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Battle of the Philippine Essay

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Thus, Nimitz had anticipated the two critical facets of Yamamoto’s strategic plan of having the battleship supported by aircraft carriers instead of the other way around – and Nimitz knew that the big battleship “Yamato” was far slower than any other Japanese battleship and Nimitz was also aware that the Japanese the smaller battleships were supposed to lure away the Americans away from the main contingent [7]. Hence, all of the Japanese plans, no matter how ingenious it was – did not work.

Skirmishes between smaller contingents started early of June 3rd [7]. But June 4th was D-day time. Japanese planes attacked power plants and installations at Midway, the Battle of Midway has begun. The implications and losses for the Japanese forces were huge – within several minutes, the Japanese Navy had lost half of its carrier force – a force that had been considered to be manned by the Japanese Navy’s elite. Overall, the Japanese lost four vital aircraft carriers vital to their Pacific campaign and the majority of its experienced crew and air fighters.

This was why military tacticians on both sides already knew that after the Battle of Midway, the tide of the war has turned in favor of the Allied forces [7]. The next battle fought on sea was the Battle of the Philippine Sea on June 18th to June 20th, 1944 [3]. It was here that Admiral Ozawa’s retirement and abstention from the battle that doomed any Japanese hope of stemming the tide against the American forces. The Japanese lost the Shokaku, Taiho and Hiyo (in each case about two-thirds of the ships’ company) and the oilers destroyed, as well as some 400 planes lost from the carriers [7].

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On land, they were defeated in the Battle of Manila Bay and were forced to withdraw from the battle of Guadalcanal when the allies started their island – hopping campaign that had begun in the Solomon Islands. This pushed back the Japanese one island after another. The allies tactically isolated the Japanese major forces in the pacific located at Rabaul. Finally the Japanese were defeated once again as the allied forces pushed them back towards the Philippine islands sea, and the battle of the Leyte Gulf in October 19, 1944. That day, the Americans, headed by General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise of returning to the Philippines [5].

From Leyte Gulf, the Americans coordinated with the existing guerilla forces made up of joint American and Filipino recruits. Finally, on February 4, 1945, the Americans entered Manila and the Yalta Conference was held in USSR [5]. From there the recapture of the Marianas and the Philippine islands were used as a take – off point to advance to Japan’s homeland, and on to the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. However, in spite of the aggressive military campaign and successive defeats the Japanese suffered from the hands of the allied forces, the emperor refuses to budge and accept defeat to end the war.

Instead, the code of BUSHIDO was once again called upon and young Japanese men called to duty went on suicidal missions purposely using their planes as weapons against aircraft carriers and other enemy targets. During that time the US had developed an experimental bomb – the A-bomb and was used as a last recourse to make the Japanese government surrender and stop the continuing carnage. On July 16, the Potsdam conference started. Meanwhile, the first atomic bomb is exploded in a test at Alamogordo, New Mexico. July 26, the Potsdam Declaration is delivered to Japan.

On August 2, the Potsdam conference ended [7]. On August 5, 1945 the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Still, the Japanese government did not heed the warning. August 8: Russia declares war on Japan. On August 9, another bomb decimated the city of Nagasaki. Finally, Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945 and accepted the Allied terms [7]. VI. Conclusion The passion and ferocity displayed by the Japanese soldiers’ generals and rank and file throughout the entire course of World War 2 proved to the whole world how ready the Japanese were in embracing and enforcing this war.

Their cultural mentality and their refusal to budge even at the expense of their young people’s lives showed how tenacious they intended this war would be fought. Their disdain of soldiers who have surrendered during the war – particularly during the “Bataan Death March” and their treatment of captured American and British officers bolster their “Bushido” mentality. Japanese soldiers were trained to fight or die. These soldiers, no matter what the cost would offer their lives and commit “Harakiri” rather than be captured. Hence, they only have the lowest of regard for those who surrender or for those who allowed themselves to be captured.

There was no mistaking in assuming that the Japanese prepared and were ready for generations – from the late 1900s into the 20th century that they were trained to go to war and conquer.

Bibliography:

[1] Bauer, E. Lt-Colonel The History of World War II, Orbis (2000) General Editor: Brigadier Peter Young; Consultants: Brigadier General James L. Collins Jr. , Correli Barnet. (1,024 pages). (Accessed February 01, 2007). [2] Brinkley, Alan. (2005). The Unfinished Nation: A Brief Interactive History of the American People. Chapters 32 to 33. pp. 502-537. New York. (Accessed February 02 to 03, 2007). www.historylearningsite.co.uk 

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