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Timeline of the Pacific War

  • The Bombing of Pearl Harbour

    The Bombing of Pearl Harbour
    Just before 8:00 AM on the 7th of December, a surprise air raid on Pearl Harbour, Honolulu, conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. This attack, as well as simultaneous planned attacks (attacks happened at the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway), majorly contributed to the beginning of the Pacific War.
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    Timeline of the Pacific War

    The events of the Pacific War (7 December 1941 – 2 September 1945).
  • Declarations of war on Japan

    Declarations of war on Japan
    The recent air raid of Pearl harbour created waves of U.S allies to declare war on Japan alongside them. This included Britain’s declaration on the 8th of December on Japan, following suit, Australia declared war on the same day and China declaring on the 9th.
  • Burma campaign begins

    Burma campaign begins
    Starting on the 14th of December 1941, the campaign ended on the 13th of September 1945. The campaign was a series of battles in the British colony of Burma, and ending in the Allies victory.
  • The Japanese invade the British Borneo.

  • The Japanese invade Hong Kong.

  • The Japanese invade Luzon, Philippines.

  • The Japanese take Wake Island

    The Japanese take Wake Island
    The Japanese take Wake Island as the Allies withdraw from the Philippines to Bataan. The Battle of Wake Island ends.
  • The Japanese take Hong Kong.

    The Japanese take Hong Kong.
    The British and Australia troops surrender at Hong Kong, subsequently, the Japanese take Hong Kong. The Battle of Hong Kong ends.
  • Manila declared an 'open city.'

    Manila declared an 'open city.'
    Manila is declared an open city. A open city is not occupied or defended by military forces and is not allowed to be bombed under international law.
  • Bombing of Manila

    Bombing of Manila
    The Japanese bombed Manila as part of their aim to create a Asia-Pacific empire.
  • Solomon Island Campaign

    Solomon Island Campaign
    The start of the campaign is unclear but it was imperative to the Allies success and protection from Japan invading Australia. It ended on the 21st of August 1945.
  • German-Italian-Japanese military agreement

    German-Italian-Japanese military agreement
    German and Italian governments enter a secret military agreement with the Japanese military. This agreement split the world into two operational zones.
  • The New Guinea Campaign

    The New Guinea Campaign
    The New Guinea campaign in which the Empire of Japan invaded Australian Territory of New Guinea, resulted and caused heavy losses and crushing defeat for the Japanese. The Ally troops -consisting of mainly Australian troops- decisively cut off Japanese naval supplies.
  • Battle of Singapore

    Battle of Singapore
    The battle went from 7th - 15th of February, resulting in the Japanese capturing Singapore. This became the largest British surrender in history.
  • Bombing of Darwin

    Bombing of Darwin
    The Bombing of Darwin was the first attack and air raid on Australia in the Pacific War. The Japanese pilots targeted the harbour which was a hub for military supplies, inflicting heavy losses for the Allies. In addition, this event start the Battle for Australia which continued until the 2nd of September, the end of the war.
  • The first U.S troops arrive in Australia

  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    The Bataan Death March occurred after Ally troops surrender, consisting of 76,000 Filipino and American troops. After months of battle, they traveled 100 km through scorching jungles to get to confinement camps. Throughout the march they dealt with poor food rations, toil, illness, exposure to extreme weather and horrid treatment from the Japanese. The men walked until the 17th of April, unfortunately, 10,000 of these men lost their lives during the Bataan Death March.
  • The Battle of the Coral Sea

    The Battle of the Coral Sea
    The Battle of the Coral Sea marked the first victory for the Allies against Japan. The Japanese naval and air forces invaded Port Moresby, however, the Allies (mainly American and Australian) naval and air forces retaliated with the same force. Ultimately, the Allies won, making the Japanese lose a strategic point in the war. This battle ended on the 8th of May, marking a successful victory for the Allies.
  • Submarines in Sydney Harbour

    Submarines in Sydney Harbour
    In the early hours of the morning, three midget submarines belonging to the Imperial Japanese Navy entered the Sydney Harbour, avoiding the partially made anti-submarine boom net. They were quickly detected and attacked. One submarine was scuttled, whilst the other was successfully hit however the crew killed themselves. Another submarine attacked, aiming for a heavy military cruiser but hit a converted ferry, killing 21 Australian Navy personnel. More subs came but stopped on the 8th of June.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Midway inflicted irreparable damage to Japanese aircraft carriers.
    The Imperial Japanese Navy planned to ambush American aircraft carriers to expand their defensive perimeter. However, they severely underestimated Americans. American cryptographers then determined the date and location, allowing them to prepare for their own ambush.
    During the battle, Japan lost four major aircraft carriers. Due to the strain of war, Japan couldn't replace their losses because of lacking resources.
  • Kokoda Track Campaign

    Kokoda Track Campaign
    The Kokoda Track campaign is a series of battles in Papua New Guinea. This campaign stopped the rapid Japanese advancements in Asia. Unprepared for jungle terrain, American and Australia troops made risky strategic decisions, ultimately it did work however was costly. The campaign started on the 21st of July and ended on the 16th of November, leading onto the Battle of Buna-Gona against Japanese beachheads, who, surprisingly, lasted until the 22nd January 1943.
  • Guadalcanal Campaign

