IntroductionThePacific war is recognized as the primary factor that orchestrated the SecondWorld War. This battle covered a wide area geographically as it covered allislands around the Pacific Ocean including South East Asia China and Japan. Thewar 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 inseveral areas such as Malaya and Singapore.
This invasion also affected theUnited States military bases starting the war. Historians have portrayed thatJapan was destined to lose this war, as they had neither the support, weaponsnor 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 offocus in this paper.BackgroundInorder to understand why Japan lost in the Pacific war, it is critical to lookinto the background information and events that led to this war. The Pacificwar was fought on two fronts with each participating country slowly joining thefront they supported.
The earliest alliance formed during this period wasbetween the Japanese government and the government in Thailand, which wasformed in 1941 (Smith, 2004, p. 17). Formation of this alliance is partiallyaccrued to the fact that Japan had already invaded the peninsula, which waslocated on the southern side of Thailand. However, Thailand was considered anaxis state and the United States could not treat them as an enemy.
The UnitedStates government felt that the actions taken by Thailand were as a result ofblackmail from the Japanese government (Smith, 2004, p. 20). The final blowcame when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the other powers could not ignore heractions anymore.Inthe Pacific war, there were four primary areas of conflict in the course of theyear 1942and 1945 (Smith, 2004, p. 26). The Pacific war, on all four frontsthat include; China, South East Asia, central and southwest Pacific. ThePacific conflict was mainly between China, the west, and Japan.
While theallies were well organized and connected in the war against Japan most of theAxis countries hose to stay out of this war. This made Japan vulnerable, asGermany and Italy were the main source of support for the axis group but chosenot to take an active role in the Pacific war. Germany’s defeat by the United States in this war came as a result oflack of proper support, the US had a larger military capacity, superiorstrength of industrial base in the US, the and superior military weapons usedby the united states among others (Costello, 2009).Reasonsbehind Japan losing the Pacific war ThePacific 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 theUnited States government, therefore, the discussion on loss of the Pacific warby Japan should look into the factors that gave the US the upper hand overJapan in the Pacific. The primary issues that this journal shall focus oninclude; lack of adequate resources, lack of support from other Axisaffiliates, possession of superior weapons by the US, lack of adequateworkforce and poor battle strategies (Myers, 2015, p. 28).Lackof adequate resourcesDuringthe Pacific war as historical documents show, the United States was welladvanced in terms of industrial base and resources.
The USA was well endowedwith natural resources that gave them an advantage over Japan. Availability ofresources such as oil, oil refining industries, and large plants for themanufacture of steel played a major role in winning the war. Japan, on the otherhand, was hampered by inadequacy in natural resources (Myers, 2015, p. 33).
Infact, Japan acquired crude oil and steel products from other countries and hersupply chain was cut off when the allied forces imposed an embargo. Loss of thesupplies made them vulnerable in the war, as they had to use the resourcessparingly considering they had no routes to acquire more resources.Inthe book, Japan Prepares for total war by Michael Barnhart a detailed report ispresented on the effect of Japans economic status and resource capacity on thePacific war. The author discusses the struggles and challenges that the armyand navy faced in a bid to try to acquire resources considering the alliedcountries 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 torepair or replace machinery and weapons destroyed in battle. The US army alsostarted experimenting with new weapons such as submarines that frustratedefforts of the Japanese army to acquire resources for war. The fact thatAmerica was better equipped economical and had easy access to resources was amajor factor that led to the defeat of Japan in this war.
Japanwas also lacking in terms of expert and technical workforce reducing theirchances of emerging as winners in the war. While the United States hadengineers who were able to repair weapons destroyed during battles Japan had towrite most of the weapons due to lack of engineers with the knowledge on repairof said weapons. An example of the repair of weapons is the restoration of theaircraft 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 thusdid not have individuals with expert knowledge on making of these weapons. Thelack of skilled manpower reduced weapons available to both the army and navyleading to loss of the war in the end. SuperiorweaponsAnothermain factor that contributed to Japan losing the war was weapon superiority inthe enemy camps.
According to the plans made by the Japanese army, theyexpected the war to be fought in the Pacific Ocean and stocked a numerousamount of warships to cover the war (Myers, 2015, p. 38). The USA army, on theother hand, was preparing drop aircrafts and atomic bombs, which would cripplethe Japanese army and bring her to her knees. Most of Japanese aircraftcarriers were destroyed in the battle at Pearl Harbor putting them at adisadvantage. America was able to create stronger aircrafts and at a largerquantity since her industrial capacity was twice compared to that of theJapanese (Myers, 2015, p.
39). Ability to make more weapons became an addedadvantage for United States and contributed to Japan losing the war.Amongsuperior weapons, the issue of atomic bombs comes up as the central issue thatled to defeat for Japan. Introduction of nuclear weapons and atomic bombingschanged the cause of the war as Japan saw two of her cities razed to the groundwith thousands of citizens dead and survivors suffering fatal injuries (UnitedStates Strategic Bombing Survey, 2007, p.
xx). Before bombing of Hiroshima andNagasaki, Japan was willing to fight until every Japanese was dead or the warwas won. However, Japan had to rethink their strategy after witnessing thedeath 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 riseas those who did not die on the spot die from severe burns and radiationsickness forcing Japan to surrender.
