Pacific Theater WWII

Pacific Theater

The Pacific Theater during World War II is generally regarded as the area of military confrontation between the Allied powers and Imperial Japan. The Pacific Theater consists of the entire operational expanse of the war from the Aleutian Islands in the north to Australia in the south, including island chains such as the Solomons, Gilberts, Marshalls, and Marianas. The China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater is also considered a major component of the Pacific Theater.

It was during the now-infamous Goettge Patrol Incident that marines died in one of the first publicized atrocities of the South Pacific.

Pacific Theater

The Ill-Fated Goettge Patrol Incident in the Early Days of Guadalcanal

By John Wukovits

The summer of 1942 had brought uplifting news for the United States in the Pacific Theater. After a numbing series of setbacks, including the December 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent fall of Guam and the Philippines, the nation’s Navy had husbanded its depleted forces and, with the crucial aid of naval intelligence, halted the Japanese in the May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea and the June Battle of Midway. Read more

Pacific Theater

Franklin Roosevelt’s Pre-Pearl Harbor Intervention Plans

By Donald J. Young

This is a story of what might have been. If Japan had chosen to attack far-off British Malaya on December 7, 1941, instead of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, President Franklin Roosevelt was prepared to go before Congress and ask—for the first time in American history—for a declaration of war against a nation that had not fired the first shot against us. Read more

U.S. Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers rained destruction on major Japanese cities.

Pacific Theater

B-29 Superfortress: The Plane That Bombed Japan Into Submission

By Sam McGowan

As the Japanese delegation stood on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, preparing to sign the documents that ended World War II, a large formation of Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers swooped low over Tokyo Bay as a reminder of the terrible destruction that had befallen their nation and turned Japan’s cities into ruins. Read more

Admirals Chester W. Nimitz and Isoroku Yamamoto took great risks in committing their fleets to the Battle of Midway—but for different reasons.

Pacific Theater

Comparing Admiral Chester Nimitz and Isoroku Yamamoto

by Michael Haskew

“Japan cannot defeat America; therefore, Japan should not go to war with America.” Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, spoke those words to a group of school children as his government contemplated just that. Read more

During the Battle of the Tenaru, U.S. Marines annihilated a detachment of elite Japanese troops.

Pacific Theater

Marine Stand on Guadalcanal

By David Alan Johnson

At about 2:30 on the morning of August 21, 1942, U.S. Marine units east of Henderson Field on the embattled island of Guadalcanal were awakened by several bursts of machinegun fire. Read more