Who bombed Pearl Harbor?

The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 marked a turning point in World War II with America joining the war shortly after the attack.

The attack led to the deaths of 2,403 Americans and is commemorated every year in the United States on December 7. 

Who bombed Pearl Harbor? 

On December 7, 1941, at 7.55am local time, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. 

The first wave of attack bombed hangars and over 300 parked aircrafts on Oahu’s airfields. 

Torpedoes were also launched against US warships in Pearl Harbour. 

Four battleships were hit early on in the attack, including the USS Oklahoma. 

The USS Arizona was also sunk, killing some 1,000 men trapped inside. 

After two hours, the attack was over and every battleship in the harbor had been seriously damaged.

But because the water was shallow all but two battleships were recovered and rebuilt.

During the attack, 2,403 Americans were killed and a further 1,000 were injured. 

Why was Pearl Harbor bombed? 

The attack on Pearl Harbor took the Americans – who were not then involved in WWII – completely by surprise. 

But Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku had spent months planning the attack with the aim to destroy America’s Pacific Fleet and destroy morale in the U.S. Navy. 

The plan was to prevent America from fighting back as Japanese forces began to advance on other targets across the South Pacific.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor would drive the United States into World War II – a conflict that ended with Japan’s surrender after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

An estimated 140,000 of Hiroshima's 350,000 population were killed in the nuclear blast, and at least 74,000 died in Nagasaki.

When was Pearl Harbor bombed? 

Pearl Harbor was bombed on Sunday, December 7, 1941, at 7.55am local time. 

President Franklin Roosevelt called it "a date which will live in infamy".

Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the US military base and destroyed or damaged nearly 20 American naval ships and over 300 airplanes. 

Every year on December 7, America commemorates the attack and those who lost their lives in the bombings.

On the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in 2016, then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the US naval base at Pearl Harbor to offer “sincere and everlasting condolences" to the victims of Japan’s attack on the base. 

Accompanied by Barack Obama – who was the US President at the time – Mr Abe said: "We must never repeat the horrors of war again, this is the solemn vow the people of Japan have taken.”

Mr Abe vowed reconciliation and peace, saying: "To the souls of the US servicemen who lie aboard the USS Arizona, to the American people, and all people around the world, I pledge that unwavering vow.” 

How long did the attack on Pearl Harbor last?

The attack on Pearl Harbor lasted little less than two hours. 

The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan – and America joined WWII. 

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