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-- Damien Oliver North and welcome to war stories.
We're at the national museum of the Pacific war in Fredericksburg Texas and this exhibit demoralize -- -- the bloodiest campaign as a bulwark -- -- -- -- Have a Chester Nimitz targeted -- tiny tropical island Solomon's.
For the first American defense of the war he saw Guadalcanal as a crucial stepping stone on the road Tokyo.
-- from August 1942.
To February 43 Guadalcanal became better known.
As the Gettysburg Pacific as you'll see mistakes were made on both sides -- became the longest campaign of the Second World War.
But what are you fighting cost the lives of some 7000 Americans and over 30000 Japanese tonight.
You'll hear from the heroes who fought in the air.
On the ground in the seas around this sweltering Greenhill.
Joe's farm boy from Sioux falls Iowa dreamed of becoming the next Charles Lindbergh.
A lot of moral war.
I don't know anything and no I wanna get him the fighters.
John was a long way from Columbus, Ohio and his father's -- who was hell and it is.
-- -- -- -- Both Japanese.
-- of -- 200 miles from his Pennsylvania home to sign -- with the Marines and all of a sudden you see -- -- -- -- -- and it's coming -- you.
And Franken just graduated from New -- -- town of high school.
Next thing I know I'm coming up about a war and we -- -- -- all around us.
That summer of 42 Joseph flaws John Sweeney Mitchell Page and frank Holmgren would just four of the 105000.
Boys headed to Guadalcanal.
At the time nearly a million Americans were serving their country overseas.
Back home what was a time of sacrifice and determination.
Now that the national rubber prices has caused fired generation this is long and we see the car following -- -- wouldn't tired.
Part of the Solomon island chain level canal was about twice the size of Long Island New York has been described as a -- pestilence and rotten just dial while only human all the time.
I think everybody on an island had more.
I always felt like when I close my eyes -- like.
It was a night -- on those eyeballs.
Located 6000 miles southwest of San Francisco mirror Australia rally canals seemed an unlikely steppingstone for American to turn the tide against the Japanese.
The Japanese use this ironic now Richard Frank is a Vietnam veteran who's written a definitive history.
Why did they pick -- canals the target for this first offensive operations -- -- determined it was essential.
That the United States seized the offensive in the South Pacific -- determined that the place to go was right now because that's when the Japanese were threatening to move down through.
That southern parts of the can cut the lines of communications.
Australia New Zealand what's interesting is that admiral -- the community specifically.
Had no intention what's well from launching an offensive necessary.
Mainly because he believed his forces were not at the actual task king had the ear of course of the present -- What's remarkable about this is that truly you can say that it's one man who doesn't can't.
Admiral -- king was once described by a junior officers being quote meaner than hell.
And one who inspired respect not love.
He grew up in tiny Lorain Ohio the son of a -- -- mechanic at the age of 63 was chief of naval operations and a member of the president's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
She was also 57 year old admiral Chester Nimitz is boss.
The two men -- polar opposites and style respected each other and shared a special distrust.
Of general Douglas MacArthur.
In the aftermath of the -- of the Philippines macarthur's precipitous.
Departure from Craig gore is he still revered in Washington's a great leader.
In early 1942.
It was probably as popular in American history has ever been any.
-- in our history to the American public at the same time in Washington they also recognize that they were -- was one of the great ego maniacs of American history.
And his judgment was extremely erratic.
And first and very suspect too many people in Washington.
The political stakes were enormous carbon limits and they had no way of knowing but -- midway.
-- virtually destroyed the imperial Japanese fleet.
For that victory our navy -- -- -- the 25 cryptographic code used by the Japanese.
No one was supposed to know about it.
But a day after the battle the Chicago Tribune printed this story and headlines.
It wasn't clear -- the government censors and FDR was furious.
He blamed his longtime political adversary Robert McCormick the Tribune's publisher.
The president ordered attorney general -- hospital to try McCormack for treason punishable by death.
But the navy didn't want a trial which would disclose our code breaking and refused to cooperate nonetheless the secret was out they.
Japanese changed their main operational at the end of may 1942 and again in August 1940 -- this affect the way.
Shut us out from actual.
Decoding of Japanese messages throughout the entire what I can -- campaign.
-- the reality was the Japanese army had never tasted defeat.
Did -- the Americans in the Philippines the abduction students.
Audition for a -- Malaysia Singapore Hong ball.
Now the target was Australia.
-- begin a systematic seizure of the 900 mile long Solomon island chain.
No one knew exactly why.
After that battle of midway American commanders were in sort of three way competition -- to what to do you describe that friction.
-- -- -- -- -- -- Believe it was imprudent to embark on the offensive operation -- MacArthur.
Clearly with an idea toward seizing the initiative proposed a -- to revolving Japanese -- in the -- And also -- the -- provided with a couple carriers to support that.
In addition to the carriers MacArthur told king he wanted to take over the first marine division.
It was hotel headquarters in Melbourne he waged a political war against the navy.
Several king was adamant that the -- must move.
Onto an offensive he was equally adamant that no carriers would be subjected to commander general MacArthur and attacking -- politics that by seizing the initiative.
Taking charge of an operation -- would dominate the resources and hence.
The operation -- Pacific -- MacArthur got no carrier.
But the decision by the Joint Chiefs of Staff was indeed solemn -- They literally split the commander the solomons along the 150 ninth meridian.
Minutes would get Guadalcanal and its neighboring to logging.
And all island's east MacArthur got New Guinea New Britain.
And island's west.
That we have -- time -- what the Japanese bad.
On the on the quality intelligence -- -- shortfalls pan American planning we do not have a good fix on how many Japanese accent like now.
But someone did.
With the Americans didn't -- Was that a spy network was already in place and saw this in 1939.
-- scouts -- coast watchers were coordinated by 27 year old Martin Clemens and his boss Australian lieutenant commander.
Eric felt the room because voting idea it was it was Phelps.
He thought up this.
Having -- -- -- he -- there's.
We've never have enough troops.
There and we were learning to use.
Long cooler that human -- Martin Clemens -- lived in the Solomon Islands a British district officer years before the war began.
Islands would then a British protectorate.
He then was sent off to different districts and -- the dog's body work.
Area in the dunes learning in this the native language.
The Houston Kermit.
Blues to Puerto.
Did that -- any length of Metallica music who have gotten to grip around the middle.
Mark Clements is or is it truly remarkable individual he maintained himself on what -- can now with the aid of particularly the native police that they organized.
Up in the -- reporting on what was going on.
And later on organized what was an extraordinarily effective intelligence network -- -- Marines make full use out throughout the campaign.
Person on this is what you want to do we've got to find out.
Caliber guns don't find out.
The number of people and we had these traders say it's acute care about 400 miles there's two frequencies in Switzerland the -- And that's that is important for -- who loves me Japanese and they could -- Transmissions.
They couldn't find it was -- Havoc.
And then demand -- take -- in terms through report in a strange.
Object on the -- you know.
Well on the land one of -- 400 -- -- out 42 year old retired police sergeant major Jacob who's.
He's had plenty is in place to visit him and reported to maintenance and from -- services music festivals to make him it.
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