Pre-U.S. Entry to World War II.
By the time the U.S. entered WW2, war had been going on for over two years in Europe,
four (or ten) years in China, and almost five years in Africa. The following is a summary of
some of the activities the U.S. missed.
Japan and the Way of the Japanese, Shumei Okawa, "Japan's divine mission to rule the world."
July 25. Tanaka Memorial : "in order to conquer the world, we must first conquer China."
Apr 14. Spanish Republic proclaimed; recognized by U.S. and western nations.
Sep 18. Mukden Incident used to justify Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
Nov 7 . Chinese Soviet Republic is proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
Dec . League of Nations appoints commission to investigate Japan in Manchuria.
Jan 7 . U.S. protests Japanese aggression in Manchuria, puppet state of Manchukuo.
Jan 29. Shanghai War of 1932 , Japan raid and bomb Shanghai, profess "destiny".
Feb 18. Japan declares Manchuria independent of China.
July 17. German communists attack a National Socialist parade.
Aug 30. Hermann Göring elected chairman of the German Senate.
Jan 17. Congress approves path to Philippines independence.
Jan 30. Adolph Hitler made Chancellor of German.
Feb 27. Reichstag Fire, leads to loss of German civil rights.
Mar 5 . Nazi receive 44% of votes in election.
Mar 24. Jews call for a boycott of German goods.
Mar 27. Japan withdraws from League of Nations over Manchukuo.
May 10. Book burning by Nazi.
Jan 26. German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact
Feb 12. Austrian civil war for 4 days.
Mar 24. Philippine Commonwealth established.
Apr 18. Japan tells western powers to keep out of China.
Aug 2 . Hindenburg dies ; Hitler proclaimed Fuhre.
Oct 16. Start of the Long March of the Chinese Communists
October. Collapse of Geneva Disarmament Conference; authorize 100 ships, 1000 airplanes.
Dec 5 . Abyssinia Crisis: Ethiopian and Italian troops exchange gunfire at Walwai.
Dec 29. Japan renounces Naval Treaties of 1922 and 1930.
Feb 8 . Congress votes ten-year period transition to full independence for Philippines
Mar 1 . Saar votes to return to Germany
Mar 16. Hitler institutes compulsory military service.
Mar 26. Second Naval Arms Treaty by Allies, without Axis, limits ships upon themselves.
Jun 18. Anglo-German Naval Agreement: German navy = 35% Britain's.
Oct 3 . Mussolini invades Ethiopia.
Nov 15. League of Nations place economic sanctions on Italy
Feb 26. Japanese military coup suppressed.
Mar 7 . Hitler reoccupies Rhineland.
Mar 9 . Militarist Prime Minister of Japan.
May 9 . Italy annexation of Italian East Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, It. Somaliland
Chiang Kai-shek declares Japan is making war on China.
July 17. Start of Spanish Civil War. Nationalists seek help from Italy, Germany. Loyalists seek help from France.
Aug 11. Japan's destiny is to dominate eastern Asia
Aug 31. U.S. Neutrality Bill, no shipping to combatant nations. "Schools, not battleships."
Nov 1 . Rome-Berlin Axis speech.
Nov 6 . Siege of Madrid.
Nov 25. Japan joins Germany in Anti-Comintern Pact.
April . British aid to China
Apr 26. Guernica, Spain - Germans develop aerial attack.
May . Neutrality Act, 1937 extended to Spanish Civil War, allows China where war not declared.
May 14. Soviet purge of military leaders.
July 7. Start of Sino Japanese War - staged attack on Marco Polo bridge, attack China proper.
In First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, 42 years earlier, China was defeated and forced to cede Taiwan and Korea.
Aug 5 . Start of Soviet Great Purge, eventually 724,00 people killed.
Germany tries to buy Anticosti Island in St. Lawrence (Quebec purchased in 1974).
Sep 25. Battle of Pinghsingkuan Pass. China communists ambush Japanese advance.
Sep 30. USS Yorktown (CV-5) commissions.
Oct 5 . Hirohito removes constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners.
Nov 6 . Italy joined the Anti-Comintern Pact forming Axis countries.
