Battle of the Coral Sea 4-8 May 1942
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 04 May 2014

The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought during 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and naval and air forces from the United States and Australia.

At that time Japanese occupied a vast area  from the Kuriles in the North down  through the Marshall Islands to New Britain, then westwards to Java, Sumatra, the Andaman Islands, and Burma, including Hong Kong the Philippines, vast parts of China, modern Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The British had not yet launched the Burma campaigns under Field Marshal William Joseph "Bill" Slim, 1st Viscount Slim subsequently Governor-General of Australia.
  



 
Both sides incurred heavy losses but because of theirs, the Japanese were unable to launch a planned major sea based attack to take  Port Moresby in Australian administered Papua New Guinea.

 If the city had been taken the way would have been opened to an invasion of Australia, already subjected to major attacks from the air. It was then left to the land forced to defend Port Moresby, principally the Second AIF.

[The image is of a painting by Frank Norton, " HMAS AUSTRALIA under attack Coral Sea 7th May 1942'' © Copyright Gun Plot 1997-2012H]MAS AUSTRALIA under attack