Talk:Guadalcanal Campaign

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Featured article Guadalcanal Campaign is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Featured topic star Guadalcanal Campaign is the main article in the Guadalcanal Campaign series, a featured topic. This is identified as among the best series of articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.

Writing needs fixing[edit]

An event in this article is a February 9 selected anniversary

Just my opinion, but this is a critical battle in the Pacific Theatre of Operations; unfortunately, I don't think the writing style meets the standards of Wikipedia. I tried to fix some of it, but it needs a wholesale re-write. In addition, the Naval battle might be just as critical as the land battles, but it's not given equal time on this article. But I'm ex-Navy, so I could be biased. OrangeMarlin 02:47, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, I am ex-Army but I agree 100% with you and the comment below. DMorpheus 14:20, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
ex-Air Force here. The Naval actions were relatively more critical than the land battles because the island was isolated and reinforceable/resuppliable (for both sides) only by sea. The Cactus Air Force couldn't fly in enough gas for its own needs, much less supplying the entire garrison. The naval campaign began badly, progressed slowly, came perilously close to complete Japanese superiority at Santa Cruz (when the Navy was reduced to a single badly damaged carrier), and was won gradually and at great cost after that. Also the article as it exists swiftly passes over the August and September land engagements to get to a specific incident in one battle of which the author knows or was impressed--hardly encyclopedic. Lotta work needed here. --Buckboard 07:10, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't be silly[edit]

In total 17 marines charged the Japanese at 5:40 a.m. on the morning of the 26th, signalling the turn in the Pacific theatre of the second world war. I propose this be moved back to the Monty Python article. Piet 14:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Btw. I don't mean to be impolite. I enjoyed most of the article but that one was too much. Piet

You're right. That specific incident is out of place in the article and written with too much hyperbole. I'll try improving the article but hope others can lend a hand. 16:53, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

... It's still there. WTF is the incident anyway? How could 17 marines doing just about anything be a "turning point"? :-D 18:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

... I have read that Guadalcanal was the first American land offensive of WWII, not just the Pacific theatre as shown in the article. Perhaps some worthy history buffs can verify this.


Shouldn't the title of the second section be returned to Operation Watchtower? All Along the Watchtower is a Jimi Hendrix song.

Campaign Box[edit]

It's appreciated that the article is being rewritten to make it better. However, the campaign box disappeared. I'll add it. The article also needs the battle summary box added. Cla68 14:57, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Casualties numbers[edit]

I think we should have separate casualties numbers for land and sea operations here. It would clarify results. By the way those history sources I've read keep all battles around Guadalcanal connected. This page concentrates on land only. Naval battles only mentioned here. Shouldn't they have more attention? -- Tigga en 12:12, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

The casualty numbers are broken down by land, naval, and air forces in the footnotes. But, if you think they should be broken down up front, in the info box, I think that's fine. Yes, the naval and air battles should be mentioned also. It appears that no one has yet approached this article with a view to address the entire battle comprehensively and chronologically, integrating all the land, sea, and air aspects. I'll be working on it in the future, but you or anyone else are welcome to jump in and help out also. Cla68 14:36, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposed plan for improving this article[edit]

Since the Battle of Guadalcanal was more of six-month campaign, with several large land battles, and not just one single battle, in order for this article to present adequate detail for the entire operation, I propose that it be completed along the lines of Battle of Gettysburg, with the sub-battles broken-out into their own articles. The Guadalcanal battles I propose to break-off into their own articles:

  • Battle of the Tenaru (August 21, 1942)
  • Battle of Edson's Ridge (Sept 11-13, 1942)
  • Battle for Henderson Field (the major Japanese offensive of October 20-25, 1942)

If the article still becomes too long, it may be that the Gifu and "Galloping Horse" offensives (Dec, 1942 - Jan, 1943) and Matanikau River should also be broken off into their own articles. Any objections or comments? Cla68 19:03, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I notice on the Japanese Wikipedia that there is a separate article for Operation Ke [1] (the Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal). I'm also leaning towards doing a separate entry for that event here, since it was a major event in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Cla68 23:42, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Name of Article[edit]

The name of this article should be changed to 'Guadalcanal Campaign.' I think there may be a specific land engagement that could properly be called the 'Battle of Guadalcanal.' Nevertheless, the term 'Battle' implies a specific engagement, not a drawn out half-year-long campaign.

