Teaching slides – Unit 2 Chapter 7 (updated)

Bombing of Hiroshima
Play this video clip for
the students and then
ask them this question:
• How important do you think the
dropping of the atomic bomb was
on Japan’s defeat in World War II?
The video contains graphic material, and may not be suitable for some viewers.
Viewer discretion is advised.
Iwo Jima
(Letters of Iwo Jima trailer)
Play this video clip for
the students and then
ask them these
• What does it show about the
Japanese attitude towards
defending the island of Iwo Jima?
• What does the video show about
the Japanese perspective on the
How far do you agree that
the defeat of Japan could only
have been brought about by
the dropping of the atomic
Brief Summary of Pacific War
Japan Sweeps into SEA
0 Attack on Pearl Harbour coordinated with advance
into SEA.
0 1941 – Hong Kong, Malaya, Philippines & Burma fell
0 1942 – Singapore & Dutch East Indies fell
0 Thailand signed alliance with Jp to avoid being
0 French Indo-China became Jp ally as well.
0 SEA came under Jp control by 1942
Japanese strategy
0 Jp believed that its quick and early successes would
convince Allies to negotiate for peace
0 Thought that US would be unwilling to pay price of
long and total war
0 Underestimated US determination to fight back;
Pearl Harbour attack united US in bitter hatred of Jp
The Tide Turns…
0 America rebuilt Pacific
Fleet & was out for revenge.
0 Naval battle at Midway saw
America cripple Jp Navy.
0 U.S. marines began the
“island-hopping” strategy
hatched by Admiral Chester
American navy wins a decisive
battle against the Jp at the
Pacific island of Midway
By early 1945…
0 Allied forces had retaken
Philippines, fighting to
retake Burma, &
preparing to retake
0 Island hopping brought
U.S. marines within
striking range of Japan.
General Douglas Macarthur – “I have
Approaching Japan
0 Costly battles at Iwo Jima &
Okinawa convinced Americans
that invasion of Japan would
result in high casualties.
0 Jp kamikaze tactics showed
0 The solution?
Kamikaze plane in
The iconic American flag raising
at Iwo Jima. The battle gave the
U.S. marine corps its highest
casualty rate in any battle in
Truman drops the Bomb
Top & left:
Right: Radiation
burns from
0 Emperor Hirohito declares
unconditional surrender
0 Jp came under American
0 Hirohito absolved from blame.
0 Tojo & many Jp tried &
executed for war crimes.
0 Jp becomes staunch U.S. ally in
Cold War
Hirohito with Macarthur, who was
the Supreme Allied Commander for
occupation forces in Japan.
Key reasons for Japan’s defeat
0 Strengths of USA
0 Over-extension of Japanese Empire
0 Resistance to Japanese rule
0 Allied victory in Europe
0 Dropping of the atomic bomb
Strengths of the USA
Economic strength
Contribution of women to
war effort
Military strength
Battle of Midway.
