Sunday, February 28, 2016

World War II in Colour 5: Red Sun Rampant

This documentary episode starts with the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor.  The surprise attack damaged the American fleet in the Pacific, but it wasn't the knock out blow as the U.S. carriers were not in port.  Japan was defeating everyone in the region in the air, on land and at sea.  This movie follows the conflict until in each of these areas, the Japanese had been bested.  The Battle of the Coral Sea was basically a draw, with two carriers damaged on both sides.  The Yorktown was damaged on the American side, but quick repairs prepared her for the next battle.  However it was a moral victory for the Americans.  having cracked the Japanese code, The U.S. were laying in wait at Midway, where the Japanese planned to establish a forward base.
While the Japanese were bombing Midway Island, The U.S. were able to catch them unaware, and pound them from the air.  The initial torpedo planes were unsuccessful, but the dive bombers coming from the clouds were able to inflict serious damage to three carriers.  The Japanese had four carriers in the area.  They were able to inflict a counter blow to the Yorktown, but again the Americans finally caught the fourth carrier and inflicted heavy damage.  This day would mark a great difference at sea, while four Japanese carriers were gone, one American carrier was sunk and another damaged.
ON Land and air, the battle to Guadalcanal was important.  The Japanese were establishing an air base, but the American marines attacked and took control of the base.  however the Japanese fleet was able to cut them off by chasing the American boats away, sinking a couple.  Even so the completed the airway, and were resupplied by air.  In addition the planes were able to harass the Japanese.  It was some months before they were refortified with troops, but eventually the Americans were able to get through, and slowly Guadalcanal was taken.

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