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Pacific Theater WWII. The Pacific Ocean. Japan. Canada. China. USA. SE Asia. Australia. Prewar. 1932. 1940. Dec 8/7 1941. 1941. Fleet Admiral Yamamoto. “The US fleet is a dagger pointed at our throat and must be destroyed.”

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the pacific ocean
The Pacific Ocean





SE Asia


fleet admiral yamamoto
Fleet Admiral Yamamoto

“The US fleet is a dagger pointed at our throat and must be destroyed.”

“I can run wild for six months after that, I have no expectation of success.”

- Yamamoto, during discussions on the planned Pearl Harbour Attack

Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

pearl harbor
Pearl Harbor
  • Dec 7, 1941
    • “a date which will live in infamy”
  • Americans taken completely by surprise
  • The first attack wave targeted airfields and battleships
  • The second wave targeted other ships and shipyard facilities
attack on pearl harbour
Attack on Pearl Harbour

Dec 7, 1941. “A day that will live in infamy”

japanese aircraft
Japanese Aircraft

Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” Fighter

Nakajima B5N torpedo bomber

Aichi D3A dive bomber


"Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.”

- Winston Churchill

the battle of midway
The Battle Of Midway
  • Japanese planned a fake attack on the Aleutian Islands while the main force attacks Midway.
  • Magic intercepts codes , US reinforced Midway
  • Americans destroyed four Japanese carriers and most of their pilots.
  • Japanese advance was checked and initiative in the Pacific began to turn to the Americans
  • .
the battle of midway1
The Battle of Midway

Japanese forces:

4 carriers, 4 lost

7 battleships, 0 lost

~150 support ships, 1 cruiser lost

264 aircraft, 228 lost

3058 dead

US forces:

3 carriers, 1 lost

~50 support ships, 1 destroyer lost

360 aircraft, 98 lost

307 dead

the battle of midway2
The Battle of Midway
  • The first major carrier vs. carrier engagement
  • Decided by tactics, radar, pilot skill, weather, and luck or (God).
island hopping warfare
Island-Hopping Warfare

American and Australian troops land in Borneo

battle of iwo jima
Battle of Iwo Jima
  • February-March 1945
  • Island off the coast of Japan—Japanese soil
    • More US Marines sent than in any other battle
    • 100,000 men fighting on an island the 1/3 the size of Manhattan
    • Japanese fought from below ground—Allies rarely saw a soldier
    • The battle was won inch-by-inch

Volcanic island deeply entrenched

battle of okinawa
Battle of Okinawa
  • Americans captured Okinawa
    • American casualties were 49,151, and 36,631 wounded
    • Approximately 110,000 Japanese were killed and 7,400 were prisoners
    • Okinawa showed how costly an invasion of the Japanese home islands would be
    • Kamikazes—suicide pilots crashed planes loaded with explosives; Sank 30 US vessels

Raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima

plan to invade japan
Plan to Invade Japan
  • US planned to invade Japan with eleven Army and Marine divisions (650,000 troops)
  • Casualty estimates were as high as 1,400,000
  • Truman decided to use the atomic bomb to avoid such losses

Operation Cornet, the plan to take Tokyo

the atomic bomb
The Atomic Bomb
  • In the early 1940s, America had started an atomic weapons development program code named the “Manhattan Project”
  • A successful test was conducted at Alamogordo in New Mexico in July 1945

J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves at the Trinity Site soon after the test

hiroshima and nagasaki
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Hiroshima Aug 6, 1945
    • 90,000 killed
  • On Aug 8, the USSR declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria the next day
  • Nagasaki Aug 9, 1945
    • 35,000 killed
  • Okinawa had been much more costly than Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Captain Paul Tibbets piloted the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima


Japan surrenders Sept 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri

the cost
The Cost
  • 2,000,000 Japanese Soldiers dead
  • 300,000 Allied Soldiers dead
  • 600,000 - 1,000,000 Japanese civilians dead
  • 11,000 American civilians dead
  • 60,000 Korean civilians dead
  • Mass devastation of Japanese infrastructure
  • Indigenous people of north and western Pacific islands devastated by disease, cultural contamination, collateral damage, and atrocities.
  • The list continues…