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August 14, 1945 - Image 3

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Michigan Daily, 1945-08-14

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history of the Whar Is,
Argument for Peace

(Continued from Page 2)

anese lost six more cruisers and de-
stroyers and three more transports
in a night fight two weeks later. An-
other U. S. cruiser went down.
But with their sealines cut, and
reduced by starvation and disease,
the Japanese gave ground to fierce-
ly attacking American troops on the
island, and finally announced that
the remnants had been "withdrawn."
The battle cost Tokyo 50,000
men, from 57 to 64 ships sunk, 102
damaged and 800 planes.
The struggle also was costly for
the United States - 28 ships, in-
cluding the carriers wasp and Hor-
net, plus very heavy ground casual-
On the day the Japanese disclosed
their defeat on Guadalcanal they
also belatedly announced their loss
of Buna in New Guinea.
New Guinea
MacArthur began his comeback in
New Guinea on Sept. 25, when the
Japanese were within 32 piles of
Port Moresby. Gen. Sir Thomas A.
Blamey's Australians drove the in-
vaders back over backbreaking Owen
Stanley range. Then on Nov. 8-
the day after the landing in North
Africa, and while the Russians were
battling in Stalingrad - MacArthur
disclosed his first spectacular blow.
Clad in camouflaged jungle suits
and carying their jeeps, mortars and
artillery in gliders and planes, air-.
borne Americans descended into the
New Guinea swamps in a flanking
movement which sent the Japanese
reeling back on Buna.
But many an American and Aus-
tralan was to die in New Guinea's
green hell before the forces of Lt.
Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger had
mastered the last log blockhouse.
The Japanese had to be killed one
by one in no-quarter fighting, and
more than one enemy convoy had
to be knocked off before the coastal
strongpoint, was overrun.
MacArthur proclaimed his victory.
on Jan. 23, 1943. The entire force
of 15,000 Japanese had been de-
During the remainder of 1943 -
while the eyes of the world were
turned upon Europe. where the Allies
unhorsed their first dictator, Musso-
lini, in July, and,, won the.surrender
of Italy in September - MacArthur's
jungle troops fought through a score
of malarial green hells up the Solo-
mons ladder and in New Guinea.
With a flash of the genius that
marked him -as one of the greatest
of American generals, MacArthur
landed his men east of Lae in Nas-
sau Bay while U. S. parachutists made
'r their debut in the Pacific theater and
dropped in the Markham Valley be-
hind the New Guinea stronghold.
Calamaua fell to the Australians
on S"pt. 15 and Lae the next day.
Finschhafen, farther up the coast,
was taken Oct. 2 and the eastern eni
of New Guinea was freed.
This was not all accomplished by
generalship. There was much hard
fighting in the lush valleys and hills,
with Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney's air
force preparing the enemy for the
knockout with a systematic pattern
of attack on his trails, airfields and
barge convoys. In the battle of the
Bismarck Sea on March 2-6 Ken-
ney's buzzsaw had destroyed 22 ships
and perhaps 15,000 men in one of the
most complete air victories of the
war. Introduction of a new tactic,
"skip bomb*xjg," found tae Japanese
virtually helpless.
Solomon Islands
A series of amphibious operations,
characterized by sharp, fierce de-

