Attack on Pearl Harbor

From Academic Kids


The Imperial Japanese Navy made its attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Corps and Marine air forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve U.S. warships and 188 aircraft, and killed 2,403 American servicemen and 68 civilians. Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku planned the raid as the start of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, and it was commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, who lost 64 servicemen. The Pacific Fleet's three aircraft carriers were not in port and so were undamaged, as were oil tank farms and machine shops. Using these resources the United States was able to rebound within six months to a year. The U.S. public saw "Pearl Harbor" as a treacherous act and rallied strongly against the Japanese Empire, resulting in its later defeat. This attack has been called the Bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Pearl Harbor but, most commonly, the Attack on Pearl Harbor or simply Pearl Harbor.


Japanese preparations

The Japanese fleet steamed towards Pearl Harbor undetected until the last moment.
The Japanese fleet steamed towards Pearl Harbor undetected until the last moment.

Japan had been embroiled in a war with China since 1937 and had seized Manchuria some years before. During 1941 the long-standing tensions between the Japanese Empire and the United States were rising. The United States and the United Kingdom reacted to Japanese military actions in China by enforcing a scrap metal boycott followed by an oil boycott, a freeze of assets and the closing of the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. Diplomatic negotiations climaxed with the Hull note of November 26th, 1941, which Prime Minister Hideki Tojo described to his cabinet as an ultimatum. Especially the oil boycott was a fatal threat to Japan, which lacked oil deposits of its own. The Japanese leaders thus had three choices: give in to the demands of the USA and the UK and back out of China, wait for a lack of fuel to cripple their military, or escalate the conflict to try and acquire sources of oil in south east asia. They chose the latter.

The aim of the attack on Pearl Harbor was to neutralize American naval power in the Pacific, if only temporarily, as part of a theater-wide, near-simultaneous coordinated attack. Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku himself suggested that even a successful attack would gain only a year or so of freedom of action. Planning for an attack in support of further military advances began in January 1941, and training for the mission was underway by mid-year when the project was finally judged worthwhile after some Imperial Navy infighting. The attack depended on torpedoes, but the weapons of the time required deep water when air launched. Over the summer of 1941, Japan secretly created and tested torpedoes that could be launched in shallow Pearl Harbor. The effort resulted in the Type 95 torpedo that inflicted the majority of the damage to U.S. ships.

Japanese bombers prepare to take off.
Japanese bombers prepare to take off.

On November 26 1941, a fleet including six aircraft carriers commanded by Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo left Hitokappu Bay in the Kuril Islands under strict radio silence bound for Hawaii. The aircraft carriers involved in the attack were: the Akagi, the Hiryu, the Kaga, the Shokaku, the Soryu, and the Zuikaku. Escorting the task force were 2 fast battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 6 destroyers, and a large number of fleet submarines. Together they had a total of 441 planes, including fighters, torpedo bombers, dive bombers, and fighter bombers, larger than any previous aerial strike force.

United States preparedness

Main article: Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge debate

 presented an attractive concentration of targets.
Battleship Row presented an attractive concentration of targets.

U.S. civilian and military intelligence forces had, between them, sufficient information to anticipate Japanese aggression weeks, or even months, before the attack. The armed forces at Pearl Harbor had a number of warnings on the day of the attack. Both of these information sources could have brought Pearl to a higher level of alert and made the attack less damaging.

U.S. signals intelligence, through the Army Signal Intelligence Service and the Office of Naval Intelligence's OP-20-G codebreaking unit, intercepted Japanese diplomatic traffic and had broken many Japanese ciphers. Distribution of this intelligence was poor and did not include material from the Japanese military. Often the information was incomplete, contradictory, or insufficiently distributed, as in the case of the Winds Code. Warnings were sent to the U.S. forces in the Pacific in November 1940. Despite the growing information pointing to a new phase of Japanese aggression, there was little information specific to Pearl Harbor.

