- from World War II
At 7:55 on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, this grim message blared out of loudspeakers aboard the battleship Oklahoma anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: “Air Raid Pearl Harbor real planes, real bombs; this is no drill.”
Waves of Japanese dive-bombers and torpedo planes thundered across the island, sinking ships in the harbor and ripping apart planes parked at a nearby air base. It was the most devastating attack on American forces in history. Within a few hours, the Japanese sank or crippled eight battleships, three cruisers, and two destroyers. Americans had been reluctant to go to war. Now, they felt they had little choice.