The U.S. Navy battleships USS West Virginia (BB-48) (sunken at left) and USS Tennessee (BB-43) shrouded in smoke following the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor, 1941. (National Archives and Records Administration, ARC 295976).
On 7 December 1941, over 350 Japanese aircraft attacked the US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destroying or badly damaging much of the US Pacific fleet and causing thousands of casualties. US President Roosevelt called it ‘a date that would live in infamy’.
Pearl Harbor was a devastating shock to the US, but was it more than just an attack on US naval forces? In this investigation, you will consider this question and explore the significance of Pearl Harbor through documents selected from the Churchill Archive.
We have a box of sources from the Churchill Archive for you to investigate.
Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941: Torpedo planes attack "Battleship Row" at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. (U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph 80-G-30550).