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Mistakes of Guadalcanal

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What do you consider the worst blunder of the Guadalcanal Campaign. While it may be easy to point to the numerous friendly fire incidents later on I personally would say the worst mistake was made by Admiral Mikawa in the aftermath of First Savo Island when he turned the 8th Fleet around after the battle rather then pressing onto the transports, a mistake that seems to be repeated by both the Americans and Japanese through out the campaign and latter battles 

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Admirals Scott & Callaghan's misplacement of their radar ships leading to their stumbling into a barroom brawl with the lights out at first Guadalcanal.

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Are we talking tactical mistakes or strategic ones?

Strategic mistake was the inability on the IJN side to realize how big this fight was. If the Japanese committed more resources earlier the fight might have went differently in the short run. This is assuming you don't count the initial decision to go to war against the United States.

Mikawa was following doctrine, and he had a real concern about air attacks. It is easy to look back on that battle and lay blame, but the blame was on the doctrine and not his use of it.

I would consider the USN continuing to have the CVs patrol the area south of Guadalcanal. Staying in the same area attracted the submarines that sank Wasp and damaged a BB. The area was called Torpedo Junction BEFORE the Wasp went down, yet the CVs stayed there.

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First mistake of the Guadalcanal for the Japanese was not taking the Americans seriously.  They reacted very late to the invasion and when they reacted it was not in force.  This put them behind the build up and allowed Henderson field to be come operational.  The Japanese could have won the battle for the island, as it was a close thing in the beginning stages.  They made another blunder in underestimating the force on the island.  They were very surprised on their first attack...5000 vs 15,000, not a chance to win, that should have tipped them off they were in over their heads.   Later they compounded their mistakes by continuing foolish reinforcement convoys, when they should have pulled out.

The Americans first and maybe only big mistake was panicking and pulling their transports on the initial invasion, this left the Marines vulnerable to an extended campaign.  The surface actions were they were beaten was a series of tactical mistakes, and underestimating the Japanese training, and weapons....but they were not necessarily mistakes that would lose them the battle, as the Japanese failed to follow up, and even then I think it was too late to try and remove the Marines from the island.

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2 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

Admirals Scott & Callaghan's misplacement of their radar ships leading to their stumbling into a barroom brawl with the lights out at first Guadalcanal.

Problem was, the Admiral with the experience in night fighting was junior to the guy in charge. Radar was still a young tool and not many Admirals in the gun club really understood it like Admiral Lee did.

Callaghan was also obsessed with getting in close before opening up, as he knew he was facing BBs. A famous quote from the battle was a sailor commenting, "Are we going to board them?"

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10 minutes ago, Prothall said:

Problem was, the Admiral with the experience in night fighting was junior to the guy in charge. Radar was still a young tool and not many Admirals in the gun club really understood it like Admiral Lee did.

Callaghan was also obsessed with getting in close before opening up, as he knew he was facing BBs. A famous quote from the battle was a sailor commenting, "Are we going to board them?"

Lee put on a radar clinic and accomplished the real world equivalent to Solo Warrior since the South Dakota went AFK.

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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 12:13 PM, Morpheous said:

First mistake of the Guadalcanal for the Japanese was not taking the Americans seriously.  They reacted very late to the invasion and when they reacted it was not in force.  This put them behind the build up and allowed Henderson field to be come operational.  The Japanese could have won the battle for the island, as it was a close thing in the beginning stages.  They made another blunder in underestimating the force on the island.  They were very surprised on their first attack...5000 vs 15,000, not a chance to win, that should have tipped them off they were in over their heads.   Later they compounded their mistakes by continuing foolish reinforcement convoys, when they should have pulled out.

The Americans first and maybe only big mistake was panicking and pulling their transports on the initial invasion, this left the Marines vulnerable to an extended campaign.  The surface actions were they were beaten was a series of tactical mistakes, and underestimating the Japanese training, and weapons....but they were not necessarily mistakes that would lose them the battle, as the Japanese failed to follow up, and even then I think it was too late to try and remove the Marines from the island.

The Ichiki detachment in the first engagement on Guadalcanal was about 900 men versus roughly 15,000...

