In the chronology of the War in the Pacific, Japan's peak in territorial gains came eight months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. But even before the attack had reached flood tide, the counterattack had begun:
1942 May: U.S. carriers met a Jap task force in the Battle of the Coral Sea, fought it to a draw. Result: Japan's plan to invade Australia was thwarted.
June: At Midway the Jap fleet was defeated in one of the decisive battles of world history.
August: The marines landed on Guadalcanal to retake the Jap's southernmost conquest.
August-November: The Navy fought six desperate...