Nov 9 . Japanese troops take Shanghai.
Dec 8 . Inner Mongolia declares independence as Mengkiikuko, another puppet state of Japan.
Dec 12. American river gunboat Panay sunk by Japanese while escorting evacuees from Nanking.
Dec 13. Japanese sack Nanking - 300,000 murdered. Shocks the world.
Dec 29. IJN carrier Soryo commissioned. - Pearl, Wake, Moluccas, Darwin, Java Sea, Indian Ocean, - Midway.
Feb 4 . Hitler takes direct control of the German military.
Feb 12. Under threat of invasion, Austria yields to Nazi participation in the Austrian government.
Feb 14. British naval base at Singapore begins operations.
Mar 3 . Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.
Mar 6 . Japanese reach Yellow River in conquest of China.
Mar 13. Hitler annexes Austria.
Mar 14. French reassures the Czechoslovak government that France will honor its treaty in event of German invasion.
May 12. USS Enterprise (CV- 6) commissions.
May 20. Czechoslovakia orders a partial mobilization of its armed forces along the German border.
May 28. Hitler orders mobilization of 96 Wehrmacht divisions.
July 12. Turkish army carries out the Kurdish Genocide in Dersim.
July 29. Battle of Lake Khasan - Japan attacks Russia at Nomonhan on China/Russia border.
August. Chiang Kai-shek withdraws his government to Chungking from Japanese invasion.
Aug 19. USSR repels Japanese near Vladivostok.
Aug 23. Hitler offers part of Czechosolvakia to Hungary for aid in coming attack.
Aug 31. Churchill suggests alliance with U.S. and USSR over Sudeten.
Sep 9 . Roosevelt states U.S. will not join a "stop-Hitler" movement and will be neutral over Czechoslovakia.
Sep 23. Czechoslovak army mobilizes.
Sep 27. Partial mobilization in England.
Sep 30. Neville Chamberlain, "Peace In Our Time".
Oct 1 . Appeasement gives Hitler Sudetenland.
October. The Japanese Imperial Army largely overruns Canton.
Oct 18. British retake Jerusalem from Arab revolt
Oct 24. Hitler requests access to Danzig: Polish Corridor (now Gdansk)
Nov 9 . Kristalnacht - anti-Jewish riot, destroys 200 synagogues
Nov 16. HMS Ark Royal commissioned, stopped the Bismarck, sunk by U-81 Nov'41.
Nov 20. IJN cruiser Tone completed, scout for carrier fleet at every battle.
December. President Roosevelt agrees to loan $25 million to Chiang Kai-shek.
Dec 18. Otto Hahn of German splits the uranium atom, releasing energy.
Dec 31. Japan possesses richest portions and half the population of China.
No American capital ships were completed in 1939 -- "schools not ships".
Jan 26. Atomic research approved by FDR.
Feb 10. Japanese land forces on Chinese Island of Hainan.
February. Fleet Problem XX to defend Caribbean.
Mar 15. Hitler annexes the rest of Czechoslovakia - Bohemia and Moravia.
Mar 22. Hitler protects Slovakia, annexes Memel.
Mar 23-Apr 3. Slolvak-Hungarian War, 81 killed.
Apr 4 . End of Spanish Civil War with Franco as head of state.
Apr 7 . Mussolini invades Albania.
Apr 15. FDR writes Hitler seeking peaceful solutions.
Apr 28. Hitler renounces British Naval Agreement and Polish No-Aggression pact
May 3 . Japanese bomb Chungking, 5000 casualties. Continuous until 1944.
May 11. Beginning of border war between Japanese and Russian controlled Mongolia. Both
sides build up forces.
May 22. Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
Jun 14 . Tientsin Incident: The Japanese blockade the British concession in Tianjin, China.
June . Brewster F2A "Buffalo" monoplane fighter enters USN fleet service.
July 5 . IJN carrier Hiryu commissions -- Pearl Harbor, Wake, Moluccas, Darwin, Java Sea, Indian Ocean - Midway.
