The USS Missouri and USS Arizona memorials. Photograph by Cristo Vlahos on August 27, 2011. Image online courtesy Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 3.0
I fear we wake a sleeping Giant.Admiral I. Yamamoto
Japanese Naval Commander
As dawn lit the Hawaiian skies on December 7, 1941, Americans stationed at Pearl Harbor had no clue their world was about to explode. Nor did their Navy and Army Air Force commanders, Admiral Kimmel and General Short. Pearl Harbor, the strategic Pacific base, was about to become the scene of unbelievable tragedy.
To the west of Hawaii, the Japanese fleet of 6 aircraft carriers, 24 support vessels plus submarines maintained strict radio silence. Transmission fuses had even been removed from radios to make sure no messages could be intercepted. This was to be a surprise attack. Secrecy was paramount.
To the east, in Washington D.C., Japanese diplomats were told to delay their scheduled meeting with the American Secretary of State. Their government wanted to buy time as Imperial attack forces (including two-man midget submarines) prepared to wipe out America's Pacific Fleet.
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