Tora! Tora! Tora!

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Tora! Tora! Tora! (トラ・トラ・トラ!?) is a 1970 American/Japanese war film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, to the extent these facts were known at the time of production.

The commanders in Hawaii, General Short and Admiral Kimmel, though scapegoated for decades, are portrayed as taking defensive measures for the apparent threats, including relocation of the fighter aircraft at Pearl Harbor to the middle of the base, in response to fears of sabotage from local Japanese insurgents. They received limited warning of the increasing risk of aerial attack, which was better understood in Washington than in Honolulu. The film is famous for Isoroku Yamamoto's quote likening the attacks to "awakening a sleeping giant", although it may have been apocryphal.

The title is made up of the code-words that were used by the Japanese to indicate that complete surprise was achieved and is translated in the Japanese as "虎" or "tiger", hence making the code for achieved surprise "Tiger, tiger, tiger".



A change-of-command ceremony aboard the Japanese battleship Nagato, flagship for the newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Soh Yamamura) takes place in 1940. He takes command from Zengo Yoshida (Junya Usami). The two discuss America's embargo that starves Japan of raw materials. While both agree that a war with the United States would be a complete disaster, army hotheads and politicians push through the alliance with Germany and start war plans, believing the U.S. to be preoccupied with the war in Europe. Their fear of war increases when Japan signs the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in Berlin, making Japan the third member of the Axis Powers. With the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, regarded as a "knife to the throat of Japan", Yamamoto orders the planning of a preemptive strike, believing Japan's only hope is to annihilate the American Pacific fleet at the outset of hostilities.

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