WWII in the Pacific

The war in the Pacific between Imperial Japan and the United States and its Allies was what one historian noted was a ‘war without mercy.” Unlike the war in Western Europe where western nations fought a war of political ideology or the Eastern Front where the Nazis and Soviets fought a war of annihilation the war in the Pacific was a war of opposing cultures and races. It was a tribal war fought on a massive scale. It was a war that pitted culture against culture, the West against the East in a war that pre-figured Samuel Huntington’s “Class of Civilizations.” The Japanese motivated by the spirit of the Samurai, the Code of Bushido and their own understanding of the “Master Race” had embarked on a war of aggression as early as 1942. The west often seeing all oriental races as inferior to Western culture depicted the Japanese as apes and monkeys. The clash of cultures as well as economic and geopolitical factors brought about a war that saw acts of corporate and personal brutality that are hard to imagine to those raised in the liberal Western mindset.

The battles fought and the manner in which the war was waged was even more brutal than the war between the Soviets and Nazi Germany on the Eastern front. The Japanese seldom surrendered and treated their Allied captives as warriors who had dishonored themselves. Likewise most Japanese resisted to the death and the Americans were glad to oblige them that favor.

The Illusion of Peace: Remembering the Day Before Pearl Harbor

The Battle of Cape Esperance: October 11-12 1942

Requiem of Empire: The Yamato Class Battleships

Compounding Disaster: The Loss of the Mikuma at Midway

70 Years: Celebrating the Miracle at Midway

The First Shot: USS Ward at Pearl Harbor

Marking the Illusion of Peace: December 6th 1941

The Battle of Leyte Gulf: Sinking the Musashi

The Battle of Leyte Gulf: Introduction and the Battle of Palawan Passage

Bloody Savo: Disaster at Guadalcanal

The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

Hawks at Angels 12: The Sacrifice of VMF 221 and VSMB 241 at Midway

Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death: The Death of the Torpedo Bombers at Midway

An Invincible Fleet and a Flawed Plan: The Japanese at Midway

The Intangible Force of Morale: A Leadership Lesson from Field Marshal William Slim

The Ships of Pearl Harbor: A Comprehensive List with Short Histories of Each Ship

Forgotten on the Far Side of Ford Island: USS Utah, USS Detroit, USS Raleigh and USS Tangier

Five Minutes that Changed History: The Battle of Midway 1022-1027 hours June 4th 1942

Adjusting Strategy to Reality: The Pacific War- Why the Japanese Lost

“Revisionist” History and the Rape of Nanking 1937

War Without Mercy: Race, Religion, Ideology and Total War

Tom Hanks on the Pacific War and the Impact of Race in the Pacific War

Five Minutes that Changed History: The Battle of Midway 1022-1027 hours June 4th 1942

Background to “The Pacific” Part One: The Guadalcanal Campaign and the Beginning of Joint Operations

Background on the Pacific Part Two: Guadalcanal the Marines take the Offensive

The Pacific Part Three: Tarawa Paving the Way to Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa

Background to “The Pacific” Part V: Okinawa

Okinawa: Göttdammerung in the Pacific

One Square Mile of Hell: The Invasion of Tarawa

Lessons in Coalition Warfare: Admiral Ernest King and the British Pacific Fleet

Pearl Harbor Articles

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a Defining Moment in U.S. History.  These articles were originally filed under their own page, but to clean up the site I have included them under this page.   This will be updated each time I publish a new article on the subject.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

The Illusion of Peace: Remembering the Day Before Pearl Harbor

Departure to Infamy: The Kido Butai Sails for Pearl Harbor

The Ships of Pearl Harbor: A Comprehensive List with Short Histories of Each Ship

Forgotten on the Far Side of Ford Island: USS Utah, USS Detroit, USS Raleigh and USS Tangier

The Battleships of Pearl Harbor

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2 responses to “WWII in the Pacific

  1. bill bye

    would like any info on darrell d woodside amm1/c nap at battle of midway june 4 1942 was in VT-8/ had his gold wings in 1938 from pensacola i don’t know.

    • padresteve

      Bill

      AMM1 Woodside was killed during the battle piloting his aircraft against the Japanese carriers. He was Posthumously awarded the Navy Cross: The citation follows.

      AVIATION MACHINIST’S MATE FIRST CLASS

      DARRELL D. WOODSIDE

      NAVY

      For service as set forth in the following:

      CITATION:

      The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Aviation Machinist’s Mate First Class Darrell D. Woodside (NSN: 3211769), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), embarked from Naval Air Station Midway during the “Air Battle of Midway,” against enemy Japanese forces on 4 and 5 June 1942. In the first attack against an enemy carrier of the Japanese invasion fleet, Aviation Machinist’s Mate First Class Woodside pressed home his attack in the face of withering fire from enemy Japanese fighters and anti-aircraft forces. Because of events attendant upon the Battle of Midway, there can be no doubt that he gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country. His courage and utter disregard for his own personal safety were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

      The sacrifice of brave men like AMM1 Woodside is something that we all need to remember. Thank you for asking and God bless,

      Peace

      Padre Steve+

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