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Military history of the United States during World War II

Military history of the United States during World War II

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The military history of the United States during World War II covers the involvement of the United States during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 declared war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

 on the United States of America  on 7 December 1941, immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 on the same day. On 11 December 1941, Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States. Until that time, the United States had maintained neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

, although it had, since March that same year, supplied the Allies with war material through the Lend-Lease Act
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

. During the war over 16 million Americans served in the United States military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

. Many others served with the Merchant Marine
United States Merchant Marine
The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant vessels, operated by either the government or the private sector, that engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is...

  and paramilitary civilian units like the WASPs
Women Airforce Service Pilots
The Women Airforce Service Pilots and its predecessor groups the Women's Flying Training Detachment and the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron were pioneering organizations of civilian female pilots employed to fly military aircraft under the direction of the United States Army Air Forces...

.

Origins


American public opinion was hostile to Hitler's Germany, but intense controversy eruption on how much aid to give the Allies. Public opinion was even more hostile to Japan, and there was little opposition to stepped up support for China. By 1940 the U.S., while still neutral, was becoming the "Arsenal of Democracy
Arsenal of Democracy
"The Arsenal of Democracy" was a propaganda slogan coined by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a radio broadcast delivered on December 29, 1940. Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by giving them military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual...

" for the Allies, supplying money and war materials. The sudden defeat of France in spring 1940 galvanized the nation into a belated large-scale buildup of its military forces, including the first peace-time draft. With the entry of the Soviet Union into the war in June 1941, American Lend Lease aid started flowing to Russia as well as Britain and China.

Command system


In 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 set up a new command structure with Admiral Ernest J. King as Chief of Naval Operations in complete control of the Navy and Marines, General George C. Marshall in charge of the Army, and in nominal control of the Air Force, which in practice was commanded by General Hap Arnold. Roosevelt formed a new body, the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

, which made the final decisions on American military strategy. The Joint Chiefs was a White House agency chaired by Admiral William D. Leahy
William D. Leahy
Fleet Admiral William Daniel Leahy was an American naval officer, building his reputation through administration and staff work. As Chief of Naval Operations he was the senior officer in Navy, overseeing the preparations for war. After retiring from the Navy he was appointed by his close friend...

, who became FDR's chief military advisor. As the war progressed Marshall became the dominant voice in the JCS in the shaping of strategy. When dealing with Europe, the Joint Chiefs met with their British counterparts and formed the Combined Chiefs of Staff
Combined Chiefs of Staff
The Combined Chiefs of Staff was the supreme military command for the western Allies during World War II. It was a body constituted from the British Chiefs of Staff Committee and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff....

. Unlike the political leaders of the other major powers, Roosevelt rarely overrode his military advisors. The civilians handled the draft and procurement of men and equipment, but no civilians--not even the secretaries of War or Navy, had a voice in strategy. Roosevelt avoided the State Department and conducted high level diplomacy through his aides, especially Harry Hopkins
Harry Hopkins
Harry Lloyd Hopkins was one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's closest advisers. He was one of the architects of the New Deal, especially the relief programs of the Works Progress Administration , which he directed and built into the largest employer in the country...

. Since Hopkins also controlled $50 billion in Lend Lease funds given to the Allies, they paid attention to him.

Lend-Lease


Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 during a dinner at the Tehran Conference
Tehran Conference
The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943, most of which was held at the Soviet Embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first World War II conference amongst the Big Three in which Stalin was present...

, 1943


The year 1940 marked a change in attitude in the United States. The German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 victories in France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

, Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 and elsewhere, combined with the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

, led many Americans to believe that the United States would be forced to fight soon. In March 1941, the Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

 program began shipping money, munitions, and food to Britain, China, and (by that fall) Russia.

By 1941 the United States was taking an active part in the war, despite its nominal neutrality. In spring U-boats began their "wolf- pack" tactics which threatened to sever the trans- Atlantic supply line; Roosevelt extended the Pan-American Security Zone
Pan-American Security Zone
During the early years of World War II before the United States became a formal belligerent, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a region of the Atlantic, adjacent to the Americas as the Pan-American Security Zone. Within this zone, United States naval ships escorted convoys bound for Europe...

 east almost as far as Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

. American warships escorting Allied convoys in the western Atlantic had several hostile encounters with U-boats. On September 4, a German U-Boat attacked the destroyer USS Greer off Iceland. A week later Roosevelt ordered American warships to shoot U-boats on sight. A U-boat shot up the USS Kearny
USS Kearny (DD-432)
USS Kearny , a Gleaves-class destroyer, was a United States Navy ship named for Commodore Lawrence Kearny, who was known for his tenacity in capturing slave traders in West-Indian waters and his tireless efforts in fighting Greek pirates in the Mediterranean.-Early history:Kearny was launched 9...

 as it escorted a British merchant convoy. The USS Reuben James
USS Reuben James (DD-245)
USS Reuben James —a post-World War I four-funnel Clemson-class destroyer—was the first United States Navy ship sunk by hostile action in World War II and the first named for Boatswain's Mate Reuben James , who distinguished himself fighting in the Barbary Wars.Reuben James was laid down on 2 April...

 was sunk by U-552
Unterseeboot 552
German submarine U-552 was a Type VIIC U-Boat built for the German Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 1 December 1939 at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg and went into service on 4 December 1940. U-552 was nicknamed the Roter Teufel after its mascot of a grinning devil which...

 on October 31, 1941.

The Battle of Pearl Harbor



Because of Japanese advances in French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

 and China, the United States, in coordination with the British and Dutch, cut off all oil supplies to Japan, which had imported 90% of its oil. The oil embargo threatened to grind the Japanese military machine to a halt. Japan refused American demands to leave China and decided that war with the United States was inevitable; its only hope was to strike first. President Roosevelt had months earlier transferred the American fleet to Hawaii from California in order to deter the Japanese. The Battle of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was the worst naval defeat in American history. The fight was completely one-sided. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Isoroku Yamamoto
was a Japanese Naval Marshal General and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II, a graduate of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and a student of Harvard University ....

 argued the only way to win the war was to knock out the main American fleet immediately. His elaborately trained fleet approached within 200 miles of Hawaii without being detected. Admiral Chūichi Nagumo
Chuichi Nagumo
was a Japanese admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II and one time commander of the Kido Butai . He committed suicide during the Battle of Saipan.-Early life:...

 held tactical command. Over a five hour period his six carriers sent two waves of 360 dive-bombers, torpedo planes and fighters. They destroyed or severely damaged eight battleships, ten smaller warships, and 230 aircraft; 2,400 American soldiers and sailors were killed. Japanese losses were negligible--29 planes shot down (several American planes were also shot down by anti-aircraft fire). Commander Minoru Genda
Minoru Genda
was a well-known Japanese military aviator and politician. He is best known for planning the Pearl Harbor attack.- Early life :Minoru Genda was the second son of a farmer from Hiroshima. Two brothers were graduates of Tokyo University, another brother graduated from Chiba Medical College, and his...

, the chief planner of the raid, begged Nagumo to strike again at the shore facilities, oil storage tanks, and submarines, and to hunt down the American carriers that were supposedly nearby. But Nagumo, having just smashed the Americans in one of the greatest victories of naval history, decided not to risk further action. Japanese success was due to courage, good equipment, excellent pilots, total surprise, and above all, a daring and imaginative plan. To even reach Pearl Harbor they had to learn how to refuel at sea (a technique the US Navy already had worked out); to sink all those ships they used their superb electric torpedoes and perfected shallow-water bombing tactics. Surprise was decisive. While everyone knew that war was imminent, no one at Pearl expected an attack. Despite later rumors, thee was no advance knowledge of the Japanese plan. The commanders had been complacent about routine defensive measures. Even if the defense had been more alert, the surprise and overwhelming power of the Japanese strike probably would have been decisive. In broader perspective, the attack was a failure. The lost battleships reflected obsolete doctrine and were not needed; the lost planes were soon replaced; the casualty list was short by World War II standards. Tokyo's calculation that the Americans would lose heart and seek a compromise peace proved wildly wrong--the "sneak attack" electrified public opinion, committing America with near unanimity to a war to the death against the Japanese Empire.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt officially asked for a declaration of war on Japan before a joint session of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on 8 December 1941. This notion passed with only one vote against in both chambers.

Fall of the Philippines and Dutch East Indies



Within hours of Pearl harbor Japanese air forces from Formosa destroyed much of the U.S. Far East Air Force, based near Manila. The Japanese army invaded and trapped the American and Filipino forces on the Bataan peninsula. Roosevelt evacuated General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 and the nurses, but there was no way to save the trapped men against overwhelming Japanese naval power. MacArthur flew to Australia, vowing "I came out of Bataan and I shall return." Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright
Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV
Jonathan Mayhew "Skinny" Wainwright IV was a career American army officer and the commander of Allied forces in the Philippines at the time of their surrender to the Empire of Japan during World War II...

 surrendered on 8 May; the prisoners died by the thousands in the Bataan Death March
Bataan Death March
The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners.The march was characterized by...

 and in disease-ridden Japanese prison camps where food and medicine were in very short supply.

The Japanese Navy seemed unstoppable as they seized the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 to gain its rich oil resources. The American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces were combined under the ABDA
American-British-Dutch-Australian Command
The American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, or ABDACOM, was a short-lived, supreme command for all Allied forces in South East Asia, in early 1942, during the Pacific War in World War II...

 command but its fleet was quickly sunk in several naval battles around Java
Dutch East Indies campaign
The Dutch East Indies campaign of 1941–1942 was the conquest of the Dutch East Indies by forces from the Empire of Japan in the early days of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Forces from the Allies attempted unsuccessfully to defend the islands. Indonesia was targeted by the Japanese for its...

.

