Battles of WWII

Mildred Lopez Salazar

The Pacific Front

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The Bataan Death March

After the U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula on April 9, 1942 -- in which Douglas MacArthur was Commander of the US armed forces in the Far East -- on the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese approximately 75,000 Filipino and American troops on Bataan were forced to make a 65-mile march to prison camps. The marchers walked this trail in intense heat and were treated harshly by the Japanese guards. Thousands died in what became known as the Bataan Death March.

The "Two-Pronged Attack" Stategy

The Pacific fleet will advance thought the Central Pacific by hopping from island to island, while MacArthur's troops would advance through Solomon island , capture the New Guinea's north coast and invade the Philippines, in order to push Japan back into it's island.

The Battle of Midway

Fought on the Pacific Ocean in June 1942 Japanese admiral Isoruko Yamamoto wanted to form a "clash" in the Pacific before the US moved against Japan. The location of this was Midway Atholl a small archipelago Northeast of Hawaii. Yamamoto knew that if this archipelago fell then Hawaii would be within range of a Japanese aircraft, which would allow Japan to invade within weeks. Yamamoto underestimated the US naval power, and that American code breakers were able to determine the exact date of the attack, this allowed US Admiral Chester Nimitz to develop decoy tactics and a deadly pre-emptive ambush. This took the Japanese by surprise. After the battle highly trained maintenance teams who ensured the efficiency of ships and aircraft died in the battle, which greatly weakened the Japanese armed forces. Midway inflicted loses on the Japanese which they were not able to recover from and allowed the US to have naval superiority in the Pacific.

Island Hopping

After the Battle of Midway the United States began a campaign to get in striking distance of Japan's home island by "Island hopping." This would allow commanders to bypass strongly head Japanese posts and isolate them with naval and air power. By doing this the United States was trying to push Japan back to it's island as they would not be able to still hold Japanese posts if there was no way of getting resources, or even reinforcements.

The Battle of Iwo Jima

Beginning on February 1945, US marine divisions landed on the island of Iwo Jima, which had about 23,000 Japanese army and troops protecting it. After about a month of fighting the US troops were able to defeat the Japanese in a hard terrain as the Japanese were in caves, dugouts, tunnels, and underground installations. The winning of Iwo Jima was essential to the fight against Japan as the island would provide the perfect place for bombers to attack Japan, and would help push Japan even further inland.

The Battle of Okinawa


As part of the effort to invade Japan by the Allied forces, troops invaded Okinawa on April1, 1945, and encounter Japanese resistance shortly after they landed. Intense gunfire and shelling gave the battle its nickname "The Typhoon of Steel." On July 21, 1945 after 82 days of fighting Okinawa falls to the allied powers, less than two months later Hiroshima, and Nagasaki are bombed with the atomic bomb and Japan surrenders.

The Flying Tigers

The Flying Tigers were officially called the American Volunteer Group, their mission was to help the Chinese against the Japanese and were not used until the attack on Pearl Harbor. They had success from 1941-1942 which were considered low points of the war. This allowed the Chinese to fight the Japanese much easier and allowed for them to be pushed back further towards Japan.

The European/African Front

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Closing in on Hitler from Three sides Strategy

The British and America's strategy was to overcome the danger that was the German submarines in the Atlantic, and to begin bombing German cities. While also trying to push Germany out of North Africa and the Mediterranean. This would push Hitler back from the left of Germany from England, Right from the Soviet Unions, and from the North of Africa affecting Italy as well, as the attack was to come from Italian soil by the Allied forces, which was proposed by George C. Marshall as well as a strategic naval approach.

The Battle of the Bulge

On December 1944 Hitler tried to split the Allied armies in the Northwest of Europe by a surprise Blitzkrieg through the Arden's in Belgium. Caught off guard the Allied troops lead by Lieutenant General George S. Patton successfully maneuvered the Third Army to Bastogne which was vital to allied defense. on December 16th the German troops lunched a deadly desperate battle in the West of the Arden's where it was rugged and poorly roaded. A German shortage of fuel, men, and ammunition. On January 25, 1945 the Allied Forces achieve victory. This battle was able to push German troops into Germany after they loss to the Allied forces.

The Navajo Code Talkers

The Navajo code talkers used the Native American language to transmit encrypted messages. During the first few months the Japanese were able to break every coded message that the US sent, as a result the codes became more complex and took hours to send and decrypt. Leaders complained and a man named Philip Johnston had a solution. As the Navajo language does not have an alphabet the Navajo language was very hard to decode. Johnston recruited the first code talkers known as the "original 29". The code Talkers were essential in communicating and reporting encrypted messages, this allowed the US troops to be in contact with troops all over the Pacific, without Japanese intervention.

The Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen was an all African American airmen squadron. Subject to racial discrimination both at home and abroad the Tuskegee airmen first flew with bombers, as they were to protect them from enemy fighters, which put off enemy fighters from attacking the bombers. This proved that African Americans were just as qualified to fly as airmen, and lead the way towards integration in the US armed forces under Presidents Harry Truman.

The Invasion of Normandy (D-Day)

The drive to liberate France from the Axis powers in what was the largest invasion by sea in history on June 6, 1944 was achieved by British, Canadian and US forces under the command of General Dwight Eisenhower who secured several beachheads on the Normandy coast some which were mobilized by Lieutenant Omar Bradley to Utah beach and Omaha beach. After this bloody attack the Allied forces succeeded and by the end of August Paris was liberated. By the end of September the Allied troops crossed the German border and were headed towards Berlin.

The Fall of Belin

On April 16, 1945 the Soviet Union began to close in on Berlin, they work themselves around the city and have it surrounded within a couple of days. At this point Hitler realizes that he cannot win as his troops were running out of ammunition and commits suicide. On May second German generals inside Berlin surrender to the Soviet army. On May 7, 1945 the remaining leaders of Nazi Germany signed an unconditional surrender to the Allies and the war in Europe was over.