What were the Japanese objectives and plan during the "Battle of Bloody Ridge" which occurred from September 13-15, 1942? Resources about Japanese leadership and command from the Japanese perspective are cited.
Although the Japanese Navy General Staff plan for an early invasion of the Australian mainland had been blocked by Japan's generals at the joint navy and army conference in Tokyo on 7 March 1942, Imperial General Headquarters was very conscious of the pressing need to deny the United States access to Australia as a base for a counter-offensive against Japan.
On 15 March 1942, Imperial General Headquarters approved Navy General Staff's alternative plan to block American access to Australia. The alternative plan envisaged extension of Japan's defensive perimeter to Port Moresby on the southern coast of the island of New Guinea, and then across the Pacific Ocean to the Fiji Islands and Samoa. New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa would be heavily fortified by Japan and equipped with forward air and naval bases. The waters between each island fortress in this chain would be guarded by the Japanese Navy. Once completely isolated from the United States and American help, Australia could then be absorbed into Japan's planned Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere when it was convenient for the Japanese military to achieve that result
The Japanese Navy General Staff plan to isolate Australia from the United States was given the code reference "Operation FS", and was to be carried out under the overall direction of Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inouye at Rabaul in the occupied Australian Territory of New Guinea.
The first Japanese targets would be Port Moresby on the southern coast of Australia's Territory of Papua and the island of Tulagi at the southern end of the Solomon Islands.
The Japanese captured the island of Tulagi on 3 May 1942, and began to develop it as a naval base.
The first attempt by Japan to capture Port Moresby by means of a powerful seaborne invasion force also occurred in the first week of May 1942. This attempt was defeated by a joint United States and Australian naval task force at the Battle of the Coral Sea (7-8 May 1942).
An even worse defeat occurred when the Japanese attempted to seize the American base on the Midway Atoll on 4 June 1942. In the Battle of Midway (4-6 June 1942), Japan lost four of its best aircraft carriers and its naval superiority over the United States Pacific Fleet. The Japanese Navy concealed the full extent of its disastrous losses at Midway, and without awareness of the changed strategic situation, Imperial General Headquarters resolved to press on with the plan to isolate Australia from the United States. It was agreed that the Navy's "setback" at Midway justified postponement of Japan's plans to seize New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa. However, it was deemed to be even more urgent to capture Port Moresby and all of the Solomon Islands.
The Americans were aware of the Japanese plan to block access by them to Australia, and appreciated that control of the whole of the Solomon Islands chain would greatly facilitate Japan's capacity to prevent troops, and military equipment and supplies, reaching Australia from the United States. On 24 June 1942, Admiral King directed Admiral Nimitz to prepare to capture "Tulagi and adjacent positions". On 27 June, Nimitz directed the seizure of a site for an airfield in conjunction with the Solomons operation, but Nimitz did not mention Guadalcanal specifically. On 3 July, Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, chief of the War Plans Division, recommended adding Guadalcanal to the planning for the Solomons operation which had been assigned the code reference "Watchtower".
On 29 June 1942, the Japanese crossed the 30 mile (48 km) stretch of sea separating Tulagi and the large island of Guadalcanal. Two thousand Japanese troops and construction workers were soon engaged in building an airbase at Lunga Point on the northern coastal plain of Guadalcanal. Their progress on the airfield ...
A Japanese perspective regarding the "Battle of Bloody Ridge" is summarized.