THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA, 7-8 May 1942 ©
The Pacific War Historical Society presents an illustrated account of Japan's first naval defeat in the Pacific War (1941-45), and places the battle in its historic setting.
have no grave but the cruel sea
No flowers lie at their head
A rusting hulk is their tombstone
At rest on the ocean bed." *
TEXT AND WEB-SITE BY JAMES BOWEN. THIS WEB-SITE CREATED MAY 2002 AND LAST UPDATED 12 JULY 2008.
On 15 March 1942, Japan's Imperial General Headquarters decided to sever Australia's lifeline to the United States by seizing and fortifying the southern Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, and Port Moresby on the southern coast of the Australian Territory of Papua. The purpose behind the Japanese plan was to place a steel noose around Australia and then apply pressure to compel Australia to surrender to Japan.The first Japanese targets would be Port Moresby and the island of Tulagi in the British Solomon Islands.
"SCRATCH ONE FLAT-TOP"
For the first time in the Pacific War, the Japanese military machine suffered a defeat at the Battle of the Coral Sea. In this powerful image, the Japanese light carrier Shoho is under attack by Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bombers from the American aircraft carrier USS Lexington on 7 May 1942. Shoho was sunk. The painting depicts the TBD flown by Lt R.F. Farrington, T.R. Wiebe,and Walter N. Nelson from Lexington
Permission to illustrate the Coral Sea section of the Pacific War Web-site with this superb painting was generously given by internationally recognised and award-winning American artist Stan Stokes. A range of his fine aviation and marine art can be viewed on-line at Stan Stokes Art. The artwork of Stan Stokes can also be viewed on-line at the Aviation Art Hangar and the The Stokes Collection.
A new Pacific War web-site featuring interactive animations of key Pacific War battles, including Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal is now online. These excellent animations should assist viewers to follow text descriptions of very complex battles such as Midway and Coral Sea. Strongly recommended.
Although these invasions had initially been intended to take place in April 1942, the destruction of Japanese troop transports at Lae and Salamaua on 10 March 1942 by aircraft launched from USS Yorktown and USS Lexington forced a one month postponement to enable Japanese aircraft carriers to protect the Port Moresby and Tulagi landings. These Japanese invasion plans directed against Australia and the United States would produce in the Coral Sea the first major fleet to fleet engagement between the American and Japanese navies following Pearl Harbor, and for the first time in naval history would see a major naval battle decided by opposing aircraft carriers.
INDEX TO CORAL SEA
l Overview and Preparations for the Battle
l Events of 7 May 1942
l Events of 8 May 1942
l How this crucial Allied victory shaped the Pacific Warl Historical Sources
l They served their Countries at Coral Sea
l Commemorating the Battle of the Coral Sea in Australia
* from The Navy Ode
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