Yamamoto World War Two crash site re-opened


The World War Two crash site where the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto died has been reopened to visitors after more than five years.

The site is at Kokopo village in the Buin District of Bougainville and it had been closed off due to ongoing local land disputes.

It was Yamamoto who devised the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and which brought the United States into the war.

With the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two being commemorated around the world, tour companies hope that it will generate new interest in the site.

During World War Two, Isoroku Yamamoto was the Japanese Marshal Admiral and the commander in chief of the Japanese Imperial Navy. He was the mastermind behind many naval missions, changes and reorganisations. He died in April 1943 when American intelligence discovered and intercepted a flight he was on, and the US Air Corps shot it down.

When Yamamoto died it was a huge blow to the morale of Japanese troops, and could have even been a turning point for the demise of Japan’s war effort.

The attack on Pearl Harbour ended up being a disaster for Japan since it engaged directly with the US and it was made worse by being a secret attack that no one anticipated. This ensured the US would seek out revenge.

Japan easily advanced across the Pacific region in the early months of the war, occupying as many countries as possible. But when the Japanese suffered heavy losses and a massive defeat at the Battle of Midway in 1942, the balance of power was turned back in favour with the US and the Allies.

What the Pearl Harbour attack intended to do and did achieve was to prevent the US interfering in the East Indies. However the US had already given up any attempt at advancing across the Pacific and realised that it would be impossible to man its entire Pacific fleet within a short period of time. Logistics would be key to any US advance in the Pacific region, the Radio Australia reports.

Reflecting this, Admiral Harold Stark had documented a war of defense in the Pacific so that the US could focus on fighting Nazi Germany in Europe first. The US’s Pacific fleet was therefore charged with the mission to prevent the Japanese Navy away from the east of the Pacific and away from important shipping routes.

Further it is even in question as to whether the US would have joined the war if the Japanese had only continued to attack British and European territories in the Pacific region.

Ian Harvey

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