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Week 10 - End of WWII and the Asian Theater

by: Amy Brogan

Week 10 - End of WWII and the Asian Theater HIST 2051-001

Marketplace > University of Cincinnati > History > HIST 2051-001 > Week 10 End of WWII and the Asian Theater
Amy Brogan
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About this Document

The end of the war in Europe and the Asian Theater from the bombing of Pearl Harbor till the dropping of the Atomic bombs.
American Military History
James Streckfuss
Class Notes
Battle of the Bulge, Japan, Manchuria, Nagasaki, Hiroshima
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amy Brogan on Thursday March 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2051-001 at University of Cincinnati taught by James Streckfuss in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see American Military History in History at University of Cincinnati.

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Date Created: 03/17/16
Streckfuss Amy Brogan March 15 & 17, 2016 Week 10 – WWII ETO  Ardennes: 1944 o Doctrine: both mechanized combined arms o Mobility: advantage US  Doubled strength in four days (to 180,000) o Airpower: advantage US o Logistics: Advantage US  Germans had supplies, inadequate transport  Battle of the Bulge: April 16-25 o Marks Hitler’s last stand o End of the war sets up for the Cold War  End Game: Western Allies o 3 Army groups o 7 field armies (+2 HQ not engaged) o 91 division  61 US, 15 British, 8 French, 5 Canadian, 1 Polish o 4 Million ground troops World War II: Asian Theater  Japanese empire is expanding. Before the war is dependent on foreign oil and they were trying to increase their “home” reserves. The US was a major exporter, and they tried political leverage instead of declaring war by embargoing oil to Japan.  The Road to War o Japan sought to control all of “East Asia” for additional markets and sources of raw materials  Invades China 1931  Invades French Indochina 1940 o “Colonial” governments began imposing embargoes to put brakes on Japanese expansion o Japanese armed forces argue that they must strike to relieve pressure of embargoes  Expect conflict, but buy time and surprise through negotiations o US and UK focused on war in Europe  Japanese Strategy o Three Phases  Phase 1: surprise attacks, then strategic defense  Knock out US fleet; seize vital areas, establish defensive perimeter  Destroyed a quarter of the US fleet (for a little while) and put us on the defensive instead of the half that they were aiming for  Attacked North of Malay peninsula 1 day after attack on Pearl Harbor  Phase 2: strengthen perimeter; make any offensive action by US prohibitively costly.  Phase 3: Defeat and destroy any forces that attempt to penetrate the perimeter o Long US LOC and natural strength of defense should almost guarantee success  Comparison of Major Vessels (December, 1941) o All Japanese fleet in the pacific o Half of US fleet in Pacific, other half in the Atlantic  Why we built the Panama Canal so we could move our ships faster than sailing them around the southern tip of South America o Defensive perimeter  Japan puts ships in islands all throughout the Pacific  American perimeter includes Cuba, Panama Canal, Alaska, etc. o Japan was succeeding in their plan  Singapore gained, American ships not holding position well, Rangoon gained, Burma  Pearl Harbor o Success for Japan?  Postponement: failed to hit the carriers and submarines, failed to take out fuel lines, and failed to follow up  America went from isolationist to a country of action o Surprise  Deception operations  First significant use of carriers  Tactical home run, but strategic foul ball… or strike out? o Critical vulnerability?  US Pacific Fleet  Destruction of battleships proved counterproductive o US carriers proved to be “surface” that cost Japanese the war o Fog and Friction?  Spring of ‘42 o Japan turns to Indian Ocean to occupy Burma and cut off China’s last link to allies (Burma Road) o Intended to weaken British hold and strengthen Japan’s  Held all of Burma by the 15 of April  Flying the Hump: fling over the Himalayas  Similar operation o 18 of April: Revenge of Pearl Harbor: Tokyo Raid  Carriers close only enough for a symbolic raid of Japanese military holds  Planes flew over targets, but because there wasn’t enough fuel for a return trip, they over shot Tokyo to land in China. Planes so stripped down for the trip, they didn’t have protective machine guns (used black-painted broom handles to give the look of guns)  Tom Griffin: Lived in Westwood, part of the Tokyo Raid  Not much damage, but a moral boost o Chester Nimitz (navy commander) with/vs. MacArthur  Problems with unity of command  Formed a unique duel-drive strategy  Goal: establish base in Hong Kong for an invasion of Japanese mainland  Japanese Empire 1942 o Moved to fast: completed what they intended to do in 6 months in 90 days o Now what? o General Army staff dug in and focused on China o Navy General Staff: focused/worried about Australia which was in the range of their southern Islands, but they couldn’t invade because they didn’t have enough troops o American fleet still alive, and made the Japanese lose a little face with the attack on Tokyo o Go after Midway and pull US fleet into a trap and destroy it (Phase 3)  Logistics o Naval war makes it hard to live off the land in the same manner of a foot army o Island hopping: way of conserving resources, don’t hit all of the islands, just hit the ones that offer strategic value  Seize advanced (primary) air bases and cut Japanese LOC o Qualitative edge in military hardware to Japan at the beginning of the war, so they focused on that.  