The Defense Of Wake

Their High Command abandoned them. Their enemy thought they wouldn’t fight. But a few days after Pearl Harbor, a handful of weary Americans gave the world a preview of what the Axis was up against.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was only one blow in an offensive without parallel in warfare. Within hours after the first bombs had crashed into Battleship Row, Japanese forces struck at twenty-nine targets along a three-thousand-mile front that stretched from the central Pacific to the South China Sea. Destroyers shelled American installations on Midway Island, and airplanes spilled their bombs over Clark and Iba airfields in the Philippines, wiping out half the American air forces there in a single raid.Read more »

The Siege of Wake Island

An eyewitness account of the World War II battle in the Pacific.

For the United States forces in the Pacific, the first months of World War II were a time of unremitting disaster. Undermanned, outgunned, and hardly prepared for a struggle of such magnitude, our scattered garrisons could hope only to delay and hinder the Japanese onslaught until the nation’s war machine grew strong enough to contain it. One of the most gallant of these desperate holding actions was the defense of Wake Island in December, 1941.

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