Battle of Santa Cruz, October 25-27, 1942

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by spidge, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Battle of Santa Cruz, October 25-27, 1942

    Yamamoto's second attempt to achieve naval superiority in the area around Guadalcanal came in late October. Shokaku and Zuikaku again formed the core of Combined Fleet's carrier forces, although Zuiho was along for the ride as well. And again, Yamamoto divided his forces into a van, main body, and a plethora of weak and mutually non-supportive support groups (oxymoron intended). The Americans got their licks in early, punching a 50-foot hole in Zuiho's flight deck and sending her back to Truk. However, the Japanese put together a very effective attack against Hornet which left her dead in the water. Enterprise and several other American ships were also damaged. Several attacks later in the day crippled Hornet beyond repair, and as attempts to tow her had proved futile, she was abandoned. An American counterattack had badly damaged Shokaku, necessitating her withdrawal, and both the Japanese and the Americans quit the field soon thereafter. American losses had been more serious, but again they had managed to stave off the Japanese efforts to nullify Henderson Field.

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  2. cunliffe

    cunliffe New Member

    In a bleak assessment of the situation, on October 15 Admiral Nimitz wrote:

    "It now appears that we are unable to control the sea in the Guadalcanal area. Thus our supply of the positions will only be done at great expense to us. The situation is not hopeless, but it is certainly critical."
    That same day, Nimitz reached a decision. Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, Commander South Pacific Force, and his staff - competent, dedicated, but exhausted by the nearly impossible job before them - must be relieved. In Ghormley's place, Nimitz choose a man known throughout the Pacific for his fighting spirit: Vice Admiral William F. Halsey. Though Halsey departed Pearl Harbor on the 14th for Noumea, he didn't know until he stepped off the plane there what his orders were. Ghormley, while understandably disappointed to be relieved, greeted Halsey graciously, later conceding to Nimitz that he (Ghormley) was not the best man for the job at hand.

    Halsey's arrival in Noumea sent American morale skyrocketing throughout the region, as did his assurances to General Alexander A. Vandegrift, the Marine commander on Guadalcanal, that the Navy would give the Marines all possible support within its means. Halsey kept his word

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