Pearl Harbor vs. 9/11: Two World Changing Events Compared

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Difference between Pearl Harbor and 9/11

9/11 bombing of the World Trade Center is a day that will be marked in history forever. In fact, before the tragic event, the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the very few that rivaled it for sheer audacity. In this comparison article, we take a look at the parallels between both tragic events.


The Pearl Harbor attack was undertaken by Japanese Imperial, who called it the Hawaii Operation or Operation A. It was comprised of a surprise military attack headed by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii. The attack took place on December 7, 1941.

The term “9/11” refers to the attacks against the United States, which took place on September 11, 2001 in different locations in the United States. The attacks have since been linked to the al-Qaeda organization.


The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended as a preventive measure that aimed to prevent the Pacific Fleet of the United States from interfering with Japanese military maneuvers in the Southeast Asian region. The United States for its part was then intent on defending its territories, as well as those of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

9/11 traces its roots to the second fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden in 1998, in which he voiced out his objections to U.S. policy towards Israel, and the continued American presence in Saudi Arabia. In the announcement, bin Laden illustrated his points with Islamic texts, and pushed for violent action against American military as well as civilians, until the perceived issues were addressed. Bin Laden also went on to mention that jihad is the duty of every Muslim individual, in the event of aggression by enemies.

Details Of The Attacks

The attack on Pearl Harbor was carried out by more than 350 Japanese fighter planes, bombers and torpedo planes. Coming in two successive attacks, these aircraft were launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers. The attack resulted in the sinking of four battleships of the U.S. Navy, although of these, two were later repaired and returned to active duty. Four other vessels were damaged in the attack as well, and the Japanese forces also managed to sink or damage three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training vessel, a minelayer, and almost 200 aircraft. 2,402 soldiers were killed and 1,282 wounded in the attack.

9/11 began with the hijacking of four commercial airliners by nineteen hijackers on the morning of September 11, 2001. These flights were headed to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. The first plane to crash–American Airlines Flight 11–hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. This was quickly followed by United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into South Tower just over 15 minutes later. American Airlines Flight 77 later crashed into the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

Similarities and Differences:

Pearl Harbor

  • A surprise military attack headed by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii


  • September 11 attacks against the United States
  • Linked to the al-Qaeda organization


comments 1 Comments

  • Alissa Parker . 3+ yrs. ago

Pearl Harbor were the Japanese versus Americans whereas 9/11 was Al Queda versus Americans.

Pearl Harbor was in Hawaii, 1941 whereas the 9/11 attack was in New York, 2001.

The Japanese used their own planes whereas Al Queda hijacked American planes.

After P.H. Americans relocated all of the Japanese Americans whereas President Bush wanted to avoid racism against the Muslims.

It took 6 months to stop the Japanese and 9 months to start an attack whereas it took a month to start a war against the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.

Japanese took 360 planes and 6 aircraft carriers whereas Al Queda consisted of 19 people hijacking American planes.

The Japanese sunk 5/8 American battleships whereas Al Queda collapsed the World Trade Center and hit the Pentagon.

They both used planes, consisted of terrorism, and were unprovoked wars. America had a lack of intelligence for not realizing something was happenening and they didn't know when or where we were going to be attacked. Both attacks triggered the government's defences and America came together. They both consisted of racism. After these attacks, us as American's had less rights. They both lead people to shock, outrage, loss, and caused doubt nad a sense of insecurity. Thousands died and they were the most infamous wars.

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