Accession Number:



Coming Together: Operational Art in the Guadalcanal Campaign, October 1942-February 1943

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The United States struggled against Japan in the Guadalcanal campaign for seven months early in the Second World War. The struggle included major engagements that spanned air, land, and sea that started as a minor step and became a contest of national wills at the edge of the Earth. Most studies chronicle the campaigns many tactical engagements and mythical personalities. This monograph examines how Admiral William Halsey as the South Pacific Theater Commander conducted a maritime campaign through the lens of operational art. This study conducted a structured, focused comparison the Guadalcanal Campaign for use with other similarly structured studies. Seven questions related to operational art guided the collection of evidence. These questions tested four hypotheses aimed at providing validity to the thesis. These hypotheses focused on determining the commanders understanding of the political objectives and operational environment, the arrangement and sequencing of operations, and the supporting command and control structure. The empirical evidence examined supported this monographs thesis that that the commanders created novel solutions to the operational problems they faced in the Guadalcanal campaign by employing the characteristics, concepts, attributes, and elements of operational art to link the strategic and tactical framework of the operational environment. They used operational art to arrange and sequence tactical activities that created relative advantages and led to the defeat of the Japanese strategy.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]