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Tora! Tora! Tora! Essay

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Tora! Tora! Tora!

The surprise attack from the Japanese forces on December 7, otherwise known as ‘The Day of Infamy’, brought the United States into World War Two. A film that shows the moments leading up towards the attack is shown in the film, ‘TORA! TORA! TORA!’. In this essay, I will use the film as my historical source to reconstruct the events leading to the attack on the Pearl Harbour and the attack itself.

‘Tora Tora Tora’ shows quite frequently the attempts to form diplomacy with the U.S., so that both nations can have peace. In the beginning, the film shows the German, Italian and Japanese governments signing the Tripartite Treaty. The film then continues to depict senior military commanders and admirals discussing a preventive strike on the U.S. in order to protect their advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies to obtain natural resources; oil and rubber. Knowing that if they further advanced into South-East Asia and unfriendly relationships continued, the U.S. would retaliate (the U.S. had already placed sanctions and embargoes upon the Japanese for their invasion into Manchuria), therefore the Japanese Navy reluctantly agreed to execute a preventive strike on the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Pearl Harbour. We learn that between the Army and the Navy, there was a dispute over they key to victory on the modern battlefield – One who believed in the infallibility of naval and power and the others who believed in the dominance of air power.

On the other hand, the story of why the losses at Pearl Harbour were so catastrophic unfolds as why the failure of people, communication and technology allowed this to happen [Tora! Tora! Tora! 1970]. We learn that although the U.S. anticipated an escalation of military agg...


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..., Wikipedia, Online Encyclopedia, viewed 18/06/08


In this website, Wikipedia gives a brief insight on the film ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ and also by giving a the cast list. The website gains its information through various online users therefore not making its sources reliable however, for the purposes of this assignment, it was useful as the cast listing with the full names helped me with the names. The main limitation of this website was that it could only be used as a source for cast listing. This website will not form any major foundation of my work but only to aid me in writing the people’s names.

Hiroyuki Agawa 2000, ‘The Reluctant Admiral’, Bibliography, Kodansha International, Japan

Anthony Leong 2001, ‘Tora! Tora! Tora! Movie Review, Website, viewed 19/06/08


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