13. 11. 1942 Calendary

13.11.1942 Battle of Guadalcanal

Categories: Second World War , Calendar

Battle ofGuadalcanalis thename of the Pacific Front military operation that kicked off the landing of U.S. Marines in August 1942. It culminated in November with a clash between the Japanese and American navies.

In August 1942, the Americans seized the airfield under construction on Guadalcanal to prevent the concentration of Japanese forces. In the narrow waters of the Solomon Islands, the U.S. fleet supported the invasion with considerable nervousness until it lost four cruisers in a midnight battle off Savo Island. The Navy then withdrew, leaving the Marines to bring the airfield into operation by 20 August.

"The course of the war between the United States and Japan in the Pacific theater, exactly eight months old to the day, took a new course on August 7, 1942. For on that day the U.S. Navy launched its first offensive of the war by landing on Guadalcanal in the SolomonIslands. This first attempted attack provoked fierce battles between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy." Mark Stille, for example, writes about the events in his book US Cruisers vs Japanese Cruisers.

Subsequent attempts by the enemy to bring reinforcements and supplies to Guadalcanal provoked a naval encounters in the strait known as "The Gap", and here the superiority of the Japanese navy was demonstrated, and in the night fighting: in the daytime, aircraft from both sides were usually involved in the fight. On 15 September, the US lost an aircraft carrier and a destroyer, and another cruiser and several destroyers were damaged, but the Japanese also lost a cruiser, three destroyers, and an admiral.

The action of 26 October (the Battle of the Snata Cruz Islands) cost the Americans an aircraft carrier, but the Japanese paid for it with the loss of over a hundred aircraft. "The painful lessons learned led the U.S. Navy to make better use of radar. In combat on the night of November 12-13 (the first Battle of Guadalcanal), the U.S. Navy lost two cruisers and seven destroyers, while the Japanese lost a battlecruiser and two destroyers.

"After two more brief engagements that cost them again a battleship, a cruiser and two destroyersThe Japanese decided to avoid further losses and abandoned any major attempts to bring reinforcements to Guadalcanal. Both Japanese warships and aircraft at the carriers and land bases paid a heavy toll in these battles. However, the Japanese were losing ships and trained pilots that they were never able to replace. From this point until the end of the war, they remained on the strategic defensive," writes Mark R. Henry in The U.S. Navy in World War II.

Sources: Mark R. Henry, The U.S. Navy in World War II, Mark Stille, U.S. Cruisers vs. Japanese Cruisers, www.britannica.com

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