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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Attack On Pearl Harbor

It seems that fate was on the side of the Japanese.At 6.30 a. on 7 December a small Japanese submarine entered a prohibited are of Oahu and was sunk by destroyer and aircraft.The Naval Watch-officer was informed and,in his turn,informed the Chiefs-of-staff at Pearl Harbor;but for someone reason no general alert was given.More extraordinary still,it is a fact that at 7:00 a.m.the operator of a provisional detector situation out in the Pacific belonging to the American Army reported a large flight of Aeroplanes about 210 kilometres from Oahu to east north-west.An army lieutenant decided that Aeroplanes must obviously be friendly ones and took no action.An usually cloudy sky added to Japanese luck.A routine dawn patrol of American aircraft had passed over Oahu and reported nothing.!

At 7.50 am on that Sunday morning a great noise of approaching aircraft was heard on Oahu and at 7.55 the first Bombs and Torpedo aircraft attacked the ships in the harbor and the naval installations;high-level bombers bombed the airfields and also Honolulu some 11 kilometers away.The attacks were followed by fighter airplanes firing machine-guns with incendiary bullets,particularly at the planes on the airfield;some pocket submarines attacked the harbor at the same time.!

Just as there had been no adequate air over sea patrols,so inside Pearl Harbor no precautions against attack had been taken.warships were moored close one against the other and a large-proportion of officers and ratings were on leave and many sleeping ashore.A similar peace-time carelessness pervaded the Hickham army airfield close to the Pearl Harbor and other aerodromes on the island.Before the last attack,which was made at 9:00 a.m. and which met with heavy anti-aircraft and naval gunfire,the Japanese were able to strafe their objectives almost without resistance and aircraft were able to return to their carriers to refuel ad to return to the attack.!

Of the Eight Battle battleships,the Arizona,California and Utah, a target ship,were sunk outright;the Oklahoma capsized shortly after being bombed;the Nevada was set on fire and put of action for many months;the three others were more or less seriously damaged.Considerable additional damage was done to ships,a minelayer was sunk,three cruisers damaged,two destroyers sunk and another damaged.Some 2,300 officers and men were killed and some hundreds of the nearly two thousands wounded died later.The Japanese are said to have lost 60 aircraft,whilst the Americans had 173 destroyed and over 100 damaged.!

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