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WWII Pacific Theater
Transcript of WWII Pacific Theater
As an island nation with few natural resources, Japan relied on trade to support its industries.
As a result of the Great Depression, Japanese industries suffered immensely – especially as a result of high tariffs enacted by Japan’s trading partners While a parliamentary democracy in name, the Japanese government became increasingly controlled by the Japanese military during the 1930s, who promoted extreme Japanese nationalism.
Hideki Tojo-Japanese Army officer and Prime Minister of Japan for most of WWII. Tojo sought increasing military control over the Japanese government and pushed for aggressive Japanese expansion in Asia. As a result of its growing militarism, its lack of natural resources, and its growing population, Japan became increasingly aggressive. Japan also claimed that it desired to liberate Asian nations under the colonial rule of European powers. Militarism – the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests
In 1931, Japan took control of Manchuria.
In 1937, Japan invaded the rest of China (Sino-Japanese War)
In 1940, Japan allied with Germany and Italy in the Tripartite Pact.
Also in 1940, Japan took possession of French Indochina (present day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos). The United States declared war on Japan following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In response, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Atomic Weapons
Albert Einstein – German-born physicist known for the Theory of Relativity. Einstein (who was Jewish) fled Germany soon after Hitler came to power. He was instrumental in convincing President Roosevelt to develop atomic weaponry before the Germans.
Manhattan Project – the U.S. program charged to develop an atomic weapon. Hiroshima and Nagasaki – President Truman decided to utilize the completed atomic bombs on these Japanese cities with the hope of forcing a Japanese surrender. Two bombs were used, one on each city.
Little Boy (Hiroshima) and Fat Man Nagasaki)
"My God, what have we done?" Quote from Enola Gay co-pilot Bob Lewis Other New Weapons Technologies All manner of new weapons were introduced or improved during World War II, including:
Long range rockets (German V-2 missiles)
Long range fighters and bombers
Jet propulsion Question 1: What were the causes of Japanese Imperialism and aggression in Asia and the Pacific? Question 2: What were the major events of World War II in the Pacific Theater?
Question 3: How did the leaders of the Allied and Axis nations shape the course and outcome of the war in the Pacific? Question 4: What was Albert Einstein’s contribution to the development of atomic weapons?
Question 5: Why did the United States develop and use atomic weapons in World War II?
Question 6: What new technologies impacted combatants and non-combatants during WWII? Which of these technologies do you think had the biggest impact on the war?
Question 7: In your opinion was dropping the atomic bomb on Japan necessary or was there an alternative solution that would have saved millions of lives? Remember to support your position. The Pacific Theater •Battle of Midway – considered the turning point in the War in the Pacific, four Japanese aircraft carriers were destroyed during a failed invasion of Midway Island
•Island Hopping – the U.S. military strategy to defeat Japan. It involved bypassing many Japanese-held islands in favor of taking control of a few, strategically-placed islands large enough to support the Allied drive to the Japanese mainland.
•Two atomic bombs, one dropped on Hiroshima and another on Nagasaki, forced the Japanese surrender which officially occurred on September 2, 1945 (V-J Day).