Monday, May 7, 2012

Battle of Coral Sea - 1942

The Shoho under attack during the Battle of Coral Sea, May 7, 1942

The Battle of Coral Sea started on this date, 70 years ago. Notable as the first naval battle in history where the opposing ships never sighted each other, the first day was marked by a number of blunders by both sides that included attacks on friendly ships, massive strikes launched against minor targets and even confused aircraft trying to join landing patterns on opposing carriers.

The score ended up being in the US favor as the sun set. While the fleet tanker Neosho and destroyer Sims were sunk, the Japanese lost the aircraft carrier Shoho and called off their planned amphibious landing at Port Moresby.

The Shoho was attacked by more than 90 aircraft that gave the Americans some dramatic photographs and the catch phrase "Scratch one flattop!'

Coral Sea is well covered by wargames, among them are SOPAC from the Second World War at Sea, The Fires of Midway and the classic Avalon Hill game Midway through its Coral Sea expansion kit.

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