Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces of the United States and Australia. The battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan’s resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign.
About Battle of the Coral Sea in brief
The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces of the United States and Australia. It is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other and the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another. The battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been checked by the Allies. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan’s resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign. That and the New Guinea Campaign ultimately contributed to Japan’s ultimate surrender, marking the end of World War II. Japan declared war on the US and the British Empire, after Japanese forces attacked Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. In launching this war, Japanese leaders sought to neutralize the U.S. fleet, seize territory rich in natural resources, and obtain strategic military bases to defend their far-flung empire. In the words of the Imperial Japan Navy Combined Fleet’s \”Secret Order Number One\”, dated 1 November 1941, the goals of the initial Japanese campaigns in the impending war were to \” British and American strength from the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines, to establish a policy of autonomous self-sufficiency economic independence. Besides Malaya and Singapore, the Japanese took control of the Dutch East Indies, Wake Island, New Britain, the Gilbert Islands and Guam, inflicting heavy losses on opposing Allied naval forces.
The Japanese planned to use these territories to use a perimeter for its empire from which it expected to employ attritional tactics to exhaust any Allied counterattacks or exhaust any counterattacks after the war began. At the time, Japan did not have the capacity to conduct such an operation, which is why it did not use an invasion of Northern Australia to prevent Australia from being used as a base to threaten Japan’s perimeter in the Pacific. The Battle of Coral Sea was a victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, but the battle would prove to be a strategic victories for the Allies in several ways, including the loss of the Japanese fleet carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku, the former damaged and the latter with a depleted aircraft complement. The next day, each side found and attacked the other’s fleet carriers, with the US fleet carrier Lexington critically damaged and later scuttled, and Yorktown damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two forces disengaged and retired from the area. On 7 May, both sides launched airstrikes. The US sinking the Japanese light carrier Shōhō and the Japanese sinking a US destroyer and heavily damaging a fleet oiler, which was laterScuttled. On 8 May, the US sinking a Japanese fleet carrier Shohaku and the former damaging a Japanese destroyer. The loss of carrier air cover prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby by sea and helped prompt their ill-fated land offensive.