Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Story of the Day
Entered World War II
by Shelly Tanaka
The gigantic Japanese
empire attacked a sleeping United States Navy on December 7, 1941.
What was it like to live through the attack on Pearl Harbor? From
multiple points of view (even the "heroic" Japanese), detailed
maps, and primary source photos, relive the attack with real people
from both sides who were there.
Note from Kids' Wings: As patriotic Americans who lost a father and
grandfather to Japanese a kamikazi attack, we at Kids' Wings question
the author's balanced approach. We would use the pictures from this
book, but would be very selective of the text.
did Japan bomb Pearl Harbor?
History of World War II in film
Suzy, Tom, and their Mom wait by the radio for news of Daddy who
was stationed on the U.S.S. Lexington. We
never got to welcome him home.
In November, 1945, Daddy was killed in a kamikaze attack on the
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on Pearl Harbor " by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending
a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was
a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone. He told Admiral Nimitz
that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific
Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific
Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There
was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would
have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas
Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction
wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.. Big sunken battleships
and navy vessels cluttered the waters every where you looked.
As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the
boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing
all this destruction?" Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked
everyone within the sound of his voice. Admiral Nimitz said,
"The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack
force could ever make, or God was taking care of America .
Which do you think it was?"
Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What
do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes
an attack force ever made?" Nimitz explained:
Mistake number one : the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning.
Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on
leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been
sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Mistake number two : when the Japanese saw all those battleships
lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships,
they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships.
If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to
tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As
it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised.
One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have
them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them
to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man
Mistake number three: every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater
of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away
over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those
tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.
That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes
an attack force could make or God was taking care of America.
I've never forgotten what I read in that little book. It is
still an inspiration as I reflect upon it. In jest, I might
suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and
raised in Fredricksburg , Texas --he was a born optimist.
But anyway you look at it--Admiral Nimitz was able to see
a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone
else saw only despair and defeatism.
President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right
job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver
linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and
There is a reason that our national motto is, IN GOD WE TRUST.