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1941 - Pearl Harbor

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Title: 1941 - Pearl Harbor


About: A surprise attack on the US naval base in Hawaii by the Japanese Imperial Navy Air Force prompted America to enter the war.


Anticipating conflict with the US, the Japanese intention was to destroy and damage as much of the US Pacific Fleet as possible, before it could respond to Japanese operations taking place in southeast Asia.

on 7 December 1941, at 7.55am the first attack wave of 183 aircraft was launched. The Japanese planes began bombing the hangars and parked aircraft of the island’s airfields, while simultaneously launching torpedoes against the US warships moored in the harbor. In the first five minutes of the attack, four battleships were hit, including the USS Oklahoma and the USS Arizona, the latter exploding after a bomb hit its gunpowder stores, sinking the ship and killing 1,177 of its crew.

This devastating attack was followed an hour and a half later by a second wave of 170 Japanese aircraft. Within two hours, 18 US warships had been sunk or damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed and 2,403 American servicemen and women killed. Many of these ships were repaired and fought in later battles, and, crucially all three of the Pacific Fleet’s aircraft carriers were not at Pearl Harbor during the attack and so escaped damage. They were to prove vital in the coming Pacific Campaign.

Although the attack was a complete surprise, many American servicemen were able to fight back. Some US airmen were even able to get their aircraft into the sky while their runways were under attack.

Before the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States had been supporting Allied forces with weapons and supplies, but many in the country were reluctant to enter the war. The day after the attack, President Roosevelt swiftly declared war against Japan, the country was united behind the war effort, and the full might of America was brought to bear in World War II.

Decade: 1940s

Year: 1941

Region: North America

Country: USA + Japan

Conflict: World War II

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 9

Artist: Anton Sidorenko


Group: Genesis

Number: 041/100

Price: 0.9 ETH


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