Leaders of the Japanese had assumed, and for the most part were right, that their fleet was superior to the American force. With this confidence, the Japanese planned on destroying the aforementioned ships using all of their available resources ("Battle of Midway"). Japan had other goals that led to their attacking, such as hoping to accomplish sole domination over the seas ("Battle of Midway"). Japan had ripped through the seas prior to this encounter. However, the Imperial Navy was stopped at an encounter a month back, and wanted to gain their control back ("The Battle of Midway").
On December 7th 1941, Japanese Planes and submarines attacked the United States Naval base at Pearl Harbor. This event singlehandedly brought the U.S from its then neutral stance in World War Two to a fighting member of the “Allied Powers.” Pearl Harbor was the first of a long series of confrontations between the U.S and the Japanese in an effort to gain control of the Pacific. Unlike the “War in Europe” the Pacific strategy was dominated by naval and aerial battles, with the occasional land-based “Island Hopping” Campaign. As such, one of the most important factors in the war in the pacific was Fleet Size, the more ships a country could send to war, the better. Pearl Harbor was the Japanese’s way of trying to deal with the massive U.S Pacific fleet.
President Theodore Roosevelt wanted to boost morale and push forward the Pacific front with a strike on the Japanese homeland to serve as a testament to American military prowess and retribution for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor (Shepherd). This eventually trickled down to the Doolittle Raid. The Doolittle Raid, as it is commonly referred to as today, was officially classified as the First Special Aviation Project (Shepherd). This project was planned with extreme secrecy. The crew was made up of pilots who volunteered without knowledge of mission details.
Japan wanted to invade New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for their oil and land. Japan successfully invaded Tulagi in Solomon Islands on May 3- 4. May 8-7 both sides suffered great losses in aircraft and carriers because they were either sunk or damaged so both sides disengaged from the battle area. Both of these were important events that caused the battle of Midway. The Japanese battle plan was extraordinary for both its ambition and complexity.
The victory at Midway provided the time the US needed to turn out more ships and planes, including the Essex-class ship. The Essex-class helped the United States gain morale and start making an offensive against the Japanese. Although some believed that Midway evened the playing field in the Pacific Theatre; the United States of America won most battles after, in addition to crippling the Japanese Navy. Many believed that Midway was going to be Japan’s way to get back at the US from the Doolittle’s Raid. Doolittle’s Raid happened April 18th, 1942 and on several Japanese cities including Tokyo.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s airplanes grew in size and structure giving them more power, and making planes more effective. Planes made it easier to drop bombs, or plan attacks. All of these countries fought over air superiority. Air superiority is the position in which the air force has control over all of the air warfare and air power of the opposing forces. Germany began with air superiority but they lost it when Britain defeated them at the Battle of Britain.
As he had hoped, the U.S. carriers retained the element of surprise and were well placed to strike the enemy as soon as it was discovered”(O’Neill). "Frank Jack's" strategy was to catch the enemy on the flank and reach the Japanese carriers before their planes could return from Midway and refuel for a second attack, which would almost certainly be directed at our carriers. This was essential now, for Hornet and Enterprise, launching their planes within 155 miles of the enemy at seven o'clock had been spotted by a lurking Japanese seaplane”(Karig).
Admiral Yamamoto wanted to carry on an all out attack on America’s aircraft carriers in the Pacific because they feared these ships were the key success in the Pacific. Admiral Yamamoto believed that the destruction of the American’s aircraft carriers would ensure the security of Japan, so he wanted an attack o... ... middle of paper ... ...launch a major offensive. The Japanese had lost an important battle, but the strategic initiative still remained in their hands until the Battle of Midway. The Battle of the Coral Sea turn out the way it did because a large part of the outcome was due to Japanese complacency and failure of naval intelligence. They underestimated the strength of the forces the Americans had.
In history though many countries share the same essential technologies they employ them in different manners which may be affected by military aims, geography and potential foes. In particular in the Second World War this can be seen in the use of the aircraft carrier and the aircraft they transported. Prior to World War II the major navies of the world did not view the aircraft carrier as a strategic weapon; instead the battleship was seen as the major force multiplier of the navy. This belief was because of the enormous firepower the battleship brought to the fight however; by the end of World War II the aircraft carrier would cement its place as the navy’s strategic projection platform. I will demonstrate this by explaining how Britain, Japan and the United States all developed and used their aircraft carriers in different manners, how the transition of the airplane from a scout to a fighter played a pivotal role in the use of aircraft carriers and how the battleship proved not to be the projection platform it was thought to be.
Their loss would have severely impacted the U.S. Navy's ability to strike back at Japan, possibly adding years to the war's duration (Rice 15). The attack was completely unexpected. On December 7th 1941 the 353 Japanese aircraft were seen coming by radar, but were ignored due to the inexperience of the operators. Vice admiral Chuichi Nagumo's First Air Fleet were on their way to attack the Americans main Naval force. The casualties were immense.