December 7, 2018
      On the morning of December 7, 1941, the surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii catapulted a reluctant America into the Second World War.   There are not many survivors left.                  
December 7, 2017
  Press this link for more photos published by Alex Q. Arbuckle that are rare and interesting from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7. 1941.
December 7, 2016
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor elicited surprise, shock and horror that led Americans into the war with a burning desire for vengeance. Some historians have suggested that Imperial Japan, failing to anticipate the intensity of this emotion, assumed that the USA would not want to shed more blood in a distant Pacific war and would […]
September 14, 2016
John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (June 1922-December 1941), born to missionaries in China, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force  in WWII. He died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.   High Flight Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling […]
August 18, 2016
For the ordinary German soldier, the horrific war on the Eastern Front was unlike its more “civilized” counterpart in the Western campaign. The seeds of anti-semitism, long present among “Aryan” Germans, were germinated and vastly amplified by Nazi propaganda, laws and ultimately direct battlefield orders such as this “Watch-word for the day” issued on November 21, 1941: […]
August 8, 2016
Adolf Hitler spent over half of  WWII (~800 days) in Der Wolfsschanze (wolf’s lair), his bunker in Ketrzyn, Poland (East Prussia).   Hitler’s nickname Wolf was used in titles of  Nazi headquarters throughout occupied Europe – e.g.  Wolfsschlucht I and II in Belgium and Werwolf in Ukraine. Although often translated in English as “lair,”  Schanze in German alludes to a […]
November 12, 2015
via Japanese World War II Tribute – YouTube. This video pastiche from America’s enemy in the mirror Imperial Japan, presents a melancholic view of a fallen empire and its valiant soldiers. Both eerie and fascinating, the clips and dramatic musical score reach the ultimate finale of sacrifice – the kamikaze. A postscript honors the accord between Imperial […]
March 26, 2015
Although this blog focuses on Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany and the USA, it is important to keep in mind the cataclysmic struggle between the Third Reich and the USSR. And who can not be moved by these overwhelming statistics?   Estimated total WWII deaths = 48,231,700  Total Soviet losses by demographic balance (1941–45) Population in June […]
June 11, 2014
The View From the Other Side of the Mirror: A Japanese Pilot’s Account of the Attack on Pearl Harbor by Mori Juzo This is an interesting read :    The Miraculous Torpedo Squadron
December 30, 2013
  JAPANESE BOMBS FIRE OPEN CITY OF MANILA; CIVILIAN TOLL HEAVY New York Times  December 28, 1941 Manila’s populace clambered yesterday for the return of United States Army after more than three hours of destructive bombing by the Japanese, who ignored the American proclamation declaring it an open city. Secretary of State Hull termed the […]
December 25, 2013
Bing Crosby performed Irving Berlin’s melancholy White Christmas for the first time on his weekly NBC radio program, The Kraft Music Hall. It went on to become the top-selling single of all time until being surpassed by Elton John’s Candle in the Wind in 1997. Crosby’s October 1942 recording of  White Christmas was played frequently on commercial […]
December 24, 2013
  On Christmas Eve 1941 Winston Churchill spoke from the White House: “This is a strange Christmas Eve.  Almost the whole world is locked in deadly struggle, and, with the most terrible weapons which science can devise, the nations advance upon each other.  Ill would it be for us this Christmastide if we were not […]
December 23, 2013
  Excerpts from the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’  Christmas Eve radio speech in 1941: There are few presents under the Christmas tree this year. .. We have sent our Christmas candles to the Eastern Front, where our soldiers need them more than we do Instead of giving outward gifts to our family, friends, and community, today […]
December 21, 2013
  Worshiping a Jewish messiah at Christmas time was problematic for Nazi Aryan ideology. Yuletide celebration with emphasis on the observance of the Germanic pre-Christian Winter Solstice was the official government line. Unofficially, most Christians and churches in the Third Reich continued traditional Christmas celebrations.    