Economic strength
0 US – largest industrial producer in the world with
abundant raw materials
0 Jp had only one-tenth the productive capacity of US
0 US able to produce more ships, planes, tanks, guns
and bombs than Jp
Military production by Jp and US during WW2
(Source 7.2 on p.194)
Carrier battleship
Economic strength
0 US submarines sank more than 75% of Jp
merchant ships, crippling Jp supplies of raw
0 US bombing destroyed Japanese homes and
0 1945 – Jp ppl starving & facing collapse of
industrial production
Contribution of women to war effort
0 US women made significant
contribution to war effort
0 Worked in factories to produce
weapons and military supplies
0 Jp women stayed at home to fulfill
role of mother and child-bearer
Military strength
0 US was still militarily strong enough to fight back
despite Pearl Harbour attack
0 Three US aircraft carriers survived as they were
not at harbor during attack
0 Jp also failed to destroy fuel storage &
maintenance facilities – this enabled US to rebuild
Pacific Fleet and retaliate later
Military strength
0 Three key events illustrated US military strength:
0 Doolittle Raid (Apr 1942)
0 Battle of Coral Sea (May 1942)
0 Battle of Midway (June 1942) – decisive battle that
severely weakened Jp air and sea capabilities;
turning point in Pacific War
0 Read pp.196-197 for details
Battle of Midway
0 Jp wanted to destroy what was
left of US fleet in final battle
0 Once US fleet destroyed, Jp
could use Midway to threaten
Hawaii and US Pacific coast
0 Yamamoto assembled a huge
fleet and confident of victory
American navy won a decisive
battle against the Jp at the
Pacific island of Midway
Battle of Midway
0 US broke Jp naval codes
0 After withstanding the first Jp
strike, US bombers attacked Jp
fleet while Jp planes were
0 Jp lost 4 aircraft carriers, over
300 planes and their best
trained pilots
American navy won a decisive
battle against the Jp at the
Pacific island of Midway
Over-extension of Japanese Empire
0 Jp Empire had overstretched itself
0 Rapid conquests gave Jp too large an area to control
0 Jp struggled to defend its massive empire due to its
limited resources and manpower
0 Jp also had to fight on many fronts – China, SEA,
Pacific – due to vastness of its empire
How do you defend an empire as large as this?
0 US forces began ‘island-hopping’ campaign
0 Aim was to leapfrog across the Pacific by capturing
strategically important islands one by one until they
reached Jp
0 Guadalcanal  Marianas Islands  Philippines 
Iwo Jima  Okinawa  bloody fighting and severe
casualties on both sides (Read p.199 for details)
Kamikaze attacks
0 From 1944, Jp resorted to kamikaze attacks in their
desperate attempts to defend their territories
0 Suicide missions by Jp pilots against Allied ships
0 Sank 21 US ships; more than 5000 Americans killed
– too little too late to reverse situation
0 Strengthened US resolve to bring about quick end to
the war to minimize losses
Resistance to Japanese rule
0 Jp brutality and mistreatment of local Asian
populations led to increasing hostility to Jp rule
0 Kempeitei carried out Sook Ching which killed
about 50,000 Chinese in Singapore
0 Construction of Thai-Burma Death Railway led to
deaths of large numbers of Asian labourers and
Allied prisoners of war (see p.200)
Resistance to Japanese rule
0 Opposition movements were formed to resist Jp
0 E.g. Force 136, Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese
Army (MPAJA)
0 Deployment of soldiers to keep locals under control
further drained Jp resources available for war
Allied victory in Europe
0 Allied victory in Europe in May 1945 meant that Jp
could no longer rely on Germany to distract Allies
0 Allied forces could be concentrated against Jp –
Soviets promised to bring their troops to the East to
help with final assault
0 Jp leaders knew that it was a matter of time before
Allies would win war
Allied victory in Europe
0 But they refused to accept Allied demands for
unconditional surrender – humiliating stigma to Jp
0 Feared that Allies might remove Jp emperor and try
him as war criminal
0 Continued fighting while attempting to negotiate
peace terms with Allies through the Soviet govt.
Dropping of atomic bomb
0 US President Truman decided to use atomic bombs
to force Jp surrender without having to invade Jp
0 Bloody battles at Iwo Jima & Okinawa convinced US
that invasion of Jp would result in heavy casualties
0 Another motive was to impress and intimidate
Soviet Union with US power at the onset of Cold
War (read pp.203-204)
Dropping of atomic bomb
0 US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (Aug 6) and
Nagasaki (Aug 9).
0 More than 100,000 killed instantly
0 Destruction shocked the Jp military & Emperor; no
way Jp could compete with such weaponry.
0 Aug 15: Emperor Hirohito announced unconditional
Was dropping of A-bomb
0 Yes: Hasten defeat of Jp
0 Shorten agony of war and save lives
0 Costly battles during island campaign
0 Jp atrocities, mistreatment of POWs
Was dropping of A-bomb
0 No: Jp was on verge of defeat
0 Jp was severely weakened and ready to
0 US ‘island-hopping’ campaign inflicted
heavy damage to Jp military strength
0 US bombing of Jp factories crippled Jp
industrial production