That aside, the Japanese mistake was committing their forces piecemeal with no real operational or strategic plan as to how they were going to actually win back the island.  While they focused on Guadalcanal, across the channel on Tulagi and Florida islands, the US was building a full on port with limited repair facilities.  This never got much attention beyond the occasional air raid.

The US came and intended to stay.  The Japanese came and went with little permanency other than to dump IJA troops on the island and then try to supply them--occasionally-- using nonsense like rice filled torpedoes and dropping 55 gallon drums of stuff off destroyers.  The one time they sent a large force in merchant ships, they ran the merchants aground to unload them and left them to their own devices which resulted in a pounding by US aircraft and small ships out of Tulagi as soon as the sun came up.

At First Savo, the US task force came and stayed while the transports unloaded.  These would leave only once they had finished unloading.  After the Japanese defeated the naval task force (which by Japanese standards meant they had defeated the landing-- a mistake on their part measuring their enemy by their own standards) the transports unloaded as much as they could and left by nightfall in case the Japanese returned.  These ships left landing craft and other small craft behind that harbored at Tulagi.  These were critical later on as they gave the US the ability to unload ships at anchor as well as move supplies, men, and equipment around the islands every day.

The IJN also had to send heavy cruisers and battleships to bombard Henderson field because the US had emplaced several batteries of 5" coast defense guns as part of their forces making it hazardous for destroyers to try and do that.

On the whole, the Japanese efforts were a haphazard set of improvised half-measures with little or no coordination between what naval forces were doing and what their army was doing.

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It could be argued that Guadalcanal was a series of mistakes on both sides, only that the Japanese ended up making more mistakes in the end.

On the Japanese side we have:

  • Letting what would become Henderson Field fall in the initial marine landings without a fight—this was in the end what dictated the entire fight, as it effectively turned the air and sea around Guadalcanal into an American-controlled daytime no-go zone. Any ship caught in the daytime by US aircraft was effectively doomed.
  • A failure to take seriously the extent of the American landings and just how determined they were to take possession of and keep a hold on Guadalcanal
  • A general lack of preparedness for the counterattack as a result of the above failure
  • Repeated failures to press the attack when they had the Americans on the ropes (Savo Island comes into mind in particular)
  • Squandering what troops they did land in suicidal frontal charges against fortified American marines with heavy weapons.
  • Losing the overall struggle for air superiority; even though they torpedoed Wasp and sank Hornet, in the end it was their carriers that were forced to retreat due to a lack of planes and pilots. Meanwhile, that left Enterprise (with the help of Vestal) and the Cactus Air Field free to interdict Japanese transport convoys and attack Japanese warships with very little opposition.

On the American side we have:

  • It was one of the very first US Pacific amphibious landings, thus there was some confusion during the initial landings regarding things like offloading and moving equipment into place (although ultimately this wasn't a particularly big factor in the ensuing battles)
  • Severely underestimating Japanese night battle tactics and torpedo capabilities, which resulted in debacles like Savo Island when combined with American commanders who did not understand how to use radar properly to assist them. An apt comparison about the potential effect of radar is comparing the first and second Naval Battles of Guadalcanal. In the first battle, Rear Admiral Callaghan's failure to properly use or position his SG radar ships most likely cost him many avoidable losses (including his own life), while in the second battle Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee's effective mastery of radar allowed USS Washington to basically carry the fight for the US after South Dakota and basically the entire destroyer screen were knocked out.
  • Withdrawing the carriers from the battle zone after Savo Island and basically leaving the marines high and dry

Ultimately, one could argue on and on all day about how factors like individual battles and tactics may have caused some change of events, but in the end Guadalcanal was one of logistics: whichever side could best reinforce and supply its troops on the island would win the day. Although both sides took turns controlling the seas around Guadalcanal, with the US ruling the daytime and Japan the nighttime, the simple fact of the matter was that US control of Henderson Field effectively placed a time limit on the window for Japanese reinforcements, while US reinforcements could land basically whenever they wanted. The Japanese and their prowess in night battles could be (and indeed were) challenged and overcome by the US utilizing radar and learning its own night battle tactics, but US control of the skies and thus the seas around Guadalcanal could not be overcome by the Japanese. And as the US finally began thinning out Japanese naval forces and the flow of reinforcements, equipment, and supplies to the Japanese troops stationed on Guadalcanal was cut off, the battle was decided just like that.