I'm new here, and made some minor adjustments to the opening paragraph, but it appears the entire article needs editing and re-writing. I'd love to assist.Markm62 19:51, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Richard B. Frank, in his book, refers to the subject as both the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Guadalcanal Campaign. Griffith also apparently refers to it by both names. Morison refers to it as the Guadalcanal Campaign. I guess then, it could be called by either name. If you really want to move it, I won't object.
You're welcome to assist in improving the article. I recently rewrote the Introduction, Background, and Landing sections to add more detail and inline citations in order to begin preparing the article for Featured Article (FA) nomination. I was planning on doing the same to the rest of the article, while breaking-out several of the land battles into their own articles as I discussed above, and rewriting the three associated naval battles that I haven't done yet (Savo Island, Cape Esperance, ad Tassafaronga) and nominating them for FA. I'm currently working on Savo Island. Do you have access to some of the sources listed in the References section? It's important to add inline citations at the same time that the article is being improved, as inline citations are a must in order to pass the FA nomination process.
Welcome aboard and welcome to the Wikipedia Military History Task force. An overview of the project is at: Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history. If you'd like to sign your posts, please type four tildes (~) in a row at the end of your message. Cla68 22:28, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
The article is now titled as you suggested and a new campaignbox has been created and added to the pre-existing articles covered under the Guadalcanal campaign. Cla68 13:34, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
"Campaign" is a more accurate description than "battle", but oughtn't it be "Guadalcanal campaign"? (Since I don't think that's its official title.) Also, should it be split off from the Solomons campaign, or left as a campaign within a campaign?
—wwoods 05:15, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
After I moved it, I realized that "Campaign" should have been "campaign" and I just haven't gotten around to fixing it. I was actually thinking of splitting the overall Solomon Islands campaign into three campaigns-within-a-campaign: Guadalcanal-Central Solomons-Northern Solomons. But, I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not. Since Guadalcanal was intended to be the first step in the overall Allied conquest of the Solomon Islands chain, I think it's appropriate for it to be considered as a campaign within the Solomon Islands campaign. Cla68 05:50, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

List of Allied powers[edit]

Did Tonga and Fiji have any active role in the battle? Likewise, was there an active New Zealand force present? Obviously the US and Australia played big roles in the battle, respectively, but I'm not sure if these others warrant inclusion in the battlebox. Wally 02:09, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Tonga and Fiji provided personnel that were used as guides, porters, general labor specialists, etc by the Allies throughout the Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands campaigns. This site: [2] documents that troops from Fiji and Tonga fought in the Solomon Islands campaign, although it's unclear whether any of their troops took part in the Guadalcanal battle. New Zealand definitely had a direct role in the Guadalcanal campaign, with several New Zealand warships engaging in combat operations around Guadalcanal. One of the most significant actions occured during the Ke operation in January, 1943 when two New Zealand warships engaged in a surface battle with a Japanese submarine just off the coast of Guadalcanal, resulting in the sinking of the Japanese submarine. More details of that event will be forthcoming once I get to working on the Ke entry. Cla68 03:45, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

We need to flesh out August '42 through February '43[edit]

I have just about finished re-writing what was already here. I still need to go through and check all the tenses and clean-up unnecessary language.

I will then start out with August '42 and add neutral POV information about the various key battles.

The links to the various naval battles seem sufficient for researchers and there is no need to repeat all of that in this article IMO.

Thoughts?Markm62 17:56, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I was going to take out the list of naval battles from the text myself, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Nice work on the editing you've done so far. As you point out, there's still some POV, especially under the Edson's Ridge and Henderson Field (October) battles. I'm almost finished with the Tenaru article. Once it's done I'll be back helping you out with this article again. Cla68 23:38, 19 October 2006 (UTC)


It seems to me those flags in the infobox add more clutter than value.
—wwoods 07:49, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I don't think we need flags next to each leader. Also there is something wrong with the alignment of Tonga's flag, and with only 26 personnel it should come after Solomon Islands (see British Solomon Islands Protectorate Defence Force) on whose turf the war was fought). Grant | Talk 12:02, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Done. Cla68 06:30, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Japanese Casualties[edit]

According to Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (Paul S. Dull) Japanese land casualties on Guadalcanal only ran to some 20,000 total. This figure is based on troops landed vs. troops evacuated at the end of the campaign (some 30,000 vs. 10,000), and being based on Japanese sources would presumably be more reliable than whatever the current source is. Kensai Max 17:24, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The Japanese casualty figures come from Frank's (1990) and Rottman's (2005) books. Frank and Rottman had access to some Japanese records that apparently weren't available to Dull in 1978 when he wrote his book. Both books state that Japanese records show that a total of slightly over 36,000 Army and Navy troops were deployed to Guadalcanal at some time during the campaign. Just over 11,000 were evacuated during Operation Ke. Frank's and Rottman's casualty numbers differ by 1,000 men, thus the two numbers in the infobox. Cla68 23:33, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Double check[edit]

The article says, "'route and annihilate'". I'm guessing this is a transcription error; can somebody check the original? And somebody with a copy handy check how far Fire in the Sky goes saying losses in the Solomons contributed to inabilty to hold the barrier? (I don't have mine in front of me...) Trekphiler 23:17, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

British Solomon Islands[edit]

There dosen't seem to be any reference to the fact that the Solomon Islands were in fact British.

