Japanese Empire World War 2 Events

Japanese Empire World War 2 Events

Japan became the last of the Axis powers to fall in August of 1945 - and paid a terrible price for its participation.





There are a total of (259) entries in the Japanese Empire World War 2 Events. Entries are listed below by earliest date to latest date.


January 14th
1940
A new government is formed in Japan under Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai following the resignation of PM Nobuyuki Abe.
July 18th
1940
The British close down the Burma Road supply route to China in an effort to avoid war with Japan.
July 25th
1940
In an effort to disrupt the Japanese war economy, the U.S. government enacts a restrictive licensing program for its export of important steel and oil products.
September 22nd
1940
Japanese forces enter French Indochina now being governed by French Vichy.
September 27th
1940
The Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan strengthen their ties through the Tripartite Act which makes an enemy of an ally an enemy to all.
October 16th
1940
The Dutch East Indies government and Japan agree to a six-months-long transfer of oil.
November 30th
1940
Japan formally recognizes the puppet regime of China led by President Wang Ching-wei.
March 30th
1941
United States vessels capture some sixty-five ships aligned with the Axis powers.
November 26th
1941
The Japanese naval fleet leaves home port and heads to Hawaii.
December 6th
1941
An attack against America is now deemed imminent though the consensus being that it will occur against interests somehwere in Southeast Asia.
December 6th
1941
American President Franklin Roosevelt sends a final peace appeal to the Empire of Japan to which there is no answer.
December 6th
1941
American codebreakers begin tracking down a multi-part message - made up of 14 total components. Only the first 13 are actually deciphered, each being passed on to the President and the Secretary of State.
December 7th
1941
At 7:53AM, complete surprise by the Japanese Navy and the first wave begins their initial strike. This force is made up of 50 medium bombers, 43 A6M Zero fighters and 40 Kate torpedo bombers. Targets are the battleships hunkered down in the harbor and airfields used by the USAAF.
December 7th
1941
The Imperial Japanese Navy attack commences with their assault. The force is made up of 423 aircraft and converges on the Hawaiian Islands.
December 7th
1941
At 2:30PM Eastern Time, the Japanese diplomats in Washington finally visit with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull. With them is the Japanese declaration of war.
December 7th
1941
The attack on Pearl Harbor is over at 9:45AM. Over 2,400 people are killed and a further 1,178 are wounded. More die in the ensuing days while 1,104 sailors eventually perish within the hull of the battleship USS Arizona, its magazine stores ignited by a single Japanese bomb.
December 7th
1941
The second wave of Japanese Navy aircraft swoops in attacking targets of opportunity including auxiliary ships in the harbor and the all-important harbor facilities.
December 7th
1941
At approximately 7:15AM, the second wave of 167 Japanese Navy planes takes off from their carriers towards Pearl.
December 7th
1941
In conjunction with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Wake Island is assaulted by a Japanese invasion force all its own - this under the command of Rear-Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi.
December 7th
1941
At 6:00AM, the first wave of 183 Japanese Navy aircraft takes off from their carriers, just north of Oahu, to make the 230 mile trek. The target is the US Pacific Fleet.
December 7th
1941
It is discovered that communication lines from Washington to Hawaii are down for the moment, forcing the US War Department to use a commercial telegraph service to warn forces on the Hawaiian Islands.
December 7th
1941
At approximately 10AM, a follow-up message is intercepted - meant for the Japanese diplomats in Washington - to delay handling of the previous message to the Americans until 1PM. The Americans now understand that an attack is imminent and the target is the US Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor.
December 7th
1941
At 9AM, the final Japanese message is broken down. It essentially directs its Washington envoy to break off diplomatic relations with America.
December 7th
1941
At 7:02AM, the Japanese attack wave is located on American radar by two US Army personnel who bring it to the attention of a junior officer. The officer, expecting a flight of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses to arrive that day, disregards the alert.
December 8th
1941
The United States, along with Britain, formally declare war on the Empire of Japan.
