History

The War

Prior to Pearl Harbor, Americans were sharply divided as to whether the U.S. should ally with Britain against Germany following the defeat of France. The U.S. immediately began fighting on both European and Pacific fronts fully supported by the American public. Though the Pacific Fleet was crippled by the Pearl Harbor attack, its submarines, aircraft carriers and, somewhat incredibly, the fuel storage tanks, were not damaged. America responded by winning the Battle of Midway then ‘island hopping’ toward Japan. The war in the Pacific theater culminated in the dropping of two atomic bombs in 1945 on cities in Japan affecting surrender (Goldstein amp. Dillon, 1981).In preparation for possible Japanese aggression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had relocated much of the U.S. Fleet to Pearl Harbor in mid 1940. The Japanese had been fighting a war with China since 1937 to gain desperately needed oil and other materials. What became the countries of the Western alliance stopped trade with the Japanese in July 1941which made the Japanese situation more desperate. Japan felt it had little choice but to capture the mineral and oil-rich regions of the Pacific Rim, Southeast Asia and the East Indies so as to sustain itself. War was the inevitable outcome of these actions (Pearl Harbor Raid, 2000). Frank Beatty, at that time a U.S. Navy Secretary aid, wrote after the war, I can say that prior to December 7, it was evident even to me that we were pushing Japan into a corner. The conditions we imposed upon Japan to get out of China, for example were so severe that we knew that nation could not accept. We did not want her to accept them. According to a 1944 account of British Minister of Production Oliver Lyttelton, Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into war (Perloff, 1986).The Japanese Navy announced internally its detailed

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