how many died in pearl harbor casualties? Well, let’s go deeper into that!
At some point in our
lives, we’ve all heard about the unfortunate event that forced America into the
World War II. After all, who can forget the devastating attack by the Japanese
forces at the US naval base, Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu, Hawaii? Japan
attacked the USA on December 7th, 1941 at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning. The
attack was preplanned and came out of nowhere, making it even more tragic and
revolting as can be seen in the actual footages of Pearl Harbor.
On the 7th
of December, Japanese fighter planes landed on the land of Hawaii and
destroyed approximately 20 American naval vessels, 8 battleships, and more than
300 airplanes. This attack was brutal as it killed 2,400 Americans, including
civilians. More than 1000 people that survived were severely wounded. One day
after this destructive attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on
Yes, the attack on
Pearl Harbor came as a shock with around 2403 deaths at Pearl Harbor, but everybody knew at the time that Japan and
United States were not on good terms. In fact, they had been at the edge of war
for quite a few decades prior to that event.
From the very
beginning, we’ve known that America and China have not been on good terms
either, as they don’t agree on the most fundamental values. America has always
been a capitalist whereas China is communist at heart. But before the World War
II, dynamics and allies were changing drastically, and so United States was
extending its relationship with China. And when USA noticed Japan’s rapid
attacks against China, it decided to cut off ties with the nation.
Japan, of course,
wanted to find a solution to its economic and demographic problems, and the
only way to secure those aspects was to expand its territories and make way
into the import market. And to ensure this, Japan declared war against China in
1937. Of course, USA decided to end economic sanctions and trade with Japan,
which stopped immediate access to essential supplies, like oil.
After this, it was a do
or die situation for Japan; they had nothing to depend on, which made their
stand even more rock solid against USA. This is when negotiations between Tokyo
and Washington DC began, but the war seemed inevitable.
Well, the reason why it
was easy for Japan to attack Pearl Harbor was its geographical location. It is
actually located at the centre of the Pacific Ocean making it 2,000 miles away
from the US mainland. It was also 4,000 miles away from Japan, so nobody thought
that the Japanese would consider attacking that distant island.
In fact, American
intelligence had assumed that if any attack was to take place, it would be
nearby European colonies that are situated in the South Pacific. The American
military expected attacks that were close by, due to which they left the
territories of Pearl Harbor undefended. And because of this poor assumption,
Pearl Harbor became the irresistible target.
The Japanese had a
clear-cut plan: destroy the Pacific Fleet. They thought this strategy would
work because then American won’t be able to protect or fight back and Japan
would easily spread its forces across the South Pacific. This plan was
conceived months prior to the attack and after hundreds of hours of preparation,
the attack happened on the 7th of December.
It was a Sunday morning,
so the American fighters were not prepared at all. At 8 a.m., Japanese planes
started filling up the sky and crashing bombs and bullets like there’s no
tomorrow. By 8:10, at least 2,800-pound bomb rained from the sky and hit the
deck of the battleship USS Arizona. The ship had 1,000 men inside and it
exploded and sank deep into the sea.
It was followed by
torpedoes which shelled the battleship USS Oklahoma that had approximately 400
soldiers inside. The ship lost its balance and slipped deep underwater.
The attack continued
and, in less than two hours, Japan managed to destroy every battleship present
at the location, including USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS California, USS West
Virginia, USS Utah, USS Maryland, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee and USS
Of course, the attack
on Pearl Harbor left a crippling impact on the United States of America – and
it also taught a valuable lesson to the rest of the world. As mentioned earlier,
the attack destroyed hundreds of ships and ammunition and killed thousands of
soldiers and civilians on site. It wounded one thousand people and left a
permanent scar on the land of United States.
interesting thing to know here is that Japanese forces still failed to take
over the Pacific Fleet. By 1940s, the world had evolved and battleships were no
longer the most critical vessel of war – aircrafts were. And as history would
report, all of the air carriers that located at the Pacific Fleet at the time
were away on the day to deliver troops. This basically helped the US Navy
rebound somehow and control the damage.
The next day, President
Franklin Roosevelt gave an emotional speech.
He said that 7th December, 1941 will be a date which will
live in infamy. He claimed that the United States of America was deliberately
attacked by naval and air forces of Japan. He then promised his nation and said
that no matter how long it may take, Americans will overcome this tragedy and
be the righteous victors of this unabashed invasion.
He said: “No matter how long it may take us to
overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous
might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of
the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend
ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of
treachery shall never endanger us again.”
An interesting fact to
know here is that a single vote that was made against the declaration of war
against Japan was from Jeannette Rankin of Montana. Rankin, a known pacifist
and had also voted against the participation in the First World War. She
claimed that, as a woman, she couldn’t go to war and
because of that reason alone she would refuse to send anyone else.
And in less than three
days, Japan’s allies Germany and Italy also declared war against America. And
we all know how it all bombed in the end. if you want to know about Pearl Harbor tours, stay tuned to Hayvine.