Pearl Harbour: Japan Gambles on a Massive Pre-Emptive Attack against the US Navy

History Hit

Twentieth Century World War Two
HISTORYHIT.TV A new online only channel for history lovers

A Japanese force of six carriers launches two strikes on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour on Oahu Island, Hawaii.

Over 183 Japanese aircraft destroy six battleships and 188 aircraft, damage or sink 10 other vessels, and kill 2000 servicemen. More than 1000 US sailors are killed aboard the USS Arizona alone after its magazine explodes.

Despite the apparent success of the attack, the US Pacific Fleet’s aircraft carriers are at sea and therefore survive.

Of all the air raids carried out during World War Two, none are as famous as the attack by Lancaster Bombers against the dams of Germany’s industrial heartland. Commemorated in literature and film throughout the decades, the mission – which was codenamed Operation ‘Chastise’ – has come to epitomise British ingenuity and courage throughout the war.Watch Now

The planned third wave of attacks is cancelled for fear that the Japanese might be attacked by the remainder of the Pacific Fleet. The third wave was due to attack the harbour’s oil reserves and repair facilities.

Japan then declares war on the United States and the British Commonwealth.

Despite the apparent success of the attack, the US Pacific Fleet’s aircraft carriers are at sea and therefore survive. The fleet itself is quickly repaired and Pearl Harbour continues to function as a base.

The Lancaster Bomber is one of the most iconic aircraft of World War Two. It entered service in early 1941 and went on to be Britain’s main heavy bomber aircraft during the War, serving predominantly on night-time bombing raids of German-occupied Europe. Its effectiveness ensured that the Lancaster proved central to the successful Allied bombing strategy from 1942 onwards.Watch Now

Although a stunning short-term tactical success, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the onset of the Pacific War throws Japan into conflict with the world’s richest nation.

 

History Hit