Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
FAQAdd to FAQ (Coming Soon)
The short answer is: Yes, but they did little or no damage. Five midget submarines, armed with two torpdoes and manned by only two men, were launched from mother-subs prior to the attack. At 0342 hours local time, five hours before the first wave of enemy planes attacked, the minesweeper USS Condor spotted a periscope in restricted waters just outside the harbor and contacted the destroyer USS Ward, which raced to the scene but found nothing. An hour and a half at 0640 hours before the attack began, the USS Antares alerted Ward to a periscope in her wake in the channel entrance barely outside the harbor. Ward opened fire and sank the sub with its second shot, drawing first blood for US forces during the Second World War. Ironically the United States fired first in both the Pacific and Atlantic theatres (US destoyers on Atlantic "Neutrality Patrols" had depth charged German U-boats in October 1941 and two US destroyers had been torpedoed in return).
A second Japanese midget sub actually penetrated Pearl Harbor's inner defences and fired two torpdoes. Both missed and the sub was rammed and sunk by the destroyer USS Monaghan.
A recent report asserts a Japanese reconaissance photograph taken during the raid shows a third midget sub broaching the surface inside the harbor as it fires a torpedo towards US warships, but this remains controversial.
A fourth ran aground outside the harbor and it's commander was captured, the first prisoner of war taken by the US in World War II.
The fifth midget sub was dredged out of Keehi Lagoon just outside the harbor in 1960 where it sank during the attack under unknown circumstances. In addition to the captured midget sub and the one recovered in 1960, the two midget subs sunk by the USS Ward and the USS Monaghan were later raised and recovered. However, no trace of the remaining Japanese midget submarine (#3) involved in the attack has ever been found. Edit (Coming Soon)
As is depicted in the film, a young radar operator did indeed see the massive Japanese approach, but was told not to worry about it by the officer in charge who thought it was only a group of B-17 Flying Fortresses arriving in Hawaii from California. The officer was later exonerated for his decision as the B-17s in question were indeed approaching the islands at the time and actually arrived at their destination airfield while it was beng attacked. The approach of a large number of aircraft towards Pearl Harbor that morning was therefore not unexpected and would not have raised any particular alarm. Edit (Coming Soon)
The Midwest Premiere of the hit 20th Century-Fox film, Tora, Tora, Tora, happened on Wednesday, October 7, 1970, in Chicago at the Bismarck theatre (Randolph at LaSalle); An ad reads: "The incredible attack on Pearl Harbor as told from both the U.S. and Japanese sides; The most spectacular film ever made!" Panavision, color by DeLuxe, 70 MM full stereo-sound, rated G. Edit (Coming Soon)