Weapons used in the Pacific Theater

Although the weapons used in the Island-Hopping Campaign of the Pacific Theater of Operations in WWII are very varied, we will mention here only the most destructive and important ones, which helped the Allies reconquest the Japanese-held islands and obtain the final victory, so that the list is not so long. Down below, the armament used to defeat the Japanese Empire arranged in order of importance and destruction capacity:

1- Atomic bombs: Little Boy, dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Fat Man, dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, putting an end to World War II.

2- B-29 Superfortress: a long-range heavy bomber, produced by Boeing, with a bombload capacity of 9,000 kg. It was used to conduct the firebombing of Japanese factories and cities and to drop the two atomic bombs. 

3- Aircraft carriers: the Yorktown-class and the Essex-class of carriers played the most important role in the reconquest of the Pacific islands and in the destruction of the Imperial Japanese Navy due to its power projection. Each carrier had on board up to 90 aircraft that provided fire support to ground troops and wiped out the Japanese fighters and dive-bombers.

4- Aircraft: the Vought F4U Corsair, the Grumman F6F Hellcat, and the British Seafire Mk XII fighters took care of the carrier-borne lethal A6M Zero, while the SBD Dauntless and TBF Avenger dive bombers wreaked havoc on the Japanese Navy ships. The F4U Corsair was also used in the ground-attack role during the Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

5- Battleships: this type of powerful, armored warships were not only a deterrence against other enemy ships but their powerful 16-inch (406mm) guns provided vital fire support, softening up the beaches upon which the American marines would land. The US had two classes of battleships; the South Dakota and the Iowa-class.

6- Tanks: once on the enemy-held island, the tank, along with the artillery, was the most important weapon that helped the ground troops overrun the enemy position or take a pillbox. The American used the M4 Sherman.

7- Artillery: the M1 8-inch, the M2 105mm, and the M1 75mm howitzers were the most widely used guns by Allied troops in the Pacific.

8- Flamethrower: it was the infantry’s most important weapon to put a pillbox or machine gun nest out of action.

Below: an Essex-class carrier, a key weapon to successful capture of an enemy-held island


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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.