honolulu - America commemorates Wednesday the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, exactly 75 years ago. The surprise attack on the American fleet in the Pacific abruptly ended the lives of over 2400 people and the neutrality of the United States, which have invaded the Second World War.
Diplomatic negotiations between Japan and the US were turned into nothing. The Americans had demanded that Japan would withdraw from occupied China and its neighbors would leave them alone. Tokyo, which has thwarted his efforts saw war by US trade embargoes, which was unmentionable.
Because the Japanese were convinced that the Americans would still be involved in the war, they decided the fleet in Hawaii preventive give a merciless blow. On 7 December rose from six aircraft carriers more than four hundred fighters for their devastating attack. A day later, the US declared war on Japan.
For many Americans it was until then not a foregone conclusion that their country would collapse the war. Approximately 800 000 people were members of the America First movement who advocated war against participation. Three days after the Japanese attack raised the organization himself.
At the commemoration on the Hawaiian island of Oahu are still present veterans who experienced the attack. One of them, the 92-year-old Robert Coles, will for the first time back to Pearl Harbor. At a TV station in his state of Maine, he told how, as a seventeen year old student radio operator saw the Japanese planes dropped their bombs 'like sand from a bucket.' 'I loaded a machine gun, started shooting and I swear to the almighty that I was the first two torpedo planes hit flew. '
Pearl Harbor was a dramatic turning point for the Netherlands. As the first US ally said the Dutch government in exile declared war on Japan on 8 December. More than a month after Japan invaded the then Dutch East Indies colony.