World War Two

World War Two

USS Shaw exploding during the attack on Pearl Harbor

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, when five of the United Statesí battleships were destroyed and three others severely damaged, the United States had little choice but to join the war effort and the Navy had a great deal of involvement in the war. Along with the US joining the war, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the other Allies, declared war on Japan for their unprovoked attack. In December, Germany and the others that took part in the Tripartite Pact declared war on the United States in support of Japan.

The Navy was deployed in many attacks and battles throughout the war, and they became deeply involved in a series of battles after 1942, with the start of the Invasion of Guadalcanal, such as the terrible loss at the Battle of Savo Island, the Battle of Cape Esperance, and many others. Much of the Navyís operations and activities were with the thought of landings in mind, such as their Island Hopping Campaign, and operations Torch, Husky, and Dragoon.

While much of the battling happened during or as a result of landings, there was also a fair amount of open sea fighting, such as the Battle of the Atlantic, during which the United States used aircraft that flew over from bases in Greenland and Iceland to hunt submarines. In the Pacific, US submarines attacked Japanese shipping in a reverse battle of the situation of the Atlantic.

The Battle of Okinawa was the last large fight between the US and Japan. The Navy was a large portion of focus for the battle, but the battle was also fought on land and in the air. It was a very strategic position to invade Japan from due to it being merely 350 miles south of the Japanese mainland. It became the largest land-sea-air battle in history, and is remembered for the ferocity of the fighting as well as the high civilian causalities; 150,000 Okinawans lost their lives. It is believed that Okinawa played a large part in President Trumanís decision to give up on invading Japan and use the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which brought the war to a quick end.


The Navy was an essential part of the United Statesí support of the Allies in the war. From Island hoping to countless battles, they aided in more ways than just transport and naval support.

Article Citation (MLA format):

"World War Two." Military Ranks Online. 04 Feb 2012.

Military-Ranks.org. 11 Apr 2021. <https://www.military-ranks.org/info/navy-world-war-two>