Stepfrogging Leapfrogging Leapfrogging was a military technique used by the Allies during World War II in the Pacific War against the Axis nations (most notably Japan). It meant circumventing and isolating highly defended Japanese defenses while preparing to seize strategically crucial islands. The method was first employed by American forces at the end of 1941 when they seized the Marshall Islands from the Japanese.
Leapfrogging was later used by the United States during its invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. Here, American soldiers landed on the southern coast of the island instead of on the northern coast where they had originally planned to land. This prevented the need for a costly battle on the mainland of Japan itself. After seizing Okinawa, the Americans quickly advanced north toward Tokyo before the advancing Japanese army could stop them.
Stepfrogging was also used by the Allies during the Italian campaign of World War II. In this case, Allied troops would not attack a single target but several throughout Italy. If one location failed, another would be targeted instead.
This strategy proved successful for the Allies since it kept their resources spread out which reduced their risk of being defeated by an enemy force.
After the war, both stepfrogging and leapfrogging were used by other countries during operations that required careful planning but not necessarily large armies.
Leapfrogging, also known as island hopping, was a World War II military strategy used by the Allies against the Empire of Japan in the Pacific War. The fundamental concept is to avoid well defended enemy islands rather than attempting to seize each island in succession en route to an ultimate destination.
In order for this strategy to work, much of the ocean between Japan and Australia had to be crossed by naval forces. Therefore, the ability of these ships to resist damage and remain operational was important. Additionally, ports would need to be captured or established on remote islands that were not readily defendable. Finally, supply lines would have to be maintained across vast distances of open water.
Japan's main advantage in the Pacific was its mastery of air power. The Japanese used aircraft to attack Allied positions on land and at sea, weakening their defenses before they could be attacked with heavy weapons.
The Americans and Australians responded with their own air raids. They sought to destroy Japanese infrastructure and deprive them of the use of valuable resources.
This strategy led to a series of successful attacks on targets throughout the Pacific. However, it did not result in any of the territories being taken outright. Rather, they all became part of larger empires: America after the war ended, and Australia after it was granted self-determination in 1951.
Stepfrogging: The United States pursued a policy of step-by-step expansion, never seeking an all-out victory but instead trying to avoid direct conflict with Japan while still keeping it on its knees.
The American approach was based on trade, not war. They wanted Japan's economy to collapse so they could take over its market when it did. At first, this plan worked: Japanese exports dropped by more than half while American imports fell by almost as much, forcing many Japanese industries out of business. But then Japan began to recover, and by 1945 it was once again becoming a force to be reckoned with.
At the start of the war, America had only nine aircraft carriers, plus several other large warships. By the end, there were only seven. The Americans used them to blockade Japan, preventing it from importing anything vital such as oil and metal. This forced the country to rely entirely on China for its supply needs - giving America even more reason to go after it later on.
After Pearl Harbor, America entered the war against Japan. Its goal was to defeat the empire before it could threaten America itself - which meant going after its major powers allies first.