The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater of World War II, fought in the Pacific and Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean and islands, the South West Pacific, South-East Asia, in China; the Second Sino-Japanese War between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China had been in progress since 7 July 1937, with hostilities dating back as far as 19 September 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. However, it is more accepted that the Pacific War itself began on 7/8 December 1941, when Japan invaded Thailand and attacked the British colonies of Malaya and Hong Kong as well as the United States military and naval bases in Hawaii, Wake Island and the Philippines; the Pacific War saw the Allies pitted against Japan, the latter aided by Thailand and to a much lesser extent by the Axis allied Germany and Italy. The war culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, other large aerial bomb attacks by the Allies, accompanied by the Soviet declaration of war and invasion of Manchuria on 9 August 1945, resulting in the Japanese announcement of intent to surrender on 15 August 1945.
The formal surrender of Japan ceremony took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. After the war, Japan lost all rights and titles to its former possessions in Asia and the Pacific, its sovereignty was limited to the four main home islands. Japan's Shinto Emperor was forced to relinquish much of his authority and his divine status through the Shinto Directive in order to pave the way for extensive cultural and political reforms. In Allied countries during the war, the "Pacific War" was not distinguished from World War II in general, or was known as the War against Japan. In the United States, the term Pacific Theater was used, although this was a misnomer in relation to the Allied campaign in Burma, the war in China and other activities within the Southeast Asian Theater. However, the US Armed Forces considered the China-Burma-India Theater to be distinct from the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during the conflict. Japan used the name Greater East Asia War, as chosen by a cabinet decision on 10 December 1941, to refer to both the war with the Western Allies and the ongoing war in China.
This name was released to the public on 12 December, with an explanation that it involved Asian nations achieving their independence from the Western powers through armed forces of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Japanese officials integrated what they called the Japan–China Incident into the Greater East Asia War. During the Allied military occupation of Japan, these Japanese terms were prohibited in official documents, although their informal usage continued, the war became known as the Pacific War. In Japan, the Fifteen Years' War is used, referring to the period from the Mukden Incident of 1931 through 1945; the Axis states which assisted Japan included the authoritarian government of Thailand, which formed a cautious alliance with the Japanese in 1941, when Japanese forces issued the government with an ultimatum following the Japanese invasion of Thailand. The leader of Thailand, Plaek Phibunsongkhram, became enthusiastic about the alliance after decisive Japanese victories in the Malayan Campaign and in 1942 sent the Phayap Army to assist the invasion of Burma, were former Thai territory, annexed by Britain were reoccupied.
The allies supported and organized an underground anti-Japanese resistance group, known as the Free Thai Movement, after the Thai ambassador to the United States had refused to hand over the declaration of war. Because of this, after the surrender in 1945, the stance of the United States was that Thailand should be treated as a puppet of Japan and be considered an occupied nation rather than as an ally; this was done in contrast to the British stance towards Thailand, who had faced them in combat as they invaded British territory, the United States had to block British efforts to impose a punitive peace. Involved were members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, which included the armies of the Japanese puppet states of Manchukuo, the collaborationist Wang Jingwei regime. In the Burma Campaign, other members, such as the anti-Britsh Indian National Army of Free India and Burma National Army of the State of Burma were active and fighting alongside their Japanese allies. Moreover, Japan conscripted many soldiers from its colonies of Taiwan.
Collaborationist security units were formed in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Dutch East Indies, British Malaya, British Borneo, former French Indochina as well as Timorese militia. These units the assisted Japanese war effort in their respective territories. Germany and Italy both had limited involvement in the Pacific War; the German and the Italian navies operated submarines and raiding ships in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Italians had access to concession territory naval bases in China. After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declarations of war, both navies had access to Japanese naval facilities; the major Allied participants were the United States and their colonies, the Republic of China, engaged in bloody war against Japan since 1937, the United Kingdom (mos
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U. S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base, it is the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U. S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor was an extensive shallow embayment called Wai Momi or Puʻuloa by the Hawaiians. Puʻuloa was regarded as the home of the shark goddess, Kaʻahupahau, her brother, Kahiʻuka, in Hawaiian legends. According to tradition, the head of the powerful Ewa chiefs, is credited with cutting a navigable channel near the present Puʻuloa saltworks, by which he made the estuary, known as "Pearl River," accessible to navigation.
Making due allowance for legendary amplification, the estuary had an outlet for its waters where the present gap is. During the early 19th century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance; the interest of United States in the Hawaiian Islands grew as a result of its whaling and trading activity in the Pacific. As early as 1820, an "Agent of the United States for Commerce and Seamen" was appointed to look after American business in the Port of Honolulu; these commercial ties to the American continent were accompanied by the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. American missionaries and their families became an integral part of the Hawaiian political body. Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U. S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.
