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Guadalcanal: The first Offensive

By: John Miller Jr (588/35870)
Publisher: BDD Special Editions ISBN: 0792458575
(From the John Laffin Library)

On August 7, 1942, American ground troops were on the offensive for the first time against the Japanese Army. Making an amphibious landing, the First Marine division attacked Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. On the first day they caught the enemy unawares and were able to take the airfield. They renamed it Henderson, after a marine pilot killed in Midway.

The Japanese quickly retaliated by defeating the Australian Navy at the Battle of Savo Island and causing the American Naval forces to retire. At the same time Lt. Gen. Harikuchi Hyakutake began to land the 50,000 men sent to throw the Americans off the island. For the 18,000 marines left under Maj. Gen. Mark Vandergrift quick victory appeared to be turning into defeat.

Using first hand accounts after action reports, the historians of the Army's Historical Division have reconstructed the Guadalcanal campaign. Their work includes eyewitness descriptions of the mass Japanese attacks on the Ilu River, the defense of Bloody Ridge and the turning point after the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal when the army and marines went irrevocably onto the offensive in the Pacific.

June 2008

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