The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s, designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force. It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire's role during Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane inflicted 60 percent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, it went on to fight in all the major theatres of the Second World War; the Hurricane originated from discussions during the early 1930s between RAF officials and British aircraft designer Sir Sydney Camm on the topic of a proposed monoplane derivative of the Hawker Fury biplane. There was an institutional preference at the time for biplanes and a lack of interest from the Air Ministry, but Hawker chose to continue refining their monoplane proposal, which resulted in the incorporation of several innovations which became critical to wartime fighter aircraft, including a retractable undercarriage and a more powerful engine in the form of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Merlin.
The Air Ministry placed an order for Hawker's Interceptor Monoplane in late 1934, the prototype Hurricane K5083 performed its maiden flight on 6 November 1935. In June 1936, the Hurricane was ordered into production by the Air Ministry; the manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft was eased by its use of conventional construction methods which enabled squadrons to perform many major repairs themselves without external support. The Hurricane was procured prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, when the RAF had 18 Hurricane-equipped squadrons in service; the aircraft was relied upon to defend against the numerous and varied German aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe, including dogfighting with the capable Messerschmitt Bf 109 in multiple theatres of action. The Hurricane developed through several versions, as bomber-interceptors, fighter-bombers, ground support aircraft in addition to fighters. Versions designed for the Royal Navy were popularly known as the Sea Hurricane, with modifications enabling their operation from ships.
Some were converted to be used as catapult-launched convoy escorts. By the end of production in July 1944, 14,487 Hurricanes had been completed in Canada. During the era in which the Hawker Aircraft company developed the Hurricane, RAF Fighter Command comprised just 13 squadrons, equipped with the Hawker Fury, Hawker Demon, or the Bristol Bulldog, all biplanes furnished with fixed-pitch wooden propellers and non-retractable undercarriages. At the time, there was an institutional reluctance towards change within the Air Staff. In 1934, the British Air Ministry issued Specification F.7/30 in response to demands within the Royal Air Force for a new generation of fighter aircraft. Earlier, during 1933, British aircraft designer Sydney Camm had conducted discussions with Major John Buchanan of the Directorate of Technical Development on a monoplane based on the existing Fury. Mason attributes Camm's discussions with figures within the RAF, such as Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley, as having provoked the specification and some of its details, such as the preference for armaments being installed within the wings instead of within the aircraft's nose.
Camm's initial submission in response to F.7/30, the Hawker P. V.3, was a scaled-up version of the Fury biplane. However, the P. V.3 was not among the proposals which the Air Ministry had selected to be constructed as a government-sponsored prototype. After the rejection of the P. V.3 proposal, Camm commenced work upon a new design involving a cantilever monoplane arrangement, complete with a fixed undercarriage, armed with four machine guns and powered by the Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. The original 1934 armament specifications for what would evolve into the Hurricane were for a similar armament fitment to the Gloster Gladiator: four machine-guns, two in the wings and two in the fuselage, synchronized to fire through the propeller arc. By January 1934, the proposal's detail drawings had been finished, but these failed to impress the Air Ministry enough for a prototype to be ordered. Camm's response to this rejection was to further develop the design, during which a retractable undercarriage was introduced and the unsatisfactory Goshawk engine was replaced by a new Rolls-Royce design designated as the PV-12, which went on to become famous as the Merlin engine.
In August 1934, a one-tenth scale model of the design was produced and dispatched to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington. A series of wind tunnel tests confirmed the aerodynamic qualities of the aircraft were in order, in September 1934, Camm again approached the Air Ministry; this time, the Ministry's response was favourable, a prototype of the "Interceptor Monoplane" was promptly ordered. In July 1934 at a meeting chaired by Air Commodore Tedder, Air Ministry Science Office Captain F. W. Hill presented his calculation showing that future fighters must carry no less than eight machine guns, each capable of firing 1,000 shots a minute. Hill's assistant in making his calculations was his teenage daughter. Of the decision to place eight machine guns in fighters, Keith says'The battle was brisk and was carried into high quarters before the implementing authority was given. My Branch had made out a sound case for 8-gun fighters and if this recommendation had not been accepted and we had been content with half-measures, it might indeed have gone ill for us during the late summer of 19
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before and after World War II. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft, it was the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; the Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing with cutting-edge sunken rivets to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the Spitfire's development through its multitude of variants.
