Japanese Foreign Minister
to visit Rome and Berlin.
Japan and Russia sign
a non-aggression pact, which all but removes any military threat
to its northern borders.
The Australian Prime Minister,
R.G. Menzies arrives back in Australia after his trip to Britain.
Russo-Japanese trade agreement
announced in Tokyo.
Germany demands that Japan
launches an attack against Russia. The Japanese consider this,
but in the end only agree to strengthen their forces in this
Germany urges Japan to
The Japanese foreign minister,
Yosuke Matsuoka is replaced by a moderate. New Japanese Cabinet
has four generals and three admirals.
United States, UK and Dominions freeze
all Japanese assets.
Japan freezes all US and UK assets
Churchill broadcast's and warns Japan
that its aggression must stop.
Menzies resigns as Prime
Minister of Australia and is replaced McFadden, who under pressure
from his political opposition demands from the British, the
relief of the 9th Australian Division from Tobruk in Libya.
The Japanese decide to
be fully prepared for war by the end of October.
Japanese begin war games at the naval
college in Tokyo in order to develop their strategy for the
Japanese war games conclude.
vote with the Labour to defeat McFadden government.
Curtin becomes the Prime Minister
The Japanese government falls. Prince
Konoye is replaced by Hideki Tojo, Japan's minister of war.
plan to attack Pearl Harbour is approved.
Japanese war plans agreed at an imperial
conference, with a deadline of December 1941. The US ambassador
to Tokyo, Joseph C Grew, warns that war might come very suddenly.
The Japanese Southern Army is ordered
to prepare detailed operational plans for the up and coming
Churchill’s Mansion House Speech:
Tells Japan that war on US means war on Britain. The Japanese
Foreign Minister says their aim is to make the US and UK retreat
from East Asia.
Japanese issue attack orders, although
no action is to be taken until the results of the latest diplomatic
negotiations are known.
US Army commanders across the Pacific
are warned of the possible imminence of war.
US Pacific forces put on war alert.
Japan finally resolves itself to attack
the USA, although portions of the governments are still unsure.
Japan fixes the date of
its attack against Pearl Harbour as the 7th December 1941.
Roosevelt makes a personal appeal
to the Japanese Emperor Hirohito for peace.
At 6:15 Honolulu time, the first wave
of Japanese aircraft take of from their carriers which are
located about 200 miles north of Hawaii. At 7:50, 43 fighters,
51 dive-bombers, 70 torpedo-bombers and 50 ordinary bombers
arrive over Hawaii. They launch attacks against the airfields
at Wheeler, Kaneohe, Ewa and Hickham and against the American
warships anchored at ‘Battleship Row’. Surprise
was complete and within a few minutes 5 battleships and 2 light
cruisers had been sunk and a large number of aircraft (180)
destroyed on the ground. Within an hour, the second wave of
Japanese strike aircraft (36 fighters, 80 dive-bombers, 54
bombers) had arrived over the target, sinking a further 3 destroyers
and damaging another battleship. By 10:00 the attack was over
and the casualties could be accounted for. The Americans lost
2,729 killed and 1,178 wounded, while the Japanese losses amounted
to just 29 aircraft (59 airmen) and five mini-submarines. The
Japanese launch air attacks against Manila. Japan declares
war on Britain and the USA.
Japanese aircraft attack Guam and
Wake Islands in the central pacific. The Japanese bomb the
US controlled Philippine islands of Luzon and Mindanao from
their bases in Formosa. Britain, Australia and the USA declare
war on Japan.
Japanese troops land on Tarawa and
Makin in the Gilbert islands.
Japanese troops land on and capture
Guam. Japanese troops make landings on the northern tip of
Luzon and the island of Camiguin in the Philippines.
Japanese troops attempt to land on
Wake Island, but US Marine gunners and airmen repulse the first
landing attempt and sink two Japanese destroyers in the process.
Further Japanese landings take place in the Philippines.
Japanese troops continue to land
throughout the Philippines.
Japanese forces land in Sarawak and
Brunei in Borneo.
Japanese forces make landings in northern
The Japanese begin their invasion
of the Philippines by landing 43,000 troops of General Homma's
14th Army in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 150 miles north of Manila.
Filipino troops here failed to prevent the beachhead from being
established and their scouts, which had been sent forward in
order to secure the defiles barring the way south were also
The Japanese launch another attack
against Wake Island, overwhelming the small US garrison. Immediately
after its capture, the Japanese rename the Island as Bird Island.
Rear-Admiral Frank J. Fletcher's task force is still more that
400 miles away and so is diverted to Midway. American and Filipino
troops of the North Luzon Force, begin to fall back towards
the River Agno under heavy pressure from the Japanese.
Japanese troops make further landings
on Luzon to the southeast of Manila in Lamon Bay. The Japanese
16th Division starts its drive north towards Manila in an attempt
to link up with the North Luzon Force. General MacArthur announces
his decision to withdraw his forces to Bataan. A supply base
is to be setup on Corregidor with sufficient stock to carry
on the fight for 6 months.
The Philippine capital of Manila
is declared an open city by the Americans.
The Australian Prime Minister,
Curtin, announces, "Australia looks to America".
Lieutenant General George H. Brett
takes command of US forces in Australia.