Thursday, August 9, 2012

Japan's forgotten battle

The Japanese have forgotten Guadalcanal

The Battle of Midway ended the Japanese navy's offensive string of successes in June 1942. A little more than two months later, the Japanese army permanently lost the initiative when US forces landed at Guadalcanal. American Marines were the first US troops to land, but they were joined soon by US Army formations, including Army National Guard units, one of which proved critical in the Battle of the Perimeter because of its greater firepower than the resource-starved Marine units. By the end of November, the Marines had been withdrawn and the rest of the fighting was done by the US Army.

Though the battle lasted six months and killed only 25,000 Japanese soldiers, a surviving Japanese general said it was the "graveyard of the Japanese army."

Before Guadalcanal, the Japanese army had never lost. After Guadalcanal, the Japanese army never won.