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World War II: The Pacific Theater

World War II: The Pacific Theater

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World War II: The Pacific Theater

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  1. World War II: The Pacific Theater

  2. The Pacific Ocean Japan Canada China USA SE Asia Australia

  3. Prewar

  4. 1932

  5. C A B D “ABCD Encirclement” 1937

  6. 1940

  7. Dec 8/7 1941 1941

  8. Imperial Japan • Japan saw the US and others as a threat to its influence in Asia and in 1940 the Japanese began developing plans to destroy the US Navy in Hawaii • On Dec 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor In May 1940, the main part of the US fleet was transferred to Pearl Harbor from the west coast

  9. The Pacific War • Dates: July 7, 1937 - August 14, 1945 • Began with the Second Sino-Japanese war, between China and Japan • Concluded with Japan’s surrender to the Allied powers

  10. Prelude to War • Japan seeks to establish “The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” • “a bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers” • Invasions of Manchuria and Korea follow • Three political forces in Japan: • Emperor Hirohito • Civilian Government • Military branches (TOJO) • The army informs the civilian gov’t of the Manchuria campaign two months after it begins.

  11. Fleet Admiral Yamamoto “The US fleet is a dagger pointed at our throat and must be destroyed.” “I can run wild for six months,after that, I have no expectation of success.” - Yamamoto, during discussions on the planned Pearl Harbour Attack Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

  12. Pearl Harbour

  13. Japanese Aircraft Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” Fighter Nakajima B5N torpedo bomber Aichi D3A dive bomber

  14. The Attack

  15. The Attack

  16. Tactical Damage • Eight battleships were damaged, with five sunk • Three light cruisers, three destroyers, three smaller vessels, and 188 aircraft were destroyed • 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed • 1,178 wounded • 1,104 men aboard the Battleship USS Arizona were killed after a 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine causing catastrophic explosions.

  17. Aftermath "Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.” - Winston Churchill

  18. Broader Results • In spite of the tactical success, the attack on Pearl Harbor was an operational and strategic failure for the Japanese • The attack failed to destroy the American aircraft carriers, fleet repair facilities, or fuel reserves • The “sneak attack” galvanized American support for entry into the war

  19. 1941

  20. Fall of the Philippines • Shortly after Pearl Harbor the Japanese made initial landings on Luzon, then made their main landings on Dec 22 • On Dec 24, MacArthur ordered his forces to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula • By Apr Bataan surrendered • By early May Corregidor surrendered Douglas MacArthur in his headquarters tunnel at Corregidorin March 1942

  21. 1942

  22. Bataan Death March April 1942 • 12,000 Americans walked 60 miles to a POW camp • No food or water • 5,000 died

  23. Bataan Death March • President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to relinquish command to Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright and MacArthur escaped to Australia

  24. Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942) • US had been able to intercept Japanese radio traffic in an operation called “Magic” • Magic intercepts allowed Admiral Nimitz to position two carriers off the eastern tip of New Guinea • Both sides suffered heavy losses but the Japanese were forced to call off their amphibious attack on Port Moresby • Battle waged exclusively via air strikes • Opposing surface ships never made direct contact Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief Pacific and Pacific Ocean Areas

  25. Battle of Coral Sea • May 7, 1942 • Strategic Allied victory—halted the Japanese advance on Australia First naval battle carried out entirely by aircraft. The enemy ships never even came into contact with each other

  26. Midway (June 3-6, 1942) • Japanese planned a diversionary attack on the Aleutian Islands while the main force attacked Midway to destroy the American fleet • Thanks to Magic intercepts, US didn’t fall for the Alaska feint and reinforced Midway • Americans destroyed four Japanese carriers and most of their flight crews • Japanese advance was checked and initiative in the Pacific began to turn to the Americans

  27. The Battle Of Midway June 4-7 1942 6 months after Pearl Harbour Yamamoto seeks to capture Midway atoll and thus confront and destroy the US Navy’s carrier forces.

  28. Midway Order of Battle Japanese forces: 4 carriers 7 battleships ~150 support ships 248 carrier aircraft 16 floatplanes US forces: 3 carriers ~50 support ships 233 carrier aircraft 127 land-based aircraft

  29. Plan of Attack

  30. The Battle of Midway • The first major carrier vs. carrier engagement • Decided by cryptanalysis, tactics, radar, pilot skill, weather, and luck.

