Example Of Pearl Harbor Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Japan, Harbor, Pearl Harbor, Violence, Attack, Victimology, World War 2, Aviation

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/09

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“The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it is a safe bet, is the most studied event in American history” (Budiansky, 2010)

After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the only two great powers - US and Japan - were not involved in hostilities, though the last mentioned was actively preparing for war. Japanese commanding received from Germany and Italy a sanction on the conversion of the whole Eurasia, which is on the east of longitude 70 °, to the "zone of prosperity of Japan".
It is unknown when the Japanese got the idea to strike at Pearl Harbor. Thus, in the years 1927-1928 then the captain of the second rank, who just graduated from the College of Naval Staff, Ryunosuke Kusaka, the future chief of staff of the first aircraft carrier fleet, began to work out the attack on the base in Hawaii. “The maps that were found upon Japanese aircraft that were shot down or on Japanese aviators or upon Japanese submarine crew men indicated a vast amount of meticulously accurate, up-to-date information” (). Soon he had to teach a course on aviation in a group of 10 important persons, among whom was Nagano Wasps, hat is when he wrote a paper in which he argued that the basis of the strategy of the war with the United States so far has been a pitched battle with the entire US fleet. But if the enemy refuses to come out into the open sea, the Japanese need to seize the initiative, therefore, a blow of Pearl Harbor is needed and it can only be carried out by the aircraft. This document was published in an edition of 30 copies, and after exclusion of direct references to America, it was sent to all the command structures. Of course it may be that Yamamoto saw this document and in his mind the idea gained a clear form, but also the results of American scientists convinced him and attack Taranto convinced even sworn enemies.
Also, it is hard give an exact answer about the reasons of the Pearl Harbor attack. The most American historians put an emphasis on abruptness and “craftiness” of Japanese attack. In fact, in a complex international situation in 1930, Unites States tried to keep the peace in the Pacific and to prevent the deterioration of relations with Japan. This was done not only and not for reasons of peace. The Command of United States Armed forces believed that their country is not ready to fight on two fronts in the coming World War, and choose the European direction as a priority. Americans not only were not involved in the Japanese-Chinese war, but did not react to the destruction of American gunboat "Panay" by Japanese aircraft. However, most historians agree that the goal of this attack was to neutralize the Unites States Pacific Fleet in order to provide leeway to Japanese army and navy in Southeast Asia.
On 6 August 1941 Yamamoto decided the time was right to brief the naval general staff on the Pearl Harbor attack plan. The naval general staff was considering moving the annual naval exercises from late November to September, and Yamamoto thought the exercise would be a great opportunity to rehearse the Pearl Harbor attack with exercise umpires, which would allow for a general after-action review of the plan. The naval general staff was unenthusiastic about the plan, considering it a gamble with the possible loss of most of Japan’s aircraft carriers as a real possibility. Despite its concerns, the staff accepted Yamamoto’s plan for further review. Although Yamamoto was against the war in general and the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact in particular, he realized that the fate of Japan depends on its entry into the war, and how it will behave. Therefore as a commander, he has prepared the most fleet-carrier in particular, to the fighting, and when the war was inevitable, implement a plan of attack the US Pacific Fleet in the harbor of Pearl Harbor.
“The Japanese Navy, which was to execute an attack on Pearl Harbor and provide cover and escort for the remainder of these operations, had been preparing for its various roles for several weeks” (Parker, 2011). In November 26, 1941 assault connection of Japanese Imperial Navy under the command of Vice Admiral Nagumo Tyuyiti by the orders of the commander of the fleet Isoroku Yamamoto left the base in the Gulf Hitokappu on the Kuril Islands and headed for Pearl Harbor. Japanese connection included six aircraft carriers "Akagi", "Hiryu", "Kaga", "Sokaku", "Soryu" and "Dzuykaku", were 441 aircraft were placed, including fighters, torpedo, dive bombers and fighter - bombers.
Japanese troops bombarded Kota Bharu, on the north-east coast of Malaya, fifty minutes before the Pearl Harbor attack, soon defeating the British and Indian forces, which gathered there. Within hours, the Japanese invaded Thailand, bombed Hong Kong and Singapore. Moreover, they landed troops north and south of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. 
