Why did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor?

1,594 Views Updated: 24 Aug 2017
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Why did Japan Attack Pearl Harbor?

One of the deadliest attacks took place on December 7 in the year 1941 which was without a doubt a military strike carried out by Imperial Japanese Navy Air Services against the United States naval base at the Pearl Harbour, Hawaii Territory. Do you know what happened? 

The attack, also known as ‘Hawaii Operation’ and ‘Operation AL’ and as ‘Operation Z’ by Japanese military leadership, came to be called as the ‘Battle of Pearl Harbour’ which impelled the United States (US) entrance into the World War 2. 

(Image Courtesy: Japan Times)

Japan initiated the attack as a ‘safety action’ to keep the U.S Pacific Fleet away from the military actions they had arranged in Southeast Asia in opposition to territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States. In the next few seven hours, Japanese synchronized attacks were initiated on U.S clutched Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The attack took place in the early hours of the day around 7:48 A.M (Hawaiian time). 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft started attacking the base in two waves which were thrown from six aircraft carriers. It was also noted that Eight U.S Navy battleships were mutilated and four got drowned. The Japanese three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship with one minelayer also sank. It was also observed that one hundred eighty-eight U.S aircraft were also destroyed as 2403 Americans lost their lives while 1,178 were injured. Surprisingly, Pivotal base installations such as the dry dock, shipyard, power stations and the submarine piers were not mutilated. On the other hand, Japanese suffered a light loss with twenty-nine, and five midget submarines vanishing and the death of sixty-four servicemen. To their shock, Kazuo Sakamaki, a Japanese sailor was arrested.

(Image Courtesy: Historicaltextarchive)

American people were left bewildered due to the surprise attack that hovered them. It also led their entrance into the disastrous World War 2 in both Pacific and European theaters. On December 8 on the same day, a war was declared on Japan by the United States. And, many days later, another war was pronounced in the United States by Germany and Italy.

(Image Courtesy: Telegraph)

We must not forget that the Japanese had many goals behind this attack

#1. It thought of ruining the pivotal American fleet units to prevent the Pacific fleet from interrupting the Japanese conquest of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya. It was rather undertaken to help Japan to gain control over Southeast Asia without much interference.

#2. To give a blow to the strength of America’s army by mobilizing its forces in the Pacific. Not just that, many battleships were decided upon as the main targets as they were the important ships of any navy at that time.

Also, some historians came up with several other reasons for the war that took place:

#1. One of the pivotal reasons could be the ban initiated by President Roosevelt on Japan’s trade functions, in particular, export of oil, steel, and scrap iron. The following ban jeopardized the Japanese economy since their military and trade were badly ruined.

#2. Japanese had carved their way to come up with the strongest naval power, but America came on their way to destroy their intentions and efforts. So Japanese people wanted to win the title and kill their competitors.

#3. Some losses are inevitable. Similarly, America did not want to get into war since it hadn’t overcome the outcome of World War 1. On the other hand, the Japanese thought surprise attacks are robust and would end the Navy of America and its so-called hopes.

#4. Last reason they concluded was that America wished Japan withdrew from North Indo-China.

Now, do you know enough about the Pearl Harbor Attack? Have we missed to add some information about the historical event? Tell us about it. Comment on the box below to share your opinions and views.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)

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