What else was happening in the world as Pearl Harbor was bombed?
Probably the most important thing was that the Germans had just reached the outskirts of Moscow. The German army was in the western suburbs of the Russian capital, at the edge of the streetcar system, about twenty miles from downtown. But the brutal Russian winter was on them in full force. The Germans were late getting started in 1941, pausing for about two weeks to crush Yugoslavia, and had frittered away strength by attacking on a broad front, with large forces in the north attacking Leningrad, and in the south, driving for the oil of the Caucusus. Nevertheless the central group of Germans almost had Moscow in its grip, and had Moscow fallen, its hard to see how the Soviets could have continued to fight the Germans. But the Russian leader, Stalin, had word from his spies that Germany's ally, Japan, had no plans to attack Russia on its eastern end, on Russia's Pacific coast. This allowed Stalin to move hundreds of thousands of troops from the east, which he had been forced to keep there to guard against a Japanese attack in the east, to the Moscow front. Within a day or two of Pearl Harbor the Germans were suddenly counter-attacked by hordes of winter-equipped Russian troops, and were driven back. The Germans never got so close again to capturing Moscow, or winning the war with Russia, as they were the week of Pearl Harbor.