Solomon Islands and New Guinea Campaign


Following their rapid advance, the Japanese started the Solomon Islands Campaign from their newly conquested main base at Rabaul
Rabaul
Rabaul is a township in East New Britain province, Papua New Guinea. The town was the provincial capital and most important settlement in the province until it was destroyed in 1994 by falling ash of a volcanic eruption. During the eruption, ash was sent thousands of metres into the air and the...

 in January 1942. The Japanese seized several islands including Tulagi and Guadalcanal, before they were halted by further events leading to the Guadalcanal Campaign
Guadalcanal campaign
The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower by Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II...

. This campaign also converged with the New Guinea campaign
New Guinea campaign
The New Guinea campaign was one of the major military campaigns of World War II.Before the war, the island of New Guinea was split between:...

.

Battle of the Coral Sea


In May 1942, the United States fleet engaged the Japanese fleet during the first battle in history in which neither fleet fired directly on the other, nor did the ships of both fleets actually see each other. It was also the first time that aircraft carriers were used in battle. While indecisive, it was nevertheless a turning point because American commanders learned the tactics that would serve them later in the war.

Battle of the Aleutian Islands



The Battle of the Aleutian Islands was the last battle between sovereign nations to be fought on American soil. As part of a diversionary plan for the Battle of Midway, the Japanese took control of two of the Aleutian Islands. Their hope was that strong American naval forces would be drawn away from Midway, enabling a Japanese victory. Because their ciphers were broken, the American forces only drove the Japanese out after Midway.

Battle of Midway


Having learned important lessons at Coral Sea, the United States Navy was prepared when the Japanese navy under Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Isoroku Yamamoto
was a Japanese Naval Marshal General and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II, a graduate of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy and a student of Harvard University ....

 launched an offensive aimed at destroying the American Pacific Fleet at Midway Island. The Japanese hoped to embarrass the Americans after the humiliation of the Doolittle Raid
Doolittle Raid
The Doolittle Raid, on 18 April 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese Home Islands during World War II. By demonstrating that Japan itself was vulnerable to American air attack, it provided a vital morale boost and opportunity for U.S. retaliation after the...

 on Tokyo. Midway was a strategic island that both sides wished to use as an air base. Yamamoto hoped to achieve complete surprise and a quick capture of the island, followed by a decisive carrier battle with which he could completely destroy the American carrier fleet. Before the battle began, however, American intelligence intercepted his plan, allowing Admiral Chester Nimitz
Chester Nimitz
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz, GCB, USN was a five-star admiral in the United States Navy. He held the dual command of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet , for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas , for U.S...

 to formulate an effective defensive ambush of the Japanese fleet. The battle began on 4 June 1942. By the time it was over, the Japanese had lost four carriers, as opposed to one American carrier lost. The Battle of Midway was the turning point of the war in the Pacific because the United States had seized the initiative and was on the offensive for the duration of the war.

Island hopping


Following the resounding victory at Midway, the United States began a major land offensive. The Allies came up with a strategy known as Island hopping, or the bypassing of islands that served little or no strategic importance. Because air power was crucial to any operation, only islands that could support airstrips were targeted by the Allies. The fighting for each island in the Pacific Theater would be savage, as the Americans faced a determined and battle-hardened enemy who had known little defeat on the ground.

Air strategy


General George Kenney
George Kenney
George Churchill Kenney was a United States Army Air Forces general during World War II. He was commander of the Allied air forces in the Southwest Pacific Area from August 1942 until 1945.-Early life:...

, in charge of tactical air power under MacArthur, never had enough planes, pilots or supplies. (He was not allowed any authority whatever over the Navy's carriers.) But the Japanese were always in worse shape--their equipment deteriorated rapidly because of poor airfields and incompetent maintenance. The Japanese had excellent planes and pilots in 1942, but ground commanders dictated their missions and ignored the need for air superiority before any other mission could be attempted. Theoretically, Japanese doctrine stressed the need to gain air superiority, but the infantry commanders repeatedly wasted air assets defending minor positions. When Arnold, echoing the official Army line, stated the Pacific was a "defensive" theater, Kenney retorted that the Japanese pilot was always on the offensive. "He attacks all the time and persists in acting that way. To defend against him you not only have to attack him but to beat him to the punch."
Key to Kenney's strategy was the neutralization of bypassed Japanese strongpoints like Rabaul and Truk through repeated bombings. He said a major shortfall was "the kids coming here from the States were green as grass. They were not getting enough gunnery, acrobatics, formation flying, or night flying." So he set up extensive retraining programs. The arrival of superior fighters, especially the twin-tailed Lockheed P-38 Lightning, gave the Americans an edge in range and performance. Occasionally a ripe target appeared, as in the Battle of the Bismark Sea (March, 1943) when bombers sank a major convoy bringing troops and supplies to New Guinea. That success was no fluke. High-flying bombers almost never could hit moving ships. Kenney solved that weakness by teaching pilots the effective new tactic of flying in close to the water then pulling up and lobbing bombs that skipped across the water and into the target.
Building airfields

The goal of island hopping was to build forward air fields. AAF commander General Hap Arnold correctly anticipated that he would have to build forward airfields in inhospitable places. Working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, he created Aviation Engineer Battalions that by 1945 included 118,000 men; it operated in all theatres. Runways, hangers, radar stations, power generators, barracks, gasoline storage tanks and ordnance dumps had to be built hurriedly on tiny coral islands, mud flats, featureless deserts, dense jungles, or exposed locations still under enemy artillery fire. The heavy construction gear had to be imported, along with the engineers, blueprints, steel-mesh landing mats, prefabricated hangars, aviation fuel, bombs and ammunition, and all necessary supplies. As soon as one project was finished the battalion would load up its gear and move forward to the next challenge, while headquarters inked in a new airfield on the maps. Heavy rains often reduced the capacity of old airfields, so new ones were built. Often engineers had to repair and use a captured enemy airfield. Unlike the well-built German air fields in Europe, the Japanese installations were ramshackle affairs with poor siting, poor drainage, scant protection, and narrow, bumpy runways. Engineering was a low priority for the offense-minded Japanese, who chronically lacked adequate equipment and imagination.

Combat experience


Airmen flew far more often in the Southwest Pacific than in Europe, and although rest time in Australia was scheduled, there was no fixed number of missions that would produce transfer out of combat, as was the case in Europe. coupled with the monotonous, hot, sickly environment, the result was bad morale that jaded veterans quickly passed along to newcomers. After a few months, epidemics of combat fatigue (now called Combat stress reaction
Combat stress reaction
Combat stress reaction , in the past commonly known as shell shock or battle fatigue, is a range of behaviours resulting from the stress of battle which decrease the combatant's fighting efficiency. The most common symptoms are fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's...

) would drastically reduce the efficiency of units. The men who had been at jungle airfields longest, the flight surgeons reported, were in bad shape:
Many have chronic dysentery or other disease, and almost all show chronic fatigue states. . . .They appear listless, unkempt, careless, and apathetic with almost masklike facial expression. Speech is slow, thought content is poor, they complain of chronic headaches, insomnia, memory defect, feel forgotten, worry about themselves, are afraid of new assignments, have no sense of responsibility, and are hopeless about the future."

Marine Aviation and the issue of ground support



The Marines had their own land-based aviation, built around the excellent Chance-Vought F4U Corsair, an unusually large fighter-bomber. By 1944 10,000 Marine pilots operated 126 combat squadrons. Marine Aviation originally had the mission of close support for ground troops, but it dropped that role in the 1920s and 1930s and became a junior component of naval aviation. The new mission was to protect the fleet from enemy air attacks. Marine pilots, like all aviators, fiercely believed in the prime importance of air superiority; they did not wish to be tied down to supporting ground troops. On the other hand, the ground Marines needed close air support because they lacked heavy firepower of their own. Mobility was a basic mission of Marine ground forces; they were too lightly armed to employ the sort of heavy artillery barrages and massed tank movements the Army used to clear the battlefield. The Japanese were so well dug in that Marines often needed air strikes on positions 300 to 1,500 yards ahead. In 1944, after considerable internal acrimony, Marine Aviation was forced to start helping out. At Iwo Jima ex-pilots in the air liaison party (ALP) not only requested air support, but actually directed it in tactical detail. The Marine formula increased responsiveness, reduced "friendly" casualties, and (flying weather permitting) substituted well for the missing armor and artillery. For the next half century close air support would remain central to the mission of Marine Aviation, provoking eternal jealousy from the Army which was never allowed to operate fixed-wing fighters or bombers, although the Army was allowed to have
some unarmed transports and spotter planes.

Guadalcanal


Guadalcanal, fought from August 1942 to February 1943, was the first major Allied offensive of the war in the Pacific Theater. This campaign pitted American air, naval and ground forces (later augmented by Australians and New Zealanders) against determined Japanese resistance. Guadalcanal was the key to control the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

, which both sides as strategically essential. Both sides won some battles but both sides were overextended in terms of supply lines. Logistical failures in a hostile physical environment hampered everyone. As happened time and again in the Pacific, the Japanese logistical support system failed, as only 20% of the supplies dispatched from Rabaul to Guadalcanal ever reached there. Consequently the 30,000 Japanese troops lacked heavy equipment, adequate ammunition and even enough food; 10,000 were killed, 10,000 starved to death, and the remaining 10,000 were evacuated in February 1943. In the end Guadalcanal was a major American victory as the Japanese inability to keep pace with the rate of American reinforcements proved decisive. Guadalcanal is an iconic episode in the annals of American military history, underscoring heroic bravery of underequipped individuals in fierce combat with a determined foe.

