Essay on Pearl Harbor

Submitted By sbailes
Words: 1571
Pages: 7

The conflict between America and Japan began in the 1930’s. The dispute began over their differences in opinion about China. Japan attempted to conquer all of China, failed, but still had control of parts of the country. Japan then joined the Axis Alliance with Nazi Germany in 1941 and in 1942, Japan occupied all of Indochina. The presence of Nazi affiliated Japan shook the United States simply because America had “important political and economic interests in East Asia.” In an attempt to strengthen the Chinese military, the United States sent over troops and monetary aid. Also, in an attempt to weaken the Japanese, the United States stopped shipment of oil and other exports that were essential to Japan’s economic stimulation. In response to the ceasement of resourced, Japanese leaders viewed this as a threat and therefore attempt to seize and control resource-rich areas in Southeast Asia though the threat of war with the United States after committing such an act was inevitable. The issue in controlling those areas that were rich in resources was that the Japanese fleets would have to make it past an American fleet of ships based at Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the commander of the Japanese fleet that would invade Southeast Asia came up with a plan to prevent the United States Pacific Fleet that was based at Pearl Harbor. He was going to stage a surprise attack on the base. The attack on Pearl Harbor took months for the Japanese to be fully prepared. The element of surprise would be the most useful in Yamamoto’s attack. Training for aircraft pilots began in the spring of 1941, although the attack didn’t occur until December of that same year. In October of 1941, approval was given to Yamamoto and his staff in order to go through with the attack on Pearl Harbor. The plan was to be sought through by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo. The attack plan was for six heavy aircraft carriers joined by 24 naval vessels as well as a separate group of submarines with the intent to sink any on coming American ships that evaded the Japanese forces. The Japanese forces assembled undetected in Tankan Bay of the Kurikle Islands on November 26 1941. Avoiding the risk of being seen, the Japanese forces avoided normal shipping lanes and traveled in the North Pacific. Two days after the Japanese had left for the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel of the United States Marines sent the USS Enterprise to take Marine fighter planes to Wake Island. On the fifth of December, Admiral Kimmel sent the USS Lexington to send 25 scout bombers to Midway Island. The only other carrier that was supposed to be at the base of Pearl Harbor, the USS Saratoga, was sent to the West Coast for maintenance and repairs. Just before the sun rose, United States Naval vessels saw a submarine periscope close to Pearl Harbor’s entrance.The submarine was reportedly sunk and the reports were handled routinely. Just before the sighting of the submarine by United States forces, Japanese forces had just let 181 planes, that consisted of mainly bombers, leave the six carriers that they brought ready for the attack. American forces did register these planes on radar, but they were quickly justified to be part of the American forces that were supposed to be coming that morning. The goal of surprise was achieved by the Japanese due to the fact that the planes were dismissed on the radar and the Japanese forces succeeded in their attempt to have simultaneous attacks on several parts of the base. This was the goal because the Japanese forces were attempting to destroy all enemy planes and battleships before they could be used against them and take down Japanese planes. Seven out of the eight battleships that were stationed at the base were damaged within the first half hour of the attack. Two ships were sank while the remaining five had different degrees of damage. At around 8:30, about an hour and a half after the initial attack, there was a pause in the bombing