PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
DECEMBER 7TH, 1941 7:07AM
In Hawaii, there is a United States naval base which houses most of the United States Pacific Fleet. The base is situated on the eastern side of Oahu, the biggest and largest of the chain of islands that make up Hawaii. It is early in the morning here and most of the base is full of sleepy and hungover troops and sailors from the previous night's activities. Life here is very relaxed and it is considered one of the best bases to rotate to or be stationed on. Most of the troops posted here have never seen any hard action or engagements of any sort, they mostly went with the flow on the island. Overhead, seagulls cawed in the morning sun, intent on catching the days first fish in the harbor. Some sailors could be seen lugging cargo crates from here to there or sitting around reading the latest magazines about the latest female celebrities. There were also other activities such as playing catch, fishing off the harbor, though technically by regulation this wasn't allowed, and the one activity most people are employing right now, sleeping.
From the top of a nearby hill, one could gaze into the harbor and see all of the navy ships moored there. The USS Arizona, The Mississippi, the Minnesota, and others were majestically shining under the morning sun, not a glint of rust could be seen on any of them. You could even make out the ant-sized sailors sluggishly walking on deck or leaning over railings. Some of the buildings were clearly marked as well, such as the hospital, the armory, communications, and the barracks. On this day, however, in the communications building in a room housing some delicate equipment, a communications officer was fast asleep at his console. The overnight officer who had just spent the night keeping watch on air traffic was overdue to be relieved by an hour or so. On his console, there was a small blip, which then began to turn into multiple blips. The console was beeping at him, it was the warning for unidentified aircraft entering the US Airspace, but the officer was fast asleep, a little bit of drool pooling at his mouth, no one would be alerted.
A FEW MILES EAST OF PEARL HARBOR, PACIFIC OCEAN, INTERNATIONAL WATERS 7:32 AM
Japanese Naval Pilot Fuchida Mitsuo glanced at his onboard compass, heading was South-Southeastern. They were heading the right right direction, he heaved a sigh, there was a lot of pressure surrounding this operation. Not only that, he was the flight commander for this with the appropriate equivalent rank of Captain. The Japanese military had a rank system that was very similar to the United States, this could be attributed to the fact that a scant hundred years before when the United States came to Japan, they were impressed by the might of the Americans and even drafted a system of government closely related to that of the United States.
The plan called for three stages of the attack, the first stage was the surprise wave comprised of a mix of fighters and bombers. The second wave was mostly bombers while the third wave was again fighters and bombers, but mostly they were fighters. Captain Fuchida had the honor to lead the first squadron in commencing the attack and then send the signals back to the Japanese fleet the was some miles off in the distance. He would send these American devils to hell where they belong and then Japan would gloriously rise up and finally conquer all of the Pacific! He glanced into the back of the plane, he could see the radioman/gunner was next to the door fiddling with the new experimental radio they got. Supposedly the radio was able to transmit messages clearly over long distances and can contact the ship they were stationed on, the Akagi, even from Pearl Harbor!
Fuchida checked the instruments panel, fuel was still good, just barely full. Altitude was reading seventy-two hundred meters, of course, he knew the maximum ceiling was just over eight thousand meters, but with the load in the bomb bay plus all of the equipment, they could only go this high. The air pressure in the engine was also good, hovering near max pressure, but not quite. He didn't want to overload the new turbine engine and cause the plane to lose altitude. He glanced out of the cockpit, he couldn't see Pearl Harbor yet, but he could only imagine it on the horizon, yes, the Americans would get what was coming to them. He pushed the throttle up slowly, the plane was slowly gaining RPM from three thousand to four thousand and climbing, it wasn't quite in the red yet though. Likewise, the speedometer was showing a slow increase from two-hundred and sixty KPH and climbing. Behind him the rest of the squadron also sped up, they knew this was it.
If everything went according to the plan, very soon the Americans would have almost no navy left, save for what was already deployed in the Atlantic. Fuchida shouted towards the other two men in the plane in Japanese.
"Sugu ni junbi ga dekite, sugu ni tōchaku shimasu!"
The effect was immediate, the man fiddling with the radio stopped and assumed the tail-gunner position in the back, while the other man who was sitting quietly moved to the front, he took the co-pilots seat and had control of the guns on the wings of the aircraft. Fuchida was satisfied, these men were up to the task, they should make short work of their enemies! On the horizon, Fuchida and his co-pilot could see Pearl Harbor coming into view rapidly, the men were excited and their breathing accelerated. It was showtime, for the Emperor and for Japan!
A/N: The Japanese text says something to the effect of, "Get ready, it's time!" I'll be honest, I just used google because I wanted the second half of this chapter to seem like an authentic Japanese point of view. Also, who doesn't like descriptions of the inside of an aircraft! For anyone who is interested, the plane is the Nakajima B5N, a very common type of Japanese plane that was mass produced until the B6N, which came years later. It's technically a classified as a Fighter-Bomber or Attacker type aircraft. Very reliable, but just no defensive power on its own.