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War in the Pacific
Section 5
pages 777-780
Japanese Aggression
• On the same day that Pearl Harbor was
attacked, Japanese bombers also struck
American airfields in:
- the Philippines
- Wake Island
- Guam
• The Japanese also invaded Malaya,
Thailand, and the city of Hong Kong.
General Douglas MacArthur
• General MacArthur was
the commander of
American troops in the
• When the Japanese took
over the Philippines,
MacArthur’s troops were
forced to retreat to the
Bataan Peninsula.
• MacArthur left the
Philippines and
eventually became the
supreme Allied
commander of the Allied
troops in the Pacific.
Bataan Death March
• Allied troops in the Bataan Peninsula were left to
fight the Japanese for several months.
• On April 9, 1942, the Allies finally surrendered to
the Japanese.
• The troops became POW’s (Prisoners of War)
and were forced to march to a prison camp
nearly 60 miles away.
• This march became known as the deadly
“Bataan Death March.”
How bad was the Bataan Death
• About 76,000 Allied prisoners started out on the march, but only
54,000 reached the camp.
• As one survivor recalled, “Anybody that could walk, they forced ‘em
into a line…If you fell to the side, you were either shot by the guards
or you were stabbed and left there.”
• Why did they fall to the side? Because many of the prisoners were
already sick and dying of starvation before they even began the
Island Hopping
• Allied commanders knew the situation was looking very
bad for the troops in the Pacific.
• The Japanese were winning.
• General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz
had to come up with a new strategy.
• This strategy, known as island hopping, called for
leapfrogging from one island to the next.
• The leapfrogging called for attacking and capturing one
island after the other, until the Allied troops could reach
Japan and the Philippines.
• Eventually, it would be this strategy that would help
defeat the Japanese forces in the Pacific.
Famous Battles of the Pacific
• Battle of the Coral Sea – Why important?
- stopped Japanese advance on Australia.
• Battle of Midway – Why important?
- this was the first major Japanese defeat.
• Battle of Leyte Gulf – Why important?
- this was the biggest naval battle ever fought in history.
• The Allied troops also seized the islands of Iwo Jima and
Kamikaze Pilots
• It now looked as though
the Japanese were losing
to the Allies.
• Japan’s last effort to
defeat the Allies involved
• Kamikazes – suicide
• These pilots crashed
planes loaded with
explosives into American
More pictures of Kamikaze
History of the Atomic Bomb
• 1939: German scientist Albert Einstein warns the
United States that the Nazis could use the
energy of an atom to create an “extremely
powerful” bomb.
• FDR decides to start the:
Manhattan Project – a top secret operation to
create an atomic bomb using the help of
several scientists.
• President Harry Truman continued the
Manhattan Project after Roosevelt’s death. The
bomb was secretly tested in the New Mexico
desert a month before it was used against
Potsdam Declaration
• From July 17, 1945 – August 2, 1945:
- Allied leaders met in Potsdam, Germany
to discuss how to handle the Japanese.
• The leaders decided to give Japan an
ultimatum – either surrender or face
“prompt and utter destruction.”
• The Japanese did NOT surrender, so
President Truman decided to use the
Atomic Bomb to finally end the war.
“Little Boy” Bomb (Aug. 6, 1945)
• Dropped by a B-29
bomber named the
Enola Gay.
• This was the first
bomb used.
• The “Little Boy” was
dropped on the city of
Hiroshima and killed
70,000 people.
“Fat Man” Bomb (Aug. 9, 1945)
• Dropped by a B-29
bomber named the
• This was the second
bomb used.
• The “Fat Man” was
dropped on the city of
Nagasaki and killed
40,000 people.
Can you find the cities of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
on your map?
The War Ends
• The Japanese had no choice but to surrender to
the Allies.
• Two extremely powerful atomic bombs had been
dropped on two of their largest cities.
• August 15, 1945, was declared V-J Day, which
means “Victory over Japan.”
• The Japanese government formally surrendered
to the Allies aboard the U.S.S. Missouri on
September 2, 1945. The war was finally over!
U.S.S. Alabama
The U.S.S. Alabama is docked
right here in the city of Mobile in
Mobile Bay.
In the Atlantic and the Pacific
• USS Alabama began her combat service augmenting the
British Fleet protecting convoys on the "Murmansk Run"
from England through the North Sea to Russia against
German warships and aircraft.
• The ship transferred to the Pacific Fleet in August 1943,
and earned 9 battle stars providing gunfire support for
amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands and
protecting carrier task forces from air and surface attack.
• Alabama was credited with shooting down 22 Japanese
planes. Her radar was the first to detect enemy bombers
in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, at the unprecedented
range of 190 miles. This warning enabled U.S. fighters
and anti-aircraft gunners to destroy over 400 Japanese