WORLD WAR 2: PACIFIC THEATER E-LESSON # 3:
ISLAND HOPPING part 1: THE BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL
AIM: WHY WAS THE BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL A CRITICAL TURNING POINT IN THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC?
Overview: Two words come to mind when we talk about Guadalcanal: epic and ferocious. The fierce fighting at the Battle of Guadalcanal would be a foreshadowing of more terrible and fierce fighting to come. Guadalcanal involved every branch of the US armed forces, and the US victory there paved the way for the island-hopping campaign towards Japan, and eventual US victory. Guadalcanal was the first major US offensive in the Pacific and the first island captured as part of this island-hopping campaign. It was a long battle as well, and the extended air war over Guadalcanal also took out the elite fliers of the Imperial Japanese air force. The victory of the island hopping strategy really begins with the victory at Guadalcanal—the capture of that island is the jumping off point. Incredible!
I. SECONDARY SOURCE READING/QUESTIONS
Read the two sources from the National World War 2 museum (posted below): The Solomon Island Campaign and Battle of Guadalcanal fact sheet. Answer the following questions.
1. What was the strategic importance of island of Guadalcanal? Why did both sides want to control it?
2. What was “Henderson Field” and what was its significance?
3. How long was the Battle of Guadalcanal? When did the fighting there start?
4. What initial mistakes were made by US forces?
5. What were conditions like for the ground forces (the soldiers fighting on land, in the jungle?) What hardships did they experience?
6. How did American and Japanese naval forces clash during this battle? How did these battles effect the ability of either side to resupply their troops?
7. What was the importance of Henderson field and the air war over Guadalcanal?
8. What were the casualties and damage for both sides?
9. What was the ultimate outcome/impat of the battle? How did it affect the course of the entire Pacific Theater of World War 2?
II. PRIMARY SOURCE: NEWSREEL FOOTAGE : “BATTLE OF THE SOLOMONS" (1942) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6eBTU4iDAY
Watch this vintage 1942 newsreel footage (1 minute). Answer/describe (2-4 sentences):
10. At what part of the Battle of Guadalcanal was this newsreel filmed? What is it reporting on?
III. EDPUZZLE VIDEO : THE BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL: THE ROLE OF AIR AND NAVAL POWER Complete the Edpuzzle video (posted on Edpuzzle). 4min30sec.
IV. SUMMARIZE/ REFLECT: write a one paragraph summary of what you’ve learned today.
11. Why was the American victory at the Battle of Guadalcanal an important turning point in the War in the Pacific?
Want to learn more? (optional) Cool article: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Battle of Guadalcanal https://www.businessinsider.com/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-battle-of-guadalcanal-2018-8