American commanders were warned that tests had shown that shallower torpedo launching was possible, but they did not fully appreciate the danger posed by the secret Japanese torpedo. Expecting that Pearl Harbor had natural defenses against torpedo attack, the U.S. Navy failed to add torpedo nets or baffles, which they judged cumbersome. Due to a shortage of planes, long reconnaissance patrols were not being made. At the time of the attack, the Army was training rather than on alert. Most of its portable anti-aircraft guns were stowed with the ammunition kept locked in separate armories. To avoid upsetting the property owners, the officers did not keep the guns dispersed onto private property.

Breaking off negotiations

Part of the Japanese plans for the attack included breaking off negotiations with the United States prior (and only just prior) to the attack. Diplomats from the Japanese Embassy in Washington, including special representative Saburu Kurusu, had been conducting extended talks with the State Department regarding the U.S. reactions to the Japanese move into Indochina in the summer. Just before the attack, a long message was sent to the Embassy from the Foreign Office in Tokyo (encoded with the Purple cryptographic machine), with instructions to deliver it to Secretary of State Cordell Hull just before the attack was scheduled to begin (that is, 1 PM Washington time). Because of decryption and typing delays, the Embassy personnel could not manage to do so; the long message breaking off negotiations was delivered well after the intended time, and well after the attack had actually begun. The Japanese records admitted into evidence during a Congressional hearing show that the Japanese had not even written a declaration of war until after they heard of the successful attack on Pearl Harbor; it would be difficult for them to deliver a document that had not yet been written. The two-line declaration of war was finally delivered to Ambassador Grew about ten hours after the attack was over. He was allowed to transmit it to the United States where it was received late Monday afternoon.

The United States had decrypted both parts of the final message well before the Japanese Embassy had managed to finish. It was that decryption of the second part which prompted General George Marshall to send his famous warning to Hawaii that morning. It was actually delivered, by a young Japanese-American cycle messenger, to General Walter Short at Pearl Harbor several hours after the attack had ended. The delay was due to difficulties with the Army's communications and transmission delays by commercial cable, and it had somehow lost its "urgent" marking during its travels.

The attack

Missing image
Wreck of a midget submarine.

The first shots fired and the first casualties in the attack on Pearl Harbor actually occurred when the USS Ward attacked and sank a midget submarine at 06:37. There were five Ko-hyoteki class midget submarines which planned to torpedo U.S. ships after the bombing started. None of the subs made it back safely, and only four out of the five have since been found. Of the ten sailors aboard the five submarines, nine died, and the only survivor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured, becoming the first prisoner of war captured by the Americans in World War II. Recent United States Naval Institute photographic analysis indicates a high likelihood that one midget submarine managed to enter the harbor and successfully fired a torpedo into the USS West Virginia. The final disposition of this submarine is unknown.Template:Ref

The two attack sorties flown by the Japanese approached from different directions. The U.S. radar which detected them 200 miles away was at the top of this map.
The two attack sorties flown by the Japanese approached from different directions. The U.S. radar which detected them 200 miles away was at the top of this map.

On the morning of the attack, the Army's Opana Point radar station detected the Japanese force, but the warning was confused with an expected arrival of U.S. aircraft and discounted. Some commercial shipping may have reported "unusual" radio traffic. A number of U.S. aircraft were shot down as the air attack approached; one at least radioed a somewhat incoherent warning. Other warnings were still being processed or awaiting confirmation when the attack began.

The attack on Pearl Harbor began at 07:53 7 December Hawaiian Time, which was 03:23 AM December 8 Japan Standard Time. The Japanese planes attacked in two waves, in which a total of 350 planes reached Oahu. Vulnerable torpedo bombers led the first wave of 186 planes, exploiting the first moments of surprise by attacking the (hoped for) aircraft carriers and battleships while dive bombers attacked the U.S. air bases across Oahu, starting with Hickam Field, the largest, and Wheeler Air Field, the principal fighter base. The 168 planes of the second wave attacked Bellows Field and Ford Island, a marine and naval air base in the middle of Pearl Harbor. The only opposition came from some P-36s and P-40s that flew 25 sorties and from naval anti-aircraft fire.

