INTO THE ENDLESS MIST VOLUME 1
The Aleutian Campaign, June–August 1942
Autore: Michal A Piegzik
PUBBLICAZIONE AUTUNNO 2023
Attraverso 140 foto e 8 mappe fornisce una analisi degli eventi iniziali della battaglia delle isole Aleutine tra forze statunitensi e impero giapponese.
At the beginning of June 1942, in the wake of the enormous Japanese struggle to bring a conclusive victory in the Pacific War, the Imperial Japanese Navy commenced Operation “AL” (AL Sakusen). Among the objectives of this bold plan was the 2nd Kidō Butai carrier-borne strike on the American military base at Dutch Harbor and seizing part of the United States territory, namely the western part of the Aleutian Archipelago in the North Pacific. Operation “AL”, elaborated by the Navy General Staff (Gunreibu) and the Combined Fleet (Rengō Kantai), was an initiative that could expand the Japanese defense perimeter far eastwards as an offensive equally crucial as seeking a decisive naval battle in the Central Pacific off Midway. Senior naval staff, reluctant towards Admiral Yamamoto’s plan of risking the Nippon Kaigun’s main striking potential, desired to secure the northern approach of the home islands and prevent the potential of US-Soviet military cooperation against Japan. By conquering two islands in the Aleutians, Attu and Kiska, the Japanese Army and Navy intended to turn them into bastions that, supplied directly from the Kurile Islands, would check the American advance from the north by at least the summer of 1943.
Despite the initial supremacy at sea in the North Pacific, the Japanese could only defend their newly established positions in the Aleutians and wait for the opponent’s move. The great disaster at Midway foiled the plan to create a greater defensive perimeter, stretching from the far north to the Central Pacific, to intercept American carriers on their way to strike Tokyo again. Ironically, after the battle of Midway, the Americans neither had enough forces to reconquer the two lost islands nor could they predict the enemy’s long-term objectives. A Japanese presence on US land, remote on maps but seen as a natural highway to Alaska’s doors, also wreaked havoc among military personnel and politicians in Washington D.C., sharing the same fear of an attack on the Western Coast.
The Aleutian campaign was never meant to threaten Alaska or Seattle significantly. After the withdrawal of the Japanese carriers from the North Pacific, nothing but a stalemate could be achieved by Nippon Kaigun. Due to limited resources and severe weather conditions, the struggle for the Aleutians turned into an exchange of blows while waiting for the outcome of the Guadalcanal Campaign.
Volume 1 covers the events from Operation “AL” (including the Japanese raid on Dutch Harbor and the invasion of Attu and Kiska) to the American landing on Adak in late August 1942.
140 foto e 8 cartine
21 x 30