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The US had to pierce the barrier of fortified islands stretching across the Pacific. MacArthur’s American and Australian forces made it to the Solomon Islands, and the Japanese naval complex at Rabaul. Nimitz launched a naval attack on Japan’s Island bases. The Fifth Fleet attacked Tarawa, however coral reefs snagged landing craft and forced troops to wade ashore on heavy fire. Island-hopping from Tarawa to the Marshall Islands and the Marianas, American forces bypassed strongly held islands and moved the battle closer to Japan. Allied capture of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam brought Japan in range of B-29 bombers. Curtis LeMay used low-level attacks with high explosives and incendiaries which created a firestorm and caused a heat so intense it caused the canals to boil and killed 83,000 people from the flames. oBattle of LeyteThe Philipines were crucial for Japan’s sources of supplies, so capturing this was a crucial strategic step for Allied forces. Invasion and conquest of the island of Leyte in the Philipines by American and Filipino guerrilla forces under General MacArthur. This was the first battle that Japanese used kamikaze pilots. Kamikazes were pilot guided explosive missiles where the pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships. After this battle the Japanese gave up hope of retaining the Philipines. oIwo JimaThis 82 day long battle was marked by some of the fiercest fighting of the War.
The battle was the first U.S. attack on the Japanese Home Islands. Of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers present at the beginning of the battle, over 20,000 were killed and only 1,083 taken prisoner. 26,000 American casualties and 6,800 dead. Iwo Jima was secured by America. oOkinawaThe 82 day invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific during world war II. Japan lost over 100,000 soldiers, and the Allies suffered more than 65,000 casualties. •The Manhattan ProjectoUnder the direction of Major General Leslie Groves, The Manhattan Project designed and built the first atomic bombs .oPreliminary research began in 1939 because the US was nervous that the Nazi’s would develop atomic bombs first. However, the defeat of Germany caused the focus to turn to use against Japan. oDr. J. Robert Oppenheimer was the physicist behind the atomic bombs. oThe two bombs were called the Little Boy (Hiroshima) and the other was Fat Man (Nagasaki)•Alamogordo, New MexicooWhere a test gadget was detonated in order to see how the atomic bombs would work. •Unconditional SurrenderoHirohito surrendered on the 12 of August. •B-39 Bomber Enola GayoPiloted by Tibbets, was the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.