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This week marks the anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific and VJ Day.
Emporer Hirohito’s order for his armies to stop fighting brought an end to the war and his unconditional surrender to the Allied forces.
We invite you to test your knowledge on the Pacific War in World War Two for your chance to win a £20 Amazon Voucher.
First Prize: £20 Amazon Voucher. Top score wins - in the event of a tie, a random drawer will be made.
Entries close 23:59 22 August 2020.
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The World War II Quiz
It was the war that saw the greatest generation defend freedom for generations to follow. It was the war that galvanized the legacies of iconic leaders such as Churchill, FDR and Patton. Involving more than 16 million U.S. troops, World War II included around 70 million soldiers across Europe and the Pacific. It was a time marked with heroism and tragedy.
We all know the major events. The invasions of Poland and Paris, the bombings of Great Britain and Pearl Harbor ("a date which will live in infamy") together with conflicts such as D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge are depicted in countless films, miniseries and books. Every year, tourists flock to historic sites and monuments to remember those who served. But these were not actors on movie sets these were real people who joined together, sacrificed and are remembered today as heroes.
The Attack On Pearl Harbor And The Start To The Pacific War
US Navy/Interim Archives/Getty Images Thick smoke billows from stricken American warships. From left, U.S.S. West Virginia and U.S.S. Tennessee.
The Pacific War began at sunrise on Dec. 7, 1941, when the skies above Pearl Harbor filled with hundreds of Japanese fighter planes, while simultaneously in Southeast Asia, Japan attacked multiple countries.
While America was prepared for the possibility of a Japanese attack, and in fact, over half of the public in a nation-wide Gallup poll specified that they felt a Japanese attack was indeed imminent, they hadn't imagined it would be at Pearl Harbor.
However, Franklin D. Roosevelt had allegedly been warned three days before the attack that Pearl Harbor was in danger. The theory is that Roosevelt ignored this 26-page memo detailing Japan's possible motives because he wanted an excuse to enter a war against Japan.
As such, the notion that Pearl Harbor was a "surprise attack" is believed to be a myth.
Regardless, the Americans would claim that while they thought the Japanese might issue a surprise attack, they figured it would be on a colony in the South Pacific, rather in Hawaii, some 4,000 miles away.
The attack that opened the Pacific War was so unexpected to the officers at Pearl Harbor at least, that at first they didn’t even understand what was happening. One soldier, as the first bombs dropped, remarked to a friend: "This is the best goddamn drill the Army Air Force has ever put on."
Within minutes, a 1,800-pound bomb smashed through the U.S.S. Arizona and sent it underwater with more than 1,000 men trapped inside. Then another set of bombs took down the U.S.S. Oklahoma with 400 sailors aboard.
The entire attack was over in less than two hours, and by the time it was done, every single battleship in Pearl Harbor had sustained serious damage. American bases in Guam, Wake Island, and the Philippines were also attacked.
The United States wasn't the only country to be attacked. The Japanese also attacked the British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and Allied forces from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia all contributed to the fighting in the Pacific Theater.
Japan also invaded Thailand and had already stormed China, which would see the bulk of civilian casualties in the Pacific theater.
With these attacks, the U.S. entered into World War II — and they’d nearly lost their entire Pacific Fleet in the process.
It was a major victory for the Japanese. But in winning it, they awakened the enemy that would destroy them.
Indeed, after the war, the Japanese Admiral Tadaichi Hara said : "We won a great tactical victory in Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war."
Japanese strategy after Guadalcanal
The fall of Guadalcanal forced the Japanese leaders to realize that Japan was now on the defensive and that the prospects for the future were increasingly gloomy. On March 25, 1943, the Naval General Staff accordingly mapped out a new policy, which called for strengthening Japan’s remaining defensive positions while launching every possible counterattack. On the same day, the Army and Navy high commands agreed to give priority to the defense of New Guinea with secondary emphasis on the Solomon Islands. To gain time, concentrated air attacks were launched from carriers against Allied positions in New Guinea, where the situation had deteriorated rapidly between early and mid-April. At this time the Japanese forces there were under the direct command of Yamamoto, but April 18 he was killed in an ambush by U.S. fighters when he and his staff were flying from Rabaul to Buin. His death was a significant blow to the Japanese Navy.
