The Pacific Front World War II
Doolittle’s Raid – April 18, 1942 • 15 B-25 bombers, led by James Doolittle, took off from an aircraft carrier. • Bombed factories, steel mills, oil tanks and other military targets in Japan • This hits Japan’s spirits hard • “We started to doubt that were were invincible” – Japanese Civilian leader
Naval Warfare & Island Hopping • Naval Warfare • Fighting was done by carrier-based airplanes; opposing ships never saw one another or exchanged gunfire • Island Hopping • General Douglas MacArthur wanted to “leapfrog” or bypass Japanese strongholds and get the weaker islands.
Battles • Battle of Midway • Led by Admiral Chester Nimitz • Japanese invasion force of over 110 ships was heading toward Midway! • Nimitz prepared a surprise reception for the Japanese at Midway! • Guadalcanal • Japans first defeat • 19,000 marines stormed Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands • Japanese eventually abandon island
http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-saipan Battle of Saipan - 1944 • U.S. wanted to gain an air base for U.S. planes • Japanese were ready and it was a brutal fight! • U.S. eventually takes the island of Saipan
Battle of Leyte Gulf • Disaster for Japan • Lost 3 battleships, 4 aircraft carriers, 13 cruisers and almost 400 planes. • U.S. retook the Philippines and liberated the American prisoners of war!
Kamikaze’s • Suicide-plane, attacks1 • Japanese pilots crashed their bomb-laden planes into Allied ships • 424 kamikaze pilots on missions in the Philippines
Battle for Iwo Jima - 1945 • “Operation Detachment” • U.S. wanted a place where B-29 bombers could land & needed to invade Japan • 5 weeks of fighting • Japanese fought from tunnels and underground caves and dugouts. • Mt. Suribachi http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-iwo-jima
Battle for Okinawa - 1945 • “Operation Iceberg” • Largest amphibious assault in Pacific and LAST campaign in the Pacific • More than 1,900 kamikaze attacks on Allied forces during the Okinawa campaign • “It was a scene straight out of hell. There is not other way to describe it” – Japanese girl http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-okinawa