On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the United States and Japan were at peace. At 7:55 a.m. (Hawaiian time) over 300 Japanese planes attacked the island of Oahu and the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. In less than two hours U.S. military and naval forces suffered a total of 3,435 casualties and the loss of or severe damage to 188 planes, eight battleships, three light cruisers, and four miscellaneous vessels.
Four years after the Pearl Harbor attack, a Congressional Joint Committee conducted an exhaustive investigation into the facts relating to the events and circumstances leading up to and following the Japanese attack. The Congressional Report, dated July 16, 1946, provides the results of the Joint Committee's investigation.
The Report records the facts of the Pearl Harbor disaster and seeks to find lessons to avoid similar disasters in the future, to evolve constructive suggestions for the protection of U.S. national security, and to determine whether there were failures in the U.S. military and naval establishments which in any measure may have contributed to the extent and intensity of the disaster.
In the pages of the Report there is provided a review of the diplomatic and historical setting of the Pearl Harbor attack, followed by a description of the Japanese attack itself. Set forth thereafter are separate treatments of responsibilities in Hawaii on the one hand and in Washington on the other.
In addition to the Report itself, there has been added a full and complete Index of names which occur in the text. Finally, there is appended to the Report a recently obtained Memorandum for the Director, Central Intelligence, which concerns a study of the intelligence aspects of the Report.