When the new Allied offensives were directed to Attu in the Aleutians in May 1943 the Japanese realized that their overextended defense line was now threatened everywhere. They still could not do anything to intercept the enemy invasion of the weakly defended island. At the end of June the Allies’ simultaneous landings on Rendova Island and New Georgia in the Solomons and at Nassau Bay in New Guinea confronted the Japanese with a more serious predicament. By August 5, when the air base at Munda in New Georgia fell to the Allies, the defeat of the Japanese forces in the Solomons was virtually assured. The Nassau Bay landing, followed by offensives along the coast of Huon Gulf, immediately endangered the weak New Guinea defense perimeter at Salamaua and Lae, whence the Japanese garrison was forced to retreat overland. The ever worsening situation in the Pacific thus led the Japanese to an overall review of war plans and to a new policy decision on September 30, 1943. A final defensive line was to be established from West New Guinea and the Carolines to the Marianas by the spring of 1944. This perimeter was to be held at all cost and to be used as a base for counterattacks. Accordingly, vigorous efforts were made to organize a new mobile land-based air force of over 700 planes under the 1st Air Fleet. Meanwhile, the attrition of the Japanese armed forces continued as the two Allied drives from the Solomons and New Guinea increased in tempo. Landings at Finschhafen on the Huon Peninsula in September and at Cape Torokina on Bougainville Island in November meant that Rabaul, a key to the Japanese defense in the theatre, would soon be encircled by the Allies. The Allied landings in the Gilberts later in November and on New Britain in December reinforced the threat of encirclement, but the Japanese, especially the Navy, still clung to Rabaul and even threw its precious carrier force into the battle.
To cope with the new threat, the Japanese Navy hurriedly mapped out a new defense plan, code-named Operation “A,” based on two pillars: the land-based air forces, centring around the newly formed 1st Air Fleet (1,055 planes) deployed in the Marianas, in the Carolines, and in West New Guinea and a sea force of three regular carriers and six minor carriers, with 450 planes in all. In the event of an enemy landing at any point of the final defense line, the land-based air forces were to launch their attacks first and then the naval forces, in concert with those attacks, were to proceed west of the defense line and to deliver a decisive blow. Adm. Koga Mineichi—Yamamoto’s successor and one of the main proponents of the plan—and his staff were killed flying from Palau to Mindanao (in the Philippines) on March 31, 1944. Thereupon, Adm. Toyoda Soemu, Koga’s successor, activated Operation “A.” The 1st Air Fleet, however, could only manage sporadic attacks, and it was only a matter of time before the Japanese home islands would be under threat from the Allies.
Can You Score 27/35 On This Difficult American History Quiz?
Wars, foreign relations, internal struggles, leaders, legislation American history can teach us a lot about ourselves and where we come from. However, that history can also be quite difficult to fully grasp sometimes. Are you an expert on American history? Here's a quiz where you can find out just how much you know!
Even before the founding of the United States as an independent country, America's history was complicated, from colonial times to the American Revolution, and even when it comes to more recent history, that hasn't changed. The history of America, of course, has been marred by some grim segments, particularly related to Indian removal and slavery, but it's also been inspirational, displaying the triumphs of a country still finding itself and its place in the world.
Are you ready to test your knowledge on American history with this difficult quiz? Can you recall some of the lesser-known facts relating to the most significant events that shaped the United States? Do you know which presidencies were defined by important legislation or acts?
This quiz will challenge you on all aspects of American society from culture to economics to politics. If you are up for the challenge, get started and put your American history knowledge on display for everyone to see!
Pacific War Quiz - History
1. What country was the main Axis power in the Pacific theater of World War II?
a. Soviet Union
d. United States
2. What Prime Minister of Japan pushed for Japan to attack the United States?
b. Hideki Tojo
c. Osami Nagano
e. Fumimaro Konoe
3. What day did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?
4. True or False: Japan achieved their main goal in attacking Pearl Harbor when the United States entered World War II on side of the Allied Powers.