S. establish a naval base in Hawaii for protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry. The British Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Crichton Wyllie, remarked in 1840 that "... my opinion is that the tide of events rushes on to annexation to the United States." From the conclusion of the Civil War, to the purchase of Alaska, to the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with countries in Asia and the desire for a duty-free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace Hawaii. Lackawanna in the following year was assigned to cruise among the islands, "a locality of great and increasing interest and importance." This vessel surveyed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands toward Japan. As a result, the United States claimed Midway Island; the Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations.
This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters. It praised Midway Island as possessing a harbor surpassing Honolulu's. In the following year, Congress approved an appropriation of $50,000 on March 1, 1869, to deepen the approaches to this harbor. After 1868, when the Commander of the Pacific Fleet visited the islands to look after American interests, naval officers played an important role in internal affairs, they served as arbitrators in business disputes, negotiators of trade agreements and defenders of law and order. Periodic voyages among the islands and to the mainland aboard U. S. warships were arranged for members of the Hawaiian royal family and important island government officials. When King Lunalilo died in 1873, negotiations were underway for the cession of Pearl Harbor as a port for the duty-free export of sugar to the U. S. With the election of King Kalākaua in March 1874, riots prompted landing of sailors from USS Tuscarora and Portsmouth.
The British warship, HMS Tenedos landed a token force. During the reign of King Kalākaua the United States was granted exclusive rights to enter Pearl Harbor and to establish "a coaling and repair station." Although this treaty continued in force until August 1898, the U. S. did not fortify Pearl Harbor as a naval base. As it had for 60 years, the shallow entrance constituted a formidable barrier against the use of the deep protected waters of the inner harbor; the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884, the Reciprocity Treaty was made by James Carter and ratified it in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor.. The Spanish–American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision. Following the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the United States Navy established a base on the island in 1899.
On December 7, 1941, the base was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy airplanes and midget submarines, causing the American entry into World War II. One of the main reasons that Pearl Harbor happened was because the United States had major communication breakdowns among several branches of the U. S. armed services and departments of the U. S. government. This led to the surprise Japanese attack at the Hawai
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying
Battle of Leyte
The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the amphibious invasion of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American forces and Filipino guerrillas under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. The operation, codenamed King Two, launched the Philippines campaign of 1944–45 for the recapture and liberation of the entire Philippine Archipelago and to end three years of Japanese occupation. Japan had conquered the Philippines in 1942. Controlling it was vital for Japan's survival in World War II because it commanded sea routes to Borneo and Sumatra by which rubber and petroleum were shipped to Japan. For the U. S. capturing the Philippines was a key strategic step in isolating Imperial Japan's military holdings in China and the Pacific theater. It was a personal matter of pride for MacArthur. In 1942, just a month before Japan forced the surrender of all USAFFE forces in the Philippines, U.
S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ordered MacArthur to leave the Philippines and organize the U. S. forces gathering in Australia, which were meant to relieve the USAFFE. Those relief forces were non-existent. Still, MacArthur had vowed, he stated that it was a moral obligation of the U. S. to liberate the Philippines as soon as possible. In March 1944, the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered MacArthur to plan an attack on the southern Philippines by the end of the year, Luzon in early 1945. In July 1944, Roosevelt met with MacArthur and Chester Nimitz in Hawaii, where the decision was made to invade the Philippines, from which land air bases could be used for the Pacific Theater of Operations. Over the summer of 1944, planes from the aircraft carriers of the U. S. 3rd Fleet under Admiral William F. Halsey carried out several successful missions over the Philippines and found Japanese resistance lacking. Halsey recommended a direct strike on Leyte, canceling other planned operations, the Leyte invasion date moved forward to October.
Leyte, one of the larger islands of the Philippines, has numerous deep-water approaches and sandy beaches which offered opportunities for amphibious assaults and fast resupply. The roads and lowlands extending inland from Highway 1, that ran for 40 mi along the east coast between Abuyog town to the north and the San Juanico Strait between Leyte and Samar Islands, provided avenues for tank-infantry operations, as well as suitable ground for airfield construction. American air forces based on Leyte could strike at enemy bases and airfields anywhere in the archipelago. A forested north-south mountain range dominates the interior and separates two sizable valleys, or coastal plains; the larger Leyte Valley extends from the northern coast to the long eastern shore and contains most of the towns and roadways on the island. The other, Ormoc Valley, situated on the west side, was connected to Leyte Valley by a roundabout and winding road, Highway 2; this continued south to the port of Ormoc City along the western shore to Baybay town.
