The horrible day the Japanese attacked the base of Pearl Harbor

 Pearl Harbor


by Gian Piranio











                     One of the most memorable and tragic time in history was Pearl Harbor.  So many lives were lost.  Many wars have been fought, however, this one was unexpected. 

           December 7, 1941 was a drastic day everyone will remember. It was a peaceful morning where everything was going well until they heard the ear piercing noise of gunfire and bombs. Then it was chaos. At 7:55 a.m. the Americans noticed the tsunami of airplanes striking the harbor. The first of two waves of Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor.

The United States didn’t even want to fight in the war because they were still suffering under the dreadful Great Depression, but on that morning people were surprised to hear the sounds of war.  Everyone was confused and scared on what was happening. Soldiers were still in their soft warm pajamas when the brutal  attack occurred.  The attack was so unexpected that our soldiers were not prepared at that moment to defend themselves.

People who weren’t  soldiers helped out against the Japanese fleet attack. Everyone was expecting planes to pass by bringing resources, but the aggressive Japanese wave came around the same time the resources were suppose to arrive. The American naval base never knew what hit them.


            We were attacked by over 350 relentless Japanese fighter planes leading to the destruction of twenty American naval vessels and the loss of more than 2,500 American soldiers and sailors. There were also 1,000 people wounded and nearly 300 airplanes destroyed. The battle lasted 110 minutes but felt like an hour  was very devastating.

The first wave of planes was to target our airfields and battle ships. The second wave was to target other ships and the shipyard facilities. Of the attack, only twenty nine Japanese airplanes were destroyed.

During the terrible battle the USS Arizona was bombed. The damage to the massive ship was so severe it caused the ship to sink. Nearly half the casualties at Pearl Harbor happened on the USS Arizona. The ship carrying 1,177 people sank due to a direct hit in the ammunition location which caused it to blow up. Today you can still visit the memorial site that opened up in 1962 and view the USS Arizona under the water.


             By the end of the horrendous attack the Japanese built up their army to 2,400,000 ground troops and had 7,500 planes available. The Japanese destroyed all eight American ships. Only six ships were rebuilt after the attack.

In addition to the planes Japan also launched five mini submarines. The submarines failed to breach any of the ships gladly. In the end four of their submarines were destroyed and the last one was captured.

The day after the assault president Franklin D. Roosevelt asked congress to declare war on Japan; congress approved with just one vote against the war. Three days later Japan allies with Germany and Italy. All three nations declared war on the United States. Lieutanant George S. Patton says, "May God have mercy upon my enemies because I won't".  People were getting drafted and sent to training camps that looked like someone made it in 1 minute. At the camps they did rigorous exercises to prepare for World War II.


               Pearl Harbor is the headquarters of the United States Pacific fleet. It is located eight miles west of Honolulu. This battle was brutal and was very sad to the nation.

 The main goal of Pearl Harbor is to provide berthing and shore side support to surface ships and submarines. It Also provides maintenance and training. Its a beautiful place to train and enjoy the views.

Pearl Harbor has four very interesting museums where 1.5 million people go each year to visit. Pearl Harbor is also the place where Japan and the United States signed a peace treaty. This is a place that will always be apart of history.

Japan specifically planned the attack on a Sunday because they thought the Americans would be relaxed and less alert. The attack was actually planned weeks in advance. The battles success actually surprised the Japanese as much as the Americans. Unfortunately for the US, the anti aircraft guns were left unarmed the day before the attack.



            Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku planned the attack. General Hideki Tojo was chief of the Japanese military at the time. Yamamoto Isoroku also went to Harvard in the U.S where he learned Americas weak spot.


             Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagume was in charge of the ferocious attack. Japan used wartime propaganda to win over its people that the United States was oppressing them. They also carried the propaganda campaign to other countries they gained in World War II.

              Mitsuo Fuchia was the general who led the air attack on Pearl Harbor. He was thirty-nine years old. There were three military airfields that got attacked on Pearl Harbor.

              Japan attacked pearl Harbor because they thought America was their only threat. Japan then later made a surprise attack. Japan was interested on the beautiful Hawaiian islands ever since they were annexed by the U.S.

             They were well prepared.  All the Japanese planes were fully loaded and fueled the day of the attack.The Japanese subs were also loaded as well. As said before the guns on the U.S ships were not loaded so we were at a disadvantage from the start.


Japan suffered only small losses. The attack devastated the United States fleet. Americans think the attack was dishonorable.


          Japan only attacked Pearl Harbor. Repair facilities and fuel storages were left unharmed. The United States aircraft carriers which were the main target of the attack were not there at the time.

There is a theory that FDR provoked the Japanese attack so he could go into World War II. Heavy research actually proved that FDR did know about the Pearl Harbor attack. People also said, that Japan never wanted to streak the U.S and FDR planned everything.

After the hit, Japanese Americans were forced into filthy, dull concentration camps even if they were U.S citizens. The battle of Pearl Harbor changed the way the country saw national security. The U.S. were taking precautions like their about to get ambushed by a pack of wolves. Another interesting fact is that there were also nine different songs about Pearl Harbor in that year.





             It is sad that we lost so many honorable soldiers on that tragic morning. Many people were affected by this action. I hope that this type of event will never happan again and that we can live in peace.