    Guadalcanal Campaign
    The Guadalcanal campaign is a major campaign lasting from August the 7th to the 9th of February 1943. The Battle of Savo Island was the first one of the Guadalcanal campaign. Transports were being unloaded when they were surprised and defeated by Japanese forces. Four Ally ship sunk creating a naval disaster to supplies and mean, killing over 1500 personnel.More battles occurred but eventually Japan lost. This allowed the Allies to gain control of the southern Solomon's', leading to future wins.
  • Guadalcanal Campaign ends

    Guadalcanal Campaign ends
    On the 14th of January, the Japanese troops in Guadalcanal began evacuation the island. Allied intelligence detected the movement of the Japanese, but was misinterpreted as another attempt at a attack. Allied troops prepared for a fight while Japan continued evacuating their troops, sinking an Ally destroy and losing one. From the 4-7th of February, the Japanese successfully removed 10,662 men, leaving the island on the 7th. It wasn't until the 9th Allies realized, declaring victory.
  • The Battle of the Bismark Sea

    The Battle of the Bismark Sea
    The Australian Royal Force and the U.S. Fifth Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy ship carrying troops to strengthen their defense at Lae. The fight end on the 4th and caused majority of the Japanese task force to be destroyed and their troop deaths was heavy.
  • Death of Admiral Yamamoto

    Death of Admiral Yamamoto
    Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was a well decorated Japanese Marshal Admiral that conducted and oversaw major battles in the Pacific War. On April the 18th, he was flying near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands as part of his inspection tour to boost Japanese morale after the lose of the Guadalcanal campaign. He was shot down by a US aircraft. His death caused a major blow to Japanese morale.
  • Salamaua-Lae Campaign

    Salamaua-Lae Campaign
    Beginning on the 4th of April, the Salamaua-lae campaign was apart of the New Guinea campaign, which resulted in an Allied Victory, ending on the 16th of September. It began with the Australian and United States forces intent to capture two major Japanese bases.
  • The sinking of the AHS Centaur

    The sinking of the AHS Centaur
    The AHS Centaur was an Australian hospital ship that was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Queensland by a Japanese submarine. The incident killed 268 Australian and British medical personnel.
  • New Georgia Campaign

    New Georgia Campaign
    The New Georgia campaign started on the 30th of June and ended on the 7th of October. This campaigned helped the Allies gain more control of the Solomon Islands.
  • Battle of Vella Gulf

    Battle of Vella Gulf
    The Battle of Vella Gulf was naval fight between U.S. troops and Japan's troops on the night of the 6th of August till the morning of the 7th. The battle ending with the U.S. winning for the Allies, with not one U.S. ship being harmed.
  • The Bougainville Campaign

    The Bougainville Campaign
    The Bougainville Campaign was apart of the Allies major plan to neutralize Japanese bases. Finishing on the 21st of August 1945, it resulted in the victory for the Allies and the largely Australian troops fighting there.
  • New Britain Campaign

    New Britain Campaign
    The New Britain campaign was initiated by the Allies as it was apart of their plan to neutralise important Japanese bases. This campaign began on December the 15th in 1943 and ended on August the 21st in 1945, ending in the Allies victory. This campaign kept Japanese forces at New Britain and delayed their action, helping Allies resource supplies.
  • Battle of Imphal starts

    Battle of Imphal starts
    The battle of Imphal was initiated by Japan as an attempt to drive back Ally forces and invade India.
  • Battle of Kohima

    Battle of Kohima
    The battle of Kohima was a turning point in Japanese offensiveness in India. The Japanese force attack Kahima, besieging British and Indian troops. However, by mid-April, the troops were relieved.
  • Mariana and Palau Islands campaign

    Mariana and Palau Islands campaign
    Launched by the United States forces, Mariana and Palau Islands campaign was a important campaign to end thee pacific war. Ending in November the same year, the victory for the Allies meant that Japan supplies lines from the south had been severed, as well as pushing defenses west in the Philippines. All this was crucial for the Allies victory in the war.
  • Bombing of Yawata

    Bombing of Yawata
    On the night of the 15th of June and the early morning of 16th the U.S. bombed Yawata. This air raid was the first one since the Doolittle raid in 1942.
  • Bombing of Yawata

    Bombing of Yawata
    On the night of the 15th of June and the early morning of 16th the U.S. bombed Yawata. The air raid did not achieve it's purpose, but it exposed a weakness of the Japanese and was air raided many more times after. The initial air raid on Yawata raised the awareness of Japanese civilians that their country was losing, taking another hit to Japan's morale.
  • Battle of Kohima ended

    Battle of Kohima ended
    The battle ended with a decisive win for the Allies, with Japan being defeated and never recovered from it. The battle of Kohima and Imphal both gave the Japanese army huge losses and due to them being around the same time, it shook Japan's morale and lost their resources.
  • Battle of Imphal ends

    Battle of Imphal ends
    After four months of fighting at Imphal, the Japanese forces were driven back by the Allies into Burma with heavy losses. This battle as well as the battle of Kohima helped the Allies by weaken Japan's force. The Japanese defeat at these two battles was the largest up until that time.