The United States did not want to enter WWII due to the military force being weak after fighting in WWI, general opinion wanted neutrality, and the government did not want to enter unless directly threatened or attacked (Why, 2017). However, on December 7, 1941, Japan forced the hand of the United States by attacking Pearl Harbor at Oahu, Hawaii. President Roosevelt appealed to Congress to declare war on Japan, stating that December 7, 1941 would be a date which will live in infamy (Chan, 2016, para.
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4). The attack on Pearl Harbor provides many lessons that through the analysis of weather and terrain, the antagonists, the opposing force, events and outcomes of this attack will better prepare the Armed Forces for future battles.
The weather could not have been more conducive for Japan forces to carry out their attack. The skies were clear with some clouds, but overall, the pilots of the torpedo and bomber planes had the advantage of clear visibility. The terrain was the open water of the Pacific Ocean. Scouting planes dispatched from Pearl Harbor patrolled the vast ocean expanse around the island chain but had not detected the Japanese fleet heading for the Hawaiian Islands (United States, n.d., para. 16). Without a doubt, Japan was the major antagonist and opposing force in the attack of Pearl Harbor; however, Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku was considered the mastermind of the attack. There were talks of peace between Japan and the United States, but tensions were rising, and negotiations were at a standstill. Tokyo and Washington negotiated for months leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack, without success. While the United States hoped embargoes on oil and other key goods would lead Japan would halt its expansionism, the sanctions and other penalties actually convinced Japan to stand its ground, and stirred up the anger of its people against continued Western interference in Asian affairs (Pruitt, 2018, para. 7). The Japanese wanted to gain control of its adversaries across the South Pacific.
Admiral Isoroku knew the only way Japan could accomplish this goal was through a surprise attack.
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