War in the Pacific
January 23, 2022
War in the Pacific - the entirety of military operations during World War II in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the period from 1937 to 1945, which took the form of a particularly intense conflict in the period from December 7, 1941 (attack on Pearl Harbor) until September 2, 1945 (unconditional surrender of Japan). In China, the date ending the war is considered to be September 9, 1945. The war was fought between the Empire of Japan and its few allies and the Allied forces led by the United States. The course of the war can be divided into several parts. From 1937, the Sino-Japanese War raged in which, after the initial successes of the imperial army, the situation stabilized until August 1945. From December 7, 1941 (attack on Pearl Harbor) to June 4, 1942 (Battle of Midway), the "Japanese blitzkrieg" took place, during which Japan achieved almost all of its previously assumed goals. After Japan lost a large number of aircraft carriers playing a major role in the Pacific operations in the Battle of Midway, there was a period of relative equilibrium in the struggle for Guadalcanal and New Guinea. The US victory at Guadalcanal (February 8, 1943) made the Japanese completely lose the initiative and went into defense. From then on, the Americans began to occupy more islands in Japanese hands and gradually approached the Japanese Islands. From the moment they could directly bomb the enemy territory, the Allies had an absolute advantage. With the conquest of Okinawa, a plan was prepared to invade the main Japanese islands, which was abandoned only at the time of Japan's surrender. These struggles were characterized by the high involvement of modern combat assets, especially aviation (including sea aviation), as well as exceptional determination and uncompromising attitude on both sides. Contrary to Japan's expectations, which counted on concluding a favorable peace treaty after a short and victorious campaign, determined and bound by the provisions of the Atlantic Charter and the First Washington Conference of December 1941, the United States did not conclude a separatist peace. Contrary to what Washington made in essence Europe First, the United States did not postpone a final deal with the Japanese Empire until Germany was defeated. The much faster shift of the American economy to the tracks of mass war production allowed it to achieve an overwhelming numerical and technical advantage over the enemy, which allowed America to effectively wage a war on two fronts. The war with Japan was won thanks to the enormous industrial potential of the United States, the dedication of its soldiers and the whole society, which showed great mobilization for the proper arming of the military (victory on the so-called "home front"). Although the term Taiheiyō Sensō (Japanese 太平洋 戦 争; war in the Pacific) is present in Japanese, the most commonly used term is Dai Tō-A Sensō (Japanese 大 東 亜 戦 争; war in Great East Asia).