A date that will live in infamy.
The Imperial Japanese Navy struck the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, and associated military installations across Oahu. It was a devastating strike, slashing our airpower in the Pacific, and crippling the main line of battle of our fleet.
Every US battleship in Pearl Harbor was sunk or damaged.
It was a tactically brilliant raid, and a strategic blunder. Few things could have more aroused the population to support the war effort against Japan, and even stir enough rage that support for the war against the Nazis in Europe was strong.
And while the battle line was crippled, eventually all but two of those ships would again steam into battle, visiting a terrible vengeance upon their erstwhile attackers. Already building or planned were millions of tons of newer, faster, better armed warships. The hundreds of aircraft destroyed would be replaced by thousands, tens of thousands, that would darken the skies over the Empire. The soldiers strafed would see their ranks swell with millions of their countrymen called to arms, and ready to repay the blood debt with interest.
The iconic image of the attack on Pearl Harbor is the loss of the USS Arizona. From queen of the fleet, to funeral pyre, to tomb to many, when Americans today think of Pearl Harbor, they think of this ship, still to this day in commission, and a somber reminder that, sometimes, war comes to our shores.
For almost 60 years, the attack on Pearl Harbor remained the single deadliest attack on US soil. It would be another lovely day when perfidious enemies struck from the sky without warning, without quarter, without honor. Another reminder that no matter how much we may wish for peace, there are others who wish for death.