55. The Attack on Pearl Harbor
On December 7, 1941, the United States of
was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy at
Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise attack was intended to
the American Pacific Fleet that stood in the
of Japan's complete domination of the Pacific Ocean
the 1940s. The attack was coordinated with attacks
the Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Pearl
was attacked by more than 350 Japanese airplane
, bombers and torpedo planes that were launched from
The early-morning attack sank four U.S.
, and four more were heavily damaged. Six of
eight battleships were restored, and returned to service,
the Japanese also destroyed, or damaged three cruisers,
destroyers, a minelayer, and an anti-aircraft training ship.
addition, 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, with many
them on the ground. The attack was devastating.
took the U.S. years to recover from all
damage caused on that fateful morning. However, the
were unable to destroy their main targets, the
's aircraft carriers. By what some call a stroke
luck, the U.S. carrier fleet was out to
at the time of the attack.
in shock at the news of the disaster.
.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the attack cowardly,
declared December 7th as "A day that will
in infamy." On December 8, the United States
declared war on Japan. This plummeted the country
World War II, which Roosevelt had long hoped
avoid. Soon after the United States' declaration of
against Japan, Germany, which was a Japanese ally,
war on the U.S. and the country was
fully involved in the greatest war in the
of the world.