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40 Lesser Known Facts About Attack on Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Navy changed the course of Second World War completely. It led US to declare war on Japan and hence becoming an active participant along with the allied forces. The tragic event of Pearl Harbor resulted into the majority of American Population joining war directly or indirectly. This can be understand from the fact that 50 million of 132 million Americans were employed in the war effort with government. We will some more important facts about this in below section.

40 Lesser Known Facts About Attack on Pearl Harbor

40 Lesser Known Facts About Attack on Pearl Harbor 

Also Read: 40 Most Amazing Facts About USS Arizona Battleship | US Navy

  • On December 7, 1941, Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor with full force.
  • The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted for only 2 hours.
  • The primary reason of attack was to access the Southern Resource Area or Southeast Asia without American Interference.
  • The Japanese forces were led by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo.
  • Japanese Navy travelled around 4000 miles to attack Pearl Harbor.
  • Japan lost only 29 aircraft and 5 midget submarines in the attack.
  • Japan codenamed the attack on Pearl Harbor as Operation Z.
  • Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto conceived the Pearl Harbor attack, and Captain Minoru Genda planned it.
  • The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the second time on March 4th, 1942 under Operation K.
  • The Japanese fleet attacked with 353 planes which included fighters, dive and level bombers, torpedo bombers.
  • The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time.
  • The initial announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor was made by the White House Press Secretary, Stephen Early, at 2:22 p.m. Eastern time (8:52 a.m. Hawaiian time).
  • Japanese Strike Force consisted of 6 aircraft carriers, 2 Battleships, 3 Cruisers and 11 destroyers.
  • The Japanese struck the airfields at Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field, Ewa Field, Schoefield Barracks, and Kaneohe Naval Air Station.
  • Kazuo Sakamaki, the commanding officer of one of the submarines, was captured.
  • All of the Americans killed or wounded during the attack were legally non-combatants, given that there was no state of war when the attack occurred.
  • Fifty-five Japanese airmen and nine submariners were killed in the attack. More on wikipedia.
  • Of the 402 American aircraft in Hawaii, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged, 155 of them on the ground.
  • The Japanese only targeted the ships at Pearl Harbor and left other critical logistics like fuel farm, maintenance shops, repair facilities and submarine base which ultimately helped United States bringing most of the fleet operations back in service within a year.
  • Japanese were looking to take out the carriers but at the time of attack it was out to the sea. This later helped United States to become offensive.
  • USS Arizona alone had two-third of the total casualties.
  • The day after the attack, Roosevelt delivered his famous Day of Infamy speech to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan.
  • Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, World War II started with UK declared war on Japan, US declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy each declared war on US and finally US responded with the declaration of war on Italy and Germany.
  • USS California was hit by two bombs and two torpedoes.
  • USS West Virginia was hit by seven torpedoes, the seventh tearing away her rudder.
  • USS Oklahoma was hit by four torpedoes, the last two above her belt armor, which caused her to capsize.
  • USS Maryland was hit by two of the converted 16″ shells, but neither caused serious damage.
  • The light cruiser USS Raleigh was holed by a torpedo.
  • The light cruiser USS Honolulu was damaged but remained in service.
  • The repair vessel USS Vestal, moored alongside USS Arizona, was heavily damaged and beached.
  • USS Shaw was badly damaged when two bombs penetrated her forward magazine.
  • The light cruiser USS Helena was torpedoed, and the concussion from the blast capsized the neighboring minelayer Oglala.

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