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Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa Hardcover – September 1, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 171 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alexander, a retired Marine officer and established scholar, uses a broad spectrum of fresh Japanese and American sources to present a gripping narrative of one of the bloodiest battles of WWII in the Pacific theater. At Tarawa in the Kiribati (formerly Gilbert) islands, "uncommon valor was a common virtue" on both sides. But this account is more than battle history. Alexander interprets Tarawa as a military test bed, a validation of the concept of amphibious assault against defended positions. The Marines and the Navy made mistakes but learned from them. Without the experience gained at Tarawa, America's path across the central Pacific would have been longer and bloodier, according to the author. Tarawa was a psychological landmark as well. The savage, close-quarters fighting and high casualties helped solidify the grim determination in the U.S. to prevail over the Japanese. Illustrations. Military Book Club main selection.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Colonel Alexander brings to his outstanding account of the Battle of Tarawa in 1943 a Marine Corps career largely spent with the amphibious tractors whose ancestors had their first combat test at Tarawa. He makes plain that the assault on heavily defended Betio was strategically essential but included a number of tactical mistakes, such as too light a bombardment. The marines also had bad luck with the tides and faced a well-trained, well-fortified, equally determined opponent--their counterparts in the Japanese Naval Landing Force, Alexander's account of whom draws upon Japanese sources used adequately for the first time ever. At the cost of a thousand dead, the marines prevailed. It is a tribute to Alexander that the reader sweats out every hour of the battle as if the book were a novel. Alexander's surpasses every other existing account of the battle by a considerable margin. Roland Green

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Naval Institute Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1557500312
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1557500311
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.55 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 171 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
171 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

gary.
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book on the usmc fighting on tarawa.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2016
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sylvain78
4.0 out of 5 stars clair, complet et bien documenté
Reviewed in France on May 11, 2015
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