Newsweeks Past: Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbour is attacked
David Hume Kennerly/Getty images

Japan's surprise air attack on the US Navy's Pacific fleet, stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, silenced dissension in Congress and hurled the US into the second world war, all in less than a day. A week later, Newsweek's Washington Bureau produced its report, headlined: "Nation's full might mustered for all-out war."

"Sunday was a black day in American history," the shocking report began. "The United States is now at war on all the oceans and – through aid to the British, the Russians, the Chinese – on the ­continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Flung around the globe, this greatest war in history forms, in the minds of our military and political leaders, a strategic whole."

"This war must be fought ultimately to a conclusion: the total destruction of one side or the other . . . our highest experts believe that victory is certain though the first loss was bitter and the road may be long."