Talk:Aleutian Islands Campaign

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First comment[edit]

this article needs a map. Where are those islands? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Avsa (talkcontribs) 15:03, 24 October,2004 (UTC)

Articles about WWII[edit]

Editors and authors of internationally available articles may be unaware, but World War II, despite America's limited casualties compared to some nations, is a very, very sensitive topic in our society. We hold our World War II veterans in special esteem. Because of this, I make the following polite suggestions to my fellow Wikians as we edit and write articles.

1. Avoid writing the expression "the Americans." Americans do not ever refer to themselves as "the Americans." When refering to the US Army or forces of invasion, it is more appropriate to say "US Forces" or to name the military service and regiments involved than it is to say "The Americans."

2. Avoid calling American forces which launched an assault on Attu as "The Invaders." Attu was the property of the United States. The Japanese were "the invaders." The American forces were liberators.

I think you may be being a bit sensitive about this. The U.S. Army's own history of the campaign [1] uses the phrase "the Americans" many times. And "invade" is just a synonym for "attack", used in some other U.S. Army histories for US attacks on occupied Allied territories). However, if these words offend you, change the article to remove them. Gdr 18:36, 2004 Nov 18 (UTC)
Well, I don't know what society you're talking about. I've never heard an American who wasn't an idiot call himself a Unitedstatesperson, but now that I think about it, I haven't heard anyone call themselves a Unitedstatesperson. D. Wo. 07:42, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
This discussion appears to have "petered-out" some time ago, but, just for the record, I support referring to USA military forces as "U.S." instead of "Americans." "American" can refer to anyone from the North or South American continents and therefore, isn't a precise enough description for an encyclopedia. Using the term "U.S." should help avoid confusion. It's not perfect (for example, the official name of Mexico is "The United States of Mexico") but it hopefully will work. Cla68 20:47, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Strategic value[edit]

An anonymous editor removed the phrase "The islands had no strategic value for either side", commenting "Removed the silly statement about how it had no strategic value, added the belief that Japanese would use Attu to launch aerial campaigns against mainland". I understand that there was fear, but I don't see how that creates strategic value. In particular, I don't think the Japanese could have launched an aerial campaign against the US mainland: they had no long-range bomber, and they lacked the resources to build and supply an airfield in the Aleutians. Please comment. Gdr 18:44, 2004 Nov 18 (UTC)

American Soil?[edit]

The Aleutian Islands were not American soil in 1943; Alaska was not a state at that time. Of course, one could say that because the islands were governed by the United States at that time, they were American soil, but the Philippines, Wake Island and Guam were too. D. Wo. 07:39, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)

In 1941, Alaska was a Territory of the United States on track for statehood; the Philippines were a semi-independent Commonwealth with full independence scheduled for 1946; and Guam a possession under military rule with no self-administration. So the situations are far from parallel. Gdr 18:43, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
Perhaps "American territory" would be more appropriate than American soil then? JW 13:08, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Canadian historians note the Aleutians were "North American soil" (ie American soil) due to the fact that Canadian conscripts were sent there in 1943. It was due to this technicality (ie being American soil) that they were sent, as the Government promised at that time not to have Canadian draftees fighting on "foreign soil". So the description is apt.Michael Dorosh 17:12, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Didn't Pancho Villa's forces invade Texas in 1910? Czolgolz 22:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Neither this article, nor History of Alaska, nor the main article on Alaska adequately cover this. Wake Island and Guam were clearly American soil and remain so today. The Phillipines are now independent but were not during World War II. Although the situations may not be entirely parallel, the fact remains that the present text in each article is inaccurate. Kablammo 22:28, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Revisons have now been made to each article. Kablammo 12:50, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Pancho Villa's forced invaded New Mexico in 1916, Pancho_Villa#Cross-border_attack_on_New_Mexico and clearly the Japanese were not the "first invaders to set foot on American soil since the War of 1812" as formerly stated in the article. Kablammo 23:57, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Not a diversion[edit]

In the intro it says that a book makes the case that Operation AL was "not a diversion" - but the article does not include a single reference to any of the evidence presented. Conversely, Lord in BATTLE OF MIDWAY et al all describe it as a diversion to AF, the invasion of Midway. Would it be possible for someone with the book to actually spell out what the reasoning is for the Aleutians not being a Japanese diversion to the Midway battle? If not, then that para of the intro should be deleted.Michael Dorosh 17:12, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

World War II: Aleutian Islands[edit]

The article, World War II: Aleutian Islands has been created (by me) based on [2]

I did so before I realized that this page existed. There is certainly more easily digestable information here, and more overall detail there. There are two primary approaches to take:

  • Merge any major details from World War II: Aleutian Islands into this article and redirect it.
  • Leave it and/or cut out some redundant information, and link to it as a "detailed battle history" from here.

