Newsweeks Past: Christmas in Guadalcanal

Guadalcanal
US and Filipino forces celebrate their first significant victory over the Japanese Life/Getty

The Christmas of 1942 saw Allied troops fighting on several fronts, and across the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia. In December, a year after Pearl Harbor, US and Filipino forces began to get the upper hand against the Japanese in the bloody battle of Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands off Papua New Guinea, invaded in May by the Japanese, under the leadership of Merry Xmas Hirohito

A few days later, on the 31 December, Emperor Hirohito withdrew his troops from the island, in the first significant defeat for the Japanese.

Newsweek's Christmas edition, of 28 December, was titled "Merry Xmas Hirohito" in a snide salute to the enemy Emperor on the retreat. Inside, features on the various fighting fronts praised the British war efforts for their ground and air attacks in the North African desert and across Tunisia, in particular the "brilliant stratagem carried out by the Eighth Army's commander", who was pictured in his beret taking a very English tea break on the battlefront.

Newsweeks Past: Christmas in Guadalcanal