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Fighting WWII - The Pacific Theater

World History
by

Patrick Floyd

on 13 May 2016

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Transcript of Fighting WWII - The Pacific Theater

Fighting WWII – The Pacific Theater
Introduction:
Remember that a
front
is a line of battle in a war.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered the war.
Roosevelt
and
Churchill
agreed to advance against Nazi Germany first and hold defensively in the Pacific Ocean against Japan, even as Japan continued its conquest of the Pacific.
While the war in
Europe
was fought on land and in the air, the war in the
Pacific
was fought mostly
by sea
.

I. Early Action in the Pacific
A. The
Flying Tigers
Even before the United States joined World War II, Americans were fighting in the Pacific Front. American pilots who wanted to join the fight against Japanese expansion were able to join the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force. They were called the Flying Tigers. This group was NOT part of the US military however; Americans took a lot of pride in what they were doing.
China
Philippines
The Philippines 1941-1942
Japan invaded the
Philippines
directly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Americans and
Filipinos
fought fiercely, however they were badly outnumbered and were forced to retreat to the
Bataan
peninsula.
General
Douglas MacArthur
– commander of the US Army in the Pacific – is told to evacuate, but the troops stay behind.
They are captured and are marched by the Japanese to prisoner of war camps.
They are denied food, water and rest. Thousands died. This is called the
Bataan Death March
and angered Americans greatly.
Japan
The
Doolittle Mission
:
In April 1942, to attempt to strike at the heart of the Japanese and raise
morale
, Lt. Colonel James Doolittle flew
B-25 Bombers
off aircraft carriers to bomb
Tokyo
, Japan.
The B-25s then landed in
China
.
American Advantage:
Early in the war in the Pacific, the US code breakers are able to break the
Japanese

code
.
But the Japanese will not be able to break the “code” created by the
Navajo Code Talkers
or

Wind talkers.
This will help to Americans to win the war.
Battle of Midway
June 1942: The Japanese hoped to cut off American troop supplies to
Australia
and attacked the island of Midway.
During this battle, the Americans struck at the heart of the Japanese by shooting down
38 planes
and destroying
four Japanese carriers
.
The Battle of Midway is a
turning point
in the war - it stops the

Japanese
advance
into the Pacific.
Australia
Driving the Japanese Back
Admiral
Chester Nimitz
– commander of the US Navy and Allied forces in the Pacific – created a strategy called
island-hopping
– move from island to island across the Pacific to get close to Japan.
The island hopping campaign began in the central Pacific in the fall of 1943.
The United States would suffer great losses as troops landed on beaches.
War technology helps such as the
Amphtrac
- a boat with tank treads and
flame throwers
.
Taking advantage of positioning
Once the Americans take the islands,
runways
are built so that bombers would have a base from which to bomb Japan.
The bombing was not exactly on target and so the Americans begin using
incendiary bombs
filled with materials like
napalm
- a type of jellied gasoline- which would set the wooden cities of Japan on fire.
During one bombing raid on
Tokyo
, March 9, 1945, it is estimated that
100,000 people
died from the lack of oxygen as well as fire.
Battle of Leyte Gulf
October 1944: Was the battle to take back the Philippine and the
largest naval battle in history
.
It was also the first time the Japanese use
kamikaze
attacks where Japanese pilots would crash their planes loaded with fuel and bombs into American ships, killing themselves in the process.
Eventually Japan retreated and the Philippines are once again under American control.
Iwo Jima
:
To make the bombing of Japan more effective, American military leaders decide to take the island of Iwo Jima so that runways for bombers could be built.
This is one of the
ugliest battles
of the war.
It is also well known because of the famous
flag raising picture
which was used to raise
money
and
morale
for the war in America.
Later, a
memorial
to the marines was created using this image.
Okinawa:
In the last major battle of the war in the Pacific, the island of
Okinawa
(which is very close to Japan) is captured by the Americans with a great loss of life.

The
Atomic Bomb

On August 6 and August 9, 1945 atomic bombs were dropped on
Hiroshima
and
Nagasaki
to bring an end to the war.
Also on August 9,the
Soviet Union
declared war on Japan.
Okinawa
V-J Day August 15, 1945:
Victory in Japan Day
Japan surrenders unconditionally and signs the surrender papers on the
USS Missouri
.
World War II officially
ends
.
"Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima
"Fat Man" was dropped on Nagasaki.
Admiral Chester Nimitz
Tokyo ablaze...
Relax...
Hiroshima mushroom cloud
Hiroshima Aftermath
Nagasaki mushroom cloud
Nagasaki Aftermath
Trouble on the flight deck
Refocus
Full transcript