The Miracle at Pearl Harbor – Salvaging Battleship Row | By Carl O. Schuster & Kyle Lockwood | Issue #51

The Miracle at Pearl Harbor – Salvaging Battleship Row | By Carl O. Schuster & Kyle Lockwood | Issue #51

On 7 December 1941, two waves of Japanese naval aircraft struck the American military bases on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, sinking five and damaging three of the battleships in port. In the conventional naval thinking of the day, it was a devastating blow, removing 88 percent of the Pacific Fleet’s battleships (60 percent of the US Navy’s capital ships) from combat service in a single morning. For the foreseeable future, the navy would have to make do with a fleet of cruisers and aircraft carriers, though subsequent events would show the latter to be the capital ships of the future. Battleships still had a role to play, however, particularly in amphibious warfare operations. The battlewagons of Pearl Harbor would be desperately needed for the planned offensive against the Japanese in the Pacific. Returning them to service was made a high priority.

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