Pearl Harbor was the first foreign attack on the United States territory and also the longest attack on the U.S. soil. The day after Pearl Harbor Theodor Roosevelt gave his famous speech while asking Congress to declare war. Within his speech Theodor Roosevelt said “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory”11 Though Pearl Harbor was a surprise the United States and government officials were aware of the attacks being planned by the Japanese. Pearl Harbor had been a war in the making for a while as much as the United States was trying to avoid it. In 1973 the Japanese’s invaded China. “The United States refused to intervene when Japanese troops sacked the city of Nanjing, massacred 300,000 Chinese residents, and raped thousands of women.”2 The United States wanted to stay out and remain neutral that was until 1940 when General Hideki Tojo became the war minister of Japan.
One of General Hideki Tojo’s first accomplishments as war minister was to get a treaty with Italy and Germany. After having the treaty in place he then sent to attack Indochina. The purpose of all 3 countries was to have ultimate power of 4 countries one of those being the United States of America. After the attack on Indochina the United States sent a warning in the form of restricting trades to Japan particularly scrap metal and gasoline. Japanese’s didn’t take the restrictions well and “Roosevelt then froze Japanese assets in the United States and instituted an embargo on all trade with Japan, including vital oil shipments that accounted for almost 80 percent of Japanese consumption.”22. After freezing all trade with Japan, Japan started their preparations on their attack of Pearl Harbor. On December 7th 1941 around 8:00 as most of the military at Pearl Harbor were sleeping or just waking up for the day Japan started their 2 hour long attack on the sunny island of Pearl Harbor located in Hawaii. Japan was successful at attacking Pearl Harbor for a couple different reasons.
The main reason they were successful was because the base of Pearl Harbor was unplanned and unprepared for a war on their own territory. Part of the reason they were so unprepared was because Japan was so far away they didn’t think they would fly all the way to Hawaii to attack a small base. Another reason that Japan was successful was, because they were able to attack so early in the morning while most were still getting ready for their day. “The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted only 90 minutes, but it left nearly 2,500 Americans dead and 1,200 wounded. Caught by surprise, America and its opinions about the war were transformed overnight. 33 .During the Japanese’s attack on Pearl Harbor one of the first attacks was on the battleship USS Arizona. The battleship USS Arizona had around 1,000 men on the boat when it was hit and sunk.
The USS Oklahoma was sunk during the attack and is believed to have had of 400 sailors on the ship when it was sank. During the attack on Pearl Harbor every ship in the bay was attacked and sunk among the battleships that were sunk included the USS West Virginia, USS Maryland and the USS Utah. Amount the 18 battleships that were sunk during this vicious attack on Pearl Harbor the USS Utah and the USS Arizona were the only ones that weren’t able to be pulled up and pieced back together. Though Pearl Harbor is known for having all their ships sank they also did loose around 300 airplanes from their fleet and over 2,400 lives were lost that day with another 1,000 wounded not included those who forever suffered from PTSD after the attack.
Though Japan had the element of surprise on their side they failed to cripple Pearl Harbor with their attack. At one point in time Pearl Harbor having their battleships sunk would have been a desiccation blew but during the attack Pearl Harbor and the military were moving away from Battleships and they were no longer their strongest tool against war. Their aircraft had become their best assets and something that was a better force then airplanes. During the attack on Pearl Harbor it was less devastating machinery wise because all of their pacific fleet was away at the time.
The day after Pearl Harbor Theodor Roosevelt took to Congress to vote on going to war with Japanese’s. Theodor was set on getting back at Japanese for their attack on Pearl Harbor. During the vote to invade Pearl Harbor the representative vote was 388 against 1 vote against war with Japan. That vote came from the first women serving on congress. Jeannette Rankin. Reasoning was because she was a female and wasn’t allowed to go to war and didn’t feel it was her place to send anybody else.
Three days after the vote and declaring war on Japan, German and Italy declared war on the United States out of relation of the vote against Japan. This ultimately started World War 2 and at the end of World War 2 forced America to unleash the devastating bombing attach that is the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Pearl Harbor will always live in infamy like Theodor Roosevelt vowed the day after the Attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a war started by the greed of 1 man and two countries that backed his sadly twisted ideas. Though Pearl Harbor will live as one of the saddest days in American History, a day that we lost to many lives and people were forever changed. We as a country grew stronger, learned to be more prepared against our enemies, and made us thankful for what we have and thankful for a military as strong and dedicated as ours!
1.American History, “Franklin Delano Roosevelt Pearl Harbor Speech December 8 1941” Franklng Roosevelt. Copy Right 1994-2012 accessed 10/25/2014 http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/franklin-delano-roosevelt/pearl-harbor-speech-december-8-1941.php. The Article Called Franklin Delano Roosevelt Pearl Harbor Speech December 8 1941 has the entire speech that the President of the United States at the time said when he addressed the United States Congress in asking them to pass a vote to invade Japan after it’s attack on Pearl Harbor. 2.Henretta, James A. America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865. 5th Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. VitalBook file. Bookshelf. Page 732 < http://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781457664427/pages/68848454 > A Concise History Volume Two is a history textbook. It goes in detail of all the solid facts that happened during Pearl Harbor and list things such as how many battleships were sunk, soldiers wounded, and aircraft shot down. 3 MerrillView Perlman, New York Times Upfront, 1941: Pearl Harbor, October 2011, accessed 10,26,2014 http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/docview/911782982/8E5F6A070D7422APQ/13?accountid=8289 New York Times Upfront is a published report of the events of Pearl Harbor and what lead up to Pearl Harbor. This is a great