Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day Special - Pacific Battle Islands of World War Two

Memorial Day Special - Pacific Battle Islands of World War Two. Today is Memorial Day in the United States of America. The World History Blog salutes the soldiers who are defending America by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and solemly remembers those who gave their lives for the USA over the last 230 years. Here is a collection of histories of a few Pacific islands that saw major battles during World War Two.

History of the Northern Mariana Islands - "World War II came to the Marianas in 1941. Major American battles occurred in the Northern Marianas in 1944, including the pivotal Marianas campaign which signaled the end of the War in the Pacific. The Emperor of Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces on August 15, 1945, ending World War II, and a U.S. military government was instituted in the Northern Mariana Islands."

History of Midway Islands - "At the end of the Battle of Midway, all four Japanese carriers involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor had been sunk, while the United States lost the carrier Yorktown. The Japanese lost 256 of their finest aircraft, and more than 200 of their most experienced pilots and several thousand sailors perished. The Japanese Navy never fully recovered and its expansion into the Pacific had been stopped. American naval power in the Pacific was restored. The American victory at Midway was the turning point of the Pacific campaign of World War II. "

History of Wake Island - "With the aviation element now disposed of, the Japanese felt confident that they could land. Accordingly, at 0200 on 23 December 1941, the enemy managed to establish a beachhead, running two old destroyer-transports ashore in the process under heavy gunfire. After bitter fighting, the men of the Japanese Special Naval Landing Force managed to overcome the defending marines but not without sustaining heavy casualties. Wilkes was the last island to surrender, on the afternoon of the 23d. "

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