Edited by Avenge_December_7
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There are a few in my opinion.

-The IJN after wiping out the USN at Savo Island had the transports there for the taking, and instead chose to pull out over fear of US Air Assault. Ultimately allowed the Marines to still have small craft and some larger ships to ferry supplies effectively, and thus keeping a landing point for future reinforcements.

-Later in the campaign, other night raids took place with Battleships Hiei and Kirishima. While not necessarily bad ships, they did not have the armor or firepower to win full-on surface engagements and still operate at close to max capacity. Hiei got mauled in her engagement with the Americans, including a nasty encounter with USS Laffey, and was found and sunk by Enterprise the following morning trying to get away from the combat theater. Kirishima was completely outclassed by USN BB Washington and South Dakota, and despite South Dakota being nothing more than target practice, Washington made quick and efficient work of the older vessel. 10x 14" guns vs 9x 16" guns, and significantly less belt armor and secondary battery to Washington as well. Hiei and Kirishima were just not cut out for the job. Heavier guns were needed. Wasn't Fuso, Yamashiro, Mutsu, and Nagato available? I'm sure Nagato would have fared better than the older Kongo class. At least her guns could stand up to the Americans'. Or stockpile the fuel necessary to send out one their fleet-crushing Super Battleships to get the job done? Having the Kongo's seems almost obligatory, like having a BB there was necessary, but they didn't want to put the effort necessary to put out the best and sent out "just good enough" instead.

Actually, I should also note that the effects of Coral Sea are really starting to show right about now. Instead of having 6 top of the line fleet carriers and the best pilots in the world, they have 2. More than 70% of the best Naval Aviators on Earth are dead because Carrier Division 5 couldn't find 2 American Carriers right under their nose (due to the doctrine that Carriers do not conduct recon, only strikes and escort). As a result, Shokaku was crippled and Zuikaku lost half it's air wing, and were unfit for combat for Operation MI. This left the 4 other Carriers to conduct 2 operations simultaneously with insufficient numbers, and were all lost and overwhelmed by the US, who significantly outnumbered the IJN's Air power with Midway Island and 3 Yorktown Class Fleet Carriers. Shokaku and Zuikaku's 150 some-odd combined air-wing would have allowed for more flexibility for the IJN at that battle, and allowed for better multi-tasking, possibly ending in a victory.

And Shokaku and Zuikaku took just as heavy losses fighting the American Carriers (gee, having another Fleet Carrier would have been really useful, Hiryu). USN CV had larger Air Wings than the IJN CV did, meaning in a straight up fight between them and Hornet/Enterprise, they were outnumbered in the aircraft department, and thus couldn't take losses and needed to play more conservative, which was fine for the Americans, who in most cases preferred a more aggressive strategy, as they were able to replace the losses much easier. 

TL;DR Guadalcanal was a culmination of several critical failures by the IJN starting all the way back in May of '42. It really caught up to them at Guadalcanal, as they just didn't have the firepower available to really crush the American Fleet in the decisive naval battle they so badly wanted to win. Smaller errors during the battle could have been rectified, but ultimately wouldn't have really stopped the US from seizing the island. Had they not made several errors leading up to the battle, many of those errors wouldn't have even been factors, since they would still have the manpower necessary to stop the US.

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Neither side was initially really ready and able to respond to the demands of modern amphibious warfare. The IJ forces allowed the US marines to come ashore without first fighting for the beachhead or port. They then engaged in a mixed war of attribution broken by fierce assaults against entrenched Marines that decimated their manpower. 

The Navy had neither the will or resources at hand to keep the Marines properly supported or supplied, thus prolonging the total capture of the island and securing the area of the airfield. 

Both sides adapted and the result was seen in the logistics and carnage of the battles between the Marines and the IJ Army.

