Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Remember the Attack on Pearl Harbor~07 December 1941

Pearl Harbour from Japanese Bomber Prior to Attack
On the morning of December 7, 1941 the Japanese launched the attack on Pearl Harbor (named Hawaii Operation or Operation Z by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, and the Battle of Pearl Harbor by Americans). The surprise (cowardly?) military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Americans were taken completely by surprise. The first attack wave targeted  the US airfields and battleships. The second wave aimed for the other ships and shipyard facilities. The air raid lasted until 9:45 am. Eight battleships were damaged and five sunk. Three light cruisers, three destroyers and three smaller vessels were lost along with 188 aircraft. The casualty list included 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, and 1,178 wounded. Included are 1,104 men  who were aboard the Battleship USS Arizona. The day after the attack, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his famous Infamy Speech to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. Congress obliged his request less than an hour later. Meanwhile, back in Europe, Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy declared war on the United States on December 11th.
While browsing to review the details of that terrible day I could not help thinking that in a manner of speaking history repeats itself.

In particular I was reminded of the murderous terror attack causing the  huge loss of life during 9 / 11.

A quick search revealed that while there have been many attacks against the United States and the freedoms that they have fought to preserve, only  two other  events in history can compare as far as devastating loss of life. 

1) The Battle of Antietam (17 September 1862)  
During this one-day battle--begun by Robert E. Lee to take the war to the North, the losses to both sides were devastating,

The Confederates lost 2,700 soldiers, while the Union 2,108. It is considered one of the most important battles of the Civil War.

US Troops~Against All Odds

2) The Battle of the Bulge (1944-45)
The Battle of the Bulge was the largest land battle of World War II. It began 16 December 1944 and ended 28 January 1945. In the space of 44 days 19,000 US soldiers were killed.

We must never forget...

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