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Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific

December 10, 2016

Matthew Wright

It’s 75 years since Japanese aircraft attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor – triggering the Pacific war that finally ended in August 1945 after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where does the time go?

USS Arizona, 7 December 1941. Public domain, http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ OnlineLibrary/photos/images/ac00001/ ac05904.jpg USS Arizona, 7 December 1941. Public domain, http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ OnlineLibrary/photos/images/ac00001/ ac05904.jpg

For all the infamy of the moment, it wasn’t quite a total surprise. Relations between Japan and the west – the US, particularly, but also Britain – had been strained for some time. The cause, largely, was the ongoing war in China which had been raging since 1931 but taken on a new life with the fall of France in May 1940. That opened up a power vacuum in the former French colonies of South East Asia, allowing the Japanese to move in with the aim of tackling the Chinese from the south. That was opposed by the US and Britain.

The fall…

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