|The U.S.S. Arizona, after the Dec 7, 1941 attack.|
The planes in the dawn's early light
Sunk the flag and challenged our might.
They attacked us while passive;
Retribution was massive,
Gave birth to a nuclear wight
Exactly 70 years ago today, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, planes of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The intention was to destroy the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet, thereby blocking the U.S. from taking action in the Pacific for several years, time enough for Japan to cement its territorial gains.
However, as many of the carriers were out of the harbor at the time, it was the battleships, cruisers and support ships that were pounded, in addition to the aircraft, oil supplies, airstrips, and other buildings. The attack killed 2402 Americans, and was the direct cause of the U.S. entry into World War II. When Germany, in support of their Japanese allies, declared war on the U.S., the reciprocal declaration by the U.S. led to the fighting of the war on two fronts simultaneously: the land war in Europe and the sea war in the Pacific.
World War II ended in 1945 with a Japanese surrender, after the U.S. used atomic weapons. As a result of this demonstration of nuclear armament, other nations launched nuclear development programs. The nuclear standoff that resulted was called the Cold War, with the U.S. and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as the primary antagonists, along with their allies in Europe and Asia. The Cold War ended in 1989 with the fall of the Soviet Union.
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