Sunday, February 10, 2008

Today In History: "Tokyo Express no longer has terminus on Guadalcanal".

Those words that appear in the title were wired by General Alexander Patch to his superiors upon the securing of Guadalcanal on February 9, 1943. The fighting there had begun on August 7, 1942. It was the first major offensive against Japanese forces by those of the USA and other allies. This battle saw major repated action on land, sea and in the air, and it was a major defeat for the Japanese, and the first land victory by the US against them. (The very first land defeat for the Japanese in the Pacific was dealt to them by the Australians at the Battle of Milne Bay.)

This battle or campaign as it was called back then took 6 months to the day, with the Island being proclaimed secure 2 days after fighting ceased, and Japanese troops were evacuated. The casualties in this one campaign alone are estimated to have been:

28,850 Japanese - The source for this only listed Japanese land forces and US Marine land forces regarding casualties, see:
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Guadalcanal/USMC-M-Guadalcanal-A.html The Japanese have been estimated to have lost over 2/3 of their forces at Guadalcanal.

7,100 USA - This source showed this number as the total US forces lost in all aspects of battle for guadalcanal; see:
http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5210.htm

Look at those numbers again. In 6 months of fighting there were more casualties for the USA than there have been throughout the whole of the current Iraq war by about double. My guess is that if we compared insurgent and terrorist losses from the current war to thos elost by Japan at Guadalcanal, we would find that the losses to our enemy today far outnumber those from back then. Yet we have Code Pink, the mayor of Berkely, CA, and people like Cindy Sheehan, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and others who have been, or are still, telling us how we are doing poorly in this war and need to recall the troops. Yes the loss of even one life is tragic; but there are some damned good reasons to go to war - and some good reasons that our soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen are over there fighting. The defeat of terrorism in the world today, and the protection of the United States of America, are just as good reasons as was the defeat of the Axis powers back in WWII.

For mor einfo on Guadalcanal see:

http://www.vectorsite.net/tw2guad_1.html

http://www.guadalcanaljournal.com/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Guadalcanal

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Guadalcanal/USMC-M-Guadalcanal-A.html

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

.... it is humbling to look back at what our Fathers and Grandfathers did.... absolutely humbling....

Eric