A torpedo tube is a cylinder shaped device for launching torpedoes. There are two main types of torpedo tube: underwater tubes fitted to submarines and some surface ships, deck-mounted units installed aboard surface vessels. Deck-mounted torpedo launchers are designed for a specific type of torpedo, while submarine torpedo tubes are general-purpose launchers, are also capable of deploying mines and cruise missiles. Most modern launchers are standardised on a 12.75-inch diameter for light torpedoes or a 21-inch diameter for heavy torpedoes, although other sizes of torpedo tube have been used: see Torpedo classes and diameters. A submarine torpedo tube is a more complex mechanism than a torpedo tube on a surface ship, because the tube has to accomplish the function of moving the torpedo from the normal atmospheric pressure within the submarine into the sea at the ambient pressure of the water around the submarine, thus a submarine torpedo tube operates on the principle of an airlock. The diagram on the right illustrates the operation of a submarine torpedo tube.
The diagram does show the working of a submarine torpedo launch. A torpedo tube has a considerable number of interlocks for safety reasons. For example, an interlock prevents the breech muzzle door from opening at the same time; the submarine torpedo launch sequence is, in simplified form: Open the breech door in the torpedo room. Load the torpedo into the tube. Hook up the wire-guide connection and the torpedo power cable. Shut and lock the breech door. Turn on power to the torpedo. A minimum amount of time is required for torpedo warmup. Fire control programs are uploaded to the torpedo. Flood the torpedo tube; this may be done manually or automatically, from sea or from tanks, depending on the class of submarine. The tube must be vented during this process to allow for complete filling and eliminate air pockets which could escape to the surface or cause damage when firing. Open the equalizing valve to equalize pressure in the tube with ambient sea pressure. Open the muzzle door. If the tube is set up for Impulse Mode the slide valve will open with the muzzle door.
If Swim Out Mode is selected, the slide valve remains closed. The slide valve allows water from the ejection pump to enter the tube; when the launch command is given and all interlocks are satisfied, the water ram operates, thrusting a large volume of water into the tube at high pressure, which ejects the torpedo from the tube with considerable force. Modern torpedoes have a safety mechanism that prevents activation of the torpedo unless the torpedo senses the required amount of G-force; the power cable is severed at launch. However, if a guidance wire is used, it remains connected through a drum of wire in the tube. Torpedo propulsion systems vary but electric torpedoes swim out of the tube on their own and are of a smaller diameter. 21" weapons with fuel-burning engines start outside the tube. Once outside the tube the torpedo begins its run toward the target as programmed by the fire control system. Attack functions are programmed but with wire guided weapons, certain functions can be controlled from the ship.
For wire-guided torpedoes, the muzzle door must remain open because the guidance wire is still connected to the inside of the breech door to receive commands from the submarine's fire-control system. A wire cutter on the inside of the breech door is activated to release the wire and its protective cable; these are drawn clear of the ship prior to shutting the muzzle door. The drain cycle is a reverse of the flood cycle. Water can be moved as necessary; the tube must be vented to drain the tube since it is by gravity. Open the breech door and remove the remnants of the torpedo power cable and the guidance wire basket; the tube must be wiped dry to prevent a buildup of slime. This process is called "diving the tube" and tradition dictates that "ye who shoots, dives". Shut and lock the breech door. Spare torpedoes are stored behind the tube in racks. Speed is a desirable feature of a torpedo loading system. There are various manual and hydraulic handling systems for loading torpedoes into the tubes. Prior to the Ohio class, US SSBNs utilized manual block and tackle which took about 15 minutes to load a tube.
SSNs prior to the Seawolf class used a hydraulic system, much faster and safer in conditions where the ship needed to maneuver. The German Type 212 submarine uses a new development of the water ram expulsion system, which ejects the torpedo with water pressure to avoid acoustic detection. List of torpedoes by diameter The Fleet Type Submarine Online 21-Inch Submerged Torpedo Tubes United States Navy Restricted Ordnance Pamphlet 1085, June 1944 Torpedo tubes of German U-Boats
Hero of the Soviet Union
The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society. The award was established on April 1934, by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union; the first recipients of the title received only the Order of Lenin, the highest Soviet award, along with a certificate describing the heroic deed from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Because the Order of Lenin could be awarded for deeds not qualifying for the title of hero, to distinguish heroes from other Order of Lenin holders, the Gold Star medal was introduced on August 1, 1939. Earlier heroes were retroactively eligible for these items. A hero could be awarded the title again for a subsequent heroic feat with an additional Gold Star medal and certificate. An additional Order of Lenin was not given until 1973; the practice of awarding the title multiple times was abolished by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1988 during perestroika.
