World War II was a time when the world went a bit crazy. It was a time when evil raised its head and didn’t stop till many years later. The atrocities committed to the Jews, the Battle of Normandy, Hitler, and, of course, Pearl Harbor were some of the things that stand out in our minds during this time. Pearl Harbor, in 1941, was a US naval base. It was attacked by 353 Japanese aircraft on December 7th 1941, and was a surprise air attack remembered by all who were involved in the war. This was the turning point of the war.
The attack on Pearl Harbor devastated the entire Americas. It created much outrage and anger among its people, who until then had been observing the evil going on in Europe and man’s inhumanity to man, had not got involved in WWII. However, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, America had no choice but to declare war against the Japanese the very next day. But, what caused the attack on Pearl Harbour and how did it affect the overall war?
There are numerous reasons for the attack on Pearl Harbour. Japan, till then had been getting scrap iron, steel and oil from America. This was stopped with immediate effect by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Oil was an essential commodity for the Japanese who were planning on an invasion of China. How could one invade another country without oil to drive their trucks and such? Almost 90% of oil supplies of the Japanese have been depleted by this time and this compounded their problems and made it almost impossible to venture further in the war. Although negotiations were carried out between the Americans and the Japanese, the Japanese did not see nor find any solutions through this act. America was also not making it easy for the Japanese to expand their empire and this was seen as a threat by the Japanese.
The Japanese were also very worried about the US Naval Air Force. Although America had not got involved in the war before, their large man power was scaring the Japanese. The Japanese wanted to be a naval superpower and wanted to destroy any competition they may have in future. They did not wish to fight the Americans. However, as the war droned on, it looked exceedingly clear, to the Japanese, that it was only a matter of time before America joined the war. Therefore, the Japanese decided they needed to demoralize the Pacific Fleet with an all out invasion and destruction. This, they believed would keep America from joining World War II. The Japanese sincerely, and erroneously, believed they would and could defeat the US.
However, they thought wrong. American did not back down nor did they run scared. The attack on the Pacific Fleet, in Hawaii, changed the entire course of the war. Before the Japanese knew it another super power country had joined the war. Although the Americans had a hard and long road ahead of them, they also had the resources to fight the war. In August 1945, America dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima nad Nagasaki. The Japanese finally surrendered on the 14th of August 1945. This was made official on the 2nd of September 1945 and is referred to as VJ Day in America.
It took four years for the Americans to end World War II. But, it was something many say was imminent. After all, this was America and who can fight with America and win?