Sample Essay on Battle of Guadalcanal
Battle of Guadalcanal refers to a battle that ensued in 1942 after the landing of the US marines at Guadalcanal on 7th August 1942 during the Second World War. Although the US marines landed at Guadalcanal without opposition, it took six months for them to defeat Japanese in what is now an attrition classic battle.
Having been defeated in the battle of Midway, the Japanese planners and the imperial army considered their expansion plans and how they could concentrate forces in the consolidation of the captured territories. For Americans, the Midway victory was a turning point because after the battle they had to consider re-capturing the Pacific islands that had been taken and Guadalcanal was the first confrontation.
Guadalcanal is situated in the Solomon Islands that lie on the north-eastern approaches towards Australia. Despite being a humid island covered by a tropical island jungle, its position was strategically important for either side during the Pacific war. By capturing this island, the Japanese would cut off sea route between America and Australia.
On the other hand, protecting Australia from invasion by the Japanese would be easy for the Americans if they controlled this island. They could also use the island to prevent build up of allies in Australia which would eventually be a springboard for major assault for the Japanese. Thus, the Island was important for both the Japanese and the Americans.
Japanese troops were station in the Island when the US marines landed with a surprise attack in the August of 1942. They captured and took control of the air base that was being constructed. Reinforcements came in later during the ensuing sea and land clashes. Both the Americans and the Japanese suffered heavy losses in warship contingents. Nevertheless, the Japanese loss was greater in terms of casualties and this forced them to withdraw from the Guadalcanal as of February of 1943.
When the battle of Guadalcanal ended on 9th February 1943, the Japanese casualties or losses amounted to two third of 31,400 army troops that had been committed to this island. On the other hand, the U.S marines as well as the U.S army lost over 2,000 soldiers in the total number of the 60,000 soldiers deployed to the island.
Both sides lost heavily in terms of ships. However, for the Japanese the major loss was decimation of the elite group of the naval aviators. After the Guadalcanal battle, Japan did not have a realistic hope that it would ever withstand any counteroffensive by the American that was continuously increasing.
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