The Pictoral Alpha: Pearl Harbor, December 1941

There exists a great number of photographs showing the attack on Pearl Harbor in detail. In the following text, you will find a number of links to photographs showing some aspects of the attack.

One of the critical parts of the attack, certainly, was the destruction wrought in Battleship Row. The majority of battleships was anchored there, and the fires in Battleship Row dominated the view of Pearl Harbor that morning. What's more, all of Ford Island was the center of the attack.

Among the ships lined up there were a great number of proud ships: West Virginia, torpedoed at least seven times, which settled on an even keel and which suffered extensive fire damage. In post- attack salvage operations, she was resurrected and later repaired.
Another ship that was anchored in the row was Nevada. She was the only battleship to get underway that day.
A ship which never got underway that day, nor at any time there after, was Arizona, symbol of the attack. She was hit by an armor-piercing bomb, which exploded her forward magazine, and left her wrecked.
No other ship suffered such grievious damage, but several others were also left sunk. One was Oklahoma. She was moored so that torpedoes could hit her, i.e. outboard of her neighbor, and capsized. She was never returned to duty.
The other battleships in Battleship Row proper suffered little damage. Tennessee, Maryland, both moored between ships and land, were damaged only by bombs and fire.

Other ships anchored in Pearl Harbor suffered damage, too. California was moored slightly away from the other battleships. She suffered damage from bombs and torpedoes, leading to her abandonment.

At the other end of Ford Island, the cruiser Raleigh among others. She was hit by a single torpedo and, being an old ship, immediately began to list heavily. Only the support of barges kept her afloat. Her consort on that side of the island, the target ship / training ship Utah, was not so lucky: she capsized.

Among the ships usually spared heavy damaged were those anchored in the Navy Yard proper. But even then, there were casualties. The destroyers Cassin and Downes were undergoing refits in Drydock No.1 in front of battleship Pennsylvania. At the end of the day, the two destroyers had been totally destroyed. Pennsylvania had only suffered minor damage.

All this carnage was the result of maneuverings of politicians and naval officers in much higher positions. While Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State, and the Japanese envoys Nomura Kichisaburo and Kurusu Saburo talked about peace, others did not. The Tojo Cabinet had certainly little but war in mind. And the Combined Fleet's staff kept itself busy planning for that end. And in the United States, other men planned their war. Husband E. Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, was urgently trying to shape his fleet for war. In Washington, the Navy leadership, in this photo CNO Harold Stark, Navy Secretary Frank Knox and the former CINCPAC James Richardson.