The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has a huge audio/visual enhanced diorama reflecting the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  A unique feature of this gallery is the 20 foot movie screen which continually shows actual footage from the attack.  Also included in the display in a water-like setting are 20 and 30 foot long model ships that were used in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!


The portion of the battleship of Akagi’s Island aircraft carrier and flight deck has been re-created and built to actual scale from plans secured from the Japanese naval archives.   In addition, many displays house some authentic Japanese memorabilia.  A unique find that can also be viewed here contains two chairs originally belonging to Adm. Yamamoto.  These chairs were secured from a person in Australia who was present when Yamamoto’s headquarters were auctioned off.  At that time, the items were part of a copra plantation in Rabaul and the contents of the plantation house were sold at auction.


The history housed in this diorama from the WWII Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor will certainly awaken a whole new perspective about the events that took place during the attack and also an appreciation for the lives lost that day.


A Brief Look at the WWII Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

One of the most memorable events of WWII occurred on the morning of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  This surprise attack was an attempt made by the Japanese to prevent the United States Pacific Fleet from becoming involved in their upcoming military plans involving Southeast Asia.

Six Japanese aircraft carriers that day launched a total of 353 Japanese aircraft, which included fighter aircraft, bomber aircraft and also torpedo planes.  The group converged upon Pearl Harbor in two separate attacks which resulted in the sinking of four U.S. Navy battleships and extensive damage to four others.  Of these eight, six of the ships were raised and repaired and eventually returned to sea to continue service in the war.  Cruisers, destroyers, anti-aircraft training ships and a minelayer were also sunk or damaged.   Over 180 US aircraft were also destroyed.

The attack left just over 2,400 Americans dead and another 1,282 wounded.  The Japanese surprise attack completely shocked the American people and resulted in the United States entering nto World War II, where it became active in both the Pacific Theater and European Theaters.

The day following the attack, December 8th, the United States openly declared war on Japan.  By December 11th, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and the U.S. countered on the same day.  The attack on Pearl Harbor served as a huge catalyst in changing the dynamics of World War II and was rightfully proclaimed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “A date which will live in infamy.”