History of War

Q&A: JEFFREY COX

What were some of the main shortcomings and major changes that took place within the US Navy by late 1942?

The Java Sea campaign exposed more than a few shortcomings within the American military establishment as well as its major allies. Some of those shortcomings could be explained by the overwhelming Japanese superiority, especially in air power, in that campaign. But not all of it by any means.

There were massive logistical and supply issues in the Java Sea campaign, in part because the theatre was so far from the US and Britain but also because the US was unprepared for the war and Britain was stretched almost to the breaking point by her fight against Hitler. By August 1942, US Navy logistics, while hardly perfect, had improved exponentially. The importance of adequate supplies in the theatre cannot be overstated. During the Battle of Edson’s Ridge, Japanese troops had broken through the US Marine line,

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