Aug 20 . Battle of Khalkhyn Gol. Russian armored forces defeat Japanese in border war over Mongolia. Japanese decide to move south (Dutch Indo China) to obtain resources.
Aug 21. Admiral Graf Spee departs for South Atlantic and refuels at sea.
Aug 23 . Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Hitler and Stalin agree to divide Europe between themselves
Finland, Estonia, Latvia and eastern Poland to the USSR; Lithuania and western Poland to Germany.
Aug 24. Deutschland is deployed to raid commerce in the North Atlantic.(later renamed Lützow).
Aug 25. Britain-Poland alliance
Aug 26. Kriegsmarine orders German-flagged merchant ships to German ports immediately.
Aug 27. Heinkel He-178 made its first flight becoming the first jet-powered airplane to fly. It remained airborne for 7 minutes.
Sep 1 . Germany invades Poland
Sep 3 . Britain delivers Germany ultimatum to leave Poland.
Sep 3 . War declared in Europe.
Sep 4 . RAF attacks Wilhelmshaven and Kiel Canal.
Sep 4 . USN to form Neutrality Patrol to extend about 300 miles off the
eastern coastline of the United States and Caribbean to report foreign men-of-war and render prompt assistance.
Sep 5 . Polish government moves from Warsaw to Lublin.
Sep 6 . Most commonwealth nations declare war on Germany
Sep 8 . Battle of Brura, west of Warsaw.
Sep 8 . FDR proclaims limited state of emergency in US.
Sep 9 . British expeditionary force begins to land in France.
Sep 9 . FDR increases strength of Navy and Marine Corps and recalls
to active duty officers, men, and nurses on retired lists.
Sept . U.S. freighters seized by British authorities and cargo confiscated. Patrol stops 108 merchantmen in first three weeks.
Sep 13. Forty USN reserve DDs ordered recommissioned to support a Neutrality Patrol.
Sep 16. Ceasefire ends undeclared Border War between Soviet Union and Mongolian allies and Japan.
Sep 17. Russia invades Poland.
Sep 17. German submarine U-29 sinks British carrier Courageous.
Sep 19. Polish Army collapse.
Sep 27. Warsaw surrenders.
October. Twilight or Phony War lasts till Spring, 1940
British and French have 676 warships vs. German 130 of which 57 are submarines, U-boats.
Oct 1 . The U.S. Navy consists of 396 commissioned ships. ( 283 today.) [Battle fleet alone in 1946 = 1,060.]
German has 4700 modern aircraft . RAF 3600 mostly obsolete France virtually none.
German has 53 divisions with modern equipment. France has 28 division with WWI equipment.
Oct 5 . Hawaiian Detachment is formed and sent to its new operating base, Pearl Harbor.
Enterprise (CV-6) (flagship), two heavy cruiser divisions, two destroyer squadrons with a light cruiser flagship, a destroyer tender and a proportionate number of small auxiliaries make up the force.
Oct 10 . British removes mail from ships, opening and censoring sealed letters sent from the United States -- thru March 1940.
Oct 11. U.S. sets up Uranium Advisory Committee.
Oct 14. German submarine U-47 penetrates British fleet base
at Scapa Flow and torpedoes battleship HMS Royal Oak.
Oct 20. Commander Atlantic Squadron informs his ships to use plain language
radio reporting of contacts.
Oct 24. HMS Orion (CL), HMS Caradoc (CL), and HMCS Saguenay (DD) locate German tanker Emmy Friedrich.whose crew scuttles her to avoid capture.
Nov 4 . U.S. modifies Neutrality Act to allow arms trade on a cash and carry basis, ending arms embargo.
Novem. U.S. contracts let for atomic research at Univ's of Columbia, Chicago, California.
Nov 30. Soviets invade Finland - lose Winter War, but win in spring.
Dec 13. British cruisers engage Admiral Graf Spee in the Battle of the River Plata.
Dec 14. German freighter Arauca departs Vera Cruz, Mexico, followed
subsequently by passenger liner Columbus, the third largest ship in
Germany's merchant marine. Two U.S. destroyers trail Columbus and
Arauca. A succession of USN ships over ensuing days send out plain-language position reports.
