America’s Submarine War – How the ‘Silent Service’ Quietly Brought About the Downfall of Japan

11/08/2016 15:38

Augustine Kobayashi, author of Japan's Pacific War wrote this very interesting article for MHN, Military History Now. In his article he states that while conventional wisdom holds that the atomic bombs ended the Pacific War, it was America's blockade of Japan that brought the empire to its knees.

 

By Augustine Kobayashi

WHILE BRITAIN, beleaguered by German U-boats, received much of the spotlight during the Second World War, the United States Navy also waged an anti-shipping campaign, sinking any and all Japanese ships it could with the aim of destroying Tokyo’s war economy. The Battle of the Atlantic was the German attempt to isolate Britain from the United States; the American attempt to isolate Japan from the rest of the world became known as the Battle of the Pacific.

Japan, an island country like Britain, was vulnerable to blockade warfare because of her reliance to imported materials for her industry and food supplies.

In peacetime, Britain supposed that any future conflict with Japan would be a war of economic blockade using the power of the mighty Royal Navy.

For their part, the Americans were more inclined to seek a decisive showdown with the Japanese battle fleet. However, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 at least temporarily dashed the prospect of a battleship duel between the two Pacific powers. As a result, the guerre de course became the main battle between Japan and the United States across the Pacific Ocean.

American submarines never enjoyed the notoriety of the Germany’s U-boats. Arguably, the United States’ ‘silent service’ was not as efficient as Hitler’s ‘wolf packs.’ Yet for the Germans, the U-boats were the only weapon capable of seriously threatening Britain; the U.S. would become much more resourceful, using its battle fleets, carrier task forces, strategic bombers, its marines and army divisions, as well as the submarines to take the fight to Japan’s doorstep.

And while conventional wisdom holds that the atomic bombs ended the Pacific War, it was America’s blockade of Japan that brought the empire to its knees.

You can read the whole article here.