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The U.S. in the Pacific 1943-45.

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Presentation on theme: "The U.S. in the Pacific 1943-45."— Presentation transcript:

1 The U.S. in the Pacific

2 Jan.-Sept. 1944: MacArthur’s forces keep jumping up the New Guinea coast

3 New command arrangement in the Central Pacific, mid-1944
3rd Fleet: William F. Halsey, Jr. 5th Fleet: Raymond A. Spruance

4 Navy builds an advanced supply, maintenance, and repair system
3,000 support vessels – tenders, oilers, ammo & stores, drydocks, hospital ships Seabees it floats also uses rapidly constructed bases

5 Navy advances in the Central Pacific

6 November 1943: The Gilbert Islands
Makin and Tarawa Atolls attacked Key position at Tarawa – Betio Island Log barricades, rifle pits, trenches

7 Bloody fight at Tarawa Betio island – 2 mi by <1 mi. Assault last only 4 days – close to 1,000 Marines killed, about another 2,300 wounded. Of 4,800 defenders almost all die – about 150 survivors, almost all Korean laborers. Demonstrated problems with amphibious tactics. Initial navy bombardment heavy, but not accurate, didn’t take out many Jap guns, not coordinated with infantry. A reef yards beyond the fortified coast, which prevented many landing craft from getting thru. Marines had amtracs, but not enough, and many blown up by Japanese guns, Marines had to wade ashore, face stiff defenses until additional landings elsewhere on the island precipitated collapse.

8 Improved Performance: Marshall Islands, Jan. - Feb. 1944
Kwajalein Atoll Bombardment of Truk Eniwetok Atoll

9 Next Objective: The Marianas Islands
Saipan, Tinian, & Guam captured

10 The Japanese navy comes out to fight…
Results in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 19-20, 1944 US forces 7 heavy carriers, 8 light carriers, 7 battleships, 79 other ships, 28 submarines, 956 planes Jap forces 6 heavy carriers, 3 light carriers, 5 battleships, 43 other ships, 431 carrier-based planes, 250 land-based planes Casualties – US:123 planes destroyed (about 80 of whose crews survived) Jap: 3 carriers sunk, 2 oilers sunk, about 395 planes destroyed (Naval: 243 aircraft lost out of 329 sorties) 6 ships heavily damaged

11 …and loses its naval air power
“The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” Spruance – cautious: Late on June 19, USN had destroyed most Jap aviation, though fleet intact. Sespite air superiority, Spruance does not immediately press his advantage – is worried about the landings on Saipan, that Jap may try to send ships to attack invasion force that night. Tries to re-engage main Jap fleet neext day, but too far away, a few planes do some damage, but fleet escapes.

12 Saipan, June-July 1944 Saipan casualties:
US – 3000 killed, 11,000 wounded; Jap 30,000 soldiers killed Last June 15 – July – beach assault goes well, but island has mountains and hills, Japanese put up stiff defense, despite fact that they’re defenses not complete. Jap also use Banzai attacks; Also civ deaths Delays invasions of Guam Tinian until mid-July, though those operations don’t produce as many casualties, go better.

13 Next stop: The Philippines

14 Harbinger of future combat:
Peleliu: Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 Casualties U.S.: 9,600 Japanese: 10,900

15 Battle of Leyte Gulf, Oct. 23-26, 1944
Biggest naval battle in history. Results in destruction of the Japanese fleet First use of kamikaze attacks Date:23 October 1944 – 26 October 1944 Location:The Philippines CommandersWilliam Halsey, Jr Jisaburo Ozawa US Strength 17 aircraft carriers 18 escort carriers 12 battleships 24 cruisers 141 destroyers Many other ships, PT boats, and submarines About 1,500 planes Jap strength4 aircraft carriers 9 battleships 19 cruisers 34 destroyers About 200 planes US Casualties 3,500 dead; 1 light aircraft carrier, 2 escort carriers, 3 destroyers sunk Jap: 10,000 dead; 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battleships, 8 cruisers, 12 destroyers sunk The four engagements of the battle of Leyte Gulf: Battle of the Sibuyan Sea Battle of Surigao Strait Battle off Cape Engaño Battle off Samar

16 MacArthur Returns… U.S. forces land at Leyte, Oct. 20, 1944

17 …and spends the rest of the war liberating the Philippines*
Leyte secured by end of 1944 Luzon – invaded January 1945: Manila captured: Feb.- March, 1945 Most of island secured by mid-summer Japanese resist under surrender in August 1945 Southern Philippines is a similar story – much secured by summer, but pockets if resistance *except to accept the Japanese surredner in Tokyo Bay in Sept. last until August. Criticism of MacArthur.

18 Growing kamikaze danger: Luzon, Jan. 4-15, 1945
U.S.S. columbia – helping in invasion of Lingayen Gulf U.S. Navy suffers 2,100 casualties 5 ships sunk; 18 severely damaged

19 Success: U.S. subs against Japan
Sink 2.3 million tons of Japanese shipping in 1944. Japanese oil tanker fleet: shrinks from 700,000 to 300,000 tons. Only 10% of oil produced in Southeast Asia on reaches Japanese home islands. ’44: Jap start with 5 mil tons; another 1.5 mil sunk by other means

20 Disappointment: China
Chinese Nationalists don’t fight Japanese. Operation MATTERHORN: attempt to use China for bomber bases: Logistical difficulties. Japanese launch mainland offensive that pushes back bases. Navy captures Pacific bases that are better for bombing Japan. The Hump Need to retake Burma Operation ICHI-GO – Jan

21 The Final Campaigns: Iwo Jima & Okinawa

22 Iwo Jima: Feb. 19 – March 26, 1945 Why: Reasons included capturing an important Jap air base and radar station. Could also be used as a fighter base to provide better protection to strategic bombers, and as an emergency landing strip for bombers. (worked for 25,000 flyers)

23 Over 6,000 men die at Iwo Jima, over 20,000 other casualties
Over 6,000 men die at Iwo Jima, over 20,000 other casualties. Almost all 30,00 Jap defenders die. KIA 5x Tarawa or Guadalcanal; Saipan had about 30,000 troops (plus civ), but only 3000 KIA, 11,000 wounded

24 Images of Iwo Jima


26 Okinawa: April 1 – June 21, 1945 Invasion of Okinawa largest of the Pacific war – 60,000 troops to go ashore first day, 1600 ships, 12,000 planes in support. Island 60 miles in length, although Jap commander planned to make stand in southern third of island – had 2 of 4 air bases, lots of buildings, masonry, as well as hills, ridges. Constructs two defensinve belts along length of island. Also 100,000 troops on Okinawa, plus 450,000 civilians.

27 Carnage on Land U.S.: almost 40,000 combat casualties Japanese:
7,600 KIA 32,000 wounded + 26,000 dead from disease/accidents Japanese: 100,000 soldiers killed 150,000 (?) civilians die as well U.S. commander: Simon Bolivar Buckner – poor commander, refused to attept to outflank Jap positions, simply continued frontal assaults.

28 Carnage at Sea During campaign, Japanese launch 10 kamikaze assaults
Sacrifice of 1,500 pilots & planes U.S. losses 64 ships sunk or damaged beyond repair 60 more require extensive repairs 10,000 sailor casualties (half killed) Most losses smaller vessels – DD, DE, etc.



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