Torpedo exploding into USS West Virginia, as seen from Japanese plane.
Torpedo exploding into USS West Virginia, as seen from Japanese plane.

The men on the ships were awaken to the sounds of bombs exploding and cries of "Away fire and rescue party" and "All hands on deck, we're being bombed". Despite the debacle of unpreparedness, which included locked ammunition lockers and undispersed aircraft, there were American military personnel who served with distinction in the incident. Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, senior officer of the fleet, and Captain Franklin Van Valkenburgh, commander of the USS Arizona, both rushed to the bridge of Arizona and organized the defense until killed by a bomb that hit the bridge. Both men were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. An ensign got his ship underway from a dead start during the attack. A destroyer got underway with only four officers onboard, all ensigns, none of whom had more than a year's sea duty. That ship operated for four days at sea before its commanding officer caught up with it. Probably the most famous hero is Doris "Dorie" Miller, an African-American cook on the West Virginia, who went beyond the call of duty when he took control of an unattended anti-aircraft gun, for which he had no training, and used it to fire on the attacking planes, downing at least one, even while bombs were hitting his ship. He was awarded the Navy Cross. In all, fourteen sailors and officers were awarded the Medal of Honor. A special military award, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, was later authorized to all military veterans of the attack.

The attack was over 90 minutes after it began. 2,403 Americans lost their lives and a further 1,200 were wounded. Twelve battleships and other ships either were sunk or damaged. The battleship Arizona exploded and sank with a loss of over 1,100 men, nearly half of the American dead. It was destroyed when a Japenese converted 40cm shell, dropped from a high altitiude level bomber, smashed through its two armoured decks and dropped into the foreward main gun magazine containing 1,232 smokeless powder cartridges. Its hull became a memorial to those lost that day, most of whom remain within the ship.The USS Nevada attempted to sortie seaward, but was ordered to beach itself to avoid blocking the harbour entrance. Already damaged by a torpedo and on fire foreward, the Nevada was targeted by many Japenese bombers as it sailed away. It suffered more 250-lb bombs as it beached. The USS California was hit by two bombs and two torpedoes, but the crew may have kept her afloat if they were not ordered to abandon ship just as they were raising power for the pumps. Burning oil from the Arizona and the West Virginia was drifting down on her. The disarmed USS Utah was holed twice by torpedoes. The USS West Virginia was hit by no less than seven torpedoes, the seventh tearing the ships' rudder away. The USS Oklahoma was hit by four torpedoes, the last two impacting above its side armour belt. The USS Maryland was hit by two of the converted 40cm shells, but neither caused serious damage. Despite the Japenese concentration on major battleships, they did not ignore other targets. The light cruiser USS Helena was torpedoes, and the concussion from the blast rolled the neighbouring minelayer USS Oglala right over. Two destroyers in dry dock were destroyed when bombs penetrated their fuel tanks and started a leak. The fuel caught fire and flooding the dry dock only made the oil rise, which burned out the ships. The light crusier USS Raleigh was hit by a torpedo and holed. The light cruiser USS Honolulu was damaged but returned to service. The destroyer USS Cassin was capsized. The destroyer Downes was heavily damaged. The repair vessel vestal was heavily damaged and beached. The seaplane tender Curtiss was damaged. Almost every one of the 188 aircraft that were destroyed and 155 that were damaged were hit on the ground. Attacks on barracks killed additional pilots. Friendly fire brought down several planes, and falling antiaircraft shells accounted for many of the 68 civilian deaths. Fifty-five Japanese airmen and nine submariners were killed in action. Of Japan's 441 planes, 29 were lost during the battle and another 20 that landed were irreparable.

