Pacific War, 1942
By the time the U.S. entered WW2, war had been going on for almost two years in Europe,
four years in China, and almost five years in Africa. The following is a summary of
some of the actives in the Pacific in the First Year of World War Two. To
understand, we begin at the beginning.
- German continues advance in USSR and North Africa throughout most of 1942.
- Japanese reach peak expansion in Spring-Summer. Expansion is stopped at Coral Sea and the Japanese are bloodied at Midway, Guadalcanal, New Guinea in Summer-Fall. Daily : Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec.
- Jan 2 . Manila taken
- Jan 11. Japs invade Dutch Borneo
- Jan 24. Japs attack Rabaul and Celebes. U.S. Marines reinforce Samoa.
- Jan 24. Japanese troopships sunk at Balikpapan by destroyers, submarine and air attack.
- Feb 1 . US raids Marshall and Gilbert Islands
- Feb 4 . Makassar Strait - Allied fleet attacked by air.
- Feb 9 . Japs attack Lea, New Guinea.
- Feb 15. Singapore falls.
- Feb 18. Battle of Badoeng/Lombok Straits - Dutch CLs attack troop ships.
- Feb 19. Jap planes attack Darwin, Australia.
- Feb 20. Invade Timor
- Feb 27. Allies fleet defeated in Battle of Java Sea - 2CL, 5DD sunk, Exeter damaged, later sunk.
- Feb 28. Japs invade Java, most prized objective.
- Feb 28. Battle of Sunda Strait, last of allied fleet destroyed - Houston, Perth, Evertsen
- Mar 4 . Enterprise bombs Marcus Island.
- Mar 5 . Battle of Bantam Bay.
- Mar 8 . Take Salamaua, New Guinea.
- Mar 9 . Dutch surrender East Indies.
- Mar 12. MacAuthur leaves Corregidor.
- Mar 30. Japs occupy Christmas Island (Australian).
- Mar 31. Japs take Bougainville in northern Solomons.
- Apr 9 . Bataan surrenders.
- Apr 21. Doolittle Raid on Tokyo
- Apr 25. British abandon Burma
- May 5 . Battle of Coral Sea: first stop to Jap expansion, at New Guinea. Lexington lost.
- May 7 . Mindanao falls.
- May 8 . Corregidor falls, all Philippines surrendered.
- May 10. RAF attacks Germany.
- May 27. Marine air base operational at Efate, New Hebrides
- June 3 . Dutch Harbor (Alaska) attacked - prelude to Midway.
- June 4 . Battle of Midway - 4:1 in favor of US in carriers.
- June 7. Yorktown lost to submarine.
- Jun 11. Kiska (Aleutian Islands) bombed.
- Aug 7 . U.S Marines land at Guadalcanal and Tuluga in Solomons.
- Aug 8 . U.S. loses screening force in Battle of Savo Island in 32 minutes.
- Aug 24. Battle of Eastern Solomon Sea, air battle. US outnumbered 7:2; Jap fleet withdraws.
- Aug 30. Bases established on Adak (Aleutians) by US Army and seaplane tender.
- Sep 15. Wasp sunk escorting Marines to Guadalcanal.
- Oct 11. Battle of Cape Esperance, US wins cruiser fight
- Oct 23. El Alamein offensive begins
- Oct 25. Battle of Santa Cruz, both air arms weakened. Hornet lost.
- Nov 12. Navy battles bombardment force off Guadalcanal: US cruisers vs Jap battleships.
- Nov 14. Battle of Guadalcanal II, US battleship victory
- Nov 27. French scuttle fleet at Toulon
- Nov 30. Battle of Tassafaronga, US cruisers out fought by Jap destroyers.
- Dec. . Daily fights with Jap reinforcement of Guadalcanal.
- Dec 25. USAAF heavy bombers begin attacks on Rabaul.
1943 - The "Roll-back" started at El Alamein, Stalingrad, Guadalcanal and New Guinea continues.
1944 - "The whirlwind" is reaped on the Axis.
1945 - Victory! Germany surrenders, VE Day, May 15. Japan surrenders, VJ Day, Aug 15.
Return to home page. See these other pages:
- WW2 menu - the Early Years
- Attacks and Threats on the U.S. in WW2 , Pre-War , Countdown , Pearl Harbor , Dec'41
- Chronology: Dec 1941--Aug 1945
- Daily 1942 :
Jan , February , March ,
April , May , June ,
July , Aug , Sep ,
Oct , Nov , Dec .