December 10th
1941
Along the north of Luzon - at Aparri, Gonzago and Vigan - two large Japanese Army forces land via amphibious assault.
December 11th
1941
As expected, Germany and Italy side with Japan and officially declare war on the United States
December 12th
1941
The airfields at Laoang and Tuguegarao fall to the Japanese invaders.
December 22nd
1941
The Japanese 48th Division lands at Lingayen Bay on Luzon.
December 23rd
1941
The American military detachment at Wake Island surrenders. During their stand, the Americans accounted for at least 1,000 Japanese casualties and 4 Japanese navy warships.
December 23rd
1941
MacArthur's forces are cut-off from further retreat by a Japanese Army force advancing from the south.
December 23rd
1941
The order is given by American General Douglas MacArthur to retreat from Luzon and take up positions on the Bataan Peninsula.
December 23rd
1941
Despite an out-numbered yet heroic resistance on the part of American forces, Wake Island falls to the Japanese.
December 25th
1941
The Japanese 48th Division makes substantial progress against American forces, working their way towards the capital city of Manila.
December 27th
1941
The Philippine capital city of Manila eventually falls to the invading Japanese Army.
January 9th
1942
The Japanese begin their offensive against the dug-in American forces on the Bataan Peninsula.
January 11th
1942
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya, falls to the invading Japanese 5th Division.
January 11th
1942
Three Japanese amphibious forces take on the Dutch East Indies.
January 15th
1942
Japanese forces invade Burma beginning their assault at Victoria Point.
January 19th
1942
The Japanese Army makes short work of the light British defenses, covering some 230 miles in reaching Tavoy.
January 23rd
1942
The American defensive lines finally break.
February 14th
1942
By this time, the Japanese have captured Borneo, Celebes and Sarawak.
February 15th
1942
Singapore eventually falls to the might of the Japanese assault resulting in the capture of some 60,000 Allied prisoners against the cost of 2,000 Japanese soldiers.
February 19th
1942
The Japanese 1st Air Fleet conducts a surprise attack on Allied ships at Broome and Darwin. Twelve ships are sunk in the assault.
March 8th
1942
Japan invades New Guinea.
March 8th
1942
Rangoon, Burma falls to the Japanese.
March 8th
1942
The British Burma Army escapes anhilation in Burma.
March 8th
1942
Japanese forces, numbering two battalions strong, land at Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea.
March 8th
1942
By this date, the Japanese capture the Dutch East Indies with the occupations of Bali, Timor and Java.
April 1st
1942
The Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo enters the Bay of Bengal.
April 3rd
1942
No fewer than five Japanese Navy aircraft carriers reach the Indian Ocean.
April 4th
1942
A small contingent of British Royal Navy vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are warned of the arriving Japanese Navy force.
April 4th
1942
Admiral Sir James Somerville detaches a force to intercept the arriving Japanese fleet.
April 6th
1942
The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Tenedos is sunk by the Japanese air strike.
April 6th
1942
The British Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire are sunk by the Japanese air strike.
April 6th
1942
The Imperial Japanese Navy unleashes a surprise attack, with some 120 aircraft, on British forces at Columbo Harbor, Ceylon.
April 6th
1942
Twenty-six Allied aircraft are destroyed.
April 9th
1942
The HMS Hermes is one of four Royal Navy ships sunk by Japanese Navy aircraft.
April 9th
1942
American forces fighting on the Bataan Peninsula finally surrender to the Japanese.
April 9th
1942
An 85-strong Japanese Navy aircraft contingent attacks airfields and targets of opportunity at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
May 3rd
1942
Forces of the Imperial Japanese Army land at Tulagi of the Solomons island group. Subsequent develop ensures a base of operations for Japanese logistics in the region.
May 3rd
1942
An Imperial Japanese Navy carrier force sets sail on patrol around the Solomons looking for American carrier battle groups.
May 3rd
1942
American intelligence intercepts various Japanese communications and is able to piece together the intention to invade Port Moresby, New Guinea.