5. What did the United States victory at the Battle of Midway do for the Americans in the war?
a. It weakened the Japanese by sinking four aircraft carriers
b. It gave the Americans cause for hope
c. It was a turning point in the war
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
6. The picture of marines raising a flag that was used for the Marine Corps Memorial was taken on what island?
e. Iwo Jima
7. When the Japanese forces withdrew to mainland Japan, what did the United States decide to do?
a. Invade Japan even though it would likely cost the lives of 1 million soldiers
b. Leave Japan alone and enact economic sanctions
c. Drop the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima
d. Leave the invasion of Japan up to the Chinese
e. Put a permanent blockade around the country of Japan
8. What US general accepted the surrender of the Japanese forces?
a. Douglas MacArthur
b. Dwight D. Eisenhower
c. Omar Bradley
d. George Marshall
e. George S. Patton
9. What were Kamikaze attacks?
a. A very fast attack with overwhelming forces
b. An attack using combined navy and air force units
c. When the US forces would land on the shore of an island
d. When Japanese planes would purposely crash into US ships
e. A surprise attack from a soldier hidden in a hole in the ground
10. Why did the Japanese want to take over other countries?
a. Because they were worried that the other countries would attack them
b. Because they felt they needed the natural resources to become a major world power
c. Because the other countries attacked them first
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
Pacific War Quiz - History
Timeline of Events
December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.
December 8, 1941 - U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.
December 9, 1941 - China declares war on Japan.
December 10, 1941 - Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam.
December 11, 1941 - Japanese invade Burma.
December 15, 1941 - First Japanese merchant ship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
December 16, 1941 - Japanese invade British Borneo.
December 18, 1941 - Japanese invade Hong Kong.
December 22, 1941 - Japanese invade Luzon in the Philippines.
December 23, 1941 - General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan Japanese take Wake Island.
December 25, 1941 - British surrender at Hong Kong.
December 26, 1941 - Manila declared an open city.
December 27, 1941 - Japanese bomb Manila.
Map of the Japanese Empire at its peak in 1942.
January 2, 1942 - Manila and U.S. Naval base at Cavite captured by the Japanese.
January 7, 1942 - Japanese attack Bataan in the Philippines.
January 11, 1942 - Japanese invade Dutch East Indies and Dutch Borneo.
January 16, 1942 - Japanese begin an advance into Burma.
January 18, 1942 - German-Japanese-Italian military agreement signed in Berlin.
January 19, 1942 - Japanese take North Borneo.
January 23, 1942 - Japanese take Rabaul on New Britain in the Solomon Islands and also invade Bougainville, the largest island.
January 27, 1942 - First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
January 30/31 - The British withdraw into Singapore. The siege of Singapore then begins.
February 1, 1942 - First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
February 2, 1942 - Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.
February 8/9 - Japanese invade Singapore.
February 14, 1942 - Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
February 15, 1942 - British surrender at Singapore.
February 19, 1942 - Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia Japanese invade Bali.
February 20, 1942 - First U.S. fighter ace of the war, Lt. Edward O'Hare from the LEXINGTON in action off Rabaul.
February 22, 1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General MacArthur out of the Philippines.
February 23, 1942 - First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
February 24, 1942 - ENTERPRISE attacks Japanese on Wake Island.
February 26, 1942 - First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.
February 27- March 1 - Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the largest U.S. warship in the Far East, the HOUSTON, is sunk.
March 4, 1942 - Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor ENTERPRISE attacks Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.
March 7, 1942 - British evacuate Rangoon in Burma Japanese invade Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea.
March 8, 1942 - The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.
March 11, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright becomes the new U.S. commander.
March 18, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater by President Roosevelt.
March 18, 1942 - War Relocation Authority established in the U.S. which eventually will round up 120,000 Japanese-Americans and transport them to barb-wired relocation centers. Despite the internment, over 17,000 Japanese-Americans sign up and fight for the U.S. in World War II in Europe, including the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history.
