The War at Sea By: Mikaela Kelley, Iffa Iqbal, Jessica Cherciu, Tristan Kaiser
Messages were transmitted to the United States indicating that the Japanese were going to attack somewhere in the pacific. There was no indication however that it would be anywhere near the Hawaiian military base at Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attack commenced. The U.S. was taken by surprise and many people died.
The government influenced the naval army encouraging them and convincing the nation that sea power would be a more peaceful commerce.
The Japanese decided to expand their defensive perimeter from India into the northern part of New Britain. American carriers Lexington and Yorktown were in the Coral Sea. The United States had been alerted that Japan was planning to attack the Coral Sea so they prepared for combat. This was the first real carrier verses carrier battle where the ships never saw each other and the issue was resolved through aircraft battle.
The Japanese attempted to overextend their defensive borders and attacked the island of Midway on June 4, 1942. Americans again received radio transmissions about the attack and were prepared. The Americans located the Japanese force first and sent out a land and sea force to attack. They bombed enemy ships and the bombings were the most effective of the war. The bombing sunk many Japanese ships and as a result America won the battle of Midway.
In June of 1942 Japan began constructing a fullfledged airbase on the nearby island of Guadalcanal. For the next four months, the waters around Guadalcanal would be the main battlefront for the naval struggle in the Pacific War.
The Java Sea battle was the first actual battle between the allies and Nihon Kaigun. The allies were met by a large Japanese force including two heavy cruisers who hustled in at the last minute. The allies were soon surrounded by several groups of patrolling Japanese cruisers and destroyers. During the fight, the allies suffered from both lack of modern warships and from lack of training time.
“The battle of the Atlantic was the only thing that ever frightened me” –Winston Churchill
The reason for this statement was because of the German U-boats. They damaged a numerous amount of the allies’ ships and the allies, in turn, damaged little to none of the German U-boats. When American ships sailed with supplies across the Atlantic they were met with groups of U-boats that were called “wolf packs” because they only hunted in numbers. Not only that, but American ships were battling the elements of the sea. Later in the war new ships were created called corvettes. They were faster, lighter, and armed heavily. They could detect U-boats under the water before they attacked. This enabled the allies to attack and destroy the U-boats before they were destroyed and helped a great deal with winning the war.