December 20, 2013
  In 1941, Borneo was divided between the Dutch East Indies and British protectorates (North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei) and crown colonies (Labuan). Although Nazi Germany occupied the Netherlands in 1940, the Royal Netherlands Navy and East Indies Army fought on under the joint American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM). On December 16, 1941 Japan invaded the north […]
December 18, 2013
“…These tasks require that the army and home front be brought to the highest degree of performance in one common effort by all. However, the army is the main pillar in the fight of the armed forces. I have, therefore, resolved today, under these circumstances, to take over myself the leading of the army in […]
December 16, 2013
Like the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet Britt Reid had a partner of different ethnicity in his fight against crime. The 1936 radio program The Green Hornet described Britt Reid’s sidekick Kato as Japanese. After the 1939 Japanese invasion of China, Kato was identified only as a faithful valet. Then in the movie serials released […]
December 13, 2013
During the summer of 1941, young American pilots under the command of Captain Claire L. Chennault (“retired” from the United States Army Air Corps) secretly trained in the jungles of Southeast Asia in preparation for an air war with Japan. On December 20, 1942, the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) composed of 112 Army, Navy and Marine […]
December 11, 2013
From December 18 – 24, 1941, nine Japanese submarines positioned along the American West Coast attacked eight merchant ships. Two ships were sunk, two damaged and six seamen were killed. A plan for all nine submarines to shell selected U.S. coastal cities on Christmas Eve was canceled at the last minute. Unlike the subsequent German […]
December 9, 2013
  2,710 American cargo ships, popularly named liberty ships were built from 1941-1945. Of simple pre-fabricated design, relatively inexpensive and rapidly-produced, they became a symbol of American wartime industrial output. To counteract initial public disdain regarding the ships’ quality,  President Roosevelt referred to Patrick Henry‘s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech of  1775 at the […]
December 7, 2013
This film produced shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor probably reflects the bellicose, revengeful attitude of most Americans after Imperial Japan’s surprise attack. REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR! – The powerful emotion evoked served to unite many Americans who had been previously divided over any participation in another global war. It is likely that the Japanese underestimated […]
December 6, 2013
  The operator of the German Enigma machine  (invented by a Dutchman in 1919 and adapted by Germany for military use) typed a message that was scrambled by three to five rotors that displayed different letters of the alphabet. With exact knowledge of the transmitter’s rotor settings, the receiver could reconstitute the original text. Throughout […]
December 4, 2013
Glenn Miller’s big-band/swing song Chattanooga Choo Choo was the #1 American hit in December 1941. The 78-rpm recording of the song on RCA Victor’s Bluebird label became the first certified gold disc on February 10, 1942 with for sales of 1,200,000. In December 1944, traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France in bad weather, Glenn […]
December 2, 2013
    On Christmas Day 1941 (“Black Christmas”) the Governor General of Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese. In the 18-day battle, the British suffered 11,848 casualties and Japan suffered 2,754. Following the surrender, Imperial Japanese troops committed many atrocities against both men and women including bayonetting patients in hospital beds, forcing victims to dig their own […]
November 29, 2013
  In the 15-day siege of Wake Island, U.S. losses included: 47 Marines killed with two MIA , three  U.S. Navy personnel and at least ten U.S. civilians killed, ten Chamorro civilians killed, and twelve civilians wounded. Japanese losses were estimated  700 –  900 killed with at least 300 more wounded. Two Japanese destroyers at […]
November 27, 2013
In December 1941  Karl Jäger,  SS–Standartenführer of  Einsatzkommando 3, chronicled a Nazi killing unit’s activities from July to November 1941.  The Jäger Report  meticulously documents the murder of 137,346 people. The vast majority were Jews, but communists, criminals, gypsies and others deemed undesirable were included in over 100 executions in 71 different locations.  
November 25, 2013
On December 10, 1941, with the loss of Guam, the Philippine Islands  and sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill exclaimed  “We have lost control of the sea.” Imperial Japan now ruled the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.    
