Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941



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  • Pearl Harbor

    • December 7, 1941

    • Surprise attack by Japanese on U.S. naval base in Hawaii

      • Planned by Japanese Naval strategist Yamamoto

      • In two hours time 19 ships, including 5 battleships and 188 planes were destroyed

      • 3,400 wounded, 2,300 killed

    • U.S. declares war on Japan




  • After Pearl Harbor Japanese army swept to victory after victory

    • Helped Japanese gain resources

    • Phillipines (U.S. colony), Hong Kong (British colony), Malaya (British colony) (today = Malaysia), Dutch East Indies (today = Indonesia), Burma (British colony) (today = Mayanmar)

    • See map pg. 591 and 615



  1. Doolittle’s Raid (April 1942)

    1. 16 B-25 bombers bombed Tokyo and several other cities

      1. Little damage, but important psychological impact

    2. Japan was vulnerable to attack

    3. Raised American morale and shook confidence of some in Japan




  1. A. Battle of the Coral Sea (May 1942)

    1. Japanese heading for Port Moresby New Guinea. Home of key allied air base.

    2. Ships didn’t engage in combat directly

    3. Carrier based planes stopped Japanese advance toward Australia




  1. Battle of Midway (June 1942)

    1. Location of key American airfield

    2. Admiral Yamamoto hoped attack would draw U.S. fleet from Pearl Harbor

      1. Allied code breakers discovered plans of attack in advance

    3. U.S. allowed Japanese to begin their assault before surprising the Japanese fleet

      1. Many Japanese planes were still on their decks

    4. First major Japanese defeat.

      1. Japanese lost 4 carriers and over 300 planes

    5. U.S. took offensive




  1. Island Hopping:

    1. Strategy supported by General Douglas MacArthur

    2. U.S. Surrounded Japanese strongholds on various islands and cut them off from supplies

    3. Send in troops

    4. Captured Key Islands

    5. Built bases from which to attack the Philippines and eventually Japan




  1. Guadal Canal (August 1942)

    1. Japanese were building an air base

    2. Japanese fought to the death; foreshadowing the many battles to come

      1. Fighting lasted six months

      2. Japan lost 24,000 of their 36,000 man force

      3. View pic pg. 501 and quote from primary source

    3. First territory Japan lost in the war




  1. Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 1944)

    1. After Guadal canal Japanese retreated

    2. By fall of 1944 allies were moving in on Japan

    3. Japan risked their entire navy to destroy American fleet and prevent them from supplying the ground troops who had landed in Phillipines

      1. Japanese lost within 4 days

      2. Japanese army and kamikazes were left to defend Japan

    4. Kamikaze

      1. Japanese strategy adopted in early 1944 to stop U.S. island hopping campaign

      2. Young Japanese pilots who undertook suicide missions, crashing their explosive-laden airplanes into American warships




  1. Battle of Iwo Jima (February-March 1945)

    1. Island 760 miles from Tokyo

    2. U.S. took after one month of fighting and heavy losses

    3. Japanese used caves and concrete bunkers

    4. 200 of the 20,000 Japanese left at end of battle




  1. Battle of Okinawa (April-June 1945)

    1. Island 350 miles from southern Japan

    2. One of the bloodiest land battles ending with a U.S. victory

      1. Kamikaze attacks used against U.S. Navy

      2. Japanese lost over 100,000 troops

      3. Americans lost 12,000

    3. Next stop for U.S. was Japan


  • Allied Leaders thought invasion would be costly

The Atomic Bomb

  • July 16, 1945 American scientists led by Robert J. Oppenheimer successfully detonated first atomic bomb

  • Truman chose to use the bomb with the hope of ending the war without an invasion

    • Truman warned the Japanese to surrender or they could expect “a rain of ruin from the air”

    • Japanese did not reply

  • August 6, 1945

    • Enola Gay B-29

    • Dropped single atomic bomb on Hiroshima (Little Boy)

      • Population of 350,000 people

    • Killed between 70 and 80,000 people instantly

    • 100,000 men, women, and children died later from burns, radiation or other wounds from the blast

  • August 9, 1945

    • Dropped second bomb on Nagasaki

      • Population of 270,000

    • Killed more than 70,000 instantly

    • Bock’s Car B-29 (Fat Man)

  • August 14, 1945

    • Japanese gov. surrendered

  • V-J Day

    • September 2, 1945

Impact of World War II

  • Most devastating war in history

  • First to bring mass civilian deaths

    • Leads to creation of United Nations (U.N.)

  • Devastated thousands of cities and villages in Europe and Asia

  • Transportation systems and factories were destroyed

  • Economies in ruin

  • U.S. suffered fewer deaths than many others

  • War production pulled U.S. out of the Depression

  • U.S. became a world power after WWII

Approximately 60 million dead (Equivalent to Population of United Kingdom/Britain)

  1. 25 million soldiers

  2. 35 million civilians


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