American progress in the Pacific in 1944 | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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May 16, 2015
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American progress in the Pacific in 1944 | The 20th century | World history | Khan Academy

TL;DR

In 1944, the United States and the Allies made significant advances towards Japan, taking strategic islands and getting within bombing range, with a focus on taking The Philippines.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What was the strategic value of the islands the US gained control of in 1944?

The small islands, like Kwajalein, provided critical air bases for the US bombers to refuel and launch attacks closer to Japan. This allowed for increased offensive capabilities.

Q: Why was taking The Philippines important to the United States?

Apart from being a former US possession and a matter of pride, The Philippines held strategic significance as controlling the shipping lanes between Indonesia and Japan, thus depriving Japan of vital resources.

Q: When did the United States start launching bombing raids to Japan?

The United States started launching bombing raids with the new B-29 bombers as early as the summer of 1944, although the actual territory taken in the summer was limited to the Mariana Islands.

Q: What was the significance of The Battle of Leyte?

The Battle of Leyte was crucial as it essentially eliminated Japan's ability to defend the rest of The Philippines. It was also a decisive victory for the American Navy, resulting in the near destruction of the Japanese Navy.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In 1944, the United States took control of Kwajalein, a strategic island that allowed bombers to refuel and launch attacks closer to Japan.

  • The Americans also gained control of the Solomon Islands, the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, and aimed to get as close as possible to the Japanese mainland.

  • The key objectives in 1944 were to establish bombing attacks on Japan and regain control of The Philippines.

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