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"December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy." These were the
words, used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to descried the
day that the Japanese Empire launched a surprise attack against the
United States. The attack was a brilliant military strike against the
U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. This was the day that thrust the
United States into World War II. On December 8, President Roosevelt
gave an inspirational speech to Congress and the American people.
During his speech, Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war
against Japanese Empire .
I have often wondered what would happen if the events of that day had
not gone as the Japanese had planned. The American Military knew the
Japanese were planning some kind of attack. We had already broken the
Japanese code, so we had intelligence that suggested an attack was
immanent, just nothing to indicate the time or place. Just imagine how
different things would have been if we were able to intercept the
attack. In fact, U.S. radar actually detected the incoming Japanese
attackers. Unfortunately, they were mistaken for B-17s that were
scheduled to arrive from the mainland. We had our chances to avoid a
tragedy and missed all of them.
What would have happened if the United States planned a counter attack
against the Japanese fleet? For starters, it could be reasonably
assumed that thousands of American lives would have been saved. Also,
instead of our pacific fleet being devastated, we probably would have
inflicted major damage to the Japanese Navy. Most assuredly, this
would have committed the United States to World War II. However,
instead of being on the defensive for almost seven months, the United
States would have been on the offensive. It is my opinion that, in
this scenario, the Japanese would have been defeated 12 to 18 months
sooner. Furthermore , I believe the Japanese would have been defeated
without the use of nuclear weapons.
The war in the Pacific only accounted for part of the conflict, the
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Japanese could have been defeated 12 to 18 months earlier, this would
have allowed the full force of America's military to be unleashed on
the remaining Axis powers. This would have been significant because
the United States was the major Allied force in the Pacific theater.
If this scenario would have happened, the Allies possibly could have
made enough advancement into Europe that an invasion, on the level of
Normandy, might not have been required. Furthermore, we may have been
able to liberate Europe without the Russians being a major factor.
This could have had major implications in the future of Europe and the
Unfortunately, this is all speculation, and the servicemen who gave
their lives, during World War II, will always be remembered as heroes.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a dark day in American
history, we have learned from the experience and are a better people
because of it. This was a time when America's resolve was put to the
test, and, as we always do, Americans rose to the challenge.