November 22, 2013
    Allied Powers of WWII On January 1, 1942, 26 countries signed the Declaration by United Nations, which set forth the war aims of the Allied powers. Australia Belgium Canada China Costa Rica Cuba Czechoslovakia Dominican Republic Great Britain Greece Guatemala Haiti Honduras India Luxembourg Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Norway Panama Poland Salvador South […]
November 18, 2013
After the Pearl Harbor attack, the American press began voluntary censorship.  On December 8, 1941, the First War Powers Act  granted broad  powers of wartime executive authority, including censorship. Executive Order 8985 then established the Office of Censorship and conferred absolute discretion on its director. In January 1942, the Code of Wartime Practices  listed subjects that contained potential […]
November 15, 2013
On December 11, 1941, in accordance with the Axis Powers Alliance of 1937, Germany and Italy declared war on the USA in support of Imperial Japan.
November 13, 2013
The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battle cruiser  HMS Repulse were sunk by land-based Japanese bombers north of Singapore, off the east coast of Malaya on December 10, 1941. The sinking of these proud ships struck a serious blow to Allied morale. More importantly, the Pearl Harbor attack and this Malayan engagement demonstrated that even heavily-armed ships that were not […]
November 11, 2013
    On the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan invaded the Gilbert Islands, occupying them by December 10, 1941. One of these islands would become infamous. In the November 1943  Battle of Tarawa, the ~12,000 man U.S. Marine 2nd Division suffered 894  killed and 2188 wounded, while 4,690 of 4,836  Japanese and […]
November 8, 2013
  On December 8, 1941, Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita led his 25th Army into British Malaya from Indochina. Against larger British forces, Yamashita utilized skills learned in earlier campaigns to repeatedly flank and drive back the enemy, earning the nickname of the “Tiger of Malaya.”
November 6, 2013
  On December 8, 1941 the Japanese 21st, 23rd and the 38th Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant General Takashi Sakai, attacked  heavily outnumbered British, Canadian, Indian and Volunteer Defense Forces in Hong Kong. After initial resistance, the defenders were soon pushed into an untenable position.  
November 4, 2013
Uncertain if Thailand would allow Japanese troops free passage through its territory, Japan invaded the country on December 8, 1941. An alliance between Thailand and Japan was formally signed on December 21, 1941. On January 25, 1942, the Thai government declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom.  
November 2, 2013
Wake Island is an atoll consisting of three islands with a lagoon, annexed by the United States as a result of victory over Spain in May 1898. After the first Japanese attack of December 8, 1941, a relief convoy (Task Force 14) was dispatched from Hawaii 2300 miles away.  On December 23 the Japanese launched […]
November 2, 2013
The Pacific Theater 1942
November 1, 2013
In December 1941 Guam was defended by small U.S. Naval and Marine units as well as the Insular Force Guard. Beginning on December 8, 1941, Japanese aircraft repeatedly attacked American defenses on Guam. On December 10, about 400 Japanese troops of the 5th Defense Force from Saipan landed on on the island. An additional 5500 men of the Japanese South […]
October 30, 2013
  On 8 December, 1941, just hours after the Pearl Harbor attack,  Japanese Mitsubishi G3M3 bombers from bases on the Marshall Islands attacked Wake Island and destroyed  eight of the twelve U.S. Marine Corps  F4F-3 Wildcat fighters on the ground. Four airborne Wildcats, were unable to see the attacking Japanese bombers due to poor visibility. However, the following day the Wildcats […]
October 28, 2013
    It is difficult to understand General MacArthur’s failure to place American military forces in the Philippines on a proper war footing immediately after hearing news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Nine hours after he knew of the Pearl Harbor attack, many American aircraft remained on the ground, vulnerable to attack. The result […]
October 25, 2013
The Pacific Clipper,  a Boeing 314 flying boat, was preparing to land in New Zealand when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. They backtracked to New Caledonia, then Australia. From there, they flew on to the Dutch East Indies, Ceylon, Pakistan, Sudan, Belgian Congo, Brazil and Trinidad, finally reaching New York City in the first around-the-world flight by […]
October 23, 2013
Remember December 8! On this day the history of the world was changed. The Anglo-Saxon powers On this day we’re driven back on East Asian land and sea, It was their Japan that drove them back, A tiny country in the Eastern Sea, Nippon, the Land of the Gods Ruled over by a living God. […]
October 21, 2013
  I was born on February 21, 1942. This poem echoes the thoughts I’ve often had. ______________________________________   December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor by Sharon Auberle I imagine my mother that night, listening to the radio, Glenn Miller’s String of Pearls, Edward R. Murrow wishing the world good night and good luck then breaking news… […]
October 18, 2013
At 0755 AM on Sunday, December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the U.S. Navy Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In the attack that lasted 110 minutes, 2,386 Americans died (including 48-68  civilians – most killed by unexploded American anti-aircraft shells landing in civilian areas) and 1,139 were wounded. Eighteen ships (including five […]
October 16, 2013
  December 6, 1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt sent a personal message to Emperor Hirohito urging him to use his influence to preserve the peace.