You mean "under British control", heh. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:25, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

No, not under 'control', they were called the 'British Solomon Islands'. Duarcain (talk) 22:57, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Without informing Vandegrift, Turner, or Ghormley[edit]

It appears this snippet is wrong. From Henry I. Shaw, Jr. First Offensive:The Marine Campaign For Guadalcanal
Fletcher feared for the safety of his carriers; he had already lost about a quarter of his fighter aircraft. The commander of the expeditionary force had lost a carrier at Coral Sea and another at Midway. He felt he could not risk the loss of a third, even if it meant leaving the Marines on their own. Before the Japanese cruiser attack, he obtained Admiral Ghormley's permission to withdraw from the area. At a conference on board Turner's flagship transport, the McCawley, on the night of 8 August, the admiral told General Vandegrift that Fletcher's impending withdrawal meant that he would have to pull out the amphibious force's ships.
So Turner was informed and he informed Vandegrift about transports withdrawal. --Tigga en 09:47, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Hammel and Loxton make it clear that Fletcher's carriers were halfway to New Caledonia before Fletcher radioed Turner to tell him that he was taking the carriers and leaving the area. Fletcher also had his carriers on the way towards the rear even before he radioed Ghormley and asked permission to withdraw. Shaw appears to have a softer take on the incident than several other historians. Cla68 10:01, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Neither assertion is correct. The best recent study of Fletcher's actions is Lundstrom's Black Shoe Carrier Admiral, which is thoroughly sourced (and an excellent read.) I haven't got it in front of me at the moment, but can pull out some relevant quotes this evening if anyone is interested. Yaush (talk) 15:02, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Operation Apple[edit]

The (scarce) sources for the Code talkers#Use of Basque section give the name of the initial attack (7th August) as Operation Apple, but it is called Watchtower here. --Error (talk) 23:52, 14 December 2007 (UTC)


This article is in bad need of a summary of the campaign in short form, make it digestible for the average wikipedian. It is valuable to have in depth articles, but they also need to be able to deliver a relative non-expert an amount of detail that will pique his interest in the subject to make him keep reading, rather than blasting him with details that will scare him off from wanting to read further into the subject. Xtopher (talk) 11:07, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

That is the purpose of the introduction, which does summarize the body of the article. And progressively more concise descriptions of the campaign can be found as one goes up the following outline:
Kablammo (talk) 17:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


One fact that keeps being "corrected" by well-intentioned editors is the mention of US Army P-400 fighters on Guadalcanal to P-39s or P-40s. They were P-400s, the export version of the P-39 that hadn't been delivered to Great Britain as originally planned. Instead, a few of them were sent to Guadalcanal in the early stages of the campaign. A few months later they were gradually replaced by regular P-39 models. Cla68 (talk) 21:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Another source (in addition to source cited in text):

On August 22 the 67th Fighter Squadron, commanded by Captain Dale Brannon, flew up with five Army P-400s (the inferior export P-39, which pilots called "Klunkers").

Jablonski, Edward (1971). Airwar: Outraged Skies. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday & Co. p. 59.  As Cla68 states, these were not P-40s, nor were they, strictly speaking, P-39s, but rather a version of the latter, with different armament. Kablammo (talk) 13:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Article plans[edit]

Just an update to let interested parties know the current status of improvement plans for this article. It's getting close, but isn't quite finished. I'm going to be improving three more related articles including starting one more- The Battle of Mount Austen (the Gifu), plus Battle of Tassafaronga and Operation Ke then expanding sections on those articles in this, the main article. I'll then submit this article for peer and A-class review. I estimate another two months or so of work. Cla68 (talk) 10:29, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Good Article review[edit]

I reviewed the article and assigned GA status. Congrats to all who've made this an outstanding work of history and clarity! Very few changes would need to be made in order to advance to FA level:

I noticed toward the end of the lead section the word "force" used twice in a sentence: "...the forces of Japan were thereafter forced..." Good writing style suggests one of the two occurences be changed to a synonym.

