World War II at Sea
World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941, and brought the United States into World War II. Launching from aircraft carriers, Japanese planes conducted a surprise attack and sunk or badly damaged eight battleships. The attack on Pearl Harbor was dubbed "a day which will live in infamy" by President Roosevelt.
World War II: Battle of the Coral Sea
Fought May 4-8, 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea was a strategic victory for the Allies. In the first naval battle fought entirely with aircraft, Allied naval forces were able to block a Japanese drive through the Coral Sea to Port Moresby. When the Battle of the Coral Sea ended, the Japanese had lost a light carrier while the Allies lost a...
World War II: Battle of Midway - Turning Point in the Pacific
The Battle of Midway in early June 1942, marked the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. Fighting to the west of Midway, the US Navy attacked and sunk four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own.
World War II: Battle of the Bismarck Sea
The Battle of the Bismarck Sea was fought March 2-4, 1943, and saw Allied aircraft inflict heavy losses on the Japanese. Sailing from Rabaul to Lae, Japanese transports were attacked in the Bismarck Sea. In the fighting, all eight of the Japanese transports were sunk.
World War II: Battle of the Philippine Sea
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was fought June 19-20, 1944, and was a decisive victory for the Allies. Attacking in the Philippine Sea while Allied forces were invading Saipan, the Japanese were repulsed with the loss of three carriers. The battle is often referred to as the "Marianas Turkey Shoot" due to the large number of Japanese planes...
World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a series engagements fought October 23-26, 1944, in the waters around the Philippines. During the fighting, the Japanese attempted to block the Allied invasion of Leyte through a series of naval battles. The Battle of Leyte Gulf ended in a massive Allied victory and effectively crippled the Imperial Japanese Navy.
World War II: Battle of the Atlantic
The Battle of the Atlantic took place between 1939 and 1945 during World War II. The Battle of the Atlantic saw German U-boats attempt to cut off Britain by sinking merchant shipping. Though German U-boats inflicted heavy losses, Allied naval forces ultimately won the Battle of the Atlantic.
World War II: Attack on Mers el Kebir
Operation Catapult was conducted on July 3, 1940, when British naval forces attacked the French fleet at Mers el Kebir. Approaching the harbor, Force H demanded that the French fleet come over to the Allied side to prevent its capture by the Germans. When the French refused, Force H opened fire inflicting heavy damage.
World War II: Battle of the Denmark Strait
The Battle of the Denmark Strait was fought on May 24, 1941, during World War II. Departing port, the German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen attempted to break in the North Atlantic to attack Allied shipping. Intercepted by HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, they defeated them in the resulting Battle of the Denmark Strait.