From Pearl harbor - prelude to guadalcanal

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   The British and American high command (Prime
    Minister Churchill, President Roosevelt, General
    George Marshall) were determined to fight and win
    first in Europe, while holding Japan at bay. A full-scale
    Allied effort in the Pacific would come after the defeat
    of Germany. But continued Japanese aggression,
    popular American outrage at Japan, and Admiral
    Ernest King’s desire for an early navy war meant the
    war in the Pacific could not be put on hold.
   "Before we're through with them, the Japanese
    language will be spoken only in hell!” – Admiral
    Halsey, December 1941
   South Plan
     Attack Malaya and Hong Kong along with various
      other islands in the Java area.
     Isolate Australia and New Zealand
   East Plan
     Initial attacks on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor,
      Hawaii, with carrier-based aircraft of the Combined
     Follow this attack with seizure of the Philippines, and
      cutting the U.S. lines of communication by seizing
      Guam and Wake Island.
   December 7, 1941
     Attack at Pearl Harbor
   December 8, 1941
       Invasion of Guam
       Invasion of Thailand
       Invasion of Philippines
       Invasion of Hong Kong
   December 10, 1941
     Invasion of Malaya
   December 11, 1941
     Invasion of Wake Island

   Further attacks could come in the Southwest Pacific, against
    New Guinea and Australia, in the Central Pacific, against
    Midway, and in the North Pacific, against the Aleutian Islands.
   Battle of Malaya
     December 10, 1941: Battle cruiser HMS Repulse
     and Battleship HMS Prince of Wales sunk off
     Malay Peninsula.
      ▪ The battle is notable for the Japanese use of bicycle
        infantry, which allowed troops to carry more equipment
        and swiftly move through thick jungle terrain.
   General MacArthur recalled from Retirement to
    head the defense of Philippines from Japan.
   Japan’s main attack – December 22 1941 forces
    MacArthur to quickly draw back to the Bataan
    Peninsula to keep up the defense. Sustains
    another 4 months there until finally conquered
    by Japan.
   Before he could be captured, MacArthur was
    ordered by President Roosevelt to retreat to
    Australia. He grudgingly obeyed vowing to
    return again.
   Guam
     Captured easily due to its lack of defense.
   Thailand
     Japan negotiated to allow movement of troops through.
      Got tired of waiting (UK intervened) and invaded anyways.
      Surrendered within 24 hours of Japan’s invasion.
   Hong Kong
     U.K. Defense of Hong Kong failed almost immediately.
     “Black Christmas”
     Japanese soldiers terrorized the local population by
      murdering, raping an estimated 10,000 women, and
   Defense of Wake Island, 1st
    Marine Defense Battalion
    under Major James Devereux
    repel the first Japanese
    invasion force. Marine 3-inch
    (12) and 5-inch guns (6) sink
    the Japanese destroyer
    Hayate, first Japanese
    surface ship sunk during the
    war. Moments later a Marine
    F4F Wildcat sinks the
    destroyer Kisaragi. A second,
    larger invasion force,
    supported by two Japanese
    fleet carriers, captures Wake
    Island on December 21.
   Due to politics between the services (Army and Navy) the Pacific Theater
    was divided into two major areas of operations.
   POA (Pacific Ocean Areas)
     Headed by Admiral Chester Nimitz (CINCPAC and CINCPOA)
   SWPA (Southwest-Pacific Area)
     Headed by General Douglas MacArthur (Supreme Allied Commander
      South West Pacific Area)
     Fleet elements in this zone remained under Nimitz’s administrative
   Controversial command structure; no common superior; ran two
    separate wars in the Pacific.
   Only possible due to overwhelming industrial and logistical superiority.
   Battle of Coral Sea
     May 4-8, 1942
   First naval battle fought entirely by carrier-launched aircraft.
   Beginning 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged
    airstrikes over two consecutive days.
   The first day, the U.S. sank the Japanese light carrier Shōhō, while the
    Japanese sank a U.S. destroyer.
   Japanese fleet carrier Shōkaku heavily damaged.
   U.S. fleet carrier Lexington was scuttled as a result of critical damage,
    and the Yorktown was damaged.
   Both sides suffered heavy losses and disengaged.
   In all previous naval battles, primary planning and strategy
    revolved around surface combat. This battle revolutionizes naval
   The Japanese were the tactical victors in terms of tonnage
   The Americans were the strategic victors because they turned
    back the Japanese advance into New Guinea and Australia.
   Damaging the Jap carrier Shōkaku and depletion of aircraft
    onboard the carrier Zuikaku would go on to play a major role in the
    Battle of Midway.
   US lost 1 carrier, 1 destroyer, 1 oiler, and one fleet carrier
    damaged. This is along with losing 69 aircraft and 656 men.
   Japan lost 1 light carrier, 1 destroyer, 3 small warships. They had 1
    fleet carrier, 1 destroyer, 2 small warships, and 1 transport
    damaged. Along with 92 aircraft and 966 men killed.
   Near twilight, three Japanese planes
    incredibly mistook Yorktown for their own
    carrier and attempted to land. The ship's
    gunfire, though, drove them off; and the
    enemy planes crossed Yorktown's bow and
    turned away out of range. Twenty minutes
    later, when three more enemy pilots made
    the mistake of trying to get into Yorktown's
    landing circle, the carrier's gunners splashed
    one of the trio.
Yorktown and Lexington prepare to launch aircraft at sunrise on May 8.
Lexington on fire and under heavy attack
   June 4 – 7, 1942
   Japan’s objectives:
     Carrier raid backed by entire Japanese combined
     Lure out and destroy U.S. carrier force.
     But Yamamoto split his fleet – Two carriers and an
      invasion force were diverted to attack the
   We cracked their code
    and knew of the time
    and location of the
    attack. Set up an
    ambush of our own.
   Their method of
    dispersal made their
    carriers not only carry
    out the attack, but also
    suffer the counterattack.
    Horrible management of
    ship resources.
   The USS Yorktown after the Battle of Coral Sea
    was badly damaged and made it to Pearl Harbor
    for repair. It was suggested she take months of
    repairs at Puget Sound but repair crews at Pearl
    Harbor worked around the clock for 72 hours to
    restore her to battle-ready state. An incredible
    feat of engineering and manpower.
   Only three aircraft carriers, eight cruisers,
    fourteen destroyers.
   Midway could act as an “unsinkable” carrier.
   All aircraft versus ships.
   Japanese aircraft technologically superior; battle
    initially went against Americans.
   Pilots from USS Enterprise and USS Yorktown
    luckily caught Japanese carriers with aircraft
    aboard refueling and rearming in preparation for
    attacks on U.S. aircraft carriers.
   U.S. dive bombers hit Japanese aircraft carriers,
    exposed ordnance exploded, and three Japanese
    carriers went down quickly, a fourth was hit and
    later sunk.
   Japanese fleet was surprised by Americans.
 US
     Lost 1 carrier, 1 destroyer, 150 aircraft, and 307 men.
 Japan
     Lost 4 carriers (of 6), 1 cruiser, 248 aircraft, and 2,013
 Significance of Midway: Ended
    Japanese advance; turning point
    of Pacific War.
   Japanese Imperial headquarters shocked by
    defeat at Midway.
   Cancel plans to take Fiji, Samoa, New
   Must proceed with plan to take Port Moresby
    as it is within bomber distance to major
    Southwest Pacific Imperial naval operating
    base at Rabaul, New Britain.
   Japanese begin building airfield at
   Americans move to reinforce South Pacific area,
    protect vital sea line of communication with
     Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley appointed
      Commander South Pacific Force and Area,
      subordinate to Nimitz.
     Two bases established in New Hebrides.
      ▪ First base established on Efate, deemed not good enough.
      ▪ US Naval Operating Base at Espiritu Santo in the New
        Hebrides is established. Intense air attacks launched on
        Solomon Islands from here.
 MacArthur proposes Elkton Plan, consisted of taking command of
  two aircraft carriers and 1st Marine Division, adding these to three
  army divisions already under his command and then retaking
  Rabaul, forcing Japanese 700 miles north to Truk. King stridently
  objects. Proposes step-by-step plan through Solomons to take
  Rabaul. Wants Nimitz and Ghormley in charge with Marines
  making amphibious assault and the navy providing support.
 Admiral Ernest King, CNO, proposes similar plan, but under Navy
 Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, whose main goal was for a
  large effort in Europe and not the Pacific, proposed a compromise
  plan in which the task would be divided into three stages, the first
  under Navy command and the second two under MacArthur's
  direction. This is informally accepted and implemented.

