US War Operations in the Pacific Theater - Essay Example

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America's entry into the war was precipitated by the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 which caused heavy losses due to America being caught unawares of Japan's secret plans to control and conquer the British and Dutch colonial possessions in the Far East. …
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US War Operations in the Pacific Theater
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Download file to see previous pages In other words, American sentiment was basically isolationist. A sneak attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was the catalyst which had turned this public sentiment into a war-like footing as people were aghast at the perfidy of the Japanese treachery while at the same time still negotiating the terms of a peace agreement. In retrospect, America was more or less not so well prepared but its entry into the Allied side of a world war turned the tide as America had great natural resources necessary to conduct a war. This paper explores and discusses the American operations in the Pacific theater in WWII.
America's entry into the war was precipitated by the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 (a beautiful Sunday morning) which caused heavy losses due to America being caught unawares of Japan's secret plans to control and conquer the British and Dutch colonial possessions in the Far East. Specifically, it was done as a preemptive strike at American naval forces by the Imperial General Headquarters of Japan to disable the American fleet; the attack was carried out by 353 fighters, bombers and torpedo planes launched on the Sunday when most American troops were out for church and other weekend activities. This attack was launched entirely from a naval battle group consisting of six aircraft carriers and it caused massive losses to America, which sunk four navy battleships and damaged four more. The aircraft destroyed was about 188 in total but American lives lost numbered to a staggering 2,402 killed and additional 1,282 servicemen wounded in what is called as a “Day of Infamy”. Japan had imperial colonial designs of her own and coveted the numerous colonies in the Far East owned by Britain and the Netherlands. However, the Japanese military strategists knew they could not possibly win a war of attrition against an enemy like the United States of America which is much bigger in terms of population and has vast natural resources needed to conduct a prolonged war. Only a preemptive strike will allow Japan to gain a temporary initial advantage long enough for it to consolidate its gains and obtain access to the natural resources which it jealously covets such as oil, rubber, iron, gold and other minerals. The two European countries of Great Britain and the Netherlands were preoccupied with the war in Europe and so left their Asian colonies vulnerable with only minimal defenses, such as Singapore that fell into Japanese hands after a very short conquest. America was perceived by the Japanese as the only credible threat in the Pacific area due to the presence of its naval forces at Hawaii. Some of the Japanese military planners had been initially reluctant to draw America into this war; a main concern was not to awaken a sleeping giant with serious consequences for the whole of Japan if in case the war drags on (Fitzgerald 13) but almost everyone agreed it was necessary for Japan to strike first. It was a military victory but a huge political mistake on Japan's part. It gained for Japan about 6 months of advantage to enable it to at first dominate the Pacific war. Although American soldiers stationed at the Hawaii naval base at Oahu knew war is only a matter of time, no one expected it so soon and were caught with their pants down, so to speak. The sneak attack had angered American citizens and galvanized public opinion towards ultimate involvement in a war Americans did not want. America had to play catch up and the United ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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