stroyer and cruiser battles, patrol boat
ctions and savage fighting in the
tropical undergrowth, carried up the
Iolomons islands. The Russell Is-
lands were taken in February, Ren-
jova, off Munda in New Georgia, was
invaded on June 30, New Georgia it-
self almost simultaneously, Vella La-
rella in the central Solomons on
August 17, Ardundel Island on August
30, Kolombangara three miles to the
north ear. in October, the Treasury
Islands on Oct. 27 and Empress Au-
gusta Bay on Bougainville, north-
western end of the chain, on Nov. 1.
Finally, stepping across Dampier
stroit from New Guinea, MacArthur
invaded New Britain, drawing the
Japanese off balance by 1.s first
strokp at Arawe on the south coast,
and then aiming his main blow in
the Cape Gloucester area on the north
side. Using rocket-firing boats to
level beach defenses, MacArthur put
ris men ashore near the end of 1943,
on Dec. 26.
The way was prepared for the isola-
tion of the immensely strong point of
Rabaul. Much hard fighting re-
mained, particularly on Bougainville
where Australians were left to mop
up, but strategically the Solomons
campaign was over.
Ale utians
Meanwhile, Yanks in the Aleutians
were fighting under conditions as ex-
treme as those of the jungle. Ham-
mering Attu, easternmost of the chain
which the Japanese invaded during
the Bai tle of Midway, by sea and air
whenever the weather permitted, the
Americans invaded that barren is-
land on May 11. Fighting through
fog and 20 foot snowdrifts amid in-
describable hardship, the Americans
dug the enemy out of his holes around
Massacre Bay and Chicago Harbor.
Japanese resistance finally expired
in a fantastic Banzai suicide charge
and the island was reclaimed May
31, just under a year after the Jap-
anese seized it.
A f t e r elaborate .preparation,
Americans 'and Canadians invaded
Kiska on -Aug. 15, but found the
enemy' had ms4eriously fled.
Agattu already .had' Jbeen aban-
doned by the Japanese, and the
Aleutians were freed. The threat
to Alaska was removed.
In the central Pacific, at Tarawa
the second Marine division made he
first assault on a f6rtified' atoll and
wrote on the of most herioc pages
in Marine Corps 'history. Tarawa
had been pounded by a great weighi
of naval shdls and bombs, but not
enough. -Whn the Marines went
ashore on Nov. 1 they found many o
the concrete blockhouses -'intact
Landing boats were wrecked on the
coral reefs.Cut and bleeding, te
men were pinned down in the sur
by the enemy fire.
'Tarawa was the costliest bit of
ground ever won by the Marines up
to that time. In 76 hours 3,583
Americans were killed, wounded
and missing-988 of them dead.
But the Gilbert Islands were cleared
as a result of the fighting.
While the Marines were takin
Tarawa, army troops captured Makin
Previously, Marines had landed or
Nanumea in the Ellice group or
Sept 29.
In Europe 1943 had set the stage
for the climactic invasion of Nor
mandy, with the Allies within strikin
distance of Rome.
In the Pacific the year had laid
the foundation for the leapfrog oper
ations up the New Guinean coast an
the central Pacific offensive thai
were to lead to the Philippines anc


the Mariannas on the doorstep of
Japan. MacArthur had set the pat-
tern of his operations-a series of
hops, skips and jumps, each "hit-,
ting the enemy where he ain't," iso-
lating the main bodies and leaving
them to be weakened for the kill by
The year 1944 opened with Mac-
Arthur's men carrying out -the first
of his jumps, to Saidor on Jan. 2, and
with Nimitz opening his central Paci-
fic offensive at Kwajalein on Jan. 31.
The isolation of Rabaul was com-
pleted with landings on the Green Is-
lands to the south of the New Britain
stronghold, Emirau in the St. Mat-
thias group to the north and the cap-
ture of Manus Island in the Admiral-
ties to the northwest.
In giant strides, with Nimitz coop-
erating, MacArthur proceeded to
landings at Aitape and Hollandia in
Dutch New Guinea on April 22, the
Widke Islands on May 20, Biak Is-
land on May 27, Noemfoer Island on
July 2 and Sansapor at the western
end of New Guinea on July 30.
MacArthur estimated that out of
a force of 250,000 Japanese assembled
for the attack on Australia, 140,000
had been trapped by these operations
which advanced Allied lines 1,200
Marshall Islands
Nimitz struck at the hfart of Ja-
pan's strongly defended mid-Pacific
Marshall Islands with a fleet spread
over hundreds of miles. Profiting
from the lessons of Tarawa, the
Americans invaded Kwajalein after
pounding the island almost , solid
month with carrier and land planes

and after a severe naval bombard-
ment. Tracked amphibious vehicles
put the men ashore over the treach-
erous coral.
Kwajalein, first bit of territory
held by Japan at the start of the war
to fall into American hands, was cap-
tured in a week. Other key islands in
the Marshalls fell quickly and the
Ainerican fleet held sway over an ad-
ditional 1,000,000 square miles of
The way now opened to a sizzling
series of task forces attacks lead by
the swarms of flattops from America's
shipyards. Truk, Japan's reef-girt
Gibraltar of the Carolines, was neu-
tralized and the strategic Marianas
softened for invasion.
Emerging at last from jungle and
atoll warfare, three American divi-
sions opened a new phase of the war
on June 14 with the invasion of Sai-
pan, 13-mile long island in the Mari-
anas 1,500 miles from Tokyo. Its
seizure was to clinch control of the
cetral Pacific.
The Americans streamed ashore
just eight days after Gen. Eisenhow-
er's invasion of Normandy.
The second and fourth Marine and
27th infantry divisions were support-
ed by a spectacular rocket barrage
and a huge array of air and sea pow-
er, but the Japanese, fighting to
maintain their lifeline to the south
Pacific, displayed a new high suicidal
They fell back upon the jumbled
ravines of Mount Trapotchau, a maze
of caves lhundreds of feet deep which

