The modern Americans received stories of “The Pearl Harbor” attack in a more forceful manner as compared to any event. This was considered as a dastardly “shocker attack” and an act of “infamy”, during the World War II. It is apparent that numerous efforts were made with the aim of keeping its reminiscence vivid. Numerous popular songs, posters, and other war media were staples of time of war popular culture, habitual cenotaph services were held in commemoration of the dead. In addition, flags that had flown at the Capitol and White House on December 7, 1941, were raised in respect to the fallen heroes and over fallen adversary capital cities. Even when the conflict finally ended, the Pearl Harbor “surprise” acted as a tool that contributed to the shaping of the generation of National defense policy and those individuals who had lived through the war had forgotten everything that took place. Since then, monuments, both small and large have been raised on the site that the fighters battled. On the site, many people have been meeting regularly with the aim of keeping the memory alive. Presently, after six decades down the line, Pearl Harbor is still considered as the subject matter of a regular flow of documentaries, articles, books and dramatic productions. This research paper, therefore, explores on the fateful event of Pearl Harbor, which remains extremely rooted in numerous people’s minds. The events at Pearl Harbor played a major role in how the military and government prepared for war. Intelligence failures highlighted one of the major reasons for changes in the intelligence community.

What happened in Pearl Harbor?

What took place during the Pearl Harbor was that the Japanese bombed the U.S. naval base, known as the Pearl Harbor in the Hawaii Islands. This is an incident that took place on December 7, 1941, and this is a process that saw planes from Japanese aircraft carriers that launched. The major aim – the Japanese wanted to destroy the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet to ensure that they fight to show the Americans that they are indeed a powerful nation. Nevertheless, it contributed to an announcement of war issued by the U.S. Congress on December 8, 1941. This was a fierce war that United States’ people became shocked by the turn of events. On the other hand, the people of Japan were euphoric by the turn of the events. It is noteworthy that indeed the fleet was not destroyed since the American aircraft carriers were not present in the port, they were on maneuvers. This is a war that brought about numerous mixed feelings.

The attack on Pearl Harbor also called the Hawaii Operation by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and the Battle of Pearl Harbor as a surprise from a military strike. This was an event that culminated through the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at the Hawaii Operation. From the look of the turn of events, the attack took place at exactly 7:48 a.m. Hawaii Time. This was an attack that was aimed at ensuring that their intention was achieved as a result of the hard fight to ensure that the U.S. Pacific Fleet do not interfere with military actions that had been planned by the Japanese Empire in the Southeast Asia. This was a fight that was extremely against overseas territories of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

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What really transpired is that the base suffered an attack by a total of 353 Japanese fighters, torpedo planes, and bombers who came in two waves. They were launched from a total of six aircraft carries and this attack led to the severe damage of roughly all eight U.S. Navy battleships. This is also an attack that saw a total of four battleships being sunk. All of these eight ships were damaged and were also raised and four repaired; later on, there were six others that were then returned back to war after being repaired. The Japanese also sank or damaged numerous cruise ships, destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and a minelayer. In fact, numerous ships and war machineries of roughly 188 U.S. aircraft were also destroyed. Roughly 2,402 Americans were killed during the Pearl Harbor and it also saw numerous U.S. war machineries and fuel storage facilities that took the American people quite a long period to build. This was a devastating event that actually led to numerous people killed and a total of 1,282 people wounded, as a result in the long run. One memorable fact is that there were numerous other things that took place. Many people will agree that numerous essential installations like shipyard, maintenance, power station, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities. In addition, the buildings of the underwater piers and headquarters as a home of the American intelligence were hardly destroyed in the long run as a result of tough and immense security. On the other hand, Japanese also lost so much; rather it was a bit lighter. They lost 29 aircraft and five midget submarines were also lost and a total of 65 servicemen lost their lives and some were wounded. All in all, one Japanese sailor was incarcerated.

Most importantly, the attack came as a weighty astound to the American people and contributed to the entry of the American people to enter the World War II. The war ahead of the U.S. was in both Pacific and the European theaters. In fact, the following day, which was on December eighth, the United States decided to declare war on Japan as a result of this shocker attack on the U.S. Navy battleship. The American fighters received immense domestic support that since then have been so strong and has never disappeared.

Change in Political and Military Climate

There was an immense change of guard with regards to both military climate and political change. For instance, the clandestine support of Britain, most importantly, the Neutrality Patrol was replaced by active alliance. In the political and military climate, it is clear that there have been subsequent operations by the United States. This surprise attack contributed to the prompted Italy and Germany war on the U.S. on December 11, which was actually reciprocated by the U.S. on that particular day.

It is evident that have been some important and historical precedents for the surprise military action by Japan. Nevertheless, lack of prior warning and negotiation were apparently ongoing because it saw President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move forward and decree December 7, 1941, which is a date which will remain in many people’s minds. This why it happened that just a day following the attack, Roosevelt delivered his renowned speech known as the Infamy Speech that was directed to the Joint Session of Congress. In his speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was calling for a declaration of war on the Japanese Empire. This saw Congress agree with his request later in less than an hour’s time.

