F D Roosevelt rightly titled the 7th December 1941 as 'a date which will live in infamy'. The Japanese attack was not supposed to have taken place until thirty minutes after the peace negotiations between Japan and the United States were formally terminated, but thanks to slow processing of the coded message that was to be passed to the Americans by the Japanese Embassy in Washington, this did not happen. The message was not an actual declaration of war; this was not made until 8th December, the day after the attack.
The attack on the United States Pacific Fleet was devastating. The following ships were sunk or badly damaged as a result of the attack:
'Battleship Row' under attack.
- 8 Battleships: Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Maryland.
- 1 Target/AA training ship (ex-battleship): Utah.
- 2 Cruisers: Helena and Raleigh.
- 3 Destroyers: Cassin, Downes, and Shaw.
- Auxiliaries: Oglala (minelayer), Vestal (repair ship), and Curtiss (seaplane tender).