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Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle Paperback – January 1, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- D.E. Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The initial success of the landings, however, was followed by some of the fiercest land, air, and naval battles of the Pacific War. Japanese and American naval forces struggled incessantly for control of the seas around the Solomon Islands, and the U.S. Navy was unpleasantly surprised to come off as second best in some of the more famous fleet encounters, particularly in the Battle of Savo Island, where four Allied cruisers were sunk in one of the worst defeats in America's long naval history.
On land, too, Guadalcanal became a living hell for the Japanese defenders and the Marines holding a perimeter around Henderson Field. Both sides endured not only the man-made horrors of battle, but also the ravages of life in the tropical jungle, including jungle rot, malaria, and -- for the Japanese -- hunger as American attempts to stem the trickle of reinforcements and supplies slowly but surely began to succeed.
Richard B.Read more ›
Perhaps the most interesting part of this book to me was how Mr. Frank not only provides the American viewpoint of the battle, but also the Japanese viewpoint. It was interesting to read about how aircraft and casualty claims were greatly exaggerated by both sides. I also felt that the final chapter was interesting in the way that everything was summarized for the reader. I have been reading books about the Pacific war since I was in the 4th grade, and this is the most comprehensive account of the entire Guadalcanal campaign that I have come across. This book is a must read for any World War II reader.
Frank is wonderful on all counts and can really write well. At a time when both sides were reaching out to each other to do battle right at the end of their supply lines, with little depth, it was the Japanese training and perseverance that really ruled the day on the sea. On land, although Japanese soldiers were perhaps the finest fighting infantry in war (General Slim's words, not mine). They tended to be blinded by their presumed superiority and racial arrogance. They were roughly handled by the marines at first and this punishment was followed up by the later army actions to clear the North-west part of the island.
What really dominated the land battle was success at sea -- and the Americans were very lucky indeed in the opening months that the Japanese never pressed their advantage once they had initial successes at sea. If they had of the result of the battle would have been an allied defeat.Read more ›
Like no other book I read, this book helped me do that.
My six-month-long stay on Guadalcanal was preceded by more than a year of reading every single thing I could get my hands on about the battle. I read every book I could find in the English language -- accounts from Brits, Kiwis, Aussies -- as well as a few translated from Japanese. I spent two weeks at the Marine Corps Historical Museum in D.C. going through my great uncle's unit's combat reports.
This book was without question the book I counted on the most to understand the chronology of the battle -- who on both sides was where, doing what and when during the battle, how the battle unfolded, etc.
The Guadalcanal story has been told many times since our grandfathers came home from that war. But, to my knowledge, it has never been told in this detail. Nobody has documented the Battle for Guadalcanal better than Richard Frank.
He tells the story elegantly, with detail about troop movements, unit actions, ship names, etc. that only someone obsessed with such details (like me) would find interesting. Yet, the detail he documents doesn't get in the way of the telling of the story. The details flow with the drama. And drama there was, of course.
It's a scholarly book for scholars and a reader's book for readers. Anyone truly interested in how and why this battle was historic will find this book immensely rewarding.
If you're seriously interested in learning about this momentous battle, this book is a must-read along with William Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first invasion of WWII turned into a six month campaign that was hand to hand at times. This was the start of the crusade across the Pacific with this victory.Published 1 month ago by Steve
I found a small error on page 567-568, where Frank is using the diary of Major Nishiyama to tell a moving tale of the apparent death of General Ito, who authorized a retreat, but... Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Miller
Best book I've read on Guadalcanal. Combines land and sea battles together in a detailed account. If you enjoy reading about the Japanese war, this is your book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by James
If you read this before Ian Toll's history of the Pacific War, you will get a lot more than the sum of the two books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Stephen Armstrong