May 4th
1942
USS Yorktown launched strike aircraft south of Guadalcanal. At 6:30AM, the American Navy aircraft spot and subsequently target Japanese land emplacements and sea vessels in the area.
May 4th
1942
The Japanese invasion force leaves Rabaul, New Britain, heading towards Port Moresby, New Guinea.
May 5th
1942
The Japanese enact an offensive to take Corregidor Island, a strategic point providing access to Manila Bay.
May 5th - May 6th
1942
Foul weather limits detection of either carrier force across a two day span.
May 6th
1942
Corregidor Island falls to the Japanese, giving the invaders control over Manila Bay.
May 7th
1942
The Japanese invasion of Port Moresby is called off.
May 7th
1942
The USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown launch their attack planes and sink the Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho in the process.
May 7th
1942
The Allies spot the Japanese Covering Group escorting the invasion force.
May 7th
1942
Allied Task Force 44, headed by Royal Navy Rear-Admiral Crace, moves in to intercept the Japanese invasion force. However, the force is prematurely spotted by Japanese reconnaissance aircraft resulting in a counter-assault of the Task Force by Japanese Navy warplanes. Crace and his force never make the intercept.
May 7th
1942
The USS Neosho and the USS Sims are sunk by Japanese aircraft.
May 8th
1942
The Japanese invasion force heads back to New Britain.
May 8th
1942
Some 27 Japanese aircraft are launched under the cover of darkness in the hopes of locating the Allied Task Force. They come up empty and only six aircraft return safely home.
May 8th
1942
Just past dawn, the Japanese and American carrier groups spot one another.
May 8th
1942
At 9:25AM, Japanese and American warplanes take to the skies.
May 8th
1942
At 11:40AM, US Navy warplanes manage to score devastating hits to the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku, severely damaging her.
May 8th
1942
At 2:47PM, the American carrier USS Lexington is hit by a Japanese torpedo, causing a major explosion in her generator room.
May 8th
1942
By 6:00PM that evening, nearly all of the USS Lexington's sailors have been rescued.
May 8th
1942
At 6:10PM, the USS Lexington is a complete loss. She is scuttled and sunk.
May 9th
1942
Despite numbers against him, Japanese Vice-Admiral Takagi is ordered to send his warplanes aloft.
May 9th
1942
The Japanese aircraft do not locate the American fleet and any further actions are called off, effectively ending the Battle of Coral Sea.
May 15th
1942
Burma falls to the Japanese.
May 25th
1942
A large Imperial Japanese Naval force sails for Japan towards Midway Island. The force Is made up of four task forces. One is charged with the invasion of the Aleutian Islands off of Alaska while the other three are to take Midway Island itself and assail the responding USN fleet. One group contains the required four aircraft carriers.
May 28th
1942
The final Imperial Japanese Task Force leaves mainland Japan.
June 3rd
1942
The Northern Task Force begins its operation to take the Aleutian Island chain and divert USN forces to the region.
June 4th
1942
The first wave of USN carrier dive-bombers has difficulty in locating their Japanese targets.
June 4th
1942
At 5:00PM, the Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu is set ablaze after being struck by no fewer than five direct bomb hits from aircraft of the USS Enterprise.
June 4th
1942
By 3:00PM, the crew of the USS Yorktown has abandoned their carrier. The damaged vessel is towed by USN ships.
June 4th
1942
By 2:30PM, the USS Yorktown is severely damaged but does not sink.
June 4th
1942
At 12:00PM, Imperial Japanese Navy bomber aircraft strike against the attacking USS Yorktown.
June 4th
1942
The three Japanese carriers - Kaga, Soryu and Akagi - are struck with bombs and ultimately sunk.
June 4th
1942
At 10:25AM, a follow-up strike made up of 37 Dauntless dive bombers finds the Japanese carriers - now stocked with armed and fueled aircraft on their decks.
June 4th
1942
All incoming USN Devastator attackers are shot down by Japanese Zero fighters in the span of six minutes.