Marines from the 1st Marine Division and soldiers from the Army XIV Corps landed on 7 August 1942. They quickly captured Henderson Field, and prepared defenses. In the Battle of Bloody Ridge
Battle of Edson's Ridge
The Battle of Edson's Ridge, also known as the Battle of the Bloody Ridge, Battle of Raiders Ridge, and Battle of the Ridge, was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between Imperial Japanese Army and Allied ground forces...

, the Americans held off wave after wave of Japanese counterattacks before charging what was left of the Japanese. After more than six months of combat the island was firmly in control of the Allies on 8 February 1943.

Meanwhile the rival navies fought seven battles, with the two sides diving the victories. They were: Battle of Savo Island
Battle of Savo Island
The Battle of Savo Island, also known as the First Battle of Savo Island and, in Japanese sources, as the , was a naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval forces...

, Battle of the Eastern Solomons
Battle of the Eastern Solomons
The naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons The naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons The naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons (also known as the Battle of the Stewart Islands and, in Japanese sources, as the , took place on 24–25 August 1942, and was the third carrier battle of the Pacific campaign...

, Battle of Cape Esperance
Battle of Cape Esperance
The Battle of Cape Esperance, also known as the Second Battle of Savo Island and, in Japanese sources, as the , took place on 11–12 October 1942, and was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and United States Navy...

, Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Santa Cruz or in Japanese sources as the , was the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II and the fourth major naval engagement fought between the United States Navy and the Imperial...

, Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, sometimes referred to as the Third and Fourth Battles of Savo Island, the Battle of the Solomons, The Battle of Friday the 13th, or, in Japanese sources, as the , took place from 12–15 November 1942, and was the decisive engagement in a series of naval battles...

, Battle of Tassafaronga
Battle of Tassafaronga
The Battle of Tassafaronga, sometimes referred to as the Fourth Battle of Savo Island or, in Japanese sources, as the , was a nighttime naval battle that took place November 30, 1942 between United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy warships during the Guadalcanal campaign...

 and Battle of Rennell Island
Battle of Rennell Island
The Battle of Rennell Island took place on 29–30 January 1943, and was the last major naval engagement between the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II...

.

Tarawa



Guadalcanal made it clear to the Americans that the Japanese would fight to the bitter end. After brutal fighting in which few prisoners were taken on either side, the United States and the Allies pressed on the offensive. The landings at Tarawa on 20 November 1943, by the Americans became bogged down as armor attempting to break through the Japanese lines of defense either sank, were disabled or took on too much water to be of use. The Americans were eventually able to land a limited number of tanks and drive inland. After days of fighting the Allies took control of Tarawa on 23 November. Of the original 2,600 Japanese soldiers on the island, only 17 were still alive.

Operations in Central Pacific


In preparation of the recapture of the Philippines, the Allies started the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign
Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign
In the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, from November 1943 through February 1944, were key strategic operations of the United States Pacific Fleet and Marine Corps in the Central Pacific. The campaign was preceded by a raid on Makin Island by U.S...

 to retake the Gilbert and Marshall Islands from the Japanese in summer 1943. Moving closer to Japan, the U.S. Navy decisively won the Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of the Philippine Sea
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War...

 and landing forces captured the Mariana and Palau Islands
Mariana and Palau Islands campaign
The Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, also known as Operation Forager, was an offensive launched by United States forces against Imperial Japanese forces in the Mariana Islands and Palau in the Pacific Ocean between June and November, 1944 during the Pacific War...

 in summer 1944. The goal was building airbases within range of the new B-29 bomber aimed at Japan's industrial cities.

Liberation of the Philippines


The Battle of Leyte Gulf
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history.It was fought in waters...

 in October 23-26, 1944, was a decisive American victory that sank virtually the entire remaining Japanese fleet in the largest naval battle in history. Although the Japanese came surprising close to inflicting a major defeat on the Americans, at the last minute the Japanese panicked and lost. The battle was a complex overlapping series of engagements fought off the Philippine island of Leyte, which the U.S. Army had just invaded. The army forces were highly vulnerable to naval attack, and the Japanese goal was to inflict massive destruction. Two American fleets were involved, the Seventh and Third, but they were independent and did not communicate well so the Japanese with a trick maneuver slipped between the two American fleets and almost reached the beaches. However the Japanese communication system was even worse, and the Japanese army and navy did not cooperate, and the three Japanese fleets were each destroyed. .

General MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines by landing at Leyte on 20 October 1944. The grueling re-capture of the Philippines took place from 1944 to 1945 and included the battles of Leyte
Battle of Leyte
The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the invasion and conquest of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American and Filipino guerrilla forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by...

, Luzon
Battle of Luzon
The Battle of Luzon was a land battle fought as part of the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II by the Allied forces of the U.S., its colony The Philippines, and Mexico against forces of the Empire of Japan. The battle resulted in a U.S. and Filipino victory...

, and Mindanao
Battle of Mindanao
The Battle of Mindanao was fought by United States forces and allied Filipino guerrillas against the Japanese from 10 March-15 August 1945 at Mindanao island in the Philippine Archipelago, in a series of actions officially designated as Operation VICTOR V, and part of the campaign for the...

.

Iwo Jima



The Americans did not bypass the small island of Iwo Jima because it wanted bases for fighter escorts; it was actually used as an emergency landing base for B-29s. The Japanese knew they could not win, but the devised a strategy to maximize American casualties. Learning from the Battle of Saipan
Battle of Saipan
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June-9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was...

 they prepared many fortified positions on the island, including pillboxes
Bunker
A military bunker is a hardened shelter, often buried partly or fully underground, designed to protect the inhabitants from falling bombs or other attacks...

 and underground tunnels. The Marines attack began on 19 February 1945. Initially the Japanese put up not resistance, letting the Americans mass, creating more targets before the Americans took intense fire from Mount Suribachi and fought throughout the night until the hill was surrounded. Even as the Japanese were pressed into an ever shrinking pocket, they chose to fight to the end, leaving only 1,000 of the original 21,000 alive. The Marines suffered as well, losing 7,000 men. The battle became iconic in America as the epitome of heroism in desperate hand-to-hand combat.

Okinawa


Okinawa became the last major battle of the Pacific Theater and the Second World War. The island was to become a staging area for the eventual invasion of Japan
Operation Downfall
Operation Downfall was the Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II. The operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan. The operation had two parts: Operation...

 since it was just 350 miles (550 km) south of the Japanese mainland
Mainland Japan
is a term to distinguish the area of Japan from its outlying territories. It was an official term in the pre-war period, distinguishing Japan and the colonies in East Asia...

. Marines and soldiers landed unopposed on 1 April 1945, to begin an 82-day campaign which became the largest land-sea-air battle in history and was noted for the ferocity of the fighting and the high civilian casualties with over 150,000 Okinawans losing their lives. Japanese kamikaze
Kamikaze
The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

 pilots caused the largest loss of ships in U.S. naval history with the sinking of 38 and the damaging of another 368. Total U.S. casualties were over 12,500 dead and 38,000 wounded, while the Japanese lost over 110,000 men. The fierce combat and high American losses led the Navy to oppose an invasion of the main islands. An alternative strategy was chosen: using the atomic bomb to induce surrender.

Strategic Bombing of Japan



The flammability of Japan's large cities, and the concentration of munitions production there, made strategic bombing the favorite strategy of the Americans from 1941 onward. The first efforts were made from bases in China, where massive efforts to establish B-29 bases there and supply them over the Hump (the Himalayas) failed in 1944 the Japanese Army simply moved overland and captured the bases. Saipan
Saipan
Saipan is the largest island of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , a chain of 15 tropical islands belonging to the Marianas archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean with a total area of . The 2000 census population was 62,392...

 and Tinian
Tinian
Tinian is one of the three principal islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.-Geography:Tinian is about 5 miles southwest of its sister island, Saipan, from which it is separated by the Saipan Channel. It has a land area of 39 sq.mi....

), captured by the U.S. in June 1944, gave secure bases for the very-long-range B-29. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress boasted four 2,200 horsepower Wright R-3350 supercharged engines that could lift four tons of bombs 33,000 feet (high above Japanese flak or fighters), and make 3,500 mile round trips. However, the systematic raids that began in June, 1944, were unsatisfactory, because the AAF had learned too much in Europe; it overemphasized self-defense. Arnold, in personal charge of the campaign (bypassing the theater commanders) brought in a new leader, brilliant, indefatigable, hard-charging General Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay
Curtis Emerson LeMay was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968....

. In early 1945, LeMay ordered a radical change in tactics: remove the machine guns and gunners, fly in low at night. (Much fuel was used to get to 30,000 feet; it could now be replaced with more bombs.) The Japanese radar, fighter, and anti-aircraft systems were so ineffective that they could not hit the bombers. Fires raged through the cities, and millions of civilians fled to the mountains.

Tokyo was hit repeatedly, and suffered a fire storm in March that killed 83,000. On June 5, 51,000 buildings in four miles of Kobe were burned out by 473 B-29s; the Japanese were learning to fight back, as 11 B-29s went down and 176 were damaged. Osaka, where one-sixth of the Empire's munitions were made, was hit by 1,733 tons of incendiaries dropped by 247 B-29s. A firestorm burned out 8.1 square miles, including 135,000 houses; 4,000 died. The Japanese local officials reported:
Although damage to big factories was slight, approximately one-fourth of some 4,000 lesser factories, which operated hand-in-hand with the big factories, were completely destroyed by fire.... Moreover, owing to the rising fear of air attacks, workers in general were reluctant to work in the factories, and the attendance fluctuated as much as 50 percent.


The Japanese army, which was not based in the cities, was largely undamaged by the raids. The Army was short of food and gasoline, but, as Iwo Jima and Okinawa proved, it was capable of ferocious resistance. The Japanese also had a new tactic that it hoped would provide the bargaining power to get a satisfactory peace, the Kamikaze.

