Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coral Sea

The Battle of Coral Sea lasted from May 7th to 8th in 1942 off of New Guinea. It was the first  naval battle fought with just carrier based planes. The whole battle was fought almost entirely with planes. The modern technology at the time allowed the tactics of World War 2 to be different from World War 1's trench warfare. 

Japan's plan for this battle was called "Operation MO", because the force they used for attack was called Task Force MO. 
Goals of Operation MO:
1. Isolate Australia so that New Guinea could be used as a platform to attack Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa.
2. Prevents attack on Port Moresby.
3. Admiral Yamamoto wanted a full attack on U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific, because he believed the U.S.  could win the war with them.

The conclusion of the battle was a strategic victory for America, and a tactical loss for Japan. This was the first stoppage of Japanese offensive, and the first time the Japanese had not reached their goals in a World War 2 battle. If the Japanese had won, they could have captured New Guinea. This could have isolated Australia from ally support, and made it more open to Japanese attack. 

After Coral Sea, Japan claimed and informed their public of a Japanese victory. They believe the won the battle because of the great damage they caused to U.S. carriers, especially the USS Lexington. The Lexington was very large and considered to be 25% of U.S. carrier strength.    

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