On the morning of December 7, 1941, a surprise attack by the Japanese naval aviation against the American held island of Oahu and Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into World War II. Within hours of this dawn attack, a meticulously planned campaign was launched to secure vast regions of Eastern Asia and the Western Pacific. It was wildly successful, but it did not result in a negotiated peace as the Japanese had hoped. Instead, a grimly determined Allied coalition fought its way back across the Pacific, island by island, until the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally forced Imperial Japan to surrender.
World War II in the Pacific, was fought over the largest area of any conflict in history, an expanse of land and sea which encompasses half of our planet, and the islands and battles that came to fame during those years still evoke images of courage and resilience. Names like Guadalcanal, Attu, Midway and Peleliu, some little more than dots on a map, at one time were the center of the universe for a nation at war.
The story told here is one of global forces. It is the story of one of the most momentous events in American history and of a crucial turning point in the 20th century. Most importantly, it is a story of the people who were there, told through the eyewitness accounts of American, Canadian, British and Japanese veterans, some of whose stories have never been told.
This is a story of perseverance and heroism in the face of overwhelming odds.
This is the story of Pearl Harbor and the War in the Pacific.