On December 11, Italy and Germany signed a commitment under an agreement called the Tripartite Pact that led to the declaration of war against the United States. This also augmented Winston Churchill’s declaration of war again later. The Tripartite Pact was a previous agreement between Italy, Germany and Japan which had the principal objective of limiting U.S. involvement in any disagreements that three nations took part in. It is clear that three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to recollect later on and he said, “In all the war I never received a more direct shock.” This attack on the Americans since the time it came, Pearl Harbor was recurrently used in American propaganda. Additionally, there were numerous consequences as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath. One notable instance was the Niihau Incident, which saw many Japanese American residents become relocated to the Japanese-American internment camps situated in the nearby.

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How it shaped the Operations of the Military

The surprise attack was extremely instrumental in the history of America. It actually shaped the American operations and military. For instance, early into World War II, two German physicists, Halm and Strassman, discovered using theoretical physics that it was possible to create atomic weapons. At first, Professor Einstein was dubious about the idea of using nuclear fission to release enormous amounts of energy. However, after studying Halm and Strassman’s work for several months, Einstein confirmed that the creation of atomic weapons was indeed possible. In 1939, Einstein met with two other theoretical physicists, Silzard and Wigner and declared that it was possible for the Germans to create a nuclear weapon. Einstein, who intimately knew the destructive power an atom bomb could unleash on the world, wasted no time in informing U.S. officials of this newly developed potential threat. In fact, Einstein was so distressed by this development that “he was quite willing to sound the alarm even though it was quite possible that it was a false alarm.”

Einstein wrote a detailed letter about the potential danger of this new atomic weapon and sent it immediately to President Franklin Roosevelt. After reading Einstein’s forewarning, President Roosevelt took immediate action. Roosevelt assembled a small group to “investigate the potential uses of the fission process.” This team eventually developed into what is now known as the famous Manhattan Project. Einstein was not directly involved with the Manhattan Project, the group that actually developed and created the atomic bombs that were unleashed on Japan. However, Einstein’s theoretical physics laid much of the groundwork for the development of the nuclear weapons. Also, Professor Einstein most certainly was the main impetus for President Roosevelt to look into the potential uses and dangers of atomic weapons. President Roosevelt was compelled enough by Einstein’s words that he actually allocated money and appointed task force members with the intention of harnessing the power of the fission process. Einstein took the research of the nuclear weapons so seriously that when President Roosevelt only assembled a small group at first with limited resources, Einstein wrote a second letter to the President beseeching him to increase his staff and funding. Einstein’s stance on the use of nuclear weapons was similar to those historians and philosophers who morally justify the use of weapons of mass destruction using the utilitarianism approach. Professor Einstein endorsed the use of such weapons, despite their destructive capacities, in the hopes of preventing a greater evil.


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Lesson learned

There were numerous lessons learnt by the U.S. fighting machinery regarding the surprise attack by the Japanese. Some of these lessons were important to the consequent American leaders and the military intelligence. They learnt that it was essential to fasten their military or navy crews to ensure that such an attack does not occur again. It was essential since it made the Americans become more vigilant and in turn helped them improve on their war machines. They also learnt that in case of future attacks, they must fasten their military crews. This is evident when U.S. became successful in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attack. This is why following so much deliberation, a litigious Smithsonian Institute display of the Enola Gay, the military aircraft that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was never revealed to the American population. The exhibit delineated the full story of U.S. officials’ decision to drop the two atomic bombs and the short term and long term effects of the use of atomic weaponry. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was directed towards peace, while their opponents argue that the atomic bombings brought “destruction and fear to the world.”

It is certain that America’s initial use of atomic weapons incited an era of fear of destruction. The Cold War was a struggle between two nuclear superpowers. Both sides feared one another for their capacity to wipe out entire civilian populations with the use of their advanced nuclear weaponry. Because of this mutual fear for one’s enemy, many historians contend that the heightened level of apprehension actually maintained peace between the two countries and may have in fact prevented the use of nuclear weapons. If one country was in a dominant position over its enemies, it may have been more likely for greater superpowers to use nuclear weapons more liberally. These historians also assert that the controlled use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki actually resulted in peace. This is because the atomic weapons represented such an immense danger that reprisal or the prolongation of hostilities would be self-destructive. Thus, arguing for the continuance of war after the bombings would have been indefensible.

It is clear now that the moral argument against the use of atomic weapons is inconsistent with the practical, utilitarian rationale for using nuclear arms. Albert Einstein, was a major contributor to the creation of atomic weapons, best personifies this conflict between moral perspectives and realistic scenarios.In his early career, Professor Einstein was a pacifist who admonished the development of nuclear weapons. However, as he aged, Einstein changed his view on the development and use of atomic bombs. Einstein believed that an evil that would prevent a greater evil was a sound enough argument for the use of nuclear weapons.


The events at Pearl Harbor played a major role in how the military and government prepared for war. Intelligence failures highlighted one of the major reasons for changes in the intelligence community. The modern Americans received stories of “The Pearl Harbor” attack in a more forceful manner as compared to any event. This was considered as a dastardly “shocker attack” and an act of “infamy”, during the World War II. It is apparent that numerous efforts were made with the aim of keeping its reminiscence vivid. Numerous popular songs, posters, and other war media were staples of time of war popular culture, habitual cenotaph services were held in commemoration of the dead. The U.S. learnt numerous lessons that led them to consider seeking new strategies.

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