October 14, 2013
  On November 27, 1941, the U.S. government warned the British government and American military commanders of an imminent war with Japan. American intelligence concluded that a Japanese offensive against the Philippines or South East Asia was most likely. Was there intelligence that more specifically suggested Pearl Harbor was the likely target?  Doubtful, but debatable. […]
October 11, 2013
  On November 26, 1941 a Japanese attack fleet of 33 warships and auxiliary craft, including six aircraft carriers, sailed from  Hitokappu Bay in the Kurile Islands for Hawaii.  
October 9, 2013
After the German invasion of Holland in May 1940, the Dutch government operated from London in exile. Dutch colonies remained vulnerable, but still free. In November 1941, the U.S. occupied Dutch Guiana to prevent the Axis powers from using it as a base of operations.
October 7, 2013
    November 2– Japanese ambassador Admiral Nomura and special envoy Saburo Kurusu propose that the U.S. unfreeze Japanese credits, reopen trade relations, assist Japan in the exploitation of resources in the Dutch East Indies, halt American military build-up in the Western Pacific and end support for China. November 26  – Secretary of State Cordell […]
October 4, 2013
  On November 17 , 1941  American Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew cabled Secretary Hull and Under Secretary Welles as follows: “In emphasizing need for guarding against sudden military or naval actions by Japan in areas not at present involved in the China conflict, I am taking into account as a probability that the Japanese […]
October 2, 2013
  “A great deal is heard these days about the “morale” of the average man. Some ardent interventionists point to the apparent lack of enthusiasm about the war and cry that something must be done to get people excited. Isolationists advertise poll results which show that only one out of every five persons wants to […]
September 30, 2013
On October 18th, 1941 His Majesty the Emperor visited a provisional festival at Yasukuni Shrine and offered prayers for those who died in the war. At 10:15 a.m., when the prayers were offered, all the people offered a silent prayer throughout the country. At 10:20 a.m. His Majesty the Emperor   TOKYO – Going beyond […]
September 27, 2013
  In the months leading up to American involvement in WWII, strained relations with Mexico were under repair. In November 1941 Mexican President Avila Camacho and FDR  reached an agreement in which Mexico agreed to settle American agrarian claims in return for U.S. support of the Mexican peso, purchase of Mexican silver above the world market […]
September 25, 2013
  Prior to the U.S. entry into WWII, the U.S. Neutrality Act of 1936 prohibited  the arming of American merchant ships carrying war supplies to the Allies.  With increasing attacks by German aircraft and submarines  in war zones, Congress amended the act in November 1941 to allow arming of U.S. merchant ships.  
September 23, 2013
  The American convoy destroyer U.S.S. Reuben James was torpedoed and sunk off Iceland with the loss of 115 of 160 crewmen on October 31, 1941. Although other U.S. ships had been torpedoed, the Reuben James was the first one sunk by Germany. The folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote his now famous song immediately after the incident: […]
September 20, 2013
    Richard Sorge, a German communist, was a WWII Soviet spy who posed as a journalist in China and Japan. In October 1941, the Kempeitai (Japanese secret military police) arrested him on suspicion of working for the German Abwehr (German military intelligence). Under torture, he confessed that he was actually an agent of the […]
September 18, 2013
The Maltese Falcon, a 1941 film noir based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett is considered by many as one of the all-time great films.  Directed by John Huston, it starred Humphrey Bogart as the private investigator Sam Spade and Mary Astor as his “femme fatale” client.        