June 4th
1942
At 9:18AM, Nagumo reacts to the American presence and changes the course of his Carrier Strike Force.
June 4th
1942
Between 9:30AM and 10:00AM, Torpedo planes from the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet begin their attacks on the Japanese carriers.
June 4th
1942
At 9:00AM, USS Yorktown launches her aircraft with Nagumo's carrier force as the prime target.
June 4th
1942
At 8:37AM, aircraft of the second Japanese strike force returns to their respective carriers for rearming and refueling.
June 4th
1942
At 8:20AM, a surprised Nagumo receives his first report of American carriers in the area.
June 4th
1942
At 7:52AM, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet launch their dive bombers and torpedo planes.
June 4th
1942
At 7:28AM, a Japanese reconniassance plane spots spots ten undetermined USN surface ships 200 miles northeast of the Japanese Midway invasion force.
June 4th
1942
American fighter aircraft take heavy losses but force the Japanese Navy to launch a second attack.
June 4th
1942
At 4:30AM, the bombing of Midway Island begins with aircraft from Vice-Admiral Nagumo's First Carrier Strike Force.
June 4th
1942
The initial American assault on the Japanese carrier strike force is over by 10:00AM.
June 5th
1942
The Japanese carrier Hiryu is scuttled.
June 6th
1942
The USS Yorktown, now severely damaged and in tow of US Navy forces, is targeted and sunk by a Japanese submarine.
June 6th
1942
The island of Kiska is taken by Japanese forces.
June 7th
1942
The island of Attu is taken by Japanese forces.
July 1st - July 31st
1942
The Allies received word on the construction of a strategic Japanese airfield (Henderson Field) on the island of Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands. As such, plans are set in motion to curtail construction of the endeavor. US Navy and Marine forces spring into action.
July 21st
1942
Japanese Major General Horii and his 18th Army land near Buna.
July 22nd
1942
Major General Horii and his 18th Army march towards Port Moresby.
July 22nd
1942
The Japanese Army gain ground on the US, Australian and Papuan Infantry Regiment defenders.
August 6th
1942
US Navy and Marine forces position themselves near Guadalcanal.
August 7th
1942
Amphibious forces spearheaded by the United States Marines begin against the Japanese-held island of Guadalcanal.
August 8th
1942
Japanese bombers attack US forces at Henderson Field.
August 8th
1942
The amphibious landings largely conclude by this date.
August 8th
1942
A large contingent of Imperial Japanese Navy warships heads out of Rabaul towards Savo Island to strike at US Navy transports there.
August 8th
1942
Naval battles ultimately ensure between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States Navy for control of Guadalcanal.
August 8th
1942
Just outside of Guadalcanal, the islands of Tulagi and Gavutu fall to the Allies.
August 8th
1942
By the end of the day and facing next to no opposition, the US soldiers capture and secure Henderson Field.
August 9th
1942
Three US and one Australian cruiser are sunk by the Japanese Navy during the morning hours.
August 14th
1942
The Japanese Army reaches Isurava just outside of Port Moresby.
August 14th
1942
The Japanese Army takes control of the village of Kokoda.
August 14th
1942
The Japanese Army gains vital territory leading up and into the Owen Stanley Range.
August 18th
1942
A Japanese counteroffensive sees an amphibious landing take place at Taivu. This landing zone is just 32 miles east of Henderson Field.
August 20th
1942
The first of thirty-one US fighter aircraft arrive at Henderson Field.
August 21st
1942
Japanese ground forces attempt attacks against Henderson Field and American forces at Tenaru. The Japanese troops make little headway and are themselves encircled.
August 22nd
1942
The Japanese attackers at Henderson Field and Tenaru are ultimately destroyed, forcing Colonel Ichiki to commit ritual suicide.
August 23rd
1942
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons begins.
August 23rd
1942
The Imperial Japanese Navy enacts a plan to resupply their forces at Guadalcanal under the cover of three aircraft carriers made up of the IJN Ryujo, the IJN Shokaku and the IJN Zuikaku.
