OTD: Attack on Pearl Harbour

On this day in 1941, Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl harbour, effectively bringing the United States into the Second World War. 8 battleships were alongside at the time and all were damaged, with four sunk. All but USS Arizona were later salvaged and six were returned to service. Three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship  and one minelayer were also sunk or damaged. 188 American aircraft were destroyed and 2403 Americans were killed while 1178 others were wounded. The act was described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “A date that will live in infamy”. 

Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island. View looks about east, with the supply depot, submarine base and fuel tank farm in the right center distance. A torpedo has just hit USS West Virginia on the far side of Ford Island (center). Other battleships moored nearby are (from left): Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee (inboard of West Virginia), Oklahoma (torpedoed and listing) alongside Maryland, and California. On the near side of Ford Island, to the left, are light cruisers Detroit and Raleigh, target and training ship Utah and seaplane tender Tangier. Raleigh and Utah have been torpedoed, and Utah is listing sharply to port. Japanese planes are visible in the right center (over Ford Island) and over the Navy Yard at right. Japanese writing in the lower right states that the photograph was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Japan declaration war on the United States later that day (December 8 in Tokyo), but the declaration was not delivered until the following day. The following day, December 8, Congress declared war on Japan.

DRW 2020 – 2021 .  Image by Imperial Japanese Navy, Attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese planes view, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

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