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 success but a strategic 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 also unified the country behind a war against Japan, which lacked both the manpower and resources to prosecute a lengthy war against the United States. Approximately 6 months later, the Japanese fleet was decisively defeated at the Battle of Midway. Although the U.S. had a long row to hoe to final victory over the Japanese, Midway was a turning point, destroying the naval superiority on which Japan relied to win the war.