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19 unforgettable images from the Pearl Harbor attack 78 years ago

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  • The devastating Japanese attack began Sunday at 7:48 a.m., eventually killing 2,402 Americans and wounding many others, sinking four battleships and damaging many more.
  • The Pearl Harbor attack spurred America into World War II. Here are photographs from the attack and its immediate aftermath.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

December 7, 1941 began as a perfect Sunday morning for the troops serving the US fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Under a early morning South Pacific sun, softball teams were lining up on the beach. Pitchers warmed up their arms, while batting rosters were finalized and the wives and kids came over from seaside church services.

They did not know that for hours the Japanese naval fleet and air forces had been speeding across the ocean toward America’s Pacific base. There, like a string of pearls draped across the docks and waterfront, was the majority of America’s naval might.

The devastating Japanese onslaught began at 7:48 a.m., eventually killing 2,402 Americans and wounding many others, sinking four battleships and damaging many more.

The Pearl Harbor attack spurred America into World War II, leading ultimately to Allied victory over the Japanese in the East and Nazis and other Axis powers in the West. And the country promised never to forget this day of infamy.

Here are photographs from the attack and its immediate aftermath.

Amanda Macias and Kamelia Angelova contributed to an earlier version of this story.

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