World War 2 Timeline - Pacific

  • Japan Invades Manchuria

    Japan Invades Manchuria
    Japan begins the invasion of Manchuria. This marks the beginning of the militarists control of the Japanese government. Japan did this to frighten the Soviets and to begin expanding their empire. They believed controlling East Asia would create a Great East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.
  • Manhattan Project Initiated

    Manhattan Project Initiated
    On this Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard and German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein wrote a letter to president Roosevelt telling him of Germany's intention to create a bomb using the theory of nuclear fission. FDR created a team of researchers led by J. Robert Oppenheimer.
  • Tripartitie Pact Signed

    Tripartitie Pact Signed
    Japan, Germany, and Italy sign a pact bringing the three nations into agreement. Japan and Germany had previously had a pact with Germany declaring that both countries would defend each other against the Soviet Union and had a hatred of Communism. This was one of the events that kicked off the war.
  • Hideki Tojo becomes Japan's Prime Minister

    Hideki Tojo becomes Japan's Prime Minister
    During his time as prime minister he will also hold the positions of commerce minister, education minister, home minister, and foreign minister. He was a prime mover in the attacks on China and Pearl Harbor, and was executed at the end of the war for war crimes.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    the Japanese launched a supreise attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. The suprise attack roused the once isolationist America into joining the war. FDR's Speech to congress was filled with emotionally charged language that rallied people to mobilizing for war. It was the largest attack on America
  • Attacks across East Asia by Japan

    Attacks across East Asia by Japan
    Japan, in addition to attacking Pearl Harbor, also attacks China, the Philippines, Guam, French Indochina, New Guinea, and Wake Island.
  • Doolittle Raids

    Doolittle Raids
    The Doolittle Raid, the firebombing of Tokyo by America, starts. This event shook the Japanese to their core. It was the first attack on the Japanese people and effectively wiped away the veil of security of the Japanese main island. It left Tokyo devastated and its citizens in utter despair.
  • Battle of the Coral Sea

    Battle of the Coral Sea
    The ships never saw one another nor shot at each other. Only aircraft carriers engaged the other nation's aircraft carriers. Heavy losses to the Imperial Army's fleet.
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    The Battle of Coral Sea

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    Battle of Midway

  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Midway marked the turning point in the Pacific Theater. Both the United States and Japan wanted to have a decisive victory in the Pacific, and Midway was chosen as the battlefield. It turned out badly for Admiral Yamamoto of Japan. the Japanese were beaten back by the American commander, Chester Nimitz. It was the decisive victory for the Allies.
  • Guadalcanal Campaign Begins

    Guadalcanal Campaign Begins
    It marked the Allies beginning advancement toward Japan and the beginning of Allied victories in the Pacific.
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    The Battle of Guadalcanal

  • Battle of Tarawa

    Battle of Tarawa
    The second major offensive made by the Allies in the Pacific.
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    Battle of Tarawa

  • Battle of Leyte

    Battle of Leyte
    Battle in which US and Filipino forces worked together to defeat the Japenese and liberate the Phillipines from it's 3-year long Japanese control.
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    Battle of Leyte

  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Battle of Iwo Jima
    The Battle for Iwo Jima was one of the last battles of the war. Iwo Jima is an island close to Japan. At the time it had two landing strips for planes, making it strategically significant for the Allies. The Japanese dug themselves in well, and the battle was fierce. But in the end, Americans raised the flag over Iwo Jima.
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    Battle of Iwo Jima

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    Battle of Okinawa

  • Battle of Okinawa Begins

    Battle of Okinawa Begins
    The Battle for Okinawa was the largest battle of the Pacific. It was also the most ferocious and bloody. The Japanese knew Okinawa was their last line of defense, and were fighting to the very last man to protect. Even the civilians on Okinawa were ordered to fight the Allies. The Allies knew that after this, they would take the Japanese main island, and were willing to give their lives to take it. The casualties were huge, and it a prime reason Truman decided to use the atomic bomb.
  • Truman Takes Office

    Truman Takes Office
    Harry Truman becomes the 33rd President of the United States after FDR dies in office. He inherits the problems of the war from FDR and has to make the ultimate and devastating decision as to how to end it.
  • The Trinity Test

    The Trinity Test
    On this date in White Sands, New Mexico, the team of researchers working on the atom bomb first tested their new weapon. It yielded an explosion equal to 20000 tons of TNT. it was stronger than anyone could have predicted. The bomb would be used to end the war with Japan.
  • 1st Atomic Bomb attack on Japan

    1st Atomic Bomb attack on Japan
    President Truman finally decides to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. This plan was to prevent a number of Allied deaths (especially after the Battle of Okinawa) and to force Japan into an unconditional surrender. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki (3 days later) bombs marked the end of WWII and effectively ushered in the Cold War.
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    Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

  • Japan Surrenders

    Japan Surrenders
    After the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Japan's emperor Hirohito intervened and ordered the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the Allies' condition set down in the Potsdam Declaration. Aboard the United States Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), officials from the Japanese government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, thereby ending Pacific Theater of World War 2