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Battle of Midway, 3-6 June 1942 The Turning Point of the War in the Pacific.

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Presentation on theme: "Battle of Midway, 3-6 June 1942 The Turning Point of the War in the Pacific."— Presentation transcript:

1 Battle of Midway, 3-6 June 1942 The Turning Point of the War in the Pacific

2 The Battle of Midway Yamamotos objective:Yamamotos objective: – Lure out and destroy U.S. carrier forces Yamamoto divides his forces Yamamoto divides his forces – Two carriers and invasion force attack the Aleutians – Overly confident, but Japanese still have superiority U.S. disadvantages and advantages:U.S. disadvantages and advantages: – Heavily outnumbered – Inferior aircraft susceptible to attacks by Japanese Zeros – Airfield on Midway Island - unsinkable carrier – Interception and decoding of Japanese communications Virtually complete information regarding Yamamoto's fleet, tactical disposition, and routes of approach Virtually complete information regarding Yamamoto's fleet, tactical disposition, and routes of approach

3 Nimitzs disposition of American forces: Only 3 CVs, eight CAs/CLs, 14 DDsOnly 3 CVs, eight CAs/CLs, 14 DDs Deployed carriers Enterprise, Hornet & Yorktown under Fletcher before Japanese submarines arrived on stationDeployed carriers Enterprise, Hornet & Yorktown under Fletcher before Japanese submarines arrived on station Reinforced aircraft on Midway to act as an unsinkable carrierReinforced aircraft on Midway to act as an unsinkable carrier Established air patrols on approaches to MidwayEstablished air patrols on approaches to Midway Intelligence- U.S. broke Japanese codeIntelligence- U.S. broke Japanese code The Battle of Midway

4 Battle of Midway: Losses American 307 lives 1 carrier 1 destroyer 147 planes Japanese 3500 lives (including many irreplaceable first line pilots) 4 carriers 1 heavy cruiser 322 aircraft

5 Battle of Midway: Significance Turning point of the Pacific WarTurning point of the Pacific War Tactical and strategic victory for the American fleet despite technological superiority of Japanese aircraft.Tactical and strategic victory for the American fleet despite technological superiority of Japanese aircraft. Intelligence had turned the tide in the PacificIntelligence had turned the tide in the Pacific End of Japanese offensive advance.End of Japanese offensive advance. Allied offensive advance about to beginAllied offensive advance about to begin

6 Post Midway Japanese leadership shocked by defeat at MidwayJapanese leadership shocked by defeat at Midway –Cancel plans to take Fiji, Samoa, and New Caledonia –Must proceed with plan to take Port Moresby Within bomber range of major naval operating base at RabaulWithin bomber range of major naval operating base at Rabaul –Japanese begin building airfield at Guadalcanal Nimitz moves to reinforce South Pacific AreaNimitz moves to reinforce South Pacific Area –Protect vital sea lines of communication with Australia

7 U.S. Air and Sub Warfare Air WarfareAir Warfare –Japan and Germany had early advantage in air war –U.S. aircraft eventually produces better aircraft and the industrial base allows rapid and mass production. –Air supremacy eventually established in both European and Pacific theaters Submarine WarfareSubmarine Warfare –Unrestricted Submarine Warfare ordered immediately after Pearl Harbor -- new role for U.S. submarines. –Early problems ( ):Undependable torpedoes - poorly designed magnetic fusing. – By 1945 – 75% of the Japanese merchant fleet sunk – USS Indianapolis sunk -- July shark attacks.

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9 The Plan to Defeat Japan Ultimate Objective: The Philippines and the penetration of the Japanese inner defense zone!

10 Dual Advance Mission: Drive through islands of central Pacific, capturing them as forward bases. Also, cut Japans SLOCs to mainland & SW Pacific.Mission: Drive through islands of central Pacific, capturing them as forward bases. Also, cut Japans SLOCs to mainland & SW Pacific. 1.Central Pacific: Admiral Nimitz would be the main line of advance. 2.South Pacific: MacArthur/Halsey and the Third Fleet would island hop up from the South Pacific and close in on the Philippines. Able to bypass some strongholds and attack at will.Able to bypass some strongholds and attack at will. Major campaigns in the Gilberts, the Marshalls, and the MarianasMajor campaigns in the Gilberts, the Marshalls, and the Marianas

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12 Where do you start the offensive? MacArthur sees Midway as a chance to begin the process of retaking the Philippines.MacArthur sees Midway as a chance to begin the process of retaking the Philippines. –He proposes a direct assault on Rabaul in the Solomon Islands Admiral King objects to MacArthurs plansAdmiral King objects to MacArthurs plans –Proposes step-by-step naval advance through Solomons –Capture every island BUT Rabaul to isolate it Compromise:Compromise: –Initial advance in Eastern Solomons under Nimitz –Command boundary between areas moved west –MacArthur takes command after Tulagi secured

13 Pacific Theater Army Center for Military History

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15 Whoever controlled an airfield would control air over the SolomonsWhoever controlled an airfield would control air over the Solomons Guadalcanal = Vital SLOCGuadalcanal = Vital SLOC For both sides it symbolized offensive warfare mindset.For both sides it symbolized offensive warfare mindset. Japan dominates nighttime action.Japan dominates nighttime action. – Tokyo Express down The Slot into Iron Bottom Sound U.S. dominates daytime with shore and carrier aircraftU.S. dominates daytime with shore and carrier aircraft Guadalcanal – Nov 1942