Nagumo's decision to withdraw after two strikes

Some senior officers and flight leaders urged Nagumo to attack with a third strike to destroy the oil storage depots, machine shops, and dry docks at Pearl Harbor. Destruction of these facilities would have greatly increased the U.S. Navy's difficulties, as the nearest immediately usable fleet facilities would have been several thousand miles east of Hawaii on America's West Coast. Some military historians have suggested that the destruction of oil tanks and repair facilities would have crippled the US Pacific Fleet more seriously than the loss of several battleships. Nagumo decided to forgo a third attack in favor of withdrawing for several reasons:

Missing image
Fuel farm at left, Submarine Base (right center). October 1941.
  • Anti-aircraft performance during the second strike was less successful than that during the first, and two-thirds of the Japanese losses happened during the second wave, due in part to the Americans being alerted. A third strike could have been expected to suffer still worse losses.
  • The first two strikes had essentially used all the previously prepped aircraft available, so a third strike would have taken some time to prepare, allowing the Americans time to, perhaps, find and attack Nagumo's force. The location of the American carriers was and remained unknown to Nagumo.
  • The Japanese pilots had not practiced attack against the Pearl Harbor shore facilities and organizing such an attack would have taken still more time, though several of the strike leaders urged a third strike anyway.
  • The fuel situation did not permit remaining on station north of Pearl Harbor much longer. The Japanese were acting at the limit of their logistical ability to support the strike on Pearl Harbor. To remain in those waters for much longer would have risked running unacceptably low on fuel.
  • The timing of a third strike would have been such that aircraft would probably have returned to their carriers after dark. Night operations from aircraft carriers were in their infancy in 1941, and neither the Japanese nor anyone else had developed reliable techniques and doctrine.
The forward magazines of the  exploded after she was hit by a bomb dropped by Tadashi Kusumi.
The forward magazines of the USS Arizona exploded after she was hit by a bomb dropped by Tadashi Kusumi.
  • The second strike had essentially completed the entire mission: neutralization of the American Pacific Fleet.
  • There was the simple danger of remaining near one place for too long. The Japanese were very fortunate to have escaped detection during their voyage from the Inland Sea to Hawaii. The longer they remained off Hawaii, the more danger they were in from U.S. submarines and the absent American carriers.
  • The carriers were needed to support the main Japanese attack toward the "Southern Resources Area", the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Malaya, and Burma, which was intended to capture oil and other supplies. The Japanese government had been reluctant to allow the attack at all as it took air cover from the southern thrust, and Nagumo was under strict orders not to risk his command any more than necessary. As the war games during the planning of the attack had predicted that from two to four carriers might be lost in the attack, Nagumo must have been very happy to suffer no losses and did not want to push his luck.

Immediate aftermath

Just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor began (but the next day, December 8, 1941, on the other side of the international date line), Japanese troops began an early morning attack on the New Territories of Hong Kong followed soon after by attacks on the Philippines, Wake Island, Malaya, and Thailand and the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse.Template:Ref

President  signed the Declaration of War against Japan on the day following the attack.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Declaration of War against Japan on the day following the attack.

On December 8, 1941, the U.S. Congress declared war on Japan with Jeannette Rankin being the only dissenting vote. The United States was outraged over the attack and the late delivery of the note breaking off relations, which it considered treacherous. Roosevelt signed the declaration of war the same day, and called the previous day "a date which will live in infamy" in an address to a joint session of Congress. Continuing to intensify its military mobilization, the U.S. Government began converting to a war economy.

The Pearl Harbor attack immediately galvanized a divided nation into action as little else could have done. Overnight, it united Americans with the goal of fighting and winning the war with Japan, and it probably made possible the unconditional surrender position taken by the Allied Powers. For that reason, some historians believe that the attack on Pearl Harbor itself doomed Japan to defeat simply because this awakened the "sleeping US behemoth", regardless of whether the fuel depots or machine shops were destroyed or even if the carriers had been caught in port and sunk. Revelations about US industrial and military capacity showed that it was able to pour overwhelming resources into both the Pacific and Atlantic theatres.

Nazi Germany declared war on the United States on December 11, four days after the Japanese attack. Hitler was under no obligation to do so under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, but did so regardless, perhaps due to Hitler's overconfidence. This doubly outraged the American public and allowed the United States to outright enter the European theatre of the war and greatly step up its support of the United Kingdom, which delayed for some time a full U.S. response to the setback in the Pacific.

