Chapter 18 section 4 The War in the Pacific
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Clark Field, in the Philippines, in an attempt to gain military control in the Western Pacific. By March 1942, they had conquered Southeast Asia and controlled many colonies as part of the Japanese empire.
General Douglas MacArthur Douglas MacArthur had retired from the Army in 1938, but had been recalled to service in 1941 as Commanding General in the Far East. When it became apparent that the Philippines would fall to the Japanese, he was ordered to retreat and move to Australia. It is at that point that he uttered his famous line, “I shall return.” Most people consider the real hero to be General Wainwright who remained in the Philippines until the final hour. When ordered to leave Wainwright said, “I have been with my men from the start, and if captured, I will share their lot.” General Wainwright spent the next three years in Japanese prison camps. The man who was known to his friends as Skinny was found alive in a Japanese prison camp in Manchuria. He emerged from captivity little more than a skeleton.
On May 6, 1942, the Philippines fell to Japanese forces. The island stronghold of Corregidor at the entrance to Manila Bay fell after a lengthy siege. Japanese troops lowered the American flag. American troops had withdrawn to Corregidor off of the Bataan peninsula, but were forced to surrender when food and ammo ran low.
The Japanese then captured some 76,000 Filipinos and Americans as prisoners of war. They were taken on a brutal 6- to 12-day journey that became known as the Bataan Death March, in which they were denied water and rest. Those who became too weak were executed. At least 10,000 prisoners died. Those who survived were sent to primitive prison camps where 15,000 or more died. What would you do if you had to go to the bathroom?If anyone had to, they went right in their drawers as they walked. If you stopped or got off to the side, you would have been bayoneted or shot. I didn't go to the bathroom because I had nothing to pass. Body fluid came out in sweat. I don't recall going to the bathroom until we got up to Camp O'Donnell. The first time I urinated, I thought I was going to die. It burned like sin.
The brutality of the Japanese soldiers defied accepted international standards for humane treatment of prisoners spelled out in 1929 at the third Geneva Convention. • Geneva Convention: “Prisoners of war shall at all times be humanely treated and protected, particularly against acts of violence.” Bataan Death March, 1942 Abu Ghraib –American prison for Iraqi detainees, 2004
American forces began island-hopping, a military strategy of selectively attacking specific enemy-held islands and bypassing others. This strategy allowed the Americans to move more quickly toward their ultimate goal—Japan itself.
In May 1942, Japanese and American naval forces engaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea. This battle caused enormous damage on both sides. In the end, it was a draw, but it prevented the Japanese from invading Australia.
The Battle of Midway • On June 4, 1942, the Japanese hoped to destroy the United States Pacific Fleet. • The Americans surprised the Japanese and sank four Japanese carriers. • The Japanese lost about 250 planes and most of their skilled pilots. They were unable to launch any more offensive operations in the Pacific. • This victory for the Allies allowed them to take the offensive in the Pacific. The cruiser Mikuma sunk by dive-bombers at Midway
The Battle of Guadalcanal • A major goal for the Allies was to capture Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, where the Japanese were building an airfield. • The Battle of Guadalcanal provided the marines with their first taste of jungle warfare. After five months, the Japanese were finally defeated. • **First time the Allies conquered Japanese held territory.
In October 1944, American troops invaded the Philippine island of Leyte. More than 280 warships took part in the three-day Battle of Leyte Gulf. • The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the first battle to use kamikazes, or suicide planes. Despite this tactic, the American force virtually destroyed the Japanese navy and emerged victorious. • It took two months for the American troops to liberate Leyte. Not until June 1945 did the Allies control the Philippines. • Last major naval battle of WWII
The Battle of Iwo Jima-showed that Japan would be hard to defeat in combat. • In February 1945, American marines stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima. • In the Battle of Iwo Jima, American forces suffered an estimated 25,000 casualties. • It took more than 100,000 American troops almost a month to defeat fewer than 25,000 Japanese, who fought almost to the last defender. • Admiral Nimitz described the island as a place in which “uncommon valor was common virtue.”
Raising the flag on Iwo Jima Famous photo by Joe Rosenthal of U.S. Marines planting flag atop Mt. Suribachi
The Battle of Okinawa • The Battle of Okinawa was fought from April to June 1945. • The Japanese flew nearly 2,000 kamikaze attacks against the 1,300 warships of the American fleet. • Nearly 50,000 American casualties made the Battle of Okinawa the deadliest battle of the Pacific war. • At the end, the American forces were victorious, and the Allies had a clear path to Japan.
The island of Okinawa (350 miles from Japan) was the last obstacle to an Allied invasion of the Japanese home islands.