Forty-four foreign citizens were awarded the title. The title was given posthumously, though without the actual Gold Star medal given; the title could be revoked only by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. As the Highest Honor of the Soviet Union. Individuals who received the award were entitled to special privileges; these include: A pension with survivor benefits in the event of the death of the title holder. First priority on the housing list with 50% rent reduction, tax exempt and an additional 45 square metres in living space. Annual round-trip first class airline ticket Free bus transportation Free annual visit to sanitarium or rest home Medical benefits Entertainment benefits In total, during the existence of the USSR, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to 12,777 people, including twice – 154, three times – 3 and four – 2. Ninety-five women were awarded the title. Among the Heroes of the Soviet Union, 44 people are citizens of foreign states; the great majority of them received it during World War II.
Eighty-five people were awarded the title for actions related to the Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted from 1979 until 1989. The first recipients of the award were the pilots Anatoly Liapidevsky, Sigizmund Levanevsky, Vasily Molokov, Mavriky Slepnyov, Nikolai Kamanin, Ivan Doronin, Mikhail Vodopianov, who participated in the successful aerial search and rescue of the crew of the steamship Cheliuskin, which sank in Arctic waters, crushed by ice fields, on February 13, 1934. Valentina Grizodubova, a female pilot, was the first woman to become a Hero of the Soviet Union for her international women's record for a straight-line distance flight. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a Soviet partisan, was the first woman to become a Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II, posthumously. In addition, 101 people received the award twice. A second Hero title, either Hero of the Soviet Union or Hero of Socialist Labour entitled the recipient to have a bronze bust of his or her likeness with a commemorative inscription erected in his or her hometown.
Two famous Soviet fighter pilots, Aleksandr Pokryshkin and Ivan Kozhedub were three times Heroes of the Soviet Union. A third award entitled the recipient to have his/her bronze bust erected on a columnar pedestal in Moscow, near the Palace of the Soviets, but the Palace was never built. After his release from serving a 20-year sentence in a Mexican prison for the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Ramon Mercader moved to the Soviet Union in 1961 and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal from KGB head Alexander Shelepin; the only individuals to receive the title four times were Leonid Brezhnev. The original statute of the Hero of the Soviet Union, did not provide for a fourth title. Both Zhukov and Brezhnev received their fourth titles under controversial circumstances contrary to the statute, which remained unchanged until the award was abolished in 1991. Zhukov was awarded a fourth time "for his large accomplishments" on the occasion of his 60th birthday on December 1, 1956. There is some speculation that Zhukov's fourth Hero medal was for his participation in the arrest of Beria in 1953, but this was not entered in the records.
Brezhnev's four awards further eroded the prestige of the award because they were all birthday gifts, on the occasions of his 60th, 70th, 72nd and 75th birthdays. Such practices halted in 1988 due to a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which formally ended it. By the 1970s, the award had been somewhat devalued. Important political and military persons had been awarded it on the occasions of their anniversaries rather than for any immediate heroic activity. All Soviet cosmonauts, starting from Yuri Gagarin, as well as foreign citizens who participated in the Soviet space program as cosmonauts, received Hero award for each flight. Apart from individuals, the title was awarded to twelve cities as well as the fortress of Brest for collective heroism during the War; the last recipient of the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" was a Soviet diver, Captain of the 3rd rank Leonid Mikhailovich Solodkov on December 24, 1991 for his leadership and participation in a series of unprecedented extreme depth diving experiments.
