|Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II|
November 1942 - United States Marines rest in the field during the Guadalcanal campaign
|Allied forces including:
|Empire of Japan|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Robert L. Ghormley
William Halsey, Jr.
Richmond K. Turner
| Isoroku Yamamoto
|60,000 men (ground forces)||36,200 men (ground forces)|
|Casualties and losses|
29 ships lost
615 aircraft lost
38 ships lost
683–880 aircraft lost
The Guadalcanal Campaign was fought between August 7, 1942, and February 9, 1943, in the Pacific theatre of World War II. This campaign, which was a decisive and strategically important campaign of World War II, was fought on the ground, at sea, and in the air between Allied forces against Imperial Japanese forces. The fighting took place on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon Islands, and was the first major offensive launched by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.
On August 7, 1942, Allied forces, mainly from the United States, started landings on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Florida in the southern Solomons with the aim to make supply routes between the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand safer. The Battle of Guadalcanal was one of the first long campaigns in the Pacific.
- Zimmerman, p. 173–175 documents the participation by native Solomon Islanders in the campaign USMC Monograph: The Guadalcanal Campaign. Guadalcanal and the rest of the Solomon Islands were under British political control during World War II with the exception of the North Solomon Islands including Bougainville and Buka which were part of Australia's Papua New Guinea mandate. Archived 16 January 2010 at WebCite
- Vava'u Press Ltd, Matangi Tonga Online, 2006  states that 28 Tongan soldiers fought on Guadalcanal, with two of them killed in action.[dead link]
- Jersey, p. 356–358. Assisting the Americans in the latter stages of campaign were Fijiian commandos led by officers and non-commissioned officer from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
- Frank, p. 57, 619–621; and Rottman, p. 64. Approximately 20,000 U.S. Marines and 40,000 U.S. Army troops were deployed on Guadalcanal at different times during the campaign.
- Rottman, p. 65. 31,400 men Imperial Japanese Army and 4,800 men Imperial Japanese Navy troops were deployed to Guadalcanal during the campaign. Jersey claims that 50,000 total Japanese army and navy troops were sent to Guadalcanal and that most of the original naval garrison of 1,000–2,000 men was successfully evacuated in November and December 1942 by Tokyo Express warships (Jersey, p. 348–350).
- Frank, p. 598–618; and Lundstrom, p. 456. 85 Australians were killed in the Battle of Savo Island. Total Solomon Islander deaths are unknown. Most of the rest, if not all, of those killed were American. Numbers include personnel killed by all causes including combat, disease, and accidents. Losses include 1,768 dead (ground), 4,911 dead (naval), and 420 dead (aircrew). Four U.S. aircrew were captured by the Japanese during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands and survived their captivity. An unknown number of other U.S. ground, naval, and aircrew personnel were, according to Japanese records, captured by Japanese forces during the campaign but did not survive their captivity and the dates and manners of most of their deaths are unknown (Jersey, p. 346, 449). Captured Japanese documents revealed that two captured Marine scouts had been tied to trees and then vivisected while still alive and conscious by an army surgeon as a medical demonstration (Clemens, p. 295). Ships sunk includes both warships and "large" auxiliaries. Aircraft destroyed includes both combat and operational losses.
- Frank, p. 598–618, Shaw, p. 52, and Rottman, p. 65. Numbers include personnel killed by all causes including combat, disease, and accidents. Losses include 24,600–25,600 dead (ground), 3,543 dead (naval), and 2,300 dead (aircrew). Approximately 9,000 died from disease. Most of the captured personnel were Korean slave laborers assigned to Japanese naval construction units. Ships sunk includes warships and "large" auxiliaries. Aircraft destroyed includes both combat and operational losses.
- Also known as: the Battle of Guadalcanal, Battle for Guadalcanal; Codename: Operation Watchtower.
- Keegan, John (1989). The Second World War. Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand: Hutchinson.
- Alexander, Joseph H. (2000). Edson's Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-020-5.
- Anderson, Charles R. (1993). "Guadalcanal" (brochure). U.S. Government Printing Office. http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/72-8/72-8.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-09.
- Christ, James F. (2007). Battalion of the Damned: The 1st Marine Paratroopers at Gavutu and Bloody Ridge, 1942. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-114-3.
- Cagney, James. "An Animated Map History of the Battle for Guadalcanal". HistoryAnimated.com. http://www.historyanimated.com/Guadalcanal.html. Retrieved September 4, 2008.
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