During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. However, Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes because of the Spitfire's higher performance. During the battle, Spitfires were tasked with engaging Luftwaffe fighters—mainly Messerschmitt Bf 109E-series aircraft, which were a close match for them. After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, saw action in the European, Mediterranean and South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, trainer, it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s; the Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire that served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s.
Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp, it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use powerful Merlins and, in marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340 hp. As a result, the Spitfire's performance and capabilities improved over the course of its service life. In 1931, the Air Ministry released specification F7/30, calling for a modern fighter capable of a flying speed of 250 mph. R. J. Mitchell designed the Supermarine Type 224 to fill this role; the 224 was an open-cockpit monoplane with bulky gull-wings and a large, spatted undercarriage powered by the 600-horsepower, evaporatively cooled Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. It made its first flight in February 1934. Of the seven designs tendered to F7/30, the Gloster Gladiator biplane was accepted for service; the Type 224 was a big disappointment to Mitchell and his design team, who embarked on a series of "cleaned-up" designs, using their experience with the Schneider Trophy seaplanes as a starting point.
This led to the Type 300, with retractable undercarriage and a wingspan reduced by 6 ft. This design was submitted to the Air Ministry in July 1934, but was not accepted, it went through a series of changes, including the incorporation of a faired, enclosed cockpit, oxygen-breathing apparatus and thinner wings, the newly developed, more powerful Rolls-Royce PV-XII V-12 engine named the "Merlin". In November 1934, with the backing of Supermarine's owner Vickers-Armstrong, started detailed design work on this refined version of the Type 300. On 1 December 1934, the Air Ministry issued contract AM 361140/34, providing £10,000 for the construction of Mitchell's improved Type 300, design. On 3 January 1935, they formalised the contract with a new specification, F10/35, written around the aircraft. In April 1935, the armament was changed from two.303 in Vickers machine guns in each wing to four.303 in Brownings, following a recommendation by Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley of the Operational Requirements section at the Air Ministry.
On 5 March 1936, the prototype took off on its first flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome. At the controls was Captain Joseph "Mutt" Summers, chief test pilot for Vickers, quoted as saying "Don't touch anything" on landing; this eight-minute flight came four months after the maiden flight of the contemporary Hurricane. K5054 was fitted with a new propeller, Summers flew the aircraft on 10 March 1936. After the fourth flight, a new engine was fitted, Summers left the test flying to his assistants, Jeffrey Quill and George Pickering, they soon discovered that the Spitfire was a good aircraft, but not perfect. The rudder was oversensitive, the top speed was just 330 mph, little faster than Sydney Camm's new Merlin-powered Hurricane. A new and better-shaped wooden propeller allowed the Spitfire to reach 348 mph in level flight in mid-May, when Summers flew K5054 to RAF Martlesham Heath and handed the aircraft over to Squadron Leader Anderson of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. Here, Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Edwardes-Jones took over the prototype for the RAF.
He had been given orders to fly the aircraft and to make his report to the Air Ministry on landing. Edwardes-Jones' report was positive.
Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. Hiroshima gained city status on April 1, 1889. On April 1, 1980, Hiroshima became a designated city; as of August 2016, the city had an estimated population of 1,196,274. The gross domestic product in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Urban Employment Area, was US$61.3 billion as of 2010. Kazumi Matsui has been the city's mayor since April 2011. Hiroshima was the first city targeted by a nuclear weapon, when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on the city at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II. Hiroshima was established on the delta coastline of the Seto Inland Sea in 1589 by powerful warlord Mōri Terumoto. Hiroshima Castle was built, in 1593 Mōri moved in. Terumoto was on the losing side at the Battle of Sekigahara; the winner of the battle, Tokugawa Ieyasu, deprived Mōri Terumoto of most of his fiefs, including Hiroshima and gave Aki Province to Masanori Fukushima, a daimyō who had supported Tokugawa.
From 1619 until 1871, Hiroshima was ruled by the Asano clan. After the Han was abolished in 1871, the city became the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture. Hiroshima became a major urban center during the imperial period, as the Japanese economy shifted from rural to urban industries. During the 1870s, one of the seven government-sponsored English language schools was established in Hiroshima. Ujina Harbor was constructed through the efforts of Hiroshima Governor Sadaaki Senda in the 1880s, allowing Hiroshima to become an important port city; the San'yō Railway was extended to Hiroshima in 1894, a rail line from the main station to the harbor was constructed for military transportation during the First Sino-Japanese War. During that war, the Japanese government moved temporarily to Hiroshima, Emperor Meiji maintained his headquarters at Hiroshima Castle from September 15, 1894, to April 27, 1895; the significance of Hiroshima for the Japanese government can be discerned from the fact that the first round of talks between Chinese and Japanese representatives to end the Sino-Japanese War was held in Hiroshima, from February 1 to February 4, 1895.