Following the collapse of the
A torpedo boat is a small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes, they were created to counter battleships and other slow and armed ships by using speed and the power of their torpedo weapons. A number of inexpensive torpedo boats attacking en masse could overwhelm a larger ship's ability to fight them off using its large but cumbersome guns. An inexpensive fleet of torpedo boats could pose a threat to much larger and more expensive fleets of capital ships, albeit only in the coastal areas to which their small size and limited fuel load restricted them; the introduction of fast torpedo boats in the late 19th century was a serious concern to the era's naval strategists. In response, navies operating large ships introduced smaller ships to counter torpedo boats, mounting light quick-firing guns; these ships, which came to be called "torpedo boat destroyers" and simply "destroyers", became larger and took on more roles, making torpedo attacks as well as defending against them, defending against submarines and aircraft.
The destroyer became the predominant type of surface warship in the guided missile age. In the modern era, the old concept of a small and cheap surface combatant with powerful offensive weapons is taken up by the "fast attack craft"; the American Civil War saw a number of innovations in naval warfare, including an early type of torpedo boat, armed with spar torpedoes. In 1861 President Lincoln instituted a naval blockade of Southern ports, which crippled the South's efforts to obtain war materiel from abroad; the South lacked the means to construct a naval fleet capable of taking on the Union Navy on terms. One strategy to counter the blockade saw the development of torpedo boats, small fast boats designed to attack the larger capital ships of the blockading fleet as a form of asymmetrical warfare; the David class of torpedo boats were steam powered with a enclosed hull. They were not true were semi-submersible. CSS Midge was David-class torpedo boats. CSS Squib and CSS Scorpion represented another class of torpedo boats that were low built but had open decks and lacked the ballasting tanks found on the Davids.
The Confederate torpedo boats were armed with spar torpedoes. This was a charge of powder in a waterproof case, mounted to the bow of the torpedo boat below the water line on a long spar; the torpedo boat attacked by ramming her intended target, which stuck the torpedo to the target ship by means of a barb on the front of the torpedo. The torpedo boat would back away to a safe distance and detonate the torpedo by means of a long cord attached to a trigger. In general, the Confederate torpedo boats were not successful, their low sides made them susceptible to swamping in high seas, to having their boiler fires extinguished by spray from their own torpedo explosions. Torpedo misfires and duds were common. In 1864 Union Naval Lieutenant Cushing fitted a steam launch with a spar torpedo to attack the Confederate ironclad Albemarle; the same year the Union launched USS Spuyten Duyvil, a purpose-built craft with a number of technical innovations including variable ballast for attack operations and an extensible and reloadable torpedo placement spar.
A prototype self-propelled torpedo was created by a commission placed by Giovanni Luppis, an Austrian naval officer from Rijeka a port city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Robert Whitehead, an English engineer, the manager of a town factory. In 1864, Luppis presented Whitehead with the plans of the salvacoste, a floating weapon driven by ropes from the land, dismissed by the naval authorities due to the impractical steering and propulsion mechanisms. Whitehead was unable to improve the machine since the clockwork motor, attached ropes, surface attack mode all contributed to a slow and cumbersome weapon. However, he kept considering the problem after the contract had finished, developed a tubular device, designed to run underwater on its own, powered by compressed air; the result was a submarine weapon, the Minenschiff, the first modern self-propelled torpedo presented to the Austrian Imperial Naval commission on December 21, 1866. The first trials were not successful as the weapon was unable to maintain a course on a steady depth.
After much work, Whitehead introduced his "secret" in 1868. It was a mechanism consisting of a hydrostatic valve and pendulum that caused the torpedo's hydroplanes to be adjusted so as to maintain a preset depth. During the mid-19th century, the ships of the line were superseded by large steam powered ships with heavy gun armament and heavy armour, called ironclads; this line of development led to the dreadnought class of all-big-gun battleship, starting with HMS Dreadnought. At the same time, the weight of armour slowed down the speed of the battleships, the huge guns needed to penetrate enemy armour fired at slow rates; this allowed for the possibility of a small and fast ship that could attack the battleships, at a much lower cost. The introduction of the torpedo provided a weapon that could cripple, or sink, any battleship; the first warship of any kind to carry self-propelled torpedoes was HMS Vesuvius of 1873. The first seagoing vessel designed to fire the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was HMS Lightning.
