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Aleutian Island Campaign

American troops during the Aleutian Island Campaign, 1943

The Aleutian Island Campaign was a series of conflicts that occurred btween the empire of Japan and the United States in the Aleutian Islands, which are part of modern-day Alaska. Also participating in the battle was the Canadian Army. The campaign began on June 3, 1942 with the first attacks by Japanese warplanes and ended on August 15, 1943 with an Allied victory. The islands were highly strategic for Japan because with them, Japan could cover its northern flank and also, like the Allies feared, launch an attack against the western coast of the United States or Canada.

Mortar-attu-1943

An American mortar crew on Attu.

It was strategic for the US to control the islands to maintain the control of the great Pacific trade routes that supplied valuable weapons to the USSR via Lend Lease along with preventing a Japanese attack/invasion.[1] In the end, both sides suffered the loss of several warships, but US/Canada only had about 1,000 killed while the Japanese had over 4,000 dead. However, along with wounded, the United States/Canda lost large amounts of aircraft while the Japanese lost quite a bit less. Furthermore, the islands would also be responsible for the death of hundreds of soldiers due to the harsh weather and environment. 

References

  1. http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/7attu/7attu.htm


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