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Defending Oahu

As early as 1933, American peacetime policy included plans for the defense of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Along with Alaska and Panama, the island of Oahu was considered a peacetime strategic frontier the United states had to defend to provide minimum full security for the west coast. Oahu, the most populous of Hawaii's islands and the location of Pearl Harbor, provided the U.S. "a natural base for mobile defense forces protecting America from seaborne attacks from either west or southwest."[1] Oahu also served as a strategic location for mounting American seaborne offensive assaults on the enemy. Critical among the mobile defense forces referred to were the Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers, though only four were stationed in the Pacific.

Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was no unified command in Oahu, despite its recognition by U.S. officials as a primary strategic location in WWII. In 1924, Oahu Navy Admiral William S. Pye - replaced after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - argued unified command among different military branches was unnecessary for effective operations in the region: "Effective joint operations can be conducted without regard to whether or not there is actual physical cooperation in the conduct of operations."[2] This analysis will discuss the defense of the island of Oahu by the Pacific Fleet during World War II, including significant changes wrought by the successful Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A conclusion will address the significance of the aircraft carrier and Pacific Fleet in greatly undermining any threat of attack by the Japanese in Oahu or the Pacific.

Prior to the development of long-range aircraft; during World War II America's first line of defense was provided wholly by the Navy. U.S. foreign policy in peacetime and during World War II viewed Oahu, Alaska and Panama as providing strategic bases for a first-line defense by U.S. forces. These l...

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Defending Oahu. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:42, January 19, 2017, from http://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/2001825.html