In the spring of 1942, Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief (COMINCH), U.S. Fleet was waging a war on two fronts. The U.S. and Allies had adopted a strategy of “Europe first.” Though King had many concerns about Japan’s exploits in the Pacific, all of which he shared regularly with Nimitz, he was somewhat preoccupied with the German submarine threat in the Atlantic. German U-boats were wreaking havoc on U.S. and British merchant vessels carrying crucial war supplies to Allied forces in Europe. Nevertheless, he could not allow Japanese advances in the southwest Pacific to go un-checked. He was particularly concerned with the defense of Australia. The IJN’s recent attacks and occupation of Rabaul, were followed by an air campaign focused on softening the defenses at Port Moresby on the southwest coast of New Guinea — the subsequent occupation of which would be certain to threaten the security of Australia.
Continue reading “Path to Midway: Tactical Loss, Strategic Victory” →