WWII - War In The Pacific
Post Pearl Harbor
American and British military planners decided on a strategy of “Europe First", but that did not mean “Neglect Japan Entirely.” Indeed, fierce fighting took place in the Pacific in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor, but there was very little good news for the Allies. Within the first six months after the attack, the Japanese managed to turn the Pacific into what one American Admiral called “a Japanese lake.” In the American Philippines, outnumbered American troops managed to hang on a little longer than most islands—until May 1942—but only because of the leadership of larger-than-life General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur, though, left for Australia to “live to fight another day." As he left, he promised the people of the Philippines, “I shall return."
With all the bad news for Americans at the start of the war in the Pacific, things began to improve for them in May 1942, even as the Japanese continued their path of conquest to the south. Japan launched a naval attack through the Coral Sea, but an American carrier task force engaged them from May 4-8,
Island Hopping to Tokyo
The overwhelming victory at Midway allowed the U.S. to go on the offensive for the first time in the Pacific. American military planners devised a strategy to proceed to Tokyo by having General MacArthur lead American troops from the south Pacific to the Philippines and then to Japan while the U.S. Navy—with marines and soldiers
Meanwhile, General MacArthur was still battling his way through the South Pacific towards the Philippines. In October 1944, he waded ashore at Leyte Island and proclaimed, “People of the Philippines, I have returned...rally to me." What followed was the largest naval battle in history—the Battle of Leyte Gulf from October 23-26, 1944. By the end of it, the Japanese had lost over sixty ships and the Americans had essentially ended Japan's run as a great naval power. The Americans were finally able to reclaim the Philippines
Never ones to surrender easily, following an ancient warrior honor code that dates back to at least the Shoguns, Japanese soldiers almost always fought to the death. As the Americans approached ever closer to the Japanese mainland, Japanese resistance became ever more extreme. When the Americans moved on to Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the middle of 1945, the Japanese stiffened-fighting ferociously from caves and even resorting to kamikaze missions-Japanese pilots flying suicide missions into American ships to destroy them. Both Iwo Jima and Okinawa were American victories but at a combined cost of about seventy thousand casualties.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Okinawa was to be the launching point for an all-out invasion of the Japanese mainland, but the invasion was not to be. By the end of July 1945, after five years in development, America had produced the first atomic bomb. After warning the Japanese to give up or face “devastation of the Japanese homeland,” President Harry Truman, who had replaced FDR when he died on April 12, ordered the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. In a devastating flash of atomic fire and death, eighty thousand people were killed instantly; thousands more would die later from injuries and sickness. The Japanese still
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, World II. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #33 Harry S. Truman series lists.
Location. 30° 13.707′ N, 90° 54.782′ W. Marker is in Gonzales, Louisiana, in Ascension Parish. Memorial can be reached from South Irma Boulevard, 0.3 miles north of East Worthey Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gonzales LA 70737, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War II (here, next to this marker); WWII - War In The Mediterranean (here, next to this marker); WWII - War In Europe (here, next to this marker); A View From The Trenches: A Doughboy From Donaldsonville Writes Home (a few steps from this marker); World War I (a few steps from this marker); "The War to End War" (a few steps from this marker); The Vietnam War (a few steps from this marker); The Korean War (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gonzales.
More about this marker. Located in the Gonzales Memorial Veterans Park
Credits. This page was last revised on April 1, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 1, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 130 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 1, 2018.