March 23, 1942 - Japanese invade the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
March 24, 1942 - Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.
April 3, 1942 - Japanese attack U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.
April 6, 1942 - First U.S. troops arrive in Australia.
April 9, 1942 - U.S. forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.
April 10, 1942 - Bataan Death March begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.
April 18, 1942 - Surprise U.S. 'Doolittle' B-25 air raid from the HORNET against Tokyo boosts Allied morale.
April 29, 1942 - Japanese take central Burma.
May 1, 1942 - Japanese occupy Mandalay in Burma.
May 3, 1942 - Japanese take Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
May 5, 1942 - Japanese prepare to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.
May 6, 1942 - Japanese take Corregidor as Gen. Wainwright unconditionally surrenders all U.S. And Filipino forces in the Philippines.
May 7-8, 1942 - Japan suffers its first defeat of the war during the Battle of the Coral Sea off New Guinea - the first time in history that two opposing carrier forces fought only using aircraft without the opposing ships ever sighting each other.
May 12, 1942 - The last U.S. Troops holding out in the Philippines surrender on Mindanao.
May 20, 1942 - Japanese complete the capture of Burma and reach India.
June 4-5, 1942 - Turning point in the war occurs with a decisive victory for the U.S. against Japan in the Battle of Midway as squadrons of U.S. torpedo planes and dive bombers from ENTERPRISE, HORNET, and YORKTOWN attack and destroy four Japanese carriers, a cruiser, and damage another cruiser and two destroyers. U.S. loses YORKTOWN.
June 7, 1942 - Japanese invade the Aleutian Islands.
June 9, 1942 - Japanese postpone further plans to take Midway.
July 21, 1942 - Japanese land troops near Gona on New Guinea.
August 7, 1942 - The first U.S. amphibious landing of the Pacific War occurs as 1st Marine Division invades Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
August 8, 1942 - U.S. Marines take the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and name it Henderson Field after Maj. Lofton Henderson, a hero of Midway.
August 8/9 - A major U.S. naval disaster off Savo Island, north of Guadalcanal, as eight Japanese warships wage a night attack and sink three U.S. heavy cruisers, an Australian cruiser, and one U.S. destroyer, all in less than an hour. Another U.S. cruiser and two destroyers are damaged. Over 1,500 Allied crewmen are lost.
August 17, 1942 - 122 U.S. Marine raiders, transported by submarine, attack Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
August 21, 1942 - U.S. Marines repulse first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal.
August 24, 1942 - U.S. And Japanese carriers meet in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons resulting in a Japanese defeat.
August 29, 1942 - The Red Cross announces Japan refuses to allow safe passage of ships containing supplies for U.S. POWs.
August 30, 1942 - U.S. Troops invade Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.
September 9/10 - A Japanese floatplane flies two missions dropping incendiary bombs on U.S. forests in the state of Oregon - the only bombing of the continental U.S. during the war. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.
September 12-14 - Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal.
September 15, 1942 - A Japanese submarine torpedo attack near the Solomon Islands results in the sinking of the Carrier WASP, Destroyer O'BRIEN and damage to the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.
September 27, 1942 - British offensive in Burma.
October 11/12 - U.S. cruisers and destroyers defeat a Japanese task force in the Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal.
October 13, 1942 - The first U.S. Army troops, the 164th Infantry Regiment, land on Guadalcanal.
October 14/15 - Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night from warships then send troops ashore onto Guadalcanal in the morning as U.S. planes attack.
October 15/17 - Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night again from warships.
October 18, 1942 - Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.
October 26, 1942 - Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal between U.S. And Japanese warships results in the loss of the Carrier HORNET.
November 14/15 - U.S. And Japanese warships clash again off Guadalcanal resulting in the sinking of the U.S. Cruiser JUNEAU and the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers.
November 23/24 - Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia.
November 30 - Battle of Tasafaronga off Guadalcanal.
December 2, 1942 - Enrico Fermi conducts the world's first nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago.
December 20-24 - Japanese air raids on Calcutta, India.
