Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Between Aug. 7, 1942, and Feb. 9, 1943, U.S. forces sought to capture – and then defend – the Pacific island of Guadalcanal from the Japanese military. What started as an amphibious landing quickly turned into a series of massive air and naval battles. The campaign marked a major turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II.

It also revealed important lessons about the nature of warfare itself – ones that are particularly relevant when planning for conflict in the 21st century.

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