New industrial plants, including cotton mills, were established in Hiroshima in the late 19th century. Further industrialization in Hiroshima was stimulated during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, which required development and production of military supplies; the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall was constructed in 1915 as a center for trade and exhibition of new products. Its name was changed to Hiroshima Prefectural Product Exhibition Hall, again to Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. During World War I, Hiroshima became a focal point of military activity, as the Japanese government entered the war on the Allied side. About 500 German prisoners of war were held in Ninoshima Island in Hiroshima Bay; the growth of Hiroshima as a city continued after the First World War, as the city now attracted the attention of the Catholic Church, on May 4, 1923, an Apostolic Vicar was appointed for that city. During World War II, the Second General Army and Chūgoku Regional Army were headquartered in Hiroshima, the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port.
The city had large depots of military supplies, was a key center for shipping. The bombing of Tokyo and other cities in Japan during World War II caused widespread destruction and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. There were no such air raids on Hiroshima. However, a real threat was recognized. In order to protect against potential firebombings in Hiroshima, school children aged 11–14 years were mobilized to demolish houses and create firebreaks. On Monday, August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m. the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima from an American Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the Enola Gay, flown by Colonel Paul Tibbets, directly killing an estimated 70,000 people, including 20,000 Japanese combatants and 2,000 Korean slave laborers. By the end of the year and radiation brought the total number of deaths to 90,000–166,000; the population before the bombing was around 340,000 to 350,000. About 70% of the city's buildings were destroyed, another 7% damaged; the public release of film footage of the city following the attack, some of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission research about the human effects of the attack, were restricted during the occupation of Japan, much of this information was censored until the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, restoring control to the Japanese.
As Ian Buruma observed, "News of the terrible consequences of the atom bomb attacks on Japan was deliberately withheld from the Japanese public by US military censors during the Allied occupation—even as they sought to teach the natives the virtues of a free press. Casualty statistics were suppressed. Film shot by Japanese cameramen in Nagasaki after the bombings was confiscated. "Hiroshima", the account written by John Hersey for The New Yorker, had a huge impact in the US, but was banned in Japan. As Dower says:'In the localities themselves, suffering was compounded not by the unprecedented nature of the catastrophe... but by the fact that public struggle with this traumatic experience was not permitted." The US occupation authorities maintained a monopoly on scientific and medical information about the effects of the atomic bomb through the work of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, which treated the data gathered in studies of hibakusha as privileged information rather than making the results available for the treatment of victims or providing financial or medical support to aid victims.
The book Hiroshima by
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of large caliber guns. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the battleship was the most powerful type of warship, a fleet of battleships was considered vital for any nation that desired to maintain command of the sea; the term battleship came into formal use in the late 1880s to describe a type of ironclad warship, now referred to by historians as pre-dreadnought battleships. In 1906, the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought into the United Kingdom's Royal Navy heralded a revolution in battleship design. Subsequent battleship designs, influenced by HMS Dreadnought, were referred to as "dreadnoughts", though the term became obsolete as they became the only type of battleship in common use. Battleships were a symbol of naval dominance and national might, for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy. A global arms race in battleship construction began in Europe in the 1890s and culminated at the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, the outcome of which influenced the design of HMS Dreadnought.
The launch of Dreadnought in 1906 commenced a new naval arms race. Three major fleet actions between steel battleships took place: the decisive battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War, the inconclusive Battle of Jutland during the First World War. Jutland was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships in the war, it was the last major battle fought by battleships in world history; the Naval Treaties of the 1920s and 1930s limited the number of battleships, though technical innovation in battleship design continued. Both the Allied and Axis powers built battleships during World War II, though the increasing importance of the aircraft carrier meant that the battleship played a less important role than had been expected; the value of the battleship has been questioned during their heyday. There were few of the decisive fleet battles that battleship proponents expected, used to justify the vast resources spent on building battlefleets. In spite of their huge firepower and protection, battleships were vulnerable to much smaller and inexpensive weapons: the torpedo and the naval mine, aircraft and the guided missile.
