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On This Day… The Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbour!

Written by: George Chittenden : 18 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 7th December, back in 1941 when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Navy Base at Pearl Harbour and decimated their Pacific fleet. It started at 7:55 a.m. when the first Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the rising sun on its wings appeared out of the clouds, and it wasn’t alone… following were 360 Japanese warplanes!

It was a Sunday morning, and unfortunately many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base, leaving Pearl Harbour vulnerable. Astonishingly, American radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft approaching the base nearly an hour before the attack, but they mistook the planes for a flight of B-17s which were expected from the United States at the time, so they sounded no alarm.

Consequently, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base. The U.S lost five battleships, three destroyers, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans died and 1,200 were wounded that day. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

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