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The Auckland Star: WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Sun TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 1945. WHEN THE TIDE TURNED

years ago to-daj' the tide turned in the Pacific war. Making a surprise landing, men of the United States Marines secured a beachhead at Guadalcanal and halted the enemy's southward drive. For the next six months the Marines, and, later, Army units, fought it out in the green hell of the jungle. This (although we are prone to forget it) was New Zealand's front line. On more than one occasion the line bent, seemed about to break. As Admiral Halsey admitted later, the Americans were, for much of the campaign, "fighting on a shoe-string." The men who were locked in the grim struggle with the enemy, who found that much of their energy was absorbed by the jungle and its diseases, heat exhaustion and the other incredible hardships of what was probably, from the supply point of view, the worst campaign in the Pacific, know the admiral was not exaggerating. Even more explicit was Rear-Admiral Thomas Gatch, Judge-Advocate-General of the United States Navy, who, describing the days immediately following the attack on Guadalcanal, said: "Our fortunes were at as low an ebb as they have ever been in any sea at any time. Our fleet, crippled grievously at Pearl Harbour, had not been repaired, and the damaged units were still out of service. The Japanese were creeping ever nearer to the vital supply lines to Australia, and had already established air bases on New Guinea and Guadalcanal. Developments in New Guinea, where the enemy had begun a movement in the latter part of July paralleling his Solomons penetrations, increased the necessity for prompt action on our part." The Marines were chosen, and came to the rescue with the first of the landings which have sent their name ringing round the How changed is the outlook on August 7, 1945. By a series of operations conceived with a daring matching the best history can produce, the American forces have jumped forward to control islands adjacent to Japan itself. Mighty Allied task forces now cruise virtually unmolested within sight of the enemy's home bases. Japan's once powerful navy has been so roughly handled that it is no longer considered a force to be reckoned Avith. Her air force is powerless to prevent Fortresses and Liberators, Corsairs and Mustangs from roaming the skies at will in search of their prey. It is strange to reflect that as recently as March, 1944, the Domei News Service circulated, a report that "with the enemj'-'s attack on Truk and Ponape, as the last struggle, the enemy's counter-offensive attempts came to a virtual end." Daily .reports of the current tremendous attacks on Japanese targets provide their own commentary. The counter-offensive which began three years ago to-day has gone steadily forward—New Georgia, June 30, 1943; Bougainville, November 1, 1943; Tarawa, November 20, 1943; Green Island, February 15, 1944; The Admiralties, April 30, 1944; Leyte, October 19, 1944; Luzon, January 9, 1945; Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945; Okinawa, April 1, 1945—these were the key landings. They were made possible by the gallantry and determination of the men who wrested back Guadalcanal from the enemy. In attempting to hold his island outposts the enemy committed ships and planes, and more ships and more planes. The balance of success has been steadily in our "favour. No flights of imagination are needed to picture the plight of this country, as well as Australia, had the United States, in the darjc days of 1942, been unwilling, or unable, to come to our aid. It is not too much to say that without America's magnificent help the heavy hand of the conqueror must have rested on our land. The Dominion's fate would not have been pleasant. Our men serving overseas in the Second Division, too, would have felt the impact. Cut off from reinforcements, they must have found themselves finally in the ranks of tiie homeless armies—"the free New Zealand Division." When looking with justifiable pride at the list of battle honours won by our men in the Desert, in Sicily and in Italy, New Zealanders should also give more than a passing thought to Guadalcanal—to those grim days at Lunga Point, Hill 27, the Matanikau and the Gifu strongpoint. Battle honours were won there, too, and in winning them our Allies helped make our country secure. It is well that we should remember. <

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Bibliographic details

The Auckland Star: WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Sun TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 1945. WHEN THE TIDE TURNED, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 185, 7 August 1945

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The Auckland Star: WITH WHICH ARE INCORPORATED The Evening News, Morning News and The Sun TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 1945. WHEN THE TIDE TURNED Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 185, 7 August 1945

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