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WWII & Australia: Battle of the Coral Sea (1942)

Investigate Australia's role in WWII with these resources

The Battle of the Coral Sea - Australian National Maritime Museum

Source: Australian National Maritime Museum

The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and naval and air forces of the United States and Australia. Taking place in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, the battle is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other and the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another. Read through the resources below to learn more.

The Battle of the Coral Sea (ANZAC Day Remembrance Committee, n.d.)

This article provides an overview of the battle, including descriptions of the major players, a day by day breakdown of military action, as well as an analysis of the importance of the battle and the impact it had on the greater war effort.

The Battle of the Coral Sea (Royal Australian Navy, n.d.)

This website from the Royal Australian Navy gives a detailed look at the Battle of the Coral Sea, sometimes going into a minute by minute analysis of warfare. It also includes a number of maps and photos of the event.

Why we should remember the Battle of the Coral Sea (Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2017, May 1)

This article from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute describes the role that the Battle of the Coral sea plays in Australia's remembrance of World War II, and the broader role it played in international relations between Australia and the United States.

The Battle of the Coral Sea (Naval Historical Society of Australia, 2015, June)

The Battle of the Coral Sea was a series of naval engagements off the north-east coast of Australia between the 4th and 8th May 1942. It is considered by many to be the turning point of the war against the Japanese. This article looks at the significance of the battle in terms of naval history, as well as providing detail on the ships used on either side.

Battle of the Coral Sea, 4-8 May 1942 (Australian War Memorial, n.d.)

This article provides a good overview of Australia's involvement in The Battle of the Coral Sea, and the strategic importance of the battle to the larger war effort.

Battle of the Coral Sea (Encyclopaedia Britannica, n.d.)

Battle of the Coral Sea, (May 4–8, 1942) World War II naval and air engagement in which a U.S. fleet turned back a Japanese invasion force that had been heading for strategic Port Moresby in New Guinea. Read through this article to learn more.

The Battle of the Coral Sea (Battle for Australia Association, n.d.)

In late April US Intelligence detected a major Japanese flotilla heading toward the Coral Sea. The Japanese codename for the flotilla was Operation MO. Its objective was the invasion of the small but strategically important, Papuan town of Port Moresby. Allied ships were instructed to steam to the area to prevent this move and the lines were set for the Battle of the Coral Sea which was fought from 5-8 May. United States forces were the main protagonists on the Allied side but Australian ships and aircraft also participated in the fighting. Read through this website to learn more.