Three-hundred and sixty Japanese planes broke through the
clouds above Pearl Harbor at 07.55. The planes attacked in rows of two or three, dropping torpedoes at 100 knots from 70 feet. The first wave of planes destroyed US hangers and the planes in the neat, anti-sabotage rows. Other attacks in the first wave were on 'Battleship Row', cruisers and other
auxiliary ships. Most ships had numerous torpedo hits. To
complete the destruction of the war ships, six submarines aided in the sinking and destroying of what was not already certain.
When torpedoing planes left the vicinity, bombers carrying 1 600 pound bombs were sent to destroy any remaining ships.
Overlapping the first wave of attack at 08.40 was a second one. They concentrated on the not yet fully destroyed
airfields. By 09.45 any ship of the US Pacific! Naval Fleet that was not on the Ocean floor was drifting helplessly. "It [the Arizona] sank like an earthquake had struck it," a survivor remarked, 1 200 of his crew mates died.
US troops returned from church or brunch to defend as best they could. Fighting until they drowned or were crushed by
exploding debris, sailors, fliers and anti-aircraft gunners fought heroically to save their doomed naval base. By reason of the attack occurring in what Americans thought was peace time, much of the ammunition was locked away, leaving the
defending US troops with little defense. In the end, the US had eight battleships, three cruisers and a large number of smaller vessels sink or rendered out of use. The Japanese lost 0 30 planes and five submarines. Although the destruction was not total, Japanese foremost naval strategist, Yamamoto, found the result better than he had anticipated . Military records state that the attack sank or destroyed 6 ships. US casualties included 2 500 as well as over 1 000 wounded. The Japanese lost less than 30 aircraft and about 55 men.
The bombing of Pearl...
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