Timeline Description: The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was a day in American history that should always be remembered. It changed the course of WWII and history. This is a timeline of what led to that day and beyond.
|1937||Japan invades China
Japanese troops invaded China from the north.
|1939||World War II begins
WWII began in 1939, involving several countries like England, Germany, and Japan. America didn't join in the war when it began.
|1940||America boycotts Japan
American made new trade sanctions that limited how Japan could trade their goods. This was because of Japan's actions in the war.
|January 1941||Japan begins preparing an attack
America was not active in WWII yet. Because of the trade bans, Japan decided to either bully Americans into lifting the bans, or bring America into the war.
|January 1941||Americans didn't believe it
An American intercepted the Japanese messages about an attack on Pearl Harbor. He told his superiors, but no one believed him.
|July 1941||Japan continues their preparations
Japanese troops prepared for the attack throughout the summer months.
|September 1941||More messages are intercepted
American intelligence intercepted more Japanese messages about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The messages were asking about the location of the American military ships, but still no one believed it would happen and they didn't tell the Hawaii commanders.
|November 1941||Japanese submarines leave Japan
Japan launched the first steps of their plan in sending out submarines to scout the waters around Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Later that month they sent out their war ships.
|November 1941||Americans finally believe it
The commanders in Hawaii were finally told about the messages of attack from the Japanese. They had little time to prepare.
|December 7, 1941||The attacks begin
The first attacks on Pearl Harbor began early on Sunday morning. Waves of planes flew over the harbor, bombing everything in sight for over two hours.
|December 8, 1941||America enters the war
Just as the Japanese wanted, America declared war on Japan. They were now fighting in WWII.
|December 11, 1941||More enemies are declared
After America declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.
|December 16, 1941||Hawaii commanders are relieved of their duties
The generals in charge of the Pearl Harbor troops were blamed for letting the attacks happen, and they were released from their positions. However, they were cleared from the blame years later when people realized no one had given them the warnings in time.
|1945||The atomic bombs were tested (Early 1945)
The United States slowly developed atomic bombs during the war. In 1945 they tested them and knew they were ready for use.
|August 1945||The US uses their atomic bombs
The American troops dropped two atomic bombs in Japan. Their successful drops ended WWII.