This gripping historical series promises the closest look ever at the fateful day that changed the course of World War II - and the ships and lives that were lost.
Piecing together this complex event with clear storytelling and a unique graphic look, each episode covers a different part of the timeline to tell the heart-pounding tale of the Japanese attack that changed the world forever. Each episode unfolds chronologically to lay out the attack minute-by-minute with both a wide-lens approach capturing sweeping global events and an in-depth focus on thrilling human drama.
Starting with the lead-up to December 7 and following each twist and turn of the carnage in Oahu, the series ends on the aftermath including the rescue operation and legacy of this infamous day.
Stories include some of the most mind-blowing heroics and true tales around Pearl Harbor, such as the pilots that managed to get off the ground and shoot four Japanese planes down, the diplomatic cable that could have stopped the war and the sailors found alive days after the attack ended.
Episode 1: Countdown to War
Episode 1 reveals the little-known background to the attack on Pearl Harbor from the inception of the plan and the obstacles it faced to the months of planning by the Japanese. We hear how pilots were trained on a replica of Pearl Harbor and the lengths the Japanese went to keep the mission a secret. This included using decoy radio operators in Japan to convince eavesdroppers the aircraft carriers were still in port to not dumping the garbage at sea in case it was seen by an enemy submarine. We also reveal the missed opportunities that could have helped the Americans avert the disaster from the warning sent to the Chief of the Pacific Fleet a week before the attack that said, ‘this message is to be considered a war warning’ to the American radar operators who detected the incoming Japanese planes on the morning of the attack but were told not to worry about it. We hear from some of the last remaining survivors of that day including a one-hundred-and-three-year-old Japanese torpedo bomber who is interviewed for the first time and an American sailor who was on the USS Arizona when it was hit by a Japanese bomb that ignited its ammunition magazine killing 1177 men in an instant.
Episode 2: Massacre
Episode 2 is one of the most detailed explorations of the Pearl Harbor attack to date with interviews with some of the world’s leading experts and first-hand accounts from some of the last remaining Japanese and US survivors. We reveal stories of great heroism and tragedy and show how the attack unfolded minute by minute. We also hear about the mistake made by the leader of the Japanese air attack that nearly derailed the carefully planned mission when the wrong signal was sent for the attack to commence. The consequences of this are explored in this episode, where we see how this mistake led to confusion and the misdirection of the Japanese attack.
Episode 3: Declaration of War
Using first hand testimony from some of the last remaining survivors of the attack, both American and Japanese, Episode 3 looks at the final attack on Pearl Harbor, concerns about a potential invasion and ends on the aftermath including the rescue operation and legacy of this infamous day. Stories include some of the most mind-blowing heroics and true tales around Pearl Harbor, such as the pilots that managed to get off the ground and shoot a number of Japanese planes down, the diplomatic cable that could have stopped the war and the sailors found alive days after the attack ended.