What was the difference between the fighting in Europe and the fighting in Japan for the US military in World War II?

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The two “theaters” of war during World War II, the European and the Pacific, were quite different in their tactics and in the combatants.

In the European theater, the British and Americans with their allies were fighting the Germans and their allies. The Soviets allied with the British when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. The United States joined the fight after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The European theater largely featured a land war with armies facing off in large land battles. There were naval maneuvers, tank battles, and air strikes as well, but these were usually secondary to infantry action. Please note that the European theater was broad and actually contained more than one front, with British and Americans fighting through France and into Germany while the Soviets fought with the Germans in the East.

The fighting in the Pacific theater was quite different. It was largely a naval and air war with many battles taking place at sea. There were infantry soldiers involved, too, of course, but they had to move from island to island by ship (island hopping). The Japanese attacked Allied ships with kamikaze pilots, essentially on suicide missions. US and Allied planes took off from aircraft carriers or island bases to perform strikes on Japan and its navy. The war in the Pacific ended when the Allies dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945.

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