Pearl Harbor Timeline

 1937 Japan invades China


From the north, Japanese soldiers invaded China.


1939 World War II begins


In 1939, World War II broke out, involving many nations including England, Germany, and Japan. When the conflict started, America chose not to participate.


1940 America boycotts Japan


New trade restrictions were imposed by the United States, limiting Japan's ability to trade products. This was due to Japan's wartime activities.


January 1941 Japan begins preparing an attack


America had not yet entered WWII. Because of the trade embargoes, Japan chose to either intimidate the United States into removing the embargoes or drag the United States into the war.


January 1941 Americans didn't believe it


The Japanese communications regarding an assault on Pearl Harbor were intercepted by an American. No one believed him when he informed his bosses.


July 1941 Japan continues their preparations


Throughout the summer, Japanese soldiers prepared for the assault.


September 1941 More messages are intercepted


More Japanese communications regarding the Pearl Harbor assault were intercepted by American intelligence. The communications inquired about the whereabouts of the American military ships, but no one thought it would happen, and the Hawaii commanders were not informed.


November 1941 Japanese submarines leave Japan


Submarines were sent out to survey the seas surrounding Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as the initial stage in Japan's strategy. They sent out their warships later that month.


November 1941 Americans finally believe it


The Japanese assault signals were eventually sent to the Hawaiian leaders. They didn't have much time to prepare.


December 7, 1941 The attacks begin


On Sunday morning, the first assaults on Pearl Harbor started. For almost two hours, waves of aircraft soared over the port, bombing everything in sight.


December 8, 1941 America enters the war


America launched war on Japan, just as the Japanese had wished. They were now engaged in World War II.


December 11, 1941 More enemies are declared


Following America's declaration of war on Japan, Germany and Italy declare war on the US.


December 16, 1941 Hawaii commanders are relieved of their duties


The generals in command of the Pearl Harbor forces were held responsible for the assaults and were relieved of their duties. Years later, when it was discovered that no one had given them the warnings in time, they were exonerated.


1945 The atomic bombs were tested (Early 1945)


During the war, the United States gradually produced atomic weapons. They tested them in 1945 and determined that they were ready for use.


August 1945  The US uses their atomic bombs


Two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan by American soldiers. Their effective drops brought WWII to a close.

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