The Second World War took place in the Pacific and it started after the United States (U.S) naval base located in Hawaii at the Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. The U.S retaliated as a way to prevent the Japanese from expanding their territory to the Pacific and the southeast regions. There are various events that marked the ways in which World War II was fought. Moreover, the manner in which the war was won can also be explained in different ways.
World War II in the Pacific
The Pacific Ocean was the center of attention because it was the theater where the war took place between the Japanese and their Allies. However, there are several events that took place in the course of the war in the Pacific theatre that made the Second World War more intense. The first battle took place on 23 December 1941 at the Battle of Wake Island which was triggered by an attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese (Hixson 69). The U.S Marines played an important role in forcing the Japanese garrison to detach and move out of the island on 4th September 1945. Another major event that characterized the Second World War II was the attack that took place at the Pearl Harbor which is referred to as Battle of Pearl Harbor. The attack which was initiated by Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service at U.S naval base caused the U.S to enter the war. The aim of Japan was to prevent the U.S from interfering with their plans of occupying the Southeast Asia. The third event was the Toyko Raid also known as the Doolittle Raid that took place in 1942 (Hixson 70). The U.S raided Tokyo, which was Japanese capital together with other areas around the Honshu Island. This attack was significant because it showed that the Japanese were vulnerable to air attacks by the Americans. The aim of Americans was to retaliate against Japanese following the Pearl Harbor attacks at the end of 1941.
How U.S won the war
The U.S managed to win the war against Japanese because they had better technology such as the atomic bomb which not only left many Japanese dead but also affected their health and economic situation. The U.S also had strong industrial might compared to the Japanese and their commitment towards the war helped them achieve victory. For instance, the Americans were committed towards fighting the war. Women volunteered to carry out various services such as spars and waves, students collected the scraps used in the war industry and the government invested in the war industry massively (Hixson 73). Japan was weak since their strong allies, the British, had alienated them taking the side of the Americans. Japan was attacked by enemies from the south, east and also Western powers.
Possibility of U.S winning the war
The U.S would have still won the war against Japan without them using the Atomic Bombs. This is because Japan was weak militarily. It had no strong allies that could support them or help them win the war against the U.S. The U.S had other superior weapons such as airplanes that they used to attack the Japanese making them vulnerable to the American soldiers. Japan could have been easily defeated through conventional warfare. The Americans decided to use the atomic bomb simply to put an end to the war because in case they gave the Japanese more time to sign the peace treaty showing they had surrendered, the war could have not ended.
Atomic Weapons and their Influence on Cold War
In 1949, a major decision was made by the Soviet Union to detonate an atomic bomb (Byrd 11). This took place at Semipalatinsk Test Site, an event that brought an end to American monopoly on atomic weaponry leading to the onset of Cold War. The main focus of the Cold War was the Arms Race as the Soviet Union decided to compete with the U.S on weaponry. In 1952, the U.S managed to launch their first hydrogen bomb which was more powerful than the Super Bomb that the Russians had created (Byrd 11). The Cold War was intensified by John Foster Dulles who was the Secretary of State after he made an announcement that the U.S was ready to retaliate massively using their atomic bombs. According to him, any attack that the Soviet had towards the U.S would be retaliated with a massive nuclear weapon response. In the end, the Soviet Union and the U.S engaged in a retaliation challenge which became the most crucial Cold War by-product known as the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) (Byrd 8). The ballistic missiles had the potential to powerfully and accurately cause destruction at objects that were 8,000 kilometers away. The ICBM ended up being U.S nuclear weapon arsenal strategy against its enemies.
In conclusion, there are various events that marked the ways in which World War II was fought. The U.S had strong military power and weaponry which enabled them to win the war. However, the Japanese people were already weak because they never had strong allies making them vulnerable to attacks. The atomic bombs catalyzed the Cold War as Soviet Union and the U.S began to compete against each other for the latest and most lethal military weapons.
Byrd, Peter. “Cold war.” In Mclean Lain and Mcmillan Alistair: McMillan Alistair. Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. pp 8-11.
Hixson, Walter. The American Experience in World War II: The United States and the road to war in Europe. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, 2003. pp 69-73.