1942: General Douglas MacArthur commanded Allied forces in the battle against the Japanese for control of the Philippines. By 1942 American/Filipino forces had lost, and Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to leave. MacArthur complied, but declared he would return.
1942: Admiral Chester Nimitz (commander of U.S. Pacific naval forces) moved to defend the island of Midway. The Americans attacked the Japanes fleet with torpedo planes & dive bombers while their planes were still on the decks of their carriers. The "Battle of Midway" was a major loss for Japan, marking a turning point in the Pacific War.
1942: After the Battle of Midway, the Allies adopted the strategy of "island hopping" - going from island to island and winning territory back.
1942: The first Allied offensive begins as thousands of troops stormed Guadalcanal. By the time the Japanese left, they nicknamed it the "Island of Death" because of the bad conditions from weather, wild-life, ect...
1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf - Allied troops and ships moved in on the Leyte Islands (Philippines). General MacArthur returned for this battle. The Japanes used kamikaze tactics to defend, but still had major losses in their defeat.
1944: Allies begin their attack on the strategically critical (but heavily defended) island of Iwo Jima. There were extremely heavy losses on both sides, but the Allies managed to succeed.
1945: Battle for Okinawa - U.S. Marines invaded the island of Okinawa. The Japanes used many kamikaze attacks to sink or damage hundreds of ships. Almost 8,000 marines died to take the island, but over 100,000 Japanese died, including 2 generals.
1945: The Yalta Conferance takes place, where Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin discussed postwar plans. The results were that Germany would be divided into 4 occupied zones, the Soviet Union would help in the war with Japan, and a new world peace-keeping organization would be formed (The United Nations, or UN)
Manhattan Project - secret U.S. government project to develop the first atomic bomb. American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the research director on the project.
1945: President Truman decides to use the atmoic bombs. Japan was warned that they would face a "prompt and utter destruction" if they did not immediately surrender. After Japan refused to surrender, the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Japan was still hesitant to surrender, and so a few days later another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Emperor Hirohito then agrees to surrender on September 2, 1945.
1945: Nuremberg Trials - after the discovery of the death camps, remaining Nazis were put on trial for their crimes throughout the war. Some got to go free, but many were sentenced to prison. Only 12 were sentenced to death.
In the years following war, Japan was occupied by U.S. forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Many Japanese officials were tried for crimes against civilians or P.O.W.'s. MacArthur also reshaped Japan's economy and government, by introducing free-market practices and calling for a new constitution. This led to a remarkable economic recovery and introduced a democratic government with more rights.