August 23rd
1942
US naval patrol aircraft spot the incoming Japanese convoy, radioing positions back to the main task force.
August 24th
1942
US naval patrol aircraft once again spot the incoming Japanese convoy. Positions are sent to Task Force 61.
August 24th
1942
Task Force 61, comprised of the USS Enterprise, USS Saratoga and the USS Wasp head to intercept the Japanese convoy.
August 24th
1942
At 3:15PM, American carrier aircaft from the USS Enterprise manage hits on the IJN Shokaku.
August 24th
1942
The Japanese Navy lose their seaplane carrier - the IJN Chitose - to American dive bombers at 5:40PM.
August 24th
1942
Task Force 61 sets up at locations east of Malaita Island in preparation for the battle. Aircraft are launched form the American carriers beginning what is known as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.
August 24th
1942
At about 4:41PM, the USS Enterprise is the victim of Japanese dive bombers and takes several direct hits but manages to keep fighting.
August 24th
1942
The US Navy claims a Japanese aircraft carrier. The carrier is attacked and sunk.
August 24th
1942
Dive bombers and torpedo bombers from the USS Enterprise manage critical hits against the IJN Ryujo and sink here where she stood at 3:50PM.
August 25th
1942
The Japanese Navy completes an amphibious landing at Milne Bay to establish a beachhead and open a second front on New Guinea.
August 25th
1942
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons ends with the Japanese Navy claiming at least 90 aircraft lost while the American Navy enjoys victory with 20 aircraft lost in the fray.
August 25th
1942
The Japanese Navy loses a pair of transport ships enroute to the Solomon Island chain.
August 26th
1942
The 18th Australian Brigade, utilizing valuable intelligence reports, meet the arriving Japanese amphibious forces head-on and hold the Japanese beachhead at Milne Bay.
August 29th
1942
A further 600 Japanese Army soldiers are landed at Milne Bay to help strengthen the beachhead.
August 30th
1942
American General Douglas MacArthur employs his superiors for additional firepower and troop strength to help hold Papua.
August 31st
1942
By this date, the Japanese have completed their takeovers of the Caroline Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Marianas Islands and a portion of the Solomon Islands. This is the farthest that the Japanese Empire would reach in the Pacific.
September 4th
1942
Japanese casualties at Milne Bay amount to 1,000 killed amidst the fighting.
September 4th
1942
With the Allied resistance holding off further advance, the Japanese Army begins a formal withdrawal of the island.
September 7th
1942
US Marines enact a surprise amphibious landing against Japanese strongholds at Taivu.
September 8th
1942
The US Marine landings result in the destruction of vital Japanese supplies and the recovery of important operational data.
September 12th
1942
Some 6,000 Japanese Army personnel are used in a final thrust against the Americans at Henderson field. Among the attackers is the Japanese 35th Brigade.
September 13th
1942
Japanese forces come within a half-a-mile of Henderson Field before being stopped and, ultimately, driven back.
September 14th
1942
At the end of the Henderson Field offensive, the fanatical Japanese have lost at least 1,200 soldiers in the fighting.
September 15th - October 7th
1942
The Japanese begin building up their forces to reclaim Henderson Field.
September 26th
1942
The Japanese Army slowly begins to retreat back through the Kokoda Trail, finally realizing its perilous stuation.
September 26th
1942
Australian Army forces hold fast to territory near Toribaiwa.
September 26th
1942
Despite gains along the Kokoda Trail, the Japanese supply line begins to run thin and halt any further advance.
October 10th
1942
Japanese reinforcements are shipped to the west and disembarked at Tenaro, some 20 miles from American forces.
October 11th
1942
A Japanese Navy convoy headed through the Eastern and Western Solomons is intercepted by a US Navy force, beginning what is known as the Battle of Cape Esperance.
October 11th
1942
At 11:32PM, US Navy warships fire upon IJN vessels in the convoy, sinking the IJN Fubuki and damaging the IJN Furutaka and IJN Aoba, which themselves begin sinking.