Kamikaze


In late 1944 the Japanese invented an unexpected and highly effective new tactic, the Kamikaze suicide plane aimed like a guided missile at American ships. The attacks began in October 1944 and continued to the end of the war. Experienced pilots were used to lead a mission because they could navigate; they were not Kamikazes, and they returned to base for another mission. The Kamikaze pilots were inexperienced and had minimal training; however most were well educated and intensely committed to the Emperor.
Kamikaze attacks were highly effective at the Battle of Okinawa
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...

 as 4000 kamikaze sorties sank 38 US ships and damaged 368 more, killing 4,900 sailors. Task Force 58 analyzed the Japanese technique at Okinawa in April, 1945:
"Rarely have the enemy attacks been so cleverly executed and made with such reckless determination. These attacks were generally by single or few aircraft making their approaches with radical changes in course and altitude, dispersing when intercepted and using cloud cover to every advantage. They tailed our friendlies home, used decoy planes, and came in at any altitude or on the water."


The Americans decided best defense against Kamikazes was to knock them out on the ground, or else in the air long before they approached the fleet. The Navy called for more fighters, and more warning, which meant combat air patrols circling the big ships, more radar picket ships (which themselves became prime targets), and more attacks on airbases and gasoline supplies. Japan suspended Kamikaze attacks in May, 1945, because it was now hoarding gasoline and hiding planes in preparation for new suicide attacks if the Allies dared to invade their home islands. The Kamikaze strategy allowed the use of untrained pilots and obsolete planes, and since evasive maneuvering was dropped and there was no return trip, the scarce gasoline reserves could be stretched further. Since pilots guided their airplane like a guided missile all the way to the target, the proportion of hits was much higher than in ordinary bombing. Japan's industry was manufacturing 1,500 new planes a month in 1945. However, the quality of construction was very poor, and many new planes crashed during training or before reaching targets.

Expecting increased resistance, including far more Kamikaze attacks once the main islands of Japan were invaded, the U.S. high command rethought its strategy and used atomic bombs to end the war, hoping it would make a costly invasion unnecessary.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki


As victory for the United States slowly approached, casualties mounted. A fear in the American high command was that an invasion of mainland Japan would lead to enormous losses on the part of the Allies, as casualty estimates for the planned Operation Downfall demonstrate. President Harry Truman gave the order to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 on 6 August 1945, hoping that the destruction of the city would break Japanese resolve and end the war. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August, after it appeared that the Japanese high command was not planning to surrender. Approximately 140,000 people died in Hiroshima from the bomb and its aftereffects by the end of 1945, and approximately 74,000 in Nagasaki, in both cases mostly civilians.

15 August 1945, or V-J Day
Victory over Japan Day
Victory over Japan Day is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event...

, marked the end of the United States' war with the Empire of Japan. Since Japan was the last remaining Axis Power, V-J Day also marked the end of World War II.

Minor American front


The United States contributed several forces to the China Burma India theater, such as a volunteer air squadron (later incorporated into the Army Air Force), and Merrill's Marauders
Merrill's Marauders
Merrill’s Marauders or Unit Galahad, officially named the 5307th Composite Unit , was a United States Army long range penetration special operations unit in the South-East Asian Theater of World War II which fought in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, or CBI...

, an infantry unit. The U.S. also had an adviser to Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

, Joseph Stillwell.

European and North African Theaters


On 11 December 1941, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and Nazi Germany declared war on the United States, the same day that the United States declared war on Germany and Italy.

Europe first


The established grand strategy of the Allies was to defeat Germany and its allies in Europe first, and then focus could shift towards Japan in the Pacific. This was because two of the Allied capitals (London and Moscow) could be directly threatened by Germany, but none of the major Allied capitals were threatened by Japan.

Operation Torch


The United States entered the war in the west with Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

 on 8 November 1942, after their Russian allies had pushed for a second front
Front (military)
A military front or battlefront is a contested armed frontier between opposing forces. This can be a local or tactical front, or it can range to a theater...

 against the Germans. General Dwight Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 commanded the assault on North Africa, and Major General George Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 struck at Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

.

Allied victory in North Africa


The United States did not have a smooth entry into the war against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. Early in 1943, the U.S. Army suffered a near-disastrous defeat at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass
Battle of the Kasserine Pass
The Battle of the Kasserine Pass was a battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign of World War II in February 1943. It was a series of battles fought around Kasserine Pass, a wide gap in the Grand Dorsal chain of the Atlas Mountains in west central Tunisia...

 in February. The senior Allied leadership was primarily to blame for the loss as internal bickering between American General Lloyd Fredendall
Lloyd Fredendall
Lloyd Fredendall was an American General during World War II. Major General Fredendall is best known for his command of the Central Task Force landings during Operation Torch, and his command of the US II Corps during the early stages of the Tunisia Campaign...

 and the British led to mistrust and little communication, causing inadequate troop placements. The defeat could be considered a major turning point, however, because General Eisenhower replaced Fredendall with General Patton.

Slowly the Allies stopped the German advance in Tunisia and by March were pushing back. In mid April, under British General Bernard Montgomery, the Allies smashed through the Mareth Line
Mareth Line
The Mareth Line was a system of fortifications built by the French between the towns of Medenine and Gabès in southern Tunisia, prior to World War II...

 and broke the Axis defense in North Africa. On 13 May 1943, Axis troops in North Africa surrendered, leaving behind 275,000 men. Allied efforts turned towards Sicily and Italy.

Invasion of Sicily and Italy


The first stepping stone for the Allied liberation of Europe was, in Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

's words, the "soft underbelly" of Europe on the Italian island of Sicily. Launched on 9 July 1943, Operation Husky was, at the time, the largest amphibious
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 operation ever undertaken. The operation was a success, and on 17 August the Allies were in control of the island.

Following the Allied victory in Sicily, Italian public sentiment swung against the war and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

. He was deposed in a coup, and the Allies struck quickly, hoping resistance would be slight. The first American troops landed on the Italian peninsula in September 1943, and Italy surrendered on 8 September. German troops in Italy were prepared, however, and took up the defensive positions. As winter approached, the Allies made slow progress against the heavily defended German Winter Line, until the victory at Monte Cassino. Rome fell to the Allies on 4 June 1944.

Strategic bombing







Numerous bombing runs were launched by the United States aimed at the industrial heart of Germany. Using the high altitude B-17, it was necessary for the raids to be conducted in daylight for the drops to be accurate. As adequate fighter escort was rarely available, the bombers would fly in tight, box formations
Combat box
The Combat box was a tactical formation used by heavy bombers of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. The combat box was also referred to as a "staggered formation"...

, allowing each bomber to provide overlapping machine-gun fire for defense. The tight formations made it impossible to evade fire from Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

fighters, however, and American bomber crew losses were high. One such example was the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission
Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission
The Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission was an air combat battle in World War II. A strategic bombing attack flown by B-17 Flying Fortresses of the U.S. Army Air Forces on August 17, 1943, it was conceived as an ambitious plan to cripple the German aircraft industry...

, which resulted in staggering loses of men and equipment. The introduction of the revered P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts...

, which had enough fuel to make a round trip to Germany's heartland, helped to reduce losses later in the war.

Operation Overlord



The second European front that the Soviets had pressed for was finally opened on 6 June 1944, when the Allies attacked the heavily-fortified Atlantic Wall
Atlantic Wall
The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the western coast of Europe as a defense against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland continent from Great Britain.-History:On March 23, 1942 Führer Directive Number 40...

.
Supreme Allied commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower had delayed the attack because of bad weather, but finally the largest amphibious assault in history began.

After prolonged bombing runs on the French coast by the U.S. Army Air Force, 225 U.S. Army Rangers scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc is a clifftop location on the coast of Normandy in northern France. It lies 4 miles west of Omaha Beach, and stands on 100 ft tall cliffs overlooking the sea...

 under intense enemy fire and destroyed the German gun emplacements that could have threatened the amphibious landings.

Also prior to the main amphibious assault, the American 82nd
U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
The 82nd Airborne Division is an active airborne infantry division of the United States Army specializing in parachute landing operations. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is the primary fighting arm of the XVIII Airborne Corps....

 and 101st
101st Airborne Division
The 101st Airborne Division—the "Screaming Eagles"—is a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France, Operation Market Garden, the...

 Airborne divisions dropped behind the beaches into Nazi-occupied France, in an effort to protect the coming landings. Many of the paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

s had not been dropped on their intended landing zones and were scattered throughout Normandy.

As the paratroops fought their way through the hedgerows, the main amphibious landings began. The Americans came ashore at the beaches codenamed 'Omaha
Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II...

' and 'Utah
Utah Beach
Utah Beach was the code name for the right flank, or westernmost, of the Allied landing beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944...

'. The landing craft bound for Utah, as with so many other units, went off course, coming ashore two kilometers off target. The 4th Infantry Division
U.S. 4th Infantry Division
The 4th Infantry Division is a modular division of the United States Army based at Fort Carson, Colorado, with four brigade combat teams. It is a very technically advanced combat division in the U.S. Army....

 faced weak resistance during the landings and by the afternoon were linked up with paratroopers fighting their way towards the coast.

However, at Omaha the Germans had prepared the beaches with land mine
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

s, Czech hedgehog
Czech hedgehog
The Czech hedgehog or ježek, was a static anti-tank obstacle defence made of angled iron deployed during World War II by various combatants....

s and Belgian Gates in anticipation of the invasion. Intelligence prior to the landings had placed the less experienced German 714th Division in charge of the defense of the beach. However, the highly trained and experienced 352nd moved in days before the invasion. As a result, the soldiers from the 1st
U.S. 1st Infantry Division
The 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army is the oldest division in the United States Army. It has seen continuous service since its organization in 1917...

 and 29th
U.S. 29th Infantry Division
The 29th Infantry Division is an infantry division of the United States Army based in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It is a formation of the United States Army National Guard and contains units from Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina....

