"Air raid Pearl Harbor. This is no drill."
Sunday December 7, 1941 the Japanese military, in a surprise attack using six fleet carriers and over 350 fighter, torpedo planes, high-level bombers and dive bombers, successfully executed Operation "AI" and destroyed the American fleet as it lay sleeping at anchor. The attack heavily damaged or sank 8 battleships, destroyed 188 planes (mostly on the ground) and killed 2,403 American soldiers, sailors and civilians. Japan lost 29 aircraft, 5 midget submarines and had 64 servicemen killed. One mini-sub crewman was captured.
The Japanese were hoping to catch the American carriers lounging in harbor and these were the primary "golden" targets. But Enterprise & Lexington were away delivering planes to reinforce Midway and Wake Islands.
While tactically a huge victory, the surprise raid could also be considered a strategic disaster. It failed to destroy the vital oil farms, submarine pens and shipyard repair facilities. It forced the American Navy to rely heavily on it's carriers and submarines to carry the war to Japan, both major tools in Japan's ultimate defeat. Six of the battleships eventually returned to see action in the war. And it galvanized American resolve for revenge and victory.
In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor I've assembled this diorama highlighting various key moments in the battle. The model is very intensive and may tax slower machines. I left out the most spectacular moment in the battle, the destruction of the battleship Arizona, because I couldn't create an explosion I found satisfying.
One scene depicts a Japanese mini-sub attacking Battleship Row. A History Channel investigation concluded that a mini-sub very probably fired at least one torpedo against the Oklahoma and West Virginia. Another mini-sub penetrated the harbor and fired on the seaplane tender Curtiss and the destroyer Monaghan. The Monaghan later sank her attacker. Many years later the US Navy salvaged a mini-sub with both her torpedo tubes empty.
The battleships are modified from various US battleship models on the warehouse. The Utah, Neosho and Vestal are not accurate and are just stunt doubles, the real ships not being available due to being sunk in battle or scrapped after the war. The light cruisers are a heavily modified Astoria. The destroyers are cobbled together from various parts. The OS2U Kingfisher is a similar body double.
The harbor is somewhat accurate and is a model I found on the warehouse and heavily modified. The model has a lot of rough edges I'll smooth out in a later update.
World War 2 Models the warehouse lacks - OS2U Kingfisher, Martin Mariner, Vought SB2U Vindicator, Curtiss Helldiver, Lexington/ Saratoga aircraft carriers, American & Japanese destroyers, British aircraft carriers, Wasp (CV-7) & Ranger(CV-4) aircraft carriers, Japanese light carriers, minelayers, mine sweepers (just to name a few).
Many thanks to the following significant contributors: Markz8686, DustbusterCombo, Nottanum, Delboy (Kate's), ParadoxGuy (Val's), LastShadow 117 (harbor).
#Arizona #Nevada #Oklahoma #Pearl_Harbor #Pennsylvania #surprise #TennesseeMaryland #Utah #West_Virginia #WW2