VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > K. World War II, 1939–1945 > 14. The War in the Pacific, 1941–1945
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
14. The War in the Pacific, 1941–1945
1941, Dec. 7
 
The JAPANESE SEA AND AIR FORCES LAUNCHED A SURPRISE ATTACK ON THE UNITED STATES BASE AT PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII, ON THE PHILIPPINES, and against British forces in Hong Kong and Malaya. The U.S. forces were caught unprepared. At Hawaii five battleships and three cruisers were sunk or seriously damaged, three battleships less severely damaged, many smaller vessels sunk or crippled, and 177 aircraft destroyed. The casualties included 2,343 dead, 876 missing, and 1,272 injured.  1
 
Dec. 8
 
THE UNITED STATES DECLARED WAR ON JAPAN. Japanese air and naval forces attacked Guam and Wake Island. Resistance on Guam ended on Dec. 13 and on Wake Island on Dec. 20. Great Britain declared war on Japan.  2
 
Dec. 10
 
The British battleship Prince of Wales and the battle cruiser Repulse, which had been dispatched to Singapore, were sunk by Japanese aircraft off the Malay coast.  3
 
Dec. 11
 
GERMANY AND ITALY DECLARED WAR ON THE UNITED STATES.  4
 
Dec. 21
 
A ten-year treaty of alliance was signed at Bangkok between Japan and Thailand. The Thai government agreed to aid Japan and declared war (Jan. 25, 1942) against Great Britain and the U.S.  5
 
Dec. 25
 
British forces at Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese.  6
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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