Guadalcanal:- The Island in the Pacific Ocean (Video Included)

Guadalcanal is the largest Island in the Solomons. It is well known for its history especially among Americans, because of the fierce fighting that went on there in 1942-43 against the Japanese.

When an allied reconnaissance mission spotted construction of a Japanese airfield at Lunga Point on the north coast of Guadalcanal, the situation became critical. This new Japanese airfield represented a threat to Australia itself, and so the United States as a matter of urgency, conducted the first amphibious landing of the war.


November 1942—United States Marines rest in the field during the Guadalcanal campaign

The initial landings of US Marines on August 7, 1942 secured the airfield without too much difficulty, but holding the airfield for the next six months was one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the entire war for the control of ground, sea and skies. Guadalcanal became a major turning point in the war as it stopped Japanese expansion. After six months of fighting the Japanese ceased trying to contest the control of the island. They finally evacuated the island at Cape Esperance on the north-west coast in February 1943.


The American Memorial on Guadalcanal

Guadalcanal has a very interesting history, A Spanish expedition from Peru discovered the Island in 1568. European settlers began to arrive in the 18th century, in 1893 the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was proclaimed which included the island of Guadalcanal. In 1932, the British confirmed the name Guadalcanal in line with the town in Andalusia, Spain.

 
     Phalanger                                                   Wrecks in the Iron Bottom Sound

The picture above of the Phalanger is a native animal of the Island, there is also a type of centipede which gives a very nasty sting. The American Marines during the second World War called these “the stinging insects”. The map above shows “iron bottom sound” the stretch of water between Guadalcanal, and Florida Island. Dozens of ships, and planes were sunk there during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

More information about the war on Guadalcanal in Wikipedia.

Guadalcanal – behind The Pacific. The real story behind Tom Hanks’ Pacific series – we visit Guadalcanal in The Solomon Islands. Click on the picture to watch the video.

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6 Responses to Guadalcanal:- The Island in the Pacific Ocean (Video Included)

  1. travelrat says:

    Interesting!

    I’ve done ‘Battlefield Tours’ in Belgium, and there’s really very little to be seen beyond memorial plaques and war graves … therefore it’s difficult to imagine what it must have been like.

    But here, with ‘artefacts’ all around, and where they were actually used, instead of being carted off to a war museum somewhere … this must be something, especially to Americans.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      You are so right, there are a lot of places where “leftover” war memorabilia is now in museums. Even today you have to be careful walking around the Island, as the authorities think there are still unexploded bombs. But plenty of guides available to go and explore, and learn the history. We learned about this part of World War 2 in school, but I don’t think it is taught any longer.

  2. gitwizard says:

    I remember reading about Guadalcanal in a book about a round-the world sailor, but I never knew the story about the part it played in WW2. Interesting stuff.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi gitwizard,
      The Island has a very interesting history, and well worth reading about. It’s amazing the story’s some of these Island hold that was involved in the war.

  3. Rebekah says:

    Very interesting reading. I knew about the island from all kinds of WWII movies and novels. I knew that the battles there were horrendous and bloody, but that was about all.

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