World War II Pacific Island Territories: Fiji

Figure 1.--Fiji like much of the South Pacific was little touched by the outside world. Pearl Harbor changed that as a flood of Americans and American material descended on the island.

After the initial Japanese offensive following Pearl Harbor. Fiji to the southeast of the Solomons found itself along with New Caledonia and the New Hebredies (Vanuatu) on the front line of the Pacific War. Suva boasted one of the finest natural harbors in the South Pacific--3 miles wide and cutting 2 miles inland. The U.S. Navy chose Nandi Bay for its main advance naval base (JAMPUFF). The Army, Marine, and Navy rushed air, ground , and naval assetts to the island. Fiji bosted one of the few concrete air strips in the South Pacific and more were sooon under cinstruction. The Seebees arrived (June 1942). The New Zealanders participsted in the build up. Fiji thus became one of several targets of the Japanese FS Operation designed to seize the French and British South Pacific South Pacific islands east of Australia. This would have cut Australia and New Zealand off from America, the first step in conqueriung both Dominions. FS would have been the next Japanese Pacific offensive after they destroyed the American carriers at Midway. The ensuing Japanese Midway disaster (June 1942), however, significantly reduced the striking power of the Imperial Fleet. The American Pacific Fleet proved to have just enough naval power to prevent the Japanese from moving beyond the Solomons until new construction would fundamentally chsnge the balance of naval power. In addition, the United States garisoned the island with 10,000 well-equipped Marines. A Japanese invasion would not have faced the small. poorly equipped force they found on Wake and Guam immediately after Pearl Harbor. Fiji soldiers fought with the the Allies in the Pacific campaigns that followed. Fijian soldiers acquired a reputation in the difficult American Solomon Islands campaign. The United States and other Allied countries maintained military installations in Fiji during the war, but after the Solomons campaign, Fiji gradually became a remote rear area used for staging and logistics.


Navigate the CIH Workd war II Section:
[Return to Main World War II Pacific island A-L page]
[Return to Main World War II island territory page ]
[Return to Main World War II country page ]
[Return to Main Marianas history page [About Us]
[Biographies] [Campaigns] [Children] [Countries] [Deciding factors] [Diplomacy] [Geo-political crisis] [Economics] [Home front] [Intelligence]
[POWs] [Resistance] [Race] [Refugees] [Technology] [Totalitarian powers]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Return to Main World War II page]
[Return to Main war essay page]
[Return to CIH Home page]

Created: 1:03 AM 11/13/2015
Last updated: 1:03 AM 11/13/2015