In a series of high-stakes strategic conferences in late 1943, the Allies made several key decisions that shaped wartime strategy, while reflecting the changing balance of power between the Allied nations and foreshadowing the postwar emergence of the bipolar world.
“No greater fighting combat team has ever deployed for battle,” General Douglas McArthur noted after the war of the 158th Infantry Regiment “Bushmasters,” which was made up predominantly of Mexican Americans and members of the Pima and Navajo tribes from Arizona.
Operation Rashness, a major fall offensive intended to seize a port on China’s southeast coast, would open sea lines of communication into China for the first time in several years while providing a base of operations for the invasion of southern Japan.
Benjamin Salomon, a Jewish American dental officer in the Army, made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his patients and fellow soldiers in World War II. Almost 60 years after his death in the Pacific, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
US code breakers deciphering Japanese naval messages provided an opportunity for vengeance in April 1943 after intercepting the travel plans of Japan’s naval commander in chief, the mastermind behind the attack on Pearl Harbor.
While the campaign marked the first offensive victory for the Americans, it provided more than just a morale boost and a checking of Japanese aggression. This campaign illustrated the powerful synergy of American joint operations.