Island Hopping WW2
Soldiers? Be More Pacific.
THE BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR
Sunday, Dec. 7th 1941 at 12pm
Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI, United States
Closer Look At The American Soldiers
The hate for the Japanese was intense. Everyone was signing up, and the nationalism was at a record high. As seen in the above propaganda poster, words like "avenge" are used to describe the harsh emotions embedded in American soldiers and culture at the time.
Fighting in the jungles of the Pacific islands proved to be very difficult for the American soldiers. The harsh weather conditions and difficult navigation was troublesome for the soldiers. As for navigation, it was difficult to move very far when necessary as captivated in the Guadalcanal Journal when the author writes: "The jungle is thick as hell. The Fifth Regiment landed first and marched to the airport. We went straight through and then cut over to block the escape of the Japs. It took three days to go six miles. Japs took off, left surplus the first day, which was done away with." (Donahue). Donahue, a soldier in the war, so elegantly put that "the jungle is thick as hell". He wasn't wrong, however. The jungle was very hard to navigate for these soldiers and the weather in the jungle was not what they were used to (as seen when he later wrote: "It is extremely hot." (Donahue). When you are lost, hot, and frustrated, you can only imagine what these soldiers were feeling while trudging along the Pacific jungle (with heavy equipment, might I add).
The psychological state of the soldiers was compromised during WWII. The things these men had to do and put up with were so intense. One soldier even had to put his own squad out of misery when he wrote: "I've killed or demolished two of my men because they wore of' no value to the unit. One of' them was seriously wounded, the ether suffering from a punctured lung." (Iwo Jima Diary). How could someone not be emotionally damaged after killing their friends because your squad couldn't move on with them.
Besides jungle navigation and resentment for each, the soldiers were mostly bombing each other at sea. The American Navy was not a force to be reckoned with, even after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The naval battles were intense, as well as the constant bombing. As seen in the below pictures (USS Lexington and Yorktown), a great amount of the battles consisted of a navy and bombs. The other portion of of WWII consisted of soldiers racing up the shores of Pacific as seen below in US Marines.
June 1942: The USS Lexington, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, explodes after being bombed by Japanese planes in the Battle of the Coral Sea in the South Pacific during World War II.
June 4, 1942: The U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown, left, and the other fighting ships of a United States task force in the Pacific, throw up an umbrella of anti-aircraft fire to beat off a squadron of Japanese torpedo planes attacking the carrier during the battle of Midway.
16 Aug. 1942: U.S. Marines, with full battle kits, charge ashore on Guadalcanal Island from a landing barge during the early phase of the U.S. offensive in the Solomon Islands during World War II.
Closer Look At the Japanese soldiers
The Japanese drive to win this war against the US was dangerous for us. They would even die for their cause (as seen through their suicide bombings). They were always in high spirits, even when their supplies were low and their outcome not so great. This is evident when a soldier writes: "We are still in high spirits and there is little food left and we are determined to make it last until the 8th. We would like to stick it out until the end a little more and let our forces know the courage of the commander and subordinates. As our last hope we are waiting for the power of god. . . . The place where a soldier dies is very important." ("We're Still Alive Today"). Even in the picture below, Japanese War Prisoners, the soldiers haven't even given up or gone crazy because they are so embedded in their cause.
When things were looking down, the Japanese developed the Kamikaze. The kamikaze was viewed as the savior for them because it scored them so many victories. During its prime years, it became a part of the culture. If you were a Japanese family and your son was a kamikaze pilot, your family felt so high and honored because this was how they were viewed to be. Look at the picture below titled Kamikaze Pilot. Notice how so many people are there to honor him as he flies away. The kamikaze became part of Japanese culture during WWII.
One of the challenges that the Japanese faced was US bombing. The soldiers were often bombed without warning, and the destruction was tremendous (See Pacific Theatre Bombing below).
The Japanese had a drive to win WWII, and it was reflected in their soldiers.
Japanese War prisoners
High school girls sending off a pilot to war.
Pacific Theatre Bombing
This was an island after an American bombing.
Continuity and Change over time
- The constant bombings and destruction of both sides.
- Continuation of the use of naval and air forces in the pacific theatre.
- The Japanese drive to do anything to kill us, holy crap.
- The technology. The development of the kamikaze and the manhattan project.
- The dynamic in the home country. The roles of everyone left behind
Similarities and Differences
- The US and Japan tried to use persuasive tactics to convince natives to join their cause when fighting on the pacific islands.
"To demonstrate the great power of the Imperial Army to Islanders, we performed shooting practice on the beach near Syowa-machi. We had lunch at primary school, and found villagers are eager to learn Japanese and make painful efforts. SwimTraining again. In the evening, staff of the amusement show dined together at Ohmiya-hall. Being mellow, slightly drunk and unsteady, the twilight driving was nice. Watch out your handling!" (My Guadalcanal).
- Both armies had tremendous amounts of hate for each other.
See propaganda poster and constant bombings.
- Japan had a better air force than the US. However, the US had a better Navy.
See USS Lexington, Yorktown, and also the Japanese had the Kamikaze.
cause and effect
Embargo towards Japan --> Bombing of Pearl Harbor --> US and Japan go to war
The hate towards Japan set off another chain of events such as:
Bombing of Pearl Harbor --> American Men sign up for war --> Women rise to fill in the positions that the men left
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