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Guadalcanal : Solomon Islands

Guadalcanal is the principal island in Guadalcanal Province of the nation of Solomon Islands in the south-western Pacific, northeast of Australia.

Its European discovery was under the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568. The name comes from Guadalcanal, a village in the province of Seville, in Andalusia, Spain, birthplace of Pedro de Ortega Valencia, a member of Mendaña's expedition.

During 1942–43 it was the scene of the Guadalcanal Campaign, and saw bitter fighting between Japanese and US troops; the Americans were ultimately victorious.

At the end of the war, Honiara (Visible Upper Left : Coastal Area), on the north coast of Guadalcanal, became the new capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. Guadalcanal is mainly covered in dense tropical rainforest and it has a mountainous interior.

A Day In History : February 9th, 1943

The Guadalcanal Campaign by Allied forces (code-named Operation Watchtower) was a military campaign fought between August 7th 1942 and ending February 9th 1943. It was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.

Allied concern grew when, in early July 1942, the IJN began constructing a large airfield at Lunga Point on Guadalcanal.

These bases would protect Japan's major base at Rabaul, threaten Allied supply and communication lines and establish a staging area for a planned offensive against Fiji, New Caledonia and Samoa (Operation FS).

The Japanese planned to deploy 45 fighters and 60 bombers to Guadalcanal. In the overall strategy for 1942 these aircraft could provide air cover for Japanese naval forces advancing farther into the South Pacific.

At 09:10 on 7 August, U.S. Marine Major General Alexander Vandegrift and 11,000 U.S. Marines came ashore on Guadalcanal between Koli Point (Upper Right) and Lunga Point (Upper Left)

Surprised by the Allied offensive, the Japanese made several attempts between August and November to retake Henderson Field (Visible Upper Left on Lunga Point). Three major land battles, seven large naval battles (five nighttime surface actions and two carrier battles), and continual, almost daily, aerial battles culminated in the decisive Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in early November, in which the last Japanese attempt to bombard Henderson Field from the sea and land with enough troops to retake it, was defeated.

Along with the Battle of Midway, it has been called a turning-point in the war against Japan.

The 2010 miniseries "The Pacific" (Executive Producers: Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg) features the battles of the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal and other decisive battles fought in the Pacific Theater during WWII.


Source Image: NASA ISS045-E-128157 Handheld from International Space Station Focal Length: 340mm

Source Image: NASA ISS045-E-128157
Handheld from International Space Station
Focal Length: 340mm

Raw Version of Orbital Intersection ISS Overlay & Satellite Basemap

Raw Version of Orbital Intersection
ISS Overlay & Satellite Basemap

Image Timestamp: 2015-11-21 22:53:57 UTC ISS Nadir position: 7.647°S, 161.1°E (ocean) Image Geolocation: 9.44°S, 160.04°E (Guadalcanal)

Image Timestamp: 2015-11-21 22:53:57 UTC
ISS Nadir position: 7.647°S, 161.1°E (ocean)
Image Geolocation: 9.44°S, 160.04°E (Guadalcanal)

SOURCE DATA

  • Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
  • Calculations : WolframAlpha Pro
  • Satellite Imagery: ESRI ArcGIS
  • Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson