World War I’s Abandoned “Pearl Harbor” Attack

Always interesting about little known facts about wars.

Defence of the Realm

Pearl Harbour World War I

On December 7th 1941, aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy struck the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. The attack crippled the bulk of the US Navy’s surface forces and meant that for the following six months the Japanese Navy had almost total control over the Pacific before finally the US were able to reclaim it and drive the Japanese fleet back. A little known fact about the attack was that the Japanese were actually inspired by a British attack carried out against the Italians in the Mediterranean a year earlier. On the night of the 11th November 1940 two waves of obsolete Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish biplanes took off from the carrier HMS Illustrious to attack Taranto harbour where a large force of Italian warships were anchored. For the loss of just two aircraft the Italians were dealt a crippling blow but unlike the Americans a…

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