The Battle for Guadalcanal, Aug, 1942 – Feb, 1943
Both sides realized that air control over the Solomon Islands and the Coral Sea was vital for either attacking Australia (on Japan’s part) or retaking the Philippines (on the US’s part). And both saw the flat area on the small island of Guadalcanal as ideal for an airfield. Japan installed a seaplane base on Tulagi Island in May and began constructing an airfield on Guadalcanal soon after. The Americans had already decided on Guadalcanal for an air base but now needed to seize the island from Japanese control. A long, grinding battle of attrition ensues which bleeds Japanese forces. See the Flash animation for more.
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