Pearl Harbor

Essay by chsdrum April 1996

download word file, 10 pages 3.0

Downloaded 158 times

The attack of the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor was one of the best military surprises in the history of war.

Under Admiral Yamomato, the Japanese Navy delivered a stunning blow to the United States. The brilliant, two

wave attack, utterly surprised the Americans. Over 2,000 American sailors were killed in this onslaught, as well as

109 marines, and 218 soldiers 1. By looking at what Japan did preceding the attack one can see how the American

troops should have been better prepared for such an attack.

The Japanese started their military increase in 1937, when Emperor Hirohito reigned, and they took over

China 2. Their increase continued in 1939, when they tuned South to take over Hainan on February 10. Gordon

Prange states a reason for Japan conquering small areas as well: "In March of the same year Japan laid claim to the

Spratlys-coral islands offering potential havens for planes and small naval craft, located on a beautiful navigational

fix between Saigon and North Borneo, Manila, and Singapore 3."

When France fell in 1940, Japan put troops in Northern French Indochina, this was their stepping stone to further

advancement southward. In 1941, Japan got ready to expand into Southeast Asia. These areas included Malaya, the

Philippines, the Netherlands, and the East 4.

"The United States had to consider Japan in the context of its Axis Alliance, for aid and concessions to

Tokyo in effect, meant aid and concessions for Berlin and Rome .5" Japan had a long list of grievances against the

United States, the foremost being the recognition of the Chiang Kai-Shek regime and the nonrecognition of

Manchuko.6 The U.S. Military in Asia was a constant annoyance to Japan. They felt that all Allied forces in Asia

must be removed.7

By the beginning of July 1940, Washington placed...