 

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On 6/6/2019 at 12:14 PM, Prothall said:

Problem was, the Admiral with the experience in night fighting was junior to the guy in charge. Radar was still a young tool and not many Admirals in the gun club really understood it like Admiral Lee did.

Callaghan was also obsessed with getting in close before opening up, as he knew he was facing BBs. A famous quote from the battle was a sailor commenting, "Are we going to board them?"

You Sir are spot on.    From my readings and talking with a few Sailors and Marines who actually fought there this was the first major conflict between the pre-WWII BB Admirals & Captains who dominated that era Navy and the WWII era Admirals & Captains who embraced new tactics, RADAR controlled Gunfire and Naval Aviation.    The night Admiral Scott and Callaghan went down with their ships, both gallant officers, sadly was perhaps one of the most glaring examples of this split in the entire history of the USN!

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The worst mistakes the Allies did for the Guadalcanal Campaign were the early stuff, the buffoonery that got the Japanese some early naval successes.  All the idiocy leading into the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.  Take your pick.  But eventually the USN would get their sh*t together.

 

The worst mistakes by the Japanese were two things:

1.  Not being prepared in this critical region, Yamamoto didn't think the Allies would launch a Pacific offensive until many more months after Midway.  The news of US Marines seizing Guadalcanal was lightning out of a clear blue sky to the Japanese, they weren't prepared.  Even all the defenses for Guadalcanal itself wasn't ready, their garrison caught by surprise.  The Japanese scrambled to react.

2.  The bold, aggressive moves Yamamoto did early in the war leading into Midway disappeared after that disastrous engagement.  Yamamoto had the IJN doing bold strikes around the Pacific in the time of and shortly after Pearl Harbor.  The IJN was rampaging around the Pacific at will, even raiding into the Indian Ocean, attacking northwestern Australia, sinking numerous Allied ships in the Pacific.  The move to send the 2 Shokaku-class to help secure the area for the amphibious assault and seizure of Port Moresby was risky yet bold.  Operation MI (Midway) was a very bold attack with heavy commitment.  But after the disaster of Midway in June 1942, none of the Japanese naval campaigns have had serious commitment in the critical time between Midway and leading into 1944.  By 1944, this show was over and the issue was no longer in doubt for the Allies.

 

In the book, "Japanese Destroyer Captain," the author, Capt Tameichi Hara, mentions that Yamamoto was a known gambler, not shy of taking risks.  He mentions the aggressive campaigns he had the IJN do early in the war, but after Midway, that aggressiveness was gone.  You look at the bold operations of Pearl Harbor, the Indian Ocean raids, the aggressiveness to help secure the Philippines, the total commitment for Midway, and look at subsequent IJN commitments after Midway and into 1943, it's a night and day difference.  He even mentions that after Yamamoto's death, his successors as Commander in Chief of Combined Fleet continued the timid IJN operations like Yamamoto did.  After Midway in 1942, the next time the IJN would sail in force was 1944, for the Battle of the Philippine Sea.  And the ONLY time in the entire war that the Big Guns of the IJN were fully committed was very late in 1944 for Leyte Gulf, when the war was well on its way to being lost.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway
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2 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

In the book, "Japanese Destroyer Captain," the author, Capt Tameichi Hara, mentions that Yamamoto was a known gambler, not shy of taking risks.  He mentions the aggressive campaigns he had the IJN do early in the war, but after Midway, that aggressiveness was gone.  You look at the bold operations of Pearl Harbor, the Indian Ocean raids, the aggressiveness to help secure the Philippines, the total commitment for Midway, and look at subsequent IJN commitments after Midway and into 1943, it's a night and day difference.  He even mentions that after Yamamoto's death, his successors as Commander in Chief of Combined Fleet continued the timid IJN operations like Yamamoto did.  After Midway in 1942, the next time the IJN would sail in force was 1944, for the Battle of the Philippine Sea.  And the ONLY time in the entire war that the Big Guns of the IJN were fully committed was very late in 1944 for Leyte Gulf, when the war was well on its way to being lost.

