Battle of Coral Sea.....

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Aug 21, 2006
In my castle....
Soon it's 7th May and a 65 year anniversary of Battle of Coral of Sea. Question here is, why isn't this battle mention as often as Midway? Wasn't it as important?:confused:
The battle of the Coral sea was a very important strategic victory for the Allies. The result was that the Japanese failed to launch a sea borne invasion to capture Port Moresby in New Guinea which was pretty much the last Allied base between Australia and Japan. If they had been successful, it would also have been possible to help cut off Australia from the US and allowed the Japanese to strengthen its forces against the Solomons. The failure to capture Port Moresby forced the Japanese to try and take it by sending its troops over the Owen Stanley mountain range in New Guinea. This led to the Japanese being defeated at Kokoda and at the Battle of Milne Bay by Australian troops.
Another point is had the Japanese been able to take Port Moresby, The Allies would have had an extremely difficult time in getting a decent foot hold in New Guinea where they could go on the offensive.
Although a very important battle I think it gets overshadowed by Midway because the Battle of Midway is considered the turning point of the Pacific War where the US Navy won a huge victory agaisnt the Japanese carriers. Basically from now on the Japanese would be on the defence.
It's probably a bigger battle to the ANZAC peoples that those of the US. From the US perspective, it was important in it kept our allies in the game and stopped the Japanese advance to the south/southwest. At least for the time being. The Japanese continued on in a land invasion after the seaborne attack failed (they tried another smaller invasion but that also failed). The battles that were fought over the Owen Stanleys and Kokoda trail are famous for the Aus/NZs but hardley known in the US. Because they did the lion's share of the fighting.

Further, Corregidor fell within a couple days of Coral Sea being fought. It was the end of the road for the US forces in the PI and that was on everyone's radar.

Midway overshadows Coral Sea in the US for a couple of reasons. One, it was the end of the begining at that time. Japan had no clearcut loss in battle (isolated actions notwithstanding) from Dec 7th on. Midway was a definite loss. It was also significant in it was a change of direction on the strategic level. That makes it a historic battle. Coral Sea? Arguements go on to this day. Strategic loss but tactical victory for the Japanese is the idea now. But that is in hindsight. If they'd won at Midway, Coral Sea becomes a blip and Japan resumes the offensive in the ANZAC direction.

Also, the axis of the threat was directly towards the United States (there was some concern that the Japanese were actually after the West Coast of the US). Theat of Coral Sea was away from the US. Not percieved as an active threat. A strategic threat yes, the no US Territories were in that area.

Plenty of carrier battles were like Coral Sea. Incomplete victories. The Santa Cruz Islands, Eastern Solomons, even the Phillipine Sea, were all battles where victories (for either side) was not clear cut. That's the thing about Carrier battles, they complex fights over lots of water. When one side wants to make a run for it, there generally isn't much the other side can do. Usually, the retreating side is falling back on it's own bases and airpower. Even the winning side of a carrier battle gets beat up, enough so they don't want to go after the other fella in his own turf.

Coral Sea was the first Carrier Battle. That makes it very important. It signified the end of the pre-eminance of the battleship. In that, it is widely recognized by historians. However, beyond that, it is remembered more as a regional battle to the ANZACs.
I'm just wondering. Because every so often when you watch something about the pacific war on the telly, it jumps from Pearl Harbor to the battle of Midway....
Yeah, there was a lot of stuff that happened in between. All of it bad for the Allies. Why dwell on bad news when it all get so much brighter around June 4th of '42?:D

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