In late 1941 Americans did not want to go to war … either to save Europe from Hitler or save Asia and the Pacific from the Japanese. Franklin Roosevelt had won his third term in the White House promising that American boys would not be fighting on foreign soil. Of course, that campaign promise was quickly forgotten on the morning of this date … a Sunday morning … in 1941.
Even as diplomats were in discussions about the differences between the U.S. and Japan, 353 Japanese aircraft from six carriers began bombing the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. They came in two waves … a complete surprise. They sank four U.S. battleships and damaged four more … and sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 aircraft were destroyed. 2,402 were killed and 1,282 injured.
Japanese losses were light … 65 killed or wounded … one captured.
American boys would fight on foreign soil after all, and eventually avenge the losses at Pearl Harbor.
Our thought for today is from Albert Einstein:
“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”