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The Pearl Harbor Invasion
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  1. The Pearl Harbor Invasion DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARDWASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

  2. Before the Invasion • May 1940, the main part of the United States Fleet was transferred there from the west coast • The Navy Yard had • a dry dock capable of holding the largest warships, • a marine railway for smaller ones, • and an industrial plant for repairing and maintaining these ships • a Naval Air Station for combat landplanes and patrol seaplanes

  3. Before the Invasion • This was still not nearly enough to support the Fleet • Pearl Harbor's area was limited and its opening to the sea was but a single narrow channel • transportation from the west coast was slow and of insufficient carrying capacity • Accordingly, Fleet readiness was handicapped, its security was well below optimum levels, and its morale was impaired • During 1940-41, construction of new facilities was undertaken to address some of these problems

  4. Before the Raid • The Pearl Harbor naval base was recognized by both the Japanese and the United States Navies as a potential target for hostile carrier air power • However its distance from Japan and shallow harbor persuaded U.S. officers that an attack on Pearl Harbor would be unlikely • Japanese had reached similar conclusions. However, their need for secure Southeast Asia and the East Indies spurred the Commander Isoroku Yamamoto to revisit the issue

  5. The Japanese Mission • All six of Japan's aircraft carrier were assigned to the mission • With over 420 planes, these ships constituted the most powerful carrier task force ever assembled • also included battleships, cruisers and destroyers, with tankers to fuel the ships during their passage across the Pacific • large submarines were sent to scout around Hawaii, and torpedo American warships that might escape to sea

  6. The Japanese Mission • Under the greatest secrecy, Nagumo took his ships to sea in November 1941, with orders to abort the mission if he was discovered • Before dawn on the 7th of December, the Pearl Harbor Striking Force was less than three-hundred miles north of Pearl Harbor • The first attack wave of over 180 aircraft, including torpedo fighter and bomber planes was launched in the darkness and flew off to the south

  7. The Attack of Pearl Harbor • When the first attack wave arrived over Pearl Harbor seven of their primary targets, the U.S. battleships, were moored along "Battleship Row“ • At 7:55 am, Dive bombers attacked the airfields destroying many aircraft • This attack prompted the dispatch of the famous message • "Air raid, Pearl Harbor -- this is no drill", the outside World's first indication that war had come to the Pacific.

  8. The Attack of Pearl Harbor • Within a few moments, torpedo planes attacked from east and west, hitting USS Helena, USS Utah and USS Raleigh • The majority of the torpedo planes came in from the east hitting the USS California, USS Nevada, USS Oklahoma and West Virginia • Bombers swept up "Battleship Row.” Several ships were hit. The USS Arizona blew up with a tremendous explosion

  9. The Attack of Pearl Harbor • The second attack wave hit the Navy Yard, where they bombed the battleship Pennsylvania and three destroyers • Other dive bombers went after the USS Nevada, which was trying to get to sea • The second attack’s losses were significantly greater than those of the first attack wave.

  10. The Attack on Pearl Harbor • The raiders had no opportunity to hit American aircraft carriers, all of which were at sea, • They did not target fuel storage, most cruisers and destroyers, submarines and most maintenance facilities • In under two hours they wrecked the U.S. battleship force, ensuring that it would not interfere with Japan's plans for conquest.

  11. The Aftermath and US Reaction • No sooner had the raid ended than U.S. forces attempted to locate the Japanese carrier fleet • Many cruisers and destroyers left Pearl Harbor, joining the aircraft carrier Enterprise • The few surviving flight-worthy aircraft were also sent out • the search went South rather than North where Japanese ships were already heading out after recovering their planes. • Fortunately for the outnumbered Americans, no contact was made

  12. The Aftermath and US Reaction • On 8 December, President Roosevelt and Congress declared war against Japan • Within a few days, Germany and Italy had declared war on the United States • When Admiral William F. Halsey brought his Enterprise back to Pearl Harbor, he commented, • "Before we're through with 'em, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell!"