September 13, 2013
In October 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt privately proposed to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that the countries pool their resources and research facilities to develop an atomic bomb. In 1939, physicists Leó Szilárd and Eugene Wigner drafted a letter to FDR warning of the potential development of “extremely powerful bombs of a new type”. The […]
September 11, 2013
Nazi mandated Star of David; Wikimedia Commons In September 1941, all Jews over the age of six in the Third Reich and the ethnically Czech Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia  were required to wear the Star of David with Jude (Jew in German) inscribed in faux Hebrew letters. This requirement was subsequently  introduced in other German-occupied areas. Although the Nazis reinstated it, this […]
September 9, 2013
General Hideki Tojo, who as Minister of War had promoted military expansion in Asia, became Prime Minister of Japan in October 1941. A leader of the militarist faction, he had the support of many people in the general public who admired the military and held many civilian politicians in disdain.
September 6, 2013
On September 4, 1941, after the U- 652’s torpedo missed, the USS Greer retaliated with an unsuccessful depth charge attack against the U-Boat. This first overt act of war was interpreted differently by Germany and the USA. The USS Greer, built in WWI, was similar in appearance to fifty old destroyers given to the Royal […]
September 4, 2013
  A November 1941 document written by Lt. Gen. Teiichi Suzuki, the Imperial Japanese cabinet member in charge of allocating resources for the army, navy and civilians, concluded that Japan, which was already at war in China, would be able to still wage war against the United States, Britain and the Netherlands. Some estimates described […]
September 2, 2013
In 1941, Charles Lindbergh was the America First Committee‘s leading spokesman against  American involvement in the European conflict.  He maintained that FDR,  along with British and Jewish interests were leading America into war.  Lindbergh resigned his commission in the Army Air Corps after Roosevelt publicly denounced him.
August 30, 2013
On February 4, 1918, Hirohito became engaged to Princess Nagako, daughter of Prince Kuniyoshi Kuninomiya. The imperial wedding finally took place on January 26, 1924. The imperial couple later had five daughters, the first born in December 1926, and two sons, the first born in December 1933. Shigeko, Princess Teru Sachiko, Princess Hisa Kazuko, Princess Taka Atsuko, […]
August 28, 2013
In August 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a law which permitted the U.S. Army to keep draftees in service 18 months longer.
August 26, 2013
In the event that negotiations failed and the United States became involved in a war with the Japanese, Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged British military aid to the U.S.
Roosevelt and Churchill
August 23, 2013
In August 1941, Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt met on a ship off Newfoundland and agreed on a plan for large-scale assistance to the USSR. They also drafted the Atlantic Charter which stated the ideal goals of the war: no territorial aggrandizement no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people restoration of self-government to […]
August 21, 2013
In August 1941, Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe  sent a message to President Franklin Roosevelt that emphasized the importance of a summit meeting between the two countries’ leaders.
August 19, 2013
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Kichisaburō Nomura In August 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt warned Admiral Nomura, the Japanese ambassador to the United States, that the U.S. would be forced to take immediate action to safeguard American rights and interests in the Far East if the Japanese took new military actions in the region.
August 16, 2013
The development of television was truly an international endeavor. In 1926, Kenjiro Takayanagi demonstrated the first working example of a fully electronic television receiver. Although the American public was introduced to TV at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, the onset of WWII delayed large scale manufacture until the war’s end.  
August 14, 2013
On July 30, 1941 the stern superstructure of the American river gunboat Tutuila (PR-4) was damaged by Japanese bombers in an air raid on the Chinese capital of Chunking. No casualties were reported.The gunboat was anchored across the Yangtze river from the capital. The Japanese subsequently apologized. Read news report
August 12, 2013
Viewing the Japanese move into southern Indochina, as an overt and flagrant act of aggression, FDR issued an executive order on July 26,1941 that froze all Japanese assets in the United States. The order, which placed all import and export transactions with Japanese interests under U.S. government control, resulted in the virtual cessation of trade […]
August 9, 2013
On July 24, 1941 the Vichy French government, holding tentative control over the colony, granted Japan permission to establish military control over French Indo-China.
August 7, 2013
In July 1941 Japan recalled her merchant ships from the Atlantic Ocean, and called up more than 1 million army conscripts.
