Akira Iriye: The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor

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Adkison 1 Jordan Adkison History 110 Summer 2015 Dr. Robert Miller Inevitable The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 was by far one of the most devastating days for the United States during World War 2. Hundreds of men died that fateful day at the sea base along the coast of Hawaii. Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific In War , by Akira Iriye, he explores the events and circumstances that resulted in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an American naval base. Iriye assembles numerous primary documents, such as proposals and imperial conferences, as well as essays that offer different perspectives of the Pacific War. Not only is the material in Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific War informative of the situation between Japan and the United States, but it also provides a global…show more content…
The attack didn’t make sense to Americans because they knew that Japan believed that the U.S. was stronger, but to the Japanese, Adkison 5 the Pearl Harbor attack probably seemed like their best option at the time. Not only would the attack diminish the American defenses on the West Coast, but it would force the U.S. into a two­front war, one in the Pacific and the other in Europe. Logically, a nation whose military is split between two fronts would be weaker than if its military only needed to worry about fighting on one front. Maybe Japan thought that between its alliance within the Axis powers and the U.S. fighting on two fronts, there was a distinct chance at victory and moving up in the world as a powerful nation. A surprise attack on the fleet could weaken Americans and give the Japanese the power that they craved. There was, and to some extent still is, a question of whether or not the attack on Pearl Harbor was really a “complete surprise,” (167) as history states it to have been. In David…show more content…
Although Kahn adamantly disputed the theories claiming that the U.S. knew of the impending attack because of intelligence, if the theories were true it would support the idea that the U.S. needed an excuse to enter the war without attacking first and so they let the Japanese attack happen without putting up a strong defense. On the other hand, Kahn made the point that “even if Roosevelt had wanted war, he would not have wanted to enter it with his fleet badly weakened” (169). If the U.S. really knew about the incoming attack and wanted to use it as an excuse to enter the war, there would have been some defensive preparations to stop the destruction of the majority of the Pacific Fleet. Adkison 6 In the end, although the attack on Pearl Harbor was devastating, it lit a fire under Americans to join together and fight for victory, not only in the Pacific War, but the war in Europe as well. In Akira Iriye’s Pearl Harbor and the Coming of the Pacific

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