November 17, 2019

Introduction as they had neither the support, weapons nor

Introduction

The
Pacific war is recognized as the primary factor that orchestrated the Second
World War. This battle covered a wide area geographically as it covered all
islands around the Pacific Ocean including South East Asia China and Japan. The
war is said to have been sparked off by the invasion of Thailand by Japan
(Costello, 2009). The attack by Japan caused loss of British possession in
several areas such as Malaya and Singapore. This invasion also affected the
United States military bases starting the war. Historians have portrayed that
Japan was destined to lose this war, as they had neither the support, weapons
nor manpower required to win the war. Although Japan started the Pacific war,
they ended up being the losers due to various factors that will be our point of
focus in this paper.

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Background

In
order to understand why Japan lost in the Pacific war, it is critical to look
into the background information and events that led to this war. The Pacific
war was fought on two fronts with each participating country slowly joining the
front they supported. The earliest alliance formed during this period was
between the Japanese government and the government in Thailand, which was
formed in 1941 (Smith, 2004, p. 17). Formation of this alliance is partially
accrued to the fact that Japan had already invaded the peninsula, which was
located on the southern side of Thailand. However, Thailand was considered an
axis state and the United States could not treat them as an enemy. The United
States government felt that the actions taken by Thailand were as a result of
blackmail from the Japanese government (Smith, 2004, p. 20). The final blow
came when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the other powers could not ignore her
actions anymore.

In
the Pacific war, there were four primary areas of conflict in the course of the
year 1942and 1945 (Smith, 2004, p. 26). The Pacific war, on all four fronts
that include; China, South East Asia, central and southwest Pacific. The
Pacific conflict was mainly between China, the west, and Japan. While the
allies were well organized and connected in the war against Japan most of the
Axis countries hose to stay out of this war. This made Japan vulnerable, as
Germany and Italy were the main source of support for the axis group but chose
not to take an active role in the Pacific war. 
Germany’s defeat by the United States in this war came as a result of
lack of proper support, the US had a larger military capacity, superior
strength of industrial base in the US, the and superior military weapons used
by the united states among others (Costello, 2009).

Reasons
behind Japan losing the Pacific war

The
Pacific war as the background discussion shows involved several countries.
However, the final leg that led to an end of this war was between Japan and the
United States government, therefore, the discussion on loss of the Pacific war
by Japan should look into the factors that gave the US the upper hand over
Japan in the Pacific. The primary issues that this journal shall focus on
include; lack of adequate resources, lack of support from other Axis
affiliates, possession of superior weapons by the US, lack of adequate
workforce and poor battle strategies (Myers, 2015, p. 28).

Lack
of adequate resources

During
the Pacific war as historical documents show, the United States was well
advanced in terms of industrial base and resources. The USA was well endowed
with natural resources that gave them an advantage over Japan. Availability of
resources such as oil, oil refining industries, and large plants for the
manufacture of steel played a major role in winning the war. Japan, on the other
hand, was hampered by inadequacy in natural resources (Myers, 2015, p. 33). In
fact, Japan acquired crude oil and steel products from other countries and her
supply chain was cut off when the allied forces imposed an embargo. Loss of the
supplies made them vulnerable in the war, as they had to use the resources
sparingly considering they had no routes to acquire more resources.

In
the book, Japan Prepares for total war by Michael Barnhart a detailed report is
presented on the effect of Japans economic status and resource capacity on the
Pacific war. The author discusses the struggles and challenges that the army
and navy faced in a bid to try to acquire resources considering the allied
countries had cut them off completely (Braisted, Barnhart, & Utley, 2014,
p. 112). Weaponry is another area that Japan was challenged in during this war.
Since Japan was cut off from her resources, it became increasingly difficult to
repair or replace machinery and weapons destroyed in battle. The US army also
started experimenting with new weapons such as submarines that frustrated
efforts of the Japanese army to acquire resources for war. The fact that
America was better equipped economical and had easy access to resources was a
major factor that led to the defeat of Japan in this war.