I wonder how much of this just comes down to a lack of logistical resources.  It's difficult to be aggressive if you don't have the fuel.

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While this wasn't a mistake, most people never recognize the importance of Tulagi harbor in the Guadalcanal campaign.  It was a major naval base that continuously grew almost from the day the invasion of Guadalcanal occurred.  The US Navy based several PT squadrons out of Tulagi, brought in a number of subchasers, patrol ships and other smaller craft along with landing craft.  Tenders were assigned to the harbor to service both the craft there and larger ships of the Navy when necessary.

Tulagi was critical to salvaging and saving several cruisers like the Minneapolis which had her bow blown off by a torpedo.  Without Tulagi these ships would have been lost much like badly damaged Japanese ships were because Japan lacked any facility or means to assist and salvage such vessels.

As for what the Japanese sent initially to Guadalcanal...  They sent the usual forces for such an operation, which were quite similar to what was being sent to say, Midway.  That is, the IJA sent a reinforced battalion of infantry with a field artillery battery for support and a construction battalion of mostly unarmed Korean laborers under Japanese supervision to do most of the work.  This amounted to about 1200 infantry and 1200 construction troops.  The Marines landed almost ten times the number of combat troops so these units were hopelessly out matched even if they tried to make a determined stand.

The IJN sent a SNLF to Tulagi  and several nearby islands to create a naval base concurrently with the IJA's airfield on Guadalcanal.  There was little, if any, coordination between the two.  One significant difference is the IJN imported far more materials and supplies with their forces than the IJA did.  The later were largely expected to make due with locally procured materials.  The IJN sent a small seaplane tender to operate out aircraft out of Tulagi Harbor.

Both units, and the Japanese in general, were aware that the US knew they were there and what they were doing as early as May 1942 when US carriers raided both islands in air strikes before Coral Sea.  Soon after, the USAAF started raids out of Espirto Santo where Navy CB's built an airfield in under a month.  The reason the Japanese didn't reinforce their positions at Guadalcanal were for the IJN they had nothing larger than a SNLF to work with, while the IJA had no clue what the US would send to invade the island with or that such an invasion was even in the works.

 

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18 hours ago, Royeaux said:

I wonder how much of this just comes down to a lack of logistical resources.  It's difficult to be aggressive if you don't have the fuel.

The IJN had ample fuel enough for all their Battleships and Heavy Cruisers to hang out at sea but far away from Gudalcanal while they sent ships piecemeal into the grinder.  Even then they eventually would have to go back to home waters or Truk because they started sucking up too much fuel doing absolutely nothing, and send off the CLs and DDs to die instead.

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Japan's problem at Guadalcanal was they didn't think their response through thoroughly.  Instead of immediately trying to retake the island, they should have started landing troops with the intent to establish an operating base and gain the ability to land larger numbers of troops and supplies while staying off the island with their navy to control the sea around it.  They also needed to do a thorough reconnissance of the island and figure out what the US actually had there.

At the same time, they could have started to establish bases on nearby islands along with building airfields and such on these.  

Hit and run naval operations and sending troops in piecemeal with the intent that each unit sent try immediately to take back the island was a total failure.  The Japanese didn't even make a serious attempt to figure out exactly what the US had on the island.  Instead, they guessed based on their own logistics and planning calculations.

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1 hour ago, Murotsu said:

Japan's problem at Guadalcanal was they didn't think their response through thoroughly.  Instead of immediately trying to retake the island, they should have started landing troops with the intent to establish an operating base and gain the ability to land larger numbers of troops and supplies while staying off the island with their navy to control the sea around it.  They also needed to do a thorough reconnissance of the island and figure out what the US actually had there.

At the same time, they could have started to establish bases on nearby islands along with building airfields and such on these.  

Hit and run naval operations and sending troops in piecemeal with the intent that each unit sent try immediately to take back the island was a total failure.  The Japanese didn't even make a serious attempt to figure out exactly what the US had on the island.  Instead, they guessed based on their own logistics and planning calculations.

The Japanese for a long time didn't have an idea how strong a presence the Marines had on the island.  You can see that in those pitiful, piecemeal commitments of the IJA that the IJN bled themselves to deliver.

