Battles of World War II

Krista Freed

Pacific Front

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The Bataan Death March

During WWII, in April of 1942, the US surrendered the Bataan Peninsula to the Japanese. As a result, approximately 75,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to march 65 miles to prison camps. During this march, the heat was intense, a limited amount of food and water was given to the marchers, and they were also victims of extremely harsh treatment by the Japanese guards. Thousands perished, that is why it's known as the Death March.

Afterwards...

True to his word, General Douglas Macarthur, who promised he would return to the Philippines, did so in October 1944. With the aid of this general, America avenged its defeat and took back the Bataan Peninsula. During that war, America also liberated Manila.
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Battle of Midway

Just 6 months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the U.S. defeated the Japanese in one of the most decisive and intellectual naval battles of WWII. Thanks to technological advances in code breaking, the U.S. was able to foresee the plans of Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, the Japanese fleet commander, to annihilate the remaining U.S. navy. The code breaking enabled Pacific fleet commander, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to know the exact Japanese plans. The Battle of Midway was a major turning point for the U.S. as they continued to advance.

Island Hopping and the "Two Pronged Attack" Strategy

Walking away from the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the U.S. acquired naval superiority in the Pacific. Taking advantage of this, General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz launched the "Island hopping" campaign, in which the strategy was to capture Pacific islands one by one. MacArthur and Nimitz brilliantly devised a plan in which MacArthur would push northwest along the New Guinea coast and into the Bismarck Archipelago in order to liberate the Philippines, and Nimitz would cross the central pacific going from Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and Marianas islands. this plan was also known as the Two Pronged Attack strategy.

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Flying Tigers

The 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air force, also known as the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the US Air Corps, Navy, and Marine Corps. Their mission was to defend China against Japanese forces.

Battle of Iwo Jima

Americans were very ambitious about conquering the island of Iwo Jima, because it was only defended by 25,000 Japanese troops. Three U.S. marine divisions were fully equipped and prepared to take on this challenge, but the island was so fortified that the Americans had a difficult time. The Japanese fought from a network of caves, dugouts, tunnels, and underground installations that were difficult to find and destroy. In the end, the entire garrison was completely wiped out. American troops succeeded and proceeded to the next island.

World War II in HD: Iwo Jima | History

Battle of Okinawa

On April 1, 1945, 287,000 American troops stormed the island of Okinawa, but for two days, no Japanese resistance was evident. Then, out of nowhere, Japanese troops began to attack in full force and this battle became known as the "Typhoon of Steel" and it quickly turned into the bloodiest battle of the Pacific war. Both sides suffered hundreds of losses in equipment and lives. The battle lasted 82 days and the Americans finally won.
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European/African Front

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"Closing the Ring" 1943-1944

President Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to implement an immediate blockade of supplies to Germany and to begin bombing German cities. The army would attack Hitler's troops at their weakest points first and slowly advance toward German soil. The plan was known as "closing the ring." That maneuver was finally executed in October 1942.

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Invasion of Normandy (D-Day)

In January 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) was appointed commander of Operation Overlord, also known as D- Day. The battle began on June 6, 1944. Around 160,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest military assaults in history and required intricate planning. on August 25, 1944, the Allies liberate France.

Battle of Bulge

December 16, 1944 The German army surprised the allies by attacking in the Ardennes mountains of Belgium, France, and Luxemburg. Caught off-guard, American units fought desperate battles to slow down the German advance at St.-Vith, Elsenborn Ridge, Houffalize and Bastogne. As the Germans went farther into the Ardennes in an attempt to take over the Allies, the Allied line turned into a large bulge (because George Patton moved the troops of the Third army to Bastogne), giving rise to the battle’s name. During the battle, heavy snowstorms covered the battlefield in snow causing hundreds to freeze to death because the soldiers were ill-equipped for that type of weather. As the weather improved, the allies slowly began to take the upper ground. Eventually, the Germans ran out of fuel, ammunition, and manpower, and on January 25, 1945 the Allies won.

Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee airmen, sadly subject to racial discrimination both at home and abroad, were the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II. There were 996 pilots and more than 15,000 ground personnel who served with the all-black units.

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Navajo Code Talkers

Navajo Code Talkers were very important in U.S. success in the Pacific during World War II. Navajo marines designed a secret warfare code that tricked expert Japanese code breakers who had managed to crack army and navy codes. The secret of the code is in the uniqueness of the Navajo tongue, but the language has no symbols or alphabet.
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Fall of Berlin

Almost a year after Normandy was conquered, the Allied push across western Europe was nearly over. American troops had helped to liberate Paris, win the harsh Battle of the Bulge, and fight into Nazi Germany through a bitter winter. After the Allies had crossed the last major barrier, the Rhine River, in March 1945, the war in Europe was far from being through.