We’ve all heard that the attack of Pearl Harbor was the world changing event which brought America into the Second World War, but is there anything else you need to know about it? It’s about time you found out!
The Pacific War actually started 2 hours earlier when Japanese forces attacked Northern Malaya.
Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese planes on the 7th December 1941.
Japan had already been at war with China since 1937.
The Hull Note was neither an ultimatum, nor the spark that lit the fuse that would become Pearl Harbor.
Japanese forces set sail from the Kurile Islands on the 26th November.
They had to travel more than 3,700 miles to launch their attack.
Senior navy officials had actually spoken out against the plan because of the high levels of risk involved.
Submarines were also supposed to play a major part but were unable to enter the harbor as planned.
American Pacific Fleet commanders heard about valid intelligence 2 weeks prior but took little notice of it.
American offensive plans led to a reduction in base patrols closer to home, leaving them more vulnerable to attack.
USS Arizona, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 7th December 1941
The American Fleet was not destroyed as popular myth would have it.
A second attack was cancelled at the last minute so the Japanese could make good their escape.
Whilst the press tried to blame commanders Kimmel and Short, it was later agreed that poor communication and coordination was endemic right across the U.S. armed forces.
Hitler declared war on the USA 4 days later on 11th December 1941, but it had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor.
It was the greatest war time attack on U.S. soil by a foreign power since the war of 1812.
Pearl Harbor persuaded the Americans to massively invest in their industrial capacity and dramatically turn the war in favour of the allies.
Do you know any interesting facts about Pearl Harbor that we’ve not mentioned? Share them here in the comments section below!