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Pearl Harbor Raid. 7 December 1941. The 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the most defining moments in American history. Why?.

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Pearl Harbor Raid

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pearl harbor raid

Pearl Harbor Raid

7 December 1941

The 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the most defining moments in American history

Carefully-planned & well-executed attack removed the U.S. Navy’s battleship force as a battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire’s southward expansion

attack at pearl harbor
Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • America was unprepared & considerably weakened
  • Attack caused the U.S. to formally enter WWII
  • Memory of “sneak attack” fueled a U.S. determination to fight
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Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • U.S. Naval fleet in the Pacific was anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
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Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, while most American sailors were still asleep in their bunks, Japanese planes from aircraft carriers flew over Pearl Harbor
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Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • Planes and submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy began a surprise attack on the U.S. under the Command of Vice Admiral Chuichi
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Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • Japanese planes from aircraft carriers flew over Pearl Harbor bombing every ship in sight
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Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • Lasted less than 2 hours
  • 2,403 Americans were killed (including over 1,100 when the battleship Arizona sank)
  • 68 civilians were killed
  • Almost 1,200 were wounded
  • Approximately 150 airplanes were destroyed
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Attack at Pearl Harbor
  • 20 warships were sunk
  • Approximately 150 airplanes were destroyed
partial surprise
Partial Surprise
  • American people were stunned by the attack on Pearl Harbor
  • High government officials, however, knew that an attack somewhere in the Pacific was imminent because they had broken the Japanese codes
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Partial Surprise
  • Government officials did not know the exact target & date for the attack
  • Many believed the attack would be in the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, or Malaya
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Partial Surprise
  • Attack might have been no surprise as vital intelligence information was not passed to the Navy commander Admiral Kimmel
disputes with japan
Disputes With Japan
  • By 1940 U.S. relations with Japan were becoming increasingly strained
  • Reason: Japan’s invasion of China & territorial ambitions to extend its conquests to Southeast Asia
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Disputes With Japan
  • Beginning in 1940, Japan was allied with Germany & Italy as one of the Axis powers
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Disputes With Japan
  • Hitler’s success in Europe provided an opportunity for Japanese expansion into the Southeast Asia (British Burma, French Indochina)
  • Territories held as colonies by European nations
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Disputes With Japan
  • European nations were too preoccupied with stopping Hitler’s expansion in Europe
u s economic action
U.S. Economic Action
  • When Japan joined the Axis in September 1940, FDR responded by prohibiting the export of steel and scrap iron to all countries except Britain and nations of the Western Hemisphere
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U.S. Economic Action
  • His action was aimed at Japan which protested that it was an “unfriendly act”
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U.S. Economic Action
  • In July 1941, Japanese troops occupied French Indochina
  • FDR cut off Japanese access to vital materials, including U.S. oil (trade embargo)
  • Both sides (U.S. & Japan) realized that Japan needed oil to fuel its navy & air force
  • If the U.S. embargo on oil did not end, Japan would be forced to extend its conquests by taking oil resources in the Dutch East Indies
  • Secretary of State Hull insisted that Japan pull its troops out of China, which Japan refused to do
  • Violation of Open Door policy
  • Japanese ambassador to the U.S. tried to negotiate a change in U.S. policy regarding oil
  • Agreement seemed unlikely
  • In October, a new Japanese government headed by General Hideki Tojo made a final attempt at negotiating an agreement
  • Neither side changed its position
  • FDR’s military advisers hoped that an armed confrontation with Japan could be delayed until U.S. armed forces in the Pacific were sufficiently strong
  • Japan believed that quick action was necessary due to its limited oil supplies
why did japan attacked america
Why did Japan Attacked America?
  • Japan was trying to become the dominant power in East Asia and the Pacific
  • They had invaded China in 1933 & were preparing to conquer Indochina, Malaysia & the Pacific Islands
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Why did Japan Attacked America?
  • They wanted to control these territories so they could use the badly needed oil raw materials in them for their own industries
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Why did Japan Attacked America
  • U.S. had been growing steadily more opposed to the Japanese expansion
  • Japan knew if they attacked those other countries the U.S. might go to war to stop them
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Why did Japan Attacked America?
  • Japan decided to attack us first
  • They hoped they could cripple us so we could not oppose them while they grabbed as much territory as they could
  • Once they had the territory, they hoped America would make peace with them & let them keep it