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War in the Pacific

War in the Pacific

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War in the Pacific

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  1. War in the Pacific

  2. While Operation Barbarossa (the attempted conquest of the Soviet Union) was underway in the fall of 1941, the American fleet was anchored at Pearl Harbour, HI • The Pacific fleet was there in case of war • Japanese-American relations were NOT good • Japan was intent upon conquering Asia – they had already invaded Manchuria and Hong Kong • Only obstacle? Pearl Harbour

  3. December 7, 1941: • Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto led a surprise attack on the US Naval base at Pearl Harbour • 2 hours of bombardment virtually destroyed the fleet

  4. Fighting in Asia vs. the Japanese was bitter – American, British, Australian, New Zealand and Cdn. troops • Anyone taken POW was treated very poorly

  5. By 1944, the US had managed to re-take New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines

  6. By 1945, the British had re-taken Burma • The Japanese navy had been virtually destroyed • When the US invaded Okinawa in 1945, the Japanese fought to the death and lost almost 100,000 soldiers • “kamikaze” pilots began crashing into US ships

  7. Many American leaders felt that the Japanese were too proud to surrender peacefully and “unconditionally” • They feared an invasion of Japan would cost too many American lives – 100,000+ • So…during the war, the Americans had been working on a secret weapon: - the “Atomic Bomb” - part of the “Manhattan Project”

  8. Even the US Vice-President Harry Truman did not know about the project until after President Roosevelt’s death in 1945 • When Truman became President, he decided that the bomb would bring about the “absolute surrender” of Japan without an invasion

  9. August 6, 1945: • B-29 Bomber “Enola Gay” dropped “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima – 70,000 dead and 61,000 injured

  10. August 9, 1945: • “Fatman” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki and another 40,000+ were killed • Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally • WWII had finally come to an end