Battle of Savo Island, August 9, 1942

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

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Battle of Savo Island, August 9, 1942

    On 7th August, 1942, the U.S. 1st Marine Division landed on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi and either killed or drove the Japanese garrisons there into the jungle. Some six hundred miles northwest, at the major Japanese base of Rabaul, Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, the newly installed commander of the Eighth Fleet, immediately pulled together every warship at his disposal and headed south. He arrived off of the southern shore of Savo Island in the small hours of the morning of August 9th. Ahead of him were several groups of Allied warships, their crews exhausted from days of continuous combat operations. Due to the three entrances to the soon-to-be-infamous Ironbottom Sound, the Allied forces were compelled to divide their strength into three patrolling squadrons: Southern, Northern, and Eastern. The Allied vessels were unalert, and their commanders were in some cases either asleep or away from the actual scene of the action. Beyond the Allied warships lay a transport anchorage off of Lunga Point whose merchant vessels were still packed with equipment for the Marines ashore. The stage was set for the most humiliating defeat ever inflicted upon the US Navy.

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  2. cunliffe

    cunliffe New Member

    The first of a series of naval battles around Guadalcanal, the defeat at Savo Island saw the Allies lose four heavy cruisers and suffer 1,077 killed. In addition, Chicago and three destroyers were damaged. Japanese losses were a light 58 killed with three heavy cruisers damaged. Despite the severity of the defeat, the Allied ships did succeed in preventing Mikawa from striking the transports in the anchorage. Had Mikawa pressed his advantage, it would have severely hampered Allied efforts to resupply and reinforce the island later in the campaign. The US Navy later commissioned the Hepburn Investigation to look into the defeat. Of those involved, only Bode was severely criticized

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