What weapons were used in the attack on Pearl Harbor?


Quick Answer

The weapons used during the attack on Pearl Harbor included bombs, torpedoes, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. The Japanese bombs and torpedoes were dropped by numerous aircraft, including B5N2 bombers and Aichi D3A1 dive bombers. The Japanese also used A6M Model 21 Zeros to strafe airbases around Pearl Harbor.

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Full Answer

The larger B5N2 bombers each carried a single Type 91 Model 2 torpedo. These torpedoes were outfitted with wooden fins around their propellers, which helped them operate in the shallow water of the harbor. Each torpedo weighed about 1,847 pounds and had a 452-pound warhead. The B5N2 bomber also had a 30-caliber machine gun located in the tail of plane, which the gunners used to strafe targets as the bomber passed overhead.

Of the 89 bombers in the first wave, 40 of them carried Type 91 Model 2 torpedoes. The other 49 bombers carried multiple Type 91 Model 5 bombs that weighed 1,763 pounds. The Model 5 bomb had the ability to pierce through multiple decks of the target ship when dropped from a high altitude.

The smaller Aichi D3A1 dive bombers each carried a single Type 98 land bomb that weighed 551 pounds. These bombs were designated specifically for use when attacking the airstrips and airbases around Pearl Harbor. After the dive bombers had dropped their bombs, they joined the A6M Model 21 Zeros in strafing the ground targets with their machine guns and 20-millimeter cannons.

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