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Attack On Pearl Harbor Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

Attack on Pearl Harbor With all the current hoohah and whatnot concerning a certain movie whose title should be quite obvious after you read this paper, what a better important event to do a report on than the invasion of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was likely the most well known event in America's history of war. No one had ever pulled such a stunt on us before, and it was because of that that we didn't see it coming in the first place, though that last statement will be argued against further into this paper. The attack on Pearl Harbor certainly cheesed us off, and proved to be a major turning point in the war, in that the US might have not gotten as involved, nor done as well, if the attack had not taken place.It was approximately 8:00AM, or more like 7:53AM on December 7th, 1941 when the first wave of Japanese bombers encroached upon Pearl Harbor, a US naval base on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. No one knew it was coming and being a lazy Sunday, the base's defenses weren't quite up and ready for much of anything. As the bombs began to rain down, the occupants of the base did not choose to run. Instead, they picked up what they still had and began to fight. The Japanese were not expecting so much resistance, but several US fighter planes managed to get into the air and do their best to defend the base. By the time the first wave had passed, the defenses had improved somewhat, and the second wave was greeted with anti-aircraft fire. In total, the Japanese had launched 353 aircraft against Pearl Harbor, but unfortunately for the personnel on the ground, the attack had been so swift and devastating that despite their valiant efforts, approximately 3000 naval and military personnel were killed or wounded. In fact, the flow of people into the nearby hospital was so great that the doctors and nurses had trouble sorting the dead from the living. One man, whose name I don't recall, was thought to be dead, and a "Your son is dead" letter was sent to the family. But word later got out to the family that their son was alive, and that was probably the only happy story related to Pearl Harbor. Other losses of the US included eight battleships, 13 other sea vessels, and 200 aircraft. For the Japanese, the attack had been a huge tactical success.The harbor in which the naval base was stationed was not too far from the mainland of the US obviously. When the US first annexed Hawaii in 1898, there wasn't a direct link between the ocean and the mainland, mainly because of a sand bar and coral reef. A channel of about 35ft deep was later drudged to provide access for the larger naval vessels to the harbor, which was 60ft deep, in 1911. Since the harbor was a ways out to sea, but not too incredibly far out in the Pacific, it provided for a major holding point for the US's entire naval fleet. Obviously, it's easier to kill a bunch of fish when they are in a barrel or something like that"¦ The Japanese took their plan to attack the US to the highest degree...

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