Pacific Battle Line

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  Pacific Battle Line

December, 1943.

 

     “The United States has been waging in the Pacific the most difficult war in history. And the least understood. The battleground is the world’s greatest ocean, with its tens of thousands of islands. The battle line is a great arc extending 7,000 miles from the tropical regions of northern Australia to the bleak, fog-covered Aleutians Islands on the rim of the Bering Sea.

 

       It is a warfare that is principally amphibious, a type of conflict our armed forces never had fought before and in which they had  little training.

 

     It is a war on an animal level, a war of no mercy, a war with a foe whose ideals are as foreign to most of us as the names of the islands on and around which it has been fought, and as repugnant. It began with treachery and has been waged with a foulness which most Americans have difficulty in understanding.

 

...It is too early to make any broad evaluation of our strategy, even if anyone were capable at this time of doing that. Events are too near, we do not know the full effect on the enemy of certain actions, too many personalities are involved, to make that feasible at present...

 

     On December 7, 1943, the second anniversary of his sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the  Japanese fighting man  still holds all but a few of the islands and all but a few of the square miles of empire he had seized during the first 6 months of his war against the United States, the British Empire, China and the Netherlands.

 

...To defend his island and continental empire he has all the advantages of distance, undeveloped terrain, heavily fortified bases, and opponents whose main effort is directed against another and more powerful enemy. He has an army of perhaps a million and a half men, and a fleet that probably still is capable of meeting on even terms any task force the Allies could send against him in any one area. ..

 

        It is a long hard road that stretches ahead, with much blood and sweat to be shed.”

 

- Foster Hailey

War correspondent, New York Times.

December, 1943.

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