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FT. LEAVENWORTH SERIES | Guadalcanal, 1942: The Turning Point of the Pacific Theater in World War II

April 2 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Dr. Kuehn’s talk will dispute the claim that the Battle of Midway is the turning point of the Pacific War and offer an argument that the campaign on Guadalcanal from August 1942 to early February 1943 constitutes the actual turning point in the war. This presentation examines the campaign from this vantage point and emphasizes how what began as the seizure of an undefended island airfield turned into a war of attrition on land, sea, and air between the Empire of Japan and the United States and its allies.

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Dr. John T. Kuehn is Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years, serving as a naval flight officer flying land and carrier-based aircraft. He has taught a variety of subjects, including military history, at CGSC since 2000. He authored Agents of Innovation, A Military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century, Napoleonic Warfare: The Operational Art of the Great Campaigns, and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater with D.M. Giangreco as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. His latest book from Naval Institute Press is America’s First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the Navy, 1900-1950. During 2016-2017 Dr. Kuehn served on CNO Admiral John Richardson’s Fleet Design Advisory Panel assessing congressionally mandated architectures for the fleet of 2030.

The Ft. Leavenworth Series

The Ft. Leavenworth Series is an annual roster of lectures focusing on significant historical events, usually with an emphasis on military history. Each lecture is presented by faculty from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Established by General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1881, the CGSC is the graduate college for U.S. Army and sister service officers. The Dole Institute is honored to have the esteemed faculty and guests of the CGSC provide unique and captivating insights into the history of military conflict from the ancient to the modern ages.



April 2
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

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