Battle of the Coral Sea

Battle of the Coral Sea

World War II

Battle of the Coral Sea
The American aircraft carrier USS Lexington explodes on 8 May 1942, several hours after being damaged by a Japanese carrier air attack. ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1942 May 4 - May 8

Battle of the Coral Sea

Coral Sea

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 the opposing fleets neither sighted nor fired upon one another, attacking over the horizon with aircraft carriers instead.


Although the battle was a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, it has been described as a strategic victory for the Allies. The battle marked the first time since the start of the war that a major Japanese advance had been turned back.

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