In the fall of 1943, top Japanese leaders decided to pull Japan’s defensive perimeter back closer to Japan, in an effort to stop the American juggernaut. American and other Allied forces continued to press forward, taking Biak in the southwestern Pacific and the Caroline Islands (including the key Japanese air/naval base of Truk) in the central Pacific. After these victories, American planners set their sights on a key target even closer to Japan: The Mariana island chain. In this episode, James and Scott discuss Japan’s “New Operational Policy” and the allied conquests of Truk and the Caroline Islands. They conclude with a comparison of the main American and Japanese fleets that would be facing off in the next campaign.
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