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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

We are highly resolved that these dead shall not have died in vain

The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.

Eighteen months earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had transferred the United States Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a presumed deterrent to Japanese agression. The Japanese military, deeply engaged in the seemingly endless war it had started against China in mid-1937, badly needed oil and other raw materials. Commercial access to these was gradually curtailed as the conquests continued. In July 1941 the Western powers effectively halted trade with Japan. From then on, as the desperate Japanese schemed to seize the oil and mineral-rich East Indies and Southeast Asia, a Pacific war was virtually inevitable.

By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan's diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.

The U.S. Fleet's Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World's oceans. Its planes hit just before 8AM on 7 December. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2400 Americans were dead.

Read more at the website>>>

The survivors want us to remember. Remember more than the page and a half in the modern text books. Many fear that once they have gone, that we will forget about them. We will always remember!

Many heart-filled thanks to the Greatest Generation.


kymber said...

thanks for remembering Phelan!

your friend,

Duke said...

Thanks for your memorial post. If we don't learn from history we will repeat it.
PS. Thanks to Kymber for the 'heads up'

Phelan said...

Always Kymber.

You are welcome Duke. And I agree, we will repeat it. And welcome to my blog.

HermitJim said...

I feel that it falls to us to serve as "keepers of the flame" and pass on to our own the true meaning of days like this.

God bless the Republic, and the heroes that made it possible.

Phelan said...

Hear hear Jim!

gipsiwriter said...

I'm so glad you posted this today. Going to share it with the kids when they get home.

Flier389 said...

Thank you Phelan. Least we forget.

FancyHorse said...

Thank you for posting this, a very important date in US history that should never be forgotten!

Phelan said...

Too many young people forget, as it isn't that important to us. But we should always remember the sacrifices that have been made. The horrors that our parents and grandparents witnessed, and what we too have seen. It all has meaning.

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