United States and Australia Honor Battle of Coral Sea

The Battle of Coral Sea was recently honored on its seventy-second anniversary by both the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Australia. Cooperation between the two nations was also celebrated as a key component of the Allied victory against the Japanese. According to a statement written by President Obama, the victory at Coral Sea is representative of the long-standing friendship between the two nations.

Technically, Australia and the United States were not formally allied until half a dozen years following the Second World War, when they signed the ANZUS treaty. Nonetheless, there was little to no doubt during the conflict that they stood for the same side. The victory at Coral Sea simply cemented this partnership, as the soldiers came to the realization that both of their nations had rocky backgrounds but stood for peace and liberation from fascism. According to Obama’s statement, the two nations are an example to the world of what a peaceful and secure alliance looks like.

With a similar level of reverence for his allies, Prime Minister Abbott credited the United States military with helping to strengthen Australia’s part in the war. He honored the sacrifices of the men and stated that the camaraderie shown at Coral Sea was the beginning of ANZUS. The battle lasted only a little over half a week, but struck a harsh blow against the Japanese forces and kept them back from Port Moresby. It is also presumed that this battle helped to weaken the Axis troops prior to the Battle of Midway, The Age National reports.

The naval forces of Japan had not been subjected to such a defeat up until that point. For some Americans, such victories were a part of their revenge for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Australia had also been previously attacked, so Coral Sea was a chance for both nations to show their military prowess on the seas. The only incident of questionable nature was an American bombing on an Australian task force, but this was denied by General MacArthur.

The Battle of Coral Sea was a decisive victory in terms of the alliance it created between two major nations. This alliance would last for several decades and would grow to represent the common belief that both nations considered themselves underdogs at the time. While both sides might have done more in retrospect to strike a heavier blow against the Japanese, what they accomplished at Coral Sea still helped set the bar for greater things to come.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE