WWII The Battle for the PacificThe Battles That Shaped The Pacific By: Ezekiel Waters, Evans Junior High 6th Grade Student, Bloomington, Illinois Woom, KaBlam!! Foom!! ??!, ????????????!!! (That’s Japanese for FIRE!, Run for your life!!)WWII, a devastating point in world history. But one part of the war was a series of battles that went all around the Pacific Rim soon called The Battle for the Pacific, including devastating moments like Pearl Harbor and the Bombing of Tokyo.Japan was the enemy to the US during WWII on the Pacific side of the world…so, let’s get to the Pacific (not literally) and get rolling with the article.Battle of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii territory, December 7th, 1941  Pearl Harbor was a devastating part of US history in 1941. On a early morning at 8 a.m. on December 7th, the sky became filled with smoke. Japan’s air forces had bombed and destroyed a US naval ship. The Japanese closed in on multiple ships. The army was under heavy fire. They couldn’t stop the Japanese from destroying  nearly 20 naval ships, including 8 enormous battleships (which included the USS Arizona, Shown left) and 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded.  After the devastating day of the Battle of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on the Japanese. Also after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese became proud of their attack on the US, swarmed all over southeast Asia and the islands in the Pacific Ocean. By May 1942, they had overrun Burma, Malaya, The Dutch East Islands, Singapore, and the Philippines, and were advancing island by island across the Pacific, south toward Australia and again east to the US. The Battle of The Philippines, Philippines Islands, November 1941-April.6th.1945Sarrkkzz!!! “This is Commander Pilot Zack Brad, we are starting our approach over the Philippines Sea, should we continue??” “Proceed, commander.” “Copy. Everyone move into position, we are beginning our descent.”   MacArthur anticipated Japanese aggression as early as late Nov 1941 when Japanese aircraft were seen over northern Luzon. In early Dec, Japanese bomber formations were observed flying within 20 miles of Lingayen Gulf beaches and returning to Taiwan, presumably making trial runs in preparation for the attack. As a precaution, orders were given to move the 27th Bombardment Group B-17 bombers southward to Mindanao, out of range of the Japanese bombers. This move was delayed, however, as the pilots were invited to a big party held in the honor of Major General Lewis Brereton, an event to be held what was to become the night before the Japanese attack, at the hotel in Manila that was also MacArthur’s residence. When the party ended at 0200 hours Manila time, it was 0800 hours at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii when the first Japanese aircraft dropped their torpedoes. By 1100 hours, American aircraft began to land to refuel, and it was not until then, at about 1120 hours, that MacArthur gave his approval, but then it was too late. At 1235 hours, Japanese Army fighters reached the airfield at Iba on the western coast of Luzon, destroying a flight of P-40 fighters in the process of landing. A short time later, the Del Carmen airfield to the southeast was also attacked, with its outdated P-35A fighters forming little resistance against the more modern Japanese fighters. These attacks would repeat themselves, within days destroying MacArthur’s air force. On 10 Dec, with air superiority achieved, General Masaharu Homma ordered the invasion to set forth. Starting on 20 Dec, the Japanese Army landed on Mindanao and then Luzon, quickly capturing airfields and other key strategic positions. As the battle for the Philippines raged in October 1944, in a measure of desperation the Japanese introduced a terrifying weapon. A special unit of volunteer bomber pilots (Kamikazes) flew planes loaded with explosives onto the decks of US warships to blow them up. Kamikazes were never in short supply-700 attacked the US fleet off Okinawa on April 6, 1945.The Bombing of Tokyo, April.18th.1942-March.9th-10th.1945″Commander Daguo-Radis, we’ve received a transmission from our JSS Tokyo crussier of US bombers reaching over Tokyo.” “What?! Send out fighters immediately!” “Commander sir, the bombers have already engaged.”  “Incoming!!” Weroom… Kabalm!!The original Bombing of Tokyo was on March, 9th-10th, 1945 when the US Air Force (USAF), bombarded the capital of Japan during the final stages of World War II, often cited as the most destructive acts of war in history, more destructive than the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki. Although the precise death toll is unknown, conservative estimates suggest that the firestorm caused by incendiary bombs killed at least 80,000 people, and likely more than 100,000, in a single night; some one million people were left homeless. The Japanese later called this the “Night of the Black Snow.”This was not the first American bombing of the Japanese capital. The famed “Doolittle Raid” by 16 medium-sized aircraft under Lieutenant Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle had bombed Tokyo on April 18, 1942. Although the raid did little to cripple Japan’s war-making powers, it was a major boost to American morale after the shock and devastation of the Pearl Harbor attack and brought the war home to the Japanese, proving that their home islands would not be immune to enemy bombers.The first raid on Tokyo was the Doolittle Raid of 18 April 1942, when sixteen B-25 Mitchells were launched from USS Hornet to attack targets including Yokohama and Tokyo and then fly on to