By August 1942, Americans were fighting desperate, bloody battles in a far-off, heretofore unknown to us chain of islands in the South Pacific-- the Solomons. For a balanced view of how this came to be, let me explain.
Few people in today's America can have any real idea of how insular and disarmed--both mentally and otherwise--the United States had been only two years earlier. The business of America was then still business, and people were most concerned with recovery from the Great Depression. Disillusion with the results of the United States' first foray on the world scene--World War I--ran strong. The America First movement was a real one, a grass roots cry to keep the United States out of the conflict increasingly being waged around us. Out in the jungles and at sea, the Australians, New Zealanders, and British knew why they were there--they were defending their corner of the British Empire, or taking back their own. The United States had even been in the process of pulling out of the Philippines up north, and were turning them over to their people. So what brought Americans to the Solomons?
Japan's World War II strategic plans saw Tokyo as the ultimate leader of a so-called Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. This