Regarding the sentence "At this time the Solomon Islands were a protectorate of Great Britain"... Just curious, would the island chain still be a GB protectorate during Japanese conquest and occupation? I don't know if the legal status of "protectorate" flexes to meet existing conditions.

Operation Watchtower redirects to this article. Should the first occurence here be bold instead of italics?

"...caused Turner to decide" and "also decided": this section is a choppy read. Perhaps Turner "finally settled upon a plan to unload as many supplies...".

"...lopsided Japanese victory." Yes, it was lopsided, but that word makes it sound lucky instead of masterful. Suggestions?

In the paragraph talking about September 12, I'm changing [Edson's] Raider's to Raiders, assuming that possessive Raiders's wasn't intended.

The Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces are properly wikilinked at first mention, but are later referred to as "naval marines" without the reader having been told that these two designations are the same. I've taken the liberty of leading with "naval marines" instead of "naval troops" prior to first wikilink. This should help connect the dots.

No reason is given in this article for Ghormley's replacement by Halsey. Something should be mentioned, however briefly.

Which reference supports the Japanese referring to Guadalcanal as "The Island of Death"? An inline ref here seems appropriate.

Do any photos of Japanese aircraft taking part in and around Guadalcanal exist?

Minor points all. GA passed. Binksternet (talk) 16:37, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the review and constructive feedback. I'll incorporate your suggestions. Cla68 (talk) 21:02, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
To answer your question, the Solomons remained a protectorate of Great Britain throughout the Japanese occupation. In fact, many of the native and Commonwealth inhabitants employed by the British government continued to serve in their official capacities throughout the campaign, some from behind Japanese lines. Cla68 (talk) 02:40, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
In response to your question about photos of Japanese aircraft...there are several, but I'm having a hard time finding a place for one in the article. I'll try to squeeze one in. Cla68 (talk) 03:05, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
If the photos don't flow, don't force them. ;^)
The article's looking great. Is it time to hang it out in front of peer review or skip past that step and head over to featured article candidate? Binksternet (talk) 06:05, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
There are two sub-articles, Battle of Tassafaronga and Operation Ke that I'm going to take to FA first, then enlarge the sections on those two articles in this article. Then I'll take this one to A-class review with WP:MILHIST and if it passes, then submit for FA. Thank you again for your review and help to make the article better in preparation for moving towards FA. Cla68 (talk) 07:28, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


Anybody else think this is too much detail? Actions tracked down to the level of the unsung hero... At any rate, a better cite than "published oral history" is indicated. Binksternet (talk) 04:35, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the Martello information is ok to be placed in the Cactus Air Force article, but is too much detail for this article. If someone wants to remove the paragraph, please go ahead, otherwise I'll remove it before I submit this article for FAC which is still a month or so away. Cla68 (talk) 00:12, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Looks good without Martello in there. Binksternet (talk) 15:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


"Ernest King . . . proposed the offensive to use [the islands] as starting points for a campaign with the goal of isolating the major Japanese base at Rabaul . . ."

Was the original intent merely to isolate Rabaul, or rather eventually to take it, with the decision to bypass it only taken later, when the Allies realized that it was not necessary to assault Rabaul after it had been deprived of its offensive capabiities? Per Morison, Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier p. 6, the Combined Chief of Staff Report of 23 Jan 1943, accepted by the Pres. and P.M., Operation Watchtower was to be continued until Rabaul was taken.

Unless King orginally planned only to isolate New Britain, perhaps the phrase should be changed to something like this:

"as starting points for a campaign to attack the major Japanese base at Rabaul, and support and join with the Allied New Guinea campaign under Douglas MacArthur."

Even that would need citation. The question is what the intent was behind the Chiefs' directive of 2 July 1942, which ordered the Solomons campaign. Was it just an ad-hoc, defensive operation to protect supply lines (as well-stated in the article), or something more? According to one source, even Ghormley did not know whether the operation was the start of the offensive which would lead to Japan, or a defensive operation to stop the Japanese before they became too entrenched. Jablonski, Airwar: Outrages Skies, p. 53. Kablammo (talk) 14:34, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

According to Frank, King's four-phase plan for the Pacific, presented to Allied commanders in April, 1942 was,

"Phase one would be a buildup of forces and positions in the South and Southwest Pacific to secure the area and to prepare for an offensive against the Japanese. The second phase was a combined offensive by American, New Zealand, and Australian forces through the Solomons and New Guinea to capture the Bismarck Archipelago and the Admiralty Islands. During the third phase, the Marshall and Caroline islands would be conquered and become sites for advanced fleet and air bases. The final phase would witness an advance into the Netherlands East Indies or the Philippines."

