Guadalcanal: Supporting Notations cover

Guadalcanal: Supporting Notations


NOTE: This is a companion piece to Inside The Guadalcanal Story and contains supplemental material. Please make sure you download Guadalcanal for context. The app will remember your place in both NoteStreams at all times.

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Guadalcanal: Supporting Notations

Footnote 1

1. Shangri La is the mystical earthly paradise described in ‘Lost Horizon’, the 1933 novel by the British author James Hilton.

Footnote 2

2. The island nation of Japan did not have the natural resources to satisfy their insatiable needs to become a major world power.

On June 29, 1940 they announced their ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’ plan without prior notice for the other Asian countries included in their Sphere. Inherent in the plan was the superiority of the Japanese over other Asian races to manage the Sphere, or in other words to control the region’s natural resources.

The opportunist timing is obvious. With the evacuation the Allied forces at Dunkirk, France the first week of June 1940, followed by the French surrender on June 22, 1940, all the European powers with Asian interest had been defeated except for England. England was thought to have little chance for survival against Hitler’s military in the Battle of Britain that was about to begin. To the Japanese the Dutch East Indies, French Indochina and all of Asia was now an open door.

Footnote 3

3. Adolf Hitler used the existence of ‘Rainbow Five’ in his speech to the Reichstag on December 11, 1941 as one justification for his proposed Declaration of War on the United States.

The Chicago Tribune newspaper’s Washington correspondent, Chesly Manly, who had a copy, revealed the plan’s existence in the December 4, 1941 edition of the newspaper.

The irony is that had not the existence of Rainbow Five been leaked and provoked Hitler into declaring war on the United States, Great Britain would have been at war with Germany and Italy and the United States involved in a separate war with Japan.

Footnote 3 (Cont.)

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor just 3 days after the Chicago Tribune’s disclosure of Rainbow Five would not have provided any justification for the United States to declare war on Germany. The Tripartite Agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan only required mutual defense if one was attacked.

The United States declared war on Germany on December 11, 1941 just hours after Germany had already declared war against the United States. The congressional vote was not unanimous.

Wyoming Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin who also voted against United States entry into WWI cast the sole vote against the WWII declaration of war against Germany, Italy and Japan. Chancellor Hitler handed Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt the gift they needed to implement both ‘Plan Dog’ and ‘Rainbow Five’, and ensure his own destruction.

Footnote 4

4. A number of references confirm The Joint Chiefs shifted the SWPA one degree of longitude to the west as stated and for the reasons stated. However, only the USMC Historical Monogram ‘Marine Aviation in the Philippines’ was found to state the dividing line change was from 160o to 159o longitude.

Footnote 5

5. Vice Admiral Robert Ghormley the South Pacific Commander for Nimitz advised Major General Alexander Vandegrift on July 3, 1942 that his 1st Marine Division would invade Guadalcanal in 5 weeks.

He was shocked; reportedly stated he did not even know where the island was. Not expecting combat operations until 1943, his division was only partially at readiness in Auckland, New Zealand.

Footnote 6

6. The division of the Solomon Islands by the agreement caused numerous and regular command problems.

The Marine Corps Solomon Islands campaign in through 1943 covered both areas because the main Japanese bases were in MacArthur’s SWPA and the main Allied operational bases were in Nimitz’ SOPAC. The First Marine Aircraft Wing was permanently assigned to General MacArthur’s 5th Air Force under General George Kenney by June 1944.

Footnote 7

7. The Corsair took 55 months between its first flight to meet its carrier combat design requirement (January 1945).

Listed below are the top 5 United States WWII combat era fighters with date of first flight and first combat. The uniquely designed P-38 Lightning was the longest.

Lightning Jan 1939 – Dec 1941 34 Months

Corsair May 1940 – Feb 1943 32 Months

Mustang Oct 1940 – May 1942 18 Months

Thunderbolt May 1941 – Mar 1943 21 Months

Hellcat Jun 1942 – Aug 1943 25 Months

The 55 months between the Corsair’s first flight and first carrier combat (January 1945) was extraordinary for the WWII era.

Footnote 8

8. “The Battle of Guadalcanal would become the defining point for Marine Corps aviation in World War II and for the next fifty years”, stated Lieutenant Colonel R.D. Alles, USMC, in his Global Security article “Marine Tactical Aviation, Why Keep it?” (1995).