The Battle of Coral Sea Essay

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The Battle of Coral Sea was the first major sea battle between allied fleet forces, including those of the United States and Australian Navies, and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II. Pivotal in terms of allied naval fleet operations during the war, the Battle of Coral Sea was also the first naval battle that featured opposing air craft carriers in close proximity to each other, resulting in air battles initiated by sea, rather than from traditional land bases. The following provides relevant details. The plan calling for expansion of Japanese forces throughout the Pacific theater was developed by the IJN and Japanese Army. As detailed by Stille, “This called for a series of sequenced operations designed to bring key…show more content…
This had the effect of reducing the contingent of allied aircraft carriers in the Pacific by half. Hence, when the Japanese launched their next offensive in the Southern Pacific, the IJN fleet would now be augmented with carrier support, while U.S Naval forces suffered from a reduction in the same support vital to their mission of defending a major Japanese offensive (Stille 8). Prior to the upcoming Coral Sea battle, a number of Japanese military messages had been intercepted by the U.S. Navy signals intelligence unit. The first, dated March 28, 1942, was encoded as stating “The objective of MO will be first to restrict the enemy fleet movements and will be accomplished by means of attacks on the north coast of Australia.” (“Battle of the Coral Sea”) Subsequent messages were intercepted that provided allied forces with updated details concerning IJN fleet progress, as well as elements of IJN plans that included battleship and carrier logistics. This resulted in the U.S. Navy’s deployment of a cotillion of numerous warships and support craft, and also the carriers Lexington and Yorktown (“Battle of the Coral Seas”). In the upcoming battle, these ships would do battle against a superior IJN force comprised of far more battleships, submarines and support craft, as well as aircraft carriers. While the events leading up to the battle have been
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