airfields in China. The raid was retaliation against the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.Coral Sea Battle, May.1942It was quiet, too quiet for the Coral Sea. 135 Japanese planes that flew out from the Tokyo headquarters were ready to land in Port Moresby in southeast New Guinea when suddenly a whole fleet of USAF fighters came out of nowhere from the high sky and immediately destroyed 120 Japanese fighters. They crashed into the sea and layed on the surface. The rest that survived fled back to the headquarters. This four-day World War II skirmish in May 1942 marked the first air-sea battle in history. The Japanese were seeking to control the Coral Sea with an invasion of Port Moresby in southeast New Guinea, but their plans were intercepted by Allied forces. When the Japanese landed in the area, they came under attack from the aircraft carrier planes of the American task force commanded by Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher. Although both sides suffered damages to their carriers, the battle left the Japanese without enough planes to cover the ground attack of Port Moresby, resulting in a strategic Allied victory.The Japanese were trying to capture island bases to use for air attacks on Australia, but the US fleet halted their southward advance in May 1942. Coral Sea was the first naval battle conducted entirely by aircraft taking off from carriers. The carriers (fleet) never met.The Battle of Midway, June.4-7.1942The USAF closed in. The one of the Japanese cruisers went under. Commander of the Japanese Naval Force was not sure how to win this battle. How a small atoll in the middle of the Pacific became the site of the most significant naval battle in American history should not be a complete surprise. It was a location of strategic importance for both sides – and a testament to the power of presence. Approximately 1300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor and close to halfway between Japan and the West Coast of the USS, Midway was already the site of a Navy base. Fittingly, it would be the focal point of a calculated Japanese plan. The Japanese goal was to attack Midway, capture it and use it as an advance base that would establish an eastern shield for its own Pacific operations. They knew the U.S. would defend it with all available resources and hoped to lure the Navy carriers and fleet into a trap. But the U.S. knew of the plan ahead of time and would be ready to deploy its three aircraft carriers and supporting force of ships, submarines and aircraft accordingly. Douglas Devastator torpedo bombers prepare to take off from the deck of USS Enterprise during the Battle of Midway. Devastators were old and lumbering planes used by the US aboard aircraft carriers. They proved no match for the speedy Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, which knocked out all but four of the Enterprise’s bombers. Overall, however, the Japanese suffered a defeat at Midway.The Battle of The Santa Cruz, October. 1942Many planes form the US engaged on Japanese crussires. The Japanese were going crazy. How did the USAF find them taking over Santa Cruz??? The malarial Santa Cruz Islands bear three hundred miles east of the Solomons, and might remain unknown to history but for the fourth carrier battle of World War II’s Pacific Campaign, fought nearby in October 1942, and known as the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. The US aircraft carrier Hornet comes under heavy fire from the Japanese aircraft during the Battle of the Santa Cruz in October 1942. This sea battle was one of the many fought around Guadalcanal (one of the Solomon Islands to the east of New Guinea) as Japanese and US forces struggled to gain control of this strategic base. The US eventually forced the Japanese off the island in February 1943, but the ferocity of the Japanese resistance showed how far they were prepared to go to defend newly won territory.People have never forgotten the devastating days of WWII, a world conflict that changed human history. The Battle for the Pacific was apart of that, devastating moments for the all the countries around the Pacific Rim. It started with Pearl Harbor and ended with the Bombing of Tokyo. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Because it all happened in WWII, The Battle for the Pacific. Pictures and Text Resources: Text Sources: https://www.historyonthenet.com/battle-of-the-santa-cruz-islands/http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-coral-sea http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/pearl-harbor https://www.britannica.com/event/Bombing-of-Tokyo  https://www.navy.com/battle-of-midway.html https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=46  Battle for the PhilippinesThe Firebombing of Tokyo: The History of the U.S. Air Force’s Most Controversial Bombing Campaign of World War II Paperback – June 22, 2015 by Charles River (Author), Google Search Eyewitness Books (WWII), pages 38-39Pearl Harbor pic-http://globalovethinktank.blogspot.com/2015/12/attack-on-pearl-harbor-in-color.html Philippines Battle pic- https://www.downloadwallpapers.us/wallpaper/art-fight-flight-planes-in-the-sky-smoke-the-battle-of-the-philippine-sea-world-war-ii-1046431 Bombing of Tokyo pic-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raids_on_Japan Coral Sea pic-http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-coral-sea Battle of Midway pic-http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-midway Battle of Santa Cruz  pic-https://www.downloadwallpapers.us/wallpaper/uss-hornet-and-battle-of-santa-cruz-intr-833185

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