Seventy years ago today at zero-seven-forty-eight in the morning, a vanguard of ninety Nakajima B5Ns preceded a Tsunami-like wave of aircraft which a swept into Pearl Harbor and changed the course of history. You all know that right, today was Pearl Harbor day, the day that went down in Infamy?
The world would likely be a very different place if not for the events of that one day, that one 'AI' strike on the conflicted, politically complacent, isolationist pond of post-depression America. All those ripples. I wouldn't be here if not for it. Okay that might be a stretch, but my father was an Air Force NCO, and he did go to Germany in the 1960s because America still had troops stationed there, which we had because the Allies won WWII, and while there he met a hot dutch chick, and the rest is my history.
International relations theory teaches us that there are essentially four elements of National power; Diplomatic, Informational, Miltary and Economic (DIME). Nation-states exert power or ensure security through these four means. Primarily. So what motivated the Japanese politico-military decision makers to believe that they had exhausted the DIE and were ready to exert the M? Much good scholarly work out there if you're interested.
And what of the young men that participated? Both sides. What did Captain Fuchida think as he led his men in that loud, slow 'Kate'? If he was like most Aviation Captains I know (or was) he had compartmentalized most everything else and was desperately trying to make sure he didn't screw it up. Keep formation, stay on vector, hey watch your altitude Mitsuo, where are the American planes and ADA, which target should I select, did I arm the Torpedo release squibs...
Little things and big things, eh?