War in the Pacific

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War in the Pacific

War in the Pacific

  • Japanese simultaneously attack Hong Kong, Malaya, and the Phillippines

  • Japanese destroy the American Far East Air Corp while still on the ground

  • Before the end of 1941, MacArthur was in full retreat toward the Bataan peninsula


  • Feb. 22, 1942, Roosevelt orders MacArthur to abandon his force and go to Australia

  • Upon leaving MacArthur’s infamous words were “I shall return”

  • Johnathan Wainwright takes over command

  • April 8, 1942 Wainwright orders abandonment of Bataan.

Bataan Death March

  • 65 mile march to a railway junction

  • Thousands died from disease, exhaustion, or Japanese brutality

  • View stories and footage of Bataan Death March

U.S. Bombs Tokyo

  • Colonel James H. Doolittle led the raid

  • Planes took off from small carriers

  • Raid was psychologically important for America

  • Most important effect was that is speeded up the Japanese timetable for conquest and put them on the road to ruin.

The Battle of Midway

  • Yamamoto divides fleet into large and small fleet

    • Sends small fleet to Aleutian islands hoping America will take the bait and send some ships from Midway to Aleutian islands.
  • Admiral Nimitz didn’t fall for it

    • Had broken Japanese code

Battle of Midway

  • Yamamoto attacks Midway

  • Americans hope to strike while Japanese are refueling, but they change their course

    • Only the torpedo bombers attack and they are slaughtered

Battle of Midway

  • Dive bombers find the Japanese and begin attacking

    • Inflict incredible damage
  • Admiral Yamamoto calls off the attack

  • First naval defeat in Japanese history

The Land of the Free??

  • Nisei- people of Japanese ancestry born in the U.S.

  • U.S. suspended civil liberties and put many Japanese in relocation camps


  • Japanese begin to build an airbase here

  • U.S. try to occupy and defend other islands in the Solomon islands in preparation for further offensive action.

  • General Vandergrift prepares for operation shoestring.


  • Battle lasted six months

  • American Marines go in and swiftly capture the unfinished airstrip and rename it Hendersen Field.

  • Japanese take control of The Slot

    • Corridor running between the Solomon islands
    • Destroy all of the American Ships there
  • Force Americans to hold on until reinforcements arrived


  • First Japanese attempt was very unsuccessful

  • Second Japanese attempt was to try and take Henderson Air Field.

  • Third attempt- Japanese defeated

  • Final victory owed a lot to a band of Marine fliers known as the Cactus Air Force

Guadalcanal-The Final Battle

  • Japanese come down The Slot with a huge force

    • Want to take Henderson AirField
  • U.S. had only 5 cruisers and 8 destroyers

  • Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was one of the most fierce surface sea fights in all of history

Map of the Pacific

  • Map of the Pacific

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