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9 Juni 2013


As already been known, after the attack to Pearl Harbor, the road was opened for Japan to make invasion to the South, and this was conducted  simultaneously and in high speed. From the month of January to February 1942, almost simultaneously together Japan maneuvered in two battle fields at the same time. 

Its sea force moving through the South China Sea spread the invasion and amphibian landing directly to several targets. Samuel Eliot Morison, the author of The Rising Sun in The Pacific, called the Japan’s maneuver from the South China Sea was just like Western Octopus Maneuver.

Also, after succeeding in controlling the Philippines, Japan made a maneuver from Davao to the South passing through Makassar Strait and Molucan Sea, and Morison called it as Eastern Octopus Maneuver .

After the success of its maneuver in Malay, Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, Japan tried to expand “Command of the Sea” and Sea Control” through its maneuvers directed to the regions of Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The advanced base used was Rabaul, located at New Britain Island that had successfully been seized earlier. The concept of maneuver plan was to seize and control the important bases of the enemy with the main target was Tulagi in Solomon Islands and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
In order to materialize the aforesaid maneuver concept, the leadership was relied on to Vice Admiral Sigeyoshi Inouye who had a post at the cruiser ship Kashima in Rabaul. His Fleet consisted of several task forces. 
The Air Task Force was led by Rear Admiral Yamada, having a post in Rabaul. The Striking Force was led by Vice Admiral Takeo Takagi with its main power consisting of two carriers: Zuikaku and Shokaku, two heavy cruiser ships: Myoko and Haguro, and six destroyer ships. Takagi also controlled  the task units to attack Tulagi and Port Moresby, the task force of transport ships and unit of its supporting ships and the task force of covering group as well as the unit of submarines for spying.
The Covering Group was led by Rear Admiral Goto, consisting of light carrier Shoho and four heavy cruiser ships. The total amount of battle ships mobilized was not less than 60 ships. The concept of Japan’s maneuver to Port Moresby or known as “MO” Operation covered the plan to carry out the air raid to four targets in Queensland, Australia, namely: Townville, Cooktown, Coen and Thursday.
From the plan of Japan’s maneuver to the region of Papua New Guinea as stated in “MO” Operation, the war strategy and tactics played by Yamamoto were quite obvious, namely to paralyze the enemy’s power available at the base in order “to open the road” for further movements. Such war strategy and tactic repeated the success in Pearl Harbor and Kuantan waters.
However, this maneuver tactic had already been understood by America, and  accidentally the plan of Japan’s landing to Port Moresby had already been known, so that Admiral C. Nimitz ordered Rear Admiral Fletcher to intercept and destroy the aforesaid Japanese movement.
As already been known, the battle occurred in Coral Sea on May 7-8, 1942, in which for the first time in the history of sea war, a carrier directly confronted with another carrier.

About Samuel Eliot Morison :  Samuel Eliot Morison, son of John H. and Emily Marshall (Eliot) Morison, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 9 July 1887. He attended Noble’s School at Boston, and St. Paul’s at Concord, New Hampshire, before entering Harvard University, from which he was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1908. He studied at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, Paris, France, in 1908-1909, and returned to Harvard for postgraduate work, receiving the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1912. Thereafter he became Instructor, first at the University of California in Berkeley, and in 1915 at Harvard. Except for three years (1922-1925) when he was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford, England, and his periods of active duty during both World Wars, he remained continuously at Harvard University as lecturer and professor until his retirement in 1955.  (  Naval History & Heritage  )

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