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Battle of Coral Sea


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54 PowerPoint slides with multiple choice questions and many animations- The Battle of Coral Sea of WW II in the Pacific Theatre preceded the Battle of Midway.

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Battle of Coral Sea

  1. 1. BattleBattle ofof CoralCoral SeaSea
  2. 2. On 7 December 1941, using aircraft carriers, the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack destroyed or crippled most of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's battleships and started the war. What were the initial aims of the Japanese leaders in launching this war? a. Neutralize the US fleet. b. Seize possessions rich in natural resources. c. Obtain strategic military bases to defend their empire. d. Eject US, British, and Netherlands from their colonial holdings. The four choices would make a good outline for the Japanese early goals.
  3. 3. Imperial Japanese advances in the Southwest Pacific from December 1941 to April 1942 To support these goals, during the first few months of 1942, besides Malaya, Japanese forces attacked and successfully took control of the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, the Netherlands East Indies, Wake Island, New Britain, the Gilbert Islands, and Guam while inflicting heavy losses on opposing Allied land, naval, and air forces.
  4. 4. Japan has expanded their empire. They now must make it secure and prepared for defense. Japanese Naval General Staff chose what area to attack next? a. Northern Australia b. Pearl Harbor….again. c. Western Australia-Perth d. Port Moresby, New Guinea The answer should be a surprise. Who rejected the plan to invade Northern Australia? a. Admiral Yamamoto b. The Emperor c. The Imperial Japanese Army d. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo The Imperial Japanese Army rejected the recommendation, stating that it did not have the forces or shipping capacity available to conduct such an operation. Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue, commander of the IJN's 4th Fleet (also called the South Seas Force) which consisted of most of the naval units in the South Pacific area, advocated the occupation of…. a.Tulagi and Port Moresby b.Townsville and Perth c.Midway Island and Guam d.Fiji and Samoa
  5. 5. Rabaul Port Moresby Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Tulagi Port Moresby Rabaul Japanese expansion perimeter line Tulagi would put northern Australia within range of Japanese land-based aircraft. Inoue believed the capture and control of these locations would provide greater security and defensive depth for the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain. Using these locations as supporting bases, the Japanese would then seize New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa and thereby cut the supply and communication lines between Australia and the United States. Northern Australia
  6. 6. a. Fighter planes b. Battleships c. Airfields d. Carriers
  7. 7. The Japanese plan called for Port Moresby to be invaded from the ocean and secured by 10 May. The plan also included the seizure of Tulagi on 2–3 May. The navy would establish a seaplane base for potential air operations against Allied territories and forces in the South Pacific and to provide a base for reconnaissance aircraft-putting Australia in danger.
  8. 8. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Port Moresby Invasion Group Tulagi Invasion Group
  9. 9. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby The Japanese plan JapaneseCarrier Force Australia Townsville Covering Force Reminder: this is the JAPANESE PLAN! It was ONLY A PLAN. Knowing this study is about the Battle of Coral Sea…….. …………what’s coming? a.A battle b.A battle c.A battle d.A battle Sarcastic Question: Where will the battle be located? MO Battle of Coral Sea
  10. 10. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby The Japanese plan JapaneseCarrier Force Australia Townsville MO Cooktown Coen Why plan on a bombing attack from the carriers on Coen, Cooktown, and Townsville? a. Preparation for invasion. b. Allied bomber bases. c. Diversion d. Allied ships were harbored at these three ports. Inoue was especially worried about Allied bombers stationed at air bases in Coen, Cooktown, and Townsville ,Australia, beyond the range of his own bombers located at Rabaul and Lae. Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue
  11. 11. Regardless of the success or failure of Operation MO Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto had planned for the NEXT major operation. What was it? a. Leyte Gulf b. Wake Island c. Midway d. Guadalcanal Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of Japan's Combined Fleet, was concurrently planning an operation for June that he hoped would lure the U.S. Navy's carriers, none of which were damaged in the Pearl Harbor attack, into a decisive showdown with his fleet in the central Pacific near Midway Atoll. A fun question-what color was the ocean in the South Pacific? a. Deep blue b. Pale blue c. green d. Light brown Deep blue according to author Ian Toll.
