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26 JULY 2017

Pearl Harbor Attack   by Howard Fields   July 2017

Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Source: Public Domain
Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Source: Public Domain

It lasted only about 90 minutes, but in that time the Imperial Japanese Navy managed to kill 2,403 Americans, destroy 18 ships and 188 airplanes, and draw the United States into World War II, all on a day of infamy. More than half the American deaths were caused by a single bomb that hit the USS Arizona, whose remains now lie at the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a memorial to the attack on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.

Shortly after 7:30 that Sunday, two Army men manning a new-fangled "radar" at Opana on Oahu's north shore saw more than a hundred blips 136 miles north of the island and notified their superiors at Pearl Harbor. The officer in charge there had confidential information that a dozen stripped-down and unarmed B-17s from the West Coast were due in at about that time on about the same route, so he told the radar men to ignore the blips.

By then, five two-man midget submarines launched from the fleet the previous day had attempted to sneak into the harbor morning. One was spotted and attacked by a pair of U.S. Navy ships cruising offshore. Three others ended up at the bottom of the sea just outside the harbor, but not before they managed to launch several torpedoes. A fifth managed to ground itself twice, and after the second time one of its crewmen swam to shore and became America's first Japanese prisoner of war.

The radar blips were the first wave of the attack, led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. His plane led 182 others off the decks of six aircraft carriers stationed about 200 miles north of Oahu. The planes included about equal portions of bombers armed with armor-piercing bombs weighing nearly a ton each, bombers carrying quarter-ton torpedoes, dive bombers and fighters known as Zeros for their rising-sun insignia.

Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Source: Public Domain
Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Source: Public Domain

The planes formed two groups, each circling the island to attack Pearl Harbor from the south and from the north to begin the attack at 7:48 a.m. Most of the U.S. Navy personnel were on shore leave that weekend, many of those still aboard ship still asleep. As the attack began, they scrambled from their bunks to battle stations unprepared for battle, costing precious minutes. Army anti-aircraft batteries onshore similarly were unprepared. A few ships managed to get underway to get out of the harbor, but only one made it. Some of the dive bombers attacked Oahu air fields, among them Bellows Field, Ford Island, Hickam Field and Wheeler Field.

Fuchida's wave was followed by another led by Lt. Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki. His fleet included 171 planes armed with smaller bombs to attack other targets on the island. One group attacked airfields such as Barbers Point, Ford Island, Hickam Field and Kaneohe; the other two concentrated on the entire Pearl Harbor area. The second wave wrapped up its attack at about 9:30 and returned to its fleet, which weighed anchor and was headed back to Japan by 1 p.m.

The main targets of the twin attacks were the eight battleships—Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia-- at anchor inside the harbor. The fleet's three aircraft carriers were safely out to sea. The attack managed to hit all of the battleships and the unarmed Utah, a former battleship used only for training. But, it was the attack on the Arizona that was most effective, killing 1, 177.

A 16-inch Japanese shell hit an ammunition magazine on the ship, causing a massive explosion. Burning oil in the water from the explosion and from one on the West Virginia drifted to other ships, including the California, which ordered its men to abandon ship, leaving it to sink. The attack also sank or damaged cruisers, destroyers, a seaplane tender, and a repair vessel that had the misfortune of being moored next to the Arizona.

Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Source: Public Domain
Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Source: Public Domain

Six of the battleships were back in service and nine of other types of ships also returned to service by the end of the war, most within a year of the attack. And, the dozen B-17s? They arrived over Oahu low on fuel early during the first wave and tried to land however and wherever they could, one on a golf course. Most remained intact.

Japan's losses included 64 fatalities and one captured, 29 planes lost, and 64 damaged by fire from antiaircraft batteries that managed to get into operation in time for the second wave. One of the planes was damaged while attacking Wheeler and managed to fly to Niihau, the designated rescue point, where the pilot was captured by the locals.

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed an emergency joint session of Congress and delivered the speech that called December 7 "a day which will live in infamy." After the speech, Congress voted to declare war.

Spotify Review   by Jeff Mitchell   July 2017

Spotify Logo. Source: Public Domain

Spotify is a preeminent player in the music streaming industry - delivering loads of music to listeners worldwide from both major and minor artists alike. If music matters to you, then you'd do quite well to give Spotify a go. Don't take our word for it, though! Read on to discover just what makes Spotify such a great platform for musical enjoyment.

Versions and Prices

Use of the platform is fairly straightforward and it is even free, though the free version carries certain limitations. Spotify works through its own proprietary music-playing app, which is offered for computers and mobile devices. Depending on the version you utilize, your in-app song-switching capabilities could be limited, as well as your option to access your favorite songs offline. You will also be subjected to intermittent advertising breaks while using the free version of the Spotify app. However, you are free to create tons of awesome playlists, enjoy those made by other users and access them all at any time.

Free Version:

As was mentioned above, you are limited in how you can use Spotify when you opt for the free version of the app. Aside from advertising messages every so often (much like a standard radio station would employ) and song-skipping limits on mobile, you cannot listen to music offline or enjoy the highest audio quality on offer.

Paid Version:

No ads, no limits and more! The paid version of Spotify is yours to use as you please, without pesky interruptions or song skipping limits to stop you. In addition to being unimpeded in your quest for great music, you can count on the availability of your favorite releases even when the grid goes down, thanks to offline song saving capabilities. Feel free to go crazy with these, you won't max out until you've surpassed 2,000 tracks by far.

The paid version of the Spotify app also boasts of higher sound quality (for music aficionados with quality sound systems)

Cool Features

Spotify is a great resource for music-lovers everywhere to find great music they may never have stumbled upon otherwise. Its suggestion algorithms provide impressive recommendations that you're sure to love and the wealth of tracks hosted on the service makes for nearly limitless possibilities for new discoveries to happen. However, depending on the version of Spotify you have access to, you'll be able to go above and beyond basic music discovery.

Following are some of the most noteworthy features of the app on both mobile and desktop:

On Mobile:

Spotify's mobile features are great and allow for plenty of enjoyment in both the free and paid versions. You can expect to find all the music Spotify artists have to offer in a neat format, albeit in shuffle play mode when free. However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the desktop version.

On Desktop:

The free Spotify app on mobile is fantastic, but its desktop version is an absolute wonderland for music lovers. On a desktop, Spotify does not impose a song skip limit in its free version. Instead, it sticks to scheduled advertising at certain hours of the day and after a certain number of tracks have been played. You're free to do all of the same playlist discovering and listening as you could do on mobile, but you get the added bonus of additional playlist-building functionality. It's easy enough to add songs to your own playlists, but you can take this a step further on desktop by cloning your custom playlist automatically. To do this, Spotify searches for similar songs to those your playlist has and compiles its suggestions into a brand-new playlist for you to listen to. Music discovery on autopilot!

Another great feature the desktop version of Spotify has to offer is its enhanced search bar. Unlike the mobile app, the desktop application's search bar accommodates various enhanced search operators to help you discover awesome music by year (Type "Year:1900-1990"), genre (Type "Genre:Pop"), etc. It's a great option for sleuthing out those tricky, rare releases. Play history is yet another sweet feature of significance to anyone who has experienced the frustration of hearing a great song just before forgetting its name and how it goes. With a history of the songs you’ve recently listened to, you can simply play through them and you'll come across that great lost track in no time!

But wait, there's actually more! Spotify gives you a chance to sing along in its desktop version, with an incorporated lyrics function powered by Musixmatch. So, you can finally stop making up words now.

What are you waiting for? Go crazy with Spotify and discover awesome music, new and old.