Pearl Harbor

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Frequently Asked Questions...

What did the Japanese hope to accomplish by attacking Pearl Harbor?

In WWII what did the Japanese hope to accomplish by attacking Pearl Harbor?

thanks for the answers.


Best Answer...

Answer:

The oil embargo signed by President Roosevelt had severely crippled the Japanese expansionist drives, with more than nine-tenths of their petroleum sources cut off by the United States. Establishing control of the Pacific would allow the Japanese Empire to force the U.S. to submit on favorable terms for the resuming of oil importation, and thus it was decided that the best manner to go about this was to exterminate the American military presence. The attack on Pearl Harbor was conducted with the intent of destroying what the Japanese Navy thought were the most valuable targets of interests: Battleships. With these vessels taken out, the rest of the maritime forces stationed in the Pacific could consolidate remaining islands and Allied basis with impunity.

To this end, the ambush itself was a conclusive victory for its immediate goals of sinking valuable tonnage. The images of burning battleships in the harbor shocked the world, and the United States public heralded it as a tragedy. Paradoxically, the material losses of the attack did not assist Japan in the war as they had planned. Firstly, the strategic petroleum reserves in Hawaii were left intact; something which is not often brought up. Secondly, the Japanese had missed the opportunity to sink aircraft carriers that would shape the war to come. Most of the world had then concluded that classic battleships were the utmost important powers at sea, and Japan had even boasted the two largest such vessels ever constructed.

Unfortunately for the Japanese and other military powers of the day, battleships could never even get within range of aircraft carriers before they had long since been sunk or forced to withdraw by swarms of oncoming fighter planes and bombers. Most naval battles of the Pacific Theater would be decided by carrier ships separated by hundreds of miles and well out of visual range of their opponents, thus negating any long term benefits the attack at Pearl Harbor would have give the Japanese by sinking obsolete battleships.

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Pearl Harbor

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