Dec 17. Graf Spee scuttled off Montevideo .
Dec 19. HMS Hyperion intercepts German passenger liner
Columbus 450 miles east of Cape May, NJ; the liner is scuttled to prevent capture
HMS Orion intercepts German freighter Arauca off Miami,
Florida; the latter puts in to Port Everglades to avoid capture.
Dec 28. Winter War, Russia had attacked Finland : Russians loss 27,500 men, Finns losses are 2,700.
The U.S. Navy eventually commissions Arauca as refrigerated
storeship Saturn (AF-40).
U.S. Census shows 126,947 Japanese ; 60% of Issei (immigrants) and 30% of Nisei (children) hold Japanese citizenship.
Jan 1 . British authorities detaining U.S. vessels at Gibraltar to search for contraband, taking from a few hours to several weeks. Continues into mid-March.
Jan 12. RAdm Byrd, USN (Ret.) surveys the land and sea areas of Antarctica.
Jan 26. United States-Japanese Trade Treaty of 1911 expires.
February. Russia re-attacks Finland with 45 divisions.
February. Australian, New Zealand, Indian troops arrive Egypt.
March. Neutrality policy ends with the Lend-Lease Act.
Russo-Finnish Treaty -- Finland gives up land Russian "needs" for her defense.
Mar-Apr . Katyn Forest Massacre, 20,000 Polish officers and others murdered by Soviets.
Mar 12. Finland sign peace with USSR
April . Fleet Problem XXI is training for Pacific war.
Apr 9 . Germany invades Norway with aid of Quisling.
Apr 9 . Germany occupies Denmark.
Apr 10-13. Returning German fleet mauled by British.
Apr 16. Iceland declares its independence from occupied Demark and asks the United States for recognition.
Apr 18. British landing in Norway.
U.S. considers selective service (draft, one year).
Apr 25. USS Wasp (CV-7) commissions.
May 2 . British withdraw from Norway.
May 3 . Greenland, a crown colony of Denmark, seeks U.S. protection, so that Danish sovereignty can be maintained during the German occupation of the homeland.
May 7 . Chamberlain resigns, Churchill to form government.
May 7 . Pacific fleet ordered to Pearl Harbor as a warning to Japan
May 10. German invades Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg
May 12. Germany invades France
May 14. Holland surrenders.
May 27-Jun 4. Dunkirk evacuation.
May 28. Belgium surrenders.
June 7. British and French withdraw from Norway.
June 9. Norway armistice
Jun 10. Italy declares war on Britain and France. "The hand that held the dagger has plunged it into the back of its neighbor." -- FDR
Jun 10. USSR occupy Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.
Jun 11. British attack Italians in Libya
Jun 14. Germany takes Paris.
Jun 16. Curie laboratory (Fr) transfer 410 pounds of Norwegian heavy water to the British.
Jun 17. French armistice. Evacuation at St. Nazaire. Lancastria.
Jun 22. USSR invades Romania which must join Axis
July 3 . British attack French Fleet at Oran.
July 4 . Italians take cities in Sudan.
July 5 . U.S. bans strategic materials to Japan.
July 10. Aerial Battle of Britain starts.
July 10. Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" fighter enters service in China.
July 15. Italians take city in Kenya.
July 19. FDR authorizes two-ocean navy : 7 BB, 11 CV, 50 CL, 100 DD.
July 25. U.S. embargoes scrap metal and petroleum to Japan.
Aug'40-Aug'41. Labor strikes lose 19 million man-days of production.
Aug 5 . Italians invade, occupy British Somaliland
Aug 24. German battleship Bismarck commissions.
Aug 27. First flight was of Caproni-Campini N.1 jet plane
Aug 29. British Tizard Mission shares radar information with US.
Sep 6 . Contracts for prototypes of B-29 and B-32. (Upgraded B-17 and B-24).
Sep 9 . U.S. Navy awards contracts for 210 new ships including 12 aircraft carriers and 7 battleships.
Sep 12. Peak day in Battle of Britain
Sep 13. Italians invade Egypt.
