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Pearl Harbor

In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack against the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. The attack was intended to cripple the American Pacific Fleet in harbor prior to a declaration of war. The attack achieved total surprise but failed to accomplish all of its aims. Though seventeen ships were sunk or damaged, the Japanese failed to destroy the harbor's repair facilities, and all but three ships eventually returned to service. In a stroke of luck, the Pacific Fleet's carrier force was out at sea and escaped entirely. This would prove crucial, as the carrier was the dominanant force in the Pacific campaign to come.

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