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On the 7th of December 1941 the Japanese lead a massive air raid on the American navel base at Pearl Harbor. The attack came by surprise early in the morning that day while many of the crew of the ships was still sleeping. In just a short time after the attack 5 out of 8 battleships at pearl harbor were sunk or sinking, and most of the other ship and airplanes were destroyed too. More than 2400 Americans were dead by the end of the attack and many of them never made it out of their beds.
After peace negotiation were reaching an end the U.S. clearly seen that a war in the pacific was bound to happen. They expected an attack somewhere in Indies or pihillpens. But November 26 1941 Japan secretly sent an aircraft carrier fleet over the pacific to attack Pearl Harbor. They sent six aircraft carriers with over 420 planes on the ships. It is by far the largest aircraft carrier fleet ever assembled. With the ships many submarines were sent to attack any ships trying to flee the harbor.
On the morning of December 7th many of the crew on the ships were allowed to sleep in. So by the time the air raid sirens went off it was way to late. The first Japanese airplane wave had over 180 planes. Including torpedo bombers, dive-bombers, high-level bombers, and fighters. Shortly after the second wave of similar size was sent. As they came into the harbor they began their attack on the unsuspecting American ships. Luckily the American aircraft carrier’s stationed at Pearl Harbor were not in port that morning. The first wave attacked for about 30 minutes. Torpedo bombers attacked ships as bombers dropped armor piercing bombs over them. Many ships and airplanes were destroyed in this wave.
The second wave started about 15 minuets after the first one ended. This attack did more damage to airfields and structures around the harbor. It also devastated the u.s.s. Nevada. It consisted mainly of bombers and fighter planes. The second attack lasted about an hour. There was much more resistance during this wave since more crewmembers from the surviving ships were alert and ready for the attack.
In all Japan suffered only a few losses. In all they lost only 29 planes. 9 were lost in the first wave. 20 in the second wave since the planes faced more anti aircraft fire from the more alert ship crews. The U.S. suffered heavy losses though a total of 5 battleships, 3 destroyers, 2 cruisers, and many other ship and most of the harbors airplanes were either sunk, sinking, damaged, or destroyed. These losses took a heavy toll on the American pacific fleet.
On December 8th 1941 president Roosevelt went in front of congress to ask for a deliration of war against Japan. He referred to December 7th as “the day that shall live in infamy”. A few days later Italy and Germany declared war on America too. Because of the attack on Pearl Harbor America joined WWII.
Pearl harbor left many lasting affects on the U.S. there are now many memorials to all the people that died that day. And it has left a lasting mark on American history. It truly was a day that will live in infamy.
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Torpedo bomber, Battleship, 1st Air Fleet, Battleships in World War II
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