During May, while Mutaguchi continued to order attacks, the Allies advanced southwards from Kohima and northwards from Imphal. [186], However, the Japanese had also come to realize the strategic value of Iwo Jima and Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was assigned command of the island in May 1944. [216], On 9 August, exactly on schedule, 90 days after the war ended in Europe, the Soviet Union entered the war by invading Manchuria. Neither total includes the considerable number of irregular guerrilla fighters sworn to regional warlords who fought the Japanese. Ultimately nearly 20,000 Japanese died on Guadalcanal compared to just over 7,000 Americans. [175] Utilizing radar-guided torpedo attacks, American destroyers sank one of the battleships and three destroyers while damaging the other battleship.              Solomon Islands: 63,200, 25,000, (88,200) Furthermore, the standard-issue Mark 14 torpedo and its Mark VI exploder both proved defective, problems which were not corrected until September 1943. Hara, p. 299. [124] On 7 August, US Marines landed on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomons. [201] Total American casualties were 49,451, including 12,520 dead or missing and 36,631 wounded. Cherevko, "Hammer and Sickle against Samurai Sword" ch. After the Nazi attack on Russia in 1941, the Japanese were torn between German urgings to join the war against the Soviets and their natural inclination to seek richer prizes from the European colonial territories to the south. [190] The Japanese losses totaled well over 20,000 men killed, with only 1,083 prisoners were taken. On 24 June, General Holland Smith replaced General Ralph C. Smith, the commanding general of the 27th Division, who he believed lacked an aggressive spirit. Saratoga was out of action, undergoing repair after a torpedo attack, while Yorktown had been damaged at Coral Sea and was believed by Japanese naval intelligence to have been sunk. It was also hoped that this penetration of the Japanese inner defense zone, which was a little more than 1,250 miles (2,010 km) from Tokyo, might force the Japanese fleet out for a decisive engagement. [106] The Second Operational Phase began well when Lae and Salamaua, located in eastern New Guinea, were captured on 8 March. After early Japanese success, this counter-attack was defeated when the Indian divisions of XV Corps stood firm, relying on aircraft to drop supplies to isolated forward units until reserve divisions could relieve them. All four Japanese carriers were sunk, but this part of the Japanese plan had succeeded in drawing the American carriers away from Leyte Gulf. They were supported by about 400 aircraft from Chinese and American air forces.              Moluccas: 2,600, 1,800, (4,400) In strategic terms the Allies began a long movement across the Pacific, seizing one island base after another. At the same time as major battles raged in New Guinea, Allied forces became aware of a Japanese airfield under construction at Guadalcanal through coastwatchers. [257][258], During the Pacific War, Japanese soldiers killed millions of non-combatants, including prisoners of war, from surrounding nations. On New Guinea, the Japanese on the Kokoda Track were within sight of the lights of Port Moresby but were ordered to retreat to the northeastern coast. Himeta, Mitsuyoshi (姫田光義) (日本軍による『三光政策・三光作戦をめぐって』) (, Japanese-held islands in the Central Pacific Ocean, atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the overthrow of the French regime in 1945, culminated in a major armed clash in January 1941, Japan declared of war on the United States and the British Empire, American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, planned ground invasion of the Japanese mainland, United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, List of war crimes § 1939–1945: World War II, International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Allied war crimes during World War II § Asia and the Pacific War, skulls and other remains of Japanese soldiers by American soldiers, Dissent in the Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan, Japanese-American service in World War II, Japanese in the Chinese resistance to the Empire of Japan, Fighting an undeclared war against Japan since 7 July 1937, United Kingdom declaration of war on Japan, United States declaration of war on Japan, US Navy Personnel in World War II Service and Casualty Statistics, Naval History and Heritage Command, "Chapter 10: Loss of the Netherlands East Indies", Australia-Japan Research Project, "Dispositions and Deaths".              Japan Proper: 58,100, 45,800, (103,900) American casualties were 6,821 killed and 19,207 wounded. During April, the Japanese attacks against Imphal failed, while fresh Allied formations drove the Japanese from the positions they had captured at Kohima. In the United States, the term Pacific Theater was widely used, although this was a misnomer in relation to the Allied campaign in Burma, the war in China and other activities within the South-East Asian Theater. [110] Additionally, some 250 aircraft were assigned to the operation including 140 aboard the three carriers. The campaign opened with a landing on the small island of Tarakan on 1 May. The "Center Force", under the command of Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, consisted of five battleships (including the Yamato and Musashi), 12 cruisers and 13 destroyers; the "Northern Force", under the command of Jisaburō Ozawa, comprised four carriers, two battleships partly converted to carriers, three light cruisers and nine destroyers; the "Southern Force" contained two groups, one under the command of Shōji Nishimura consisting of two Fusō-class battleships, one heavy cruiser and four destroyers, the other under Kiyohide Shima comprised two heavy cruisers, a light cruiser and four destroyers. [88] The pace of conquest was rapid: Bali and Timor also fell in February. 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