Essay on Pearl Harbor





The Pearl Harbor

HIST101: American History to 1877



The Pearl Harbor is a natural landlocked harbor situated in the waters of the south-coast, of the Oahu Island, Hawaii. It is also important to point out that the Oahu my island is a small island located off the southwestern coast of The North American continent. In history, the Pearl Harbor was admired by seamen in the 19th century and the reason behind this was its deep waters. It is a lagoon harbor and back early 1900s, the American government had gazetted the harbor for the docking of naval ships and most of their weaponry was docked there. However, in 1941, an air strike carried out against the Americans by the Japanese created an ever commemorated history due to the gravity of the attack. In this regard, this paper seeks to explore briefly on the history behind the Pearl Harbor and more so in relation to the America’s warring ties with the European territories back then. This is addressed as follows:

Brief overview

Right from the onset, it is very important to pin-point that much of the history, fame and tales regarding the Pearl Harbor generally centers on the historical sneak attack that was carried out from the air by Japanese aerial bombers. As outlined hereafter, many American lives were claimed which counted to about 2400, with others wounded; whereas the Japanese who lost lives were less than 100. From the historical point of view, many critiques tend to belief that the Pearl Harbor attack was the fueling factor that transpired into the American army into fully participating in the World War II. Most important note is that since the 1941 attack, the Pearl Harbor has since become a major historical site, a tourist destination and a national reserve in the American family ().

The attack on Pearl Harbor

Although it has never been clearly established on what transpired to the attack, many historical researchers and political analysts attribute the whole scenario to power struggles and especially the greed by Japan to control the Indo-Asia territories; and more so, the Japanese wanted to establish industries in these countries and scramble for mineral resources. But in order for them to do this, they needed the feel of freedom which was only possible if the American Army, the latter’s major rival was incapacitated. Also, during the period extending between 1910 through 1940, the American government had imposed inconveniencing trade tariffs upon the Japan economy. The US had even opted to supply the Britain, a then rival to Japan in the scramble to the political might in the Euro-zone, with weaponry and other capital aids, an act which further infuriated the Japanese. In a more limited sense, the Japanese feared that the Americans would deter them from committing their exploitative actions (McNeese, Tim. 2002 pgs 4- 30)

Thus, it is a belief by many that in order for Japan, which by the year 1940 had revitalized its military and weaponry reserve, wanted to cripple the American army, buy time and actually conger Indo-Asian and some parts of the European continent. This was practically possible through striking unexpected and destroying the American army and its weaponry . Therefore, on the material day of 7th December 1941, at 8:06 am, Japanese bomber air-crafts sneaked into the American airspace and specifically launched a devastating aerial attack on the Pearl Harbor. Basically, this is where the US navy and army in general had docked its war machinery (Willmott,, 2001, p24).

On that fateful day, this devastating attack saw a catastrophic explosion that hit the USS Arizona ( and many other ships that were sunk. The USS Arizona was hosting a group of over 1100 crewmen who perished and who are still held underneath. Many hold blame on the then America’s president, and some other army men who had heard of the air-strike notice but turned a blind eye to the same. A total of over 2400 Americans lost lives with mass sinking of over its warships and destruction of 188 military aircrafts. This was indeed a national outcry day and was later on declared a memorial day in order to pay tribute to those who lost lives in the USS Arizona, named the USS Arizona Memorial (Tarshis, Lauren & Scott Dawson, 2011 p 56-87). All these sum to the tragedies which make the Pearl Harbor a huge historical and thus a tourist center in the books of history.

The Pearl Harbor today

In today’s context and as expressed earlier, the Pearl Harbor, after the fateful attack, has become an American reserve, which is highly respected and honored as a show of honor to the soldiers who lost their lives, and especially on the Arizona ship. Least to say, a floating memorial was built over the sunken battleship and has a shrine, a marble wall with the names of the crew who perished, as well as tight security.

Generally speaking, the Pearl Harbor of today is a strong tourist attraction center and the tourists pay a little to access the reserve. So to mention, the harbor host a wide range of museums including the WW II aircraft hangar, submarine museum as well as weaponry store among others. This collection of fun and honor as associated with the Pearl Harbor virtually makes it a great place to be, remembering, and honor by US citizens (Willmott,, 2001, p39.)..


The Pearl Harbor is definitely one of the places which shall never fade in the America’s history. The place, which is a lagoon harbor, elicits respect virtually across the Americans population and shall stand to be remembered. On a different note, the museums at the Pearl harbor enlightening features which enlighten the visitor learn a lot, in terms of what artifacts (tools) were being used back then. Generally, it’s a nice place to be. The tragedy which took place in 1941 was devastating to the extent of declaration of a National reserve, and a historical zone as far as warfare mid-20th Century is concerned.










Willmott, H. P., Haruo Tohmatsu, and W. Spencer Johnson. 2001.[1] Pearl Harbor. London: Cassell.[2]

Tarshis, Lauren, and Scott Dawson. 2011. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941. New York: Scholastic.

McNeese, Tim. 2002. The attack on Pearl Harbor: America enters World War II. Greensboro, N.C.: Morgan Reynolds.[3]