So, it appears that a specific mention of Rabaul wasn't included in the plan. Instead, the wording in the text should probably be changed to say something like, "...with the goal of capturing the Bismarck Archipelago and Admiraly Islands." I think it wasn't until Operation Cartwheel that the specific plan to isolate Rabaul was formalized. Cla68 (talk) 21:13, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with this language. R. Spector, in Eagle Against the Sun, pp. 185–86, states that MacArthur, after Midway, proposed a lightning offensive against Rabaul using US Navy assets; King countered with his own plan through the Solomons and a gradual advance toward Rabaul. The objective of each was Rabaul. Spector (perhaps a "tertiary" source) cites in support of this Morton, Strategy and Command, pp. 294–98, which I don’t have.
King's prior plan, from the New Hebrides through the Solomons to the Bismarck Archipelago, is also mentioned by Spector, who cites a 5 March 1942 Memorandum for President as containing it. This suggests the broad outline was conceived in March, and made more specific after MacArthur's later proposal.
In any event your new formulation works for this article; further explication of the evolution of plans and the change from an assault on Rabaul to isolation of it can go elsewhere. Kablammo (talk) 21:39, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Further, from CHAPTER I, The Strategic Background of CARTWHEEL: The Reduction of Rabaul, John Miller, Jr. (1959):

"the Joint Chiefs capitalized on the Midway victory by ordering the South and Southwest Pacific Areas to begin the advance against Rabaul. The operations, as set forth in the Joint Chiefs' orders of 2 July 1942, were divided into three phases. The first, or "Task One," was the seizure of Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomons, and of the Santa Cruz Islands. Since possession of the Santa Cruz Islands did not prove necessary, they were never taken. Task Two included the capture of the remainder of the Japanese-held Solomons and of Lae, Salamaua, and other points on the northeast coast of New Guinea in the Southwest Pacific Area. Task Three was the seizure and occupation of Rabaul itself, and of adjacent positions." (Emphasis added)

So taking Rabaul initially was an objective. Kablammo (talk) 02:20, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I'll add "taking Rabaul" to the text with the citation you provided. Cla68 (talk) 02:55, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Minor edit suggestions[edit]

Suggest the following:

  • Hatnote with {{redirect}} to show that Operation Watchtower redirects here.
  • Add other name of Florida Island, as it also refers to an island chain,.

ERcheck (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Infobox Pic[edit]

Says likely Marines of the Second Division according to this (featured in The War documentary) the guy is Sid Phillips from the 1st Marine Division

The caption for the pic of Henderson field states "Korean slave-laborers." Is this verified? The Japanese treated Koreans horribly but they often volunteered for work in the Japanese Empire domains. HammerFilms1 (talk) 11:25, 4 March 2010 (UTC) HammerFilms1

The exact details of that photo are hard to verify, but from what I've seen most feel that it is a picture of 2nd Div Marines soon after their arrival on Guadalcanal late in the campaign, mainly because their uniforms and grooming still appears to be in such good shape. I removed the POV description of the Korean laborers from the photo caption. Thank you for catching that. Cla68 (talk) 00:10, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

The pic is captioned as "November 1942—United States Marines rest in the field during the Guadalcanal campaign". However, if one clicks on the photo, the description reads "Troops from the armies[sic] 164th infantry rest at a stand still at guadal canal[sic]". The men in the photograph are either Marine Corps or Army. Which are they? If it is the 2nd Marine Division, the description needs to be changed. (talk) 20:47, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Korean "slave" laborers[edit]

The addition of "slave" laborer to the photo caption is uncited. I don't remember reading anything in the sources as I was writing this article that said that the Koreans on Guadalcanal were slaves. They may have been, but we need a source to confirm that. Until we do, the NPOV description is just "laborer". Cla68 (talk) 00:27, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

