WWII and the Road to Midway

analytical Essay
2381 words
2381 words

World War Two came to America on December 7th, 1941. The focus on America's involvement in the war generally focuses on the European front. What must be remembered is the time and sacrifices made in the Pacific theatre. America's entry into the war on the Pacific was not an immediate success. It took American forces until the summer of 1942 at the Battle of Midway to become properly prepared for the war. The American military learned much from their losses – both through the strengths of the Japanese forces and America's own faults. After these losses were realized, changes were made within the military. These improvements allowed the American forces to turn the war back and begin to have successes in the Pacific. Pearl Harbour was, of course, a devastating opening blow to America when they entered the war. Significant losses continued for a number of months before the American forces were able to turn the tide. From these losses, the American military was able to learn two forms of helpful information: the Japanese strengths and the American weaknesses. Within this, the strengths and weaknesses took three forms: strategic, tactical and technological. Japan was clearly prepared to enter the war with America from well before the incident of Pearl Harbour. Strategically, Japan was well prepared. As the aggressor in the war between the two countries, Japan was able to plan assaults on numerous islands in the Pacific to coincide with the attack on Pearl Harbour. These attacks were unexpected and very successful; they were most often air assaults early in the morning1. Due to the unpreparedness of the Americans, it was noted that “opposition was feeble and damage extensive,”2. These preemptive strikes show the Japan... ... middle of paper ... in World War II: from Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal. London: Routledge, 2006. Lundstrom, John B. The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 1984. Morton, Louis. The Fall of the Philippines. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army, 1953. Simmonds, Ed. Echoes over the Pacific: an Overview of Allied Air Warning Radar in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to the Philippines Campaign. Banora Point, NSW: E.W. & E. Simmonds, 1995 United States Dept. of the Army, Office of Military History. The United States Army in World War II. ser2. v13. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1947. White, William Lindsay. They Were Expendable. New York: Harcourt, Brace and, 1942. Wohlstetter, Roberta. Pearl Harbor; Warning and Decision. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1962.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that japanese soldiers were trained to die honourably, to fight to the death and never be taken prisoner, which inspired them to continue fighting even when faced with undeniable defeat.
  • Analyzes how the american military had a number of plans created to deal with various instances of war, including the quick war with japan, but the lack of any serious response demonstrates the failure of the war plan.
  • Describes the u.s. army's brief history in world war ii.
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