I leave for the missions trip next Friday! *takes a deep breath* Hooowwwww did the time fly by so fast?!
This past weekend, my critique partner finished reading though A Question of Courage! Her comments were the sweetest, and I seriously don't know how I'd still be writing without her sweet encouragement and help. (Love ya, Faith! <3)
I was also able to get it sent out to six, wonderful Alpha readers, and I'm eagerly awaiting their feedback. Two of these amazing girls have already finished, and their comments were super helpful, in addition to the fact that they made my week. ;)
I'm hoping for beta-readers in August . . . so I'm just gonna throw that out there now. ;) I'm not planning on having sign-ups, but if you'd like to read it, let me know!
And . . . okay, I'm gonna get on to the actual post now. xD I hope y'all enjoy!
Guadalcanal: The Battle of Guadalcanal
While the title may sound bit repetitive, it's... really not. ;) During the Guadalcanal operation, the major battle between the two opposing forces is known as the "Battle of Guadalcanal". Or "The Battle of the Solomon Islands." Or oftentimes known as "The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal", simply because of the fact that the majority of the battle happened on the open seas, between the American Navy, and the Japanese Navy. In reality, it wasn't really just one battle, but a series of battles that would determine who would keep control of the island.
October and November were hard months for the men on Guadalcanal. Dwindling food supplies, combined with the tropical climate, had many of the men down. Diseases like dysentery and malaria ran rampant, and the forces on both sides had taken heavy losses.
Yet, there was an almost tangible feeling in the air. The feeling that something big was coming. And it was coming soon.
In October, inland on the island, several battles had taken place between the American and Japanese forces. The Japanese had been on the island longer, and were worse off than the Americans. In addition to the tropical heat, the American Navy had effectively kept any of their supply ships from dropping them food. The men were, quite literally, starving.
Most of the men are stricken with Dysentery...starvation is taking many lives, and weakening our already extended lines. We are doomed. ~ Major-General Kensaka Oda
In November, the Naval Battle took place. "The Japanese organizes four naval task forces for their operations. Two bombardment forces were to shell Henderson Fields; a third was to transport the 38th Division and it's equipment to Guadalcanal; a fourth would be in General support.
The American naval forces were organized into two task forces. And these forces, though limited, had the task of reinforcing and resupplying Guadalcanal, as well as stopping the Japanese from taking it over." - The Road to Victory, Chapter 4, written by Robert O'Neil
So basically, the American Navy was outnumbered, and he Japanese were on the way. Not a good way to start a battle, right?
Right. On November 13th,the Javanese forces entered the sound between Savo Island and Guadalcanal, and prepared to bomb Henderson Field. "In what would be called the First Battle for Guadalcanal, American Admiral Callaghan led his outmatched forces against the Japanese battleships. The main action began at night, near Savo Island. The vanguards of these opposing forces intermingled, and the American column penetrated he Japanese formation. The outnumbered Americans returned fire from all directions and the the engagement degenerated into individual ship-to-ship actions. When the battle was over, both American Admirals were dead. But the Japanese had been turned back. Not one Japanese shell had struck the island, although out of the 13 U.S. ships, 12 had been sunk." The Road to Victory , Chapter 4,
The Americans had won one of the most strategic battles for the island. Another chip had been hammered away at the granite wall that was the Japanese forces. And their wall was wearing thin.
There were several other battles that continued to be fought over the island until February of 1943. It was then that the Japanese realized they were fighting a losing battle, and they withdrew from the island. Though there were still many battles to go before the end of the war, the American victory at Guadalcanal was not only a boost to the American moral, but also a hard fought campaign that provided an example of what jungle and naval warfare in the Pacific would be like.
It was also a battle that threw to the wind the idea of Japan's invincibility. From this battle, the commanders of the Army, Marines, and Navy were able to put into practice the theories of amphibious warfare they had been taught. From here, they were able to adapt them to where they would best work on the other islands which were soon to become battlegrounds.
The war was far from over, but at last, the tide had changed.
Mitchell Paige was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. On October 26th, 1942, after all the other Marines in his platoon were either killed or wounded, Paige operated four machine guns for hours, single-handedly stopping an entire Japanese regiment. Had the position fallen and the Japanese regained Henderson Field, it is possible the outcome of World War II could have been significantly changed.
In the years to come, Paige was repeatedly asked why he would be willing to put his life on the line for his country. He said that the answers took him back to a Pennsylvania three-room country school, where the children were so steeped in the traditions of America, that they literally felt themselves part of a glorious heritage - where they teacher opened the school day with a Bible verse and the Pledge of Allegiance, and where they memorized all the great documents that established the bedrock of America, such as the Gettysburg address.
His response went this way: "My undying love of country, and my strong loyalty to the Marines fighting by my side gave me no choice but to fight on unwavering throughout my battles, utilizing my God-given ability to make use of what I had been taught and learned."
Paige also said, "I will never forget sitting in a foxhole, bloody, burned, and injured in the morning after the all-night, fierce, hand-to-hand battle against the overwhelming Japanese force on Guadalcanal. I was alone except for hundreds of dead bodies, of the enemy surrounding me. I emptied my pack, looking for something to stop the bleeding from a bayonet wound, and out fell my Bible. Picking it up in my dirty, bloody hands, I could scarcely believe it when it providentially opened up at Proverbs 3, and there were my mother's words. 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.'"
Mitchell Paige was a true servant and patriot of America . . . and America is proud to have had hundreds and thousands of valiant soldiers cut from the same cloth. ~ Taken from "The American Patriot's Bible". Also cross-referenced on different sites to make sure the information was true.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
PLATOON SERGEANT MITCHELL PAIGE
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area on October 26, 1942. When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, Platoon Sergeant Paige, commanding a machine-gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he manned his gun, and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire against the advancing hordes until reinforcements finally arrived. Then, forming a new line, he dauntlessly and aggressively led a bayonet charge, driving the enemy back and preventing a break through in our lines. His great personal valor and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
/S/ FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (Citation taken from Wikipedia)
And . . . we've come to the end of the Operation: Guadalcanal series! Tell me, did you enjoy it? Any ideas for future posts you might enjoy? Thanks for reading, and I hope your weekend is restful! :)