See: Frank 1990, pp. 598–618, Shaw 1992, p. 52, and Rottman 2004, p. 65. Numbers include personnel killed by all causes including combat, disease, and accidents. Losses include 24,600–25,600 dead (ground), 3,543 dead (naval), and 2,300 dead (aircrew). Approximately 9,000 died from disease. Most of the captured personnel were Korean slave laborers assigned to Japanese naval construction units. Ships sunk includes warships and "large" auxiliaries. Aircraft destroyed includes both combat and operational losses. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 01:06, 5 March 2010 (UTC).
Okay, I just checked Shaw and he doesn't use the term "slave". I'll check Frank and Rottman when I'm back in my home library. If they don't use the term "slave" I'll remove it from the footnote. If they do, I'll readd it to the picture caption along with a citation. Cla68 (talk) 01:21, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Whether they were called "forced laborers" or "slave labor" is immaterial; As the labor shortage increased, the demands of the Japanese war machine, by 1942 led the Japanese authorities to extend the provisions of the National Mobilization Law to include the conscription of Korean workers. FWiW, Japanese forces reached Guadalcanal in May 1942 with Korean workers in tow, these were "conscripted", "forced" or "slave" labor. Bzuk (talk) 01:40, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, "conscripted" is a more neutral and less controversial term, and I don't have any problem using that. I'll add that to the photo caption. On Tulagi and Guadalcanal, some of the Korean laborers took up weapons and fought the Marines alongside the Japanese. Not all though, or even most. Cla68 (talk) 01:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
"Conscripted" is perfectly acceptable although many modern researchers have been more forceful in their descriptions of how the Japanese conscription of Korean workers was tantamount to slave labor. I am good with that change if you make it "conscripted labor". FWiW, Korean conscripts would not have been armed but I can see that they may have been forced into fighting alongside the Japanese. Bzuk (talk) 03:17, 5 March 2010 (UTC).

Great Britain vs. United Kingdom[edit]

Should the article not reference "United Kindgom" instead of "Great Britain", which is (I think) the correct form here? Cyberbeagle (talk) 21:11, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it really matters but if you or anyone else wants to change it I don't object. Cla68 (talk) 22:46, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I suspect that the usage of "United Kingdom" has become more prevalent in recent years. It is a personal impression, but it seems that most of the historical works on World War II refer to "Great Britain" or "Britain" or the "British Empire", etc. To take one example: Correlli Barnett's Engage the Enemy More Closely (a history of the Royal Navy in the Second World War) has dozens of index entries under "Great Britain" and no listing at all for "United Kingdom". Kablammo (talk) 17:11, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

British involvement[edit]

Great Britain is listed as a Belligerent and contributor to this battle. Can any one tell my why, as the page doesn't mention any British troops or sailors committed to this battle. It does mention 1 RN admiral, but serving on a RAN vessel. Please someone clarify if in fact the British forces or navy were involved in this battle. jacob805 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

British military involvement was minimal. The Solomon Islands protectorate administration, including the Guadalcanal district officer, Martin Clemens, were British government officials. Therefore, the Guadalcanal natives who fought for the Allies were doing so in the name of Great Britain. Other than the British admiral on the RAN ship, I can't think of any other British military involvement. Cla68 (talk) 23:06, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Consistency of capitalization[edit]

Is it "Guadalcanal Campaign" or "Guadalcanal campaign"? This article uses both. —tktktk 21:16, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Yamamoto, KIA in the Guadalcanal campaign?[edit]

It's a bit of a nit, but ... Yamamoto was shot down off Bougainville in April 1943. The Japanese evacuated Guadalcanal over two months earlier. It's reasonable to say that Yamamoto was killed in action in the Solomons campaign, but it's an enormous stretch to say he was killed in action in the Guadalcanal campaign. Yaush (talk) 15:05, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. Cla68 (talk) 23:03, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Hornfischer casualty numbers[edit]

I just reverted this IP edit which substituted Hornfischer casualty numbers for ones taken from Lundstrom and Frank. I do not believe the article is best served by dumping the old casualty numbers with the assumption that the previously cited experts are wrong (but leaving the cites in place) and assuming Hornfischer is right. If Hornfischer is judged the scholarly equal of Frank or Lundstrom, the numbers ought to be put into ranges of possibilities. Binksternet (talk) 16:50, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I have enjoyed some of Hornfischer's writings, but in my opinion Frank and Lundstrom are the more reliable scholarly sources. Hornfischer tends to rely on secondary sources, while Frank and Lundstrom work extensively with primary sources. Agree with the revert. Yaush (talk) 17:14, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree also. I think Hornfischer's numbers could be put in the footnote, however. Cla68 (talk) 13:13, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Not a bad idea. Yaush (talk) 16:08, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

The numbers are irrelevant. It doesn't matter if 50,000 men were KIA. What matters is that Hornfischer's data indictated that the US Navy suffered nearly 3 men KIA per 1 man KIA on the island. Hence the categories of US Navy KIAs exceeding the 5,000 KIA mark and USMC/Army being well under the 2,000 men mark. If Lundstrom & Frank place their casualties in the proper category (Navy and Ground Forces) then thats perfectly fine. The objective is to show that Guadalcanal was a Naval Campaign and not a ground campaign. The US Navy fought the battle, the US Navy was in command, the US Navy suffered the most casualties, and last but not least, the US Navy has always been discredited with the Guadalcanal Campaign; E.g. "The Marines Won the Battle for Guadalcanal." Anyone who grew up in the 1950s knows this, and its not because Hornfischer's book mentions it on the inside of his book's "dust cover" Quote: "...This grim, protracted campaign has long been heralded as Marine victory." By leaving that 7,000 casualty figure AS IS, writers simply reinforce that old propaganda (dictionary:"Propaganda=information or ideas methodically spread to promote or" in this case the 5,000 dead American sailors of the United States Navy). As long as those stats are categorized to their proper military branches, thats doesn't matter who does it. But no more discrediting those dead American sailors!

