Guadalcanal: Initial landings and advance 7–8 August 1942


Map Code: Ax01304

The Guadalcanal landings were launched with significant uncertainty concerning the terrain of the island, as the only maps available to the troops were out of date. The US marine landing force was dropped on the island at 09:00 on 7 August along Red Beach, east of Lunga Point and the main objective on the island, the airfield. The initial marine force of over 11,000 massively outnumbered the 2,500 Japanese defenders on the island, meaning that there was very little man-to-man combat in the first 24 hours following the landings. The American troops found it difficult to navigate the thick jungle terrain, which was advantageous to the Japanese, however they pushed towards the airfield, capturing it by the afternoon of 8 August. The Japanese called in bomber support, which inflicted significant damage to ships in the bay; however, most of the equipment and supplies amassed along Red Beach were undamaged.

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