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Tora Tora Tora & Great Bridge

7 December 1941 – At 7:55 am 183 Japanese aircraft would attack the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The intent of the Japanese attack was to disable and destroy as much of the American fleet as possible, in order to allow the Japanese as little interference as possible as it began its conquest of the Pacific. The attacking Japanese forces would bomb the local airfields and as well as bombing and launching torpedoes, modified for the shallow harbor, at the anchored ships in the harbor. The initial attacks on the airfields were particularly successful, most of the US aircraft was parked tightly and not ready for operation. It was during this first wave that the most damage was done to the anchored US battleships. The USS Arizona was destroyed along with several other ships in the first 30 minutes of the attack.

At 8:50 am the second wave of attacking Japanese aircraft would attack. This attack was no less damaging, with the USS Shaw being split in half by attacks. By 9:00 am the attackers would withdraw back to their carriers.

The attackers would damage or destroy 19 American ships and over 300 aircraft during the attack. Over 2,300 Americans would be killed with over 1,000 more being injured, with nearly half of the deaths occurring when the USS Arizona exploded.

The next day Congress would declare war on Japan. The Japanese would declare war on the US the day of the attack but due to time zones, the declaration would not be delivered to the US till the 8th as well.

9 December 1775 – During the initial tensions in 1775 that would lead to the Revolutionary War, the Royal Governor of Virginia, Dunmore, would seize the gunpowder stores in Williamsburg, the colonial capital. This action prompted local Patriots to form militias in response, and they would quickly converge on the capital. Dunmore would flee to Norfolk and begin raising an army, sending forces out to raid Patriot camps. The only approach to the British camp, due to impassable terrain was Great Bridge. Dunmore would have his forces fortify the area and after some small skirmishes, decide to drive off the Patriot militia. The British forces would form a column and begin crossing the bridge, firing as they went. They would manage to cross the bridge and take some Patriot positions but as they moved more of their force across it, Patriot militia would begin to pick off the British Soldiers. As a result British casualties would quickly start to climb, while the Patriots would only sustain one slightly wounded militiaman. The British would soon withdraw, leaving the Patriots to occupy Norfolk days later, driving out what little British power remained in Virginia. This was one of the few Patriot victories early in the Revolution and one of the first land battles.

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