Addendum: If anyone states that this was as US Marine victory; they should be reminded (information, for those that never served their country and may not know this) that the United State Marine Corps are part of the United States Navy. They are not their own branch of service. They are Naval Infantry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

I originally had the personnel casualty numbers divided by ground, sea, and air. I think it's fine to separate them out in the footnotes, but the infobox should just present a combined casualty number for everyone. As for debating who between the USN and USMC contributed most to the victory, that discussion would be more appropriate for a World War II discussion forum outside of Wikipedia. Cla68 (talk) 02:13, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Agree with giving the separate numbers in a footnote. The numbers are worth having and leave the reader free to draw his own conclusions. Yaush (talk) 20:24, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Agree as well with footnote idea. Binksternet (talk) 20:50, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Guadalcanal kills WWIIs only 2 USN Admirals in traditional warship duels[edit]

The fight for Guadalcanal was a naval fight! Guadalcanal cost the lives of the USN Navy's only Admirals in a traditional warship to warship gun duel (yes torpedoes may have been involved, but it still was warship to warship). USN Admirals Daniel J. Callaghan and Norman Scott were both killed in action in the same battle; Friday the 13th, 1942! The USN lost over 5,000 sailors at Guadalcanal, the Russians lost over 4,000 sailors at the battleship action at Tsushima in 1905, and the British lost over 6,000 sailors at their much vaunted battlecruiser action at Jutland in 1916. The US Navy's casualties (dead) at Guadalcanal certainly are in the same league as those two naval engagements.

As all of the men from both sides, including their armies need to be honored, for both sides, their navies have been much neglected by historians (by putting them into lump casualty categories), thus stated, those 4,000 IJN sailors that perished at Guadalcanal should also be remembered along with those US Sailors. So, in addition to the soldiers, "those 9,000 sailors should be remembered too," both IJN and USN. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

"pick" what?[edit]

I'm not an editor or historian, just a reader. I am confused by this sentence:

"In the overall strategy for 1942 these aircraft could provide air cover for Japanese naval forces advancing farther into the South Pacific where they could pick.[12]"

Who is picking what? A period after "South Pacific" would seem to make sense, or another phrase like "where the IJN staff could pick among various objectives on their agenda of conquest" or "the IJN aircraft could pick off allied convoys" or something. As is, the sentence just hangs there in the air. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Changes to lead[edit]

I've just reverted the lead back to how it looked a few months ago. The problems with the version before I changed it were: 1) it's portrayal of the Kokoda Track Campaign as an operation 'launched' by the Allies was totally wrong given that this campaign was initiated by the Japanese 2) the claims about the landing at Guadalcanal and Kokoda Track campaigns aiming to prevent Australia from being cut off from India or invaded were totally wrong 3) the paragraph which began 'While organized (and manned) by different Theatre commands' didn't seem at all accurate, and repeated the claim that the Kokoda Track campaign was an Allied offensive. Nick-D (talk) 09:54, 23 November 2011 (UTC)


The article states that "The Allies overwhelmed the outnumbered Japanese defenders, who had occupied the islands since May 1942." This is not quite accurate. 60,000 ground against 36,000. Generally, it is vital that an attacking force, to be successful, should outnumber the defenders by a ratio of 3:1 or greater. This is less than 2:1. A ratio of 4:1 or greater might be "overwhelming." An attacking force of less than 2:1 can and often does, lose. Which is why the threshold is set at 3:1.