The road turned east to cross the mountainous waist of the island and it connected with Highway 1 on the east coast at Abuyog. Below these towns, the mountainous southern third of Leyte was undeveloped. High mountain peaks over 4,400 ft, as well as the jagged outcroppings and caves typical of volcanic islands offered formidable defensive opportunities; the timing late in the year of the assault would force combat troops and supporting pilots, as well as logistical units, to contend with monsoon rains. Leyte's population of over 900,000 people—mostly farmers and fishermen—could be expected to assist an American invasion, since many residents supported the guerrilla struggle against the Japanese in the face of harsh repression. Japanese troop strength on Leyte was estimated by U. S. intelligence at 20,000. Southwest Pacific Area General Douglas MacArthur in light cruiser Nashville US Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid in amphibious command ship Wasatch Task Group 77.4 – Escort Carrier Group Rear Adm. Thomas L. Sprague Task Force 78 – Northern Attack Force Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey in amphibious command ship Blue Ridge Embarking Maj. Gen. Franklin C.
Sibert's X Army CorpsTask Force 79 – Southern Attack Force Vice Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson Embarking Maj. Gen. John R. Hodge's XXIV Army CorpsAllied Air Forces Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, USAAF Fifth Air Force Thirteenth Air ForceUS Sixth Army Lieutenant General Walter Krueger X Army Corps Lieutenant General Franklin C. Sibert Left Sector: 24th Infantry "Taro" Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving 19th Infantry Regiment 34th Infantry RegimentRight Sector: 1st Cavalry Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. Verne D. Mudge 5th Cavalry Regiment 7th Cavalry Regiment 12th Cavalry Regiment Reserve: 7th Cavalry RegimentXXIV Army Corps Lieutenant General John R. Hodge Left Sector: 7th Infantry "Bayonet" Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. Archibald V. Arnold 17th Infantry Regiment 32nd Infantry Regiment 184th Infantry RegimentRight Sector: 96th Infantry "Deadeye" Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. James L. Bradley 381st Infa
A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, can perform several roles; the term has been in use for several hundred years, has had different meanings throughout this period. During the Age of Sail, the term cruising referred to certain kinds of missions – independent scouting, commerce protection, or raiding – fulfilled by a frigate or sloop-of-war, which were the cruising warships of a fleet. In the middle of the 19th century, cruiser came to be a classification for the ships intended for cruising distant waters, commerce raiding, scouting for the battle fleet. Cruisers came in a wide variety of sizes, from the medium-sized protected cruiser to large armored cruisers that were nearly as big as a pre-dreadnought battleship. With the advent of the dreadnought battleship before World War I, the armored cruiser evolved into a vessel of similar scale known as the battlecruiser; the large battlecruisers of the World War I era that succeeded armored cruisers were now classified, along with dreadnought battleships, as capital ships.
By the early 20th century after World War I, the direct successors to protected cruisers could be placed on a consistent scale of warship size, smaller than a battleship but larger than a destroyer. In 1922, the Washington Naval Treaty placed a formal limit on these cruisers, which were defined as warships of up to 10,000 tons displacement carrying guns no larger than 8 inches in calibre; some variations on the Treaty cruiser design included the German Deutschland-class "pocket battleships" which had heavier armament at the expense of speed compared to standard heavy cruisers, the American Alaska class, a scaled-up heavy cruiser design designated as a "cruiser-killer". In the 20th century, the obsolescence of the battleship left the cruiser as the largest and most powerful surface combatant after the aircraft carrier; the role of the cruiser varied according to ship and navy including air defense and shore bombardment. During the Cold War, the Soviet Navy's cruisers had heavy anti-ship missile armament designed to sink NATO carrier task forces via saturation attack.
The U. S. Navy built guided-missile cruisers upon destroyer-style hulls designed to provide air defense while adding anti-submarine capabilities, being larger and having longer-range surface-to-air missiles than early Charles F. Adams guided-missile destroyers tasked with the short-range air defense role. By the end of the Cold War, the line between cruisers and destroyers had blurred, with the Ticonderoga-class cruiser using the hull of the Spruance-class destroyer but receiving the cruiser designation due to their enhanced mission and combat systems. Indeed, the newest U. S. and Chinese destroyers are more armed than some of the cruisers that they succeeded. Only two nations operate cruisers: the United States and Russia, in both cases the vessels are armed with guided missiles. BAP Almirante Grau was the last gun cruiser in service, serving with the Peruvian Navy until 2017; the term "cruiser" or "cruizer" was first used in the 17th century to refer to an independent warship. "Cruiser" meant the mission of a ship, rather than a category of vessel.
