pac

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Since Japan was in the Pacific Ocean, the strategy in the Pacific Theater was to secure islands to create a path to Japan and to create airbases on the islands used for bombing Japan by air, called “island hopping”. Each island the Marines captured was used as a valuable vantage point to get bomber planes closer to Japan. “ Adm Nimitz’s island hopping plan to secure airfields in the central Pacific closer and closer to the Japanese homeland…” (Semper Fi 215) Many battles took place during the Pacific theater which lasted from 1941 to 1945. These battles, typically occurred on islands, or in the Ocean. This essay will be focusing on island battles, specifically 3 battles which include Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Guadalcanal, a large island in the Solomon Islands, was the first U.S. ground counter-offensive of the war. The reason this was a valuable island was because it contained an airfield that was within bombing range of Australia, and the U.S. could use the airfield for other bombing missions too. The first assault took place on 8 August, 1942 when the 1st and 2nd MarDiv landed on the beach (Semper Fi 185). At first the only resistance the Marines found were small japanese construction crews. They were easily able to capture the airfield and soon named it Henderson field. Soon, however; the Japanese reinforced the island with highly trained infantry troops, with the reinforcements there the battle for the island grew more aggressive by the day. For the 1st Marine Division the battle was fought in disease ridden jungles, extreme heat, and monsoon deluges. For these new conditions there would be new equipment, the old WWI uniforms were replaced by a cloche helmet with liner and jungle utility uniforms for th... ... middle of paper ... ...ing the counter-attack, intercepted an enemy amphibious envelopment attempt and were able to thwart them also. The counter attack was a failure for the Japanese, and the 1st Marines soon counter attacked and although any more combat was pointless for the Japanese, they were able to hold out for seven more weeks. But on 21 June all Japanese organized resistance ended. Okinawa had been the biggest amphibious operation of the Pacific Theater. The Allies lost 763 aircraft, U.S. Navy had 36 ships sunk, 3,244 Marines died and 11,677 were wounded, along with 10 Marines being awarded the Medal of Honor. Japan lost 77,000 soldiers, with its large civilian population, 107,539 Okinawan citizens had been killed along with the rest of the other casualties. With Okinawa seized this marked the end of the battles in the Pacific and started the new goal of invading Japan.

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