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The attack of the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor was one of the best military surprises in the history of war Under Admiral Yamomato the Japanese Navy delivered a stunning blow to the United States The brilliant two wave attack utterly surprised the Americans Over 2000 American sailors were killed in this onslaught as well as 109 marines and 218 soldiers 1 By looking at what Japan did preceding the attack one can see how the American troops should have been better prepared for such an attack The Japanese started their military increase in 1937 when Emperor Hirohito reigned and they took over China 2 Their increase continued in 1939 when they tuned South to take over Hainan on February 10 Gordon Prange states a reason for Japan conquering small areas as well In March of the same year Japan laid claim to the Spratlys-coral islands offering potential havens for planes and small naval craft located on a beautiful navigational fix between Saigon and North Borneo Manila and Singapore 3 When France fell in 1940 Japan put troops in Northern French Indochina this was their stepping stone to further advancement southward In 1941 Japan got ready to expand into Southeast Asia These areas included Malaya the Philippines the Netherlands and the East 4 The United States had to consider Japan in the context of its Axis Alliance for aid and concessions to Tokyo in effect meant aid and concessions for Berlin and Rome 5 Japan had a long list of grievances against the United States the foremost being the recognition of the Chiang Kai-Shek regime and the nonrecognition of Manchuko6 The US Military in Asia was a constant annoyance to Japan They felt that all Allied forces in Asia must be removed7 By the beginning of July 1940 Washington placed all exports on aviation fuel and high-grade scrap iron and steel under license and control of
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