Larry Kerr, a retired U.S. diplomat and military historian who now lives on Bainbridge, presents a three-part, Saturday morning series on World War II: The American Experience in the Pacific, on November 5, November 12, and November 19 at Bethany Lutheran Church (7968 Finch Road NE). The free lectures take place from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
- November 5: Days of Infamy. We will cover the rise of modern Japan in the early 20th Century and its relationship to the colonial regimes in the Pacific. Then Japan’s war against the Chinese, and its need for strategic materials, will be discussed in the context of its political goals. After a discussion of American efforts to curb Japanese expansionism, we will look at the build-up to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the attack itself, and the fall of the Philippines.
- November 12: Uncertain Victories. After a look at the string of early military successes that made the Japanese masters of the Pacific, we will examine American efforts to slow that advance. We will also explore the political and economic calculations of the Allied leadership in organizing a war being fought nearly everywhere on the planet. Finally, we will discuss the American command structure in the Pacific, MacArthur and Nimitz as war leaders, and several key engagements.
- November 19: The Road to Tokyo. We will examine the several turning points for American fortunes in the war and the long, bitter struggle to reach Japan’s home islands. We will also examine America’s conduct of the air war, including the decision to use atomic weapons. Finally, we cover the American occupation of Japan and its postwar political and economic reorganization.
Free, with donations appreciated. No advance registration required, but plan to arrive early for the best seats. Refreshments provided!