Both the naval commander, Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, and the Army commander, Lieutenant General Walter Short, were relieved of their commands shortly after the attack. The Army Air Corps had been responsible for aerial defense of the naval base. They were charged with dereliction of duty for not making sufficient defensive preparations. Some scholars have argued that Kimmel and Short were scapegoated since crucial intelligence was not revealed to them, but the military has refused to exonerate the officers.

In terms of its cardinal objectives, the attack on Pearl Harbor was an astonishing success which eclipsed the wildest dreams of its planners and has few parallels in the military history of any era, at least in the short-to-medium term. Even the surprise British carrier strike on the Italian's Taranto naval base in 1940 had not been that devastating in terms of damage inflicted, although Taranto perhaps had greater strategic implications. Due to its grievous losses at Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the U.S. Navy was unable to play any significant role in the Pacific War for the next six months. With the U.S. Pacific Fleet essentially out of the picture, Japan was free of worries about its rival Pacific naval power. It went on to conquer southeast Asia, the southwest Pacific and to extend its reach far into the Indian Ocean.

Longer-term effects

Missing image
The attack inflamed U.S. sentiments.

A common view is that the Japanese fell victim to victory disease due to the perceived ease of their first victories. Yet despite the perception of this battle as a devastating blow to America, only five ships were permanently lost to the Navy. These were the battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, the old battleship Utah (then used as a target ship), and the destroyers Cassin and Downes; nevertheless, much usable material was salvaged from them, including the two aft main turrets from the Arizona. Heavy casualties resulted due to the Arizona's magazine exploding and the Oklahoma capsizing. Four ships sunk during the attack were later raised and returned to duty, including the battleships California, West Virginia and Nevada. The California and West Virginia had an effective torpedo-defense system which held up remarkably well, despite the weight of fire they had to endure, enabling most of their crews to be saved. Many of the surviving battlesships were heavily refitted, allowing them to better cope with Japanese threats.

Of the 22 Japanese ships that took part in the attack, only one survived the war. As of 2005, the only U.S. ship still afloat that participated in the attack is the Coast Guard Cutter Taney.

In the long term, the attack on Pearl Harbor was an unmitigated strategic blunder for Japan. Indeed, Admiral Yamamoto, who devised the Pearl Harbor attack, had predicted that even a successful attack on the U.S. Fleet would not and could not win a war with the United States, as American productive capacity was too large. One of the main Japanese objectives was to destroy the three American aircraft carriers stationed in the Pacific, but these were not present—the Enterprise was returning from a cruise, the Lexington had sortied a few days prior, and the Saratoga was in San Diego following a refit at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Putting most of the U.S. battleships out of commission was widely regarded—in both Navies and by most observers worldwide—as a tremendous success for the Japanese. The elimination of the battleships left the U.S. Navy with no choice but to put its faith in aircraft carriers and submarines, these being most of what was left—yet these were the tools with which the U.S. Navy halted and later reversed the Japanese advance. The loss of the battleships turned out to be less important than Japan had thought it would be before the attack, and also less important than either Japan or the United States had thought immediately following the attack. One particular flaw of Japanese strategic thinking was that the ultimate Pacific battle would be between battleships of both sides. As a result, Yamamoto hoarded up his battleships for a decisive battle that would never happen.

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was a factor in the later Japanese internment in the western United States. Another important factor was the view of General John DeWitt, commander of the West Coast Defense District. In support of his recommendation to President Roosevelt that those of Japanese descent be interned, he claimed to have evidence of the intent to commit sabotage and espionage. It is now known that he had no such evidence.

