Island Hopping

Within the first year of the war, the Japanese military had pushed the Chinese government into central China and wasn't stopping until Japan had control of East Asia.

In response to the Japanese seizure of all of Indochina, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt disallowed all withdrawals of Japanese funds from American banks. America's "short of war" effort was the only thing holding Japan back from further expansion. The Japanese intentions were to get the fuel embargoes lifted without stopping their expansion and to prepare for war.

Japan planned to quickly conquer Burma, Malaya, the East Indies, and the Philippines; The U.S. Pacific fleet station stationed in Pearl Harbor posed the greatest threat to Japan's plans. The commander-in-chief of the Japanese naval fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, proposed a strategy for crippling the United State's Navy at Pearl Harbor; he told Japan's Navy General Staff that surprising the U.S. utilizing all of Japan's aircraft carriers for a daylight attack would ensure a Japanese victory.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter planes bombarded America's Pacific Fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor, an inlet on the southern coast of Oahu.

The Japanese air raid, which lasted less than two hours, destroyed 21 ships and 188 planes. There were over 2400 casualties, half of which were due to sinking of the U.S.S. Arizona. A 1,760-pound bomb, that ignited the ship's ammunition, struck the Arizona, killing 1,177 men. The United Stated had received the warning message with only enough time to notify Pearl Harbor after the bombing already occurred.

The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was an unannounced slap in the face that called that United States to arms. On December 8, 1941, the United States, Great Britian, and Canada declared war on Japan. The second World War had begun had begun for the United States.