Some 350 Japanese aircraft launched from six carriers bombed and strafed the fleet and adjacent military installations. Eight battleships were sunk or damaged. Across the Pacific the Japanese also launched simultaneous attacks on American and British interests in Southeast Asia.
These attacks marked the end of the beginning of the war, which had already been raging in Europe since 1939 and had already engulfed China, Russia, and northern Africa. Now that the United States was engaged, the war was truly a world war.
Four years later the great cities of Germany and Japan lay in smoldering ashes. The Japanese surrendered unconditionally aboard a US Navy battleship in Tokyo Bay.
As Thomas à Kempis wrote, five hundred years before: O quam cito transit gloria mundis—How quickly passes the glory of the world.
From Infinite Stakes…