The growing range of naval engagements led to the aircraft carrier replacing the battleship as the leading capital ship during World War II, with the last battleship to be launched being HMS Vanguard in 1944. Four battleships were retained by the United States Navy until the end of the Cold War for fire support purposes and were last used in combat during the Gulf War in 1991; the last battleships were stricken from the U. S. Naval Vessel Register in the 2000s. A ship of the line was the dominant warship of its age, it was a large, unarmored wooden sailing ship which mounted a battery of up to 120 smoothbore guns and carronades. The ship of the line developed over centuries and, apart from growing in size, it changed little between the adoption of line of battle tactics in the early 17th century and the end of the sailing battleship's heyday in the 1830s. From 1794, the alternative term'line of battle ship' was contracted to'battle ship' or'battleship'; the sheer number of guns fired broadside meant a ship of the line could wreck any wooden enemy, holing her hull, knocking down masts, wrecking her rigging, killing her crew.
However, the effective range of the guns was as little as a few hundred yards, so the battle tactics of sailing ships depended in part on the wind. The first major change to the ship of the line concept was the introduction of steam power as an auxiliary propulsion system. Steam power was introduced to the navy in the first half of the 19th century for small craft and for frigates; the French Navy introduced steam to the line of battle with the 90-gun Napoléon in 1850—the first true steam battleship. Napoléon was armed as a conventional ship-of-the-line, but her steam engines could give her a speed of 12 knots, regardless of the wind condition; this was a decisive advantage in a naval engagement. The introduction of steam accelerated the growth in size of battleships. France and the United Kingdom were the only countries to develop fleets of wooden steam screw battleships although several other navies operated small numbers of screw battleships, including Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Naples and Austria.
The adoption of steam power was only one of a number of technological advances which revolutionized warship design in the 19th century. The ship of the line was overtaken by the ironclad: powered by steam, protected by metal armor, armed with guns firing high-explosive shells. Guns that fired explosive or incendiary shells were a major threat to wooden ships, these weapons became widespread after the introduction of 8-inch shell guns as part of the standard armament of French and American line-of-battle ships in 1841. In the Crimean War, six line-of-battle ships and two frigates of the Russian Black Sea Fleet destroyed seven Turkish frigates and three corvettes with explosive shells at the Battle of Sinop in 1853. In the war, French ironclad floating batteries used similar weapons against the defenses at the Battle of Kinburn. Wooden-hulled ships stood up comparatively well to shells, as shown in the 1866 Battle of Lissa, where the modern Austrian steam two-decker SMS Kaiser ranged across a confused battlefield, rammed an Italian ironclad and took 80 hits from Italian ironclads, many of which were shells, but including at least one 300-pound shot at point-blank range.
Despite losing her bowsprit and her foremast, bei
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937, to September 2, 1945. It began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937 in which a dispute between Japanese and Chinese troops escalated into a battle; some sources in the modern People's Republic of China date the beginning of the war to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. China fought Japan with aid from the United States. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the war merged with other conflicts of World War II as a major sector known as the China Burma India Theater; some scholars consider the start of the full-scale Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to have been the beginning of World War II. The Second Sino-Japanese War was the largest Asian war in the 20th century, it accounted for the majority of civilian and military casualties in the Pacific War, with between 10 and 25 million Chinese civilians and over 4 million Chinese and Japanese military personnel dying from war-related violence and other causes.
The war was the result of a decades-long Japanese imperialist policy to expand its influence politically and militarily in order to secure access to raw material reserves and labor. The period after World War I brought about increasing stress on the Japanese polity. Leftists sought universal suffrage and greater rights for workers. Increasing textile production from Chinese mills was adversely affecting Japanese production; the Great Depression brought about a large slowdown in exports. All of this contributed to militant nationalism, culminating in the rise to power of a militarist fascist faction; this faction was led at its height by the Hideki Tojo cabinet of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association under edict from Emperor Hirohito. In 1931, the Mukden Incident helped spark the Japanese invasion of Manchuria; the Chinese were defeated and Japan created a new puppet state, Manchukuo. This view has been adopted by the PRC government. From 1931 to 1937, China and Japan continued to skirmish in small, localized engagements, so-called "incidents".
The Japanese scored major victories, capturing both Shanghai and the Chinese capital of Nanjing in 1937. After failing to stop the Japanese in the Battle of Wuhan, the Chinese central government was relocated to Chongqing in the Chinese interior. By 1939, after Chinese victories in Changsha and Guangxi, with Japan's lines of communications stretched deep into the Chinese interior, the war reached a stalemate; the Japanese were unable to defeat the Chinese communist forces in Shaanxi, which waged a campaign of sabotage and guerrilla warfare against the invaders. While Japan ruled the large cities, they lacked sufficient manpower to control China's vast countryside. During this time, Chinese communist forces launched a counter offensive in Central China while Chinese nationalist forces launched a large scale winter offensive. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the following day the United States declared war on Japan; the United States began to aid China by airlifting material over the Himalayas after the Allied defeat in Burma that closed the Burma Road.
