Wikijunior:World War II/Pearl Harbor
What is Pearl Harbor?
The attack of Pearl Harbor (or the Hawaii operation, as it was called by the Imperial General Headquarters) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Japanese navy against the US Navy on December 7 1941.
What is "the attack on Pearl Harbor"?
On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor (and other places between Honolulu and San Francisco) was attacked by the Japanese. About 2,403 people were killed, 188 airplanes destroyed, and 8 battleships were either destroyed or seriously damaged.
Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor if the USA was neutral?
Although the US was neutral during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US was helping China by giving money and shipping oil to them. As a result, Japan no longer got certain resources such as oil and rubber that they really needed. The Empire of Japan saw this embargo (an order from government that stops trade between countries) as a threat and started to prepare to attack. In doing this, Japan hoped that they could make quick advances in the Pacific while the American Navy was damaged, and then build up defenses causing America to sign a peace treaty.
How did the US respond to all this?
The US declared war on Japan the day after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Japanese-Americans were forced out of their homes to live in "War Relocation Camps" because of the wide discrimination of Japanese-Americans in the US that sparked after Pearl Harbor. Days later, U.S. forces in the Pacific were defeated in the Philippines, as the British also lost island territories in the Pacific to the Japanese.