“That morning, 15 of the ships at Pearl Harbor numbered Marine detachments among their complements; eight battleships, two heavy cruisers, four light cruisers, and one auxiliary. A 16th detachment, assigned to the auxiliary (target/gunnery training ship) Utah  (AG-16), was ashore on temporary duty at the 14th Naval District Rifle Range at Luuloa Point” (Cressman& Wenger, 1992).
“At 7:53 a.m., December 7, 1941, America's national consciousness and confidence were rocked as the first wave of Japanese warplanes took aim at the U.S. Naval fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor” (Prange, 1991).On that morning aircraft from the Japanese aircraft carriers caused strikes on airfields on the island of Oahu and on ships that were anchored in the harbor of Pearl Harbor. 4 battleships were sunk, 2 destroyers, 1 mine-layer. Another 4 battleships, 3 light cruisers and one destroyer received substantial damage. American aircraft losses were: 188 aircraft destroyed another 159 were seriously damaged. The Americans lost 2403 killed man (1102 of which exploded in aboard the battleship "Arizona") and 1178 wounded. The Japanese lost 29 aircraft, 74 more were damaged. 4 small submarines were sunk and a small submarine unmanageable ashore (four of five submarines was found). Casualties were 64 people (55 pilots, divers 9). At the same time Japanese blocked the United States military base in Hong Kong and began landing troops in Thailand. English squadron that entered the interception was attacked from the air, and two battleships, the British striking force, went to the bottom. It provided the Japanese hegemony in the Pacific. So, the first stage of the largest in history ocean war is won.
The first shock wave under the command of Captain of the second Rank M. Futidy, consisting of 183 aircraft at 6:15 am headed for goal. The commander was aboard the bomber «Nakajima» B5N2 of the type "97" (according to the American classification - «Kate»), under the fuselage of which the 1600-pound bomb was suspended, made of armor-piercing projectiles. In the first wave there were 49 such bombers. 40 B5N carried torpedoes, specially prepared for the attack at shallow depths. To this end, rudders torpedoes were attached devices made of wood, do not let them go deep after falling into water. Lieutenant Commander S. Murat was leading the group of torpedo. 51 dive bomber «Aichi» D3A1 type "99" (for the American classification - «Val»), was carrying the suspended 500-pound bombs. 43 carrier-based fighters «Mitsubishi» A6M2 «Reisen» type "0" (for the American classification - «Zero») covered the attack of the aircraft.
At 7:49 Futida ordered the beginning of the attack. Attackers managed to catch the American forces by surprise, that is why captain of the second rank radioed to Admiral Nagumo prearranged signal "Tora Tora Tora!", Meaning "sudden attack succeeded!". At 7:55 all Japanese planes rushed to their targets. Two tasks were set it the planes of the first wave: one group of dive bombers, divided into units, had to suppress American airfields in the first 5 minutes of the attack. The remaining vehicles were to attack the enemy fleet. Almost an hour later, having spent all the ammunition, Futidys' group began to return discordantly on aircraft carriers.
In the second wave, there were 170 cars, which were lifted into the air in an hour after the first - at 7:15. As part of the second group, there were 54 ground attack bomber «Nakajima» B5N2 type "97", 80 dive bombers «Aichi» D3A1 type "99" and 36 fighters «Mitsubishi» A6M2 «Reisen» type "0", which covered the actions of bombers.
At 9:15 the planes of the second wave began to attack, and encountered a strong anti-aircraft barrier. The results of this wave were considerably worse than before. At 10:00 the second group began to move away. Rear Admiral R. Kasaka, Chief of Staff of the First Air Fleet, spoke on this subject: "The operation should be carried out with the same rapidity as the demon flies, and the end of it - flying away a gust of wind." This is what happened: for two hours the US actually lost its Pacific battle fleet.
December 11, 1941, 4 days after Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war to Unites States. The zone of action of Japan included China, all of South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Indian oceans, the Soviet Far East, Siberia. By May 1942, Japan seized a huge area of 3880 thousand km2.
In terms of rapid effect, the attack on Pearl Harbor turned to be a great success for Japan, which exceeded all expectations of those who planned this operation. Neutralization of the Pacific Fleet for 6 months allowed Japan to capture the bigger part of Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, Singapore and the Philippines. But the refusal of the Unites States to maintain truce and the inability to get help from allies, led to the defeat of Japan.

Reference List

Parker, F. D. (2011) Pearl Harbor Revisited: U.S. Navy Communications Intelligence 1924–1941. National Security Agency
Prange, G. W. (1991) At Dawn We Slept. The untold story of Pearl Harbor. Penguin Books.
Budiansky, S. (2010) Closing the Book on Pearl Harbor.
War Department (1944) Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board. United States Army.
Wenger M. J., Cressman R. J. (1992) Infamous Day: Marines at Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941. History and Museums Division

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