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Pacific Theater
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  1. Pacific Theater

  2. The Fall After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were attacking parts of China, Hong Kong, French Indochina, Malaya, Burma, Thailand, and the Philippines. Gen. Douglas MacArthur was in command of the combined Filipino American forces defending the Philippines. • By late February 1942 the Japanese had MacArthur’s forces backed to Bataan and the island fortress of Corregidor (in Manila Harbor). • 11 March 1942 MacArthur and his family were ordered by FDR to leave the Philippines and continue the fight in Australia, when he vowed “I Shall Return.”

  3. Doolittle’s Raid A moral booster to the Americans came when the Army and Navy cooperated to 16 B – 25 Mitchell light bombers off of the U.S.S. Hornet on 18 April 1942. • Bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities • it also lowered the moral of the Japanese who thought their islands were untouchable. Battle of Coral Sea which was fought by aircraft carriers saved Australia from being invaded.

  4. Battle of Midway Was the turning point in the Pacific Theater because the American Navy under the command of Admiral Nimitz baited the Japanese Imperial Navy to attack Midway and then ambushed them. • four Japanese Carrier against three American Carriers. • On 3 June 1942 navy scout planes found the Japanese carriers attacking Midway. • The navy sent every Torpedo and Dive Bomber to attack those Japanese carriers and caught the Japanese with their planes stuck on their decks changing weapons. • Japanese lost all four carriers while the U.S. lost only the U.S.S. Yorktown

  5. Island Hopping • After this, the Allies would start their Island Hopping (skipping some islands to attack and take the important ones) offensive. • It began with Guadalcanal in August 1942 • It continued until October 1944 when Gen MacArthur reinvaded the Philippines. • He stated “PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES: I HAVE RETURNED.” The battle of Leyte Gulf where the Japanese Navy experienced their last gasp as a real fighting force. • It was also the first battle that saw the use of the Kamikaze • Japanese for Divine Wind • These pilots were trained to fly their planes into American ships and explode.

  6. Defense of the Home Islands American Marines landed on Iwo Jima, which was defended by 20,700 Japanese. • By the end of the battle, 6000 marines died and only 600 Japanese survived. Okinawa was attacked in April 1945 by the marines. • 1900 Kamikaze attacks occurred and that was before the landings • On shore 110,000 Japanese soldiers died defending as well as for uncounted civilians who either helped defend the island or committed suicide (when the fighting ended on 21 June 1945).

  7. The Americans believed that when Operation Olympic (the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands) was going to be launched in early 1946, that both sides would face horrible causalities. • 1,000,000 American soldiers dead • 5,000,000 Japanese death toll Japanese civilians were being prepared to help the military to defend their home islands to the last.

  8. To stop this slaughter, the Americans dropped two atomic bombs that were developed by the Manhattan Project under the direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer. After President Truman gave the go-ahead, three B – 29 Superfortress bombers took off (6 August 1945) the lead plane being the Enola Gay. • It was carrying Little Boy and destroyed Hiroshima. • Three days later, Fat Man was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The Emperor, finally acted and ended the war for Japan • V-J Day was 2 September 1945 when the Japanese surrendered on board the battleship U.S.S. Missouri, ending World War II.