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Pearl Harbor Essay

2083 words - 9 pages

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt. Pearl Harbor was the cataclysmal event that plunged us into World War II. Although the bombing on Pearl Harbor devastated the American Naval force in the Pacific, America pushed on through the struggle and won the war. To further examine the day, there were many factors that created the cause and effects of the attack.


The Empire of Japan attacked the harbor at about 0800. They sailed under the cover of darkness, zig zagging all night, until they got in range of their ...view middle of the document...

This wave was split up into three groups. One group detached and attacked Kāneʻohe, a hawaiian city, while the other two groups stayed back and continued to attack Pearl Harbor. The two remaining groups then preceded to split up into multiple groups and attack various targets simultaneously from different directions, that way the American anti-aircraft guns wouldn’t be able to target the wave as a whole and would ultimately be more successful on their attack.

The Japanese were successful for a multitude of reasons. One of the big reasons was that they had the element of surprise in their hands. The Americans were oblivious to the fact that they could be attacked on their own soil and with such magnitude. Another reason that the Japanese were successful is because they had been preparing for this attack for a long period of time and held the proper weaponry for the attack.

Among their proper ammunition was the Type 92 Machine gun. This gun, according to, was first used by the Japanese in 1932 and shot a new calibre of ammunition. This gun fired a 7.7 millimeter cartridge and was all around a better man-stopping round than the out-dated 6.5 millimeter round. The Type 92 could fire 400-450 rounds a minute and carried a 150 round belt. The Empire of Japan used these guns in their fighter planes to tear through the enemy planes and produce considerable damage. The Type 92 machine gun was a gas-operated weapon which means that it wouldn’t over-heat as fast as other heavy machine guns and could spit out rounds at a much higher rate. The Japanese also developed a new type of torpedo while creating weapons for the war. They designed this torpedo specifically for the shallow waters of the harbor. Their old torpedoes, when released, would go too far into the water to produce the damage that they needed to cripple the United States Navy. This torpedo was named the “Long Lance”. The major change they added to the torpedo was a wooden fin to the back. This fin provided the lift needed to stay closer to the surface of the water and hit the ship in the underbelly. It was also changed by what propelled the torpedo. Most of the torpedoes used before were filled with compressed air, which contains mostly nitrogen. Nitrogen is not useful in combustion, which makes the torpedo less powerful than ones filled with oil and fuel. This torpedo was made to use the fuel source of pure oxygen, which is highly combustable and explosive by itself.

One thing that helped the Japanese in the attack was their use of different techniques.. The first technique they used was the dive bombing technique. Dive bombing can be defined as a plane diving down from a high altitude, straight down onto the target. This technique added great accuracy to the bomb and aided the aircraft in dodging different anti-aircraft bullets. The Japanese made special planes for this technique. These planes were made special because of the planes brakes on the back of their...

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