THE BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL

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Introduction The Battle of Guadalcanal was a very important battleground that ended the Japanese ground advancement in the Pacific area of operations. Also, after they were defeated and removed from the island it showed that they were not an unstoppable foe that resulted in boasting the confidence of the United States and its allies. The amphibious assault that occurred on Guadalcanal was the first amphibious counteroffensive for the United States after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese were attempting to build an airfield on the island and gain a foothold that would help to protect their flanks as they continued their offensive campaign through the Pacific. Having an established foothold on Guadalcanal would also give the Japanese the ability to severe the supply and communication lines that ran between Australia and the United States. The US attack was originally set for 1 August 1942 and the mission was assigned to the 1st Marine Division out of North Carolina.1 Their mission would be to perform an amphibious assault and seize control of the nearly completed airfield and defend it from any Japanese counterattacks as well as removing the Japanese completely from the island. History Shortly after the Japanese suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Midway, the Imperial Army started to rethink their offensive strategy and started to plan to consolidate forces and begin to focus on defending what they had already captured. Within this strategy they realized that having an airfield built on Guadalcanal would give them the ability to secure their flanks as they continued to push on through the Pacific Ocean as well as allow them to severe the supply and communication lines between the United States and Australia. Guadalc... ... middle of paper ... ...ade it difficult to access the beach and also targets of opportunity for the airstrikes from the fighters and bombers of the Japanese. Many things were learned about operating in an island jungle environment. Neither side was prepared to deal with the numerous tropical diseases’ that were running rampant on both sides. The medical supplies that the marines were using and the availability of medicine was inefficient and led to numerous deaths that could have been prevented had there been adequate medicine and treatments available. Works Cited McGee, William L. The Solomons campaigns, 1942-1943, from Gudalcanal to Bougainville : Pacific war turning point. Tiburon: BMC Publications, 2002. Miller, John. Guadalcanal: The First Offensive. Washington: Center Of Military History, 1949. Mueller, Joseph N. The Marines Strike Back. London: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1992.

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