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Major Battles in the South Pacific Theater

Discussion in 'United States at Sea!' started by Shadow War44, Oct 19, 2007.

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  1. Shadow War44

    Shadow War44 New Member

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    How about we start some threads here about the battles tat took place in the Pacific that won the war against Japan?
     
  2. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Fine idea, we've had some posts on Midway but not much else from the Pacific IIRC....
    I was hearing recently about the "Battle Of Singapore", when the Japanese dished out the biggest military humiliation the British have ever suffered...
    But please, start us off Shadow...
     
  3. fpbeast

    fpbeast New Member

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    be great too hear everything that happerned there
     
  4. Echos

    Echos New Member

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    The battle for Midway , was certaintly the turning point in the war ,on the pacific front.
     
  5. Scott Rogerson

    Scott Rogerson New Member

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    Midway was a blow to the Japanese Navy, however, the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942 really, in my opinion, put the Navy on the correct course to win. The US suffered heavy casualties while the victory of Midway seemed like a distant memory. However, due to the lack of real leadership, Admiral Bull Halsey was put in charge. The Battle for Guadalcanal, and the Iron Bottom Sound that is left, is one place I want to visit. There was also the battle of the Phillipe Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

    Some great info can be found here :The United States Navy in the Pacific War 1941 -- 1945 -- Main Index page
     
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  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I've seen arguments that it was the air battles in the Solomon's that constituted the turning point as well. The naval battles ended up pretty close to a tactical draw but the IJN couldn't afford that on a strategic level. The were also unable to prevent the successful conclusion of the battle for the Canal so there are some solid arguments in that direction.
     
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  7. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    This is a good book which I started the other day, it opens with the attack on Pearl Harbor, also Okinawa was a decisive battle.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  8. Half Track

    Half Track Active Member

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    That is a great link!
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I found it to be good and interesting. His second volume The Conquering Tide is equally engrossing.
     
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  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I am of a similar opinion with Lwd. Midway stopped Japanese expansion, but it was Guadalcanal and the the Naval and Air battles that turned the tide. Japan could not replace the aircraft, experienced pilots, ships or troops that were lost there, the US could. It was however probably one of our greatest victories of the war due to the fact that we had none of the advantages we enjoyed in all our future engagements. Where else were our ground troops shelled by enemy battleships? Where else did we have to commit every ship we had available? Where else were we so ill supplied our troops had to subsist on captured enemy rations? The US Navy lost more men during the battles around Guadalcanal than in their entire history up to that point! The US carrier strength had been exhausted during the fighting, two were out for months with damage and two more had been sunk, leaving the Ranger in the Atlantic as the only operational US carrier (Essex commissioned in Dec.1942 but wouldn't make it to the Pacific till May '43). Five US heavy cruisers were lost (also the Australian cruiser Canberra was sunk), three US light cruisers, fifteen destroyers, plus numerous smaller vessels and auxiliaries. Many more ships were damaged, many quite severely.

    [​IMG]
    USS New Orleans after Battle of Tassaforanga

    [​IMG]
    USS Minneapolis after Battle of Tassaforanga
    Damage report for USS San Francisco after First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
    U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO GUNFIRE DAMAGE, BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL, NOVEMBER 13, 1942

    This quote sums up my opinion:

    "Virginia historian Richard B. Frank, author of the 1990 book, “Guadalcanal,” said, “there’s nothing really … comparable to it in all of World War II, in terms of sustained combat in land, sea and air.”
     
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  11. Scott Rogerson

    Scott Rogerson New Member

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    No way am I attempting to assert authority just wanted to get that out-of-the-way to begin with. I believe you are correct however the Battle of Guadalcanal the US Navy from what I have read and seen when they put on their anniversary conferences, was afraid to lose their carriers and I believe this contributed directly to the lack of supplies and the lack of reinforcements for the Marines who first landed in Guadacanal there was a great video on YouTube about the Navy and the battle for Guadacanal that was presented at the 75th anniversary. it went into the various factor of why the U.S. Navy would not engage the Imperial Japanese Navy. however thank you for your reply and I appreciate the knowledgeable dialogue that I have been able to find here

     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Savo had little, if anything to do with Ghormley's removal...Ghormley was removed some two months after the Battle for Savo Island had taken place. Other major sea battles would follow; The Battle for the Eastern Solomons and the Battle for Cape Esperance. Not to mention several land battles on Guadalcanal, and near-constant air actions. All of these combined to overwhelm the indecisive Ghormley, and Nimitz was forced to relieve him.

    As to putting the Navy on the correct course to win...Well, Savo was only the second class at the "School of Hard Knocks", and the surface US Navy had a good many classes to go before it was transformed from a peacetime navy into a viable fighting force.

    Also, Halsey was not necessarily the "correct course". He was in his element when the Forces involved were few, and his capable staff could handle the rest of the responsibilities. However, he would be out of his element later in the war, when the forces he commanded were much larger. It is worth noting the all the major battles went to Spruance, not Halsey.
     

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