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The Story Of U.S. Navy In The Battle Of Guadalcanal

Aug 17, 2007
The Navy is a branch of the military that defends the United States by sea. In November of 1942 they were called upon to defend it from the Japanese. Since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 the United States had suffered from a shortage of battleships. The battle of Guadalcanal is very important in history as it signified the end of the Pacific War with the United States walking away the victor.

Yet this victory was not one that happened easily. The long battle that ensued resulted in the loss of several battleships for both sides as well as casualties. Two of the Japanese battleships were on a mission to destroy the United States naval base located at Guadalcanal. They Japanese wanted to control this area to stop the United States and other countries from using it as a place to get necessary supplies.

The United States found themselves with only two battleships left to possibly use against the Japanese fleet of more than 8,000. The USS Washington and the USS South Dakota were both put into action. This was against the United States policy that stated that battleships were not to be used in confined spaces as was the case in this battle. Yet those in charge of the decision choose to do so anyway.

The four day battle was a combined effort of navy ships and air force planes dedicated to protecting this naval base and the waters. The Japanese found the United States to have an excellent strategy in place - during the day the airplanes attacked the ships from above. At night they were attacked by the two US battleships.

After their defeat, the Japanese stopped trying to take control of Guadalcanal. By January of 1943 the only Japanese aircraft or ships in the area were those coming to remove the remaining Japanese forces on the island. They were all evacuated by February of 1943. This defeat eventually led to the Japanese losing power over the surrounding areas of the Solomon Islands.

The willingness of the United States military branches to work closely with each other made a significant difference in the outcome of the Battle of Guadalcanal. The decisions of those in charge of the navy to engage the battleships when it was against policy also was a very important factor that helped decide a US victory over Japan. Guadalcanal was one of the key battles in the Pacific, and it was a US victory due to the wisdom and bravery of them men involved.
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