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American Naval Power

American Naval Power


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The ability America had to produce almost unlimited war supplies was of major significance during the course of World War Two. Whereas many industrial bases within each war zone were open to bombing, America's main industrial bases were safe from this. The importance of this industrial productivity was huge in the European and Pacific sectors of the war. Once America had moved close enough to bomb Japan's factories, Japan had nothing to fall back on. This gave America an enormous advantage in the Pacific and this was most clearly seen in the war at sea. Given the amphibious nature of the war in the Pacific, whoever had superiority at sea was almost certainly going to win the war. The following statistics give some idea of America's capacity to produce ships when compared to Japan.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 7 battleships and Japan produced 0.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 2 battle cruisers and Japan produced 0.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 17 aircraft carriers and Japan produced 12.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 42 escort carriers and Japan produced 0.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 4 heavy cruisers and Japan produced 0.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 21 light cruisers and Japan produced 6.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 246 destroyers and Japan produced 27.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 315 destroyer escorts and Japan produced 0.

Between 1941 and 1943, America produced 122 submarines and Japan produced 74.

In total during these years America produced 776 vessels for her Pacific fleets while Japan produced 119. While America also needed naval shipping for the European sector of war, the vast bulk of her navy was used in the Pacific conflict. Such an overwhelming superiority enabled America to conduct the sort of strategy that Douglas Macarthur wanted - attacking major island targets while letting others 'wither on the vine'.

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