The boat was built by John Thornycroft at Church Wharf in Chiswick for the Royal Navy. It entered service in 1876 and was armed with self-propelled Wh
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy was a large part of the Soviet Union's strategic plan in the event of a conflict with opposing super power, the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or another conflict related to the Warsaw Pact of Eastern Europe; the influence of the Soviet Navy played a large role in the Cold War, as the majority of conflicts centered on naval forces. The Soviet Navy was divided into four major fleets: the Northern, Black Sea, Baltic Fleets; the Caspian Flotilla was a smaller force operating in the land-locked Caspian Sea. Main components of the Soviet Navy included Soviet Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry, Coastal Artillery. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia inherited the largest part of the Soviet Navy and reformed it into the Russian Navy, with smaller parts becoming the basis for navies of the newly independent post-Soviet states; the Soviet Navy was based on a republican naval force formed from the remnants of the Imperial Russian Navy, completely destroyed in the two Revolutions of 1917 during World War I, the following Russian Civil War, the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921.
During the revolutionary period, Russian sailors deserted their ships at will and neglected their duties. The officers were dispersed and most of the sailors walked off and left their ships. Work stopped in the shipyards; the Black Sea Fleet fared no better than the Baltic. The Bolshevik revolution disrupted its personnel, with mass murders of officers. At the end of April 1918, Imperial German troops moved along the Black Sea coast and entered Crimea and started to advance towards the Sevastopol naval base; the more effective ships were moved from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk where, after an ultimatum from Germany, they were scuttled by Vladimir Lenin's order. The ships remaining in Sevastopol were captured by the Germans and after the Armistice of 11 November 1918 on the Western Front which ended the War, additional Russian ships were confiscated by the British. On 1 April 1919, during the ensuing Russian Civil War when Red Army forces captured Crimea, the British Royal Navy squadron had to withdraw, but before leaving they damaged all the remaining battleships and sank thirteen new submarines.
When the opposing Czarist White Army captured Crimea in 1919, it rescued and reconditioned a few units. At the end of the civil war, Wrangel's fleet, a White flotilla, moved south through the Black Sea, Dardanelles straits and the Aegean Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to Bizerta in French Tunisia on the North Africa coast, where it was interned; the first ship of the revolutionary navy could be considered the rebellious Imperial Russian cruiser Aurora, built 1900, whose crew joined the communist Bolsheviks. Sailors of the Baltic fleet supplied the fighting force of the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky during the October Revolution of November 1917 against the democratic provisional government of Alexander Kerensky established after the earlier first revolution of February against the Czar; some imperial vessels continued to serve after the revolution, albeit with different names. The Soviet Navy, established as the "Workers' and Peasants' Red Fleet" by a 1918 decree of the new Council of People's Commissars, installed as a temporary Russian revolutionary government, was less than service-ready during the interwar years of 1918 to 1941.
As the country's attentions were directed internally, the Navy did not have much funding or training. An indicator of its reputation was that the Soviets were not invited to participate in negotiations for the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921–1922, which limited the size and capabilities of the most powerful navies - British, Japanese, Italian; the greater part of the old fleet was sold by the Soviet government to post-war Germany for scrap. In the Baltic Sea there remained only three much-neglected battleships, two cruisers, some ten destroyers, a few submarines. Despite this state of affairs, the Baltic Fleet remained a significant naval formation, the Black Sea Fleet provided a basis for expansion. There existed some thirty minor-waterways combat flotillas. During the 1930s, as the industrialization of the Soviet Union proceeded, plans were made to expand the Soviet Navy into one of the most powerful in the world. Approved by the Labour and Defence Council in 1926, the Naval Shipbuilding Program included plans to construct twelve submarines.
Beginning 4 November 1926, Technical Bureau Nº 4, under the leadership of B. M. Malinin, managed the submarine construction works at the Baltic Shipyard. In subsequent years, 133 submarines were built to designs developed during Malinin's management. Additional developments included the formation of the Pacific Fleet in 1932 and the Northern Fleet in 1933; the forces were to be built around a core of powerful Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleships. This building program was only in its initial stages by the time the German invasion forced its suspension in 1941; the Soviet Navy had some minor action
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
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II
The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II, at the beginning of the Pacific War in December 1941, was the third most powerful navy in the world. And the naval air service was one of the most potent air forces in the world. During the first six months of the war after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy enjoyed spectacular success inflicting heavy defeats on Allied forces, being undefeated in every battle. Allied navies were devastated during the Japanese conquest of Southeast Asia. Japanese naval aircraft were responsible for the sinkings of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, the first time that capital ships were sunk by aerial attack while underway. In April 1942, the Indian Ocean raid drove the Royal Navy from South East Asia. After these successes, the Japanese now concentrated on the elimination and neutralization of strategic points from where the Allies could launch counteroffensives against Japan's conquests. However, at Coral Sea the Japanese were forced to abandon their attempts to isolate Australia while the defeat at Midway saw them forced on the defensive.
