Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Attack on Pearl Harbor: The True Story of the Day America Entered World War II

This is a Scholastic Book written Shelley Tanaka.  It presents a general overview of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but also presents four personalized stories.  The personalized stories make the story more real and personal.  Two of this stories are Japanese.  Commander Mitsuo Fuchida was a leader or a group of level bombers.  His group made a successful attack on Pearl.  Their planes were three passengers, and it was he who dropped the bombs, two scoring hits and two misses.  His plane was the last of his group to leave the area, as they stayed to collect and report on the success of the attack.  They were also the last of the group to make it back to the carrier.  He recommended another strike to his officers, but he was over ruled.
Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki was a pilot of a two-man submarine.  The submarine was taken piggy back on a larger submarine to close to Pearl Harbor.  They were hoping to get inside the harbor and let loss their two torpedoes.  However the submarine had mechanical problems with its guidance system.  The hit coral reefs on several occasion.  Their two torpedoes were destroyed in these collisions, and then finally the ship itself would no longer go.  They tried to blow it up, but were unsuccessful.  They finally wee adrift in the ocean.  His companion did not make it. The waves took him to shore where he had the dishonor of being the only survivor of the the five mini-submarines, and the first Japanese POW of the war.
George DeLong was an American Sailor.  He was aboard the USS Oklahoma, a battleship.  He was below deck in his bunk when the ship was struck and sunk.  It tilted and flipped over in the water with the bow being above water.  The compartments had been sealed and they were trapped.  However the compartment where the where continued to fill with water.  The were in this compartment four 36 hours until men were able to weld a hold in the bow and rescue them.
Peter Nottage was Hawaiian and he was visiting friends close to Kaneohe Air Base.   He was outside and observed the Japanese attack of the airbase.  His family left Hawaii and moved to the main land where they would be more secure during the war.
Along with these personal stories, we also get a highlight of the day, Sunday December 7, 1941.  One thing I found very interesting was a copy of President Roosevelt's speech the next day with President Roosevelt's corrections on the paper.  It would have been nicer if it had included the entire speech as it only had the first page.  Although written for fifth or sixth grade level, this book gets its message across and I enjoyed it.

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