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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

January 30th, 1943 - The Battle of Rennell's Island

Conflict: World War II

Combatants: Americans vs. Japanese

Location: South Pacific

Outcome: Japanese victory


On January 29th and 30th, an American squadron of sixteen warships under the command of Admiral Robert C. Giffen patrolled north of the island of Guadalcanal with the aim of drawing out Japanese naval forces in the area. The Japanese commander, Isoroku Yamamoto, instead launched two air attacks against the US vessels from nearby land bases. In the first attack, the heavy cruiser Chicago was so badly damaged it had to be towed. When the second Japanese air attack came, the Chicago was sunk.


USS Chicago low in the water after sustaining damage by an unknown photographer

Points of Interest:

  • In the week following the Battle of Rennell's Island, the Japanese managed to evacuate 13,000 soldiers from Guadalcanal without alerting the American navy.

  • Just two months later, Yamamoto would be killed when his plane was shot down by American pilots near Bougainville.


Isoroku Yamamoto as Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet by an unknown photographer

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Sources:


Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.


Gailey, Harry A.. (1995). The War in the Pacific. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.

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