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The Guadalcanal Campaign 1942-43: A Defining Moment in American History
  • Date: Thursday, February 23, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 pm
  • Location: William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives Museum and Online

The Guadalcanal Campaign, a decisive point in the Pacific Theater of World War II was fought between August 7, 1942, and February 9, 1943.  The United States and Japanese armed forces (or sea, air and land forces) traded savage blows in a bitter struggle over a seesaw course with staggering losses.  The prospects for ultimate American victory for control of the island reached a nadir of doubt in mid-campaign  and triggered changes in the amount of candid information provided the public to prepare them for defeat.  Both from its inception and through its course, Guadalcanal figured in the whole global calculus of the war.  Among its crucial features were establishing forward operating bases and solid lines of supply that ensured Allied victory.  Admiral William F. (Bull) Halsey put it this way:  “Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure – after Guadalcanal he retreated at ours.”  Richard Frank, noted author and historian of the campaign, Gordon Rudd, United States Marine Corps historian, and Allen Knechtmann, archivist at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center, will discuss the details of the campaign from various perspectives, from planning at the Army War College for “War Plan Orange”, to the efforts of the forces and overall history.  The discussion will be moderated by Jeff Hawks, Education Director at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center

This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation.