Coral Sea War

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The Battle of the Coral Sea was the first major engagement in naval history where both sides never came in direct contact from their main guns. The battle was waged in the Coral Sea, in the south Pacific and lasted from 4 to 8 May 1942. The utilization of the aircraft carrier and naval warplanes as the main battle platforms, shaped the outcome of this battle and those that would ensue during the Pacific theater of World War II. Allied forces under the command of Rear-Admiral (RADM) Frank Fletcher, were comprised of Task Force 11 with the USS Lexington as the main battle platform and Task Force 17 with the USS Yorktown as the main battle platform. The combined Australian/US Task Force 44 was under command of Rear-Admiral John G. Crace.…show more content…
Imperial Japanese forces were intent on landing a large force in Port Moresby, New Guinea and seize control of air fields on the island. The secondary plan was to also isolate Australia from allied support. “Early in 1942, Japan decided to block the Allies from setting up bases in Australia. Operation MO would send a large invasion force to Port Moresby, the capital of New Guinea. From Port Moresby, the Japanese would be able to project air power beyond the northern tip of Australia and establish bases even further south” (Hearn, Chester G., Carriers in Combat: The Air War at Sea, Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, PA, 2005). The objective was for a landing force to sail with troop filled transports, supporting war ships and the light carrier, Shoho. The main Japanese objective in the Solomons was the capture of Tulagi, the colonial capital. “To protect these two invasion fleets, Zuikaku and Shokaku would lead a separate covering force to create a blanket of air protection” (Bennett, Geoffrey, Naval Battles of World War Two, Pen & Sword: Barnsley, UK, 1975, 2003). U.S. intelligence relied heavily on the use of direction-finding equipment to learn where Japanese ships were and where they were heading. For years the U.S. Navy had enjoyed success in penetrating Japanese communication ciphers and codes.…show more content…
“From December of 1941 to the spring of 1942, Japanese forces advanced virtually unimpeded throughout the Pacific and southeastern Asia while handing the Allies a string of humiliating defeats, first at Pearl Harbor, then at Guam, Wake Island, Singapore, and in the Philippines. By the spring of 1942, the outcome of the war was very much in doubt as Americans began to think that the Japanese military was invincible. "The Pacific situation is now very grave," cabled President Roosevelt to Winston Churchill in March of 1942, after the Japanese conquest of Java.”
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