Aleutian Islands Campaign

World War II in the Arctic

the Arctic 1942.0607

Aleutian Islands Campaign

Arctic disputes, Winter War, Weather War, World War II, Cold War, Climate Change (7 June 1942)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese expanded rapidly across Southeast Asia and the western Pacific. Then, in a bid to draw out and destroy the outnumbered US navy, the Japanese launched twin offensives against the Aleutian Islands and Midway. In the Aleutians, Japan seized Attu and Kiska with little opposition, however their main offensive on Midway was a disaster, with the Americans sinking most of their aircraft carriers.

Main Events

Germany declares war on US

Claiming that US President Franklin Roosevelt has repeatedly violated all rules of neutrality, noting in particular his "shoot on sight" order, Nazi Germany declares that it is in a state of war with the United States of America

Norwegians return to Spitsbergen

In Operation Fritham, Norwegians sail from Greenock, Great Britain, and secure Barentsburg, Spitsbergen Island, despite German air attacks

Japanese bomb Dutch Harbor, Aleutian Islands

Battle of Midway

In an attempt to lure the US Pacific Fleet's few remaining aircraft carriers into a trap, the Imperial Japanese Navy launches an offensive against Midway Atoll. However, warned of Japanese plans by its codebreakers, the US is prepared for the attack and successfully ambushes the Japanese force, sinking all four of its major aircraft carriers - Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu - and a heavy cruiser for the loss of just the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer.

Japanese occupy Kiska

5400 troops of Empire of Japan land on Kiska, Aleutian Islands, capturing the 10-man weather station that formed the only United States military presence on the island

Japanese occupy Attu

1140 infantry of Empire of Japan land unopposed in Attu, Aleutian Islands, capturing 45 Aleut civilians and a school teacher

About this map