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Battle of Guadalcanal

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Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:12 pm

Up until August 1942, the Allies had been on the defensive in the Pacific Theatre. The offensive capability of the Japanese had been reduced following the naval battles of Coral Sea and Midway.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:15 pm

However, Japan was still on the offensive and was planning invasions of Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa. The Allies saw this as a major threat to Australia.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:17 pm

By August 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy was in the process of constructing a series of bases in the Solomon Islands that would provide a staging area for these planned invasions and offer protection of their major base at Rabaul.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:19 pm

The Japanese were in the process of constructing an airfield on Guadalcanal that could increase Japanese air cover for their naval forces advancing in the South Pacific.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:21 pm

The Allies planned to invade the Solomon Islands in an effort to deny the use of the islands by the Japanese. This would also be the starting point for an Island hopping campaign aimed at retaking the Philippines and eventually invading the Japanese mainland.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:22 pm

On 7 August, 11,000 Marines of the 1st Marine Division under the command of Major General Alexander Vandergrift landed on Guadalcanal.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:24 pm

The only resistance the Marines faced was the jungle itself. On 8 August, they successfully secured the Japanese airfield, which the Marines named “Henderson Field.”

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:26 pm

The American Navy planned to withdraw from the area on 9 August after Japanese aircraft attacked the fleet during the initial landings.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:27 pm

During the night of 8 August, the Japanese Navy surprised the Allied warships and sank one Australian and three American cruisers.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:30 pm

The Navy could not afford to lose another carrier, so they left the Marines without unloading needed equipment and supplies.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:31 pm

The Marines formed a perimeter around Henderson Field and small contingent of American aircraft, known as the “Cactus Air Force,” stationed there.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:33 pm

The Japanese landed thousands of troops throughout the month and continually attacked the Marines in an attempt to recapture the airfield.

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Re: Battle of Guadalcanal

Post by sujin007 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:35 pm

Finally, in February of 1943 the Japanese withdrew their forces from the Island. The victory at Guadalcanal was an important military and psychological victory for the Allies.

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