Pearl Harbor, the American Perspective

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About, sixty three years ago on a large naval base in a small state named Hawaii the United States of America was secretly attacked by the Japanese. Today, this dramatic event is known as Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor is credited for pushing the United States into World War Two. Usually, the American public lacks a detailed knowledge of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese way of life attributed to the way that they attacked the United States. The Japanese felt that rather than surrender they would kill themselves in honor of their emperor. So, men where willing to go on Kamikaze missions where they knew that they were not going to be coming back to their families. The United States was unprepared for the attack.

Before the attack on Pearl Harbor many other things had taken place in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The United States was remaining neutral to any fighting and attack from any other nation. At this time America and Japan were supposedly still at peace. Adolf Hitler and his new Nazi party were taking over. The party took an abundance of land over. They were becoming a world power stomping all over all of Europe. But Roosevelt insisted the United States was going to remain neutral. The British and the French were upset because the United States agreed to be an ally of France and Britain at the end of World War I with the Treaty of Versailles. In Susan Wels book December7, 1941 PEARL HARBOR America's Darkest Day, Franklin D. Roosevelt says in October, 1940 "I shall say and I shall say it again, again, and again, your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars"(Wels 44). Most Americans believed that even though the US was supplying Germany with more goods at the time, the United States would find a way to stay neutral.

The place where Pearl Harbor is located was not well known in the early 20th century. Pearl Harbor lies in the Hawaiian islands which are located in the Pacific Ocean. Kauai, Niihau, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Hawaii form the major islands of Hawaii. (Smith 7). The islands are between the United States and Japan a perfect place fro a military base. Hawaii was discovered in the Eighteenth century. The land is very fertile and it can yield American and Asian products such as Sugar, and Rice. The US pacific fleet arrived in Hawaii in 1940 and a lot of workers and soldiers came out to help expand Pearl Harbor, giving it more power, fuel storage facilities, shelter, more supplies, and repair the ships in the fleet. The population of Hawaii at the time of the attack of Pearl Harbor consisted mostly of American and Asian people. The Japanese thought Pearl Harbor was the perfect place to attack because the US had a base there and it was fairly close to Japan and it was not close to the US military headquarters. The Unites States though thought that they had the strongest stronghold and that Pearl Harbor woth all of their modifications was nearly impenetrable. General George Marshall said about Pearl Harbor "the strongest forces on the world"(Wels 59). The United States was overconfident that they were prepared fro a war with Japan saying in a news article in Fortune magazine in 1940 "war with Japan, is the only war which the U.S. is prepared"(Wels 59).

Japan was becoming a world power, really strengthening themselves in the early twentieth century. The Japanese were laying the groundwork to their attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attacked and took control of many parts of China, and Manchuria. The Japanese took control of three of the four provinces in Manchuria and were getting ready to take control of more. (Willmott 14). Japan was quickly also modernizing themselves on the industrial and economic side as well. Japan's industrial revolution saw the modernizing of manufacturing facilities and the upgrading of the military. Japan felt that the Europeans were limited the expansion of their new world power. After the war broke out the Japanese and the United...
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