  12. 12. CheCk OuT The pOwer The Japanese have builT in Ten weeks. Rabaul Kavieng Lae Salamaua Buka Island Buin Satellite air bases: Japanese expansion perimeter By January 23rd the Japanese had cleared out Rabaul of the Australians and established port facilities to include an armada. They had ten weeks of build- up time before Operation MO. At Rabaul: “4th Fleet” with 150 aircraft. Under the command of Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue.
  13. 13. Hawaii New Hebrides Solomons Japan’s expansion perimeter Task Force11-Lexington (Fletcher) Leaves Pearl Harbor on April 19th TF 11 reaches 300 miles NW of New Caledonia, joining TF 17 (Fitch), and TF 44 (Royal British Navy) Why the zig-zag –ing route? a. Training b. Avoid submarines c. Weather d. Celebrating crossing the equator
  14. 14. The Allies are sending whatever ships they have left after Pearl Harbor to the Coral Sea. How do they know the Japanese build up is near the Coral Sea? a. Code breaking b. Spies b. Traitors d. Lucky guess Jn-25 US Code-breakers at Pearl Harbor under the command of Commodore Joe Rochefort have broken the Japanese Code Jn-25 and know that the Japanese will invade Tulagi and Port Moresby.Wild Guess Time! How many code-breakers were there at Pearl Harbor? a. 10 b. 26 c. 112 d. 738 U.S. Navy's Combat Intelligence Unit, called OP–20–G and consisted of 738 naval personnel. The unit was housed in the basement of the 14th Naval District Administration at Pearl Harbor.
  15. 15. Rabaul Kavieng Lae Salamaua Buka Island Buin At Rabaul: “4th Fleet” with 150 aircraft. Under the command of Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue. Carrier Shoho “5th Fleet Carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku One Cruiser Division Two Destroyer Divisions On April 13th , the British deciphered a JN-25 message informing Inoue in Rabaul that the Fifth Carrier Division, consisting of the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku, were en route from Truk to Rabaul. The Americans interpreted the message that the Japanese target was most likely, a. Port Moresby b. Guadalcanal c. Hebrides Islands d. Townsville, Australia 140 Land- based aircraft
  16. 16. 1 Task Force 11 Task Force 17 Yorktown- Adm Frank FletcherLexington-RAdm Jake Fitch Task Force 44 Royal Australian Navy-Adm Crace Where are the other two US aircraft carriers- Hornet and Enterprise? a. Not needed b. Being repaired c. On the way to Tokyo d. Returning to Pearl Harbor from Tokyo 1 light carrier 9 cruisers 15 destroyers 5 minesweepers 2 minelayers 2 sub chasers 3 PT Gunboats 1 oil tanker 1 seaplane tender 12 transports 127 carrier aircraft Why no Battleships? a. There aren’t any b. No use for them in the upcoming battle. c. In training near San Diego. d. Rest and refitting in Hawaii. Remember Pearl Harbor?
  17. 17. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Buin Cooktown Coen Yorktown Task Force Lexington Task Force That same evening Australian scouts out of Coen spotted the landings and reported to the Yorktown TF !7 Attack Force Cover Force Tulagi attack force
  18. 18. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Buin Cooktown Coen Dawn, May 4th , Yorktown planes are just 100 miles from Tulagi. The weather turns nasty, high winds, heavy rain. The weather is clear and warm over Tulagi. Yorktown Task Force 17 Lexington Task Force 11 Adm Fletcher’s planes head for Tulagi. What would be Adm Fletcher’s choice of weather conditions? a. Clear weather for the Yorktown and clear weather at Tulagi. b. Clear for the Yorktown and stormy at Tulagi. c. Stormy for the Yorktown and Clear at Tulagi. d. Stormy for both the Yorktown and Tulagi. Fletcher got exactly what he wanted- a cloudy, stormy day for the Yorktown, but a clear and cloudless day at Tulagi.
