Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is best known for the surprise military attack by the Japanese Imperial Navy against the United States on December 7, 1941, which led to the U.S. entry into World War II. Here is an overview of the Pearl Harbor attack and following [[World War II Timeline]]:
1. **Background**: In the years leading up to the attack, tensions between the United States and Japan had been growing due to Japan's aggressive expansion in Asia and the Pacific. The U.S. had imposed economic sanctions and embargoes on Japan in response to its invasion of China and other territories, which had strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.
2. **Planning and objectives**: Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto masterminded the Pearl Harbor attack as a preemptive strike aimed at crippling the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The objectives were to destroy or damage the U.S. fleet, particularly its battleships, and buy Japan time to solidify its territorial gains in Asia and the Pacific before the U.S. could effectively respond.
3. **The attack**: On December 7, 1941, at 7:48 a.m. local time, the Japanese launched a surprise aerial attack on Pearl Harbor. They deployed 353 aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes, in two waves from six aircraft carriers. The attack lasted about two hours, during which the Japanese targeted U.S. battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft.
4. **Casualties and damage**: The attack resulted in the deaths of 2,403 Americans, with an additional 1,178 wounded. The U.S. lost eight battleships, with five sunk and three damaged; three cruisers and four destroyers were also either sunk or damaged. Additionally, 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, and 159 were damaged. Japanese losses were minimal, with 29 aircraft and five submarines destroyed, and 64 personnel killed.
5. **U.S. response and impact**: The attack on Pearl Harbor shocked and outraged the American public, turning the tide of public opinion in favor of entering the war. On December 8, 1941, President [[Franklin D. Roosevelt]] delivered his "Infamy Speech" before [[Congress]], in which he declared December 7 as "a date which will live in infamy." Congress then declared war on Japan, officially bringing the United States into World War II. Three days later, Germany and Italy, Japan's Axis partners, declared war on the United States, further expanding the conflict.
The attack on Pearl Harbor had a profound impact on the course of World War II, as it marked the beginning of U.S. involvement in the conflict. The United States went on to play a crucial role in the eventual defeat of the Axis powers and the shaping of the postwar world order, including the UN, [[NATO]], [[International Monetary Fund (IMF)]], and [[World Bank]].
See also: [[Nazis]], [[Adolf Hitler]], [[The Holocaust]], [[antisemitism]], [[genocide]]