Pearl Harbor wasn't the only place to be struck violently. Kota Bharu in British Malaya, Singora in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guam, Midway, Wake Island, and the Phillipines were also attacked. The Japanese Navy prooved to the world that they got what it takes to take over the world. The Japanese not only had what it takes, but it had motivated men. Japan had men that would rather die than surrender.
Allied soldiers found themselves in desperate positions as Japanese surprised the Americans constantly with tree-top snipers, camouflaged troops, and Japanese that snuck behind enemy lines very quietly. However, the Japanese had a weak spot: They used the same antics over and over again in a pattern.
Japanese first took over Guam, which was without military troops as a "concession to Japanese feelings." The same day Pearl Harbor was attacked, Japanese stormed the beaches. After three days, the Japanese took 555 men captive and successfully conquered the island. Wake Island was the next to fall, but it didn't fall easily. Stiffer resistance under Marine Major James P.S. Devereux disabled any Japanese threat on the first attack. Then on December 23, more tremendous waves of Japanese stormed the island and successfully took it over. The fall of the two islands left no Central Pacific base except for Midway. This was no sigh of relief for the Americans, however.
The Americans expected help from the other Allied powers, and help came. The Prince of Wales, which sunk the Bismarck, and the 32,000 ton battle cruiser Repulse from Great Britain came from Singapore. The ships had selected crews, and were rated the best in the war.
On December 8, 1941 Vice Admiral Sir Tom Phillips of the British Pacific Fleet lead the Prince of Wales, the Repulse, Electra, Express, Vampire, and Tenedos to destroy the Japanese transports after the landings on Malaya. The Admiral did one thing wrong, which was to proceed against Japan without air support. When they were only fifty miles from Malaya, and 150 miles from their starting point in Singapore, a Japanese reconnaissance plane spotted them. The next day, Japanese bombers were there to destroy them.
Starting at 11:15 a.m., the Japanese bombers wreaked havok on the warships. Two attacks and three waves of torpedo bombers sent their highly explosive weapons onto the British ships. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse were doomed.
Neither of the ships blew up during their sinking, which was responsible for about 2,000 men being saved from the 3,000 on the ship. This catastrophe was just a reminder that the Japanese were dominant in the Pacific. As Winston Churchill put it, "Singapore is doomed." The sinkings of the powerful ships made the Allies rethink their strategy.
The Japanese were advancing very rapidly, and they had to stop. But who was going to stop them...