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Guadalcanal Wasn’t the Only InvasIOn In ’ 42
By John LLoyd
In November 1942, the U.S. armed forces fought a
truly global war. In the same month that Americans
fought Japan in a desperate series of land, air, and sea
battles at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, the U.S.
Navy and Army launched their first offensive against
the Western Axis in French Morocco. Thus, Americans
were simultaneously engaged in combat on opposite
sides of the earth.
The Guadalcanal campaign—Operation Watchtower—
was remarkable in itself. In August 1942, only two
months after the Battle of Midway and eight months
after Pearl Harbor, the Pacific Fleet took the initiative
and began the long oceanic road to Tokyo Bay. There
had been almost daily combat for the entire period as
both sides were committed to a grinding battle of
In contrast, the multifaceted Operation Torch committed American forces against Africa’s Atlantic coast
while British units in the Mediterranean Sea landed in
Algeria. For the first time, the Anglo-Americans truly
operated as allies on a strategic scale.