The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese Navy had significant impact to the events at the time. It was a day when the Imperial Japanese Navy initiated a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base; an attack that completely changed the course of not only the WWII, but history as well.
As a form of tribute to all those who laid their lives during this brutal act, here are 7 facts about the attack that caused the United States to join the World War II:
1. The person responsible for planning of the attack was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. He was also in command of the Japanese aircraft carriers which performed the raid on U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. According to some sources, the key motive of this attack was to conquer the Pacific and South East Asia, and to ‘preventatively’ neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet before they had a chance to join forces with the Allies and attack Japan.
2. The total number of aircrafts that participated in the attack was 353. The two-wave bombing began early in the morning at 5 minutes to 8, and lasted only 110 minutes! The commander in charge of the U.S. Navy that day was Husband Edward Kimmel.
3. The first lieutenant, Kermit A. Tyler, a novice with no training and no competent supervision, mistakenly ignored the warnings from the radar. Doris Miller, an African American cook who was on-board participated in the fight valiantly and was afterwards honored with the Navy Cross for ‘his actions beyond the call of duty.’
4. Located at Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial is a tomb for over 1000 crewman who laid their lives that December 7. This attack was the trigger for America to declare war on Japan the next day and Germany three days later.
5. The first Japanese WWII prisoner was Kazuo Sakamaki whose submarine Sakamaki HA-19 was captured. Many years later when he became a devoted pacifist, he was sent home. Sakamaki worked at Toyota Motor Corporation until his retirement in 1987.
6. The day after the attack, December 8th, was regarded as the “Day of Infamy Speech” when the President Roosevelt gave his emotionally charged speech. Perhaps this famous speech was responsible for such swift declaration of war by the U.S Congress. The Speech is still regarded as the most famous political speech in America in the 20th century.
7. About 1.5 million of people visit Pearl Harbor every year! It is located on the island of Hawaii in Oahu and it is the most awe-inspiring experience for most visitors.
The most devastating fact about any war are not the damaged or lost battleships or aircrafts or submarines or any instrument of war itself; it is the loss of thousands of lives, and thousands of uprooted families. Nothing good has ever come from a war; it only brings out the worst in people and causes the worst possible consequences. Let it be a lesson for us, today more than ever.