Great Battles of the Second World War
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
The naval battle of Guadalcanal was the decisive engagement in a series of naval battles between Allied (primarily American) and Imperial Japanese forces during the months-long Guadalcanal Campaign in the Solomon Islands.
Today we will talk about the consequences of this important battle on the outcome of the war.
The failure to deliver to Guadalcanal most of the troops and especially supplies in the convoy prevented the Japanese from launching another offensive to retake Henderson Field. Thereafter, the Imperial Navy was only able to deliver subsistence supplies and a few replacement troops to Japanese Army forces on Guadalcanal. Because of the continuing threat from Allied aircraft based at Henderson Field, plus nearby U.S. aircraft carriers, the Japanese had to continue to rely on Tokyo Express warship deliveries to their forces on Guadalcanal. However, these supplies and replacements were not enough to sustain Japanese troops on the island, who – by 7 December 1942 – were losing about 50 men each day from malnutrition, disease, and Allied ground and air attacks. On 12 December, the Japanese Navy proposed that Guadalcanal be abandoned. Despite opposition from Japanese Army leaders, who still hoped that Guadalcanal could be retaken from the Allies, Japan's Imperial General Headquarters—with approval from the Emperor—agreed on 31 December to the evacuation of all Japanese forces from the island and establishment of a new line of defense for the Solomons on New Georgia.
Thus, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was the last major attempt by the Japanese to seize control of the seas around Guadalcanal or to retake the island. In contrast, the U.S. Navy was thereafter able to resupply the U.S. forces at Guadalcanal at will, including the delivery of two fresh divisions by late December 1942.~Erwin
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