Sep 15. Bombing of London starts.
Sep 16. U.S. Selective Training and Service Act, first peacetime draft, men 21-35.
Sep 17. Russian troops enter Poland.
Sep 17. Invasion of England canceled.
Sep 17. Carrier HMS Courageous sunk by U-29.
Sep 27. Japan, German and Italy Tripartite Pact -- ten year military agreement - forms Axis.
October. 1,140 tons of Belgium Congo uranium ore shipped to Staten Island for safekeeping.
Oct 25. USN mobilizes aviation squadrons at 1/3 per month.
Oct 28. Italians invade Greece.
Oct 28. Pilot armor and fuel protection begin to go into service and within a year all fleet aircraft would have it.
Oct 31. British occupy Crete
Nov 3 . RAF to southern Greece
Nov 11. British Fleet Air Arm attack Italian fleet at Taranto
November. Carrier version of Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" fighter enters service.
Nov 14. Coventry bombed. Not evacuated to protect secret code-breaking.
Dec 15. Italians expelled from Egypt.
December. Grumman F4F-3 "Wildcat" naval fighter enters service.
Dec 27. IJN light carrier Zuiho commissioned. - Philippines, DutchEastIndies, Midway, Santa Cruz, Philippine Sea, - Leyte Gulf
Jan 20. Japan orders cultural attaches in U.S. to establish intelligence gathering networks.
Feb 7 . British capture Italian army in North Africa: 35,000 killed, captured 130,000.
February. British start offensive in East Africa
Feb 17. Rommel activates Africa Corp.
Feb 25. German battleship Tiripitz commissions, the largest European battleship.
In the world till Japanese superbattleship Yamato later in the year, Dec 16
Mar 1 . Germans to Romania. Bulgarians join Axis
Mar 5 . British enter Greece.
March. British occupy Baghdad.
Mar 28. Spy Yoshikawa arrives to map Pearl Harbor and report naval movements.
Mar 28. Gen Simovitch coup switches Yugoslavia from Hitler to Allies, delays Nazi war timetable.
Mar 20. HMS Malaya (BB, 8-15") convoy escort torpedoed off Cape Verde Islands and repaired New York Naval Yard.
Mar 22. German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau arrived Brest after sinking 22 ships.
Mar 30. Finland surrenders land to Russia
Apr 6 . Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece
Apr 7 . Quarter of Pacific Fleet ordered to Atlantic : 3BB,1CV,4CL,18DD,3AO.
Apr 9 . North Carolina (BB-55) commissions.
April . ABC agreement between Britain and U.S. for defense of S.E. Asia.
Apr 24. British withdraw from Greece to Crete
May 9 . Japanese spies report establishment of network in San Diego to watch shipment of war materials.
May 10. Rudolf Hess flies to Scotland
May 15. Washington (BB-56) commissions.
May 16. Italian army of East Africa surrender with 289,000 casualties vs. 1,000 for Brits
May . Meteor, first British jet airplane is test flown.
May 20. German paratroops invade Crete.
May 24. HMS Hood sunk by Bismarck.
May 26. HMS Formidable (CV) bombed taking aircraft to Malta; repaired U.S. Norfolk Naval Shipyard ; re-equipped with Hellcat fighters.
May 27. "Sink the Bismarck". U.S. declares unlimited national emergency.
May 31. British take over Iraq; Syria; Lebanon.
May . End of Battle of Britain as German bombers move to Eastern Front.
June 2 . Long Island (AVG-1) commissioned. Prototype escort carrier conversion in 39 days.
June 5. Japanese bombing of Chunking this day (of continuous bombing) killed 4,000.
June 6. Lidice, Hungary, massacre.
Jun 15. Japanese spies, LCDRs Itaru Tachibana and Toraichi Kono, arrested.
June . Jeep selected by U.S. Army.
June . Caproni-Campini jet plane flies Rome to Malan at over 300 mph.
Jun 22. Hitler invades USSR.
Jun 24. Japan pressure Vichy for Indochina, needed to stop supplies to China
Jun 25. War between Finland and Russia resumes, thus, Finland is considered Axis.
