The Japanese Military's Threat to Americans

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The Japanese Military's Threat to Americans The war in the Pacific was unlike the European and Mediterranean campaigns. Throughout the European campaign the allied forces focused on strategic bombing and ground forces. Tank usage was more evident during the African and European theatres also. There were many changes in warfare that occurred during World War II. Warfare in the African and European theatre was fought mainly in the air and on ground. Due, in part, to the landscape of the Pacific warfare evolved: sophistication in technology and weaponry increased, heated struggles with a fanatical enemy, and increased coordination between air and naval support. Island hopping became the paradigm in the Pacific, naval and air support would lead the way. The U.S. Navy moved into the Pacific in 1942. “Americans combined air, land, and sea forces for tremendous strides across the ocean.”# The navy fighter planes and bombers would inflict serious damage upon the Japanese navy. “In one day aircraft sank all the transports and four destroyers; the Japanese lost 3,000 soldiers and most of the 51st Division’s staff.”# Naval craft moved troops and planes into the Pacific. Fighter planes and bombers cleared the way for the oncoming fleets. This led to the ability of the American forces to begin taking strategic islands. Sledge described naval support, “H-hour, 0800. Long jets of red flame mixed with thick black smoke rushed out of the muzzles of the huge battleships’ 16-inch guns…The giant shells tore through the air toward the island, roaring like locomotives.”# The bombardment of the beaches was necessary due to the resistance of Japanese forces that protected them. “On the reef and beach amtracs and DUKW’s burned while Japanese machine-gun fire went splashing through the water.”# American forces would secure islands while sea and air forces worked hand in hand supplying the troops. Supplies were received from sea through amphibious landings and air drops. The air and naval forces proved effective due to the sophistication of technology and weaponry they carried. New technology allowed the allied forces to land on the beaches from carriers out at sea. Problems arose when low tides stranded Higgins boats on reefs far from the beaches. “…lowered water levels caused Higgins boats (LCVP: Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel) to strand on the reef… the use of amphibian tractors (LVTs: Landing Vehicles, Tracked; assault amphibians) to carry the troops across the reef.

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