Raid on Choiseul
|Raid on Choiseul|
|Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II|
A map of the raid on Choeiseul
| United States
|Empire of Japan|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Victor H. Krulak||Minoru Sasaki|
|Casualties and losses|
|13 killed||143 killed,
two barges sunk
The Raid on Choiseul was a small unit engagement that occurred from October 28 to November 3, 1943, during the Solomon Islands campaign. United States Marines from the 2nd Parachute Battalion, led by Lt Col. Victor "Brute" Krulak, landed on Japanese occupied Choiseul in the northern Solomon Islands and carried out raids on Japanese army and navy forces over a 40 kilometer (25 mi) area over the course of seven days.
The raid was meant to divert Japanese attention from the planned Allied landings on the west coast of Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay. Instead, the Allies hoped that the raid would cause the Japanese to believe the landings would be on the east side of Bougainville.
During the course of the operation, Krulak's 650 man battalion, assisted by an Australian coastwatcher and native Choiseul islanders, killed 143 Japanese troops, losing 14 Marines (12 killed in action, two missing), in actions later described by Major General Roy Geiger as, "a series of short right jabs designed to throw the enemy off balance and conceal the real power of the left hook to his midriff at Empress Augusta Bay."
On November 2, the raid was momentarily stalled when a Japanese ambush trapped between 40 and 50 marines. Three marines were severely wounded, one of them fatally. The marines were rescued by the motor torpedo boat PT-59, under the command of Lieutenant John F. Kennedy.
The ultimate impact of the raid on the Japanese response to the Allied Bougainville landings is unclear. Some historians[who?] assert that the raid was successful at diverting Japanese attention while other historians[who?] take a contrary position.
- Fuller, Shokan, p. 190. Sasaki was present and in command of the Japanese Army forces on Choiseul from October 6, 1943 until sometime in November, 1943 when he moved to Rabaul.
- Gailey, Bougainville, p. 59
- Gailey, Bougainville, p. 47 and Fuller, Shokan, p. 190. Most of the Japanese Army troops on Choiseul were evacuating from New Georgia, Arundel, and Kolombangara islands and using Choiseul as a transit point to go to Bougainville and New Britain. The exact number of Japanese troops on Choiseul at the time of the raid is unknown.
- Gailey, Bougainville, p. 58.
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