The Japanese Onslaught After attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese navy continued to expand its conquests –February 1942, British Singapore –March 1942, the Dutch colony of Java Island colonies, territories, and nations in Southeast Asia continued to fall one after another
Japanese forces exploded across the South China Sea and into the Bay of Bengal By June 1942 - Japan controlled –much of China, –nations of eastern and southern Asia, –and a string of Pacific islands.
3 Key Aspects First, location –much of the fighting took place in dense jungle terrain.
Second, strategy –the main American offensive was amphibious landings of marines on small islands.
Third, style –naval, rather than air, supremacy proved to be the key to victory.
Island-hopping Strategy Selectively capturing key islands while bypassing other heavily Japanese-fortified islands. Establishing airfields on the captured islands and heavily bombing the fortified ones and cutting them off from Japenese supply lines.
Aerial Bombing –Bombers from aircraft carriers or nearby land bases soften up islands before amphibious assaults Storming the Beach –Behind further bombardment from offshore battleships, marines storm the beaches Establishing Air Bases –Once an island was secured, it was transformed into a staging area for aerial attacks on nearby islands
The Doolittle Raid April 18, 1942, air raid dropping bombs on oil reservoirs and naval facilities in Tokyo and several other cities Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle 16 American B-25 bombers from the USS Hornet The raid did minimal damage to Japan, but –it was a powerful psychological victory for the US –it demonstrated that the Japanese homeland was indeed vulnerable
The Philippines April 1942 - American and Filipino forced to surrender Philippine Islands American General Douglas MacArthur ordered to leave his men –MacArthur promises I shall return. Bataan Death March –10,000 American and 60,000 Filipino prisoners forced to march 63 miles in tropical heat with little food or water –7,000 -10,000 died
The Battle of Coral Sea May 1942 - Port Moresby on the island of New Guinea was targeted for invasion The entire battle was carried out by carrier- based aircraft, without any ships exchanging shots 1 st time in history that a naval battle was waged exclusively from the air American naval forces won
The Battle of Midway June 1942, Japan attacked the U.S. base on Midway Island Japanese did not anticipate significant American naval forces –US officers broke a Japanese code American naval forces won –It was a decisive Japanese naval defeat –All 4 Japanese carriers sunk vs. one US carrier
August 1942 – February 1943 American forces won the 6 month Battle of Guadalcanal, a key island. –Japan had control in July 1942 –Allied control would help protect Australia –Marines landed on Guadalcanal and quickly seized the Japanese built airfield –Several Japanese counterattacks were repulsed
The Island Campaigns The Allies fought fiercely from 1943-1945 to free the many other South Pacific island groups that Japan had seized earlier in the war. Many of these islands had formerly been territories of the US, Britain, or other Allied countries.
1943 Allied forces in the Pacific continued to make steady progress across the Southwest Pacific.
1944 Allies captured key locations in the Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Marianna Islands.
Summer 1944 The Battle of the Philippines began –Huge sea battle –The Battle of Leyte Gulf –Japan lost most of its naval air power October, 1944 - General MacArthur kept his promise and returned victorious to the Philippines.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur wades ashore during initial landings at Leyte, Philippine Islands
During this battle, Japanese pilots used the kamikaze suicide tactic for the first time. Japanese lost 49,000 soldiers out of a total of 55,000 involved in the conflict United States lost only 3,500 troops
Iwo Jima was the first place an invader's flag ever flew over Japanese home territory. Ira Hayes, Mike Strank, Franklin Sousley, Rene Gagnon, John Bradley, Harlon Block The pole weighed over 100 lbs. February 23, 1945
Battle of Iwo Jima February 1945 – first battle to be fought on Japanese soil Tiny volcanic island ~ 750 miles south of Tokyo Iwo Jima was the only Japanese base capable of interfering with American bombing operations against Japan Subject of the movie, Flags of Our Fathers
Battle of Iwo Jima Underground tunnels and bunkers, especially Mt. Suribachi, which overlooked the southern end of the island.(580 ft) The capture of Mt. Suribachi didnt mean the battle was over; Japan refused to surrender –It would be more than a month before U.S. forces secured the entire island ~20,000 Japanese soldiersnearly all the forces on the islandwere killed The American death toll was ~7,000
Once cleared, the island was used as a fighter base for escorting bombers over Japan and as an emergency landing site for B-29 bombers operating from the Mariannas. Once cleared, the island was used as a fighter base for escorting bombers over Japan and as an emergency landing site for B-29 bombers operating from the Mariannas. The island is shy of 5 miles long, 2-1/2 miles wide at its widest at the north end and 700 yards at the south end; about 350 above sea level
Battle of Okinawa April 1,1945 – US invaded the island –Only 350 miles from Japan –Bloodiest battle the US faced in the Pacific –The last large-scale battle in the Pacific –Japanese troops defended the island from entrenched positions, much like Iwo Jima Unlike Iwo Jima, Okinawa had a large civilian population, which became one of the great tragedies of the battle
Battle of Okinawa By June of 1945, the Americans had gained control of the island Losses: Over 12,000 Americans and 110,000 Japanese As on Iwo Jima, Japanese willingness to fight on when death was certain amazed and worried the US –I see no way to get them out…except to blast them out yard by yard.
The Japanese planned a massive series of kamikaze attacks on the large US fleet of naval vessels anchored offshore The The Kamikaze attacks didnt do as much damage as the Japanese had anticipated U.S. fleet remained in place and continued to offer air support to the troops on the ground
Tokyo Air Raids During the same months that Allied forces in Europe were closing in on Germany, Allied forces in the Pacific were closing in on Japan. In March 1945, General Curtis LeMay used a heavy bombing tactic that was designed to produce a tremendous firestorm in the bombed area. –84,000 Japanese killed –270,000 buildings destroyed
Tokyo Air Raids The operations directly targeted the Japanese civilian population in addition to industrial and military targets. The strategy was simply to destroy the Japanese will to resist By late summer, little of Tokyo and the other targeted cities were left standing.
President Trumans Decision Harry Truman became 33 rd President when FDR died while in office –April 1945 After the horrific losses at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, he knew that perhaps a million Americans will die if he decides to invade mainland Japan.
The Japanese government has vowed that it will fight until the last and will never surrender.
Truman decided to use the new atomic bomb that was developed by the Manhattan Project.
August 6, 1945 An atomic bomb is dropped on the military city of Hiroshima by a lone American bomber, the Enola Gay. –Nearly everything within a one-mile radius of the blast is destroyed –Heavy damage: three miles out –Lighter damage: 12 miles out
2/3rds of the citys 90,000 buildings were destroyed in the blast 80,000 people were killed instantly –By the end of the year, 60,000 more victims would die from radiation poisoning, and thousands more would die in the years to come, from cancer and other long-term effects of the radiation 100,000 were wounded or missing The Japanese government still refused to surrender
August 9, 1945 A second atomic bomb is dropped on the Japanese naval- base city of Nagasaki. 40,000 people died The entire city was destroyed
V-J Day August 15, 1945 –Emperor Hirohito announced Japans surrender in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration –Japan finally surrendered under the condition that the Japanese emperor be allowed to retain his throne. September 2, 1945 –The formal surrender took place on the deck of the American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay V-J Day = Victory in Japan Day
Challenges of Victory The creation of the United Nations –June 1945, reps from 50 countries met in San Francisco, CA The Postdam Conference –July 1945, leaders of the Allied nations met to carry on the work begun at Yalta Rebuilding Europe and Japan –Creation of a new diplomatic government and rebuild the nations economy