Case Study On Pearl Harbor History Essay

Throughout history they have been many naval battles such as The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) which consist of a ocean battle between the British Royal Navy and the collective fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy throughout the reign of napoleon. In addition, the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 that was fought between the Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea. Pearl Harbor on the other hand according to Gordon W. Prance Author of “AT DAWN WE SLEPT” who states it was one of the most bold and brilliant naval operations of all time; it was one of the changing points in history. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had such a great effect because of over 2000 people killed on the nation that had it never occurred the United States (U.S.) would have gotten involved in World War 2 (WW2). In Japan even today, many Japanese will discuss and describe how the planning process that Japan used to strike the U.S. was ingenious. In the U.S. some survivors, relatives, and patriotic veterans would acknowledge more the tragedy that unfolded on December 7, 1941. In Hawaii papers reports would criticize about how the United States underestimating Japan’s capabilities to attack Pearl Harbor show a great deal of ignorance. Most importantly all American citizens have something to say about how the Unites States military and political party answered back to the Japanese once we declared war. Overall, the unique catastrophic event that happened in 1941 forever set in motion to the world that nothing is impossible in naval warfare.

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The founding of Pearl Harbor began with the Appropriation Act of March 3, 1901 which lead the Navy to devote it’s time to improving 85 acres of land that comprised the naval reservation in Honolulu. In addition, it also contributed to the scouring of the channel to the Lochs and the improvement of the harbor for the use by large navy ships. For this reason and for the interest of the navy congress endorsed the Appropriation Act and the creation of a naval base at Pearl Harbor finishing in 1908. By 1914, other bases began to house U.S. Marines while Army personnel had housing created in the area around Pearl Harbor itself. In 1909, the expansion of Pearl Harbor began but it also caused issues. When construction began in 1909 on the first dry dock, Hawaiians were mad because of a legend shark god who lived in the coral caves under the location of building. Builders crumple much of the dry dock the “seismic disturbances” had Hawaiians to believe that the shark god who was mad. The builders created a new plan and a kahuna was convening to appease the god. In 1917, in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Ford Island was purchase for joint Army and Navy use in the growth of military aviation. Over the next two decades Japan’s existence in the world as a key manufacturing and military power started to grow. Since the fury and agitation among Japan and the United States continually to enlarged. Due to these events in 1940, the military made the decision to hold the Navy’s fleet exercises in the vicinity of Hawaii. After these training exercise, the fleet continue to stay at Pearl.

Once the war in Europe began on 3 September 1939 as Britain and France declared war on Germany following the German invasion of Poland. These actions involving Japan and the United States that leads to the rage and uneasiness between them to keep increasing. On

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February 1, 1941, the U.S. Fleet split into separate Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. On 1 February 1941, General Order 143 renewed the name and restructured the United States Fleet into three separate fleets (Atlantic, Pacific, and Asiatic). The recently created Pacific Fleet remained base at Pearl Harbor definitely in order to support the U.S. Pacific Command’s theater strategy, provide valuable, trained, and combat-ready naval forces U.S. unified commanders along the pacific. Further enhancements where added to the channel and by mid 1941; the whole fleet could be docked within the defensive waters of Pearl Harbor, a detail not unnoticed by the Japanese military leaders. Also because the United States, cut off the Japanese of oil and steel goods a rise of tension came about form these two countries. The American president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) decide to call for increased air and naval power. In addition Congress set aside $37 Billion dollars for arms and for allies if ever needed.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was no simple task for any country to accomplish in destroying. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is credited to one man Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese Combined Fleet. He insisted that Japans war plans for southward expansion include a air fleet. This air fleet of mobile force was based on six carriers in three divisions (Akagi, fleet flag ship and Kaga; Shokaku and Zuikaku; Hiryu and Soryu ) with a total of more than four hundred planes. The six carriers were a screen of nine destroyers, by a light cruiser a supporting force of two battleships and two heavy cruisers plus a train of eight tankers and supply ships. Although the idea of the attact was greatly credit to Yamamoto it was Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo known for his specialties in torpedoes who contributed the idea of dropping propellered boxed torpedoes from aircraft. After a ten month

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campaign and preparation on December 3 the fleet was assembled and by November 22, 1941 at Hitokappu Bay sailed to a point some nine hundred miles north of Midway and turned southeast. After parting company with the tankers, all the warships increased speed until the carriers reached the designated point of launch 275 miles due north of Pearl Harbor.