October 11th
1942
At midnight, the Japanese convoy is in retreat and gone from the region in roughly 30 minutes.
October 11th
1942
The IJN Furutaka officially sinks at 12:40AM.
October 15th
1942
American soldiers of the 32nd US Division complete an amphibious assault near Pongani and Wanigela on Papua.
October 23rd
1942
Some 20,000 Japanese fighters, including elements of the 2nd Division and 17th Army, undertake a new offensive under the direction of General Maruyama.
October 25th
1942
Japanese Navy supply ships make their way offshore of Guadalcanal where land forces there are attempting to take Henderson Field.
October 26th
1942
The crippled IJN carrier Zuiho is hit by another four bombs, bringing her tenure at sea to an official close at 9:18AM.
October 26th
1942
The US Navy sends Task Force 16 and 17 to intercept the Japanese resupply action.
October 26th
1942
A PBY Catalina, capable of limited bombing, misses its mark as it attempts to hit several Japanese aircraft carriers at 2:50AM.
October 26th
1942
USS Enterprise launches a wave of Dauntless dive bombers in search of the Japanese group. Some 22 total aircraft are launched.
October 26th
1942
72 aircraft are launched as a combined force from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet.
October 26th
1942
The IJN carrier launch around 110 aircraft in response.
October 26th
1942
US Navy and IJN aircraft formally meet in air to air combat by 8:15AM.
October 26th
1942
The USS Hornet is cleared of all crew by 11:40AM.
October 26th
1942
The crew of the USS Hornet begin evacuation procedures aboard their doomed ship.
October 26th
1942
A USN Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat scout plane spots the Japanese waterforce and relays their position.
October 26th
1942
USN bombers score several key direct hits against the carrier IJN Shokaku at 9:30AM.
October 26th
1942
The Americans signal a withdrawal of all forces form the battle.
October 26th
1942
At 7:40AM, USN dive bombers damage the IJN carrier Zuiho.
October 26th
1942
USS Enterprise receives several direct hits from IJN dive bombers against her flight deck and forward elevator.
October 26th
1942
The USS Hornet takes a critical hit at 9:15AM from attacking Japanese Navy dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The IJN forces claim two torpedo hits and a further six bomb hits against her.
October 26th
1942
After some 3,500 casualties are netted against the Japanese attackers, the offensive stalls and is ultimately called off.
October 26th
1942
US Navy aircraft are launched from USS Enterprise and USS Hornet but fail to locate the Japanese ships.
October 27th
1942
Destroyers of the IJN come across the remains of the USS Hornet and launch torpedoes against her, sending her to the bottom of the Pacific.
November 1st - January 31st
1942
Neither force can claim much action during this span. In time, US forces number some 58,000 troops while Japan can claim 20,000-strong.
November 1st
1942
Japanese Army troops have taken to reinforcing their existing defenses at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.
November 15th
1942
Australian forces continue their march from the west against Japanese-held areas.
November 15th
1942
US forces continue their march from the south against Japanese-held areas.
December 9th
1942
The Australian Army liberates the village of Gona from the hold of the Japanese Amry.
December 14th
1942
Allied Australian and US forces continued their maches against the Japanese, taking territory through fierce firefights.
January 3rd
1943
American forces lay claim to Buna.
January 10th
1943
The decision to abandon Guadalcanal is made by Japanese autorities.
January 17th
1943
The Japanese begin to withdraw their battered army units from Guadalcanal.
January 31st
1943
Sananada is officially in Allied hands.
January 31st
1943
The Kokoda Trail is firmly in Allied hands by this date.
February 1st
1943
A massive evacuation effort sees some 11,000 Japanese personnel moved fom Tenaro, Gaudalcanal.
February 7th
1943
Gaudalcanal officially falls to the Americans.
February 7th
1943
The last remnants of the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal is evacuated from the island.
August 15th
1943
The Aleutian Islands Campaign comes to a close. The Japanese invasion is ultimately repelled.
