Pacific Turning Point: The Solomons Campaign, 1942-1943

By Charles W. Koburger | Go to book overview

ruined. These people had to be weeded out. There is some suspicion that there was not enough time for this, either.

Few commanders ever feel that they have sufficient troops and equipment on hand for the tasks they have been given. These officers were no exception. Preparations were so hasty and the forces available so scanty that some officers called this expedition Operation "SHOESTRING."

What concerned the Allies most--assuming the absence of enemy aircraft carriers--was the major land-plane base complex which the Japanese had established at Rabaul, 675 miles from Guadalcanal, and the new air bases which they were building at Kieta only about 300 miles from Guadalcanal, and on Guadalcanal itself. The thought of an Allied expeditionary force being exposed to attack by large numbers of land-based fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes kept the staffs awake at night. The enemy had the initiative and was on the offensive. Japan's lines of communication and supply were interior. Three of its major bases--Rabaul, Truk, and Kwajalein--were within 1,200 miles of the target area; the United State's own nearest base--Pearl Harbor-- was 3,000 miles away. Yet the presence of land-based aircraft only 555 miles from Espiritu Santo was a threat the United States had to parry at once, and did so.


NOTES
1.
The Landing in the Solomons 7-8 August 1942 ( Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 1944), p. 4.
2.
Ibid., pp. 2-3.
3.
Dan van der Vat, The Pacific Campaign ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991), p. 173.
4.
Landing in the Solomons, pp. 4-5.
5.
Ronald H. Spector, Eagle Against the Sun ( New York: Free Press, 1984), p. 208.
6.
Landing in the Solomons, pp. 2, 9.
7.
Ibid., pp. 5-9.
8.
Ibid., pp. 21-22.

-22-

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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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