  19. 19. Rabaul Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Buin Cooktown Coen Tulagi Guadalcanal Bougainville 28 Dive Bombers 12 Torpedo Bombers 6 F4F Wildcat Fighters What the pilots reported seeing at Gavutu Harbor at Tulagi: A Light Cruiser 2 Destroyers A Sea Tender 5 Troopships Many PT Gun Boats. What ships, in fact, actually, were in the harbor at Tulagi? One minelayer 2 small minesweepers One small transport 2 Destroyers 3 Landing Barges How could the pilots be so far off in what they “saw”? a. Inexperienced pilots b. Too much sunlight and reflections c. Dirty and fogged windshields d. Tendency to overestimate
  20. 20. Tulagi Guadalcanal Bougainville More guessing: Characterize the defense of Tulagi: a. The Japanese were ready! Air cover; massed anti-aircraft guns; ship’s guns. b. The Japanese were completely surprised! No air cover; no anti- aircraft; no ship’s guns. c. Air cover only d. The Japanese were late getting to their guns but had everything working quickly. The Yorktown attack force: 28 dive bombers 12 torpedo bombers 6 F4F Wildcats Returned to Yorktown
  21. 21. Tulagi Bougainville The Japanese were completely surprised! No air cover; no anti- aircraft; no ship’s guns. Yorktown The first attack flight returned to the Yorktown, rearmed and refueled, and attacked Tulagi again, ………and a third time. The Results As reported by the pilots Actual Sunk or heavily damaged 14 of 15 ships, including 3 heavy cruisers. One destroyer, one small transport, and two small PT boats. Guadalcanal
  22. 22. Ordnance fired at Japanese ships at Tulagi. 22 torpedoes 76 1000 lb bombs 12,570 rounds of .50 caliber ammo 7,095 rounds of .30 caliber ammo. . One destroyer, one small transport, and two small PT boats All that for The explanation for the lousy results………………? “We need practice!” YA THINK?
  23. 23. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Buin Cooktown Coen Adm TAgAki’s sTrike force heAded for The corAl seA seArching for Us cArriers. heAvy cArriers shokAkU And ZUikAkU TUlAgi invAsion fleeT reTUrned To rAbAUl. The three Task Forces were now grouped together under Adm Fletcher. TF 11 (Lexington); TF 17 (Yorktown) Australia TF 44 The most important result of the Yorktown’s raids on Tulagi was that the Japanese know that there are American aircraft carriers near.
  24. 24. B-26 Marauder Medium Bombers B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers TBF Avenger torpedo bombers PBY Catalina flying boats (torpedo or scout) SBD Devastator torpedo bombers
  25. 25. USS Lexington and USS Yorktown
  26. 26. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Cooktown Coen TF 11/17/44 Port Moresby Invasion Fleet Adm. Goto Carrier attack force (Inoue) Tulagi attack force Carrier Shoho Carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku LexingtonYorktown Japanese carriers search for US carriers
  27. 27. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Buin Cooktown Coen Shoho Zuikaku Shokaku Lexington Yorktown Battle of Coral Sea
  28. 28. Rabaul Tulagi Port Moresby Lae Salamaula Townsville Buka Island Cooktown Coen Which nation knows if the other nation has carriers ? a. Both know. b. Neither know. c. Japan knows, US doesn’t. d. US knows, Japan doesn’t. Both know ………. and they will be three days searching for each other. Shoho Zuikaku Shokaku Lexington Yorktown
  29. 29. SHOHO SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN The weather was variable- sometimes clear and fair, sometimes overcast and squally, with winds building to gale force and heavy seas. . Rabaul The search was on.
