The day was Sunday, December 7, 1941. The time is 7.55 am. The day that US President Franklin D. Roosevelt said will forever be remembered in history only with infamy. The day when America was shaken by an unexpected attack and then its counter-attack shocked the conscience of the world itself. It was on that day that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the US naval base in the Pacific Ocean, with the desire to expand its empire.
US Naval Base Hawaii in the Pacific. 3,218 km from USA. The distance from Japan is 6,437 km. About double. As 46 percent of the world’s trade passed through the Pacific, the US was also present here, the center of attention of the dominant nations. That is why the base containing about 100 ships, 8 warships, thousands of soldiers and oil tanks was established here.
Pearls of Pearl Harbor
US warships present at the naval base are: USS Arizona blown up by bombardment. It had the most people. Also sunk were USS West Virginia, USS Oklahoma, USS California, USS Nevada, USS Utah, USS Maryland, USS Tennessee, and USS Pennsylvania. According to official figures, 2,400 Americans and 100 Japanese died. The next day, on December 8, the US Congress declared war on Japan. And so America entered World War II. Friends know that in the sequel, the terrible days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which will forever be etched in black ink in history, were born.
Behind the attack
The small country of Japan was supplied with weapons and fuel by the US. But Japan’s invasion efforts and attacks on Chinese territories led the United States to withdraw the trade agreement made with Japan in 1911. Economic sanctions were also imposed. In July 1941, when Japan joined the Axis powers Germany and Italy, US restrictions were also strengthened. The flow of oil stopped. Japan realized that the oil shortage would be solved by occupying the petroleum-rich South East Asia region.
Germany, an ally, has gone to war with the Soviet Union, another superpower in the Pacific region, so there is no threat from them for the time being. Then there is the defense of American forces at Pearl Harbor. If it is destroyed by air strikes, the target can be achieved by the time America is ready to reverse. The idea came from Yamamoto Isaroku, the commander of the combined fleet.
The USS Arizona refueled on the eve of the invasion of Japan. 1.5 million gallons. This added to the impact of the explosion. But the fuel tank was not completely empty. Some of the oil will continue to fall into the ocean through the cracks in the wrecked ship. It is described as a tear of oil that flows intermittently from Arizona, which is still preserved as a memorial today.
Pearl Harbor today
Since 2010, it has served as a joint US military base, along with the nearby Hickam Air Force Base and Pearl Harbor Naval Base.
In the movie
1953 From Here to Eternity (Director: Zinnemann)
2001 Pearl Harbor (Director: Michael Bay)
Content summary : Pearl harbour attack