I can appreciate that these figures do not include American air and naval support which was not incidental. Still, ground forces are what count in the long run. So "overwhelmed" seems pov, IMO. Excessive. And nevermind that it is in some text. It would not be the first time that an otherwise npov, reliable source contained a pov adjective or two. Student7 (talk) 21:44, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

The "overwhelmed" sentence refers to the initial landings, when the 10,000 Marines "overwhelmed" the 3,000 or so Japanese troops and Korean/Japanese laborers who were garrisoned on the islands. Cla68 (talk) 22:38, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Change in formatting[edit]

There is a substantial amount of work underway to convert the footnote format and separate the references from the footnotes. Such a change should be discussed here first. Kablammo (talk) 22:20, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

So, let’s diſcuß. My baſis is embedding references wiþin footnotes, from ðe Ƿikipædia help. And, obviouſly, ðe fact ðat references and footnotes ƿere mixed, ƿhich makes it confuſiŋ and boðerſome to read & underſtand. It ƿas becomiŋ confuſiŋ, ſo ðat in ðe little ƿork I already did I managed to find, & eliminate, ſome duplication of referenced titles. (talk) 22:32, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks you for coming here to discuss. Your keyboard is making comprehension of your comments difficult. I will invite the major contributors to weigh in. Regards, Kablammo (talk) 22:39, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I reverted the changes. They are not an improvement; in fact they go against various part of the Wikipedia Manual of Style. For instance, multi-digit numerical quantities are expressed with a comma, not a space, between sets of three digits. Second, initials in a person's name carry a full stop directly following them, rather than nothing. Finally, Wikipedia has a policy stopping anybody from taking it upon themselves to change the established citation format of any article, without consensus. There is no consensus for such a change. Binksternet (talk) 03:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

standard abbreviations[edit]

It looks as if someone worked extensively on this article who didn't know that "p." means "page" and "pp." means "pages". There may be more than 50 instances, or maybe 100 or so...... (talk) 23:42, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

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Recent edits and reversions[edit]

@AustralianRupert, N0n3up, and Nick-D:These comments are similar to those I posted on the talk page of Battle of Edson's Ridge. Here I guess the main issue with my edits of this article is the perhaps contentious question of whether the contribution of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate Defence Force as well as Fiji and Tonga entails subordinating them to a UK flag in the infobox when (at least by my take) no literally 'UK' forces were present. I obviously don't think so. Have I stated the issue clearly? Juan Riley (talk) 19:08, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

@AustralianRupert, JuanRiley, and Nick-D: Since the Solomon islands were under UK subordination, they technically count as UK forces thus a detail that should be placed in the infobox, otherwise giving a misconcepted view that the Solomon islands were wholly independent in battle, which was not the case. (N0n3up (talk) 19:55, 21 August 2016 (UTC))
@AustralianRupert, N0n3up, and Nick-D: At least technically speaking the UK did not subsume the British Solomon Islands. BTW N0n3up that is three reverts (or attempt at such) of my edits before you ever came to the talk page. Juan Riley (talk) 23:17, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

@JuanRiley and AustralianRupert: Thus a higher reason to include the UK in the infobox since disregarding the amount of autonomy the Solomon islands might have had, the de-facto truth was that the Solomon islands were under the British flag at the time and under UK subordination, and such detail should be placed in the infobox. (N0n3up (talk) 05:08, 22 August 2016 (UTC))

Why so many photos of dead Japanese?[edit]

Yes, there were far more Japanese casualties in this campaign than Allied, but having multiple photos of dead Japanese and no photos of dead Allies seems gratuitous. I'm an American writing this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

I too could not help but notice the excess of pictures of dead Japanese soldiers (and possible conscripted Koreans) even compared to the numerical im/balance of casulties on both sides: The war is over, show some respect! Martin Ziegler (talk) 11:39, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree also. The article when promoted to featured had but two. And if no one else does, I will remove several later today. Kablammo (talk) 13:34, 12 December 2016 (UTC) Now removed. I will post some additional comments soon. Kablammo (talk) 00:42, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
In its February 1, 1943 issue, Life Magazine published a photograph of a the head of a dead Japanese soldier, with his face burned and constricted, posed on a "Jap" tank at Guadalcanal. The next year, it published a photograph of an attractive young woman looking at a Japanese skull from New Guinea, sent to her by her boyfriend who was serving in the Pacific Theater.
But the image which had the largest impact on the American public was one of three dead American soldiers half-buried in the sand at Buna beach. Published in Life in September 1943, it did not show the faces or any obvious injuries, but was controversial, as it was the first time that a photograph appeared in US media of dead American servicemen.[3], [4].
Paul Fussell comments on this dissonance in Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War.
Perhaps we should eliminate all such photographs here, or include photographs showing Allied casualties as well, if any are available. Kablammo (talk) 02:09, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I have not been able to find photos of Allied war dead in the Guadalcanal battles. That may be due to the fact that such photos would not have been published prior to September of 1943, after the front had moved up the Solomons. So the article now has two photos, as it did when it passed FA. Kablammo (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

unclear citation[edit]

I note that ref 130 cites Hammel but there are two occurrences of Hammel in the Bibliography and the citation is therefore unclear. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:27, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

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