Historical significance

This battle, like the Battle of Lexington and Concord, had history-altering consequences. It only had a small military impact due to the failure of the Japanese Navy to sink U.S. aircraft carriers, but even if the air carriers had been sunk, it may not have helped Japan in the long term. The attack firmly drew the United States and its massive industrial and service economy into World War II, leading to the defeat of the Axis powers worldwide. The United Kingdom's Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on hearing that the attack on Pearl Harbor had finally drawn the United States into the war, wrote "Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful". (Winston Churchill, The Second World War, vol. 3, p. 539) The Allied victory in this war and the subsequent U.S. emergence as a dominant world power has shaped international politics ever since.

In terms of military history, the attack on Pearl Harbor marked the emergence of the aircraft carrier as the center of naval power, replacing the battleship as the keystone of the fleet. However, it was not until later battles in the war, such as the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, that this breakthrough became apparent to the world's naval powers.

Japanese views of the attack

Missing image
USS Utah took a torpedo hit and capsized early in the battle. The wreck remains at Pearl Harbor.

Yamamoto was unhappy about the botched timing of the breaking off of negotiations. He is commonly thought to have said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve", but this line seems to have been written for the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970). (Refer to the article titled for more information.) Even though the quote may not have been said by Yamamoto, it did seem to capture his feelings about the attack. (See also: Yamamoto's "sleeping giant" quote)

In 1942, Saburo Kurusu, former Japanese ambassador to the United States, gave an address in which he traced the "historical inevitability of the war of Greater East Asia."Template:Ref He said that the war was a response to Washington's longstanding aggression toward Japan. According to Kurusu, the provocations began with the San Francisco School incident and the United States' racist policies on Japanese immigrants, and culminated in the belligerent scrap metal and oil boycott by the United States and allied countries. Of Pearl Harbor itself, he said that it came in direct response to a virtual ultimatum, the Hull note, from the U.S. government, and that the surprise attack was not treacherous because it should have been expected. Indeed, at Pearl Harbor, the fleet had been engaged in wargames and training before the Japanese attack. However, the Americans never expected the attack to come without any warning or declaration of war, and they also underestimated the Japanese surprise and capability. In Europe, Germany's attack on Poland in 1939 had also similarly taken the Allies off guard.

Sixty years later these views are still current in Japan. For example, the Japan Times, Japan's premier English-language daily newspaper, has run a number of columns in the early 2000s that echo Kurusu's comments in reference to Pearl Harbor.Template:Ref Putting Pearl Harbor into context, writers repeatedly contrast the thousands of U.S. servicemen killed in that attack with the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians later killed by U.S. air attacks.Template:Ref One columnist eulogizes the attack:

The Pearl Harbor attack was a brilliant tactic, but part of a strategy based on the belief that a spirit as firm as iron and as beautiful as cherry blossoms could overcome the materially wealthy United States. That strategy was flawed, and Japan's total defeat would follow.Template:Ref

In 1991 it was rumored that Japan was going to make an official apology to the United States for the attack. The apology did not come in the form many expected, however. The Japanese Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that in 1941 Japan had intended to make a formal declaration of war to the United States at 1 PM Washington time, twenty-five minutes before the attacks at Pearl Harbor were scheduled to begin. It appears that the Japanese government was referring to the "14-part message", which did not even formally break off negotiations, let alone declare war. However, due to various delays, the Japanese ambassador was unable to make the declaration until well after the attacks had begun. The Japanese government's apology in 1991 was only for this delay.

Film dramatizations

The attack has been depicted numerous times on film. Examples include:

  • From Here to Eternity (1953) Deals with social issues in the military, with 1941 Honolulu as the setting and the Pearl Harbor attack only tangential to the story.
  • The Final Countdown (1980) A science fiction "what if" movie involving time travel back to the eve of the attack and whether the time travelers should intervene.
  • Pearl Harbor (2001) A romance based on a real story, but its historical accuracy has been challenged.

