In the early hours of December 7, 1941, Japan launched a major carrier-based air strike on Pearl Harbor Naval Base (west of Honolulu, Hawaii). Approximately 200 Japanese aircraft in two waves conducted the raid which lasted just over two hours. The same day (December 8 on the other side of the International Date Line), Japanese forces also launched attacks in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaya.
The attack crippled US Naval forces, leaving eight American battleships out of action. However, American aircraft carriers were at sea and vital naval infrastructure (fuel oil tanks, shipyard facilities, and a power station), submarine base, and signals intelligence units were undamaged.
American opposition to the war vanished after the attack and the country found itself at war in the Pacific. Four days after Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, drawing it into a second theater. Below are some resources to help you begin your study of Pearl Harbor and War in the Pacific.