After the defeat of the midway naval battle, the Japanese general command reformulated a new operational plan: capture Moresby as soon as possible, wipe out the remaining enemies in British New Guinea, and establish an aviation base in necessary places, so as to carry out aviation operations against Australia and strengthen the counterattack situation.
In order to obtain mineral resources and fill the alert gap between Solomon Islands and Marshall Islands, the Navy occupied Nauru Island and ocean island, and set up aviation bases on the two islands to strengthen their alert capacity.
Submarines and surface ships are used to strengthen the breaking engagement in the Indian Ocean, and submarines are used to strengthen the breaking engagement on the transportation line between the United States and Australia.
Strengthen the defense of all occupied areas and prepare for counter offensive operations by the allies.
The specific operational plan of the Japanese army is to land from the northern part of the island of New Guinea, climb over the Owen Stanley mountains and capture Port Moresby.
In order to cover the flank of this offensive, the Japanese army began to build a bomber runway on Guadalcanal Island (Guadao for short).
The victory of the midway naval battle gave the allies the opportunity to counter attack for the first time in the Pacific battlefield.
As the balance of naval and air forces between the United States and Japan has not fundamentally changed, the US military is unable to make a comprehensive counter offensive in the entire Pacific region, so it decided to carry out a counter offensive in some areas, that is, the southwest Pacific, which is the most threatened by the Japanese army.
This is because, after the battle of the Coral Sea in May, although the U.S. military temporarily stopped the Japanese attack in the area, the Japanese occupied tulaji island still threatens the transportation line between the United States and Australia.
After the midway naval battle, the army represented by the commander of the southwest Pacific theater and the Navy represented by the commander in chief of the Navy, Kim, both advocated starting the counter offensive as soon as possible, but they held different opinions on how to counter attack.
In MacArthur’s view, the counter offensive was not a raid on the small island of tulaji, but a large-scale offensive on the new British island and the New Ireland island to control Rabaul and the strategically important islands.
He believes that only three army divisions, one naval Marine Division and two aircraft carriers can quickly recapture the Bismarck islands and drive the Japanese back to Truk 700 nautical miles away, so as to obtain strategic advantages in both defense and attack, and immediately further expand the war results.
Admiral King was in favour of a counter attack, but did not agree to a direct attack on the Bismarck islands because it was too dangerous for aircraft carriers.
He maintained that a sound method of phased and gradual progress should be adopted to carry out the counter offensive from Solomon Islands to Rabaul.
After holding several meetings in succession, the Joint Chiefs of staff of the United States adopted the Navy’s proposal and issued a command code named “t Observatory” on July 2, 1942, stipulating that the first task of the campaign was to seize the Santa Cruz Islands, tulaji island and its nearby important places, and general Nimitz, commander of the Pacific theater, served as the strategic command.
After gaining a firm foothold in the tulaji area, we will carry out the second task of the campaign, march towards salamawa and Laicheng on the Papua Peninsula, capture the rest of the Solomon Islands and go north.
General MacArthur assumed the strategic command in this stage.
After that, the Allies turned to attack Rabaul on both sides.
During the formulation of the “t lookout” plan, the US military was shocked to learn that the Japanese army was building an aircraft runway on Guadalcanal island.
If the Japanese army built an airport here, it would endanger the important bases on the US Australian transportation line, San Espirito Island, EFAT Island, and even Kumasi Airport in the north of New Caledonia, which would be very unfavorable to the future operations of the US military.
On July 10, Nimitz issued operational instructions to lieutenant general gomli, who was in command in the South Pacific region, ordering his troops to capture tulaji and Guadalcanal.
In this way, the Gua Island landing was included in the first phase of the battle plan for the capture of tulaji and Santa Cruz Islands.
The scheduled landing date is August 7.
The US Army must seize the airport before the Japanese army has finished repairing it.
Whoever uses this airport first in battle will win.
The basic forces of the US military in the South Pacific are the 61st expeditionary task force formation (commander Fletcher) and the 62nd South Pacific amphibious formation (commander Turner).
In addition, there is a shore based aviation formation.
