The Bombing of Pearl Harbor
At about 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter jets attacked the unsuspecting American naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii. Although the attack lasted only two hours, much damage had been done. The Japanese managed to destroy almost 20 naval vessels and nearly 200 airplanes. 2,000 American soldier died and another 1,000 were injured.
The very next day, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan. Congress, with just one dissenting vote, decided to pass the bill and declare war on Japan. Three days after declaring war on Japan, Japanese allies Germany and Italy declared war on the United States of America. Now, the U.S. was officially engaged in World War II.
Although the attack on the naval base of Pearl Harbor was an attack, the Americans and Japanese had been inching towards war for a long time. Japanese thought that the only way to solve their economic and demographic problems was to turn to its neighbor, China, and take over a part of their territory. This idea led to Japan declaring war on China in 1937, and this made the U.S. upset with Japan.
As a result of Japan’s declaration of war, the United States responded with a number of economic sanctions and trade embargoes. The United States figured that without important necessities for war like oil, the Japanese expansion would soon come to an end. Instead of discouraging the Japanese to continue their expansion, however, it only angered them. To handle their anger, they decided to bomb Pearl Harbor and declare war.
The Japanese decided to attack Pearl Harbor because, for one, it was the closest target. Also, they chose Pearl Harbor because they wanted to create a situation that left the Americans unable to respond on their western shore. After destroying the entire western American fleet, Japanese ships could cruise right past towards mainland America. Unfortunately for Japan, they had not destroyed America’s most important weapons– airplanes.
The Americans were able to attack the Japanese and participate in WWII. As the war came to an end, the United States of America decided to drop nuclear bombs on Japanese soil.
Some information about the bombing of pearl harbor was taken from this website.