In 1944 Japan launched Operation Ichi-Go, that conquered Henan and Changsha. However, this failed to bring about the surrender of Chinese forces. In 1945, the Chinese Expeditionary Force resumed its advance in Burma and completed the Ledo Road linking India to China. At the same time, China launched large counteroffensives in South China and retook West Hunan and Guangxi. Despite continuing to occupy part of China's territory, Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945, to Allied forces following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria; the remaining Japanese occupation forces formally surrendered on September 9, 1945, with the following International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened on April 29, 1946. At the outcome of the Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, the Allies of World War II decided to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan by restoring all the territories that Japan annexed from China, including Manchuria, Taiwan/Formosa, the Pescadores, to China, to expel Japan from the Korean Peninsula.
China was recognized as one of the Big Four of the Allies during the war and became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In China, the war is most known as the "War of Resistance against Japan", shortened to the "Resistance against Japan" or the "War of Resistance", it was called the "Eight Years' War of Resistance", but in 2017 the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a directive stating that textbooks were to refer to the war as the "Fourteen Years' War of Resistance", reflecting a focus on the broader conflict with Japan going back to 1931. It is referred to as part of the "Global Anti-Fascist War", how World War II is perceived by the Communist Party of China and the PRC government. In Japan, the name "Japan–China War" is most used because of its perceived objectivity; when the invasion of China proper began in earnest in July 1937 near Beijing, the government of Japan used "The North China Incident", with the outbreak of the Battle of Shanghai the following month, it was changed to "The China Incident"
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day; the Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, as Operation Z during its planning. Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U. S.-held Philippines and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya and Hong Kong. Additionally, from the Japanese viewpoint, it was seen as a preemptive strike; the attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time; the base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.
All eight U. S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but USS Arizona were raised, six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war; the Japanese sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, one minelayer. 188 U. S. aircraft were destroyed. Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building, were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured. Japan declared war on the United States on December 8. According to historians David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen: The sneak attack aroused and united America as nothing else could have done. To the day of the blowup, a strong majority of Americans still wanted to keep out of war, but the bombs that pulverized Pearl Harbor blasted the isolationists into silence. The only thing left to do, growled isolationist Senator Wheeler, was to'lick hell out of them.'
The following day, December 8, Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy each declared war on the U. S; the U. S. responded with a declaration of war against Italy. There were numerous historical precedents for the unannounced military action by Japan, but the lack of any formal warning while peace negotiations were still ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy"; because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged in the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime. War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility that each nation had been aware of, planned for, since the 1920s; the relationship between the two countries was cordial enough. Tensions did not grow until Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Over the next decade, Japan expanded into China, leading to the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China, endeavored to secure enough independent resources to attain victory on the mainland.
The "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts. Starting in December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on USS Panay, the Allison incident, the Nanking Massacre swung Western public opinion against Japan. Fearing Japanese expansion, the United States, United Kingdom, France assisted China with its loans for war supply contracts. In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina, attempting to stymie the flow of supplies reaching China; the United States halted shipments of airplanes, machine tools, aviation gasoline to Japan, which the latter perceived as an unfriendly act. The United States did not stop oil exports, however because of the prevailing sentiment in Washington: given Japanese dependence on American oil, such an action was to be considered an extreme provocation. In mid-1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Hawaii, he ordered a military buildup in the Philippines, taking both actions in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East.
Because the Japanese high command was certain any attack on the United Kingdom's Southeast Asian colonies, including Singapore, would bring the U. S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to prevent American naval interference. An invasion of the Philippines was considered necessary by Japanese war planners; the U. S. War Plan Orange had envisioned defending the Philippines with an elite force of 40,000 men. By 1941, U. S. planners expected to abandon the Philippines at the outbreak of war. Late that year, Admiral Thomas C. Hart, commander of the Asiatic Fleet, was given orders to that effect; the U. S. ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941, following the seizure of French Indochina after the Fall of France, in part because of new American restrictions on domestic oil consumption. Because of this decision, Japan proceeded with plans to take the oil-rich Dutch East Indies. On August 17, Roosevelt warned Japan that America was prepared to take opposing steps if "neighboring countries" were attacked.
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