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on October 18, 2017
Gripping novel context for the best possible accuracy in a major historical event, one of the milestones that marked the turning point of WW II in the South Pacific. Extensive references and notes sections at the end.
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on October 17, 2017
This follows in detail naval operations around Guadalcanal. When I say detail, I’m talking Hornfischer detail. If you have read Tin Can Sailors, you understand what I mean. And, if you have not read Tin Can Sailors, do so now. Even knowing the outcome, Hornfischer puts you right on that ship making you wish so hard for a different outcome. It is sometimes infuriates with the slowness of American commanders to adapt to new technology. That slowness to accept what their radar was telling them cost way too many lives and ships. Through it all the courage of those sailors to go in harms way repeatedly speaks again of that Great Generation! It was only disappointing in the attempt of the Navy to hold someone accountable.

Neptune’s Inferno is another James Hornfischer five star book. I loved the read!
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on October 12, 2017
This book gives a whole different view of the US Navy's roll in the battle for Guadalcanal. I like a lot of other readers thought that the Navy did not perform up to the level required. After reading Neptune's Inferno, I now realize that the Navy did all it could with what it had. There were actually more sailors lost than soldiers and marines during the battle for Guadalcanal.
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on October 9, 2017
Received this as a Christmas Present from my Dad. By far one of the best books I have ever read. Did you know that the United States Navy lost more personnel during the Battle for Guadalcanal than the United States Marine Corp? I did not know this before my Father, a WWII US Navy Veteran gave this to me to read for Christmas. Definitely a keeper of a book. One that everyone should read. Appropriate I would say for ages 13 and up.
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on September 29, 2017
Hornfischer is a premier WWII naval warfare author. THIS book is as intense as his LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS. The role of the Navy in securing Guadalcanal has been eclipsed by the heroic sacrifices of marines and soldiers. Naval personnel lost 3 times as many personnel as the marines did while engaging the Japanese navy in major battles to protect the landing all while perfecting modern naval warfare.
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on September 26, 2017
Great book, also "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", also by Hornfischer is a must read.
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on September 22, 2017
Often riveting, this is one of the best written, most engaging books of military or naval history I have read. Mr Hornfischer's reputation for making events personal is shown very well in this account. Judgements are few, but well chosen and well supported, often in the words of official reports, interviews, and documents written by the participants. My only "beef", if I may call it that, was that it does, indeed, only cover Guadalcanal operations, rather than carrying forward through the entire Solomons campaign. I can recommend this book to all interested in the U.S. Navy's early, frightfully bought, learning period of WWII in the Pacific.
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on September 10, 2017
If you want to know what it was like during WWII in the Pacific for the surface Navy, this is the book to read.
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on September 9, 2017
Good historical perspectve of early naval engagement in WWII without excruciating detail of each specific event. Well written, very readable, any navy veteran would learn and appreciate thiis true narrative.
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on September 8, 2017
Reads like an adventure novel, with heroes, villains and fools. Unfortunately, most of the villains and fools were on the US Navy command staff at the most senior levels, and the incredible mistakes they made cost thousands of lives and nearly lost the campaign for the Solomons and the war in the Pacific. The heroes were those that pulled small victories from the jaws of defeat, and those who gave everything to save their ships and their fellow sailors.

This book is extremely well researched and written, and I found it hard to put down late into the night. The incredible inadequacy of the South Pacific Fleet going into the Solomons campaign is hard to understate. From complete ignorance of the the enemy and his fighting abilities, especially at night and using torpedos, to the almost complete lack of a fighting doctrine and the ability to communicate with other ships during an engagement, this book sets up the opposing forces and their inevitable clashes in a clear and riveting way.

The employment of the then new technology of radar, and how the advantage it conferred on the American forces was frustratingly ignored and misused by senior command in the majority of the battles is clearly described.

The inadequacy of the US Navy's torpedos, and their lack of an employment doctrine by the destroyer squadrons is very lamentable. But, they learned, slowly. And the descriptions of the different vessel's fighting capabilities and how they were employed is fascinating .

A great book about a largely ignored, yet vital campaign in WWII, a campaign that represented the turning of the tide in the Pacific war against Imperial Japan, told from the perspective of the naval fleet actions which saw a death toll over 3 times what the beleaguered Marine and Army units on Guadalcanal suffered.
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