Battle Of Nu'uanu

Battle of Nu'uanu
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Address Nuuanu Pali Dr, Kaneohe, HI 96744
A bloody battle of ancient Hawaiian warriors.

• General: Educational • General: History

The Battle of Nu'uanu took place on Oahu in May of 1795, four days after Kamehameha's troops landed on Oahu in an attempt to take over and unify the Hawaiian Islands.

As Kamehameha's army advanced westward they ran into Kalanikupule's defense at Punchbowl Crater (which today is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl)). Kamehameha sent half of his army around to flank Kalanikupule's troops. With no way to win, Kalanikupule's troops eventually retreat back into the Nu'uanu Valley.

While Kalanikupule had that area fortified with cannons, Kamehameha had sent troops in to destroy those cannons which helped Kamehameha's army win the battle here. The difficult Pali Notches Hike actually runs through the areas where these cannons were originally setup.

At the end, Kalanikupule's army was basically stuck with nowhere to go since they had Kamehameha's army advancing on one side and a 1000 foot cliff on the other side. Hundreds of warriors were pushed over the edges while many others jumped rather than accept defeat.

This battle is said to be the definitive battle that finally unified the Hawaiian islands and people.

Back in 1898, construction workers building the roads here discovered over 800 skulls which are thought to be the remains of the warriors from that battle. Today, this area is the touristy Nu'uanu Pali Lookout with amazing views and many don't know the sad history of this location.