2 Battleships 1 Heavy Cruiser 1 Light Cruiser 4 Destroyers
1 Battleship 5 Destroyers numerous transports
1 Battleship, 1 Destroyer, 3 transports sunk
Wake island had already been a hotly contested piece of sand and coral and this is where the battle took a turn against the United States. After repulsing a mid December invasion attempted the Island was lost on Christmas eve after the Americans had to weathered nearly a month of air raids. The recapture by the Americans led to an attack by a large Japanese bombardment surface force.
The Japanese were able to bombard the islands recently arrived defenders.