To carry out the campaign, the first marine division of the navy of the landing assault force was transferred from New Zealand and San Diego, and major general van der Griff was the division commander.
Lieutenant general Frank Fletcher commanded the aircraft carrier formation and served as the tactical command of the entire landing formation.
Rear admiral Richmond Turner, who was the former head of the planning department of the naval operations department, was responsible for commanding the amphibious forces, and rear admiral McCain commanded the shore based aviation formation.
At 1 a.m. on August 7, 1942, the first marine division of the U.S. Navy arrived in the waters near the northwest of Guadalcanal island by 23 transport ships under the escort and cover of the aircraft carrier formation, and attacked Guadalcanal island and tulaji island in two ways.
In the early morning of the 7th, the US military began to land.
By the afternoon of the 8th, it seized the Japanese machinery plant, power plant and material warehouse on Gua Island, as well as the whole tulaji island and its adjacent two small islands, and destroyed most of the Japanese troops stationed on the island at the same time.
The remnants of the Japanese army retreated into the jungle and hid.
By August 9, the number of US troops on the island had reached 10000.
After learning the news of the US military landing on Guadao, the Japanese base camp immediately decided to cancel the breaking battle in the Indian Ocean and send the main force of the joint fleet to support the operation in the Southeast Pacific.
The fourth fleet, the eighth fleet and the Navy’s 11th air fleet now stationed in the Southeast Pacific are integrated into the “southeast force”, which is under the unified command of the commander of the 11th air fleet and launched an attack immediately.
While carrying out the scheduled morzby offensive, the 17th group army stationed in Rabaul quickly concentrated the scattered troops in Rabaul and worked with the navy to recapture Gua island and tulaji island.
From August 7 to 9, the Japanese shore based airmen taking off from Rabaul carried out continuous attacks on the US fleet, which was violently intercepted by the US carrier aircraft and anti-aircraft artillery.
The Japanese army lost 36 planes.
The US military lost 12 aircraft, a transport ship was seriously injured and scrapped, and a destroyer sank.
Although the Japanese air attack did not cause heavy losses to the US fleet, in order to avoid further casualties, the US fleet retreated southward on the afternoon of August 8 and gave up the cover for the landing forces and the unloading transport fleet, thus providing conditions for the night attack of the Japanese eighth fleet.
On the afternoon of August 7, the eighth fleet of the Japanese army set sail from Rabaul towards Guadao, ready to attack the Allied transport ships at night and thwart their landing operations.
Late at night on the 8th, the fleet met with allied ships patrolling in the south area in the sea area of Savo island north of Gua islandAttack.
35 minutes after the fierce battle, the Japanese fleet sank 4 allied heavy cruisers, injured 1 heavy cruiser and 2 destroyers.
The Japanese army suffered slight losses.
The naval battle of Savo island was one of the most serious failures suffered by the US Navy.
Although the Japanese army did not attack the Allied transport ships and failed to prevent the Allied landing, it achieved significant results, forcing the Allied transport fleet to withdraw with the cover fleet on the morning of September 9, putting the occupying forces of Guadao in danger and delaying the completion of the whole “t Observatory” campaign for several months.
On August 10, the Japanese base camp decided to send the 28th infantry regiment, Yimu detachment, to reinforce.
On August 18, the advance team of the 28th regiment of the Japanese army arrived in the sea area near Guadao by six destroyers.
With an infantry battalion and an engineering company, a total of 1000 people landed in the east of Guadao in the dark of night.
The army thought there were only 2000 US troops on the island, so it decided to launch an attack immediately and recapture the airport and Guadao without waiting for the follow-up troops scheduled to arrive on the 22nd.
After marching day and night, the advance team of Japanese Yimu detachment launched an attack on the US military near the airport on the night of the 21st.
By the afternoon of the 22nd, most of the advance team of Yimu detachment, including the commander, were wiped out, and only more than 100 people were able to retreat to the landing point.
The Japanese army’s first battle to recapture Guadao ended in failure.
Unwilling to lose, the Japanese army used the main force of the joint fleet to prepare for the second battle for Guadao.