However, the term was nonetheless used to mean a faster warship suitable for such a role. In the 17th century, the ship of the line was too large and expensive to be dispatched on long-range missions, too strategically important to be put at risk of fouling and foundering by continual patrol duties; the Dutch navy was noted for its cruisers in the 17th century, while the Royal Navy—and French and Spanish navies—subsequently caught up in terms of their numbers and deployment. The British Cruiser and Convoy Acts were an attempt by mercantile interests in Parliament to focus the Navy on commerce defence and raiding with cruisers, rather than the more scarce and expensive ships of the line. During the 18th century the frigate became the preeminent type of cruiser. A frigate was a small, long range armed ship used for scouting, carrying dispatches, disrupting enemy trade; the other principal type of cruiser was the sloop, but many other miscellaneous types of ship were used as well. During the 19th century, navies began to use steam power for their fleets.
The 1840s sloops. By the middle of the 1850s, the British and U. S. Navies were both building steam frigates with long hulls and a heavy gun armament, for instance USS Merrimack or Mersey; the 1860s saw the introduction of the ironclad. The first ironclads were frigates, in the sense of having one gun deck. In spite of their great speed, they would have been wasted in a cruising role; the French constructed a number of smaller ironclads for overseas cruising duties, starting with the Belliqueuse, commissioned 1865. These "station ironclads" were the beginning of the development of the armored cruisers, a type of ironclad for the traditional cruiser missions of fast, independent raiding and patrol; the first true armored cruiser was the Russian General-Admiral, completed in 1874, followed by the British Shannon a few years later. Until the 1890s armored cr
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders were making entreaties to the still-neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Soviets were preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences. On August 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM local time, the United States detonated an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
Sixteen hours American President Harry S. Truman called again for Japan's surrender, warning them to "expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth." Late in the evening of August 8, 1945, in accordance with the Yalta agreements, but in violation of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, soon after midnight on August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union invaded the Imperial Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. In the day, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb, this time on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Following these events, Emperor Hirohito intervened and ordered the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the terms the Allies had set down in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war. After several more days of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a failed coup d'état, Emperor Hirohito gave a recorded radio address across the Empire on August 15. In the radio address, called the Jewel Voice Broadcast, he announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies.
On August 28, the occupation of Japan led by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers began. The surrender ceremony was held on September 2, aboard the United States Navy battleship USS Missouri, at which officials from the Japanese government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, thereby ending the hostilities. Allied civilians and military personnel alike celebrated the end of the war; the role of the atomic bombings in Japan's unconditional surrender, the ethics of the two attacks, is still debated. The state of war formally ended when the Treaty of San Francisco came into force on April 28, 1952. Four more years passed before Japan and the Soviet Union signed the Soviet–Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, which formally brought an end to their state of war. By 1945, the Japanese had suffered a string of defeats for nearly two years in the South West Pacific, the Marianas campaign, the Philippines campaign. In July 1944, following the loss of Saipan, General Hideki Tōjō was replaced as prime minister by General Kuniaki Koiso, who declared that the Philippines would be the site of the decisive battle.
After the Japanese loss of the Philippines, Koiso in turn was replaced by Admiral Kantarō Suzuki. The Allies captured the nearby islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the first half of 1945. Okinawa was to be a staging area for Operation Downfall, the Allied invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. Following Germany's defeat, the Soviet Union began redeploying its battle-hardened European forces to the Far East, in addition to about forty divisions, stationed there since 1941, as a counterbalance to the million-strong Kwantung Army; the Allied submarine campaign and the mining of Japanese coastal waters had destroyed the Japanese merchant fleet. With few natural resources, Japan was dependent on raw materials oil, imported from Manchuria and other parts of the East Asian mainland, from the conquered territory in the Dutch East Indies; the destruction of the Japanese merchant fleet, combined with the strategic bombing of Japanese industry, had wrecked Japan's war economy. Production of coal, steel and other vital supplies was only a fraction of that before the war.
As a result of the losses it had suffered, the Imperial Japanese Navy had ceased to be an effective fighting force. Following a series of raids on the Japanese shipyard at Kure, the only major warships in fighting order were six aircraft carriers, four cruisers, one battleship, none of which could be fueled adequately. Although 19 destroyers and 38 submarines were still operational, their use was limited by the lack of fuel. Faced with the prospect of an invasion of the Home Islands, starting with Kyūshū, the prospect of a Soviet invasion of Manchuria—Japan's last source of natural resources—the War Journal of the Imperial Headquarters concluded in 1944: We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success; the only course left is for Japan's one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight. As a final attempt to stop the Allied advances, the Japanese Imperial High Command planned an all-out defense of Kyūshū codenamed Operation Ketsugō.
