Battle of Guadalcanal Facts

Battle of Guadalcanal Facts
The Guadalcanal Campaign, which lasted from August 7, 1942 to February 9, 1943, was the Allies' first major offensive in the Pacific Theater of operations. The campaign took place in the Solomon Islands of the south Pacific and is named for the largest island in the chain and where the heaviest fighting took place, Guadalcanal. The long campaign was intended to stop the further advance of the Japanese and to deny them locations where they could build bases to bomb and/or potentially invade Australia and New Zealand. Logistically speaking, the campaign was quite complicated as it involved a large squadron of ships and planes along with more than 60,000 ground forces that had to be ferried from island to island as the Allies employed their island hopping strategy. The United States Marine Corps led the fight on land, as it did throughout most of the Pacific Theater, and contributed a fair amount of aircraft to the fight as well. The Japanese began an orderly in the middle of January and were off the Solomon Islands within a month.
Interesting Battle of Guadalcanal Facts:
The American codename of the campaign/battle was Operation Watchtower
The Americans had about 7,000 troops killed in combat while the Japanese lost nearly 20,000 men, but only around 8,000 in combat. The rest of the Japanese casualties were the result of starvation and disease.
Besides Guadalcanal Island, the islands of Tulagi and Florida were also assaulted by the Marines on August 7.
The Solomon Islands is comprised of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands.
The population of the Solomon Islands in World War II was just over 50,000 people. Melanesians make up the majority ethnic group.
The Solomon Islands were British protectorate at the time.
Japanese airstrips on the Solomon Islands allowed the Japanese to bomb shipping lanes between the United States and Australia.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the commander of the Japanese during the battle. It would be his last major campaign as he was shot down and killed by American fighters in April 1943.
About 11,000 Marines landed on Guadalcanal Island, facing minimal resistance as they took the Japanese airfield.
The Marines faced heavier resistance once most of their troops had landed on Guadalcanal and the other islands.
The Japanese carried out bombing runs from an airstrip in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
Although naval firepower played a role during the initial amphibious invasions of the islands and throughout the land battles, a major sea battle took place on October 26. The sea battle became known as the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, which ended in an American retreat.
The Battle of Edson's Ridge took place September 12 when the Japanese conducted a nighttime raid but were repulsed.
The Japanese evacuation, known as Operation Ke, began on January 14.
The 1998 film The Thin Red Line, starring Sean Penn, was about the Guadalcanal campaign.

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