  31. The Battle of Midway • Scouts from the US fleet find the Japanese Fleet first • A delayed scout means the Japanese fleet receives a warning of US carriers only minutes before the first US planes attack • After losing many planes in ineffective strikes, US dive bombers manage to set three Japanese carriers on fire. • A Japanese counterstrike does heavy damage to one US carrier • Japanese battleships never see combat

  32. The Battle of Midway Japanese forces: 4 carriers, 4 lost 7 battleships, 0 lost ~150 support ships, 1 cruiser lost 264 aircraft, 228 lost 3058 dead US forces: 3 carriers, 1 lost ~50 support ships, 1 destroyer lost 360 aircraft, 98 lost 307 dead

  33. "Island Hopping"

  34. Guadalcanal—8/42-2/43 • Who: US vs. Japan • Where: Island near Australia— one of Solomon Islands • What: One of the most vicious campaigns • Japanese put up a fierce resistance • US has superior air and naval power • Results: • First time US land troops defeat Japanese • Americans are able to secure the island

  35. Island-Hopping Warfare American Troops assaulting Iwo Jima

  36. 1943-1944

  37. Strategic Bombing B-29 Superfortress bombers

  38. Island-Hopping Warfare American and Australian troops land in Borneo

  39. Twin Drives • Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest King favored a drive across the central Pacific moving toward Japan over the coral atolls scattered across the Pacific • Take advantage of ability to leap across vast distances • MacArthur favored an advance across the South Pacific via New Guinea and the Philippines • Meet obligations to Filipinos • Maintain pressure against the retreating Japanese • Protect against a renewed threat against Australia Admiral Ernest King

  40. 1944-1945

  41. The Final Year • The US retakes the Philippines in a long and costly campaign. • Borneo, Iwo Jima and the Okinawa fall, with heavy losses on both sides. • The military leadership of Japan refuses to give up, in spite of the loss of the bulk of their forces. • An edict is issued, ordering civilians on the main Japanese islands to construct bamboo spears and meet the invaders on the beaches. • US Bombers produce a firestorm in Tokyo, killing 100,000 people in two days. • The US, Britain and China issue the Potsdam Declaration, demanding Japan’s surrender.

  42. Compromise • King’s planned drive would move first against the Gilbert Islands and then toward the Philippines • MacArthur would likewise advance toward the Philippines • Joint Chiefs gave no clear priority to either drive • “Mutual supporting” or “mutually competing?” Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief Pacific and Pacific Ocean Areas andWilliam Halsey, Commander, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force

  43. Operation Cartwheel • MacArthur requested five additional divisions and 1,800 aircraft to capture Rabaul • Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded there were not enough resources to capture Rabaul in 1943 so they accepted MacArthur’s proposal for a two-pronged drive to isolate it

  44. Operation Cartwheel • MacArthur would be in overall command • Admiral William Halsey, commander of the naval forces in the South Pacific, would advance up the Solomons as far as Bougainville • MacArthur would move along the coast of New Guinea before attacking the western end of New Britain

  45. Operation Cartwheel • Became the model for Pacific commanders throughout the rest of the war • don’t move island to island; advance by great bounds using air superiority • bypass major strongpoints and leave them reduced to strategic and tactical impotence • hit Japanese weak spots; avoid frontal assaults; use deception and surprise • seize existing airfields and ports and use these newly acquired bases to support the next leap forward

  46. Retaking the Philippines • The invasion of the Philippines brought MacArthur and Nimitz’s twin drives together • On Oct 20, 1944, MacArthur attacked Leyte

  47. Battle of Leyte Gulf • The American and Japanese surface fleets made contact the night of October 24-25 in the San Bernardino Strait • Two Japanese task forces entered the strait, Halsey did the classic naval maneuver of crossing the “T” and sank all but one enemy destroyer

  48. Battle of Leyte Gulf • However, Halsey was surprised shortly after dawn when Japanese heavy cruisers and battleships passed unopposed through the San Bernardino Straits and threatened the invasion fleet • American aircraft turned back the already weakened Japanese • Still the Japanese did not give up, delivering their first wave of kamikaze attacks Escort carrier St. Lo sunk by kamikaze attack