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World War Two - War at Sea

The U.S. Navy's War: Pearl Harbor to Midway (Dept. of the Navy, 1947)

An essay on the U.S. Navy's progress during the first six months of World War Two.

- from Amazon:

" Japan's decision to launch a war was based on the assumption that the conflict in Europe would render Russia and Great Britain negligible factors in the Far East. It was based on the further assumption that the United States, already committed to near belligerency in the Atlantic could not, even if finally successful in that theater, mount an offensive in the Pacific in less than 18 months to two years and would not in any case be willing to pay the price of total victory in the Pacific."


Gaudalcanal to Bougainville and the Progress of the U.S. Navy (Dept. of the Navy, 1947)

"With the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, United States and Japanese carrier strength became nearly equal. At the same time the news that the Japanese advance was creeping down the Solomons and commencing the construction of an airfield on Guadalcanal made it advisable to undertake a limited offensive in the South Pacific."

Read about the Battle of Leyte Gulf...


The U.S. Navy's War: Tarawa to Tokyo (Dept. of the Navy, 1947)

Attached is a 1947 report by the U.S. Navy summing up the remarkable roll that naval aviation played during the last half of the war with Imperial Japan:

"In the advance across the Central Pacific the carrier task force with it's extreme flexibility and mobility had been the dominant factor. It established the conditions under which long-range amphibious advances were possible. It never failed to gain command of the air at the required time and place, successively overwhelming the air garrisons not only of the Japanese perimeter but of the major fortresses of Formosa and the Philippines, and maintained command of the air until shore-based air forces could be established."

To read articles about W.W. II submarines, Click here.


What the Navy Learned During the Pacific War (Dept. of the Navy, 1947)

The following is an essay from the office of the Chief of Naval Operations concerning what the U.S. Navy learned about carrier warfare during the four year war against Japan.


Death of a Baby Flat-Top (Yank Magazine, 1944)

"The baby flat-top Liscome Bay was sunk by a torpedo from an enemy submarine on the day before Thanksgiving of 1943. The Liscome Bay was on her first battle assignment, covering the occupation of Makin in the Gilbert [islands]...The torpedo struck a half an hour before dawn and it was still dark when Liscome Bay sank."

The ship went under in less than twenty-four minutes; up to that time it was the U.S. Navy's second largest loss since the sinking of the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Only 260 men survived.


The Navy Training Film that Won A Naval Engagement (Coronet Magazine, 1959)

This three page reminiscence provides an example of the persuasive power of film and it tells the tale of an important event at a small industrial building in Hollywood, California, that housed the Navy Film Services Depot between 1942 and 1945.

"Taking the Offensive" was the name given to this small, low budget training film that was produced on that dusty sun-bleached street and it didn't appear to be anything terribly special to the NCOs who produced it at the time - but they learned later that their film provided a badly needed shot in the arm to the then untested officers and men of one particular heavy cruiser that was destined to tangle with three Japanese ships the next day.

Click here to read about the Battle of the Coral Sea,


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