On this day in 1941 carrier-based Japanese naval aircraft attacked the US Navy’s base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. This action was designed to cripple American intervention in Japan’s plan to seize territories in Southeast Asia that were good sources of raw materials for its industry, and to realize plans for a much greater Japanese Empire, to destroy the colonial empires of the European nations which in the case of the Dutch East Indies had existed for more than three centuries.The Pearl Harbor raid brought, dragged rather, the USA into the Second World War. Hitler obligingly declared war on America three days later, and the USA was in it up to the hilt. War has its own logic, and matters developed in ways none of the belligerents could have foreseen or wanted. And we deal even now with the consequences of those developments. The immediate result of the Pearl Harbor attack was the loss of several large ships, and damage to many more, in addition to almost three thousand casualties. Japanese forces swept over the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), important Pacific island bases, Burma, Hong Kong and Malaya, capturing the British base at Singapore. But those months were only the prelude to a long, bloody struggle that came close, at times. to a war of extermination. It all started on this day in 1941.