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Allied Offensive

Allied Offensive

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Allied Offensive

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  1. Allied Offensive The Pacific Front

  2. I. Allied Strategy • Allied goals in the Pacific after Guadalcanal (February 1943): • Get close to Japan • Then launch massive strategic air attacks • Use a submarine blockade • Invade Japan if necessary • Allied strategy in Pacific to get to Japan • 1. US Army, led by MacArthur, climb toward Philippines • 2. US Navy, led by Nimitz, climb various island chains • Used “island hopping” – Did not try to dislodge the Japanese from every island, but selected strategic islands to attack and neutralize the others with air attacks and submarine blockade

  3. I. Allied Strategy • By March 1944, US took Solomon, Gilbert and surrounding islands • bypassed IJA troops at New Britain and New Guinea Animated Map

  4. II. Submarine Warfare • June 1943 – U.S. begins unrestricted sub warfare against Japanese shipping • Throughout the rest of the war, the U.S. will slowly strangle Japanese from supplies Torpedoed Japanese merchant ship (photo from periscope)

  5. III. Tarawa • 2nd offensive by the United States and 1st in key central Pacific area • November 20, 1943 – Allies land on Tarawa • Japanese commander boasted: "it would take one million men one hundred years" to conquer Tarawa • Japanese defeated in 4 days • Banzai charges prove ineffective (suicide attacks)

  6. IV. China • U.S. built airbases in China • April 17, 1944 – IJA launched their last offensive • Goals: destroy airbases and link up with French Indochina • IJA linked up with Indochina, but had little strategic gains • IJA remained in southeast China until spring 1945

  7. V. Burma 10-year-old Chinese soldier • When Burma fell, Allies flew supplies to China over “The Hump” of the Himalayan Mountains (1942) • Burma was the only overland supply route to China • Allies fought to retake Burma • Merrill's Marauders • US Army Rangers who advanced 750 miles into Burma in 5 months • August 1944: they disbanded with 130 combat-ready men out of original 2,997 • Allies began building the Ledo Road to link up with Burma Road from India in North to supply China Ledo Road and Burma Road

  8. " By now my dysentery was so violent I was draining blood. Every one of the men was sick from one cause or another. My shoulders were worn raw from the pack straps, and I left the pack behind...The boys with me weren't in much better shape...A scout moving ahead suddenly held his rifle high in the air. That meant Enemy sighted...Then at last we saw them, coming down the railroad four abreast...The gunner crouched low over his tommy-gun and tightened down. Then the gun spoke. Down flopped a half-dozen Japs, then another half dozen. The [Japanese] column spewed from their marching formation into the bush. We grabbed up the gun and slid back into the jungle. Sometimes staggering, sometimes running, sometimes dragging, I made it back to camp. I was so sick I didn't care whether the Japs broke through or not; so sick I didn't worry any more about letting the colonel down. All I wanted was unconsciousness."

  9. VI. Peleliu • Peleliu’s airfield threatened the Navy’s flank for the upcoming assault on the Philippines • Sep. 15, 1944 - Marines 1st Division land on island • Estimated to take 4 days to secure • No Banzai charges, Japanese dug into hills • Coral surface made digging foxholes impossible! • Island was not secure until November • Little strategic value gained in island • 1/3 of 1st Division suffer casualties • Over 10,000 Japanese killed • 202 captured • Japanese would rather die than surrender Marines landing on Peleliu Japanese Fortifications

  10. Suffering on Peleliu Wounded Marine receives water Sign Marking Front Line

  11. VII. Philippines • MacArthur convinced FDR to recapture Philippines before moving on to Japan • Had vowed to return earlier in the war • October 20, 1944 – US forces land on Leyte Island • IJN tried to dislodge USN - Battle of Leyte Gulf (Oct 23-26) • US had more ships than Japanese had planes including: • USN: 8 fleet carriers, 141 destroyers, 1500 planes • IJN: 1 fleet carrier, 35 destroyers, 300+ planes • IJN carrier force had been effectively destroyed at Saipan in June 1944 • First organized use of Kamikaze attacks (suicide attacks by air) • IJN defeated and effectively ceased to exist

  12. Kamikaze Japan’s Hope for a “Divine Wind”

  13. MacArthur Lands on Leyte October 20, 1944

  14. Battle of Leyte Gulf • USS St. Lo explodes after Kamikaze attack

  15. Dec 15, 1944 – US forces landed on Luzon • Entered Manila on Feb. 3, 1945, but city wasn’t secure until March • US suffered nearly 14,000 killed • Japanese suffered over 300,000 killed! • Only 12,573 captured

  16. VIII. Iwo Jima

  17. VIII. Iwo Jima • Iwo Jima had 2 airfields and radar station that gave warnings of US air raids on Japan • “Sulfur Island” • 1st Japanese home island to be invaded • For 7 months, Japanese prepared defenses • 22,000 defenders • 11 miles of tunnels! • February 19, 1945 – 30,000 Marines assaulted Iwo Jima • Japanese commander lightly resisted landings, he wanted to have in-depth defense • General Kuribayashi built in-depth defenses • Marines secure island except for central mountain • 2 patrols sent to summit • Famous “Raising Flag on Iwo Jima” photo

  18. “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”

  19. Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery

  20. US secured island on March 26, 1945 • Kuribayashi allegedly led final assault on Marines • Highest ranking Japanese to lead assault instead of suicide • US Losses: • 27,909 casualties • 6,825 killed • Japanese Losses: • 21,706 killed, 216 captured out of 22,786 • 2 Japanese were captured in 1951!

  21. XI. Okinawa • March 18, 1945 – US lands on Okinawa • Home island to Japan with civilian population • IJN fought ferociously for island! • June 21 – island secure when Japanese commander killed himself • Last US amphibious assault in Pacific • Many Japanese civilians chose suicide rather than capture Marines share foxhole with Okinawa infant

  22. Yamato explodes after persistent US air attacks

  23. Over 12,000 Americans killed! • Over 100,000 IJA killed • Estimated 50,000 civilians killed

  24. "...because the Japanese on Okinawa, including native Okinawans, were so fierce in their defense (even when cut off, and without supplies), and because casualties were so appalling, many American strategists looked for an alternative means to subdue mainland Japan, other than a direct invasion. This means presented itself, with the advent of atomic bombs, which worked admirably in convincing the Japanese to sue for peace, without American casualties. Ironically, the American conventional fire-bombing of major Japanese cities (which had been going on for months before Okinawa) was far more effective at killing civilians than the atomic bombs and, had the Americans simply continued, or expanded this, the Japanese would likely have surrendered anyway. Nevertheless, the bombs were a powerful symbolic display of American power, and the Japanese capitulated, obviating the need for an invasion of the home islands." • Victor Davis Hanson (military historian)

  25. X. Firebombing • In 1945, US bombed Japanese cities with B-29s at low elevations with incendiary bombs • A firestorm was often created • A fire so intense it creates and sustains its own wind system • February 13/14, 1945 – Dresden firebombed (Germany) • March 9/10, 1945 – US firebombed Tokyo, burning 15 square miles and killed approximately 100,000

  26. Destroyed Tokyo