Solomon Islands campaign

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Solomon Islands campaign
Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II

Map of the Solomon Islands showing the Allied advance during 1943 and key air and naval bases.
Date January, 1942August 21, 1945
Location Solomon Islands in the South Pacific
Result Decisive Allied victory
Combatants
United States
Australia
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Fiji[1]
Tonga
Solomon Islands[2]
Papua New Guinea[3]
Empire of Japan
Commanders
Chester Nimitz
Douglas MacArthur
William Sydney Marchant[4]
Robert Ghormley
William Halsey, Jr.
Alexander Vandegrift
Alexander Patch
Frank Jack Fletcher
Richmond K. Turner
Eric Feldt[5]
R. A. Row
Roy Geiger
Theodore S. Wilkinson
Oscar Griswold
Stanley Savige
Isoroku Yamamoto
Shigeyoshi Inoue
Nishizo Tsukahara
Jinichi Kusaka
Gunichi Mikawa
Raizo Tanaka
Hitoshi Imamura
Harukichi Hyakutake
Minoru Sasaki
Casualties
4,500 dead (ground),
5,500 dead (naval),
600 dead (aircrew),
40+ ships sunk,
800 aircraft destroyed[6]
71,000 dead (ground),
7,000 dead (naval),
2,000 dead (aircrew),
50+ ships sunk,
1,500 aircraft destroyed[7]
Solomon Islands campaign
1st TulagiGuadalcanalBlackett StraitCartwheelDeath of YamamotoNew GeorgiaKula GulfKolombangaraVella GulfHoraniuVella LavellaNaval Vella LavellaTreasury Is.ChoiseulBougainvilleRabaul carrier raidCape St. GeorgeGreen Is.
Pacific Ocean theater
MidwaySolomon IslandsAleutian IslandsGilberts & Marshall IslandsMarianas & Palau IslandsVolcano & Ryukyu Islands

The Solomon Islands campaign was a major campaign of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign began with Japanese landings and occupation of several areas in the north, central, and southern islands of the Solomon Islands during the first six months of 1942. The Japanese occupied these locations and began the construction of several naval and air bases with the goals of protecting the flank of the Japanese offensive in New Guinea, establishing a security barrier for the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain, and providing bases for interdicting supply lines between the Allied powers of the United States and Australia and New Zealand.

The Allies, in order to defend their communication and supply lines in the South Pacific, support their counteroffensive in New Guinea, and isolate the Japanese base at Rabaul, counterattacked the Japanese in the Solomons with landings on Guadalcanal and surrounding islands in August, 1942. These landings initiated a series of combined-arms battles between the two adversaries, beginning with the Guadalcanal campaign and continuing with several battles in the central and northern Solomons on and around New Georgia and Bougainville Islands. After the allies created a Cactus Air Force at Henderson Field establishing air superiority during the daylight hours, the Japanese resorted to nightly resupply missions called Rat Transportation down the Slot. The Allies called it the Tokyo Express and pitched battles were fought trying to stop it. So many ships were lost by both sides that the area became known as "Ironbottom Sound".

The Solomon Islands campaign prevented the Japanese from cutting off Australia and New Zealand from the U.S., isolated and neutralized Rabaul, destroyed much of Japan's sea and air power, and together with Allied successes on and around New Guinea opened the way for Allied forces to recapture the Philippines and cut off Japan from its crucial resource areas in the Netherlands East Indies.

Contents

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Books

  • Altobello, Brian (2000). Into the Shadows Furious. Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-717-6. 
  • Bergerud, Eric M. (1997). Touched with Fire : The Land War in the South Pacific. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-024696-7. 
  • Bergerud, Eric M. (2000). Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific. Boulder, CO, USA: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3869-7. 
  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • Frank, Richard (1990). Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-58875-4. 
  • Gailey, Harry A. (1991). Bougainville, 1943-1945: The Forgotten Campaign. Lexington, Kentucky, USA: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-9047-9. - neutral review of this book here:[1]
  • Griffith, Brig. Gen. Samuel B (USMC) (1974). "Part 96: Battle For the Solomons", History of the Second Wold War. Hicksville, NY, USA: BPC Publishing. 
  • Hoyt, Edwin P. (1990 (Reissue)). Glory Of The Solomons. Jove. ISBN 0-515-10450-7. 
  • Kilpatrick, C. W. (1987). Naval Night Battles of the Solomons. Exposition Press. ISBN 0-682-40333-4. 
  • Lord, Walter (1977 (Reissue 2006)). Lonely Vigil; Coastwatchers of the Solomons. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-466-3. 
  • McGee, William L. (2002). The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville--Pacific War Turning Point, Volume 2 (Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII). BMC Publications. ISBN 0-9701678-7-3. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942 – February 1943, vol. 5 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-58305-7.  Online views of selections of the book:[2]
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, vol. 6 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Castle Books. 0785813071. 
  • Murray, Williamson; Allan R. Millett (2001). A War To Be Won : Fighting the Second World War. United States of America: Belknap Press. ISBN 0-674-00680-1. 

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[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Fijian troops were involved under the direction of the Australian and New Zealand militaries.
  2. ^ Guadalcanal and the rest of the Solomon Islands were technically under UK/Australian political control during World War II.
  3. ^ Bougainville was politically part of Papua New Guinea which was under the administration of Australia.
  4. ^ The British Resident Commissioner of the Solomon Islands protectorate and therefore nominally the commander of the Allied military forces in the Solomon Islands
  5. ^ Commanded the Coastwatchers.
  6. ^ Numbers include personnel killed by all causes including combat, disease, and accidents. Ships sunk includes warships and auxiliaries. Aircraft destroyed includes both combat and operational losses.
  7. ^ Numbers include personnel killed by all causes including combat, disease, and accidents. Ships sunk includes warships and auxiliaries. Aircraft destroyed includes both combat and operational losses.


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