World War II in the Central Pacific
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Download PDF (77.5 KB)
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Download PDF (441.5 KB)
Download PDF (209.5 KB)
List of illustrations and maps
Download PDF (224.6 KB)
Download PDF (311.9 KB)
No book is possible alone. As this book began life as a dissertation, my first thanks have to go to Dr. Williamson Murray, Dr. John Gooch, Dr. Holger Afflerbach, and Dr. Robert Foley who guided me through the research and writing. Without their honest criticism and willingness to share their years of experience, I never would have gotten past the first ...
Download PDF (356.1 KB)
From the distance of seventy years, it is tempting to look back on World War II and proclaim that the Allied victory was inevitable. In the Pacific theater, historians gifted with perfect hindsight point to Japan’s lack of natural resources, its inferior industrial capacity and the suicidal Bushido code, as factors that combined to make that nation’s defeat a certainty. At ...
Chapter 1. Guadalcanal: The Ad Hoc Operation
Download PDF (747.0 KB)
No one predicted that the first ground offensive of either theater of the war would occur on an unknown speck of an island in the Southwest Pacific. After all, announced Allied strategy specified the defeat of Germany was the first priority. In the Pacific, the military expected only limited offensive efforts for at least the first years of the war. However, the threat Japan presented by building an enemy airbase less than 1,000 miles from Australia, especially one ...
Chapter 2. The Gilberts: Parallel Operations (A Tale of Three Smiths)
Download PDF (738.2 KB)
As the Americans prepared the Gilbert Islands assault, Guadal-canal’s lessons were foremost in the planners’ minds. Although American forces were ultimately victorious, many felt that inad-equate training and poor intelligence had caused a needless waste of lives. To a large degree planners took the lessons learned on Gua-dalcanal and successfully applied the solutions to the next phase of offensive operations. At Guadalcanal, however, the landings were ...
Chapter 3. The Marshalls: The Perfect Operation
Download PDF (705.4 KB)
With victories on Guadalcanal and the Gilberts, the Americans not only succeeded in wresting valuable territory from the Japanese, they also verified the basic soundness of U. S. amphibious doctrine and equipment. However, both operations also revealed a distressing number of weaknesses. With just six weeks between the Gilberts and upcoming operations in the Marshalls, there was scant time for planners to incorporate the lessons learned into ...
Chapter 4. Saipan: Smith Versus Smith
Download PDF (718.0 KB)
After the relative ease of the Marshall operations, army and marine leaders believed they had mastered the technical details of amphibious landing operations. Armed with battle-tested equipment and battle-hardened troops, they collectively believed they were ready to tackle the key strategic element laid out in the 1943 Cairo Conference—the seizure of Guam and the Japanese Marianas—Unlike earlier landings involving the storming of atolls by rela-...
Chapter 5. Okinawa: The Final Victory
Download PDF (727.8 KB)
After the victory at Saipan, American forces continued their steady progress across the Pacific, tightening the noose around the Japanese homeland. By early April 1945, U.S. forces were poised to launch the largest amphibious operation of the war, aimed, for the first time, directly at one of the Japanese prefectures—Okinawa. This operation was the capstone of three years of brutal warfare and presented the ultimate test of everything the army and marines had ...
Download PDF (352.2 KB)
In August 1942, all that stood between the Japanese and total domina-tion of the Western Pacific was a near-starving, pitifully small band of marines, lining a few miserable ridges on Guadalcanal. Supporting them was a naval force that was nearly wrecked at Pearl Harbor and further depleted by a disastrous engagement off Savo Island. From this inauspi-...
Download PDF (990.9 KB)
Major General A. A. Vandegrift and his planners on board the USS McCawley enroute to Guadalcanal. Second from the right is Colonel Frank Goettge who would lead an ill-LVT-1 amtracs embark on the initial assault on Guadalcanal. Credit: National ArchivesRear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner and Major General A. A. Vandergrift on flag bridge Major General A. A. Vandegrift briefs Major General Alexander Patch before handing ...
Download PDF (626.7 KB)
Download PDF (727.2 KB)
Download PDF (563.5 KB)
Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 35 b&w illus. 5 maps.
Publication Year: 2013