Jun 29. Germany has advanced 200 miles into Russia in a week.
July . U.S. orders ban on civilian use of raw silk; run on stocking counters.
July 8 . First British B-17 mission, Willhelmshaven, 3 planes.
July 18. German Me-262 jet warplane first flies.
July 18. British ASV radar installed in one PBY Catalina and two PBM Mariners. Also IFF gear.
July 24. Japanese forces occupy southern Indochina with French permission.
July 25. U.S. and U.K. freeze Japanese assets.
July 28. Japan freezes U.S. assets.
July 29. Japanese start build-up of invasion troops from IndoChina.
Aug 6 . USN Patrol Squadrons initiated routine air patrols from Reykjavik, Iceland, over North Atlantic convoy routes
Aug 8 . IJN carrier Shokaku commissions - Pearl, Rabaul, Ceylon, Coral Sea, E.Solomons, Santa Cruz, - Philippine Sea
Aug 25. USSR and Britain invade Iran.
Aug 28. Hitler and Mussolini end 5-day meeting.
Aug 31. Finnish army regains their border.
Sept 4 . Recommissioned destroyer Greer (DD-145), tracked U-652 for several hours. Each attacked the other without injury.
Sept 5. SS Steel Seafarer bombed/sunk in Red Sea.
Sep 10. First B-24 Liberator bomber to England.
Sep 15. Army Group North surrounds Leningrad.
Sep 16. Radar issued to five PMBs and one PBY for neutrality patrol.
Sep 18. FDR asks Congress for $1.5Billion for lend-lease.
Sep 19. New Japanese offensive in Hunan.
Sep 25. IJN escort carrier Taiyo commissioned. Training and aircraft transport.
Sep 25. IJN carrier Zuikaku commissioned. - Pearl, Rabaul, Lae, Indian Ocean, Coral Sea, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, Marshalls, Philippine Sea, - Cape Engańo.
Sep 30. B-17s withdrawn from RAF service.
Oct 1 . Second Battle of Changsha, Chinese counter attack.
Oct 13. Japanese Emperor expresses, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Oct 16. Japanese cabinet resigns; new appointed by Tojo.
Oct 16. First fleet caution sent : "Intelligence suggests Japan might attack Russia or British and Dutch Colonies in the East Indies."
Oct 17. Kearney (DD-432) escorting a convoy was torpedoed U-boat off the coast of Iceland with 11 killed.
Oct 20. Hornet (CV-8) commissions.
Oct 27. German Army Group South enters Crimea.
Nov 1 . The President directed that the Coast Guard operate as a part of the Navy until further notice.
Nov 7 . Japanese carrier fleet exercises
Nov 10. First US-escorted troop convoy, transporting 20,000 British troops,
sails from Halifax for Far East. See rest of story.
Nov 11. Ten submarines , including I-69, I-74, I-75 and others left Yokosuka Naval Base for rendezvous at Kwajalein, then to proceed to Hawaii.
November. LtGen Brereton toured with his Australian counterpart to determine air field sites in northern Australia.
Nov 15. U.S. troops to Dutch Guiana Surinam to protect bauxite mines.
Nov 16. Japanese strike fleet to Kiriles to continue training for Pearl Harbor raid.
Nov 16. Larger Canadian force lands at Hong Kong.
Nov 17. Archer (BAVG-1) is the first of 38 escort carriers transferred
to the United Kingdom during the war under the Lend-Lease program.
Nov 18. Five Japanese mother subs, each with midget sub, depart Kure for Pearl Harbor.
Nov 24. CNO to U.S. Fleet Commanders : attack on Philippines or Guam is a possibility."
Nov 26. Strike fleet sorties towards Pearl Harbor
Nov 27. "War Warning" : an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines, Tai or Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo."
Nov 30. Seaplane from Japanese submarine I-10 reconnoiters Suva Bay, Fiji.
Nov 30. Emperor orders Tojo to proceed with multi-pronged attack.
Dec 3 . Japanese invasion fleet departs Hainan for Thailand.
Dec 4 . Schedule of Pearl Harbor attack was transmitted to the submarine fleet.
