Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7th 1941. We have all seen the images of that fateful day. However the order for the attack was given more then a month before.
On November 5th, 1941, the 7th Imperial Conference was convened, and two types of request proposals (Draft A and Draft B) were decided upon.
From 10:30 to 15:15, on Wednesday November 5, 1941, t The 7th Imperial Conference is held. Two different Japanese proposals were decided on for submission to the US. These two plans were referred to as Draft A and Draft B. Japan planned to first propose Draft A in negotiations and if not accepted, propose Draft B, which included additional concessions.
Preliminary planning for an attack on Pearl Harbor to protect the move into the “Southern Resource Area” (the Japanese term for the Dutch East Indies and Southeast Asia generally) had begun very early in 1941 under the auspices of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, then commanding Japan’s Combined Fleet. He won assent to formal planning and training for an attack from the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff only after much contention with Naval Headquarters, including a threat to resign his command. Full-scale planning was underway by early spring 1941, primarily by Rear Admiral Ryūnosuke Kusaka, with assistance from Captain Minoru Genda and Yamamoto’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Captain Kameto Kuroshima.The planners studied the 1940 British air attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto intensively.
The Japanese military had long dominated Japanese foreign affairs; although official negotiations between the U.S. secretary of state and his Japanese counterpart to ease tensions were ongoing, Hideki Tojo, the minister of war who would soon be prime minister, had no intention of withdrawing from captured territories. He also construed the American “threat” of war as an ultimatum and prepared to deliver the first blow in a Japanese-American confrontation: the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Despite these preparations, Emperor Hirohito did not approve the attack plan until November 5, after the third of four Imperial Conferences called to consider the matter. Final authorization was not given by the emperor until December 1, after a majority of Japanese leaders advised him the “Hull Note” would “destroy the fruits of the China incident, endanger Manchukuo and undermine Japanese control of Korea”. And so Tokyo delivered the order to all pertinent Fleet commanders, that not only the United States—and its protectorate the Philippines—but British and Dutch colonies in the Pacific were to be attacked. War was going to be declared on the West.
On December 7, 1941. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on Pearl Harbor , where they managed to destroy or damage nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.
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