How did the attack on Pearl Harbor backfire on the Japanese?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor backfired on Japan. When the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, it brought the United States into the war. The Japanese had hoped to knock out the American militarily presence in the Pacific Ocean. While they were able to deal a severe blow to our military at Pearl Harbor, the attack woke up the United States. The United States was able to rebuild its military much quicker than expected. Americans wanted revenge for this unprovoked attack that occurred before Japan officially notified us about what was going to happen.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor also backfired on Japan because it brought the United States into the European and African areas of the conflict. Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States. We then declared war on Germany and Italy, which allowed us to work closely with Great Britain in the European and African areas of the fighting.

Attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor turned out to be a big mistake for Japan. They weren’t able to defeat us at Pearl Harbor. Once we rebuilt our military, we came back with a vengeance to eventually defeat Japan in the Pacific area and defeat Germany and Italy in Africa and Europe.