December 31, 1942 - Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives permission to his troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal after five months of bloody fighting against U.S. Forces
January 2, 1943 - Allies take Buna in New Guinea.
January 22, 1943 - Allies defeat Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.
February 1, 1943 - Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal.
February 8, 1943 - British-Indian forces begin guerrilla operations against Japanese in Burma.
February 9, 1943 - Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ends.
March 2-4 - U.S. victory over Japanese in the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
April 18, 1943 - U.S. code breakers pinpoint the location of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Eighteen P-38 fighters then locate and shoot down Yamamoto.
April 21, 1943 - President Roosevelt announces the Japanese have executed several airmen from the Doolittle Raid.
April 22, 1943 - Japan announces captured Allied pilots will be given "one way tickets to hell."
May 10, 1943 - U.S. Troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
May 14, 1943 - A Japanese submarine sinks the Australian hospital ship CENTAUR resulting in 299 dead.
May 31, 1943 - Japanese end their occupation of the Aleutian Islands as the U.S. completes the capture of Attu.
June 1, 1943 - U.S. begins submarine warfare against Japanese shipping.
June 21, 1943 - Allies advance to New Georgia, Solomon Islands.
July 8, 1943 - B-24 Liberators flying from Midway bomb Japanese on Wake Island.
August 1/2 - A group of 15 U.S. PT-boats attempt to block Japanese convoys south of Kolombangra Island in the Solomon Islands. PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by the Japanese Cruiser AMAGIRI, killing two and badly injuring others. The crew survives as Kennedy aids one badly injured man by towing him to a nearby atoll.
August 6/7, 1943 - Battle of Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands.
August 25, 1943 - Allies complete the occupation of New Georgia.
September 4, 1943 - Allies recapture Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea.
October 7, 1943 - Japanese execute approximately 100 American POWs on Wake Island.
October 26, 1943 - Emperor Hirohito states his country's situation is now "truly grave."
November 1, 1943 - U.S. Marines invade Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
November 2, 1943 - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay.
November 20, 1943 - U.S. Troops invade Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.
November 23, 1943 - Japanese end resistance on Makin and Tarawa.
December 15, 1943 - U.S. Troops land on the Arawe Peninsula of New Britain in the Solomon Islands.
December 26, 1943 - Full Allied assault on New Britain as 1st Division Marines invade Cape Gloucester.
January 9, 1944 - British and Indian troops recapture Maungdaw in Burma.
January 31, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
February 1-7, 1944 - U.S. Troops capture Kwajalein and Majura Atolls in the Marshall Islands.
February 17/18 - U.S. Carrier-based planes destroy the Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands.
February 20, 1944 - U.S. Carrier-based and land-based planes destroy the Japanese base at Rabaul.
February 23, 1944 - U.S. Carrier-based planes attack the Mariana Islands.
February 24, 1944 - Merrill's Marauders begin a ground campaign in northern Burma.
March 5, 1944 - Gen. Wingate's groups begin operations behind Japanese lines in Burma.
March 15, 1944 - Japanese begin offensive toward Imphal and Kohima.
April 17, 1944 - Japanese begin their last offensive in China, attacking U.S. air bases in eastern China.
April 22, 1944 - Allies invade Aitape and Hollandia in New Guinea.
May 27, 1944 - Allies invade Biak Island, New Guinea.
June 5, 1944 - The first mission by B-29 Superfortress bombers occurs as 77 planes bomb Japanese railway facilities at Bangkok, Thailand.
June 15, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
June 15/16 - The first bombing raid on Japan since the Doolittle raid of April 1942, as 47 B-29s based in Bengel, India, target the steel works at Yawata.
June 19, 1944 - The "Marianas Turkey Shoot" occurs as U.S. Carrier-based fighters shoot down 220 Japanese planes, while only 20 American planes are lost.
July 8, 1944 - Japanese withdraw from Imphal.
July 19, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.
July 24, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Tinian.
July 27, 1944 - American troops complete the liberation of Guam.
August 3, 1944 - U.S. And Chinese troops take Myitkyina after a two month siege.