Thoughts? -Harmil 13:08, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

I suggest you make an overall article on the Aleutian Islands campaign which covers the whole campaign at a summary level, with detailed articles on the individual battles and operations. Don't be afraid to break up this page. Gdr 18:18:52, 2005-08-08 (UTC)

History of Alaska[edit]

The material at the history of Alaska page is somewhtat different than what is here. Maybe someone with expertise in this area should check out that page to see if the info is correct-- if so, it should be merged in here; if not, it should be removed/changed. Thanks! Calliopejen1 04:10, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


"The islands had very little strategic value for either side, but control of the Aleutians would prevent a possible U.S. attack across the Northern Pacific." The statements on either side of teh "but" cannot both be treu. Preventing a possible U.S. attack across the Northern Pacific was something of great strategic value.

Either way can be argued. The Aleutians were a possible avenue of approach for Allied attacks or an invasion of northern Japan through the Kuriles. Also, the Aleutians helped guard the the lend lease route between the U.S. and Russia. In these ways they had strategic value. But, it can also be argued that the weather and climate would have made an invasion of the Kuriles from the Aleutians extremely difficult and the Kuriles weren't, arguably, that important anyway. Plus, Japan and Russia weren't at war with each until shortly before the end of the war. So it's open to debate how strategically important the area was. Cla68 06:27, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

F6F, F4U, and the Koga Zero[edit]

While there is an urban legend that the Zero captured during the campaign was used to affect the design of these aircraft, design work and specifications for both began well before Allied forces encountered the A6M. Both of them were, in fact, already designed and in pre-production. From the Wikipedia articles on these aircraft:

"The first, Cyclone-equipped [XF6F-1] prototype (02981) flew on 26 June 1942 while the first Double Wasp-equipped aircraft, the XF6F-3 (02982) had its first flight on 30 July 1942."

"The first flight of the XF4U-1 was made on 29 May 1940"

"on 25 June 1942, Boone T. Guyton flew the production F4U-1 on its maiden flight."

You will find more detail in a post by R Leonard here:

Dave AAA 00:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Impact on the Battle of Midway[edit]

It's worth noting the impact the decision of the Japanese to invade the Aleutians had on the Battle of Midway. Two additional carriers, one of them a full sized carrier, could have been made available to the battle which may have turned the tide of that critical and very close run battle. --Schwern (talk) 19:55, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Colonel Communist Ass?[edit]

Maybe I don't know that much about history, but who is Colonel Communist Ass? I think that someone has had a little too much fun editing... (talk) 19:39, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

List of sources[edit]

FYI, a list of sources on this subject can be found here: [3]. Cla68 (talk) 03:36, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


The section about the Navy's losses in the campaign box is all correct but according to the List of United States Navy losses in World War II, several other vessels appear to have been either lost or damaged in some way while serving in Aleutian waters, mostly from natural causes such as weather. Someone should check it out and see what I mean. Those casualties should be included as well, thanks.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 09:00, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

USS 'Abner Read'?[edit]

Why is USS Abner Read (DD-526) listed as a loss of this campaign? Her own page says: "On 1 November 1944, the Japanese launched kamikaze attacks on members of TG 77.1, which was patrolling lower Leyte Gulf to protect a beachhead. At approximately 1341, an Aichi D3A "Val" burst into flames and crashed toward Abner Read. A bomb from the raider dropped down one of the destroyer's stacks and exploded in her after engine room. The plane, in the meantime, came down diagonally across the main deck, setting fire to the entire after section. The ship lost water pressure and this made firefighting efforts impossible. At 1352, a tremendous internal explosion occurred, causing her to list about 10 degrees to starboard and to sink by the stern. At 1415, Abner Read rolled over on her starboard side and sank stern first."

Maybe it should list USS Worden (DD-352) instead? Pamcwill (talk) 03:52, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Impartial language[edit]

"On 4 June the Japanese returned to Dutch Harbor. This time the enemy pilots were better organized and better prepared. "

Is it Wikipedia supposed to be neutral? if so, who were the "enemies" here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Gore Vidal was there too[edit]

The article mentions Dashiell Hammett's presence in the Aleutians during the war, so I suggest that you might want to include Gore Vidal as well. His first novel, "Williwaw," written when he was 19, is based on his experiences as a seaman aboard an Army supply ship in the Aleutians during the campaign. (A williwaw is a very strong Alaskan windstorm.) (talk) 15:25, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable. Be bold. --Yaush (talk) 16:50, 3 February 2014 (UTC)