Go beyond the wartime headlines for a revealing, in -depth exploration of World War II's most notorious first strike as experienced by both the Japanese attackers and U.S. forces on the ground. Witness as never before the prelude, onslaught and aftermath of the assault, from Japanese Zero pilots recalling the textbook-perfect execution of their plans, to American servicemen fighting to survive the nightmarish inferno of the battle. With gripping archival combat footage, deeply moving personal accounts and richly detailed historical analysis, it's an unprecedented journey back in time to relive this history-changing day of infamy.
Also included is an inside look at the man who almost single=handedly rebuilt the devastated American Naval fleet in the wake of Pearl Harbor - Admiral Chester Nimitz. Learn how the "Thunder of the Pacific" took the tattered remnants of the Pacific fleet and re-shaped them into the force that ultimately ruled the seas and won the war.
This History Channel production provides an in-depth look at the Japanese attack on the American Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor on the fateful day of December 7, 1941. The documentary begins by providing a background to the eventual conflict in the Pacific, noting how Japan had been waging a war of conquest in China since the early 1930s. As a power struggle with the U.S. loomed on the horizon, the Japanese built a formidable navy marked by an innovative utilization of carrier-based aircraft. Special attention is given to Admiral Yamamoto, who had studied at Harvard and admired America but vigorously planned the assault on America's naval might. The attack on the morning of December 7 is explained tactically, and films shot at Pearl Harbor during the Sunday morning air raid, including shots of the massive explosion triggered by a bomb hit on the battleship USS Arizona
, provide dramatic proof of how devastating the attack was. Personal stories of the battle are recalled in interviews with veterans from both sides. Various revisionist theories about how America had warning of the attack and sacrificed Pearl Harbor are quickly dismissed, and a closing segment focuses on Japanese and American veterans who have reconciled at a reunion (and some American vets who would have no part of that). An additional documentary provides a biography of Admiral Chester Nimitz, who rebuilt the U.S. Pacific fleet following Pearl Harbor, and a bonus program features brief biographies of other American commanders in the Pacific. --Robert J. McNamara