 Infantry Divisions became pinned down by superior enemy fire immediately after leaving their landing craft. In some instances, entire landing craft full of men were mowed down by the well-positioned German defenses. As the casualties mounted, the soldiers formed impromptu units and advanced inland.

The small units then fought their way through the minefields that were in between the Nazi machine-gun bunkers. After squeezing through, they then attacked the bunkers from the rear, allowing more men to come safely ashore.

By the end of the day, the Americans suffered over 6,000 casualties, including killed and wounded.

Operation Cobra



After the amphibious assault, the Allied forces remained stalled in Normandy for some time, advancing much more slowly than expected with close-fought infantry battles in the dense hedgerows. However, with Operation Cobra, launched on 24 July with mostly American troops, the Allies succeeded in breaking the German lines and sweeping out into France with fast-moving armored divisions. This led to a major defeat for the Germans, with 400,000 soldiers trapped in the Falaise pocket
Falaise pocket
The battle of the Falaise Pocket, fought during the Second World War from 12 to 21 August 1944, was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy...

, and the capture of Paris on 25 August.

Operation Market Garden


The next major Allied operation came on 17 September. Devised by British General Bernard Montgomery, its primary objective was the capture of several bridges in the Netherlands. Fresh off of their successes in Normandy, the Allies were optimistic that an attack on the Nazi-occupied Netherlands would force open a route across the Rhine and onto the North German Plain
Northern European Lowlands
The North European Plain is a geomorphological region in Europe. It consists of the low plains between the Central European Highlands to the south and the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the north. These two seas are separated by the Jutland peninsula...

. Such an opening would allow Allied forces to break out northward and advance toward Denmark and, ultimately, Berlin.

The plan involved a daylight drop of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The 101st was to capture the bridges at Eindhoven, with the 82nd taking the bridges at Grave and Nijmegen. After the bridges had been captured, the ground force, also known as XXX Corps or "Garden", would drive up a single road and link up with the paratroops.

The operation failed because the Allies were unable to capture the bridge furthest to the north at Arnhem
Arnhem
Arnhem is a city and municipality, situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located near the river Nederrijn as well as near the St. Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem has 146,095 residents as one of the...

. There, the British 1st Airborne had been dropped to secure the bridges, but upon landing they discovered that a highly experienced German SS Panzer unit
9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen
The 9th SS Panzer Division "Hohenstaufen", also known as SS-Panzergrenadier-Division 9, SS-Panzergrenadier-Division 9 Hohenstaufen or 9. SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen, was a German Waffen-SS Armoured division which saw action on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War II. The...

 was garrisoning the town. The paratroopers were only lightly equipped in respect to anti-tank weaponry and quickly lost ground. Failure to quickly relieve those members of the 1st who had managed to seize the bridge at Arnhem on the part of the balance of the 6th, as well as the armored XXX Corps, meant that the Germans were able to stymie the entire operation. In the end, the operation's ambitious nature, the fickle state of war, and failures on the part of Allied intelligence (as well as tenacious German defense) can be blamed for Market-Garden's ultimate failure. This operation also signaled the last time that either the 82nd or 101st would make a combat jump during the war.

Battle of the Bulge


Unable to push north into the Netherlands, the Allies in western Europe were forced to consider other options to get into Germany. However, in December 1944, the Germans launched a massive attack westward in the Ardennes
Ardennes
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges formed within the Givetian Ardennes mountain range, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France , and geologically into the Eifel...

 forest, hoping to punch a hole in the Allied lines and capture the Belgian city of Antwerp. The Allies responded slowly, allowing the German attack to create a large "bulge" in the Allied lines. In the initial stages of the offensive, American POW's from the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion were executed at the Malmedy massacre
Malmedy massacre
The Malmedy massacre was a war crime in which 84 American prisoners of war were murdered by their German captors during World War II. The massacre was committed on December 17, 1944, by members of Kampfgruppe Peiper , a German combat unit, during the Battle of the Bulge.The massacre, as well as...

 by Nazi SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 and Fallschirmjäger
Fallschirmjäger
are German paratroopers. Together with the Gebirgsjäger they are perceived as the elite infantry units of the German Army....

.

As the Germans pushed westward, General Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne and elements of the U.S. 10th Armored Division
U.S. 10th Armored Division
The 10th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army in World War II. During the European Theater of Operations the 10th Armored Division was part of the Twelfth United States Army Group and was originally assigned to General George S. Patton’s Third United States Army...

 into the road junction town of Bastogne
Bastogne
Bastogne Luxembourgish: Baaschtnech) is a Walloon municipality of Belgium located in the province of Luxembourg in the Ardennes. The municipality of Bastogne includes the old communes of Longvilly, Noville, Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, and Wardin...

 to prepare a defense. The town quickly became cut off and surrounded. The winter weather slowed Allied air support, and the defenders were outnumbered and low on supplies. When given a request for their surrender from the Germans, General Anthony McAuliffe
Anthony McAuliffe
General Anthony Clement "Nuts" McAuliffe was the United States Army general who commanded the 101st Airborne Division troops defending Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II...

, acting commander of the 101st, replied, "Nuts!", contributing to the stubborn American defense.
On 19 December, General Patton told Eisenhower that he could have his army in Bastogne in 48 hours. Patton then turned his army, at the time on the front in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, north to break through to Bastogne. Patton's armor pushed north, and by 26 December was in Bastogne, effectively ending the siege. By the time it was over, more American soldiers had served in the battle than in any engagement in American history.

Race to Berlin


Following the defeat of the German army in the Ardennes, the Allies pushed back towards the Rhine and the heart of Germany. With the capture of the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen
Remagen
Remagen is a town in Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the district of Ahrweiler. It is about a one hour drive from Cologne , just south of Bonn, the former West German capital. It is situated on the River Rhine. There is a ferry across the Rhine from Remagen every 10–15 minutes in the summer...

, the Allies crossed the Rhine in March 1945. The Americans then executed a pincer movement
Pincer movement
The pincer movement or double envelopment is a military maneuver. The flanks of the opponent are attacked simultaneously in a pinching motion after the opponent has advanced towards the center of an army which is responding by moving its outside forces to the enemy's flanks, in order to surround it...

, setting up the Ninth Army
U.S. Ninth Army
The Ninth United States Army was one of the main U.S. Army combat commands used during the campaign in Northwest Europe in 1944 and 1945. It was commanded from its inception by Lieutenant General William Simpson...

 north, and the First Army
U.S. First Army
The First United States Army is a field army of the United States Army. It now serves a mobilization, readiness and training command.- Establishment and World War I :...

 south. When the Allies closed the pincer, 300,000 Germans were captured in the Ruhr Pocket
Ruhr Pocket
The Ruhr Pocket was a battle of encirclement that took place in late March and early April 1945, near the end of World War II, in the Ruhr Area of Germany. For all intents and purposes, it marked the end of major organized resistance on Nazi Germany's Western Front, as more than 300,000 troops were...

. The Americans then turned east, meeting up with the Soviets at the Elbe River in April. The Germans surrendered Berlin to the Soviets on 2 May 1945.

The war in Europe came to an official end on V-E Day
Victory in Europe Day
Victory in Europe Day commemorates 8 May 1945 , the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not...

, 8 May 1945.

Other units and services


  • Cactus Air Force
    Cactus Air Force
    Cactus Air Force refers to the ensemble of Allied air power assigned to the island of Guadalcanal from August 1942 until December 1942 during the early stages of the Guadalcanal Campaign, particularly those operating from Henderson Field...

  • Devil's Brigade (1st Special Service Force)
    Devil's Brigade
    The Devil's Brigade , was a joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit organized in 1942 and trained at Fort William Henry Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States...

  • Eagle Squadron
    Eagle squadron
    The Eagle Squadrons were 3 fighter squadrons of the Royal Air Force formed during World War II with volunteer pilots from the United States...

  • Flying Tigers
    Flying Tigers
    The 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, famously nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army , Navy , and Marine Corps , recruited under presidential sanction and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The ground crew and headquarters...

  • Merrill's Marauders
    Merrill's Marauders
    Merrill’s Marauders or Unit Galahad, officially named the 5307th Composite Unit , was a United States Army long range penetration special operations unit in the South-East Asian Theater of World War II which fought in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, or CBI...

  • Office of Strategic Services
    Office of Strategic Services
    The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

  • Tuskegee Airmen
    Tuskegee Airmen
    The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they were the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps....


Pacific War

Battle Campaign Date start Date end Victory
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

7 December 1941 7 December 1941 Japan
United States declares war on Japan 8 December 1941 15 August 1945
Battle of Guam
Battle of Guam (1941)
The First Battle of Guam, was an engagement during the Pacific War in World War II, and took place on 8 December 1941 on Guam in the Mariana Islands between the Empire of Japan and the United States...

8 December 1941 8 December 1941 Japan
Battle of Wake Island
Battle of Wake Island
The Battle of Wake Island began simultaneously with the Attack on Pearl Harbor and ended on 23 December 1941, with the surrender of the American forces to the Empire of Japan...

Pacific Ocean theater of World War II
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

8 December 1941 23 December 1941 Japan
Battle of the Philippines
Battle of the Philippines (1941-42)
The Philippines Campaign or the Battle of the Philippines was the invasion of the Philippines by Japan in 1941–1942 and the defense of the islands by Filipino and United States forces....

South West Pacific
South West Pacific theatre of World War II
The South West Pacific Theatre, technically the South West Pacific Area, between 1942 and 1945, was one of two designated area commands and war theatres enumerated by the Combined Chiefs of Staff of World War II in the Pacific region....