Manhattan Project-led by J. Robert Oppenheimer-to build an atomic bomb Scientists, like Albert Einstein, feared that Nazi Germany was trying to build an atomic bomb. Manhattan Project would eventually employ over 130,000 people and cost a total of nearly $2 billion ($20 billion in 2004 dollars) and would operate in secret. Not even the Vice-president, Harry Truman, would know of its existence. On July 16, 1945, Manhattan Project scientists field-tested the world’s first atomic bomb in the desert of New Mexico. With a blinding flash of light, the explosion blew a huge crater in the earth and shattered windows some 125 miles away. Famous color photograph of the the first nuclear test explosion. "Trinity” (code name of the first bomb),
Truman’s decision to drop the bomb • FDR died in 1945 and Harry Truman became president. • Truman decided to drop the bomb to save American lives-realized Japan would be difficult to defeat • Thought history would be unkind to him when the public knew that we had the bomb and did not use it • Feared criticism over cost of bomb if not going to use it On August 6, 1945, an American plane, the Enola Gay, dropped a single atomic bomb, code named “Little Boy” on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A blast of intense heat annihilated the city’s center and its residents in an instant—leading to as many as 80,000 deaths. Little Boy Explosion over Hiroshima Enola Gay crew before take off
Hiroshima At approximately 2:00 on the morning of August 6th, the Enola Gay, started on the long flight. Two observation planes carrying cameras and scientific instruments followed behind her. After 6:00, the bomb was fully armed on board the Enola Gay. The trip to Japan was smooth. At about 7:00 o'clock, the Japanese radar net detected aircraft heading toward Japan, and they broadcast the alert throughout the Hiroshima area. Soon afterward an American weather plane circled over the city, but there was no sign of bombers. The people began their daily work and thought that the danger had passed. At 7:25, the Enola Gay, at 26,000 feet, was cruising over Hiroshima. At 8:00 the Japanese detected again two B-29's heading toward Hiroshima. The radio stations quickly broadcast a warning for the people to take shelter, but many did not follow the advice. They thought that it was the same as first time. At 8:09, the crew of the Enola Gay could see the city appear below; it was time to drop the bomb. Just then, they received a message indicating that the weather was good over Hiroshima. The bomb was released at 8:16 a.m.
Nagasakiatomic bomb dropped on August 9, 1945 Three days before bomb Three days after bomb On August 14, the government of Japan surrendered. Americans celebrate August 15 as V-J Day (Victory in Japan).
Formal surrender of Japan-September 2, 1945 on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay Gen. MacArthur is shown signing the document while recently liberated Gen. Jonathan Wainwright looks on.
Country Military Deaths Civilian Deaths Total Deaths Axis Germany 3,250,000 2,350,000 5,600,000 Italy 226,900 60,000 286,900 Japan 1,740,000 393,400 2,133,400 Allies France 122,000 470,000 592,000 Great Britain 305,800 60,600 366,400 United States 405,400 --------- 405,400 Soviet Union 11,000,000 6,700,000 17,700,000 China 1,400,000 8,000,000 9,400,000 Estimated World War II Deaths SOURCE: World War II: A Statistical Survey
Section 5 The social impact of the war
African Americans faced discrimination during the war • In 1941, workers needed for Lend-Lease program, but one out of five African American workers remained jobless. • A. Philip Randolph organized March on Washington in 1945 to protest discrimination in defense industry • June 25, 1941, the President signed Executive Order 8802, opening jobs and job training programs in defense plants to all Americans “without discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin.”
African American risked their lives during war, yet African Americans were segregated on the war front and discriminated against at home. • In 1942, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded and believed in using nonviolent techniques to end racism.
Mexican Americans faced discrimination A shortage of farm laborers led the United States to seek help from Mexico. In 1942, an agreement between Mexico and the U.S. provided for transportation, food, shelter, and medical attention for thousands of braceros, Mexican farm laborers brought to work in the United States. The program brought a rise in the Latino population of southern California. Many lived in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods called barrios. When the war was over, they were told to go home.
Native Americans faced discrimination • 25,000 Native Americans joined the armed forces, many others migrated to urban centers to work in defense plants. • Life in the military or in the cities was a new experience for many Native Americans who had lived only on reservations. • For some, the cultural transition brought a sense of having lost their roots.
Japanese Americans faced discrimination • Many Japanese along the west coast of the United States were forced to live in internment camps • The Supreme Court upheld this decision in Korematsu vs. the United States 1944 • Many nisei, or citizens born in the U.S., lost everything that they owned while interned.
Women went to work • Women found new jobs in higher paying factory jobs • Women, especially African Americans, faced discrimination in the workplace. They often encountered hostile reactions from other workers, they received less pay for the same work, and many had to make arrangements for child care. • After the war, the government encouraged women to return home. As the economy returned to peacetime status, twice as many women as men lost factory jobs.