On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the United States naval base in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a tactical failure. Intended to cripple the United States' Pacific Fleet, it failed at its primary goals of blocking the harbor with wreckage and destroying the key capitol ships--the aircraft carriers--at the heart of the Pacific Fleet. It was also a strategic blunder in that the attack unified the country behind a war against Japan, which lacked both the manpower and resources to prosecute a lengthy war against the United States. After the Battle of Midway, six months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese fleet was so weakened that Japan was placed on the defensive for the remainder of the war.