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The Pearl Harbor Attack 7 December 1941 Ships Present at Pearl Harbor 0800 7 December 1941 Action Reports for commands and ships at Pearl Harbor Cryptologic Histories relating to the Pearl Harbor Attack Related Web Sites on the Pearl Harbor Attack The road to war between Japan and the United States began in the 1930s when differences over China drove the twonations apart In 1931 Japan conquered Manchuria which until then had been part of China In 1937 Japan began along and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to conquer the rest of China In 1940 the Japanese government allied theircountry with Nazi Germany in the Axis Alliance and in the following year occupied all of IndochinaThe United States which had important political and economic interests in East Asia was alarmed by these Japanesemoves The US increased military and financial aid to China embarked on a program of strengthening its militarypower in the Pacific and cut off the shipment of oil and other raw materials to JapanBecause Japan was poor in natural resources its government viewed these steps especially the embargo on oil as athreat to the nations survival Japans leaders responded by resolving to seize the resource-rich territories of SoutheastAsia even though that move would certainly result in war with the United StatesThe problem with the plan was the danger posed by the US Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor Admiral IsorokuYamamoto commander of the Japanese fleet devised a plan to immobilize the US fleet at the outset of the war withThe key elements in Yamamotos plans were meticulous preparation the achievement of surprise and the use ofaircraft carriers and naval aviation on an unprecedented scale In the spring of 1941 Japanese carrier pilots begantraining in the special tactics called for by the Pearl Harbor attack planIn October 1941 the naval general staff gave final approval to Yamamotos plan which called for the formation of anattack
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