8 December 1941 8 May 1942 Japan
Battle of Balikpapan
Battle of Balikpapan (1942)
This article concerns the naval and land battles of Balikpapan in 1942. For information on the 1945 landings by Australian forces in the same area, see Second Battle of Balikpapan....

Netherlands East Indies campaign 23 January 1942 24 January 1942 Japan
Battle of Ambon
Battle of Ambon
The Battle of Ambon occurred on the island of Ambon in the Dutch East Indies , on 30 January – 3 February 1942, during World War II. A Japanese invasion was resisted by Dutch and Australian forces...

Netherlands East Indies campaign 30 January 1942 3 February 1942 Japan
Battle of Makassar Strait
Battle of Makassar Strait
The Battle of Makassar Strait, also known as the Action of Madura Strait, the Action North of Lombok Strait and the Battle of the Flores Sea, was a naval battle of the Pacific theater of World War II...

Netherlands East Indies campaign 4 February 1942 4 February 1942 Japan
Battle of Badung Strait
Battle of Badung Strait
The Battle of Badung Strait was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the night of 19/20 February 1942 in Badung Strait between the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command and the Imperial Japanese Navy...

Netherlands East Indies campaign 18 February 1942 19 February 1942 Japan
Battle of Timor Netherlands East Indies campaign 19 February 1942 10 February 1943 Japan (tactical); Allies (strategic)
Battle of the Java Sea
Battle of the Java Sea
The Battle of the Java Sea was a decisive naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, that sealed the fate of the Netherlands East Indies....

Netherlands East Indies campaign 27 February 1942 1 March 1942 Japan
Battle of Sunda Strait
Battle of Sunda Strait
The Battle of Sunda Strait was a naval battle which occurred during World War II. On the night of 28 February – 1 March 1942, the Australian light cruiser and the American heavy cruiser faced a major Imperial Japanese Navy task force. After a fierce battle of several hours duration, both Allied...

Netherlands East Indies campaign 28 February 1942 1 March 1942 Japan
Battle of Java
Battle of Java (1942)
The Battle of Java was a battle of the Pacific theatre of World War II. It occurred on the island of Java from 28 February-12 March 1942. It involved forces from the Empire of Japan, which invaded on 28 February 1942, and Allied personnel...

Netherlands East Indies campaign 28 February 1942 12 March 1942 Japan
Invasion of Tulagi Solomon Islands campaign
Solomon Islands campaign
The Solomon Islands campaign was a major campaign of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign began with Japanese landings and occupation of several areas in the British Solomon Islands and Bougainville, in the Territory of New Guinea, during the first six months of 1942...

3 May 1942 4 May 1942 Japan
Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged...

New Guinea campaign
New Guinea campaign
The New Guinea campaign was one of the major military campaigns of World War II.Before the war, the island of New Guinea was split between:...

4 May 1942 8 May 1942 Japan (tactical); Allies (strategic)
Battle of Corregidor
Battle of Corregidor
The Battle for Corregidor was the culmination of the Japanese campaign for the conquest of the Philippines. The fall of Bataan on 9 April 1942 ended all organized opposition by the U.S...

5 May 1942 6 May 1942 Japan
Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...

Pacific Theater of Operations
Pacific Theater of Operations
The Pacific Theater of Operations was the World War II area of military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the American forces during that period...

4 June 1942 7 June 1942 United States
Battle of the Aleutian Islands
Battle of the Aleutian Islands
The Aleutian Islands Campaign was a struggle over the Aleutian Islands, part of Alaska, in the Pacific campaign of World War II starting on 3 June 1942. A small Japanese force occupied the islands of Attu and Kiska, but the remoteness of the islands and the difficulties of weather and terrain meant...

Pacific Theater of Operations
Pacific Theater of Operations
The Pacific Theater of Operations was the World War II area of military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the American forces during that period...

6 June 1942 15 August 1943 Allies
Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo
Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo
The Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, between the forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied ground forces. It took place from 7–9 August 1942 on the Solomon Islands, during the initial Allied landings in the Guadalcanal...

Guadalcanal campaign
Guadalcanal campaign
The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower by Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II...

7 August 1942 9 August 1942 Allies
Battle of Savo Island
Battle of Savo Island
The Battle of Savo Island, also known as the First Battle of Savo Island and, in Japanese sources, as the , was a naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval forces...

Guadalcanal campaign 8 August 1942 9 August 1942 Japan
Makin Raid Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign
Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign
In the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, from November 1943 through February 1944, were key strategic operations of the United States Pacific Fleet and Marine Corps in the Central Pacific. The campaign was preceded by a raid on Makin Island by U.S...

17 August 1942 18 August 1942 United States
Battle of the Tenaru
Battle of the Tenaru
The Battle of the Tenaru, sometimes called the Battle of the Ilu River or the Battle of Alligator Creek, took place August 21, 1942, on the island of Guadalcanal, and was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, between Imperial Japanese Army and Allied ground forces...

Guadalcanal campaign 21 August 1942 21 August 1942 Allies
Battle of the Eastern Solomons
Battle of the Eastern Solomons
The naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons The naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons The naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons (also known as the Battle of the Stewart Islands and, in Japanese sources, as the , took place on 24–25 August 1942, and was the third carrier battle of the Pacific campaign...

Guadalcanal campaign 24 August 1942 25 August 1942 United States
Battle of Milne Bay
Battle of Milne Bay
The Battle of Milne Bay, also known as Operation RE by the Japanese, was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II. Japanese marines attacked the Australian base at Milne Bay on the eastern tip of New Guinea on 25 August 1942, and fighting continued until the Japanese retreated on 5...

New Guinea campaign 25 August 1942 5 September 1942 Allies
Battle of Edson's Ridge
Battle of Edson's Ridge
The Battle of Edson's Ridge, also known as the Battle of the Bloody Ridge, Battle of Raiders Ridge, and Battle of the Ridge, was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between Imperial Japanese Army and Allied ground forces...

Guadalcanal campaign 12 September 1942 14 September 1942 United States
Second Battle of the Matanikau
Actions along the Matanikau
The Actions along the Matanikau in September and October 1942—sometimes referred to as the Second and Third Battles of the Matanikau—were two separate but related engagements among a series of engagements between the United States and Imperial Japanese naval and ground forces around the Matanikau...

Guadalcanal campaign 23 September 1942 27 September 1942 Japan
Third Battle of the Matanikau
Actions along the Matanikau
The Actions along the Matanikau in September and October 1942—sometimes referred to as the Second and Third Battles of the Matanikau—were two separate but related engagements among a series of engagements between the United States and Imperial Japanese naval and ground forces around the Matanikau...

Guadalcanal campaign 7 October 1942 9 October 1942 United States
Battle of Cape Esperance
Battle of Cape Esperance
The Battle of Cape Esperance, also known as the Second Battle of Savo Island and, in Japanese sources, as the , took place on 11–12 October 1942, and was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and United States Navy...

Guadalcanal campaign 11 October 1942 12 October 1942 United States
Battle for Henderson Field
Battle for Henderson Field
The Battle for Henderson Field, also known as the Battle of Henderson Field or Battle of Lunga Point by the Japanese, took place from 23-26 October 1942 on and around Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands...

Guadalcanal campaign 23 October 1942 26 October 1942 United States
Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Santa Cruz or in Japanese sources as the , was the fourth carrier battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II and the fourth major naval engagement fought between the United States Navy and the Imperial...

Guadalcanal campaign 25 October 1942 27 October 1942 Japan
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, sometimes referred to as the Third and Fourth Battles of Savo Island, the Battle of the Solomons, The Battle of Friday the 13th, or, in Japanese sources, as the , took place from 12–15 November 1942, and was the decisive engagement in a series of naval battles...

Guadalcanal campaign 12 November 1942 15 November 1942 United States
Battle of Buna-Gona
Battle of Buna-Gona
The Battle of Buna–Gona was a battle in the New Guinea campaign, a major part of the Pacific campaign of World War II. On 16 November 1942, Australian and United States forces attacked the main Japanese beachheads in New Guinea, at Buna, Sanananda and Gona. Both forces were riddled by disease and...

New Guinea campaign 16 November 1942 22 January 1943 Allies
Battle of Tassafaronga
Battle of Tassafaronga
The Battle of Tassafaronga, sometimes referred to as the Fourth Battle of Savo Island or, in Japanese sources, as the , was a nighttime naval battle that took place November 30, 1942 between United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy warships during the Guadalcanal campaign...

Guadalcanal campaign 29 November 1942 29 November 1942 Japan
Battle of Rennell Island
Battle of Rennell Island
The Battle of Rennell Island took place on 29–30 January 1943, and was the last major naval engagement between the United States Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II...

Guadalcanal campaign 29 January 1943 30 January 1943 Japan
Battle of Wau
Battle of Wau
The Battle of Wau, 29–31 January 1943, was a battle in the New Guinea campaign of World War II. Forces of the Empire of Japan sailed from Rabaul and crossed the Solomon Sea and, despite Allied air attacks, successfully reached Lae, where they disembarked...

New Guinea campaign 29 January 1943 31 January 1943 Allies
Battle of the Bismarck Sea
Battle of the Bismarck Sea
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea took place in the South West Pacific Area during World War II. During the course of the battle, aircraft of the U.S. 5th Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy that was carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea...

New Guinea campaign 2 March 1943 4 March 1943 Allies
Battle of Blackett Strait
Battle of Blackett Strait
The Battle of Blackett Strait was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on 6 March 1943 in the Blackett Strait, between Kolombangara islands and Arundel Island in the Solomon Islands....

Solomon Islands campaign 6 March 1943 6 March 1943 United States
Battle of the Komandorski Islands
Battle of the Komandorski Islands
The Battle of the Komandorski Islands was one of the most unusual engagements of World War II. It was a naval battle which took place on 27 March 1943 in the North Pacific area of the Pacific Ocean, near the Soviet Komandorski Islands.-Background:...

