Pacific War

Pacific War

World War II was fought across more land
and involved more men than any other war in the history of human civilization.

Never before or since has there been a war of such vast importance and
of such a large scale. The United States had an absolutely crucial
role in the outcome of this war. The U.S. was faced with the colossal
challenge of waging two wars at the same time on two very different parts
of the planet. The European front was, of course, the more obvious
of the two considering the undeniable atrocities and evils that were being
committed by Adolf Hitler. Involvement on the European front was
inevitable and, generally more accessible for U.S. forces. Less than
thirty years before, the United States had fought in Europe, so we were
familiar with the terrain and appropriate strategy. However, the

Pacific Campaign of World War II presented a unique challenge for United

States Armed Forces. Never before had we fought in the South Pacific
or even on terrain that resembled that of the Pacific islands. With
the Army heavily involved in Europe, in December of 1941 the United States
were forced into a war that it was not familiar with nor knew how to fight.

Luckily, however, for the U.S., the Marine Corps were the perfect outfit
for the kind of fighting need in the Pacific Campaign. Because of
their training in land to sea combat, the Marines were uniquely prepared
for the war that faced them, whereas, the Army could never have successfully
waged war in the Pacific. Without the Marine Corps fighting in the

Pacific, the whole war against Japan would not have succeeded.

From 1939-1941, at the dawn of Adolf Hitler's
war machine in Europe, the United States seemed above the rest of the world.

Separated by the vast Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. enjoyed an incredible amount
of security. We were almost entirely untouchable from the flames
of war rapidly growing in Europe, and the majority of American citizens
were happy to not be involved. To them, the European conflict was
too far away to have any direct or meaningful impact on their lives. In
fact, public opinion did not think that it was even necessary to enter
the war at all. However, Roosevelt saw otherwise. He knew that
a war in Europe could very well mean a war in the States. Only thirty
years before, in World War I, the same kind situation had evolved into
the "war to end all wars", where the United States had played a key role.

So, Roosevelt desperately wanted and needed to change the minds of nearly
the nearly the entire American public; this task presented an almost impossible
challenge.

With war beginning to be fought in Europe,

England was in dire need of any aid they could receive. At the beginning,
this aid came in the form of supplies furnished by the United States.

Ammunition, food, clothing, and weapons of all kinds were being shipped
over to Europe and creating incredible wealth for the American government.

Entering the war meant losing a very profitable trade with the desperate
allies in Europe. Luckily for England and for Roosevelt, the United

States were soon presented with an undeniable reason for entering the war.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed

Pearl Harbor. This act of aggression towards America, provided for
a perfect entrance into the war, and now the people of America were incited
enough to back a full-scale war against Hitler and Japan. However,
one huge problem still existed, and that was the problem of a two front
war. Many were frightened that the U.S. had taken on a task that
was a bit too much for the nation to handle. The Army was the perfect
force for fighting the war in Europe. They were trained for the land
combat they would face, and had knowledge of the land from World War I.

In addition, the Army was already on the move to Europe, so splitting the

Army into two different forces for Europe and the South Pacific was out
of the question. The only option that the U.S. government had for
waging war against Japan was the Marine Corps. Marine units had been
stationed in the South Pacific in Australia and Samoa. They only
needed to be reinforced. Especially convenient for the United States
was the fact that the Marine Corps was perfectly suited for the kind of
warfare that would be faced against Japan. Marines are trained specifically
for land to sea and sea to land operations. In addition, their close
relationship with the Navy insured that the two fighting forces could work
together and be successful.

Both General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral

Chester Williams Nimitz