Pacific War - The Final Year
For greater detail of 1945 , see links at bottom.
The Philippines is composed of many islands. The biggest are Luzon in the north and Mindanao
in the south. The largest islands in between are Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Negros, Panay and
Iwo Jima in the Bonins is half way between B-29 bases in the
Marianas and targets in
Japan. 2,251 damaged planes landed there: with possibly twenty thousand lives saved.
Iwo is the bloodiest Marine battle of the war with 24,391 killed in the 36 day
Okinawa in the Rykuyas island group 350 miles off the south coast
of Japan and bounds the East China Sea. Its capture cuts off the Philippines and Formosa from Japan and is
required as fighter air base for the invasion of Kyushu in the Fall.
Japan consists of four home islands with a population and
land area similar to Italy.
Japan is part of an island chain extending from the Kamchatka peninsula
of Siberia on the Bearing Sea, southwest down the Kurils, Japan proper, the Ryukyus, Formosa, thru
the Philippines and on to the East Indies.
The Japanese north island is Hokkaido, the main island
is Honshu with an appendage that is almost another island called Chugoku, a smaller island of Shikoku
which forms the Inland Sea with Chugoku, and the southern island of Kyushu.
Korea is 140 miles northwest
of Chugoku and with Manchuria, they bound the Sea of Japan. On the western side of Korea is the
Ryukyus (Okinawa) are islands south of Japan towards Formosa.
Formosa is another 330 miles further on and, with the Philippines, bound the South China Sea.The Sakishima Islands are towards Japan.
Other islands of naval interest to the middle war period.
- The Gilbert Islands (Tarawa, Makin) and in the central
Pacific had been taken in late 1943 to puncture the Japanese defensive paremeter.
- The Marshalls (Kwajalein) were taken soon after, January 1944, followed by
Eniwetok in February. .
- The big step to the western Pacific island chain of the Marianas
(Saipan, Tinian, Roto, Guam) were taken that summer and isolate major enemy bases Truk and Rabaul.
- The western Carolinas (Palau, Ulithi, Yap) had been taken in the fall 1944 completing
the sweep through the central Pacific and laying open the Philippines.
There were at least four areas of naval
- Philippines in support of MacArthur's ground troops, October 1944 and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
- Indo-China, Formosa and South China Sea to protect the flanks and disrupt supplies to
- The Bonins (Iwo Jima, Feb'45) as a rescue base for B-29's, an escort fighter base and later, bomber bases.
- Ryukyus ( Okinawa, April'45) preparatory for invading Kyushu, the Japanese home islands in the fall; From Iwo Jima and Okinawa central Japan and Korea coiuld be reached to disrupt airfield, industry, shipping and the link with the Imperial Army in
- The Kurils, islands north of Japan, were given harassment from Alaska late in the war.
|- - 1945 - -|| . . . headlines . . .|
|15Dec44 ||Landing on Mindoro, Philippines|
|09Jan45 ||Landing on Luzon|
|03Mar45 ||Manila liberated|
|09Mar45 ||Fire bomb Tokyo|
|21Mar45 ||Mandalay, Burma regained.|
|12Apr45 ||FDR dies, Truman President.|
|03May45 ||Rangoon freed.|
|07May45. ||Germany surrenders.
|10Jun45 ||Australians invade Borneo.|
|30Jun45 ||Luzon declared secure [fighting continued]|
|16July45||Atomic bomb test Alamagordo, NM|
|08Aug45 ||USSR invades Manchuria.|
|14Aug45 ||Japan surrenders.|
|02Sep45 ||Signing on USS Missouri|
1944 : Jan , , ,
April , , ,
July , ,
Oct , Nov , Dec
- 1945. Iwo Jima supports bombing of Japanese industry.
Okinawa taken as a base for the invasion of Japan in the Fall.
Kamikazes show increasing resistance as the home islands are approached.
The remaining Japanese fleet is destroyed in the shipyards.
1945 : Jan , Feb , March ,
April , May , June ,
July , Aug , Sept , Oct - Dec , 1946
- The Final Months
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About this page: PW1945 - Pacific War 1945.
Last updated on Sept 15, 2005 - draft 2 - add 1945 monthly pages
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