 

As for setting up a defense network around there, I don't think that's feasible for Japan.  Guadalcanal and those local installations were supposed to be the leading edge of their defense in the region.  The airfield they were constructing there was critical for it, but they never completed it.  Japan had the major base at Rabaul with significant presence there but it's too far away.  I don't think Japan trying to turtle up defensively would have worked.  It would only allow the Allies to amass and build up on Guadalcanal unimpeded.  The US will build up for a follow up campaign a lot more quickly before the Japanese could build airfields and fortify literally from scratch in the middle of nowhere.  Japan didn't have the equipment to just spring up bases, airfield out of nowhere like the Americans could.  Japan would probably still be working on a clearing areas of trees with infantrymen, all with manual labor, while the US had ample machines to build up bases like magic.

===

The Japanese army had to use infantrymen to help build airfields. In December 1942, for example, the engineer regiment and three rifle battalions of the 5th Division were detailed to build airfields in the Solomons. “When we compare [our] clumsy result with what our enemy accomplished,” recalled Commander Chihaya, “building huge airfields in good numbers with inconceivable speed, we ceased to wonder why we were utterly beaten. Our enemy was superior in every respect.”

===

Japan's Fatally Flawed Air Forces in WWII

 

The only course of action I could see Japan doing to stop the Guadalcanal offensive is full commitment by the IJN to do battle.  The US Navy was powerful by the time of the Guadalcanal Campaign in 1942, but it wasn't the unstoppable Juggernaut of 1943 yet.  The Allies have to be slowed down at Guadalcanal because once that and the Solomons fell, it started a chain reaction of disaster all over the Pacific for Japan.

 

Now, I think Japan would still lose the war, but stopping the Allied offensive for Guadalcanal in 1942 would have prolonged the conflict.

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On 7/27/2019 at 10:58 PM, Royeaux said:

I wonder how much of this just comes down to a lack of logistical resources.  It's difficult to be aggressive if you don't have the fuel.

Or enough of the right ships. One older book I have (I recall the title being "The Japanese at Lyete Gulf" i think it's from the 60s*) described how before the war even began, the Japanese didn't have sufficient tanker tonnage to fully support their operations.

Reading Shattered Sword it was commented how before the Midway operation the near non-stop fleet and carrier operations from December 1941 to Midway had stretched the Japanese logistical capabilities, and even the sailors and airmen themselves, almost to their breaking point.

On 7/28/2019 at 11:12 PM, Murotsu said:

Japan's problem at Guadalcanal was they didn't think their response through thoroughly. 

Agreed. However, don't forget at the same time all of this was happening, the main focus for the Japanese was the fighting in New Guinea. They didn't realize how important things were on Guadalcanal until it was too late.

 

*actually even older, 1947!

Edited by Ironshroud
date update on referenced book

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5 hours ago, Ironshroud said:

Agreed. However, don't forget at the same time all of this was happening, the main focus for the Japanese was the fighting in New Guinea. They didn't realize how important things were on Guadalcanal until it was too late.

The Japanese had no idea how strong the Allied commitment was for Guadalcanal.  For a while they had no idea a full US Marine Division was landed and took control of it and that a very significant naval force was committed to support it.  It did not help that the Japanese didn't have the proper ships to transport troops in quantity WITH all their weapons and supplies to Guadalcanal.  You had cases where Japanese reinforcement of troops were piecemeal, not only that, they had to leave a lot of their artillery behind.  You can't transport big guns on DESTROYERS because that's what the IJN had to resort to for the Tokyo Express (or Rat Runs as the Japanese called them).  Keeping the troops supplied at Guadalcanal was a nightmarish endeavor for the IJN and they bled considerably doing it.  Supplies were totally insufficient and it can be said that more Japanese troops died out of starvation than combat with the USMC.

 

Meanwhile the US Marines were reinforced on Guadalcanal with ample logistical support and the US Navy right there with them (most of the time :Smile_trollface:).

 

Talking about the issues for food in WWII and the suffering from the lack of it, both civilian and military.  It goes going into how well fed the Western Allies were, especially the Americans.  It briefly talks about how fed the various military forces were compared to others.

