The Day of Infamy - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1499 Words
Date:  2022-06-23


Japanese forces attacked the USA surprisingly on 7th, 1941 forcing them into the second World War. The incident was called 'The Day of Infamy,' and it is what the film 'TORA! TORA! TORA illustrate as the contributor to the attack. On a personal basis, the film is used as a historical source to help the group to restructure all the incidents that cause the violence on the Pearl Harbor and what happens during the attack (Melber, 2016). The whole essay will provide a case study that can be used in the explanation of what took place during the surprise attack by the Japanese on the USA. The film was demonstrating how diplomacy could be reached with the US to bring peace between the USA and Japan (Miller, 2000). The film was introduced by showing how the Government of Germany, Italy and Japan entered into a deal called Tripartite Treaty and it goes ahead to illustrates how top military chiefs and admirals negotiate how they could stop the attack on US (Dunnavent, 2000). The discussion was aimed at blocking them from accessing natural resources such as oil and rubber in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. Further advancement into regions such as South-East Asia would lead to US retaliation leading to unfriendly relationships between different countries of the World. In the negotiation, the Japanese refused to enter into a peace deal but went ahead to invade Manchuria. The case study developed will be to explore the reason why the losses at Pearl Harbor were so severe.

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Japanese army attacked the USA on 7th 1941. The Japanese Empire launched the attack, and it was aimed at attacking both the USA and the Pearl Harbor (Dunnavent, 2000). The USA did not just enter into the second World war intentionally, but it was forced by the surprise attack launched by the Japanese Empire. It came into the second World War to retaliate against the invasion of the Japanese Army (Miller, 2000). The main reason for the Japanese Empire is attacking the USA to spread their power in the Pacific, and it could only achieve this through the destruction of Pearl Harbor which acted as the center of US Naval Operations. Japanese Empire discovered this after they have formed an Axis Alliance with the German Government. The second World War started when Isoroku Yamamoto had taken become the new commander in Chief from Zengo Yoshida. Before the war broke out, the incoming and outgoing commanders discussed the American trade restriction that inhibits Japan from accessing critical raw materials like oil because they had an unending conflict with China from 1937 (Melber, 2016). Both commanders acknowledged that the war between them with the US would be a great tragedy for Japan.

The Japanese Navy waged war with the USA at a time when it engaged in War in Europe because it was the time they could get the victory (Dunnavent, 2000). The Japanese army prepared for war because they received warnings from Konoye that the US army had moved its Pacific Fleet to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. They could not start the war when the American Army was not engaged in battle with other countries. The commander became more afraid when Militarist Japan signed Multilateral Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in Berlin which made them be one of the Axis powers (Cook, 2005). Yamamoto only wanted Japan to prepare for preventive strikes as there was a belief that they just wanted to conquer American Pacific fleet which they could only penetrate for six months the only afterword they would be overwhelmed by the USA.

Before the attack, the commanders had a comprehensive debate on the exposure of Pearl Harbor to the firing of the torpedo, but they discovered that it would drop and submerge when it had an airstrike. Planning for war was a very critical thing for Japanese Army because they knew what could help them defeat US army. The Americans had the knowledge that they could not be attacked by torpedoes because Pearl Harbor is 12 meters' deep and therefore they had a natural defense that would help secure themselves from torpedoes (Melber, 2016). With proper planning, the Japanese army could find ways in which they could eliminate such obstacles by devising a small wooden stabilizer that they would use to operate in shallow harbors. They also retrofit armor-piercing battleship shell which they used as aerial bombs that could easily submerge American ships.

The high level of war intelligence managed US military in breaking the Japanese purple code and therefore they could interrupt their radio transmission secretly. In the process, they could collect the Japanese war plans and communicate them to the White House. With such information, they had to increase air patrols and remained alert throughout to prevent the Japanese raid (Cook, 2005). The Americans increased their defense before the attack because they had the information about what the Japanese were planning to do. This made Americans to improve their radar stations. Since it was a very new defense technology, the Japanese Army could not identify it.

Although Yamamoto did not want war, the Japanese army forced them to enter into conflict with the US. There was still an option to enter into peace deals with the USA even though they could not access critical raw materials (Holmstrom, 2011). Yamamoto knew that the USA is a perilous country that they are provoking. The only option that the Japanese army would defeat the USA, there was no need to invade Hawaii only but to attack the mainland and control them. For that matter, it is impossible for the Japanese army to defeat the American Army in war.

Peace was brought back through negotiation between the USA and Japan. It was not easy to conclude to the extent that the Japanese ambassador to the US had to demand more information that could be used to ensure there was no war between the two countries. The two countries could not reach the negotiation, and therefore war had to go on and by December 6th Japanese army started sending radio messages to their Embassy in the USA declaring for war (Melber, 2016). Because the American had the power to translate such words very fast that Japanese Embassy, they acknowledged that there were some kinds of attack from other countries (Cook, 2005). Such messages were sent to different commanders except for Hawaii commander because there was a need to inform the president first. The information about impending attack was delivered to Hawaii latter, and later they noticed Japanese two-person midget submarines moving towards Pearl Harbor. The submarine was attacked by the enemy, and it was reported that the enemy is at bay and therefore they need to stay alert.

Before the attack, US army private indicated in their remote radar, that there was an incoming Japanese aircraft, but the report was not taken seriously by the lieutenant (Holmstrom, 2011). They imagined that it was just a group of American B-17 bombers that came from the mainland and therefore it was ignored. Japanese had an intention of breaking the negotiation by ensuring that they issued formal communication with the US and because their typist was very slow it could not be done timely.

The attack started without any response from the US army because they had no information. The fighter pilots were amazed by the fact that there was no anti-aircraft fire although they were approaching the base (Dunnavent, 2000). It was therefore termed as a surprise attack, and immediately the Japanese started to strike, all the soldiers at Pearl responded positively with fire.


Japanese forces attacked the USA surprisingly on 7th, 1941 forcing them into the second World War. The incident was called 'The Day of Infamy,' and it is what the film 'TORA! TORA! TORA illustrate as the contributor to the attack. On a personal basis, the film is used as a historical source to help the group to restructure all the incidents that cause the violence on the Pearl Harbor and what happens during the attack. Although there was peace negotiation between Japan and the US, The Japanese commanders violated the peace deal and entered into the war. Americans could read the code machines sent to the Japanese Embassy faster than them, and therefore they had the information about the impending war. They prepared for war by creating different defenses that could help them defend themselves. Although they were attacked surprisingly, they responded by releasing airstrikes immediately Japanese Navy reached their base. Although they were attacked, they had the information, and therefore there was some preparation made to ensure that Pearl Harbor was protected strongly.


Holmstrom, Tora. (2011). Benezit Dictionary of Artists. doi: 10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.b00089034

Melber, T. (2016). 2. <>. Pearl Harbor, 132-139. doi:10.17104/9783406698194-132

Cook, D. C. (2005). Corrosion of Submerged Artifacts and the Conservation of the USS Monitor. AIP Conference Proceedings. doi:10.1063/1.1923640

Dunnavant, R. B. (2000). Reeves, Joseph Mason (1872-1948), U.S. Navy admiral. American National Biography Online. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0600841

Miller, E. S. (2000). Kimmel, Husband Edward (1882-1968), U.S. Navy admiral. American National Biography Online. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0700157

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