16 Guadalcanal Campaign Battle of Savo Island - Allies defeated in night surface action Battle of Savo Island - Allies defeated in night surface action Battle of the Eastern Solomons - carrier battle Battle of the Eastern Solomons - carrier battle – USS Enterprise damaged by bombers – USS Wasp sunk and Saratoga damaged by Japanese submarines Rabaul eventually becomes isolated and insignificant Rabaul eventually becomes isolated and insignificant – On to the Philippines (October 1944)

17 Aftermath of Guadalcanal Both sides suffered heavy lossesBoth sides suffered heavy losses –U.S loses more tonnage at sea, carriers –Japan loses more lives Japan allowed to dominate sea at night while U.S. dominates dayJapan allowed to dominate sea at night while U.S. dominates day Battle drags on from Aug 42- Feb 43Battle drags on from Aug 42- Feb 43 MacArthur successful in driving Japanese from Papuan PeninsulaMacArthur successful in driving Japanese from Papuan Peninsula –By Feb 43 Jap plans for offensives in S. and W Pacific stopped cold King uses Casablanca Conference to allocate more resources to PacificKing uses Casablanca Conference to allocate more resources to Pacific

18 The Gilberts (Tarawa) – 20 Nov st major island on the sea road to the Philippines1 st major island on the sea road to the Philippines Objective to gain airfield on Betio Island to launch further attacks in Central Pacific DriveObjective to gain airfield on Betio Island to launch further attacks in Central Pacific Drive 4,500 heavily entrenched Japanese.4,500 heavily entrenched Japanese. 3 days cost US > 3,000 marines3 days cost US > 3,000 marines

19 The Marshalls After the Gilberts, concern for death toll in MarshallsAfter the Gilberts, concern for death toll in Marshalls Nimitz orders RADM Mitscher attack to destroy Japanese ForceNimitz orders RADM Mitscher attack to destroy Japanese Force Total Marshall loss less than first day of TarawaTotal Marshall loss less than first day of Tarawa Battle of Philippine Sea, June 1944 The Great Marianas Turkey ShootBattle of Philippine Sea, June 1944 The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot –346 Japanese planes downed –3 Japanese carriers sunk –Classic Mahanian engagement

20 Tarawa Kwajalein Atoll

21 Battle of Leyte Gulf Oct Oct 1944 Largest battle in all of naval historyLargest battle in all of naval history Japanese defeated in a series of separate engagements.Japanese defeated in a series of separate engagements. Effective end of Japanese Navys ability to control the sea.Effective end of Japanese Navys ability to control the sea. Kamikaze attacksKamikaze attacks U.S. landings in Leyte GulfU.S. landings in Leyte Gulf –MacArthur returns

22 Pacific Theater Army Center for Military History

23 Liberation of the Philippines U.S. advance continues after Marianas CampaignU.S. advance continues after Marianas Campaign –Macarthur's forces capture New Guinea Air strikes in the Philippines wipe out two hundred aircraftAir strikes in the Philippines wipe out two hundred aircraft Bypass smaller islands and head to Leyte Gulf earlyBypass smaller islands and head to Leyte Gulf early –from 20 December to 20 October

24 Iwo Jima Emergency landing field and fighter escort base.Emergency landing field and fighter escort base. –Midway between Marianas and Tokyo –Support B-29 strategic bombing of Japan 26,000 casualties 26,000 casualties – 2,400 Emergency landings General Holland Smith General Holland Smith – Iwo Jima was the most savage and most costly battle in the history of the Marine Corps. Admiral Nimitz Admiral Nimitz – Uncommon valor was a common virtue.

25 Staging base for invasion of KyushuStaging base for invasion of Kyushu Joint amphibious operation - Marines under Army commandJoint amphibious operation - Marines under Army command Heavy Japanese resistanceHeavy Japanese resistance –34 U.S. ships sunk – USS Benjamin Franklin was damaged in a Kamikaze raid during the invasion of Okinawa - March – 4,900 Sailors killed in action – Over 40,000 U.S. casualties Carrier groups begin raids on Japanese home islands. Carrier groups begin raids on Japanese home islands. – U.S. has established complete control of the seas. Okinawa Campaign April-June 1945

26 Manhattan Project: Atomic Bombs President Truman orders two bombings.President Truman orders two bombings. – Hiroshima - 6 August 1945 – Nagasaki - 9 August 1945 Believed potential for casualties during a prolonged struggle for the Japanese home islands is too high.Believed potential for casualties during a prolonged struggle for the Japanese home islands is too high.

27 Japan Surrenders Japanese officially surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.Japanese officially surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September MacArthur commands U.S. army of occupation of Japan.MacArthur commands U.S. army of occupation of Japan.

28 Battle History Video Chapter 2 "Fire and Water", Time 12:50- 34:00. -Chapter 3 "Steel Walls of Freedom", Time: 00:00-21:08

29 Enabling Objectives Comprehend the political and economic forces that led Japan to strike at Pearl Harbor.Comprehend the political and economic forces that led Japan to strike at Pearl Harbor. Comprehend the Japanese strategy for an early victory and their concept of the postwar Pacific power balance.Comprehend the Japanese strategy for an early victory and their concept of the postwar Pacific power balance. Comprehend the impact of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Battles of Coral Sea and Midway on the transformation of the aircraft carrier's role in Naval Warfare.Comprehend the impact of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Battles of Coral Sea and Midway on the transformation of the aircraft carrier's role in Naval Warfare. List the significant highlights of the evolution of U.S. operational strategy in the Pacific, including major battles or campaigns.List the significant highlights of the evolution of U.S. operational strategy in the Pacific, including major battles or campaigns. Understand the geopolitical and military implications of President Trumans decision to utilize atomic weapons in ending the war.Understand the geopolitical and military implications of President Trumans decision to utilize atomic weapons in ending the war.

30 QUESTIONS? Next time: The US Navy in the Early Cold War,


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