Instructor: Dan Perryman Course: cp us history Tennessee Standard Addressed

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Lesson Plan

The Japanese Build Up for War


United States History

Instructor: Dan Perryman

Course: CP US History
Tennessee Standard Addressed: W.45 – Compare the German, Italian, and Japanese drives to expand their empires in the 1930s.
Class Periods: Two 50 minute class periods.
First Session: Introduction of past Imperialistic influences in Asia and Europe.
Second Session: Compare the German, Italian, and Japanese steps to bring about WWII.

  • Understand the economic conditions of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

  • Develop a sense of the nationalistic conditions of the time.

  • Compare the leaders of Germany, Italy, and Japan at the time

  • Understand the reasoning for the advances of the countries involved.

Class Period 1:
Watch the following clip on YouTube to providing a basis for discussion. These clips will be viewed the night before the lesson (Flipping the Classroom)
Discussion of Video Clips:

  • What were similarities of the economic conditions of Germany, Italy, and Japan?

  • How did these conditions affect everyday life of those involved?

  • How were the economic situations in these countries addressed?

  • What were the positives taken from the clips?

  • What were the negatives taken from the clips?

Divide the class into three groups: Japan, Germany, and Italy have. Each group answer the following questions>

  • Who were the major players in each country?

  • What were the reasons for given by the leadership for the need to expand?

  • Provide a time line from each group of the expansion of each country.

    • Dates

    • Major conflicts

    • Areas that were added to each country’s “empire’.

  • Each group will be given sidewalk chalk in order to draw their timeline outside on the sidewalk.

  • Creativity is a must.

  • Pictures may be included.

  • Obviously this a spring time activity.

Class Period 2:
Discuss with PowerPoint presentation the entry of each nation into WWII.
Students will watch both YouTube clips prior to class time.
Students will be assessed by their participation in the class discussion and on completion of any class or individual follow-up activity.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” Speech

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

A Pearl Harbor Fact Sheet

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Since early 1941 the U.S. had been supplying Great Britain in its fight against the Nazis. It had also been pressuring Japan to halt its military expansion in Asia and the Pacific. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. could no longer avoid an active fight. On December 8, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress for and received a declaration of war against Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy, allied with Japan, declared war on the U.S. The United States had entered World War II.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto planned the Pearl Harbor attack. Two things inspired Yamamoto’s Pearl Harbor idea: a prophetic book and a historic attack. The book was The Great Pacific War, written in 1925 by Hector Bywater, a British naval authority. It was a realistic account of a clash between the United States and Japan that begins with the Japanese destruction of the U.S. fleet and proceeds to a Japanese attack on Guam and the Philippines. When Britain’s Royal Air Force successfully attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto on November 11, 1940, Yamamoto was convinced that Bywater’s fiction could become reality.

On December 6, 1941, the U.S. intercepted a Japanese message that inquired about ship movements and berthing positions at Pearl Harbor. The cryptologist gave the message to her superior who said he would get back to her on Monday, December 8. On Sunday, December 7, a radar operator on Oahu saw a large group of airplanes on his screen heading toward the island. He called his superior who told him it was probably a group of U.S. B-17 bombers and not to worry about it.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:55 that morning. The entire attack took only one hour and 15 minutes. Captain Mitsuo Fuchida sent the code message, “Tora, Tora, Tora,” to the Japanese fleet after flying over Oahu to indicate the Americans had been caught by surprise. The Japanese planned to give the U.S. a declaration of war the moment the attack began so they would not violate the first article of the Hague Convention of 1907, but the message was delayed and not relayed to U.S. officials in Washington until the attack was already in progress.

The Japanese strike force consisted of 353 aircraft launched from four heavy carriers. These included 40 torpedo planes, 103 level bombers, 131 dive-bombers, and 79 fighters . The attack also consisted of two heavy cruisers, 35 submarines, two light cruisers, nine oilers, two battleships, and 11 destroyers.

The attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships. The four aircraft carriers of the U.S. Pacific fleet were out to sea on a practice maneuver. The Japanese were unable to locate them and were forced to return home with the U.S. carrier fleet intact.

The battleship USS Arizona remains sunken in Pearl Harbor with its crew onboard. Half of the dead at Pearl Harbor were on the Arizona. A United States flag flies above the sunken battleship, which serves as a memorial to all Americans who died in the attack.

Dorie Miller, a steward on the USS West Virginia, distinguished himself by courageous conduct and devotion to duty during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He first assisted his mortally wounded captain and then manned a machine gun, which he was not accustomed to operating, successfully destroying two Japanese aircraft. He was the first African American awarded the Navy Cross, the service’s highest award, for his actions during the attack.

The Japanese lost 29 aircraft and 5 midget submarines in the attack. One Japanese soldier was taken prisoner and 129 Japanese soldiers were killed. Out of all the Japanese ships that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor only one, the Ushio, survived until the end of the war. It was surrendered to the U.S. at Yokosuka Naval Base. When Admiral Yamamoto learned that his forces had not destroyed the U.S. aircraft carriers or completely destroyed the U.S. fleet, he feared that the United States, with its enormous industrial potential, would soon recover and fight back.

The United States did recover—and quicker than Yamamoto could have imagined. After only six months, the U.S. carrier fleet dealt a decisive blow to Yamamoto’s navy in June 1942 at the Battle of Midway, sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers. This U.S. victory marked the height of Japanese expansion in the Pacific.

U.S. Casualties

























U.S. Aircraft Damage







Army Air Corps



U.S. Ship Damage

Type of Ship



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A Day of Infamy 6 © The National D-Day Museum
Internet Sites of Interest
The USS Arizona Memorial National Park Site

Pearl Harbor Survivors/NPS Volunteers

Osprey Publishing Essential Pearl Harbor Site

National Geographic Pearl Harbor Site

USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor Remembered Site

Full Pearl Harbor Casualty List

The History Place Pearl Harbor Site

A Student-Made Interactive Site

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