The Second World War (1): The Pacific (Guide to...)
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The war in the Pacific began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and ended with the atomic bombs on Hirsoshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which led to the surrender in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. It was a war of great naval battles, such as those in the Coral Sea, at Midway, and at Leyte and of grim jungle battles, at Guadalcanal, New Guinea and Burma. This book explores the many facets of this complicated conflict, which reshaped the face of Asia and splintered forever European invincibility as a colonial power.
Henderson Field were directed to his destination and on 13 April 1943 they downed his aircraft in flames. It was a further blow to the Japanese, who were already on the defensive in the south-west Pacific. Yamamoto was succeeded by Admiral Koga Mineichi as Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet. Aleutian Islands campaign On the night of 6 June 1942 the Japanese landed 1,200 troops on remote Attu Island, at the western end of the Aleutian Islands - 41 an island chain that projected 1,000
aircraft and their more skillful pilots. In the 'Great Marianas Turkey Shoot', the Japanese lost 400 aircraft, while the USA lost 30. Three Japanese carriers were sunk - two by American submarines. Onshore, the Marine and army troops had a savage battle against 32,000 defenders. The Japanese conducted suicide charges, while Japanese civilians leapt to their death from high cliffs. It was 9 July before Saipan was secured. Total Japanese deaths numbered 30,000. Meanwhile, US Marine and army troops
aircrew were lost delivering 650,000 tons of supplies. In April 1944 the Japanese began a major offensive - the Ichigo offensive, with 620,000 troops - to overrun the Allied airfields in southern China. The warlord and Nationalist armies were no matches for the Japanese, who by December were The fighting LEFT Map 1. Burma-Thailand railroad built by slave labor between July 1942 and October 1943 to resupply Japanese forces in India 2. The Hump' - the route flown by US aircraft resupplying China
army and navy aircraft attacked even the smallest coastal B-29 Superfortresses from the US Twentieth Air Force conducting a daylight raid over Yokohama on 29 May 1945. Their escorts shot down 26 Japanese fighters. By July 1945, 60 percent of the areas of Japan's 60 larger cities and towns had been burnt out. (Imperial War Museum) 65 ships. Then in March 1945 the Twentieth Air Force began the systematic mining of Japanese home waters to prevent the transportation of food and raw materials from
but such societies can breed revolution and resentment of neighbors that can lead to future war. By the end of 1945, 13 million Japanese were unemployed. In the winter of 1945-46, the population was close to starvation. One survivor recalled, 'Every last one of us was involved in the black market.' A magistrate who nobly refused to become involved in the black market reputedly died of malnutrition. General MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, established his Japanese servicemen