e-book Operation KE: The Cactus Air Force and the Japanese Withdrawal from Guadalcanal

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Concluding chapters analyze, on both strategic and tactical levels, the Japanese planning and execution of Operation KE, and Cactus' initiatives to interdict KE's successful prosecution. The authors conclude that both the Japanese and the American states of readiness on the eve of Operation KE suffered in such matters as optimizing both resources and operating procedures, and combating a hostile environment.

Consequently, both combatants were somewhat handicapped in their abilities respectively to carry out and contest Operation KE. The author contends that the Japanese developed a reasonably sound strategy that exploited those methods and tools of war then in use in the South Pacific; to achieve success, they maximized their own strengths while taking advantage of their adversary's limitations. Contrary to the traditional view, the authors are of the opinion that Japanese utilization of their newly-built airstrip at Munda in the Central Solomons played an important role in the success of Operation KE, which was in keeping with the long-range intention of developing Munda and Vila airstrips as major forward airbases to defend against any Allied push toward Rabaul through the Solomons.

The U. Several imprudent tactical decisions and a misallocation of resources further diluted the strength of US efforts. In this study I think that the authors do a very good job of providing an understanding of what is one of the harder type of military campaigns to give the flavor of, that is the extended air operation, which can rapidly bog down into a grab bag of of missions flown and aircraft shot down with very little narrative structure. What helps in this is that there was a distinct objective at stake the escape of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal , so it's possible to look at how the exertions of the two forces played out in regards to this.

In particular, one is given a good sense of the state of play of the rival air machines, as this was a point in the war where the fight was relatively equal, allowing the Japanese to pull off their exercise in operational sleight-of-hand. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason.

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Operation KE by Roger Letourneau and Dennis Letourneau - Book - Read Online

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Out of stock. Get In-Stock Alert. Delivery not available. Pickup not available. These task forces included two fleet carriers, two escort carriers, three battleships, 12 cruisers, and 25 destroyers. Screening the approach of the transport convoy was Rear Admiral Thomas C. A fleet carrier task force, centred on the carrier Enterprise , steamed about miles km behind TF In addition to protecting the supply convoy, TF18 was charged with rendezvousing with a force of four US destroyers, stationed at Tulagi, at The escort carriers were too slow to allow TF18 to make the scheduled rendezvous, however, so Giffen left the carriers behind with two destroyers at The G4M bombers attacked the ships of TF18 in two waves between Two torpedoes hit the heavy cruiser Chicago , causing major damage and bringing the cruiser to a dead stop.

Three of the G4M aircraft were shot down by anti-aircraft fire from the ships of TF In response, Halsey sent a tug to take Chicago under tow and ordered TF18 to return to base on the next day. Six destroyers were left behind to escort Chicago and the tug.

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At Fighters from Enterprise shot down eight of them, but most of the Japanese aircraft were able to release their torpedoes before crashing. One torpedo hit the destroyer La Vallette , causing heavy damage. Four more torpedoes hit the Chicago , which sank. Also on January 29, at The two corvettes sank the submarine after a minute battle.

Leaving his cruisers at Kavieng, Mikawa had meanwhile gathered all 21 destroyers of his 8th Fleet in the Shortland islands on 31 January to begin the evacuation runs. Rear Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto was placed in charge of this group of destroyers, which was styled the Reinforcement Unit. On the same day, aircraft of the 6th Air Division raided Henderson Field with 23 Ki fighters and six Ki bombers, but caused no damage and suffered the loss of one fighter.

Believing that the Japanese might be retreating to the southern coast of Guadalcanal, Patch on the morning of 1 February landed a reinforced battalion of US Army and US Marine Corps troops, about 1, men under the command of Colonel Alexander George, at Verahue on the southern coast of Guadalcanal. The US troops were delivered to the landing location by a naval transport force of six landing craft tank and the high-speed destroyer transport conversion Stringham , escorted by the four destroyers which were to have joined TF18 three days earlier.

A Japanese reconnaissance aeroplane spotted the landing force. Mistaking the Japanese aircraft as friendly, the US destroyers withheld fire until the dive-bombers began their attacks. Beginning at The destroyer Nicholas was damaged by several near-misses. Five dive-bombers and three fighters were lost to anti-aircraft fire and fighters of the Cactus Air Force, which lost three F4F fighters in the engagement. Hashimoto departed the Shortland islands at The destroyers were attacked in the late afternoon near Vangunu by 92 Cactus Air Force aircraft in two waves.

Four US aircraft were shot down. Hashimoto transferred to Shirayuki and detached Fumizuki to tow Makinami back to base. From In the meantime, the transport destroyers arrived off of two pick-up locations at Cape Esperance and Kamimbo at Japanese naval personnel ferried the waiting troops out to the destroyers in barges and landing craft. After embarking 4, soldiers, mainly of the 38th Division , the transport destroyers ceased loading at About this time, Makigumo , one of the screening destroyers, was suddenly wracked by a large explosion, caused by either a PT-boat torpedo or a naval mine.

Informed that Makigumo was immobilised, Hashimoto ordered her to be abandoned and scuttled. During the return voyage, the ships of the Reinforcement Unit were attacked by aircraft of the Cactus Air Force aircraft at On 4 February Patch ordered the st Infantry of the 25th Division to replace the th Separate Infantry at the front and resume the advance westward. Hashimoto led the second evacuation mission with 20 destroyers south toward Guadalcanal at Near-misses heavily damaged Maikaze , and Hashimoto detached Nagatsuki to take her in tow her back to the Shortland islands.

The Reinforcement Unit embarked Hyakutake, his staff, and 3, men, mainly of the 2nd Division , and reached Bougainville without incident by Believing that the Japanese operations on 1 and 4 February had been reinforcement rather than evacuation missions, the US forces on Guadalcanal proceeded slowly and cautiously, advancing only about yards m each day.

Operation KE: The Cactus Air Force and the Japanese Withdrawal From Guadalcanal

On the northern coast, the st Infantry finally began its attack to the west at At the same time, the Japanese were withdrawing their remaining 2, troops to Kamimbo. On 7 February the st Infantry crossed the Umasani river and reached Bunina, about 9 miles 14 km from Cape Esperance. Ferry, advanced from Titi to Marovovo and dug in for the night about 2, yards m north of the village. Hashimoto departed the Shortland islands with 18 destroyers at A Cactus Air Force package of 36 aircraft attacked Hashimoto at Isokaze retired escorted by Kawakaze. The US and Japanese each lost one aeroplane in the attack.

For an additional 90 minutes, destroyer crewmen rowed their boats along the shore calling out again and again to make sure no one was left behind. At dawn on 8 February the US Army forces on both coasts resumed their advances, encountering only a few sick and dying Japanese soldiers.