August 8, 1944 - American troops complete the capture of the Mariana Islands.
September 15, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Morotai and the Paulaus.
October 11, 1944 - U.S. Air raids against Okinawa.
October 18, 1944 - Fourteen B-29s based on the Marianas attack the Japanese base at Truk.
October 20, 1944 - U.S. Sixth Army invades Leyte in the Philippines.
October 23-26 - Battle of Leyte Gulf results in a decisive U.S. Naval victory.
October 25, 1944 - The first suicide air (Kamikaze) attacks occur against U.S. warships in Leyte Gulf. By the end of the war, Japan will have sent an estimated 2,257 aircraft. "The only weapon I feared in the war," Adm. Halsey will say later.
November 11, 1944 - Iwo Jima bombarded by the U.S. Navy.
November 24, 1944 - Twenty four B-29s bomb the Nakajima aircraft factory near Tokyo.
December 15, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Mindoro in the Philippines.
December 17, 1944 - The U.S. Army Air Force begins preparations for dropping the Atomic Bomb by establishing the 509th Composite Group to operate the B-29s that will deliver the bomb.
January 3, 1945 - Gen. MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Nimitz in command of all naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan itself.
January 4, 1945 - British occupy Akyab in Burma.
January 9, 1945 - U.S. Sixth Army invades Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Philippines.
January 11, 1945 - Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. Carrier-based planes.
January 28, 1945 - The Burma road is reopened.
February 3, 1945 - U.S. Sixth Army attacks Japanese in Manila.
February 16, 1945 - U.S. Troops recapture Bataan in the Philippines.
February 19, 1945 - U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
March 1, 1945 - A U.S. submarine sinks a Japanese merchant ship loaded with supplies for Allied POWs, resulting in a court martial for the captain of the submarine, since the ship had been granted safe passage by the U.S. Government.
March 2, 1945 - U.S. airborne troops recapture Corregidor in the Philippines.
March 3, 1945 - U.S. And Filipino troops take Manila.
March 9/10 - Fifteen square miles of Tokyo erupts in flames after it is fire bombed by 279 B-29s.
March 10, 1945 - U.S. Eighth Army invades Zamboanga Peninsula on Mindanao in the Philippines.
March 20, 1945 - British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.
March 27, 1945 - B-29s lay mines in Japan's Shimonoseki Strait to interrupt shipping.
April 1, 1945 - The final amphibious landing of the war occurs as the U.S. Tenth Army invades Okinawa.
April 7, 1945 - B-29s fly their first fighter-escorted mission against Japan with P-51 Mustangs based on Iwo Jima U.S. Carrier-based fighters sink the super battleship YAMATO and several escort vessels which planned to attack U.S. Forces at Okinawa.
April 12, 1945 - President Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Harry S. Truman.
May 8, 1945 - Victory in Europe Day.
May 20, 1945 - Japanese begin withdrawal from China.
May 25, 1945 - U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation Olympic, the invasion of Japan, scheduled for November 1.
June 9, 1945 - Japanese Premier Suzuki announces Japan will fight to the very end rather than accept unconditional surrender.
June 18, 1945 - Japanese resistance ends on Mindanao in the Philippines.
June 22, 1945 - Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa as the U.S. Tenth Army completes its capture.
June 28, 1945 - MacArthur's headquarters announces the end of all Japanese resistance in the Philippines.
July 5, 1945 - Liberation of Philippines declared.
July 10, 1945 - 1,000 bomber raids against Japan begin.
July 14, 1945 - The first U.S. Naval bombardment of Japanese home islands.
July 16, 1945 - First Atomic Bomb is successfully tested in the U.S.
July 26, 1945 - Components of the Atomic Bomb "Little Boy" are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.
July 29, 1945 - A Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser INDIANAPOLIS resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days.
August 6, 1945 - First Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima from a B-29 flown by Col. Paul Tibbets.
August 8, 1945 - U.S.S.R. declares war on Japan then invades Manchuria.
August 9, 1945 - Second Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki from a B-29 flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney -- Emperor Hirohito and Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki then decide to seek an immediate peace with the Allies.
