World War II

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.92

     challenging words:    detachment, reprieve, stalemate, airstrip, airfield, launched, toll, weaken, battalion, costly, control, tribute, superior, entire, planes, victory
     content words:    Pacific Ocean, Port Moresby, Midway Island, In July, Find Australia, Solomon Islands, United States, General Douglas MacArthur, New Guinea, USS Long Island

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By Jane Runyon

1     From December of 1941 to March of 1942, Japan was in control of the Pacific Ocean. Their superior navy and air force conquered every target they set a goal for. Things started going wrong when they tried to take control of Port Moresby off Australia. The Allies stopped their attempt. The battle at Midway came next. The American fleet gave as much as it took from the enemy. Some say that the battle at Midway Island was the turning point of the war. Others say it was only a show of strength over the Japanese navy. No matter who is right, the war continued. If you play chess, you know what a stalemate is. In a stalemate, neither side wins. In July of 1942, the war in the Pacific seemed to be at a stalemate.
2     The Japanese decided to break the stalemate by building a new airstrip for their planes. This airstrip was to be built on the island of Guadalcanal. Look on a world map. Find Australia. If you look north and east of Australia, you will find a group of islands called the Solomon Islands. One of these islands is Guadalcanal. The Japanese believed that they could cut off any shipping of supplies between the United States and their Allies by controlling the air and sea around Guadalcanal. The United States decided to stop this plan.
3     Most of the supplies at this time were being diverted to General Douglas MacArthur and his men. They were moving through New Guinea in an attempt to hand the area over to the Allies. This mission was deemed more important than taking an air strip that would probably be used only temporarily.

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