Aleutian Island Campaign

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Writers note:
In the paper I’ve written, there are derogatory terms in regards to people of Japanese descent or look like they were of Japanese descent. These terms “nip,” “jap,” “apes,” and “japes” do not reflect how I feel towards the Japanese people. The use of these terms helps to portray the US mindset during WWII. My beliefs are that every person is made equal and that man is not at war with each other but that nations are in a constant war over power and they use man as their tool as a surgeon uses a scalpel.

Aleutian Island Campaign
In June of 1942, the Battle of Midway began, Dwight Eisenhower was appointed to commander of the US troops in Europe. Unknown to most people, Japan was launching an attack on the little archipelago in Alaska called the Aleutian Islands. This campaign began on the third of June on the small islands of Attu and Kiska which are the second and third islands from the end of the Aleutian Islands. At the beginning of this campaign, it became very apparent that it would be a very difficult campaign. The battle field was pretty even though the Japanese had fortification and had time to dig in, but the Americans had them on numbers the, 144,000 troops (5300 were Canadian) to their 8,400 troops. The objective for this raid on American soil was there was no major city or any major recourse to lose. Perhaps it was an ego thing to be able to say that they had a foothold in the Americas. The Japanese said that it was the easiest place to get a foothold into the Americas and then the plan was to attack Alaska and move onto British Columbia and America. "It was so dang cold up there,"

-Edwin Trebian
On the morning of June third, 1942, nearly six months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese launched a surprise bombing of Dutch Harbor and Unalaska Island. This attack did little damage because of bad weather plus the unreliableness of the bombers. On June 7th, the Japanese led a landing on to Kiska Island and met little resistance, taking control of the island. The next day, they easily took the neighboring island, Attu Island. Then the Japanese forced many of the native people into concentration camps and the rest of the native people went to concentration camp in Otaru, Hokkaido Japan, which is 400 miles from the capital Tokyo. In August, 1942, the US Air Force set up an air base on Adak Island in response to this attack on US soil in the Aleutians. With this new air base, the 11th Air Force set up shop on Adak to started bombing the Japanese entrenchments. The bombings were not very successful and they lost 72 planes, mostly from weather, over the next year. There was a large naval presence since it was an island war. With the large naval presence, they started patrolling the waters around the islands for any incoming supply ships. The Navy got wind of an incoming supply convoy but unannounced to the US Navy the Japanese had an armed escort. With this surprise it started a weird mini battle in the Komandorski Islands in Russian territory. This battle was fought between two cruisers and four destroyers on the American side and four cruisers and four destroyers on the Japanese side. This short battle was on May 27, 1943, and the Americans came out on top with only 7 loses against the 14 loses that the Japanese suffered. This battle made it so the Japanese had to stop sending supplies by cargo ship. Since they could not send supplies by cargo ship they sent their supplies by submarine. With the Japanese sending their supplies by submarines ensured that they would get there with little harm but there was less room for supplies in a submarine.

On May 11, 1943, the plan to take Attu Island back began. The landing was comprised of a group called “Castner’s Cutthroats.” “Castner’s Cutthroats” was a project of Colonel Lawrence V. Castner who was an army intelligence officer working in Alaska. Castner understood that the conditions were very abnormal and to win here they needed people that were...
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