Japan
was also lacking in terms of expert and technical workforce reducing their
chances of emerging as winners in the war. While the United States had
engineers who were able to repair weapons destroyed during battles Japan had to
write most of the weapons due to lack of engineers with the knowledge on repair
of said weapons. An example of the repair of weapons is the restoration of the
aircraft referred to as “New York” that had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor
(Myers, 2015, p. 38). Japan imported most of the weapons used for war and thus
did not have individuals with expert knowledge on making of these weapons. The
lack of skilled manpower reduced weapons available to both the army and navy
leading to loss of the war in the end.

Superior
weapons

Another
main factor that contributed to Japan losing the war was weapon superiority in
the enemy camps. According to the plans made by the Japanese army, they
expected the war to be fought in the Pacific Ocean and stocked a numerous
amount of warships to cover the war (Myers, 2015, p. 38). The USA army, on the
other hand, was preparing drop aircrafts and atomic bombs, which would cripple
the Japanese army and bring her to her knees. Most of Japanese aircraft
carriers were destroyed in the battle at Pearl Harbor putting them at a
disadvantage. America was able to create stronger aircrafts and at a larger
quantity since her industrial capacity was twice compared to that of the
Japanese (Myers, 2015, p. 39). Ability to make more weapons became an added
advantage for United States and contributed to Japan losing the war.

Among
superior weapons, the issue of atomic bombs comes up as the central issue that
led to defeat for Japan. Introduction of nuclear weapons and atomic bombings
changed the cause of the war as Japan saw two of her cities razed to the ground
with thousands of citizens dead and survivors suffering fatal injuries (United
States Strategic Bombing Survey, 2007, p. xx). Before bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, Japan was willing to fight until every Japanese was dead or the war
was won. However, Japan had to rethink their strategy after witnessing the
death of 129,000 citizens in a single blow through bombing of the two cities
(Miscamble, 2005, p. 49). The number of casualties was continuous on the rise
as those who did not die on the spot die from severe burns and radiation
sickness forcing Japan to surrender.

 

 

War
strategies

The
loss of the Pacific war by the Japanese can be accrued to the battle strategies
they applied. The Japanese used mass attacks in the wars that led to a lot of
casualties and death of many soldiers. The mass attack strategy would have been
appropriate for the infantry if both sides had the same power in terms of the
number of soldiers and weapons used (Dingman, 2009, p. 323). The US army had
access to superior weapons such as machine guns that made a difference in this
war. Japan never changed strategies and applied the same used for the war
against China, which made their actions predictable thus the US military was
able to determine their action and retaliate in time to avoid fatalities on
their part. The chines factions were poorly organized while the army training
was inadequate which made it easier to for Japan to win the war. Incorporation
of the same strategies in the war against the American military was bound to
fail as the training that the later army had received was of high standards
making them a formidable enemy. The machine guns used by the US army were able
to take out a large number of soldiers from the Japan side utilizing just a
small army. The fact that the Japanese military used the mass soldiers’ tactic
also made it easier to take them out using the machine guns (Dingman, 2009, p.
323).

Another
mistake made by Japan in the Pacific war in terms of strategy is the time they
took to stage another attack after winning the battle of Pearl Harbor.
Application proper strategies in war involve cutting an enemy’s head while they
are still down or crashing them completely helps ensure a win. Japan following
up the battle of Pearl Harbor with other attacks on the United States would
have been a blow that would have taken the United States a long time to
recover. However, Japan celebrated the small victory forgetting winning a fight
is not the same as winning a war. This error in judgment cost Japan an
opportunity that would have helped them in winning the Pacific war (Smith,
2004, p. 16).