WarstrategiesTheloss of the Pacific war by the Japanese can be accrued to the battle strategiesthey applied. The Japanese used mass attacks in the wars that led to a lot ofcasualties and death of many soldiers. The mass attack strategy would have beenappropriate for the infantry if both sides had the same power in terms of thenumber of soldiers and weapons used (Dingman, 2009, p. 323).
The US army hadaccess to superior weapons such as machine guns that made a difference in thiswar. Japan never changed strategies and applied the same used for the waragainst China, which made their actions predictable thus the US military wasable to determine their action and retaliate in time to avoid fatalities ontheir part. The chines factions were poorly organized while the army trainingwas inadequate which made it easier to for Japan to win the war. Incorporationof the same strategies in the war against the American military was bound tofail as the training that the later army had received was of high standardsmaking them a formidable enemy. The machine guns used by the US army were ableto take out a large number of soldiers from the Japan side utilizing just asmall army.
The fact that the Japanese military used the mass soldiers’ tacticalso made it easier to take them out using the machine guns (Dingman, 2009, p.323).Anothermistake made by Japan in the Pacific war in terms of strategy is the time theytook to stage another attack after winning the battle of Pearl Harbor.Application proper strategies in war involve cutting an enemy’s head while theyare still down or crashing them completely helps ensure a win. Japan followingup the battle of Pearl Harbor with other attacks on the United States wouldhave been a blow that would have taken the United States a long time torecover. However, Japan celebrated the small victory forgetting winning a fightis not the same as winning a war. This error in judgment cost Japan anopportunity that would have helped them in winning the Pacific war (Smith,2004, p.
16).Asfar as war strategies go, Japanese decision to attack the USA from West Loch isanother factor that contributed to their loss in the Pacific war. The Japanesetroops should have attacked the other side of the island where the US army hadtheir base and resources in order to hamper their progress, however, the used adifferent 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 injudgment, had the army attach the base on the other side of the island wherethe US army had their supplies it would have hampered their progress in thewar.
Japan remained rooted in the same tactics while the US army was able tocome up with adaptive strategies such as embargoes to assist them to winagainst Japan (Dingman, 2009, p. 325). Japan-focused her army on a defensivestance on the areas they considered most vulnerable leaving other areas openwhich created an opportunity for America to lock them out of supplies.
Thehindsight of the military leaders in the Japanese army contributed largely todefeat in the Pacific war.Lackof supportJapanhas been an axis affiliate required the support of other axis countries to winthe war. However, we find that the major countries in the axis are such asGermany and Italy did not join the war. The only country that allied with Japanis Thailand, which was a small state and could not offer much in terms ofresources and manpower (Miscamble, 2005, p. 47). Lack of support from otheraxis countries led to the defeat of Japan in this war, as they had to goagainst 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 fromBritain. The coordination between Japanand German was also a contributing factor, as they did not keep to date withinformation on their strategies.
Germany was planning to invade the SovietUnion as Germany fought the US arm proper coordination would have seen bothpowers conducting a combined invasion that would have improved their chances ofwinning (Miscamble, 2005, p. 53).Japanwas fighting with several countries including China, Soviet Union, and theUnited States among others. The fact that enemies surrounded Japan on all sidesmade defeat in this war eminent as not mater the size of their army it wasimpossible to keep fighting on all fronts at the same time. Invasion of Manchuriaby the Soviet Union put a strain on Japan’s military resources that werealready stretched thin fighting the US army (Roberts & Kirby, 1963, p. 91).
Although Japan had a massive army, most of the soldiers were fighting in Chinaleaving Japan vulnerable to attacks. Japan, therefore, had to surrender as theycould not keep fighting wars on multiple fronts and defend their citizens atthe same time. ConclusionThePacific war brought about devastating effects for all countries involved;however, the country that suffered the biggest blow was Japan.
As thediscussion 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 theirisland-hopping war tactics gave them an advantage over Japan thus contributingto their loss in the war. Japan was also in conflict with several states, whichmade it impossible to win the Pacific war while all her enemies ganged upagainst her. Looking at the historical facts it is clear that Japan was boundto lose the Pacific war, as they did not have the resources nor strength inweapons required to win this war. Although there are claims that the militarybattle was not lost but Japan surrendered to keep the civilians from sufferingdue to the war, the battle was already lost when nuclear weapons wereintroduced in the Pacific war. ReferencesBraisted, W. R.
,Barnhart, M. A., & Utley, J.
G. (2014). Japan Preparesfor Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919-1941. MilitaryAffairs, 52(4), 229.
doi:10.2307/1988482Costello, J.(2009). The Pacific War, 1941-1945. New York: Harper Perennial.Dingman, R.(2009). :Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War: Was DefeatInevitable? Pacific Historical Review, 78(2), 323-325.
D.(2005). James F. Byrnes, the Atomic Bomb, and the Pacific War. The MostControversial Decision, 40-53. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511977336.
005Myers, M.(2015). Why Japanese defeat was not inevitable. The pacific war andcontingent victory, 28-73.
Roberts, O.,& Kirby, S. W. (1963). History of the Second World War.
The WarAgainst Japan, Volume III. Pacific Affairs, 36(1), 91.doi:10.2307/2754782Smith, M.(2004). Storm over the Pacific : Japan’s road to empire and war. ThePacific War Companion: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima.
doi:10.5040/9781472895967.ch-001UnitedStates Strategic Bombing Survey.
(2007). Summary report (Pacific war).Washington: U.S. Govt.