harbor in a few ways. The first thing that President Franklin D.
Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor was issue Executive Order 9066. This called for the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese-Americans for up to four years, most of which were legal U.S. citizens. The camps were enclosed shelters that were guarded by military. The conditions were so harsh that some Japanese Americans died.
Poor medical care and emotional stresses endured in the camps contributed to the ones that died, but also some Japanese Americans were shot by guards for allegedly resisting orders. (www.pbs.org) (http://members.aol.com/Amerwar/justice.
The Second way that the U.S. retaliated to Pearl Harbor was turning the tide of the war. The first time that we got Japan after the surprise attack was the Doolittle Raid. The raid was a small operation led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle.
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