The UK has struggled for more than two years when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and had garrisons in the regions of Malaysia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, among others. The UK, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, had fought Germany and Italy for a year without the support of another country. The war made the British armed forces to focus on the immediate problem of the European war, leaving their possessions in the Pacific without enough troops, planes, tanks, weapons or warships.
The loss of ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, Churchill and shocked all fields. The Royal Navy would fight in the Java Sea and Indian Ocean, but would not perform offensive operations in the Pacific until November 1944.
Particularly damaging to the war effort of the United Kingdom in North Africa was the withdrawal of Australian troops priced, which dropped in order to protect the port of Darwin, since its invasion was suspected. These troops were sent to Singapore and captured with Percival's surrender.
The loss of Singapore by the British was the worst defeat in the history of the UK, with hundreds of thousands of troops trapped in captivity and many of them dead. The treatment carried out by the Japanese to Allied prisoners of war was not fully known until the end of World War II.
The immediate effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was to bring the United States of America into the war. As was pointed out in the Atlantic Charter of 1941, Churchill and Roosevelt wanted to treat Hitler's first and only then the Japanese. Circumstances prevented the Pacific that most U.S. forces were sent to Europe by the year 1943.
The British sent a considerable force who joined the Americans in the Pacific region, including four aircraft carriers with armed platforms, requiring less maintenance possible after bombings than those belonging to the Americans, whose platforms were wooden.
Both the United Kingdom as the United States, moved too early for war production. The main attack against Hitler's Germany considered the main enemy, but was aware of the planned invasion of the islands belonging to the Japanese.
The British found themselves financially and physically devastated by the war and has made only a token force to occupy Japan.
The english version of this article will be available soon. In the meanwhile, the text above was the result of a Google translation from portuguese version to english.