Operation Cartwheel
   Nimitz to coordinate attack as far as Santa Cruz
     Command to switch to MacArthur once a base near Tulagi
      is secured.
     MacArthur to attack Rabaul by two-pronged effort.
      Southern element to go north through Solomons. Western
      element to go east through the Papuan Peninsula of New
      Guinea. Converge on Rabaul.
   Operation Watchtower (Guadalcanal) set for August 1,
     Guadalcanal substituted for Santa Cruz Islands when U.S.
      intelligence learns of Japanese plans to build airfield there.
     Few resources available for Operation Watchtower.
   Fleet Admiral Chester William
    Nimitz, USN
   Born 24 February 1885
   Died 20 February 1966 (age 81)
   Wished to become an Army Officer.
    West Point had no Congressional
    Appointments available.
   Appointed to Naval Academy.
    Graduated 7th out of 114.
   Submarine Warfare Officer
   Cool Fact: Served as Executive
    Officer onboard Battleship USS
    South Carolina.
   In August 1926 he went to the
    University of California, Berkeley to
    establish the Navy's first Naval
    Reserve Officer Training Corps unit.
   Ten Days after Attack on Pearl
    Harbor, made CINCPAC
    (Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet)
   14 December 1944 Congress created
    the rank of Fleet Admiral of the
    United States Navy (O-11). Next day
    ADM Nimitz became FADM Nimitz.
   2 September 1945 signed for the
    United States when Japan
    surrendered onboard the USS
   Selected to serve as CNO after World
    War II.
   15 December 1947 Nimitz
    retires from CNO.
    However FADM is an active
    duty rank which is
    appointed for life.
    Therefore he technically
    remained on active duty
    for his entire life.
   U.S. last surviving Fleet
   “A ship is always referred
    to as she because it costs
    so much to keep one in
    paint and powder”
   Which Battle of the Pacific War revolutionized Naval Warfare?
       A. Battle of Midway
       B. Battle of Guadalcanal
       C. Battle of Pearl Harbor
       D. Battle of Coral Sea
   Which Battle of the Pacific War is considered the “turning point?”
       A. Battle of Midway
       B. Battle of Guadalcanal
       C. Battle of Pearl Harbor
       D. Battle of Coral Sea
   Japan’s Battle Plan with the US consisted of the:
       A. East Plan and West Plan
       B. South Plan and North Plan
       C. South Plan and East Plan
       D. North Plan and West Plan
   FADM Nimitz was in Commander-in-Chief of Pacific Ocean Areas.
     True/False

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