The attack on Pearl Harbor was the opening action of the Pacific Theater in World War II. On Sunday, December 7, 1941, several hundred Japanese bomber aircraft took off from aircraft carriers off the coast of Hawaii and attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor. The base was taken completely by surprise, and only minimal resistance could be offered.

More than 2,000 American servicemen were killed, and many ships were sunk, including the battleship USS Arizona. However, none of the Navy's aircraft carriers were in port at the time, and the American fleet was quickly rebuilt.

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