Pacific Turning Point: The Solomons Campaign, 1942-1943

By Charles W. Koburger | Go to book overview

4
Tokyo Reacts

SAVO ISLAND (AUGUST 8-9)

As the Japanese Eighth Fleet's Admiral Mikawa raced south down the Slot, U.S. Admiral Turner's amphibious force lay off the beachheads building up ashore as fast as they could. Responsibility for protecting Turner's transports lay with Admiral Crutchley and his Australian and American cruiser and destroyer force. The threat in general came from the north. Right at the northern end of what was to become Ironbottom Sound--between Guadalcanal and Tulagi--lay a small island called Savo. Savo was about to put its name on the worst defeat the U.S. Navy suffered in 130 years.

Geography prompted Crutchley to divide his force. Determined to make use of Savo to help block off the sound, he placed part of his ships (Northern Force, heavy cruisers Vincennes, Astoria, and Quincy, screened by destroyers Helm and Wilson) on one side of it, and a smaller one (Southern Force, heavy cruiser Chicago together with Australian Canberra, screened by destroyers Patterson and Bagley) on the other. Two more destroyers (Ralph Talbot and Blue) were pushed out beyond Savo to act as radar guard and ASW patrol. A third part (Eastern Force, light cruiser San Juan and Australian Hobart) was assigned to provide close-in protection to the transport area itself.

-35-

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Pacific Turning Point: The Solomons Campaign, 1942-1943
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Prologue 1
  • Notes 11
  • 2 - Collision Course 13
  • Notes 22
  • 3 - The Southern Solomons 23
  • Notes 33
  • 4 - Tokyo Reacts 35
  • Notes 50
  • 5 - Control of the Sea 51
  • Notes 65
  • 6 - Guadalcanal Ends 67
  • Notes 78
  • 7 - The Central Solomons-- New Georgia 79
  • Notes 91
  • 8 - The By-Pass Strategy Arrives-- Vella Lavella 93
  • Notes 102
  • 9 - The Northern Solomons-- Bougainville 103
  • Notes 113
  • 10 - Conclusion 115
  • Appendix A: Ships and Craft 127
  • Appendix B: Equipment 131
  • Appendix C: Personalities 135
  • Appendix D: Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Code Words 137
  • Bibliography 141
  • Index 145
  • About the Author 153
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