Pearl Harbor Attack

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The Pearl Harbor attack was a surprise military strike on United States naval base in Hawaii by the Imperial Japanese Navy that occurred late in 1941 (Tohmatsu and Johnson 112). The attack contributed to the entry of United States into World War II. The original aim of the attack was a preventive strategy to prevent the Empire of Japan from United States naval assistance when attacking Southeast Asia and especially on United Kingdom and Netherlands. Researchers, sociologists and political analysts frequently state Pearl Harbor attack was an important factor that pushed the United States to enter into World War II (Miller, Vandome and McBrewster 67).

Even though this was a triggering aspect, it is important to review how United States assisted countries that were fighting against Japanese. The United States was supplying United Kingdom and Netherlands including other countries in attacking Empire of Japanese (Miller, Vandome and McBrewster 25). The proxy war such as supplying war equipments and materials to Britain already placed United States of America on the path of war (Tohmatsu and Johnson 48). Participating on war does not mean actual entering the war but through proxy, a country may be termed to already in war. Therefore, the attack on Pearl Harbor was a trigger that removed the aspect of proxy war into a full-fledged war.

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Apart from the supplies, the United States government has passed some legislation that may be termed as aggressive towards Empire of Japanese. For example, trade sanctions such as those of preventing supply of food and oil to Japanese naval forces may also be termed as aggressive approach (Miller, Vandome and McBrewster 53). Preventing the Imperialist Japanese from accessing important naval oil created a scenario whereby the United States entered indirectly into war. Without being effective on the naval and air force because of lack of oil, the United States government had already prevented effectiveness of the war (Tohmatsu and Johnson 91). Hence, prevention of resources from reaching the Japanese may be attributed to a step towards participation on war.

In addition, the Empire of Japanese had also continued attacking the United States of America naval. Numerous ships and other naval resources had been sunk. Attacks such as Nanking Massacre and USS Panay in December 1937 are examples of atrocities that created a negative impression of Japan and forced the West to view Japan negatively (Miller, Vandome and McBrewster 31). The negative perceptions towards Japan were fully developed in the minds of many people, and it was already proposed that United States should enter the war. However, the Congress and other legislative bodies did not want to participate in the war (Tohmatsu and Johnson 41). Therefore, the attack at Pearl Harbor directly killing and affecting the resources of United States of America forced US to retaliate through entering World War II.

In conclusion, the Empire of Japanese continuously causing harm across Asia countries was viewed by many countries as a threat. However, United States of America had not entered into the war, but the triggering point was the attack at Pearl Harbor. United States of America had already entered the war but through proxy manner. The United States of America had restricted movement of important resources including trade restrictions to Japanese territory and war centers. In addition, United States of America was supplying important resources to those territories and states that were fighting against Japanese Empire that includes United Kingdom and Netherlands. Therefore, United States of America would have entered the war without the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hence, the attack at Pearl Harbor may be viewed as a trigger factor that pushed United States of America into World War II.

  • Miller Frederic, Vandome Agnes, and McBrewster John. Attack on Pearl Harbour. London: VDM Publishing, 2009. Print.
  • Tohmatsu Haruo and Johnson Spencer. Pearl Harbour. New York: Cassell Military, 2001. Print.

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