Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military installations on the island of Oahu, territory of Hawaii, Sunday, December 7, 1941, plunged the United States into World War II. The Pearl Harbor anchorage of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet was attacked by two waves of Japanese planes flying from aircraft carriers more than 200 miles north of Hawaii. Eight battleships of the Pacific Fleet, as well as numerous other ships, were sunk or damaged, and 2,403 American lives were lost. Pearl Harbor has become an enduring symbol of American resolve in the wake of the surprise air raid. President Franklin Roosevelt called the date of the Pearl Harbor attack one that would “live in infamy.”

Admirals Chester W. Nimitz and Isoroku Yamamoto took great risks in committing their fleets to the Battle of Midway—but for different reasons.

Pearl Harbor

Comparing Admiral Chester Nimitz and Isoroku Yamamoto

by Michael Haskew

“Japan cannot defeat America; therefore, Japan should not go to war with America.” Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, spoke those words to a group of school children as his government contemplated just that. Read more

Allied efforts at the Battle of Wake Island gave America hope in the opening days of WWII. The heroism of the Marines was never forgotten.

Pearl Harbor

WWII’s Battle of Wake Island: An Unsteady Victory

by John Wukovits

In mid-December 1941, during the thick of the Battle of Wake Island, the 400 U.S. Marines who called the island outpost home stood a lonely sentinel in the watery Central Pacific wilderness, like a cavalry fort in an oceanic version of the Western frontier. Read more

The war service of the RMS Queen Mary made a vital contribution to the success of the Allies in World War II.

Pearl Harbor

RMS Queen Mary’s War Service: Voyages to Victory

by Eric Niderost

The late summer of 1939 saw Great Britain teetering on the brink of war with Hitler’s Germany. The years of appeasement and vacillation, of meekly acquiescing to Hitler’s insatiable territorial demands, were over at last. Read more

Pearl Harbor

The Doomed Expansion of Imperial Japan

by Michael E. Haskew

Since 1931, Japan’s army had asserted control over territory on the continent of Asia, brushing aside Chinese resistance, condemnation and political pressure from other nations, and most recently, the Allied military. Read more