Dec 5 . German Army Group Center stops outside Moscow.
Dec 6 . Russian counterattack until mid-Feb.
Dec 6 . Formosa : 27 invasion transports depart for Philippines. 400 pilots briefed.
Dec 7 . Japanese invasion of Malaya.
Dec 7 . Japanese attack Pearl Harbor
Dec 7 . Air raids on Singapore, Guam, Wake, Philippines
Dec 7 . Two Japanese destroyers shell Midway.
Dec 8 . Imperial Rescript declares a state of war between the Japanese Empire and the United States and U.K.
Dec 8 . U.S. declares a state of war to exist with the Empire of Japan.
Dec 9 . Japanese planes sink Repulse and Prince of Wales off Malaya.
Dec 9 . The Navy buys 25 airborne search radar sets for service test in dive bombers and torpedo planes.
Dec 11. German/Italian Axis declares war on US.
Dec 11. US, others respond with war on Germany and Italy.
Dec 11. Japanese attack on Wake Island repulsed.
Dec 12. SecNav Knox departs Oahu after inspecting the damage done by the Japanese attack of 7 December.
Dec 13. Japanese naval land planes attack Subic Bay area and airfields in Philippines and bombing of shipping in Manila Bay.
Dec 14. Lexington (CV-2) sails for the Marshall Islands, to create a diversion to cover the attempt to relieve Wake Island.
Dec 15. Japanese submarines shell Johnston, Kahului, Maui islands.
Dec 16. IJN superbattleship Yamato commissioned - Midway, Samar - to Okinawa.
Dec 16. Navy approves an expansion of the pilot training program from 800 students per month to 2,500 per month.
Dec 17. 17 SB2U-3 Vindicators, led by a PBY, arrived at Midway Island from Oahu, longest mass flight by single-engine aircraft, 9:45 hours
Dec 23. Wake Island falls.
(See some details of Belligerent
Acts taken before the U.S. is drawn into World War II.)
1942 - The First Year ( See some details in the Pacific, 1942 )
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.
Jan 2 . Japanese take Manila
Jan 10. Japs invade Dutch East Indies; USN DD's attack troopships sunk at Macassar Strait.
Feb 1 . USN raids Marshall and Gilbert Islands
Feb 15. Allies defeated in Battle of Java Sea; Singapore falls.
Apr 9 . Bataan falls.
Apr 21. Doolittle Raid on Tokyo
May 5 . Battle of Coral Sea, Jap invasion force withdraws.
May 8 . Corregidor falls.
May 10. RAF attacks Germany.
June 4 . Battle of Midway - 4:1 in favor of US
Jun 21. Tobruk falls - 25,000 captured
Jun 26. First U.S. troops arrive in North Ireland.
July 2 . Rommel's advance stopped at El Alamein.
Aug 5 . IJN superbattleship Musashi commissioned.
Aug 7 . U.S. Marines land at Guadalcanal and Tulagi.
Aug 19. Dieppe Raid - practice landing on fortified coast; disaster.
Sep 6 . Start of Battle of Stalingrad - lasts 5 months, 1,100,000 soldiers to die
Oct 23. El Alamein offensive begins
Nov 4 . British push Rommel out of Egypt.
Nov 7 . Allies invade North Africa
Nov 11. Germany occupies the rest of France.
Nov 12. Navy battles Tokyo Express off Guadalcanal
Nov 27. French scuttle fleet at Toulon
1943 - The "Roll-back" started at El Alamein, Stalingrad, and Guadalcanal
1944 - "The whirlwind" is reaped on the Axis.
1945 - Victory ! Germany surrenders, VE, May 15. Japan surrenders, VJ, Aug 15.
See these other pages:
WW2 Menu: - the Early Years, menu.
Little Known Facts : Attacks and Threats on the U.S. in WW2
Belligerent Acts - before the U.S. entered the war.
Chronology: Dec 1941--Aug 1945
Countdown and daily by month
About this Page: PreWar. Chronology of some of the activities before the
United States entered World War Two.
Last updated on December 7, 2008
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