On August 24, the Japanese army transported 1500 landing troops and escorted a fleet of ships to more than 200 nautical miles north of Guadao, and the second fleet of the Japanese Navy sailed 40 nautical miles east of Guadao.
The two fleets have 3 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, 6 cruisers, 24 destroyers and 177 carrier based aircraft.
At that time, some troops of the US Navy’s 61st task force were operating 150 nautical miles east of Guadao.
The patrol aircraft of the formation found the light aircraft carrier in front of the Japanese second fleet, but did not see the main force of the Japanese second fleet following up.
Since the formation of the US “hornet” aircraft carrier has returned to the south to replenish fuel, only two aircraft carriers can fight with the Japanese army.
So general Fletcher decided to attack.
That afternoon, the US fleet took the lead in launching an attack on the Japanese army, sending out 30 bombers and 8 torpedo planes to sink the Japanese light aircraft carrier “Longxiang” in one fell swoop.
Subsequently, the US ship found the main force of the Japanese second fleet and immediately sent carrier based aircraft to meet it.
As the Japanese main aircraft carrier formation was not found, only one seaplane supply ship was hit.
At the same time, Japanese carrier aircraft also flew over the US ship.
After fierce fighting, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise was damaged and 17 aircraft were damaged.
90 Japanese planes were shot down and injured.
At night, the American and special mixed team withdrew from the battlefield, and the second fleet of the Japanese army also retreated to Truk island.
However, the Japanese landing transport team, escorted by destroyers, continued to sail south in the dark of night.
At dawn on the 25th, the shore based airmen of the US military stationed in Guadao airport went to attack.
A Japanese transport ship and a destroyer were sunk and a cruiser was seriously damaged.
The Japanese army was forced to abandon the landing attempt.
The sea battle to the east of Solomon Islands is the third large-scale aircraft carrier battle during the Pacific War and the second sea battle around Gua island.
Although this was not a decisive battle, it prevented the Japanese army from using a large number of ships to transport landing troops to the island.
Under the attack of American aviation at Guadao airport, the Japanese army had to give up using slow transport ships to transport troops and use fast destroyers to transport troops.
From August 28 to September 2, under the cover of darkness, the Japanese army sent 5000 people from the second echelon of Chuankou detachment and Yimu detachment to Guadao in batches.
Among them, except that on the night of August 28, the first destroyer transport team was attacked by American Guadao aircraft north of Guadao and the landing operation was suspended, the rest of the night landings were successful.
On the nights of September 4, 5 and 7, the Japanese army sent the green leaf detachment to Guadao by the same means of transportation.
By September 7, 8400 Japanese troops had landed.
In view of the successful landing, the Japanese army launched an attack on Guadao airport in three ways on the night of September 12.
At the same time, the Japanese Navy Fleet was ordered to destroy the US fleet in the nearby sea area and support the army’s counter offensive on Guadao.
When the airport was seized, the Japanese aircraft stationed immediately.
However, the action of the Japanese army has been expected by the US military.
The US Marine Corps was in an advantageous position.
With the support of 105mm howitzer fire, it used mortars and machine guns to fight against the incoming Japanese army.
The Japanese army failed to break through the US defense line that night and the next day, and finally collapsed and hid in the jungle.
The Japanese army suffered more than 1500 casualties.
The joint fleet also got nothing at sea and withdrew to Truk island on the 14th.
The second Japanese counterattack ended in failure.
However, Fletcher’s aircraft carrier formation was hit hard by Japanese submarines in the Coral Sea.
On August 31, a Japanese submarine wounded the US aircraft carrier Saratoga with a torpedo, making it unable to participate in the battle in the critical period of the next three months.
Two weeks later, the aircraft carrier wasp and a destroyer were sunk by Japanese submarines, and a battleship was injured.
In this way, the only aircraft carrier that the allies can carry out combat missions in the whole Pacific Ocean is the hornet, and the only battleship that is not injured is the battleship.
The Japanese army failed to compete for Guadao several times, and the dispersion of troops is one of the reasons.
Because the Japanese army underestimated the ground force of the US Army on Guadao, it has been using the main force of the ground force to win the battle of Papua Peninsula and morzby for nearly two months.
