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Attack on Pearl Harbour

A few minutes before 8 AM, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft initiated a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor. The Japanese hoped to cripple the American fleet, which they perceived as the principal threat to victory in a war against the United States. Within a few hours the Japanese had destroyed four battleships and damaged four more, including the USS Arizona (pictured), destroyed other naval vessels and a large number of combat aircraft, and killed and wounded many American naval and military personnel. As a result of the attack, and at the request of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Congress of the United States declared war on Japan the following day.

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