The Empire of japan attacks Pearl Harbor and achieves total tactical and strategic surprise. The attack is conducted in two waves: The first wave of 183 enemy aircraft strikes just before 8:00 a.m. The second wave of 170 planes hits a little after 8:30 a.m.
Of the ships anchored at Pearl Harbor, five of the eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were either sunk or severely damaged. By day’s end, 2,718 American sailors, 582 soldiers (including Army Air Forces personnel), 178 Marines, and 103 civilians will be dead, dying or wounded. Japanese losses were minimal: 30 planes, five minisubs, 65 killed, and one Japanese sailor captured. All but two of the battleships - the Arizona and Oklahoma - are raised to fight again. Admiral Hara Tadaichi would say, "We won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war."
Meanwhile, Japanese forces bomb Guam and Wake as destroyers and planes attack Midway.
Medal of Honor: 15 sailors earned the Medal of Honor during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.