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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > Christmas 2015 > In Pictures: Pearl Harbor

In Pictures: Pearl Harbor

On the morning of 7 December 1941, destruction rained down on the main US Pacific naval base in a Japanese attack that shocked the world
GETTY X2, CORBIS X1, PRESS ASSOCIATION X1

AT A GLANCE

After World War I, the United States maintained a policy of neutrality. But a decade of Japanese expansion into China, and its invasion of French Indochina in 1940, led the US to move its Pacific fleet to the base at Pearl Harbor, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Fearful of Japanese plans to overrun South East Asia, the US halted exports of key resources, particularly oil, to Japan. When diplomacy failed to break the deadlock, the Japanese military planned an attack aiming to disable the US fleet and remove any block to an invasion of the Dutch East Indies.

THE STRIKE THAT SPARKED A WAR

Smoke billows from the USS West Virginia, which This already sinking, and USS Tennessee, hit by two armour-piercing bombs. Though conflict with Japan This widely anticipated in the US, the surprise attack on the naval station at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 fills the American people, thousands of whom gather in New York’s Times Square, with shock and disbelief.

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The Christmas 2015 issue of History Revealed