Guadalcanal Campaign - Battle of Mount Austen, The Galloping Horse, and The Sea Horse

Battle of Mount Austen, The Galloping Horse, and The Sea Horse

By December, the weary 1st Marine Division was withdrawn for recuperation, and over the course of the next month the U.S. XIV Corps took over operations on the island. This corps consisted of the 2nd Marine Division and the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry and Americal Divisions. U.S. Army Major General Alexander Patch replaced Vandegrift as commander of Allied forces on Guadalcanal, which by January totaled just over 50,000 men.

On December 18, Allied (mainly U.S. Army) forces began attacking Japanese positions on Mount Austen. A strong Japanese fortified position, called the Gifu, stymied the attacks and the Americans were forced to temporarily halt their offensive on January 4.

The Allies renewed the offensive on January 10, reattacking the Japanese on Mount Austen as well as on two nearby ridges called the Seahorse and the Galloping Horse. After some difficulty, the Allies captured all three by January 23. At the same time, U.S. Marines advanced along the north coast of the island, making significant gains. The Americans lost about 250 killed in the operation while the Japanese suffered around 3,000 killed–about 12 to 1 in the Americans' favor.

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