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A Brief History of the U.S. in the INDOPACIFIC Region: Part 3

December 7, 2021 | INDOPACOM

WWI in the INDOPACOM Region

As we entered the early 1900s, a lot of events continued to influence the development of the INDOPACIFIC region. This included the Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I, taking place from August 1914 to January 1919.

One of the first offensives in the region was the invasion of German Samoa August 29-30, 1914. New Zealand’s campaign, with the support of Australia and France, resulted in taking the island without bloodshed. Not long after, Australian forces attacked German New Guinea and captured the entire island by 1915. Other island nations that fell to Allied forces included Micronesia, the Marianas, the Carolines, and the Marshall Islands.


The largest military action took place around the German base in Tsingtao, China. 3,650 German troops, 100 colonial Chinese and Austro-Hungarian soldiers, and a collection of German and Austro-Hungarian vessels fought against 6 Japanese battleships, 23,000 Japanese soldiers, and 1,500 British soldiers. The assault began October 31, 1914 and ended November 7th with the capture of the fort.

World War I ended on June 28, 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles. Many nations rose, fell, or gained independence as a result of the war. In the Pacific, this included the rise of communist and socialist’s movements in the region which would greatly impact the area for years to come. Furthermore, The Washington Naval Treaty was later signed in 1922. This treaty was made among the major allied nations as an agreement to limit naval construction in an effort to prevent a naval arms race. However, this did not limit their Navies for long, as by the mid-1930s, Japan, Italy, and Germany renounced the treaties as things began to heat up in Europe leading up to World War II.


Next Up: WWII in the INDOPACOM Region


Sources:

1. https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/JIPA/journals/Volume-01_Issue-1/03-V-Kolakowski.pdf

2. Australian War Memorial Collection

3. https://www.britannica.com/event/World-War-I

4. https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/home.html

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