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Pearl Harbor: Its Attack that Set the Stage for the U.S. Participarion in World War II - Research Paper Example

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[Name] [Professor] [Class/Course] [Date] Pearl Harbor: Its Attack that Set the Stage for the U.S. Participation in World War II Pearl Harbor, situated on the west of Honolulu, was known to Native Hawaiians as Wai Momi, meaning "water of pearl." In the late 1800s, the United States of America was granted exclusive rights to Pearl Harbor as part of the 1875 Reciprocity Treaty between the U.S…
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Pearl Harbor: Its Attack that Set the Stage for the U.S. Participarion in World War II
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Pearl Harbor: Its Attack that Set the Stage for the U.S. Participarion in World War II

Download file to see previous pages... By mid 1941, the entire American Fleet was permanently based at Pearl Harbor (Hickman). Japan’s increased population, economic concerns, deficiency in natural resources, desperate necessity for supplies, previous victories over China, and intrinsic greed for racial dominance caused the Japanese to illusion a complete power over most of Asia. This infuriated the U.S. and the European nations. In 1940, tensions further mounted between Japan-U.S. relations as the U.S. placed trade embargoes on Japan’s aviation supplies and raw materials for war production, thus impeding Japan’s advances towards China. Because Southeast Asia was abundant with mineral and oil resources which Japan badly needed, Japan planned its complete conquest despite knowledge that this would initiate war with America. To prevent the U.S. from interfering with its invasion of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, Burma and Malaysia, a more permanent solution was schemed — foremost, to remove American intrusion by disabling the U.S. Naval Fleet in Pearl Harbor. The destruction of the entire fleet would give Japan enough time for further conquest and security of resources. Moreover, it would dampen the spirit of the Americans that would eventually lead U.S. President Roosevelt to agree to negotiations and to lift embargoes. Thus, a confidential and meticulous plan of surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was conceived (Robinson). At the time, the Japanese Imperial Army had a force of 2.4 million war-trained ground troops and 7,500 war planes while the American force had only 1.5 million troops (1 million of which were not trained for battle) and 1,157 combat planes and 347 battleships (“Pearl Harbor Oahu: The Attack, Facts and Information”). In only a span of two hours, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, the surprise strategic attack on Pearl Harbor was accomplished. Shortly before 8 AM, the first wave of attack composed of 181 Japanese fighter planes hits its target on US military airfields, and the seven battleships moored along “Battleship Row”, each fighter plane strafing the harbor, dropping bombs or firing torpedoes. The second wave of 170 Japanese fighting planes arrived an hour after the first, and targeted the already wounded U.S. ships, airfields and dockyards. Shortly before 10 AM, the Japanese Fleet left behind them a crippled U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2,403 dead naval, military personnel and civilians, 1,178 wounded military men and civilians, 188 destroyed aircrafts and 159 damaged planes, 21 damaged or sunken ships, including 8 damaged or sunken battleships (Department of Defense). America, After the Attack Despite the devastating success of the attack, it was not complete. Luckily, all three U.S. aircraft carriers, usually docked at Pearl Harbor, were out at sea on that fateful day. Indeed, the attack gave Japan what it badly needed: more time for conquest. However, it granted America opportunity to restore and fortify its fleet and join the battle with a much stronger energy and fervor. America was undeniably distressed and outraged by the surprise attack but it bonded the American spirit which committed the entire nation to victory in the World War II (Department of Defense). For more than half a century, President Roosevelt’s depiction of the December 7, 1941 attack as "a date that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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