August 14, 1945 - Japanese accept unconditional surrender Gen. MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.
August 16, 1945 - Gen. Wainwright, a POW since May 6, 1942, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria.
August 27, 1945 - B-29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.
August 29, 1945 - The Soviets shoot down a B-29 dropping supplies to POWs in Korea U.S. Troops land near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan.
August 30, 1945 - The British reoccupy Hong Kong.
September 2, 1945 - Formal Japanese surrender ceremony on board the MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay as 1,000 carrier-based planes fly overhead President Truman declares VJ Day.
September 3, 1945 - The Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.
September 4, 1945 - Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.
September 5, 1945 - British land in Singapore.
September 8, 1945 - MacArthur enters Tokyo.
September 9, 1945 - Japanese in Korea surrender.
September 13, 1945 - Japanese in Burma surrender.
October 24, 1945 - United Nations is born.
The History Place - World War II in the Pacific - Selected Battle Photos
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Can You Score 27/35 On This Difficult WWII Quiz?
And World War II was simply mindblowing when you look at the numbers. Estimates put the number of dead at the end of the war at between 50 and 70 million.
And many of these were women and children. It's so sad when the innocent die as a result of world leaders flexing their muscles.
After the punitive measures of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, it's obvious that someone like Hitler would rise up and stir up the German nation. Hitler's rebuilding of the Germany army, navy and air force was left unchecked. The League of Nations did nothing. Harold MacMillan declared after visiting Hitler that there would still be "peace in our time".
A few years later, and Britain and Germany were at war.
Pearl Harbor and the Japanese attack on it brought the United States into the war in 1941.
And from there on, it was a case of someone needing to win. The Allies consisting of the USSR, Britain and the Commonwealth and the United States against the Axis, mainly consisting of German, Japan and Italy.
And we all know how it turned out. But at what cost!
This is the ultimate in World War II quizzes covering a wide range of subjects from that conflict.
What is the name of the famous dictator who was killed and hanged by his feet from a lamppost?
Until her death, Adolf Hitler's life companion remained virtually unknown to the German public. What was her name?
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Nazi-Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. Who was it named after?
During World War I a historical event took place in Belgium on Christmas Eve, 1914 - which?
What is the name of the English luxurious car brand which delivered the motors for both the Spitfire and Hurricane jets during World War II?
Which German company provided uniforms to the German army, amongst others, during World War II?
How many people died because of the Nazi extinctions during World War II?
What was the yellow star used for during World War II?
Which punishment was the Nazi Albert Speer sentenced to during the 1946 Nuremberg Trials?
Who was Minister of Armaments and War Production in Germany 1942-1945?
From which French city were almost 350,000 Allied soldiers evacuated during World War II?
Which general was in charge of the development of the first atomic bomb?
Which year did the Nazis start to kill physically and mentally disabled people?
Where did the Nazis originally plan to send the Jews before they instead starting killing them in concentration camps?
How many Jews died because of the Holocaust during World War II?
How many physically and mentally disabled people were persecuted by Nazi Germany during World War II?
Which nick-name did Adolf Hitler give his life companion, Eva Braun?
How did the leader of Nazi-Germany, Adolf Hitler, die?
When did Adolf Hitler become a German citizen?
In which country was Adolf Hitler born?
How many people could the largest gas chambers in the concentration camp Auschwitz hold at any one time?
In which of the occupied countries was the concentration camp Auschwitz located?
Where was the first atomic bomb Trinity detonated?
What was the lab called where the first atomic bomb was developed?
What is the name of the American project under which the first atomic bombs were developed?
Which American president approved the dropping of 2 atomic bombs over Japan towards the end of World War II?
What was the "Manhattan Project"?
Which year did the Americans drop two atomic bombs on Japan?
How much did Germany have to pay in reparations after World War II?
What was the code name for Nazi-Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union that began on 22 June 1941?
Key Facts & Information
LEADING UP TO THE PACIFIC WAR
- Before the eventual start of the Pacific War, Imperial Japan was already trying to establish its world power. However, Japan was a relatively small island country, which pushed them to import natural resources.