The campaign in the Solomon Islands, in which the Japanese lost the war of attrition, was the most decisive. During 1943 the Allies were able to reorganize their forces and American industrial strength began to turn the tide of the war. American forces managed to gain the upper hand through a vastly greater industrial output and a modernization of its air and naval forces. In 1943, the Japanese turned their attention to the defensive perimeters of their previous conquests. Forces on Japanese held islands in Micronesia were to absorb and wear down an expected American counteroffensive. However, American industrial power become apparent and the military forces that faced the Japanese in 1943 were so overwhelming in firepower and equipment, that from the end of 1943 to 1944 Japan's defensive perimeter failed to hold. Defeat at the Philippine Sea was a disaster for Japanese naval air power with American pilots terming it, the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, while the battle of Leyte Gulf led to the destruction of a large part of the surface fleet.
The Japanese lost control of the Western Pacific. During the last phase of the war, the Japanese resorted to a series of desperate measures, including a variety of Special Attack Units which were popularly called kamikaze. By May 1945, most of the Imperial Japanese Navy had been sunk and the remnants had taken refuge in Japan's harbors. By July 1945, all but one of its capital ships had been sunk in raids by the United States Navy. At the end of the war, the IJN had lost 300,386 officers and men. At the beginning of the Pacific War, the strategy of the Imperial Japanese Navy was underpinned by several key assumptions; the most fundamental was that just as the Russo-Japanese war had been decided by the naval Battle of Tsushima, the war against the United States would be decided by a single decisive naval battle or Kantai Kessen. This great naval clash would be determined by the big guns aboard battleships and this conviction was shared by both the Japanese and the American naval leaders alike.
All other arms of the navy were to be dedicated to supporting the battleships when they met the Americans in battle. The Japanese assumed that at the start of any conflict they would seize the unprotected American-held Philippines; this would force the United States to undertake a drive across the Pacific to retake them. The great decisive clash would take place somewhere in the western Pacific where the Japanese decided was the right area to stop the American advance, it was clear to the Japanese that in order to win the decisive battle they would have to make up for their numerical disadvantage. The Japanese acknowledged that they would never have the industrial capacity to create a navy, equal in size to the United States, however, as they were planning on fighting a defensive war they calculated that they had to have only 70 percent of the strength of the United States Navy to be in a position to achieve victory; this assumption was built on two pillars, both became driving forces in Japanese naval construction, tactical development and training between the wars.
The first was that the Japanese would had to have the weapons and tactics to inflict severe attrition on the US Pacific Fleet before the decisive battle which would bring the Japanese to at least parity. Once at rough parity, Japanese naval units with superior speed and capable of hitting at ranges beyond the reach of the Americans and crewed by expertly trained personnel, would win the day; the naval war that Japan fought in the Pacific during 1941-45 reflected quite a different strategy from the one in which the Imperial Japanese Navy had been planning and training for throughout the interwar period. This was due to the views and actions of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto who had assumed command of the Combined Fleet in August 1939. Yamamoto overnight, changed the passive wartime strategy of seizing the Philippines and waiting for an American naval advance to the western Pacific to a much more aggressive forward strategy. Yamamoto had first discussed an attack on Pearl Harbor in March or April 1940.
After the completion of the Combined Fleet's annual maneuvers in the fall of 1940, Yamamoto had directed that a study of an attack on Pearl Harbor be performed under the utmost secrecy. By December of that year, Yamamoto had decided to conduct the Pearl Harbor operation. Yamamoto was convinced that war with the United States was inevitable, once the Japanese began any hostilities, he believed that since a traditional victory against the United States was not possible, he had to shatter American morale and force a nego