In the remote South Pacific, east of Papua New Guinea, and not far from Australia, lies a string of about nine hundred islands that make up the nation of Solomon Islands. Between 1941 and 1945, this swath of ocean witnessed some of the fiercest fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan during the Second World War. At that time, the islands were under British rule, but were occupied by the Japanese and it became strategically important for the Allied forces to recapture them if the war in the Pacific was to be won.
The allies launched an offensive against the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy by swarming ashore the islands of Tulagi and Guadalcanal. The Battle of Guadalcanal became bloody as tremendous warfare waged on land, on sea and in the air. The Japanese suffered great losses: more 36,000 killed, missing or captured. Eventually, it wore the Japanese down and they withdrew completely in early 1943.
Photo credit: Kelsey Schwenk/Flickr