A surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, an American naval base in Hawaii, ended all debate and eventually led to the United States entrance into World War II. During the war the Japanese Empire continued to grow in China and bean to move into Indochina. In July of 1940, President Roosevelt tried to stop this expansion by placing a natural resource embargo on important naval and aviation supplies to Japan, such as oil, fuel, steel, and rubber. After Japan signed the Tripartite Pact in 1940 with Germany and Italy, Roosevelt instituted a more extensive embargo.
These attempts slowed, but did not stop the expansion, because the Japanese were able to gain resources from their new territories. In 1941, General Hide Togo became the Japanese prime minister. He focused intently on military expansion, and wanted to keep the Ignited States neutral. He was often known as ‘The Razor for his sharp mind. The following summer, Japan and the Ignited States Attempted to negotiate an agreement; they had little success because Japan wanted further expansion, while the United States firmly disagreed. When the U. S.
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Secretary of State rejected Japan’s last demand, Togo had completely given up on peace. By the beginning of December he had plans to take action against the United States. The Japanese meticulously practiced and prepared their attack on Pearl Harbor. They knew their plan was extremely risky, because the probability of success depended on complete surprise. The forces that Taco sent from Japan under the command of Vice Admiral Chichi Magnum included six air craft carriers, thee hundred sixty airplanes, nine destroyers, two battleships, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and three submarines across the Pacific Ocean.
The first wave of one hundred eighty-three Japanese planes reached the US. Naval station at pearl Harbor at 7:55 a. M. On December 7, 1941 , the second wave of one hundred sixty-seven Japanese planes shortly followed, hill the third wave was canceled for fear of American retaliation. Their mission was to eradicate the American naval and air presence in the Pacific with a surprise attack. Thus, preventing Americans from having a strong resistance to Japanese expansion. In just under two hours the Attack on Pearl Harbor was over.
The Americans suffered heavy losses: nearly two thousand five hundred people killed, eight battleships severely damaged, three destroyers were irreparable, three light cruisers damaged, and one hundred sixty aircraft carriers destroyed with one hundred twenty-six damaged. The United States battle fleet was knocked out of commission for nearly six months. This allowed the Japanese to freely access the needed raw materials of their newly conquered territories, just as they had planned.
Despite these losses, the situation was not as bad as it could have been. The most important ships – aircraft carriers – were out at sea at the time of the attack and survived untouched. In addition, seven heavy cruisers were out at sea and also avoided detection by the Japanese. Of the battleships in the Pearl Harbor, only three – the ISIS Arizona, the ISIS Oklahoma, and the ISIS Utah offered irreparable damage. American submarine bases also survived the morning, as well as important fuel supplies and maintenance facilities.
In the end, Magnum was too conservative for canceling the third wave of bombers and refusing to search for the aircraft carriers and heavy cruisers. Host fear of an American counterstrike allowed the American Pacific Fleet to survive. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, stunned virtually everyone in the United States military. Japan’s carrier-launched bombers found Pearl Harbor totally unprepared. As this news spread across the nation, Americans rallied gather and patriotism soared. Many didn’t know what to expect, but anticipated monumental changes.
President Franklin Roosevelt quickly addressed Congress to ask for a declaration of war. The Pearl Harbor attack allowed him to begin the larger intervention in the European war he had long wanted. This event left little doubt about declaring war on Japan. Before Americans were unsure supporting the Allied side of the war because of the Soviet Union’s conversion to the Allied, and the invasion of Germany. The attack on Pearl Harbor ended that. It became a necessity to declare war on Japan and stopped any political divisions between isolationists and interventionists.