- With the invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Japanese empire had been adamant in pursuing its expansion in East Asia. Following this, Japan launched a brutal attack against China in 1937.
- On September 27, 1940, Japan joined the military alliance known as the Axis Powers after signing the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy.
- As the Japanese forces continued to assert its military power in the Pacific region, the United States responded by imposing economic sanctions over Japan, which caused shortages of oil and other natural resources in the imperial country.
- However, with an ambitious desire to conquer other countries in the Pacific region and keep the Western troops out of sight, Japan retaliated by attacking the United States and British forces in Asia, thereby seizing its resources.
BEGINNING OF THE PACIFIC WAR
- On December 8, 1941, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan. The US eventually joined the Allied Powers with France, Great Britain, and Russia, thus marking the involvement of the US forces in WWII.
- Shortly after, Nazi Germany waged war against the United States on December 11, 1941, which was likewise answered by the Americans, as they declared war against Germany.
- Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan had numerous military successes. By December 1941, Japan already invaded Guam, Wake Island, and Hong Kong.
- In the first half of 1942, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia), Malaya (present Malaysia), Singapore, and Burma (present Myanmar) all fell into the hands of the Japanese.
- The Japanese military troops also managed to pressure neutral Thailand to declare war on the United States and Great Britain.
- However, by mid-1942, Australian and New Zealander forces in New Guinea and British forces in India were able to stop the Japanese forces from further advancing their invasion.
- From June 4-7, 1942, the Battle of Midway took place. The American fleet ended up victorious after outnumbering and sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers and forcing the Japanese to turn back. Japan sustained over 3,000 deaths. This critical battle was the turning point of the Pacific War.
- This was followed by the American assault against the Japanese in the Solomon Islands in August 1942, which resulted in the costly withdrawal of the Japanese military from the Guadalcanal Islands in February 1943.
- There were many battles fought in the Pacific region, especially those involving strategic islands, such as the Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima (bombed for 76 days), and Okinawa. These all resulted in the defeat of the Japanese forces, which sustained significant casualties. Even after these heavy losses, Japan was able to maintain its hold on mainland China until 1945.
- During the US invasions, Japan employed a suicidal military tactic of purposely crashing their fighter jets into US ships. This tactic was known as Kamikaze attacks.
- In October 1944, the American forces started its campaign to reclaim the Philippines from the Japanese empire. The British forces, meanwhile, recaptured Burma, another costly loss to Japan.
- Furthermore, the Japanese army had been successfully pushed back to their country by 1945, but they would not surrender.
- In response, the United States Army Air Force resorted to dropping atomic bombs, destroying the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. It killed thousands of people due to the initial explosion and radiation exposure, but Japan again refused to surrender.
- Three days later, the US dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki, which finally forced Japan to surrender.
- Following this, Emperor Hirohito formally announced the surrender of Japan to the American forces on August 15, 1945.
END OF THE PACIFIC WAR
- On September 2, 1945, Japan finally signed a surrender treaty with US General Douglas MacArthur aboard American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Harbor. This day was eventually known as VJ day, which means victory in Japan.
- During WWII, the Japanese committed numerous war crimes, including the massacre of up to 20 million Chinese people under their infamous slogan “Kill All, Burn All, Loot All”. Biological weapons were also used to torture war prisoners.
- This resulted in the execution of many Japanese military leaders, including Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.
- Furthermore, it was estimated that 60% of the 1.7 million Japanese troops deployed during WWII died of malnutrition and diseases.
Pacific War Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Pacific War across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Pacific War worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Pacific War. The Pacific theater and the European theater were the two major territories where the events of the Second World War took place. The Pacific covered a large portion of the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, involving Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines in various significant engagements during WWII.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- WWII: Pacific War Facts
- Mapping Out the Battle
- Find the Words
- Fact or Bluff
- Pacific War: A Timeline
- Key Personalities
- The Outcome of the Battle
- Historical Significance
- The Price of the Battle
- In Popular Culture
- In a Nutshell
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.