JamesSavik Posted August 7, 2015 Report Share Posted August 7, 2015 Operation Watchtower begins with the Allied invasion of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. Marines begin landing and overwhelm Japanese forces. It is the first offensive action against Imperial Japan and touches off a series of fierce land, sea and air battles that lasts until Feb. 1943. It becomes a meat grinder for both sides which consumes Japan's best soldiers, sailors and airmen and causes material losses which they could ill afford. Guadalcanal's nickname among the troops of the 1st Marine Division that fought it was called Operation Shoestring. Their rifles and helmets were vintage WWI. When they arrived in Wellington New Zealand, there was a dockworkers strike. The Marines had to combat load the transports themselves. The invasion caught the Japanese completely by surprise. Most of the Japanese on the island were engineers who were constructing a airfield. They were routed and driven into the jungles. The Guadalcanal Campaign was a long bloody, painful affair for both sides. The Marines called it Malaria Island and the Japanese called it Starvation Island. There were numerous naval battles fought to control the sea and keep the Japanese from landing fresh troops or supplies on the island. By the time it ended the body of water between Guadalcanal and Savo Island was called Ironbottom Sound. Quote Link to comment
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