Pacific Theater by Leah Toth

  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    December 7th, 1941, the Japanese raided Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They had around 414 aircraft loaded with torpedos and had two waves in all of aircraft fighters.
    At the time, the entire U.S. Navy, containing eight battleships and 390 aircrafts, was docked at Pearl Harbor. One of the main objectives of the Japanese, was to stop the U.S. from blocking the Japanese Empire’s southward expansion. Japan was at war with China, and was running low on Oil and other raw materials.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    When the U.S. halted all trade to Japan, Pacific war was inevitable. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. hadn’t been involved in the war, but after the terrible attack, the U.S. had no other options but to join up with Britain and fight against Nazi Germany, Kingdom of Italy, and the Japanese.
    By the end of the attack, 2,402 U.S. soldiers had died, 1,282 wounded and the Japanese only lost 69 servicemen. the attack on Pearl Harbor started the war for the U.S. and killed many Americans.
  • Battle of Java Sea

    Battle of Java Sea
    The Battle of the Java Sea occurred on February 27, 1942, and was an early naval engagement of World War II in the Pacific. It was a resounding victory for the Japanese and effectively ended meaningful naval resistance by ABDA forces. In the fighting, Doorman lost two light cruisers and three destroyers, as well as one heavy cruiser badly damaged and around 2,300 killed. Japanese losses numbered one destroyer badly damaged and another with moderate damage.
  • Loss of Philippines and Bataan Death March

    Loss of Philippines and Bataan Death March
    The Bataan Death March was a 70-mile forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war by Japanese forces during World War II. Approximately 72,000 American and Filipino soldiers were forced to surrender to Japan's Imperial Army after their defeat in the grinding, three-month-long Battle of Bataan. The Allied soldiers had not been resupplied for a couple of months, and many were sick and malnourished.
  • Loss of Philippines and Bataan Death March

    Loss of Philippines and Bataan Death March
    In 1945, the Japanese commander in charge of Bataan, General Homma, was put on trial for atrocities including the Bataan Death March. He stated that he had been unaware of the high death toll from the march until some time later. He was convicted and General Homma was executed in the Philippines on April 3, 1946.
  • Doolittle Raid

    Doolittle Raid
    The Doolittle Raiders attacked military and industrial targets in several Japanese cities and their surprise attack on the previously untouched home islands of Japan is considered by many historians to be a primary cause of the Japanese decisions that let to the Battle of Midway during which the Japanese lost four aircraft carriers. It was also symbolic as the United States first major strike back. After the Doolittle Raid the Raiders continued on in the service of their country.
  • Doolittle Raid

    Doolittle Raid
    Many of them continued flying combat missions over enemy territory and several were killed during the war on other missions. Three of the Raiders died within a day of the raid as a result of a crash landing and a parachute failure (or insufficient altitude for it to open) and eight were imprisoned by the Japanese. Three of these men were executed by the Japanese and another died for lack of proper treatment.
  • Battle of Coral Sea

    Battle of Coral Sea
    The naval battles that comprised the battle took place off of the northeastern coast of Australia and included the forces of Australia and the United States who took on the Japanese navy. The battle would prove significant as the first aircraft carrier battle fought and was the first to see no direct ship versus ship action.
  • Battle of Coral Sea

    Battle of Coral Sea
    To prevent this attack, Nimitz sent two aircraft carriers on the attack. In the battle that followed, the American and Japanesde navies both suffered damage. They had stopped the Japanese attack. For the first time, the Japanese advance had been halted.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    The Battle of Midway was a crucial and decisive naval battle. During the battle, the U.S. Navy would decisively defeat the Imperial Navy and more importantly, inflict damage to the point the Japanese fleet would not recover from during the war. The Japanese Navy sought to take the United States out of the picture in the Pacific Theater of operations at Midway. The Japanese navy’s plan was to lure the United States’ aircraft carriers into a trap so that they could be eliminated.
  • Battle of Midway

    Battle of Midway
    U.S. cryptologists were able to assess the date and location of the Midway attack. This ensured the U.S. Navy was able to plan an ambush of their own at midway making the initial Japanese planning assumptions of poor combat dispositions and U.S.
  • Guadalcanal

    Guadalcanal
    American allied forces landed on the Island of Guadalcanal and soon after on Tulagi and Florida. The first objective of what would become the Battle of Guadalcanal was to prevent the Japanese from interrupting the communication and supply transport between the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, with the secondary objective being the capture of a major Japanese military base at Rabul, New Britain.
  • Guadalcanal

    Guadalcanal
    Finally, in December 1942 the emperor ordered the Japanese troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal. The soldiers were being withdrawn from January to February of 1943 but there was another lesson to be learned, Japanese don’t become any softer when defeated.
  • Battle of Leyte Gulf

    Battle of Leyte Gulf
    The enemy fleets collided, and hundreds of warships and thousands of aircraft battled for control of the Gulf of Leyte in three simultaneous battles. On October 26, what remained of the devastated Japanese fleet retreated, leaving the Allies in control of the Pacific Ocean. After four days of furious fighting, the Allies won in victory over the Japanese forces. The Allies waged an escalating bombing campaign against the Japanese home islands, finally forcing Japan’s surrender in August 1945.
  • Island Hopping Strategy

    Island Hopping Strategy
    In February 1945 US troops invaded Iwo Jima; the first American landing on Japanese territory. It was a bloody fight that last 36 days, and cost the U.S. 6, 381 men. Nearly 20,000 Japanese soldiers perished. In April came the invasion of Okinawa, the bloodiest battle of the war in the Pacific in which the Japanese launched massive Kamikaze attacks on the US invasion fleet. The island hopping strategy was very costly.
  • Island Hopping Strategy

    Island Hopping Strategy
    The US troops targeted the islands that were not as strongly defended by the Japanese. They took control of those islands, and quickly constructed landing strips and small military bases. Then they proceeded to attack other islands from the bases they had established. Slowly the US army moved closer to Japan, taking control of many of the surrounding islands.
  • Battle of Iwo Jima

    Battle of Iwo Jima
    Japanese losses in the fighting for Iwo Jima are subject to debate with numbers ranging from 17,845 killed to as high as 21,570. During the fighting only 216 Japanese soldiers were captured. When the island was declared secured again on March 26, approximately 3,000 Japanese remained alive in the tunnel system. The island fulfilled its role as a waypoint to Japan for American bombers.
  • Battle of Okinawa

    Battle of Okinawa
    One of the longest and costliest battles of the Pacific Theater, Okinawa saw American forces sustain 49,151 casualties, while the Japanese incurred 117,472. In addition, 142,058 civilians became casualties. Though effectively reduced, Okinawa quickly became a key military asset for the Allies as it provided a key fleet anchorage and troop staging areas. In addition, it gave the Allies airfields that were only 350 miles from Japan.
  • Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

    Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima
    The United States becomes the first and only nation to use atomic weaponry during wartime when it drops an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan marked the end of World War II. If U.S. officials truly believed that they could use their atomic monopoly for diplomatic advantage, they had little time to put their plan into action. By 1949, the Soviets had developed their own atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race began.
  • Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki

    Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki
    On this day in 1945, a second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan’s unconditional surrender. The devastation at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. Emperor Hirohito, by request of two War Council members eager to end the war, met with the Council and gave his permission for unconditional surrender.
  • VJ Day

    VJ Day
    The End of World War II was celebrated on Victory in Japan Day. There was much joy and celebration around the world when, on August 15th, US President Truman declared the day as Victory in Japan Day, at a White House press conference. President Truman announced that the Japanese Government had agreed to comply in full with the Potsdam Declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan.