The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 came as a huge surprise to the United States, and led to a series of events that the world would never forget. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because of worsening relations with the U.S. Three of the reasons are that Japan formed a Tripartite Agreement with Germany and Italy in the event of war, was invading Southeast Asia and China, and taking Chinese territory and natural resources because it couldn't support its 80 million person population on its own.
In 1941 President Roosevelt froze Japan's assets in the U.S. and ordered an oil embargo that hurt Japan very badly. The U.S. would not lift the embargo unless Japan did three things: Halt the Japanese Tripartite Pact with Italy and Germany; Pull all Japanese troops out of Southeast Asia and China, and Give back all territory taken from China since 1931. Japanese Prime Minister Hideko Toyo was worried.
He said, "I am afraid we would become a third-class nation in two or three years" if they agreed to the U.S. conditions.
In November 1941, a Japanese strike force secretly went to sea, waiting for the order to move in on Pearl Harbor. In the early hours of December 7, 1941 a fleet of 31 Japanese warships carrying 353 attack planes went into position 230 miles north of Oahu, Hawaii. All of the planes had full ammunition and full fuel tanks. The diagram below shows the flight plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor:
The man who made the plans for the attack on
Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto, declared, "The rise or fall of the empire now hinges on this battle", and on December 7, 1941 Japan targeted Pearl Harbor. At exactly 07:02 hours, two U.S. privates spotted the unidentified planes heading towards Pearl...