The unknown battle of world war II: the Japanese landed in the U.S.

History 04/02/20 Unknown battle of world war II: the Japanese landed in the U.S.

it is considered that the geography of the Second World war was limited to Europe and the Pacific Islands. A little less I think about the African theater of war. But the fact that the war was directly on US territory, part of which was occupied by Japan, few people know. And indeed American historiography tactfully avoids this question, presenting themselves as the only of the countries participating, in the territory (and the territory) where military operations are not conducted.

the Invasion of Alaska

As Paul says Stephen Dahl in the book “way of Fighting the Imperial Japanese Navy”, the idea of an invasion of the Japanese army into the United States via Alaska was made in 1937, however, without the support of the Navy to carry out it it was unreal, as Admiral Yamamoto believed any action in Alaska futile, as this region is far away from the real theater of possible hostilities.

Today, there are several opinions as to whether the Aleutian operation is only a distraction in the battle of midway or the independent stage of the war. It seems that it is this uncertainty that ultimately put the Japanese aspirations cross. As acknowledged in the memoirs of the commander of the troops, the General in Iwaki, a joint operation of the army and Navy was held only because the representatives of each of the armed forces were afraid to remain without a victory in case of success. Well, if it fails and they both had the opportunity to blame the failure of each other.

a Landing on the coast of Alaska

3 June 1942, Japanese troops in parallel with the attack on midway Atoll and attacked the American base at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska island, near the coast of Alaska. On the background of the defeat of the Imperial Navy at midway, the relative success of Alaska at the direction of the Japanese high command considered sufficient basedIEM to continue operations for a ground invasion. On 6 and 7 June were captured of the coastal of the Islands Kiska and Attu, belonging to the Aleutian archipelago and is part of Alaska.

the Battle over the Alaska

a Further attack was planned to lead through the Aleutian archipelago and the ridge leading to the anchorage the capital of Alaska. And there was not far to the border of Canada. Of course, in a real seizure and retention of the North American territories, the Japanese did not expect. But, as he wrote in his memoirs of Vice-Admiral Boshiro Hosogai (commander of the Northern Union, which carried out the attack and landing), the calculation was the psychological effect.

If we could establish a bridgehead and hold it for a considerable time, it would distract American forces from the main theater of fighting, which was especially important in light of the loss of offensive initiative after the defeat at midway. In addition, withholding part of the American territory could provoke panic in the country and forcing the government to negotiate and make concessions.

the Liberation of Alaska

Japanese plans were not fated to come true. Writes Harry Turk in the book “midway. The turning point in the war in the Pacific, 1942”, intercepted the Japanese initiative and domination in the Pacific allowed the Americans to bring the situation under control. In parallel, the Canadians organized the mobilization, having thrown some troops to Alaska. Japanese offensive late fall exhausted. Opportunities for the transfer of reserves in Alaska, the country had battered and the troops were forced to retreat to the Islands.

In may 1943, American troops landed on Attu. Realizing that the battle was lost, the Japanese soldiers rushed at the enemy hand to hand, with the purpose to die but not to surrender, and officers committed ritual suicide. Of the more than 2,300 people in captivity managed to get only 28. A few days later, under cover of fog, the island of Kiska was left without a fight.

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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