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For the United States World War II lasted 1351 days but the nations greatest defeat took only 110 minutes In about two hours Japanese planes from the strike force Kido Butai hit hard at the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor and at other military installations scattered across the Hawaiian island of Oahu La Forte xi A paralyzing blow struck Pearl Harbor Japanese bombers winging in from distant aircraft carriers attacked on the Black Sunday morning of December 7 1941 On December 4 silent and undetected several hundred miles northwest of Hawaii Japans sprawling flotilla of nearly three dozen ships pivoted from its easterly course to a southeasterly bearing On the morning of December 6 they completed their final refueling December 7 just before 600AM 183 planes had lifted from the decks of six carriers and were shaping their triangular formations for the first attack wave Fifty-one dive-bombers made up the high squadron with forty-nine level bombers below and forty torpedo planes below them The second attack wave had been launched about an hour later about 350 aircrafts For more than an hour bombs and bullets pelted down on the un-maneuverable American battleships The Pearl Harbor Attack The thump of exploding torpedoes the shriek of the bombs the spit of bullets the licking flames and oily black smoke over Battleship Row where the USS Arizona exploded and the USS Oklahoma lay belly up Bleeding mangled charred the wounded cried out in agony Corpses floated in the harbor and came to rest nose down in the sand When the last Japanese plane soared off eighteen US naval vessels including eight battleships had been sunk or heavily damaged More than 180 aircrafts were destroyed and another 120 crippled 2403 men were dead - 1103 of them entombed in the battleship Arizona which sank almost instantaneously when a bomb exploded Another 1178 men were wounded Lord President Roosevelt always had a style of accommodating to himself It was his
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