For example, among the 17000 ground reinforcements assembled on Truk island in mid August, 11000 troops were deployed to strengthen the operation in the east of new guinea island, and only the rest were invested in the battle to recapture Gua island.
The Japanese army underestimated the Allied landing on Guadao, only regarded it as a reconnaissance operation, and believed that even if it was a formal landing, it would not be difficult to recapture it.
Therefore, the operation of attacking and occupying the port of Moresby, New Guinea, Gilbert Islands and other important places is still carried out according to the original plan, in an attempt to connect Moresby Solomon Islands Gilbert Islands in the Southeast Pacific theater.
On July 21, the Japanese Hengshan advance team and some Marines landed in gona and Buna, New Guinea, respectively.
On July 28, the Japanese base camp ordered the South China Sea detachment of the army to quickly advance along the Buna Kokoda line, cross the Owen Stanley mountains and capture morzby.
At the same time, the Marines attacked the southeast corner of New Guinea and fought with Moresby.
One liner, four cruisers and nine destroyers went to attack Guadao airport again.
On the night of the 14th, the formation encountered the formation intercepted by the Allied forces in the sea area near Savo island.
After 50 minutes of fighting between the two sides, one Japanese battleship and two destroyers sank after being seriously damaged.
One allied battleship and two destroyers were damaged and two destroyers sank.
After three days of naval battle, the Allies lost two cruisers, seven destroyers, three damaged cruisers, one battleship and four destroyers.
The Japanese army lost 2 battleships, 1 cruiser, 4 destroyers, 10 transport ships, 3 cruisers and 6 destroyers.
The Guadalcanal naval battle is not only a decisive battle in the Guadalcanal battle, but also of decisive significance in the Pacific War.
The victory of the war marked that the US military had fully mastered the sea and air supremacy of the Guadao theater, changing from defense to attack.
The heavy losses of the Japanese army in the war shook its confidence in recapturing Guadao.
On December 31, the Japanese army and Navy headquarters decided at the pre imperial meeting: stop the war to recapture Guadao.
Withdraw Guadao troops by all means from late January to early February 1943.
Then, ensure the Solomon Islands north of New Georgia and Isabel island.
Compared with Gua Island, Eastern New Guinea is more important.
Once the area is lost, the Allied Aviation Based on it will pose a greater threat to Rabaul, which may fundamentally disintegrate Japan’s strategic defense system in the Southeast Pacific.
Therefore, while discussing abandoning Gua Island, the Japanese army shifted the focus of operations to New Guinea again in an attempt to stabilize the war situation in gona Buna area through reinforcement.
However, under the attack of the superior forces of the allies, the Japanese army had no power to return to heaven.
By late November, the Allied forces surrounded the Japanese troops in the gona Buna area from the south, North and West, and suppressed them in several separate places with their backs to the sea.
In early December, the allies launched another full-scale offensive.
Gona was captured on December 8, and Buna was captured on January 2, 1943.
On January 20, the Allies wiped out the Japanese army in sanananda area between gona and Buna, and won the counter offensive in Eastern New Guinea.
At the same time, the Japanese troops trapped in Guadao almost cut off sea supplies by mid December.
They not only could not get weapons and ammunition, but also could not maintain their daily life.
In addition to a small amount of rations, they could only live on grass roots and bark.
In addition, we have to be tired of dealing with the attack of US troops on the island, which has reached 50000 troops.
From February 1 to 7, 1943, the Japanese army gathered 20 destroyers and withdrew nearly 12000 remaining troops on Guadao in a semi hungry state in three batches under the cover of aviation and submarines.
So far, the six-month battle for Guadao ended in the failure of the Japanese army.
Through the Guadao campaign, the two allied forces in the South Pacific and the southwest Pacific respectively captured the forward base on which the Japanese army continued to expand its aggression, opened up two counter offensive roads to Rabaul, and realized the great turning point from strategic defense to strategic attack in the Pacific sea area.
Therefore, after the total annihilation of the Japanese naval forces, they laid a solid foundation for attacking Japan.