November 10th
1943
The combined force of US Army and Marine Corps troops numbering 35,000 personnel heads towards Betio on the Tarawa Atoll.
November 13th
1943
US Navy warplanes and warships begin the bombardment of Japanese positions at Makin and Tarawa in preparation for the planned amphibious assaults.
November 20th
1943
By the end of the first day of operations, some three US Marine battalions have made it onto the beaches.
November 20th
1943
US tanks and armored vehicles finally make it ashore and strengthen the US Marine presence on the beaches.
November 20th
1943
US Navy warplanes and warships conclude their bombardment of Japanese positions.
November 20th
1943
At 9:10AM, the first US Marine soldiers make it ashore at Betio during the initial amphibious landings. Nearly half are cut down in low waters by the waiting Japanese defenders.
November 21st
1943
US forces at Makin kill some 800 defending Japanese soldiers, leaving just a lone survivor.
November 21st
1943
US forces continue their progress against the Gilberts though a dogged Japanese resistance makes for slow progress.
November 21st
1943
US forces officially take Makin and give the "Makin Taken" signal.
November 21st
1943
Another US amphibious landing, this consisting of both Army and Marine elements, makes it to the shores on Makin.
November 21st
1943
US forces take Apamama after the suicide of its 22-strong Japanese garrison.
November 22nd
1943
By 8PM on this date, US forces lay claim to portions of the Gilberts at its east and central regions.
November 22nd
1943
By night time hours, the Japanese enact a counter-attack against US forces, hoping to regain lost ground and take their invaders by surprise.
November 23rd
1943
With the fall of Betio, the Gilbert Islands are now under control of US forces.
November 23rd
1943
The final Japanese defenders at Betio capitulate.
November 23rd
1943
The Japanese assault is repelled with a tremendous loss of life for the IJA. The dead number some 500 personnel in hours of fighting.
June 16th
1944
The 1st Mobile Fleet of the IJN meets up with the Japanese Southern Force west of the Philippines.
June 17th
1944
US amphibious assault elements arrive to take Saipan.
June 19th
1944
Around 4:28pm, the carrier IJN Taiho joins the IJN Shokaku.
June 19th
1944
The first Japanese raid assaults US Task Force 58 through a combined force of IJN and IJA aircraft commitment. The American response nets 35 enemies in the first phase of the attack.
June 19th
1944
The second raid of arriving Japanese aerial strike force is identified and attacked by the Americans resulting in some 97 Japanese aircraft downed.
June 19th
1944
At 9:05am, the USS Albacore lands a fish into the side of the IJN Taiho aircraft carrier.
June 19th
1944
At 12:20pm, the USS Cavalla attack submarine hits the IJN Shokaku with torpedoes.
June 19th
1944
The third Japanese attack includes 47 aircraft which are met by 40 American fighters resulting in 7 enemies downed.
June 19th
1944
At approximately 4:24pm, the carrier IJN Shokaku, suffering extensive damage from American warplanes, goes under.
June 19th
1944
A fourth Japanese flight group of 49 aircraft is assailed by 27 American Hellcats netting 30 more Japanese targets.
June 20th
1944
American dive bomber aircraft successfully attack, and subsequently sink, the aircraft carrier IJN Hiyo.
June 20th
1944
The American aerial force claims another two IJN tanker vessels.
June 20th
1944
The aircraft carrier - IJN Zuikaku - takes heavy damage from American warplanes.
June 20th
1944
The aircraft carrier - IJN Chiyoda - takes heavy damage from American warplanes.
June 20th
1944
During the attack, American fighter pilots score a further 65 enemy aircraft.
June 20th
1944
By 8:45pm, the American attack shows a loss of 100 aircraft with 80 being lost to landing accidents at night or lack of fuel, forcing many airmen to ditch into the sea.
June 20th
1944
At 4:30pm, some 216 American aircraft are launched in response to the Japanese attacks.
March 24th
1945
In preparation for the amphibious assault landings on the island of Okinawa, US Naval elements begin bombardment of shoreline positions.
