The battle for Guadalcanal was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.
I wrote a short piece about a woman waiting on the home front for her husband who would never return from Guadalcanal.
By the end of 1942, all attempts by the Japanese army to recapture Henderson Air Field on Guadalcanal had been repulsed with heavy losses. Japanese troops were beginning to die from starvation and lack of adequate medical care. Japanese naval forces in the area were also suffering heavy losses in attempts to reinforce and resupply their ground forces.
In January 1943 the Japanese decided to concede the island of Guadalcanal to Allied Forces. Operation Ke (ケ号作戦) evacuated 10,652 Japanese soldiers at a cost of one destroyer sunk and three damaged. On February 9, Allied forces declared Guadalcanal secure, ending the six-month bloody campaign for control of the island.
Dead: 7,100 19,200 (8,500 killed in action)
Wounded: 7,789+ ?
Captured: 4 11
Ships lost: 29 38
Aircraft lost: 615 683-880
Mesmerizing. We lost more guys here than in 10 years in Afghanistan.
The cry “Tenno Heika Banzai” (天皇陛下万歳, “Long live the Emperor”), shortened to “banzai”, was shouted when Japanese troops charged into enemy fire en masse. Because of enormous losses, this tactic was later abandoned.
ALL OF THESE BRAVE MEN DIED FOR MANKIND IN ORDER TO BE WHERE WE ARE