Japan had many other problems to deal with, before entering World War II. It had begun to rely more and more for raw materials (especially oil) from outside sources because their land was so lacking in these. Despite these difficulties, Japan began to build a successful empire with a solid industrial foundation and a good army and navy. The military became highly involved in the government, and this began to get them into trouble. In the early 1930’s, the Japanese Army had many small battles with the Chinese in Manchuria.
The Japanese Army won a series of battles, and Manchuria became a part of the Japanese Empire. In 1937, the conflicts began again with the Chinese in the area near Beijing’s Marco Polo Bridge. Whether or not these conflicts began inadvertently or whether they were planned is unknown. These led to a full-scale war known as the second Sino-Japanese War. This was one of the bloodiest wars in world history and continued until the final defeat of Japan in 1945. In 1939, World War II was beginning with a string of victories by German forces.Order now
Germany’s success included defeats of Poland and France along with bombings of England. Many of the European nations
That Germany now controlled had control over important colonial empires such as the East Indies and Singapore in Southeast Asia. These Southeast Asian countries contained many of the natural resources that Japan so desperately needed. Now that these countries were worried about matters over in Europe, Japan felt that it could seize some of them. At the same time in the United States, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to halt the expansion of Germany and Japan, but many others in the government wanted to leave the situation alone.
The United States began to supply materials to the countries at war with Germany and Japan, but it wanted to remain neutral to prevent and overseas war. Meanwhile, Germany, Italy, and Japan formed the Axis Alliance in September of 1940. Japan was becoming desperate for more natural resources. In July of 1941, Japan made the decision to secure access to the abundance of the much-needed resources in Southeast Asia. It was afraid that it could not defeat the larger and stronger Western powers. It needed to build up its armies in order to stay in the war.
It also had to worry, though about the United States’ reaction to their plans to seize Southeast Asia. Japan began their seizure with southern Indochina. The United States was in strict opposition to Japan’s plans, and began their reaction with an embargo on the shipment of oil to Japan. Oil was necessary to keep Japan’s technology and military progressing. Without it, Japan’s industrial and military forces would come to a stop in only a short time. Japan’s government viewed the oil embargo as an act of war.
Throughout the next few months of 1941, the United States tried to come to some kind of resolve with Japan to settle their differences. Japan wanted the United States to lift the oil embargo and allow them to attempt a takeover of China. The United States refused to lift the embargo until Japan would back off of their aggression with China. Neither country would budge on their demands, and war seemed to be inescapable. The United States regarded Japan’s adamant refusal to budge on their stance as a sign of hostility. They too realized that war was inevitable.
They responded to this potential war with Japan by adding to the military forces stationed in the Pacific. General Douglas MacArthur and his ground forces in the Philippines began to organize into a formidable army. The B-17 was just arriving at many air force bases throughout the country, and was a great confidence to MacArthur upon its arrival. MacArthur became so confident in his forces stationed in the Philippines that on December 5,1941, he said; Nothing would please me better than if they would give me three months and then attack here.; The most powerful and most crucial part of American defense in the Pacific Ocean was that of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Usually, this fleet was stationed somewhere .