  30. 30. May 6th and May 7th Follow their routes. How did they not find each other? The List of Explanations and Excuses: • Luck • Unintelligible intel • Inaccurate intel • Contradictory scout reports • Erroneous scout reports • Misdirected attacks Which of the following best describes the Japanese efforts? a. Fumbling around in confusion. b. Fumbling around in confusion. c. Fumbling around in confusion. d. All of the above. Which of the following best describes the Allied efforts? a. Fumbling around in confusion. b. Fumbling around in confusion. c. Fumbling around in confusion. d. All of the above. According to Ian W. Toll, “It was almost as if some providential will had chosen to keep them apart.”
  31. 31. The scout sectors used by both sides. 200 miles Called “wedges” CAP squad: “Combat Air Patrol” To circle the carrier for self- protection. 200 mile searches- always CAP squad-always Keep moving-always Hide within weather fronts- if possible.
  32. 32. 200 mile range searching – always Cap squad – always Keep moving – always Hide within weather fronts – if possible How would you describe the effect on the air crews over three days? They were: a. in a state of constant alert. b. in a state of constant fear. c. in a state of constant exhaustion. d. in a state of supreme confidence. Some specifics on the Japanese search and scout efforts (other than carrier scouts). They had land-based Type 97 Kawanishi flying boats with a search radius of 1000 miles! They had many search planes at Rabaul. Some specifics on the Allied search and scout efforts (other than carrier scouts).. The US had 12 PBY Catalina seaplanes based at Noumea. The US and Australia had army bombers available at Townsville with search sectors reaching to Rabaul and the Coral Sea.
  33. 33. When the Japanese “saw” something they feared punishment if they were wrong and thus “didn’t see anything.” THIS IS GOOD! One keeps asking, “Why can’t they find each other?” First, why couldn’t the Japanese “97 Kawanishi flying boats find something? a. Rookie crews. b. Constant bad weather. c. Tendency to missidentify. d. Fear of the Wildcats. All US scouts tended to exaggerate. They would report seeing a battleship and cruisers when, in fact, it was an oiler and a transport. Noumea was out of range of the carriers THe JApAneSe AIrcrewS feAreD THe US f4f wIlDcATS AnD were preOccUpIeD wITH fInDInG clOUD cOver.
  34. 34. SHOHO SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN . Rabaul The search was on. Scout planes searching towards Port Moresby find the Japanese carrier Shoho Yorktown planes sink the Shoho!
  35. 35. SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN . Rabaul The search was on. a. Oiler and destroyer SHOHO With the Shoho under attack all fleets changed positions once again. Note these two positions for later reference!
  36. 36. SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN . Rabaul The Yorktown and Lexington are refueling in rough waters from the tanker Neosho. Where are the Japanese carriers? SHOHO 70m. Actual! The location of the Japanese carriers as based on Allied intel. What does that mean? Incompetent scouts and incompetent, unintelligible sightings. and…… rain and clouds and…… rain and clouds While the Lexington and Yorktown were refueling the Japanese carrier fleet was just 70 miles to their starboard. Refueling is the most dangerous time for the carriers, they are most vulnerable. But,…….the Japanese can’t find them.
  37. 37. Japanese carrier Shoho
  38. 38. SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN . Rabaul The search was on. The Oil Tanker Neosho has just completed the refueling of the Yorktown and Lexington. Japanese Scouts find the Neosho being escorted by a destroyer. The Neosho and its escort, the destroyer Sims, head for Australia. Both Are Sunk! SHOHO The searching resumes. Their pilots identify the two ships as; a. Oiler and destroyer b. Carrier and cruiser c. Battleship and cruiser d. Two transports Carrier bombers attack the Neosho and the destroyer, Sims.
  39. 39. Meanwhile, scouts from the Japanese carriers and scouts from the US carriers have located each other, too late in the evening for a launch. The morning of the 8th , both sides launch attacks. Japanese Zeros on the deck of the Zuikaku Lexington (foreground) view towards Yorktown
  40. 40. SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN . Rabaul The search was on. MAY 8th 0630am planes launched 0710am Planes launchedResults for Shokaku: a.Sunk b.No hits c.Damaged, later sunk. d.Damaged, returned to Tokyo Results for Lexington: a.Sunk b.No hits c.Damaged, later sunk. d.Damaged, returned to Pearl Harbor.