This was to be a radical departure from the defense in depth plans used in the invasions of Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa. Instead, everything was staked on the beachhead.
John S. McCain Sr.
John Sidney "Slew" McCain was a U. S. Navy admiral, he held several command assignments during the Pacific campaign of World War II. McCain was a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations. Serving in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II, in 1942 he commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign, in 1944–45 he aggressively led the Fast Carrier Task Force, his operations off the Philippines and Okinawa and air strikes against Formosa and the Japanese home islands caused tremendous destruction of Japanese naval and air forces in the closing period of the war. He died four days after the formal Japanese surrender ceremony. Several of McCain's descendants graduated from the United States Naval Academy, he and his son, John S. McCain Jr. were the first father-son pair to achieve four-star admiral rank in the U. S. Navy, his grandson was a U. S. Senator from Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Navy Captain John S. McCain III, his great-grandsons, John S. McCain IV and James McCain serve in the U.
S. Navy and U. S. Army, respectively. McCain was born in Carroll County, the son of plantation owner John Sidney McCain and wife Elizabeth-Ann Young, who married in 1877, his grandparents were William Alexander McCain and Mary Louisa McAllister, who were married in 1840. He attended the University of Mississippi for two years, where he joined the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, decided to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, where his brother William Alexander McCain was enrolled. To practice for its entrance exams, he decided to take the ones for the United States Naval Academy. In doing so, he would adopt the Navy's itinerant life. At the Naval Academy, his performance was lackluster, he failed his annual physical on account of defective hearing, but the condition was waived due to the great need for officers. When he graduated in 1906, he ranked 79th out of 116 in his class, the yearbook labeled him "The skeleton in the family closet of 1906."He married Katherine Davey Vaulx, eight years his senior, on August 9, 1909, at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Soon after earning his commission, McCain sailed aboard the Great White Fleet's world cruise from 1907 to 1909, joining the battleship USS Connecticut for the last stretch home. His next assignment was to the Asiatic Squadron, after which the Navy ordered him to the naval base at San Diego, California. During 1914 and 1915 he was executive officer and engineering officer aboard the armored cruiser USS Colorado, patrolling off the Pacific coast of then-troubled Mexico. In September 1915, he joined flagship for the Pacific Fleet. After the U. S. entered World War I, McCain and San Diego served on convoy duty in the Atlantic, escorting shipping through the first dangerous leg of their passages to Europe. Based out of Tompkinsville, New York, Halifax, the San Diego operated in the weather-torn, submarine-infested North Atlantic. McCain left the San Diego in May 1918, two months before she was sunk, when he was assigned to the Bureau of Navigation. In the 1920s and early 1930s, McCain served aboard the USS Maryland, the USS New Mexico, the USS Nitro.
His first command was the USS Sirius. In 1935, McCain enrolled in flight training. Graduating at 52 in 1936, he became one of the oldest men to become a naval aviator and from 1937 to 1939 he commanded the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. In January 1941, after promotion to rear admiral, he commanded the Aircraft Scouting Force of the Atlantic Fleet. Short in stature and of rather thin frame, McCain was gruff and profane, he showed courage and was regarded as a natural, inspirational leader. In the words of one biographical profile, McCain "preferred contentious conflict to cozy compromise." After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Navy appointed McCain as Commander, South Pacific in May 1942. As COMAIRSOPAC, he commanded all land-based Allied air operations supporting the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands and south Pacific area. Aircraft under McCain's command, including the Cactus Air Force at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, were key in supporting the defense of Guadalcanal from Japanese efforts to retake the island during this time.
In October 1942, the Navy ordered McCain to Washington, D. C. to head the Bureau of Aeronautics. In August 1943, he became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air with the rank of vice admiral. McCain returned to combat in the Pacific in August 1944 with his appointment as commander of a carrier group in Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58, part of Raymond Spruance's Fifth Fleet. In this role, McCain participated in the Marianas campaign, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the beginning of the Philippines campaign. At the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Admiral William Halsey left in pursuit of a decoy force, leaving Rear Admiral Clifton "Ziggy" Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3 to continue supporting forces ashore, defended by only a light screen of destroyers and destroyer escorts. Taffy 3 came under attack from a much heavier Japanese force under Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, provoking the Battle off Samar. Sprague promptly pleaded for assistance from Halsey, responsible for protecting the northern approach to the landing site.
Halsey had contemplated detaching a battle group, Task Force 34, but chose to bring all available battle groups north to pursue the Japanese carrier force. Hearing Sprague's pleas (including messages in plain languag