The Battle of Guadalcanal:
The Turning Point of World War II.
October 2, 2013
The Battle of Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of World War II.
Guadalcanal is a large mountainous island with tropical rainforests and sandy beaches. It is a province of the Solomon Islands, an independent island state located north-east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. Guadalcanal is known for its diving and snorkeling sites where the wreckage of ships and planes from the Battle of Guadalcanal.
The Battle for Guadalcanal between American and Japanese troops was one of the most strategic battles of WWII (www.guadalcanal.com; www.history.com).
The Solomon Islands was in located in a position that was strategically important as it was close to Australia and along the transport and communication route between the United States (U.S.) and Australia (www.guadalcanal.com; www.history.com). During WWII, the Solomon Islands was a British colony but in July 1942 it was invaded by the Japanese.
The Japanese built an air base and secured their position. The Americans launched a full scale offensive campaign on August 7th 1942 and U.S. marines came to shore with no initial resistance from the Japanese (www.guadalcanal.com; www.historylearningsite.co.uk).
As the Americans moved inland towards the Japanese air base, they encountered and fought against the Japanese for three months before the
Americans secured the airfield. In response, the Japanese tried to reinforce their troops through the Tokyo Express by sea, but the U.S. troops fought the arriving Japanese troops on the beach in what was called the Navy Battle of Guadalcanal (www.guadalcanal.com; www.historylearningsite.co.uk). In that battle, only four thousand of the ten thousand Japanese troops were able to get through and escaped into the jungle. The Americans and the Japanese continued to fight intensely in the mountainous jungle in hot conditions, where many on both sides died from fighting, heat exhaustion and diseases. The Americans continued to attack from air, land and sea and won the battle for Guadalcanal on February 9th 1943 (www.guadalcanal.com).
The Americans overcoming the Japanese in the six month battle for Guadalcanal “proved to be the turning point of the Pacific war” (www.history.com). The American and Australian allies in the war were able to stop the Japanese from advancing towards Australia and the Americans were then on the offensive in the Pacific (www.guadalcanal.com; www.historylearningsite.co.uk).
Lee, Bradford. A. “Battle of Guadalcanal.” The History Channel. 2009-2013. Web. 2 Oct 2013. Basecamp International. “The Island of Guadalcanal in World War II.” Guadalcanal.com. 2007-2012. Web. 2 Oct 2013. Basecamp International. “Tourism, Travel, & Information Guide to the Province of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.” Guadalcanal.com. 2007-2012. Web. 2 Oct 2013. Trueman, Chris. “The Battle of Guadalcanal.” History Learning Site. 2000-2013. Web. 2 Oct 2013.
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