Aleutian Islands campaign 27 March 1943 27 March 1943 Inconclusive
Death of Isoroku Yamamoto
Death of Isoroku Yamamoto
Operation Vengeance was carried out to assassinate Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on April 18, 1943, during the Solomon Islands campaign in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was killed on Bougainville Island when...

Solomon Islands campaign 18 April 1943 18 April 1943 United States
Salamaua-Lae campaign
Salamaua-Lae campaign
The Salamaua–Lae campaign was a series of actions in the New Guinea campaign of World War II. Australian and United States forces sought to capture two major Japanese bases, one in the town of Lae, and another one at Salamaua. The campaign to take the Salamaua and Lae area began with the Australian...

New Guinea campaign 22 April 1943 16 September 1943 Allies
Battle of New Georgia
Battle of New Georgia
The New Georgia Campaign was a series of battles of the Pacific campaign of World War II. It was part of Operation Cartwheel, the Allied grand strategy in the South Pacific...

Solomon Islands campaign 20 June 1943 25 August 1943 Allies
Battle of Kula Gulf
Battle of Kula Gulf
The naval Battle of Kula Gulf took place in the early hours of 6 July 1943 during World War II and was between United States and Japanese ships off the coast of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.-Background:...

Solomon Islands campaign 6 July 1943 6 July 1943 Inconclusive
Battle of Kolombangara
Battle of Kolombangara
The Battle of Kolombangara was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the night of 12/13 July 1943, off Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.-Background:...

Solomon Islands campaign 12 July 1943 13 July 1943 Japan
Battle of Vella Gulf
Battle of Vella Gulf
The was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II fought on the night of 6-7 August 1943, in Vella Gulf between Vella Lavella Island and Kolombangara Island in the Solomon Islands of the Southwest Pacific....

Solomon Islands campaign 6 August 1943 7 August 1943 United States
Battle of Vella Lavella
Land Battle of Vella Lavella
The Battle of Vella Lavella was fought from 15 August-9 October 1943 between Japan and the Allied forces from New Zealand and the United States. Vella Lavella is an island located in the Solomon Islands that had been occupied by Japanese forces. The Allies successfully recaptured the...

Solomon Islands campaign 15 August 1943 9 October 1943 Allies
Bombing of Wewak
Bombing of Wewak
The Bombing of Wewak was a series of air raids by the USAAF Fifth Air Force, on 17–21 August 1943, against the major air base of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force on the mainland of New Guinea, at Wewak...

New Guinea campaign 17 August 1943 17 August 1943 United States
Finisterre Range campaign
Finisterre Range campaign
The Finisterre Range campaign, also known as the Ramu Valley–Finisterre Range campaign, was a series of actions in the New Guinea campaign of World War II...

New Guinea campaign 19 September 1943 24 April 1944 Allies
Naval Battle of Vella Lavella
Battle of Vella Lavella
The name Battle of Vella Lavella may refer to three related battles between the Allies and Japan in the Solomon Islands in 1943, during the Pacific campaign of World War II.* The naval Battle of Vella Gulf on the night of August 6-7, 1943....

Solomon Islands campaign 7 October 1943 7 October 1943 Japan
Battle of the Treasury Islands Solomon Islands campaign 25 October 1943 12 November 1943 Allies
Raid on Choiseul
Raid on Choiseul
-External links: Also available at:...

Solomon Islands campaign 28 October 1943 3 November 1943 Allies
Bombing of Rabaul New Guinea campaign 1 November 1943 11 November 1943 Allies
Bougainville campaign New Guinea campaign 1 November 1943 21 August 1945 Allies
Battle of Tarawa
Battle of Tarawa
The Battle of Tarawa, code named Operation Galvanic, was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, largely fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region....

Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign 20 November 1943 23 November 1943 United States
Battle of Makin
Battle of Makin
The Battle of Makin was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from 20 November to 24 November 1943, on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.-Japanese invasion and fortification:...

Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign 20 November 1943 24 November 1943 United States
Battle of Cape St. George
Battle of Cape St. George
The Battle of Cape St. George was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II fought on 25 November 1943, between Cape St. George, New Ireland, and Buka Island . It was the last engagement of surface ships in the Solomon Islands campaign.-Background:Americans had landed troops on...

Solomon Islands campaign 26 November 1943 26 November 1943 United States
New Britain Campaign New Guinea campaign 15 December 1943 21 August 1945 Allies
Landing at Saidor
Landing at Saidor
The Landing at Saidor was an Allied amphibious landing at Saidor, Papua New Guinea on 2 January 1944 as part of Operation Dexterity during World War II. In Allied hands, Saidor was a stepping stone towards Madang, the ultimate objective of General Douglas MacArthur's Huon Peninsula campaign...

New Guinea campaign 2 January 1944 10 February 1944 Allies
Battle of Cape St. George
Battle of Cape St. George
The Battle of Cape St. George was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II fought on 25 November 1943, between Cape St. George, New Ireland, and Buka Island . It was the last engagement of surface ships in the Solomon Islands campaign.-Background:Americans had landed troops on...

Solomon Islands campaign 29 January 1944 27 February 1944 Allies
Battle of Kwajalein
Battle of Kwajalein
The Battle of Kwajalein was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from 31 January-3 February 1944, on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Employing the hard-learned lessons of the battle of Tarawa, the United States launched a successful twin assault on the main islands of...

Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign 31 January 1944 3 February 1944 United States
Operation Hailstone
Operation Hailstone
Operation Hailstone was a massive naval air and surface attack launched on February 17–18, 1944, during World War II by the United States Navy against the Japanese naval and air base at Truk in the Caroline Islands, a pre-war Japanese territory.-Background:Truk was a major Japanese logistical base...

Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign 17 February 1944 18 February 1944 United States
Battle of Eniwetok
Battle of Eniwetok
-External links:* *...

Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign 17 February 1944 23 February 1944 United States
Admiralty Islands campaign
Admiralty Islands campaign
The Admiralty Islands campaign was a series of battles in the New Guinea campaign of World War II in which the United States Army's 1st Cavalry Division occupied the Japanese-held Admiralty Islands....

New Guinea campaign 29 February 1944 18 May 1944 Allies
Landing on Emirau
Landing on Emirau
The Landing on Emirau was the last of the series of operations that made up Operation Cartwheel, General Douglas MacArthur's strategy for the encirclement of the major Japanese base at Rabaul. A force of nearly 4,000 United States Marines landed on the island of Emirau on 20 March 1944. The island...

New Guinea campaign 20 March 1944 27 March 1944 United States
Battle of Saipan
Battle of Saipan
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June-9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was...

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign
Mariana and Palau Islands campaign
The Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, also known as Operation Forager, was an offensive launched by United States forces against Imperial Japanese forces in the Mariana Islands and Palau in the Pacific Ocean between June and November, 1944 during the Pacific War...

15 June 1944 9 July 1944 United States
Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of the Philippine Sea
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War...

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 19 June 1944 20 June 1944 United States
Battle of Guam Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 21 July 1944 8 August 1944 United States
Battle of Tinian
Battle of Tinian
The Battle of Tinian was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands from 24 July 1944 to 1 August 1944.-Background:...

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 24 July 1944 1 August 1944 United States
Battle of Peleliu
Battle of Peleliu
The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II, was fought between the United States and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, from September–November 1944 on the island of Peleliu, present-day Palau. U.S...

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 15 September 1944 25 November 1944 United States
Battle of Angaur
Battle of Angaur
The Battle of Angaur was a battle of the Pacific campaign in World War II, fought on the island of Angaur in the Palau Islands from 17 —30 September 1944.-Background:...

Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 17 September 1944 30 September 1944 United States
Battle of Leyte
Battle of Leyte
The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the invasion and conquest of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American and Filipino guerrilla forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by...

Philippines campaign (1944–45) 20 October 1944 31 December 1944 Allies
Battle of Leyte Gulf
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history.It was fought in waters...

Philippines campaign 23 October 1944 26 October 1944 United States
Battle of Ormoc Bay
Battle of Ormoc Bay
The Battle of Ormoc Bay was a series of air-sea battles between Imperial Japan and the United States in the Camotes Sea in the Philippines between 11 November and 21 December 1944, part of the Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II. The battles resulted from Japanese operations to...

Philippines campaign 11 November 1944 21 December 1944 United States
Battle of Mindoro
Battle of Mindoro
The Battle of Mindoro was a battle in World War II between forces of the United States and Japan, in Mindoro Island in the central Philippines, from 13-16 December 1944, during the Philippines campaign....

Philippines campaign 13 December 1944 16 December 1944 United States
Battle for the Recapture of Bataan
Battle for the Recapture of Bataan
The Battle for the Recapture of Bataan from 31 January to 8 February 1945, by U.S. forces and Allied Filipino guerrillas from the Japanese, part of the campaign for the liberation of the Philippines was waged to secure the western shore of Manila Bay to enable the use of its harbor and open new...

Philippines campaign 31 January 1945 8 February 1945 Allies
Battle of Manila (1945) Philippines campaign 3 February 1945 3 March 1945 Allies
Battle for the Recapture of Corregidor
Battle for the Recapture of Corregidor
For the Japanese capture of Corregidor in 1942, see Battle of CorregidorThe Battle for the Recapture of Corregidor, 16-26 February 1945, pitted American liberation forces against the defending Japanese garrison on the island fortress...

Philippines campaign 16 February 1945 26 February 1945 Allies
Battle of Iwo Jima
Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Iwo Jima , or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Empire of Japan. The U.S...

Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign
Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign
-Further reading:...