As
far as war strategies go, Japanese decision to attack the USA from West Loch is
another factor that contributed to their loss in the Pacific war. The Japanese
troops should have attacked the other side of the island where the US army had
their base and resources in order to hamper their progress, however, the used a
different strategy through going on the offensive from west Loch Island (Dingman,
2009, p. 324). The fact that they chose to make a midway attack was a lapse in
judgment, had the army attach the base on the other side of the island where
the US army had their supplies it would have hampered their progress in the
war. Japan remained rooted in the same tactics while the US army was able to
come up with adaptive strategies such as embargoes to assist them to win
against Japan (Dingman, 2009, p. 325). Japan-focused her army on a defensive
stance on the areas they considered most vulnerable leaving other areas open
which created an opportunity for America to lock them out of supplies. The
hindsight of the military leaders in the Japanese army contributed largely to
defeat in the Pacific war.

Lack
of support

Japan
has been an axis affiliate required the support of other axis countries to win
the war. However, we find that the major countries in the axis are such as
Germany and Italy did not join the war. The only country that allied with Japan
is Thailand, which was a small state and could not offer much in terms of
resources and manpower (Miscamble, 2005, p. 47). Lack of support from other
axis countries led to the defeat of Japan in this war, as they had to go
against the allied powers on their own. With Germany opting out of this war,
Japan lost their main support system while the USA still had support from
Britain.  The coordination between Japan
and German was also a contributing factor, as they did not keep to date with
information on their strategies. Germany was planning to invade the Soviet
Union as Germany fought the US arm proper coordination would have seen both
powers conducting a combined invasion that would have improved their chances of
winning (Miscamble, 2005, p. 53).

Japan
was fighting with several countries including China, Soviet Union, and the
United States among others. The fact that enemies surrounded Japan on all sides
made defeat in this war eminent as not mater the size of their army it was
impossible to keep fighting on all fronts at the same time. Invasion of Manchuria
by the Soviet Union put a strain on Japan’s military resources that were
already stretched thin fighting the US army (Roberts & Kirby, 1963, p. 91).
Although Japan had a massive army, most of the soldiers were fighting in China
leaving Japan vulnerable to attacks. Japan, therefore, had to surrender as they
could not keep fighting wars on multiple fronts and defend their citizens at
the same time.

 

 

 

Conclusion

The
Pacific war brought about devastating effects for all countries involved;
however, the country that suffered the biggest blow was Japan. As the
discussion above shows, various factors that led to Japan losing in the war.
The superiority of the weapons used by the US army in combination with their
island-hopping war tactics gave them an advantage over Japan thus contributing
to their loss in the war. Japan was also in conflict with several states, which
made it impossible to win the Pacific war while all her enemies ganged up
against her. Looking at the historical facts it is clear that Japan was bound
to lose the Pacific war, as they did not have the resources nor strength in
weapons required to win this war. Although there are claims that the military
battle was not lost but Japan surrendered to keep the civilians from suffering
due to the war, the battle was already lost when nuclear weapons were
introduced in the Pacific war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Braisted, W. R.,
Barnhart, M. A., & Utley, J. G. (2014). Japan Prepares
for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919-1941. Military
Affairs, 52(4), 229. doi:10.2307/1988482

Costello, J.
(2009). The Pacific War, 1941-1945. New York: Harper Perennial.

Dingman, R.
(2009). :Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War: Was Defeat
Inevitable? Pacific Historical Review, 78(2), 323-325.
doi:10.1525/phr.2009.78.2.323

Miscamble, W. D.
(2005). James F. Byrnes, the Atomic Bomb, and the Pacific War. The Most
Controversial Decision, 40-53. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511977336.005

Myers, M.
(2015). Why Japanese defeat was not inevitable. The pacific war and
contingent victory, 28-73.

Roberts, O.,
& Kirby, S. W. (1963). History of the Second World War. The War
Against Japan, Volume III. Pacific Affairs, 36(1), 91.
doi:10.2307/2754782

Smith, M.
(2004). Storm over the Pacific : Japan’s road to empire and war. The
Pacific War Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima.
doi:10.5040/9781472895967.ch-001

United
States Strategic Bombing Survey. (2007). Summary report (Pacific war).
Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

 

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