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.
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. Guadalcanal is located within the Solomon Islands just east of New Guinea. After the United States received reports of the construction of the Japanese airfield on Guadalcanal the Joint Chiefs of Staffs realized it was imperative that there be an offensive operation to seize this key objective and not allow the Japanese to complete their airfield. It was also believed that if the Japanese were able to complete this airfield that it would be too advantageous for them and would also aid in invading Port Moresby on the Western coast of New Guinea.
Planning and Preparation
In the initial planning there were many debates on who would command the assault on Guadalcanal. General Douglas MacArthur was the Commander of the Southwest Pacific Forces and was originally thought of to command the assault. However the Navy expressed numerous concerns that MacArthur would possibly leave their carriers exposed and the result placed Admiral Chester Nimitz
as the overall Commander. The mission was tasked to the 1st marine division out of North Carolina that was commanded by Major General Alexander Vandegrift. General Vandegrift received his orders to perform the amphibious assault on Guadalcanal on the 25th of June 1942. Immediately General...