The Battle of Savo Island took place August 8–August 9, 1942, and was
a naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, between the
Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval forces. The battle was the
first of five major naval engagements of the Guadalcanal campaign. In
the battle, a Japanese warship task force surprised and routed the
Allied naval force, sinking one Australian and three American
cruisers, while taking only moderate damage in return. The Japanese
force consisted of seven cruisers and one destroyer, commanded by Vice
Admiral Gunichi Mikawa. In response to Allied amphibious landings in
the eastern Solomon Islands, Mikawa brought his task force down "the
Slot" to attack the Allied amphibious fleet and its screening force.
The screening force consisted of eight cruisers and fifteen
destroyers, commanded by British Rear Admiral Victor Crutchley, but
only five cruisers and seven destroyers were actually involved in the
battle. As a result of the defeat, the remaining Allied warships and
the amphibious force withdrew from the Solomon Islands. This
temporarily conceded control of the seas around Guadalcanal to the
Japanese. Allied ground forces had landed on Guadalcanal and nearby
islands only the day before. The withdrawal of the fleet left them in
a precarious situation, with barely enough supplies, equipment, and
food to hold their beachhead.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton
was first published, describing his laws of motion and his law of
The Hormel Foods Corporation introduced Spam, the canned precooked
meat product that would eventually enter into pop culture, folklore,
and urban legend.
Elvis Presley began making his first commercial recordings at Sun
Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq overthrew Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto of Pakistan in a military coup d'état.
Indonesia held its first direct presidential elections in its history;
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would later be elected president during the
second round of the elections on September 20.
Wikiquote of the day:
There are truths which one can only say after having won the right to
say them. -- Jean Cocteau