As attack on Pearl Harbor was drawing near the Japanese were now ready to fly to their target. Within fifteen minutes 183 aircraft from the six carriers , torpedo bombers, high level bombers, and dive bomber with Zero fighters as escorts headed towards Pearl Harbor. Mitsuo Fuchida, the man responsible for the coordination of the entire aerial attack and the leader the first air wave attacks on Pearl Harbor was wearing a blood- red -shirt to conceal any wounds from his men, was flying in an aircraft piloted by Lieutenant Commander Nakaya Kenju. Mitsuo Mitsuo Fuchida shouted Tora Tora Tora into the microphone which means Tiger in Japanese when they arrived over Pearl and at 0753hrs Hawaiian time-the code word to report that total surprise had been achieved was broadcast by the Japanese on the Harbor. Afterword at 8:40 a.m. a second wave of 170 attackers arrived causing more damage. Once it was over the total lost in America’s fleet included all eighteen United States ships were either sunk or badly damaged, including four battleships on the bottom and four crippled; For the Japanese 29 planes were destroyed and 74 damaged. It was reported that America had 2,403 killed and 1,178 the vast majority were sailors. At the various Airfields 188 US planes were destroyed. Both senior commanders at Pearl Harbor; Navy Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, and Army Lieutenant General Walter C. Short, were dismissed of their duties after the attack. Later investigations held the men liable for failing to take up adequate defense strategies. Lastly and sadly the United States

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lack of military intelligence and imagination to predict and counter such a plan out attack was evident of failing to avoid this catastrophe.

The attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941 was known to the world as America president FDR on December 8 1941 delivered his Day Of Infamy speech requesting congress to declare a state of war against the Japanese empire. Following after congress took 33 minute in voting 388 to 1 votes in favor of war. President Franklin Roosevelt and his counselors to include his Army and Naval top commanders had to make a crucial decision about how to fight the war. Should the United States attack Japan first, or Germany, or the two adversary at the same time? Japan’s assault had forced America into the war, and it had brutally hurt American military power. Nevertheless Roosevelt concluded not to attack back at Japan immediately. He used most of The American military to fight the Germans and then on December 11, Congress declared war on Germany. On June 4 1942, Americas navy and Japanese navy fought battle with America at last being victories. American pilots sank 4 aircraft carriers and 322 Japanese planes in retribution for some of the pain that Pearl Harbor endured.

In conclusion, it remains our moral duty as Americans and mine as a Soldier to not forget those who paid the price in World War II, and to keep in mind what occurred on that Sunday morning almost 60 years ago. I look in brief at the months before the attack, and reflect on how history is frequently based on one’s perspective of the event. I then look in brief at the assault specifically and finally I examine both its instant and long-lasting effects on Hawaii and our Nations future. Hard to believe or not one thing that came out of the attack on Pearl Harbor is that Hawaii has become the 50th state and populace of Japanese decent and those of mainland

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roots live together in peace. The financial liveliness of Hawaii today relies largely on site seen from both Japan and the U.S. mainland. The U.S. now has also has a navy larger than any in the world making sure that this would not happen again as it has 11 carriers in its fleet. Throughout the time, the U.S. was neutral before Pearl Harbor during WW2, the planning of the attack by Japan, the attack itself and the after math shows that war is costly both financially and deathly. It is the reason why we American value are freedom more and more after a major war.

Cited Work


A Brief History of Pearl Harbor Prior to World War II


The pacific campaign the U.S. -Japanese naval war 1941-1945

Author – Danvander Vat

Pages 18-22


Day of Infamy

Author Walter Lord

Pages ( Facts about the attacks )


At Dawn we slept The untold story of pearl harbor

Author Gordon W. Prange


A Brief History of Pearl Harbor Prior to World War II

News Paper

St. Louis Star times 7th War extra

Volume 56- No. 59 December 8 1941

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