Today in History: February 8, 1943: Americans Secure Guadalcanal

One of my favorite genres to read is Historical Fiction/Non-fiction, and I tend to gravitate toward books taking place during World War II. There is so much to be learned from that time in history, whether good or bad, from the front lines or from the home front. There are endless accounts of courage and sacrifice; and on the other end, many accounts of evil and pain.

I love reading this genre because it is so important to know our history and learn from our past, and it’s just as valuable to learn what the human race is capable of doing to help their fellow men or women. WWII is certainly an example of a time when selflessness and bravery shone through. In his book titled The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw described these men and women as staying “true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith”.

I felt it appropriate to write the first “From History to Today” post about WWII.

On this day, February 8, 1943 (74 years ago), the Americans secured Guadalcanal from Japanese control. In July 1942, the Japanese had begun building a large airfield on the island, which threatened Allied communication lines and supply routes between the United States and Australia. Aircraft from Guadalcanal would have served as cover to enable to Japanese naval forces to advance even further into the South Pacific.

This pushed the invasion of the Solomon Islands, which included Guadalcanal. The Japanese had begun withdrawing in January 1943, and the Americans took full control on February 8th. This was a pivotal moment since securing Guadalcanal led to many more Allied victories across the Solomon Islands.

A few books I have read taking place in the Pacific theater include Across the Dark Islands (which includes Guadalcanal) by Floyd W. Radike and Flags of Our Fathers written by James Bradley and Ron Powers. Both include powerful and sobering accounts of battles in the Pacific.

What books have you read that took place in the Pacific theater? What did you find especially compelling or moving about these books?

Until next time,

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