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Guadalcanal turning point.

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  • Guadalcanal turning point.

    While watching the Warrior vs. Warrior series on the History International channel they had on the show about Guadacanal with Maj. Gen. Alexander A. Vandegriftf and Lt. Gen. Harukichi Hyakutake comanding the respective sides. What struck me as being vital to the eventual US success at Guadalcanal was how Hyakutake sent in forces piecemeal instead of in strenght.

    He first sent in a regiment than a brigade and finally a division. It is my contention that if he had sent in a larger force to begin (say the division); he would have pushed the Marines off the island.

    As it was; the battle was a near run thing anyways. I'd like to hear concuring or opposing views.


    Cheers!


    :armed:
    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

  • #2
    Guadalcanal was about as far from Japan as you could get. This created problems in logistics & thinking within the Japanese high command. The escalation of Japanese attacks on land and at sea were directly proportional to the slow realization that Guadalcanal was significant to the expansion plans of the empire. US leaders were faster to grasp this fact and that is why large US forces got there first.

    In my opinion, the only serious threat to US forces on Guadalcanal came from the Japanese navy. Only if the IJN could have isolated the island would it have fallen to a land attack.

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    • #3
      The Japanese Army wasn't committed to the Guadalcanal operation until later in the game; the IJN had to carry the ball alone until the Army gave in and provided troops in sufficient quantity. By then it was too late.
      BANANAS!!!!!!!!!

      *cough* Sorry

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      • #4
        The Japanese supply situation was abysmal to say the least. Hence the sobriquet "Starvation Island" Had the Japanese waited until they could move with overwhelming force they may have been physically unable to do much anyway.

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        • #5
          Control of the airfield was vital. The US was able to get enough (just barely) manpower on the island to hold Henderson Field and complete its construction. Once operational it gave the US a huge advantage, especially in daylight. The true battle for Guadalcanal was a series of naval battles in the Slot, who ever could supply their troops on the island would prevail. As previously mentioned the biggest enemy of the Japanese was hunger. Towards the end many of the frontal assaults by the Japanese were in search of provisions as much as anything.
          Lance W.

          Peace through superior firepower.

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          • #6
            Guadalcanal was really a meeting engagement, with both sides reinforcing as best they could, not a planned battle area. The Japanese Army was not involved in the building of the airfield on Guadalcanal, or even aware that one was being built. The US was not interested in Guadalcanal until the report of airfield construction. The US hurridly threw what forces were available in to capture and finish the airfield, not in an attempt to retake the Solomons, but to deny the Japanese the opportunity to move land based naval airpower to a point where they could threaten Port Moresby's flank, and interdict supplies from Australia. The Army was unaware of the losses suffered by the Japanese Navy at Midway, which prevented them from making a strong effort at cutting off the US forces on Guadalcanal. Once Henderson field was operational, the Japanese were forced into a battle of attrition, hard on both sides but finally won by the US.

            The Japanese were initially unaware of the size of the US forces and sent small groups to attack them, in a false sense of their superiority. The Navy was unable to land large Army forces in large groups due to the presence of Henderson field. Several of the naval battles were the result of attempts to shell Henderson field and eliminate the air threat long enough to land a large coherent force.

            The US forces were far more cooperative with each other than the Japanese, whose Army and Navy were not aware of the problems each other was having, and reluctant to admit problems and mistakes.

            Guadalcanal was as important as Stalingrad and El Alemein as pivotal battles in the war.
            "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein

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