Pacific Ocean theater of World War II

Pacific Ocean theater of World War II

The Pacific Ocean theater was one of four major naval theatres of war of the Second World War that pitted forces of the Japan against those of the United States, Commonwealth of Nations, the Netherlands and France.

The theater included most of the Pacific Ocean and its islands, excluding the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands East Indies, the Territory of New Guinea (including the Bismarck Archipelago) and the Solomon Islands (which were part of the Southwest Pacific area.) The Pacific Ocean theater also excluded China and mainland South East Asia. It takes its name from 30 March 1942Cressman(2000)p.84] when it became the major Allied command in the theater, known simply as "Pacific Ocean Areas".Potter&Nimitz(1960)p.653]


The Japanese Combined Fleet was led by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, until he was killed in an attack by U.S. fighter planes in April 1943.Potter&Nimitz(1960)p.717] Yamamoto was succeeded by Admiral Mineichi Koga (1943–44) and Admiral Soemu Toyoda (1944–45).Potter&Nimitz(1960)pp.759-760]

Admiral, later Fleet Admiral, Chester Nimitz commanded the vast majority of Allied naval forces in the Pacific Ocean during the period 1941–45. The Allied Pacific Ocean Areas (POA) command was formed in March 1942. The POA was further divided into the North, Central, and South Pacific Areas, with subordinate commanders.Potter&Nimitz(1960)pp.652-653] Nimitz retained direct control of the Central Pacific Area (CENPAC).

Major campaigns and battles

* Central Pacific Theater
** Attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941Silverstone(1968)pp.9-11]
** Battle of Wake Island 7-23 December 1941Potter&Nimitz(1960)pp.651-652]
** Doolittle Raid 18 April 1942
** Battle of Midway 4-6 June 1942
** Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign 1943–44
*** Makin Island raid 17-18 August 1942Kafka&Pepperburg(1946)p.185]
*** Battle of Tarawa 20 November 1943
*** Battle of Kwajalein 1 February 1944Potter&Nimitz(1960)p.751]
*** Battle of Eniwetok 17 February 1944Ofstie(1946)p.194]
** Mariana and Palau Islands campaign 1944
*** Battle of Saipan 15 June 1944Potter&Nimitz(1960)p.761]
*** Battle of the Philippine Sea 19-21 June 1944Potter&Nimitz(1960)p.765]
*** Battle of Guam (1944) 21 JulyPotter&Nimitz(1960)p.770]
*** Battle of Tinian 24 July 1944
*** Battle of Peleliu 15 September 1944Ofstie(1946)p.275]
*** Battle of Anguar 17 September 1944
** Battle of Iwo Jima 19 February 1945
** Battle of Okinawa 1 April 1945
* North Pacific Theater
** Aleutian Islands campaign 1942–43
** Battle of the Komandorski Islands 26 March 1943



*cite book
last = Cressman
first = Robert J.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 2000
chapter =
title = The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location = Annapolis, Maryland
id = ISBN 1-55750-149-1

*cite book
last = Drea
first = Edward J.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1998
chapter =
title = In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army
publisher = University of Nebraska Press
location = Nebraska
id = ISBN 0-8032-1708-0

* cite book
last = Kafka
first = Roger
coauthors = & Pepperburg, Roy L.
year = 1946
title = Warships of the World
publisher = Cornell Maritime Press
location = New York
id =

* cite book
last = Miller
first = Edward S.
coauthors =
year = 2007
title = War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897–1945
publisher = US Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1591145007

* cite book
last = Ofstie
first = Ralph A.
coauthors =
year = 1946
title = The Campaigns of the Pacific War
publisher = United States Government Printing Office
location = Washington, D.C.
id =

* cite book
last = Potter
first = E.B.
coauthors = & Chester Nimitz
year = 1960
title = Sea Power
publisher = Prentice-Hall
location =
id =

* cite book
last = Silverstone
first = Paul H.
coauthors =
year = 1968
title = U.S. Warships of World War II
publisher = Doubleday and Company
location =
id =

* cite book
last = Hakim
first = Joy
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz
publisher = Oxford University Press
date = 1995
location = New York
pages =
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0-19-509514-6

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