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War in the Pacific.pdf

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Thomas Boogaart

How was WWII a global struggle? The war in Europe and in the pacific were connected. I. Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941) a. Japan had failed at assimilating China; occupation was draining the Japanese economy, which was a quarter of the German economy 1. They make a decision to declare war on all western powers 2. Hitler: attacked Soviet Union, and overran Britain and France- Japan believed they had a chance 1. Japan had very limited resources; had already assimilated Taiwan and Korea. 1. Japan lacked petroleum, and they were dependent on the US and the Netherlands 2. Realized the west did not look at them equally; they were the yellow race. They were rejected when they asked for racial equality in the League of Nations. 3. Japan invaded China in 1937- instigated concern about Japanese expansion. West was not ready to go to war. 4. Hitler made strategic moves and Japan went closer to Allied bases 5. US put an embargo on Japan and the embargo included oil- this dealt a strategic blow to Japan because they could not fly planes, run ships, run industry. This was perceived by Japan as being a very major card to play- put Japan and the US on a collision course. 6. Japan had to make a decision- if they wanted oil, they had to leave China to end the embargo. Key to survival was to create and empire and this means they couldn't back down from China. The oil embargo was an existential crisis. 2. Japanese strategy; became a matter of tactics- how were they going to beat the US with an economy 4x as big? 1. General Yamamota had a plan: destroy the US' naval fleet. Key to this is to make a surprise attack at Honolulu where the ship would be together, copy British tactic, sink the ships with planes and have time to build an empire.8 2. Wanted to do a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, and if they did it well enough, it would knock out all the fleets and prevent the US from stopping their expansion. b. Dec 7 attack 1. At Pearl Harbor, the navy and the army would be caught pants down. Japanese plans coming in plain sight, but the navy and army decided they were US air force planes. They captured a Japanese ship and never raised the alarms.
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