Wednesday 19 June 2024

Battle of the Coral Sea part 1

 


Good morning, it is bloody cold here in my lounge room and yes, I have the heater on, but we don’t have big room heaters only small fan heaters.

Well on this cold Wednesday morning we are going to start our look at the Battle of the Coral Sea.



After the attack on Darwin there was naturally fear that Japan had its sights on Australia as a colony, however, access to Japanese records tell us that even though the Japanese Navy had put this forward it was rejected by their high command.

The purpose of the attacks on Australia was to weaken its value as an American base, this of course was unknown, so the fear was there.

During March 1942 the Japanese advance continued and they occupied many of the islands east of Papua including the Solomons and Bougainville. Important Japanese airfields had been established on the islands of Tulagi and Guadalcanal.



In late April US Intelligence detected a major Japanese flotilla heading towards the Coral Sea, its codename was Operation MO. Its objective was the invasion of the small but strategically important town of Port Moresby in Papua.

Allied ships were instructed to head to the area and prevent this happening and the lines were set for the Battle of the Coral Sea, which was fought from 5-8 May 1942.

The US forces were the main protagonists on the allied side with the Australian ships and planes also involved in the fighting.

On the 29 April Operation MO under the command of Admiral Inouye were ordered to attack Port Moresby. The Japanese had seven transports, five destroyers, a light aircraft carrier, a couple of fleet carriers and three heavy cruisers, a light cruiser and a squadron of submarines. They were based at Rabaul and the islands of Tulagi and Solomon.

Thus, they had a bloody lot of ships but so did the Allied forces with thirteen destroyers, eight cruisers, four light cruisers, two aircraft carriers. Our ships were also fitted with radar an invention at that time still unknown to the Japanese.

Rear-Admiral Frank Fletcher was the fleet commander.

More to come next week.    

 

12 comments:

  1. My father-in-law was in the Soloman Islands during WW2.

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  2. Not surprised Japs didn't want a colony. They were having enough trouble chasing Chiang and Mao across China, following Aussie Army into the desert would not have been worth the expense.

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    Replies
    1. So true, I don't think they would have fared well in the outback

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  3. At the end of WWII my dad was in the navy stationed in the Philippines...way north of you. He never talked about it.

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    Replies
    1. Most men didn't talk about their war experience

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  4. War is hell ... but I'm glad the allies where there to help.

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  5. I have always been very interested in WWll.

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    Replies
    1. I find history interesting but more so the history of wars

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  6. Thanks, Jo-Anne, for another recap of the WWII battles in the Pacific theatre. Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I am pleased people like these posts

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