About this Page: Pac42.html An outline of the first year of World War II in the Pacific, 1942. Last updated on September 23, 2000
Comments to : URL: http://www.ww2pacific.com/pac42.html
Modern China began with the overthrow of the Ch'ing dynasty in 1912. President Yuan accepted Japanese 21 points of influence. On his death in 1916, the massive country of China was divided among his subordinates and local war lords. International commercial interests had spheres of influence. The battle for national political influence was fought by backing of various coalitions of war lords, specially by Russia and Japan, traditional rivals, each of which wanted to consider China as a puppet state. By the middle 20's, Chaing Kai'shek had thrown off this communist sponsors and Chaing Tso-lin had been murdered by his Japanese backers. Chaing consolidated a national government, albeit with a communist rival; Russia controlled the (outer) Mongolian Peoples Republic; and Japan concentrated power north of the Great Wall.
Japan had started three previously victorious wars: Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895
obtained Formosa and the Pescadores. The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 gained
Port Arthur and Korea. First World War gained the former German colony
on the China coast and islands in the north Pacific and 21 point concessions from
China. The imperial military, not under the parliamentary Diet, occupied
Manchuria and governed it as the puppet state of Manchukuo. Japan was to start
two more wars in the next few years.
Jan 7 . US protests Japanese aggression in Manchuria.
Jan 29. Japs raid and bomb Shanghai, profess "destiny".
Feb18. Japanese declare Manchuria to be Manchukuo, a ward of Japan.
Feb . Japan occupies Jehol province in China; to be annexed to Manchukuo.
Feb 24. League of Nations calls for Japan to retire from Manchuria.
Chaing attacks communist province of Kiangsi.
Long March of communists from Kiangsi
More of northeast China is occupied by Japanese.
Mao Tse-tung emerges a leader from Long March, 6000 miles.
Feb 26. Attempted coup gains military increased power in Japanese government.
Chiang Kai-shek declares Japan is at war with China.
Dec . Sian agreement ends civil war between communists and nationalists in China.
June 7 . Formal start of Sino-Japanese War by staged attack on Marco Polo bridge in Peking.
July 28. Peking occupied.
Quick victories in northern China.
Nov . Take Shanghai in eastern China.
Dec 13. Japanese "Rape of Nanking" - 200,000 murdered - shocks the world.
Fall . Japanese advance up Yangtze River in east central China
May . Japanese link northern and eastern conquests of China.
July 11. USSR-Japan clash.
Russian troops defeat Japanese incursion at Nomonhaniu
Sep 3 . War declared in Europe.
June 24. Japanese pressure Vichy for French Indochina, start build up of troops for invasion of southeast Asia.
Aug 27. U.S. passes selective service
Japan occupies coastal cities of southern China and southern French Indo-China.
For Japan to gain control the population of China required the resources of the East Indies. The US had suspended strategic trade with Japan. The western powers were involved in a European war. The United State was gearing up its military that would soon put Japan at a disadvantage. Japan felt the time to take the East Indies and Indochina was now. The goal was destroy the retaliatory capabilities of the U.S., British, and Dutch navies and to establish a defensive ring of fortified islands. This was to take six months. After that, a settlement could be established to retain the conquests. Then, Japan could return to the war to take China and complete her "destiny" to control the orient.
Jan 17. Koh Chang naval fight between French and Thai
July 26. MacAuthur to head US forces in the Far East.
Oct 5 . U.S. organized reserve called to active duty by year-end.
Nov 25. Japanese convoy of war and troop ships sighted on way to East Indies.
Nov 26. Strike fleet departs Japanese waters for Pearl Harbor.
Dec 4 . Invasion fleets set sail for Malaya and Thailand.
Dec 7 . (U.S. time) Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Midway, Wake Island. Simultaneously,
Dec 8 . (Tokyo time) Japanese attack Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaya, Philippines
Dec 8 . U.S. declares a State of War exists with the Empire of Japan.
Dec 9 . (Tokyo time) Japanese Imperial Rescript declares a State of War with the US and UK.
Dec 9 . Japs sink HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales off Malaya
Dec 10. Japs take Guam, Makin, Tarawa.
Dec 10. Japs land on Luzon, P.I.
Dec 11. German/Italian axis declares war on U.S.
Dec 11. Wake Island defended.
Dec 11. U.S., others respond with war on Germany and Italy.
Dec 15. Japs invade north Borneo.
Dec 19. Japs invade Mindanao
Dec 22. Main Jap invasion force on Luzon.
Dec 23. Japs bomb Rangoon, Burma: 2,000 killed.
Dec 23. Wake Island falls.
Dec 25. Hong Kong surrenders.
1942 - The First Year ( See some details in the Pre-War Years, 1932-1941 )