WThe Pacific War is the fighting mostly between the US and the Japanese. In this article, I will first discuss the Japanese and American War plan. I will then select two of the most famous battles in the Pacific War: the Singapore War and the battle of Okinawa. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding and appreciation of an essential part of history.
1. The War Plan
The war plan is essential to any country's tactics. without a good plan, their chances of winning the war are slim. The next two paragraphs discuss the two war plans of The Pacific War superpowers.
The Japanese War Plan, targeted the American, British, and Dutch territories in the Pacific and Southeast Asia so they can withstand their army without outside help. In order to execute the war plan, the plan has to go though the system so that the emperor can approve it. The first draft, submitted by the chiefs of the Army and Navy General Staff, was accepted by Imperial General Headquarters early in September 1941. The lateness of the draft was due largely to the long indecision about going to war with such powerful countries, but partly to the complicated system of command. The Army and Navy each had its own Supreme Command, and both of them, under the Constitution of 1889, had become self-governing of the civil government. Cooperation in planning took place only at top ranks. Even when Imperial General Headquarters was made under the nominal command of Emperor Hirohito (the constitutional supreme commander), the separate command system was rigidly followed.
The American War Plan, was to take back the islands that Japan had captured so they can starve Japan of it's resources. When Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on 7 December 1941 and targeted American island bases between Hawaii and the Philippines (Guam and Wake), one major ambition was to capture of the Philippines without interference from the US Navy. As American and Philippine troops fought a hopeless battle against invading Japanese troops between December 1941 and May 1942, any hope of reinforcement by the weakened United States Pacific Fleet was rejected by the Japanese Navy's control of the gigantic area of water between Hawaii and the Philippines. To concede the major contribution by General Douglas MacArthur to the American military disaster in the Philippines, see Battle of the Philippines. During World War II in the Pacific, the Americans invaded islands for some reasons, but it was usually to capture an area to set up air or naval bases.
2. Famous Battles
These two battles are some of the most famous battles in the pacific war. These battles were turning points in the war in the ocean.
Singapore was under Japan control. It had resources for Japan. It also allowed Japan to build bases and air fields on the land. The Singapore War was in February 8, 1942. The Japanese launched an attack on Singapore that was defended by 90,000 troops put on the island. Arthur Percival, the commander of the forces, expected the attack, but he left Singapore’s landward side undefended, convinced that the thick jungle on the Malay Peninsula was impassable and that the attack will come from the sea. The Japanese, however, choose to move through the very same jungle and mangrove swamp that supposed to be impenetrable. After just seven days of fighting, the Commonwealth forces surrendered. Over 60,000 troops including their commander became prisoners of war.
The Battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg, took place in April-June 1945. It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II. It also resulted in the largest casualties with over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies. This article gives an account of the 80 days plus the battle for the Island of Okinawa which some have described as the “typhoon of steel”.
In the end, the US won the Pacific War. This was because Japan was starved of its resources and it couldn't produce enough military equipment.