But no military force was as poorly fed, supported as the Japanese soldier.  At 8:01 he starts going over the Japanese.  At Guadalcanal, the Japanese commander said he lost 5k men to combat action against the Americans, and 15k men to starvation.

 

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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On 6/6/2019 at 3:10 PM, BrushWolf said:

Admirals Scott & Callaghan's misplacement of their radar ships leading to their stumbling into a barroom brawl with the lights out at first Guadalcanal.

If you remember from Neptune's Inferno, Hornfischer places the blame for the radar ship placement solely on Callaghan. Scott was as flawless as a surface fleet commander in the USN could get.

Besides, does it even matter? The Americans won the Battle Of Friday the 13th and the Battleship Night Action 48 hours later. From a strategic and tactical standpoint, the end always justifies the means.

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2 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Talking about the issues for food in WWII and the suffering from the lack of it, both civilian and military.  It goes going into how well fed the Western Allies were, especially the Americans.  It briefly talks about how fed the various military forces were compared to others.

I remember an amusing letter from Eisenhower detailed what a burden having all that food was.

eisenhower-letter-about-spam.jpg?ssl=1

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54 minutes ago, 1Sherman said:

If you remember from Neptune's Inferno, Hornfischer places the blame for the radar ship placement solely on Callaghan. Scott was as flawless as a surface fleet commander in the USN could get.

Besides, does it even matter? The Americans won the Battle Of Friday the 13th and the Battleship Night Action 48 hours later. From a strategic and tactical standpoint, the end always justifies the means.

Very true but while we won on Friday night it was at a terrible cost which should have been much less. Second Guadalcanal was both a radar clinic put on by Lee it was also showed how tough a modern BB was and even with all the damage she took the inner workings of the ship were never threatened, the Japanese couldn't buy a citadel that night.

16 minutes ago, Royeaux said:

I remember an amusing letter from Eisenhower detailed what a burden having all that food was.

eisenhower-letter-about-spam.jpg?ssl=1

I remember older family members complaining about spam exactly how Eisenhower complained about in that letter. Spam was good but when you have it for breakfast, lunch, and supper every day of the week you come to detest it.

 

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2 hours ago, BrushWolf said:

Very true but while we won on Friday night it was at a terrible cost which should have been much less. Second Guadalcanal was both a radar clinic put on by Lee it was also showed how tough a modern BB was and even with all the damage she took the inner workings of the ship were never threatened, the Japanese couldn't buy a citadel that night.

Again, I refer to Neptune's Inferno. Hornfischer wrote that the Guadalcanal campaign was the USN surface fleet's coming of age and baptism of fire, two rituals that people rarely come out of unscathed, especially when they take place in such claustrophobic confines as Ironbottom Sound. Callaghan should definitely have been on the bridge of the USS Helena with its SG radar instead of the San Francisco and the loss of Scott to friendly fire elicited audible anger from me when I read about it in the book, but once the sun rose and the smoke cleared the Tokyo Express had been stopped. Henderson Airfield was safe from bombardment and the Cactus Air Force still had control of the skies over the island, and that was what mattered. As well, Scott's drills and streamlining of protocol (as well as what not to do in the example of Callaghan) would be put to good use throughout the war and would indeed prevent the USN surface fleet from suffering needless losses again.

No argument with you about the Battleship Night Action, though. Willis Lee got one of naval history's most famous Dev Strikes that night and it was epic to read.

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19 minutes ago, 1Sherman said:

No argument with you about the Battleship Night Action, though. Willis Lee got one of naval history's most famous Dev Strikes that night and it was epic to read.

Not to mention the real world equivalent of Solo Warrior and a gunnery hit rate that would be decent in the game and was amazing for the real world of the day.

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27 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

Not to mention the real world equivalent of Solo Warrior and a gunnery hit rate that would be decent in the game and was amazing for the real world of the day.

RNGesus was on his side, for certain. Especially when all of the IJN torpedoes missed his ships (noted for having bad torpedo protection, no less) at point-blank range.

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