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Episode 507

Operation Ke
Mon, 2018-Sep-24 00:31 UTC
Length - 3:16

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Monday, 24 September 2018 is Operation Ke.

Operation Ke (ケ号作戦, Ke-gō Sakusen) was the largely successful withdrawal of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal, concluding the Guadalcanal Campaign of World War II. The operation took place between 14 January and 7 February 1943, and involved both army and navy forces under the overall direction of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (IGH). Commanders of the operation included Isoroku Yamamoto and Hitoshi Imamura.

The Japanese decided to withdraw and concede Guadalcanal to Allied forces for several reasons. All attempts by the Japanese army to recapture Henderson Field, the airfield on Guadalcanal in use by Allied aircraft, had been repulsed with heavy losses. Japanese ground forces on the island had been reduced from 36,000 to 11,000 through starvation, disease, and battle casualties. Japanese naval forces in the area were also suffering heavy losses attempting to reinforce and resupply the ground forces on the island. These losses, plus the projected resources needed for further attempts to recapture Guadalcanal, were affecting strategic security and operations in other areas of the Japanese Empire. The decision to withdraw was endorsed by Emperor Hirohito on 31 December 1942.

The operation began on 14 January 1943 with the delivery of a battalion of infantry troops to Guadalcanal to act as rearguard for the evacuation. Around the same time, Japanese army and navy air forces began an air superiority campaign around the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. During the air campaign, a US cruiser was sunk in the Battle of Rennell Island. Two days later, Japanese aircraft sank a US destroyer near Guadalcanal. The actual withdrawal was carried out on the nights of 1, 4, and 7 February by destroyers.

At a cost of one destroyer sunk and three damaged, the Japanese evacuated 10,652 men from Guadalcanal. 600 of those died during the evacuation, and 3,000 more required extensive hospital care. On 9 February, Allied forces realized that the Japanese were gone and declared Guadalcanal secure, ending the six-month campaign for control of the island.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:31 UTC on Monday, 24 September 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to

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This has been Geraint. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.


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