Pearl Harbor: The Shocking Loss That Led to a Great Victory

Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy.” Today, more than three quarters of a century later, there is another reason for remembering Pearl Harbor: It evoked a response that kept much of the civilized world from falling into a new dark age of totalitarian tyranny.
On the bright, clear morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes all but wiped out the U.S. Pacific fleet contingent of eight battleships (sinking four and damaging the four others). Two thousand four hundred and three Americans died in the attack. Unprovoked and unexpected, Japan delivered a jaw-breaking sucker punch against the U.S. Navy.
But the surprise attack failed in its intended purpose. Rather than keep United States out of World War II, it became the most important wake-up call in human history.
The attack ended a long, enfeebling debate inside the U.S. between isolationists and interventionists. Suddenly, America

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