19 February 1945 16 March 1945 United States
Invasion of Palawan
Invasion of Palawan
The Invasion of Palawan fought by U.S. liberation forces against the Japanese from 28 February -22 April 1945, in a series of actions officially designated as Operations Victor I and II, and part of the campaign for the liberation of the Philippines during World War II, was waged to initiate...

Philippines campaign 28 February 1945 22 April 1945 United States
Battle of Okinawa
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...

Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign 1 April 1945 21 June 1945 Allies
Operation Ten-Go
Operation Ten-Go
was the last major Japanese naval operation in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Other renderings of this operation's title in English include Operation Heaven One and Ten-ichi-gō....

Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign 7 April 1945 7 April 1945 United States
Battle of Tarakan
Battle of Tarakan
Battle of Tarakan may refer to two actions in the Pacific campaign of World War II, on the island of Tarakan, off the north-east coast of Borneo:* Battle of Tarakan , January 11–12, 1942, the Japanese assault on the island, defeating Allied forces there....

Borneo campaign (1945)
Borneo campaign (1945)
The Borneo Campaign of 1945 was the last major Allied campaign in the South West Pacific Area, during World War II. In a series of amphibious assaults between 1 May and 21 July, the Australian I Corps, under General Leslie Morshead, attacked Japanese forces occupying the island. Allied naval and...

1 May 1945 19 June 1945 Allies

European Theater

Battle Campaign Date start Date end Victor
Nazi Germany declares war on the U.S. 11 December 1941
Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

North African campaign
North African campaign
During the Second World War, the North African Campaign took place in North Africa from 10 June 1940 to 13 May 1943. It included campaigns fought in the Libyan and Egyptian deserts and in Morocco and Algeria and Tunisia .The campaign was fought between the Allies and Axis powers, many of whom had...

8 November 1942 10 November 1942 Allies
Run for Tunis
Run for Tunis
The Run for Tunis, part of the Tunisia Campaign in the Second World War, took place during the November and December 1942. Once French opposition to the Allied Operation Torch landings had ceased in mid-November, the Allies made a rapid advance by a division-sized force east from Algeria in an...

Tunisia campaign
Tunisia Campaign
The Tunisia Campaign was a series of battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the Second World War, between Axis and Allied forces. The Allies consisted of British Imperial Forces, including Polish and Greek contingents, with American and French corps...

10 November 1942 25 December 1942 Germany
Battle of Sidi Bou Zid
Battle of Sidi Bou Zid
The Battle of Sidi Bou Zid was a World War II battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign. The battle was fought between forces of Nazi Germany and forces of the United States. The German forces included the 10th Panzer Division and the 21st Panzer Division of the Fifth Panzer Army...

Tunisia campaign
Tunisia Campaign
The Tunisia Campaign was a series of battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the Second World War, between Axis and Allied forces. The Allies consisted of British Imperial Forces, including Polish and Greek contingents, with American and French corps...

14 February 1943 17 February 1943 Germany
Battle of the Kasserine Pass
Battle of the Kasserine Pass
The Battle of the Kasserine Pass was a battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign of World War II in February 1943. It was a series of battles fought around Kasserine Pass, a wide gap in the Grand Dorsal chain of the Atlas Mountains in west central Tunisia...

Tunisia campaign 19 February 1943 25 February 1943 Germany
Battle of El Guettar
Battle of El Guettar
The Battle of El Guettar was a World War II battle that took place during the Tunisia Campaign, fought between elements of the Army Group Afrika under Jürgen von Arnim and U.S. II Corps under Lieutenant General George Patton in south-central Tunisia. It was the first battle in which U.S...

Tunisia campaign 23 March 1943 7 April 1943 United States
Allied invasion of Sicily
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...

Italian campaign
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

9 July 1943 17 August 1943 Allies
Allied invasion of Italy
Allied invasion of Italy
The Allied invasion of Italy was the Allied landing on mainland Italy on September 3, 1943, by General Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group during the Second World War. The operation followed the successful invasion of Sicily during the Italian Campaign...

Italian campaign 3 September 1943 16 September 1943 Allies
Bernhardt Line
Bernhardt Line
The Bernhardt Line was a German defensive line in Italy during World War II. Having reached the Bernhardt Line at the start of December 1943, it took until mid-January 1944 for U.S. 5th Army to fight their way to the next line of defenses, the Gustav Line. The line was defended by XIV Panzer Corps...

Italian campaign 1 December 1943 15 January 1944 Allies
Battle of Monte Cassino
Battle of Monte Cassino
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans and Italians with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans...

Italian campaign 17 January 1944 19 May 1944 Allies
Operation Shingle
Operation Shingle
Operation Shingle , during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an...

Italian campaign 22 January 1944 5 June 1944 Allies
Battle of Normandy
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

Western Front
Western Front (World War II)
The Western Front of the European Theatre of World War II encompassed, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and West Germany. The Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale ground combat operations...

6 June 1944 25 August 1944 Allies
Gothic Line
Gothic Line
The Gothic Line formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.Adolf Hitler...

Italian campaign 25 August 1944 17 December 1944 Allies
Operation Market Garden
Operation Market Garden
Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany in the Second World War. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time....

Western Front 17 September 1944 25 September 1944 Germany
Battle of Huertgen Forest Western Front 19 September 1944 10 February 1945 United States
Battle of Aachen
Battle of Aachen
The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, which occurred between 2–21 October 1944. By September 1944, the Wehrmacht had been pushed into Germany proper, after being defeated in France by the Western Allies...

Western Front 1 October 1944 22 October 1944 United States
Operation Queen
Operation Queen
Operation Queen was an American operation during World War II at the Western Front at the German Siegfried Line. The operation was aimed against the Rur River, as a staging point for a subsequent thrust over the river to the Rhine into Germany. It was conducted by the 1st and 9th U.S...

Western Front 16 November 1944 16 December 1944 Germany
Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

Western Front 16 December 1944 25 January 1945 Allies
Operation Bodenplatte Western Front 1 January 1945 1 January 1945 Allies
Colmar Pocket
Colmar Pocket
The Colmar Pocket ; in Alsace, France, was the site of an operation during the Second World War, between 20 January and 9 February 1945, where the French First Army and the U.S...

Western Front 20 January 1945 9 February 1945 Allies
Spring 1945 offensive in Italy
Spring 1945 offensive in Italy
The Spring 1945 offensive in Italy, codenamed Operation Grapeshot, was the Allied attack by Fifth United States Army and British 8th Army into the Lombardy Plain which started on 6 April 1945 and ended on 2 May with the surrender of German forces in Italy....

Italian campaign 6 April 1945 2 May 1945 Allies

See also



  • List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II
  • Equipment losses in World War II
    Equipment losses in World War II
    Equipment losses in World War II refers to military equipment destroyed during World War II, the deadliest and most costly war in history.-Air:* China: Total losses of the Nationalist Air Force were 2,468 ....

  • Military history of the United States
    Military history of the United States
    The military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries. During the course of those years, the United States evolved from a new nation fighting the British Empire for independence without a professional military , through a monumental American Civil War to the world's sole...

  • United States casualties of war
    United States casualties of war
    Military casualties suffered by the United States of America in war or deployments-Overview:- Wars ranked by total American deaths :"Deaths per day" are the total number of US military deaths, divided by the number of days between the dates of the commencement and end of hostilities, or until 25...

  • World War II casualties
    World War II casualties
    World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. Over 60 million people were killed, which was over 2.5% of the world population. The tables below give a detailed country-by-country count of human losses.-Total dead:...

  • Allied war crimes during World War II
  • Greatest Generation
    Greatest Generation
    "The Greatest Generation" is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war's home front made a decisive...

  • United States home front during World War II
    United States home front during World War II
    This page, United States home front during World War II, covers the developments within the United States, 1940–1945, to support its efforts during World War II.-Economics:...

  • American Minority Groups in World War II
    American Minority Groups in World War II
    The following passage from pages 187-190 of Selective Service and Victory: The 4th Report of the Director of Selective Service represents the best statistical information available to the United States Army Center of Military History to answer questions about the participation of various minority...


Army

  • Perret, Geoffrey. There's a War to Be Won: The United States Army in World War II (1997)

Europe

  • Weigley, Russell. Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaigns of France and Germany, 1944-45 (1990)

Navy

  • Morison, Two-Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War (2007)

Pacific

  • Parshall, Jonathan and Anthony Tully. Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway (2005).
  • Spector, Ronald. Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan (1985)
  • Tillman, Barrett. Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945 (2010).
  • Tillman, Barrett. Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot of World War II (2005).

Biographies

  • Ambrose, Stephen. The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1999) excerpt and text search
  • Beschloss, Michael R. The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945 (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Buell, Thomas. The Quiet Warrior: A Biography of Admiral Raymond Spruance. (1974).
  • Burns, James MacGregor. vol. 2: Roosevelt: Soldier of Freedom 1940-1945 (1970), A major interpretive scholarly biography, emphasis on politics online at ACLS e-books
  • Larrabee, Eric. Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War (2004), chapters on all the key American war leaders excerpt and text search
  • James, D. Clayton. The Years of Macarthur 1941-1945 (1975), vol 2. of standard scholarly biography
  • Leary, William ed. We Shall Return! MacArthur's Commanders and the Defeat of Japan, 1942-1945 (1988)
  • Morison, Elting E. Turmoil and Tradition: A Study of the Life and Times of Henry L. Stimson (1960)
  • Pogue, Forrest. George C. Marshall: Ordeal and Hope, 1939-1942 (1999); George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory, 1943-1945 (1999); standard scholarly biography
  • Potter, E. B. Bull Halsey (1985).
  • Potter, E. B. Nimitz. (1976).
  • Showalter, Dennis. Patton And Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century (2006), by a leading scholar; excerpt and text search

External links