We received lessons in history and geography last January when we visited the mosaic galleries at the Honolulu Memorial in Punchbowl Cemetery. This posting will cover the Allied military operations against Japan from December 1941 through February 1944.
Military Operations in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
The following six paragraphs on this map explain the various operations that took place in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Close-ups of eastern, northern and western Pacific operations:
Eastern Pacific. The quote is from General MacArthur’s speech to the world after the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.
Northern Pacific. The Japanese invaded Attu and Kiska in 1942 and bombed Dutch Harbor. Allied forces recaptured Attu in August 1943.
Western Pacific. The red line shows the Japanese perimeter at the start of the war and the pink line represents as far as they got in 1942 and 1943. In 1944 and 1945 Allied forces moved closer and closer to Japan.
Two of the major naval battles of 1942: Coral Sea and Midway.
The Battle of the Coral Sea was mostly a battle of aircraft carriers and their aircraft.
The Japanese fleet was defeated by the US Navy at the Battle of Midway. Midway Atoll got its name from the fact that it is about halfway between North America and Asia.
The Battle of Guadalcanal is often considered the turning point of the war. After six months of fighting in the southern Solomon Islands the Japanese offensive in the Pacific was stopped and the Allied strategy turned from defense to offense.
The Battle for Guadalcanal lasted six months.
Two more major battles: Tarawa in November 1943 and Kwajalein in February 1944.
Tarawa is an atoll in what was then known as the Gilbert Islands. It is now the capital of the Republic of Kiribati. Kwajalein is in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted three days with casualties equaling those of Guadalcanal which lasted six months.
The Battle of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
In my next posting we will cover the war in the Marianas. Other galleries at the Honolulu Memorial concentrate on the Korean War.