Japanese Zero: better plane, but outnumbered by American planes  US was quantity and could build quickly: could absorb loses better than Japan o US is a master of mass production  Average quality, tremendous quantity  Implement ideas from captured equipment. o US subs operate independently and sink Japanese ships faster than Japan can produce them  June 4-7, 1942 o Midway o Japanese strike force consisted of carriers 1 and 2, invasion force with 1 light carrier o Plan: US carriers would reply to this and he main force of battle ships would enter and finish off the Americans  Not a simple plan, separated force and dependability on US replying as they wanted them to.  US was reading their codes, so they knew what they were planning and wouldn’t do what the Japanese wanted them to do as a reply  American fleets waited, Yorktown (almost destroyed, which had a month’s worth of work in 48 hours) joined the battle  “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” – Napoleon o Japanese ships were broken into many parts  Carrier there to support the northern force  Forces scattered out of range of help from the others  Dawn 4 of June – Japanese attacks midway  Hits Yorktown (again) and heavily attacks it  Saratoga arrives 6 of June  7 – Japanese located Yorktown and sank her  Japanese lost several ships and 3500 people  America lost less than half of ships, and less than 1/10 of lives comparatively  Lessons: don’t underestimate the enemy, keep plans secure, keep plans simple, don’t take enemy part of decision cycle (don’t trust enemy to do what you want them to), don’t ignore principle of mass (don’t scatter your forces) st  Guadalcanal: 1 American Action of the War o 7 August 1942 o 1 offensive action of the war o Critical airfield  Hunk of rock, but airfield  First plane makes emergency landing on 12 August  2 USMC squadrons arrive on 20 August  Only one “healthy” carrier left by the end of the battle o Strategic offensive, tactical defense  Combined forces working to Robel and eventually towards attack on Japanese mainland o Navy bugs out, taking majority of supplies with them  Redeemed themselves during critical 12 November naval battle when they turn back major Japanese force o Japanese piecemeal counterattacks  Maneuver, mass, and surprise all hampered by jungle  8-day forced march  USMC conducts vigorous patrols as part of “active defense”  2d Raider BN conducts month-long patrol o Jungle causes significant causulties  Malaria: illness becomes a problem during military operations  (freezing at Valley Forge, gangrene in Civil War, flu epidemic in WWI) o Army comes in to mop up in November  Results o Island “secured” in February 1943 o Japan suffers critical loss in all areas  600 a/c. 23000 aircrew  25k soldiers (half in combat, half in illness)  2 battleships, 3 carriers, 12 cruisers, 25 destroyers  Roughly same number as US, but Japan unable to replace o Japanese production is nowhere near American production, and arsenal of Democracy, they can hit us, but we can come back. Japanese running out of steam o Dazzle (zebra) camo paint jobs on ships o Institution of CATF/CLF  CATF: Commander Amphibious Task Force  CLF: Commander Landing Force  Moving towards Japan o 1943  March: Bismark Sea (limited Japanese reinforcement of southern Pacific)  November: Tarawa and Makin (Gilberts) o 1944  February: Kwajalein & Eniwetok (Marshalls)  Feb.- June: New Guinea  June-Aug.: Saipan, Tinan, Guam (Marianas)  B29s now able to be recovered after hitting Japan  October: Leyte Gulf  Destroyed much of Japanese Navy  1945 o February-March: Iwo Jima o March: Tokyo raids  Low level incendiary bombing runs with much destruction. Designed to force surrender but it didn’t. o April-June: Okinawa  A New Formula for Total War: Japan warned, but refused to surrender o Planners estimated invasion would result in 3-5x as may casualties as at Okinawa (38k US/ 150k Japanese) o Hiroshima: 6 August 1945 nd  HQ, Japanese 2 Army  60-70k killed or missing o Nagasaki: 9 August  40k killed o Compare  Dresden 35-135k  Tokyo 120k KIA/WIA o Local outcome of “Total War”?  Oppenheimer/Groves: Manhattan Project o General: Groves o Scientist: Oppenheimer o Bomb: designed for the immediate force the Japanese to surrender Other theories: simple revenge for Pearl Harbor, more convincing: demonstrating to the Russians that we have the bomb. Everyone was working on it, but we were the only/first ones to make it work. Post-war world: we don’t want any trouble. If there had been trouble, we wouldn’t have been able to do anything because we only had three and we tested one and used two, but nobody knows this.  Racial argument: would we have dropped the bomb on Germany if it had been available? (Bomb not ready till after German surrender) would we have dropped it on white Germans? Sensitive question since the war, come up many times. One occasion when natural air and space museum started to rebuild the pan that dropped it. And the manager put up the question, lost his job to the veterans who railed up.


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