they had been building throughout
their league of nations iandate over
the island. Garapan, a city of 10,000,
became a battlefield. The flame-
thrower became the characteristic
American weapon in the cave-to-cave
At last venturing out to challenge
the American advances, the Japan-
ese fleet intervened. In the first bat-
tle of the Philippine sea, a series of
engagements extending from June 10
to 23, the enemy lost 747 planes, 30
ships sunk and 51 ships damaged. In
one engagement 402 enemy aircraft
were shot down, a new high for a
single battle. American losses were
151 planes and damage to two car-
riers, a battleship andanother war-
'oward the end Japanese civilians
took to suicide Hundreds leaped from
cliffs into the sea. Mothers stabbed
their children, fathers led their famil-
ies into the sea, soldiers hugged gre-
nades to their breasts. But thousands
of civilians surrendered. In the end
21,000 Japanese dead were buried.
while American casualties were the
highest in the central Pacific-16,463,
including 3,049 killed.
The Americans returned to Guam
on July 20, 11 days after the cap-
ture of Saipan, and cleaned it in
three weeks.
The smaller island of Tinian was
captured on Aug. 1.
The Marianas campaign cost the
Japanese 45,000 dead. In extermin-
ating the Japanese--scattered sur-
vivors were being killed many months
after resistance formally ended-

4,470 Yanks died and more than
20,000 mffcered wounds.
Air Attacks
But on Nov. 24, a little over three
months after resistance on Saipan
ended, American B-29 Superfort-
resses from the island made the
first of their deadly and devastat-
ing attacks on industrial Japan.
Saipan, Guam and Tinian became
a busy triple springboard for hun-
dreds of Superfortresses which had
made the first land-based attack on
Japan from their China on bases on
June 16.
Within a year Guam, once again
under the Stars and Stripes, had been
turned into one of the most formid-
able bases on the globe, its complex
of camps, depots and airfields sur-
rounding the headquarters of Adm.
As a sequel to the body blow suffer-
ed in the Marianas, Premier General
Hideki Tojo, the grim instigator of
he attack on Pearl Harbor fell from
power on July 18 and was succeeded
by General Kuniaki Koiso.
A death struggle similar to that on
Saipan was waged by the Japanese
for Peleliu, main island of the Palaus,
1,200 miles west of Truk and o
miles southwest of Guam. Veterans
of the first Marine division, going
ashore in alligators, carved out a
beachhead on Sept. 15, the same day
that MacArthur's troops fought onO
Morotai in the Moluccas, only 375
miles from the Philippines.
More than 12,000 Japanese were
killed in the milti-level caverns of
bloody nose ridge and the tangled
mangrove swamps of rocky Peleliu

in 29 days. Americans suffered their
second highest percentage of losses
of the Pacific campaign-6,172 killed
and wounded.
MacArthur Returns
Gen MacArthur reached' the emo-
tional climax of his two and a half
year campaign on Oct. 20 when he
returned to the Philiipines at the
end of the 2,500-mile trail from
eastern New Gulnea.
Dramatically wading ashore on
the east coast of Leyte island with
his troops, the American leader in a
broadcast over the "Voice of. Free-
dom," called upon Filipinos to "rise
and strike." With him was every
able-bodied American who had es-
Japed Corregidor.
An example of long-range striking
power, MacArthur's expedition was
put ashore by a 600-ship convoy after
a 1,300-mile voyage and had the sup-
port of Adm. Halsey's third fleet, Vice
Admiral Thomas Kincaid's seventh
fleet, and both American and Aus-
tralian army airmen.
The seven divisions of Lt. Gen.
Walter Krueger's Sixth Army had
been preceded by one of the most in-
tensive aerial offensives of the Paci-
fic In, which Vice Admiral Marc A.
Mitscher's carrier planes and island-
based bombers had destroyed 1,333
enemy aircraft, 'sunk 86 ships and
damaged '27 in 10 days of rampage
from Forrposa and the. Ryukyus to
Manila, the Philippines and the east-
ern Carolines.
'Quickly the , dvapee divisions
seized Tacloban, Leyte capital, and
(Contiiue on Page 5)


ii I





)rayerf u I

is our boundless gratitude for our nation's


tory and the world's liberation. Ours was a bat-

tie for no ordinary conquest

but forthe

greater triumph of Right over Wrong.


we in our humility and work prove

Worthy of this blessed PEACE

so clearly yet

I i.,


so dearly won. May

we never,



those whose great sacrifices have made pos-
sible our VICTORY.
And with H IS help, may we now wisely use our
war-forged strength and power and courage to

United Victory For
The United Nations
a greater civilization - one of freedom and
tolerance for all. Each one has made its contri-
b~,nn.- - .,rii nt fnri- the crP2t work trhev

make this day forever live in history
day when war vanished from the earth.
I' 'I I II1

as the



i i

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