72 years ago today, it was another gorgeous Sunday morning at Honolulu (Territory of Hawai’i). That is, until Japanese military aircraft with big red ‘meatball’ insignia suddenly filled the skies around the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately for America, our aircraft carriers were all elsewhere that morning. But it was a very bad day for American battleships, cruisers and destroyers… not to mention the men who served aboard those vessels. Nearly 2,500 American servicemen and civilians died that lovely Sunday morning and the ‘America First’ voices loudly counselling neutrality with the ‘Axis’ powers were silenced at a stroke.
Tactically brilliant, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a strategic disaster of the highest order, culminating in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and Japan’s unconditional surrender.