August 5, 2013
Following a BBC broadcast in January 1941 that suggested the use of a V for victoire (French: “victory”) and vrijheid (Dutch: “freedom”) sign during German occupation, Vs appeared on walls throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern France. Throughout the war in the subsequent “V for Victory” campaign, the three dot and a dash Morse code […]
July 31, 2013
Shortly after concluding a neutrality pact with the USSR, Japan’s Foreign Minister, Matsuoka Yosuke had ignored German hints about their upcoming Barbarosa offensive. In a meeting with his cabinet,  he proposed that Japan now join the Germans in their attack on the Soviets. After a week of deliberation with the Army, Navy and Foreign Ministries,  the Japanese leadership […]
July 29, 2013
The Roosevelt administration ordered the closure of German consulates across the United States. Three days later, the German and Italian governments closed American consulates in Axis-controlled areas of Europe in response.
July 26, 2013
Using the codename Operation Barbarossa, Axis forces totaling 3 million men from Germany, Italy, Romania, Hungary and Finland launched a surprise attack against the USSR along a 2000 mile front on June 22, 1942. Although Britain and the United States were wary of Stalin, Britain began providing the USSR with intelligence on German activity and […]
July 24, 2013
Japanese Demands on French Indo-China  With the collapse of the French army in Europe, the Japanese government demanded that the French allow the landing of Japanese troops in French Indo-China. Japanese warships took up naval stations off Indo-Chinese ports.
July 22, 2013
In 1941 New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio’s streak pulled his team out of an early slump, and led them to the World Series in which he received the Most Valuable Player Award.  
July 19, 2013
Even if you don’t speak German, you will surely understand this 1941 Nazi film .
July 19, 2013
After allowing the passengers and crew to disembark to lifeboats, the German submarine U-69 sank the SS Robin Moor on May 21, 1941. The U-69 left some bread and butter for the survivors and explained that the ship had been sunk because she was carrying supplies to Germany’s enemy. FDR’s response:  “In brief, we must take the sinking of the Robin Moor as a warning […]
July 17, 2013
From 1940-1941, Vichy France  and Thailand fought to control certain areas of French Indochina that had once belonged to Thailand. On May 9, with Japanese mediation, a peace treaty was signed in Tokyo that forced Vichy France to relinquish disputed border territories. Although ostensibly a Thai victory, Imperial Japan was able to expand their influence in both Thailand and Indochina.
July 15, 2013
American, British and Dutch military officials met in Singapore to develop a strategic plan for combined operations against Japan in the event the Japanese attacked the U.S.
July 12, 2013
As an ostensibly neutral USA increased military Lend Lease aid to Great Britain, Germany viewed the U.S. action as hostile. The establishment of a Pan-American Security Zone extending over much of the Atlantic Ocean, provided American escorts to British and neutral merchant ships. Although American escorts generally did not attack the U-boats they encountered,  they informed […]
July 10, 2013
In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Army had 51 divisions, special-purpose artillery, cavalry, anti-aircraft, and armored units with a total of 1,700,000 men. At the beginning of WWII most troops were stationed in China and along the Mongolian border.
July 8, 2013
When Germany occupied Denmark in April 1940, ties were cut with Iceland which pursued a strict course of neutrality. However, in May 1940 British forces took de facto control of the country. American forces relieved the British a year later and remained there for the duration of the war. With Germany threatening their colony of Greenland, the Danish envoy […]
July 5, 2013
American movies were still allowed (and popular) in Imperial Japan just before the onset of the Pacific War.  
July 3, 2013
“Take the ‘A’ Train” written by Billy Strayhorn was the signature tune   of the Duke Ellington orchestra. First recorded in January 1941, the title refers to a subway service in NYC that ran from Brooklyn to Harlem on an express track.
June 28, 2013
Diverging from a non-interventionist policy begun after WWI, in March 1941 the U.S. Congress  enacted Public Law 77-11, the Lend-Lease Act. Formally titled : An Act to Further Promote the Defense of the United States, the law authorized a program that supplied the United Kingdom, USSR, Republic of China, Free France and other Allied nations with war materiel.  
June 26, 2013
In April 1941 the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan signed a Treaty of Neutrality, which pledged that both countries would remain neutral in the event of a war with a third party.
