Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor: A Day of Infamy
By
Chris Smith

World War II altered the face of American history forever. This being a war the United States was greatly against and never wanted to enter, They were thrust into the war by a brutal attack from the Japanese on a Navel base located in the pacific ocean on the island Oahu in what is called Pearl Harbor. This attack on the base was a direct attack against the United States and gave America no choice but to enter the war they were originally so opposed to, or were they? Did the American government know that the Japanese were planning an attack? Did the United States allow the Japanese kill and wound several thousand Americans and sink and damage several naval ships all for a reason to enter a war our President longed to be a part of? Those questions along with several more have been raised by authors and thinkers throughout history.

These questions along with several more will be examined in depth throughout this writing. The thesis of this paper is as follows, “On December 7, 1941 The United States of America changed forever with Japan’s surprise attacks on the U.S. Navel base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. These attacks thrust the United States into the middle of the Second World War and raised many questions and conspiracies pertaining to prior knowledge of the attacks and the plans that the Japanese executed.”

First, the anticipation of war will be discussed and the events leading to attack. Secondly, the process that the Japanese went through will be discussed, from the year of planning to the secretive launch of their “striking force” also their already obvious aggression displayed by the invasion of China. Another crucial piece to this puzzle is the Tripartite pact signed by Japan to make them apart of the “Axis powers”. Also the Japanese fleet and how they were utilized and coordinated in this attack will play a vital part in this description of this devastating attack. Finally the question will be addressed of whether we were aware of the attacks in advance and discuss the conspiracy theories surrounding this hot button issue in World War II history.

“Tensions between Japan and the United States increased greatly at the start of the military oriented Showa era, as Japanese nationalists and military leaders used escalating influence over government policy, accepting the creation of a Greater East Asia alliance as part of Japan's alleged "divine right" to unify all of Asia under Emperor Shōwa's rule, threatening the already-established American, French, British, and Dutch colonies located in Asia.”[i]

Throughout the 1930s, Japan's increasing expansion policies got them into conflicts with its neighbors, Russia and China[ii] .In March of 1933, Japan removed itself from the League of Nations because of international displease for its desire to conquer Manchuria and for their plans to establish the Manchukuo puppet government. On January 15, 1936, Japan also removed representatives from the Second London Naval Disarmament Conference[iii] because the United States and Great Britain did not want to grant the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) parity with their navies.[iv] 

A second war between the Japanese and Chinese started with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in July 1937[v]. Japan's attack on China was looked down upon by the United States and the majority of the members of the League of Nations including Britain, France, Australia, and the Netherlands. The crimes of the Japanese during the conflict such as the Rape of Nanking[vi], definitely made relations with the rest of the world very strained. These states had several interests, as well as formal colonies, in the East and Southeast Asia. Japan's new power and its urge to use it raised great concerns, which threatened the control they had in Asia. In July of 1939, the United States got rid of its 1911 commercial treaty with Japan, but this...
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