The Attack On Pearl Harbor. Informative Essay Example



Surprises are nothing out of the ordinary for birthdays or when your friends call you up on Halloween to go explore a haunted house, but for a historical even that caused the deaths of a plethora of soldiers, sounds like a very weird movie plot to me. Yes, your ears are not deceiving you, you heard that correctly. Events like this have happened throughout history, which is why we need to understand the importance of this specific tragedy and the events that led to that of the Pearl Harbor Attack on December 7, 1941, which would ultimately lead to the development and use of atomic weapon. This specific event is very important because of its significance in America, like as to why Japan committed the bombing, congress declaring war, and why then, President Truman, decided to initiate the launch of the bomb into Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The research in which I have conducted varies from the attack on Pearl Harbor, to the point in which President Truman about the Manhattan Project, and ultimately decided on dropping the atomic bomb, which would be notoriously known as the “Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”. Now that the basics have been explained, we shall start from the beginning, in which Japan and the United States were not on good terms whatsoever, and tensions were starting to peak through. 

Prior to the Attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II had already commenced, this attack was the official entry that the United States made into World War II. Reason for why this occurred was because Japan felt as though it was necessary to bomb America’s navy immediately. Japan had initially invaded all of China, which might have killed an estimate of 300,000 people in the Nanking Massacre. Continuing in 1937, the United States was responsible for most of Japans imports because of the restricted natural resources Japan possessed. The United States would eventually ban the following items: oil, steel, and scrap iron supplies. Three years later in 1940, Japan would join the Axis Alliance, in association with Germany, Italy, and parts of French Indochina. Now, who had the “brilliant idea” of causing this catastrophe. None other than the Commander in Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, in which he said that it would “give a fatal blow to the enemy” ( This idea would be accepted by Japanese naval general staff, and once the attack was commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, six aircraft carriers, twenty-four supporting ships, and a group of submarines were sent off. Yes, it is true that the United States was expecting an attack, but Pearl Harbor was not disclosed as one of the attack sites. Additionally, weeks prior to the attack, Japanese battleships and destroyers sent their people in complete silence, so that Americans could be caught by surprise. Back to the present day of the attack, many of the Americans that were in proximity witnessed the horror and madness in those morbid last minutes, in which American soldiers were dying. This would lead to President Roosevelt to sign the declaration of war against Japan. 

As established before, the President at the time was Frankin D. Roosevelt, and he announced the declaration of war against Japan on December 8, 1941. A few days later, on December 11, 1941, he declared war on both Germany and Italy. The reason for which Roosevelt declared war on Germany was because Hiter had made a speech on the same day declaring war on the United States. Initially, the House declared war on Germany by a vote of 393-0, and moments would have a vote on Italy with 399-0. Hitlers official reasoning for his decision for declaring war on the United States was because he didn’t like the fact that Roosevelt had talked negatively on his Nazi beliefs, and because of Winston Churchill, who feared the dread the probability of parallel wars. Hitler at the time believed that Japan was stronger, and that once they defeated the U.S., Japan will help Germany beat Russia. Of course, Hitlers decision would receive backlash. Many people believed that he didn’t put as much time and thought into declaring war with the United States. While many others completely disagreed with his choice and thought that this was the worst mistake that he could have made in his political career. While all this was occurring with Hitler, the United States had not forgotten the events that occurred at Pearl Harbor, because they still had the mindset that the Japanese people had to be punished for it. This would make the war in which Japan and the U.S. were fighting for, very costly. 

Unfortunately, the Commander in Chief, President Roosevelt, would die April 12, 1945. This meant a new president would be inaugurated, and that would be none other than his Vice President, Harry S. Truman, he would be the decider on the fate of how the war would end. You would except that before his death, Roosevelt would have informed one his Vice presidents how it is and update him on everything, but on the contrary, Roosevelt didn’t really do much to show Truman how to run the administration, as he was kept in the shadows. So, Truman had to learn years of development and research in just a few weeks. The Manhattan Project was next, and it was developed as a secret scientific effort to produce an atomic bomb. As any President would, Truman would inevitably find out about this bomb, and would have it tested; the test came out successful. Truman issued the Potsdam Declaration, which he demanded that there was unconditional surrender of the Japanese government. The first target location was a manufacturing center named “Hiroshima”. “Litte Boy” was one of the given names for the atomic bomb that would be dropped on the manufacturing center; it would result in the casualties of around 80,000 people, keep in mind that this occurred only a few minutes after the bomb dropping. In addition, many others would die due to radiation exposure. 

The casualties weren't over yet, three days after “Little Boy” was dropped, on August 9, 1945, another bomb by the name of “Fat Man” was on its way to be dropped, only now it would be in Nagasaki. You would think that because of the drop on Hiroshima and the many deaths it produced, Japan would surrender, but it was the total opposite, and they continued. “Fat Man” was dropped the exact same day, a way more powerful bomb than “Little Boy” that was used in Hiroshima. “Fat Man” would be responsible for the deaths of 39,000 men, women, and children. In addition, around 25,000 people were also injured. Finally, Japan thought that enough was enough. On August 15, 1945 at noon, Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of Japan, via broadcast, six days after “Fat Man” was dropped. The exciting news would spread rapidly all over the United States and some fellow Allied nations, and the celebration that is now recognized as “Victory in Japan” would break out. Now, no one will be able to precisely identify how many actual deaths were caused from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, due to the massive devastation. People can only estimate, and it is presumed that 70,00 to 135,000 people died in Hiroshima and around 60,000 to 80,000 in Nagasaki. They would have either died by the physical effect of the bomb, or due to the side effects caused by radiation. 

Now, that I have concluded all the important details that, as stated before, happened from the devastating and surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor to the complete devastation and chaos of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we know that Pearl Harbor is very significant to our history because of the events that would all occur after that. Elaborating on this, learning about the past events that tragically occurred at Pearl Harbor are essential that we remember and reflect on. We get to know about the events that would inevitably lead after it, such as Japan feeling the need to bomb the United States to President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring war on Germany, Italy, and we specifically know, Japan, and lastly, Harry Truman getting the last piece of the cake and deciding how the war would end. We also cannot forget the amazing and heroic troops that died while in service, and those who fought all they could. Without them, we would have not been here. After all of this, surprises can really make something bigger than you would've expected.