June 24, 2013
A series of secret meetings between representatives of the USA, Canada and Great Britain (ABC) took place in Washington D.C. during the winter of 1941. These meetings, regarding deployment plans for British, Canadian and American forces if the USA entered the war, culminated in the March 1941 ABC-1Staff Agreement.  
June 21, 2013
In February 1941, a Japanese proposal for a “commercial understanding” with the United States, asserting Japanese dominance over the Dutch East Indies was flatly rejected by FDR. The U.S. State Department warned Japan that the U.S. had guaranteed the freedom of the Dutch East Indies (provider of 97% raw rubber to the USA) and any movement south […]
June 19, 2013
In February 1941 Admiral Husband E. Kimmel assumed command of the Pacific fleet that had recently been moved from San Diego to Pearl Harbor. In a message to the Chief of Naval Operations he stated: “I feel that a surprise attack (submarine, air, or combined) on Pearl Harbor is a possibility, and we are taking immediate practical steps to […]
June 14, 2013
In response to a request from FDR, the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), National Catholic Community Service, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board formed the United Service Organizations in February 1941 to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. uniformed military personnel.
June 12, 2013
“It is my firm belief that the establishment of a sphere of common prosperity throughout Greater East Asia is not only Japan’s policy, but indeed a historical necessity in the event of world history.” – Japan’s Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka at the opening of the Thai-French Indo-China border dispute conference The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity […]
June 10, 2013
In January 1941 America First advocate Charles Lindbergh testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs against the Lend-Lease Bill. Instead, he proposed the creation of a neutrality pact with Germany. After President Roosevelt criticized his views on neutrality as appeasing and defeatist, Lindbergh resigned his commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps.    
June 7, 2013
From 1934-1939, as the Imperial Japanese military attaché in Berlin, Colonel Hiroshi Ōshima, who spoke excellent German, became well acquainted with Adolf Hitler and his foreign policy advisor Joachim von Ribbentrop. Returning to Berlin in February 1941 as Ambassador, Ōshima reportedly discussed with von Ribbentrop the possibility of a joint German-Japanese initiative for war against the British Empire and the […]
June 5, 2013
The 99th Pursuit Squadron, an African-American unit from Tuskegee, Alabama was formed in January 1941. Later renamed the 99th Fighter Squadron, the Tuskegee airmen fought throughout the Mediterranean and European theaters.   From the HBO movie ‘The Tuskeegee Airmen’ (1995)
June 3, 2013
  In January 1941 Vichy French defeated the Thai Navy in the battle of Koh Chang. A truce in the Franco-Thai War was arranged by the Imperial Japan Japanese government that also confirmed Japan’s military occupation of French Indo-China and access to Indo-Chinese rice, rubber, coal, and minerals.
May 31, 2013
In his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt presented his reasons for American involvement in the European war, continued aid to Great Britain and increased American war industry production. The United States, FDR said, was fighting for the universal freedoms that all people possessed.   freedom of speech and expression– […]
May 22, 2013
Extremely popular from 1939 to his disappearance on an Army transport airplane to Paris in 1944, Glenn Miller‘s hits included: Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Over the Rainbow, Tuxedo Junction, Pennsylvania 6-5000, When You Wish Upon a Star, Fools Rush in, American Patrol, A String of Pearls, Moonlight Cocktail, Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, […]
May 20, 2013
Japanese field service code adopted by the Imperial War Department January 1941 “The battlefield is where the Imperial Army, acting under the Imperial command, displays its true character, conquering wherever it attacks, winning whenever it engages in combat, in order to spread Kodo (The Imperial Way) whereby the Japanese people, achieving a unity of mind, […]
May 17, 2013
        Ambassador Joseph Grew; Wikimedia Commons Posted to Tokyo in 1932, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Grew immersed himself in Japanese culture, and remained well-accepted there even as relations between the two countries deteriorated. In January 1941, Ambassador Grew reported to the State Department that many sources (including a Japanese one) warned of Japanese military plans for […]
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December 7, 2011
Today is what FDR called “a date which will live in infamy.” But was the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor a complete surprise? Returning to the mid-1930s, we shall continue to review the attitudes and events on both sides of the Pacific that  led up to this brazen attack.

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