Recipients of the Medal of Honor

* Awarded posthumously.Template:Ref


  1. Template:Note John Rodgaard et al., "Pearl Harbor—Attack from Below (," Naval History, December 1999 (accessed June 10, 2005).
  2. Template:Note Kelley L. Ross, "The Pearl Harbor Strike Force (" (accessed June 10, 2005).
  3. Template:Note Saburo Kurusu, Historical inevitability of the war of Greater East Asia (, Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, Tokyo, November 26, 1942 (accessed June 10, 2005).
  4. Template:Note Charles Burress, "Biased history helps feed U.S. fascination with Pearl Harbor (," Japan Times, July 19, 2001 (accessed June 10, 2005); Burritt Sabin, "The War's Leagacy: Dawn of a tragic era (," Japan Times, February 8, 2004 (accessed June 10, 2005); Gregory Clark, "Shedding imposed war guilt (," Japan Times, April 15, 2005 (accessed June 10, 2005); Hiroaki Sato, "The View From New York: Debunking America's 'Good War' myth (," Japan Times, June 25, 2001 (accessed June 10, 2005).
  5. Template:Note Hiroaki Sato, "The View From New York: Debunking America's 'Good War' myth (," Japan Times, June 25, 2001 (accessed June 10, 2005); Kiroku Hanai "U.S. War Conduct: No sense of proportionality (," Japan Times, September 28, 2004 (accessed June 10, 2005); Gregory Clark, "Shedding imposed war guilt (," Japan Times, April 15, 2005 (accessed June 10, 2005).
  6. Template:Note Burritt Sabin, "The War's Leagacy: Dawn of a tragic era (," Japan Times, February 8, 2004 (accessed June 10, 2005).
  7. Template:Note Medal of Honor Citations (, U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Further reading

  • Gordon W. Prange, At Dawn We Slept (McGraw-Hill, 1981), Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History (McGraw-Hill, 1986), and December 7, 1941: The Day the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor (McGraw-Hill, 1988). This monumental trilogy, written with collaborators Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon, is considered the authoritative work on the subject.
  • Walter Lord, Day of Infamy (Henry Holt, 1957) is a very readable, and entirely anecdotal, re-telling of the day's events.
  • W. J. Holmes, Double-Edged Secrets: U.S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific During World War II (Naval Institute, 1979) contains some important material, such as Holmes' point that had the U.S. Navy been warned of the attack and put to sea, it would have likely resulted in an even greater disaster, as all the ships sunk would have been lost completely in deep water, along with a higher loss of life. At the time of Pearl Harbor, Holmes was an intelligence officer who worked closely with the cryptographers stationed in Hawaii.
  • Michael V. Gannon, Pearl Harbor Betrayed (Henry Holt, 2001) is a recent examination of the issues surrounding the surprise of the attack.
  • Frederick D. Parker, Pearl Harbor Revisited: United States Navy Communications Intelligence 1924–1941 ( (Center for Cryptologic History, 1994) contains a quite detailed description of what the Navy knew from intercepted and decrypted Japanese communications prior to Pearl.
  • Henry C. Clausen and Bruce Lee, Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement, (HarperCollins, 2001), is Clausen's account of the secret 'Clausen Inquiry' undertaken late in the War by order of Congress to Secretary of War Stimson. Clausen's effort was extraordinary, if only because of the exploding vest he wore as he traveled, and the astonishing letter of authority Stimson gave him. His account supports the 'bumbling around in Washington' and the 'bumbling around in Hawaii' theories, but not the 'Roosevelt/Marshall knew' variant. He also thinks that Kimmel and Short failed in their duty to be prepared, as they were ordered to be in November. He faults General Marshall as well for allegedly committing perjury. Clausen admired MacArthur despite the losses in the Philippines, MacArthur's area of responsibility, several hours after the raid at Pearl, in part because they were both Masons. Clausen's investigative brief from Stimson did not include being caught by surprise in the Philippines.
  • Robert A. Theobald, Final Secret of Pearl Harbor (Devin-Adair Pub, 1954) ISBN 0815955030 ISBN 0317659286 Foreword by Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.
  • Albert C. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports! (Henry Holt Co, 1958) ISBN 0892750111 ISBN 0815972164
  • Hamilton Fish, Tragic Deception: FDR and America's Involvement in World War II (Devin-Adair Pub, 1983) ISBN 0815969171

External links

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