The Japanese wanted the Aleutians, which were about 2,000 miles north of Hawaii. Dutch Harbor was a harbor that was to be attacked. Dutch Harbor was an American Naval Base in the Aleutian Archipelago. These Aleutians stretched one thousand miles from Alaska's mainland almost all the way to Kamchatka Peninsula in the Soviet Union.
The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 was to not create or expand naval bases on Guam or the Aleutians. This changed, however, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Immediately, Eielson Air Force Base was constructed in Fairbanks, and a similar base constructed in Anchorage in Alaska. Dutch Harbor had moderate defense capabilities.
On June 3, 1942, a Japanese force that consisted of two carriers, two cruisers, and three destroyers attacked Dutch Harbor. The Japanese were surprised when a stream of American Planes came to the defense. The planes caught the Japanese in a trap, and Yamamoto ordered his troops homeward.
On their retreat, the Japanese took the islands Kiska, Attu, and Agattu about 850 miles from the harbor. The Japanese were now on U.S. soil and posed a great threat to American ships coming from Russia. Later on, in August of 1942, American troops were brought to the Andranof Islands, which were about 125 miles from Kiska. The troops bombarded the Japanese held islands with shells and bombs. The Japanese finally got off the islands of Attu and Agattu, but stayed on Kiska. There, the Japanese sent reinforcements.
Although the Japanese were on one of the Aleutian islands, the taking of the islands were far from reach. The Japanese would have to try harder...