March 24th
1945
The US 77th Infantry Division lands at the Kerama Islands to secure a staging post for the eventual invasion of Okinawa.
March 29th
1945
Further landings of US forces on the Kerama Islands, complete its capture for the Allies.
March 31st
1945
The US Navy lobs some 30,000 explosive shells on the Okinawa coastline by this time, ending a week of bombardment.
April 1st
1945
Two US Army and USMC divisions land along the southwest coast of Okinawa near Hagushi, meeting little resistance. The US 10th Army is commanded by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner. Some 550,000 personnel and 180,000 soldiers take part in the fray.
April 5th
1945
Allied forces find and locate the Japanese defenders along the southern portion of Okinawa. Heavy defenses are noted.
April 6th
1945
The deadly kamikaze air attack is unleashed on American Naval vessels in the Pacific. These aircraft appear as coordinated airstrikes and prove equally deadly to both sides. USN vessels off the coast of Okinawa itself are targeted. Some 34 US Navy ships fall victim.
April 6th
1945
The IJN Yamato, Japan's pride and joy and the largest battleship ever built, sails from the Inland Sea on a suicide mission at Okinawa. She is escorted by the light cruiser Yahagi and some eight destroyers on her final voyage.
April 6th
1945
American forces are now amassed as two separate assault fronts. To the north are the 1st and 6th Marine divisions. To the mountainous south are the 7th and 96th Infantry divisions.
April 6th
1945
As American forces move further inland, the battle for Okinawa intensifies. Pockets of dug-in Japanese defenders become evermore concentrated the more inland the Allied forces go.
April 7th
1945
The IJN Yamato, having already been spotted by an American submarine, makes its way to the fighting at Okinawa. The crew understand that this is a suicide mission at this point in the war.
April 7th
1945
Task Force 38 launches some 380 aircraft against IJN Yamato.
April 7th
1945
With no air cover, the IJN Yamato is blasted to pieces by the American Navy warplanes. Her magazine stores explode in a fantastic display as she goes up in smoke. Most of her crew is lost with the ship in the afternoon hours.
April 7th
1945
In the early morning hours, US Navy reconnaissance aircraft spot the IJN Yamato and relay her position.
April 10th
1945
The American 27th Infantry Division lands at Tsugen. The island is just to the east of Okinawa proper.
April 11th
1945
The conquest of Tsugen is completed by the 27th Infantry Division.
April 13th
1945
US Marines reach Hedo Point in the north of Okinawa.
April 16th
1945
A five-day offensive is undertaken involving the American 77th Infantry Division and the island of Ie Shima. Ie Shima represents the tip of the Motobu Peninsula. Motobu is a defensive Japanese stronghold located to the west of Okinawa proper.
April 19th
1945
Japanese defenders are pushed back towards Naha by American forces. The Japanese defensive lines are reset as territory is lost. The Americans report 1,000 casualties in their assaults.
April 20th
1945
Motobu Peninsula falls to the Americans as the Japanese defenders are either killed or captured.
April 21st
1945
The offensive to take Ie Shima is completed.
May 4th
1945
The Japanese enact a major offensive in the south of Okinawa. A coast-to-coast defensive front is established from Naha to Yonabaru. Regardless, the line is targeted by prolonged American firepower and infantry.
May 27th
1945
Naha is officially captured by American forces. The Orouku Peninsula to the south is now within reach.
June 17th
1945
By this time, the Japanese defenders have been seperated into three major fighting groups. The more raw recruits find it somewhat easy to surrender than fight to the death.
June 22nd
1945
Understanding that defeat is iminent, Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushjima commits ritual suicide with his staff after reporting the loss of Okinawa to his superiors.
June 22nd
1945
The Battle of Okinawa officially draws to a close and now represents the all-important staging area for the Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland.
June 22nd
1945
The fighting on Okinawa comes to a close as American forces overwhelm the islands determined Japanese defenders. Those that are not taken prisoner or die in the fighting, subject themselves to ritual suicides.