The Pacific region has seen many conflicts over time, and this is only natural as a result of the sheer size of the area. The troubles have ranged from small scale conflicts that have involved small islands, to all out global wars. In 1855 King Tui Viti Cakobau of Fiji fought a major battle at Kaba with troops from the provinces of Rewa and Bau. The King had to rely on the support of warriors from Tonga to overcome the internal forces. Fiji has always had to rely on the military power of Tonga who are one of the strongest island powers.
However, the biggest influence of war on the region was the Second World War. Control of the Pacific region became vital in the outcome of the war that although started in Europe quickly escalated around the world. When the war arrived in the region in 1941 there had already been a conflict ongoing in the region. In 1937 there was full scale conflict between Japan and China, but the region became embroiled in the European conflict when Japan entered Thailand in 1941 attacking British outposts.
They followed this by attacking Singapore, Malaya and Hong Kong, before turning their attention to the United States military bases in Hawaii, Wake Island, Guam and the Philippines. The battle that actually brought the United States into the war occurred at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
The attack was supposed to stop the US fleet from becoming involved in the other attacks that the Japanese were planning in other parts of the region. In the attack on the Hawaiian base 353 Japanese aircraft were used in the attack that saw more than 2,400 American servicemen lose their lives.
Many boats were damaged and the day after the attack the US declared war on Japan, which was this was followed by the retaliatory act of Germany declaring war on the US. The war had become global and many battles ensued in the Pacific Ocean. With the old British territories in Thailand, Singapore, Burma, Bali and Hong Kong quickly falling to the Japanese the Allies then attempted to recapture the countries in the battles that followed in 1942 and 1943.
A lot of the battles were coordinated by airstrikes that were carried out from the American aircraft carriers that were stationed in the Pacific. Over time they were attacked by the Japanese Kamikaze pilots. As their plight became more desperate they chose to fly their planes in the ships to cause as much damage as possible.
As the war came to an end in Europe more and more land was becoming reclaimed but the Allies were having great difficulty in getting the Japanese to surrender. This was resulting in huge loss of lives on both sides, and it was decided in August 1945 to attack Japan with atomic weapons.
Using the aircraft Enola Gay and Bockscar, two atomic bombs were dropped on the morning of the 9th August on Hiroshima and Nagazaki resulted in the loss of 130,000 lives. Six days after the event Japan surrendered and this has been the only occasion an atomic bomb has been used in the act of war. There has been many argument since to whether these bombings were war crime acts.
Following this intense period of military action in the region, events have been relatively quiet since. However, with their being a constant spread of terror around the world the large Muslim populations are proving to become more volatile areas. The bombings in Bali in 2002 that killed over 200 people are clear evidence that peace in such a large area cannot be guaranteed.