  41. 41. SBD Dauntless dive bomber Japanese carrier Shokoku under fire USS Lexington hit at Battle of Coral Sea
  42. 42. SHOKAKU zUIKAKU LEXINGTON YORKTOWN . Rabaul The searc was on. MAY 8th Before the attacks previously, the Australian Ships under Adm Crace TF44 were sent northwest by Fletcher. Bombers attack Crace! Actual Japanese results : a. No hits b.Sunk or damaged the entire force. c.Some damage, no sinkings d. No hits and lost 5 planes. What did the Pt Moresby Invasion Force do after their unsuccessful attack on Crace’s ships? a.Continued on b.Headed toward Crace’s ships. c.Circled in anticipation of a 2nd wave. d.Withdrew The presence of Crace’s fleet was enough for the Japanese to withdraw and cancel their planned invasion of Port Moresby. Port Moresby Invasion Force Why did Adm Fletcher send Crace with 3 destroyers and 3 cruisers toward Port Moresby? a. Crace moved his fleet on his own. b. To protect the bombers at Townsville and Coen. c. To stop the Port Moresby invasion force. d. It was and still is a mystery. The Japanese claimed they had sunk one battleship, damaged one British battleship and damaged a cruiser.
  43. 43. Fletcher was highly criticized for sending Crace toward Port Moresby. What was that criticism? a.He should never have split his fleet. b.He sent Crace’s fleet away without air cover. c.He weakened his own task force. d.The Australians were not strong enough to complete their assignment. b. He sent Crace’s fleet away without air cover c. He weakened his own task force. Who commanded the US Army in northern Australia? a.General Douglas MacArthur b.Chester Nimitz c.Bull Halsey d.General “Chesty” Pullar MacArthur launched three B-26 bombers north by northeast out of Townsville, Australia. What did they find? a.Japanese Port Moresby invasion force. b.The burning hulk of the Shoho. c.Crace’s fleet. d.Bad weather everywhere. MacArthur What happened next? Too absurd to enter a multiple choice question. The B-26s bombed Crace’s fleet!?! YES! After the bombing, Crace said, “Fortunately their accuracy was disgraceful.”
  44. 44. Another chaotic series of events occurred next. 8:15am Lt. John Nelsen, on search patrol, reported “two carriers and four heavy cruisers” near Jonard Passage.” 175 miles west northwest of Task Force 17; within range of Allied carrier planes. Fletcher did not hesitate, sending all but a protective CAP force-8 Wildcats, 53 Dive bombers, 22 SBD torpedo bombers. They were launched at 9:25am from the Lexington, 9:45am from the Yorktown. Great visibility and a positive hope. Lt. Nelsen lands at 10:00am on the Yorktown. He denies that he had seen any carriers. So, what happened? Take a guess. a.He had lied. b.The radioman on the Yorktown misinterpreted what Nelsen had said. c.Nelsen had jumbled the word “carrier” so that the radioman honestly reported what he had heard. d.Communication between plane and carrier was in code numbers and Nelsen had coded the wrong numbers.
  45. 45. The American losses Lexington sunk and the Yorktown damaged. The goal of the Japanese was to take control of Port Moresby, moving their perimeter nearer Australia. That mission was a failure as their forces returned to Rabaul. The Americans had successfully stopped a move by the Japanese to extend their perimeter. Also, the Japanese would be down by two carriers for their Midway Operation.
  46. 46. Of course the Japanese would withhold bad news from the people. Propaganda was a strong feature of the Japanese media. “B” “The Japanese Fleet has gained a tremendous victory.” But they could actually be telling the truth! JUSTIFY a Tokyo Newspaper headline: “The Japanese fleet has gained a tremendous victory.” Will you need to research? Project: research to JUSTIFY A JAPANESE
  47. 47. Next…… The Battle of Midway