The Rock

Map of
The Pacific Showing Japanese Conquests
The Pacific Basin in 1943


This map was produced using http://pubweb.parc.xerox.com/map.

In 1942, Japanese conquest reached its greatest extent. In the far east, they had sacked the costal areas of China and devastated the British at Hong Kong and Singapore. They demolished the American Asiatic fleet along with their Dutch, British and Australian allies in the advance through Indonesia. They controlled Thailand and successfully invaded Burma. Her navy struck deep into the Indian Ocean.

After the Pearl Harbor attack, the US was routed in the Philippines and at Wake Island. The position of the Australians was very perilous because their army was away fighting in the Mediterranean. Imperial Japan ruled the western Pacific.

However 1942 was also the year in which they lost the ability to win the war. An island nation, they were dependent on their naval power to dominate the regions which produced the raw materials which they needed to wage the war. Japan gradually lost air superiority through attrition in the battles of Coral Sea and Midway. The technical edge their aircraft held at the start of the war vanished and the pilots could not be replaced with the quality and quantity they needed.

The united nations forces stopped the Japanese juggernaut in the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Burma in 1942. It was time to roll back the tide of the Rising Sun and a new type of warfare was about to be unleashed in the western Pacific.


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