In WWII, the US and the UK were actually in agreement about a “Hitler first” strategy – and with good reason, because militarily Germany was a far more dangerous enemy than Japan, with far more divisions and a much more mechanized army. Additionally, and less charitably, the Anglo-Americans may have seen Germany’s conquest of Europe (the continent which in the 19th century had regarded itself as the heart of modern civilization and the homeland of the great imperial powers) as being more objectionable than Japan’s conquest of the Asia-Pacific region (which consisted largely of “colonial” territories owned by the above-mentioned imperial powers). The fact that the British Isles themselves were under direct aerial and indirect submarine attack from Germany, but not from Japan, likewise supported a “Hitler first” strategy. The problem for the US, however, was that it was going to need time (one to two years) to build up an army and an air force capable of fighting toe-to-toe with Germany. The US did, however, already have on hand in late 1941 a sizable fleet (minus the battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor, which Nimitz himself admitted were old and slow and reflective of a pre-aviation era, and hence whose loss was less critical than the loss of his carriers would have been). That fleet was obviously of little use in fighting a land war against a land power like Germany, so the US could make profitable use of its naval forces against Japan in the Pacific in 1942 without having to fundamentally alter the overall “Hitler first” Anglo-American strategy.