Midnight in the Pacific

Midnight in the Pacific

Guadalcanal : the World War II Battle That Turned the Tide of War

Book - 2017
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From early August until mid-November of 1942, US Marines, sailors, and pilots struggled for dominance against an implacable enemy: Japanese soldiers, inculcated with the bushido tradition of death before dishonor, avatars of bayonet combat--close-up, personal, and gruesome. The glittering prize was Henderson Airfield. Japanese planners knew that if they neutralized the airfield, the battle was won. So did the Marines who stubbornly defended it. The outcome of the long slugfest remained in doubt under the pressure of repeated Japanese air, land, and sea operations. And losses were heavy. At sea, in a half-dozen fiery combats, the US Navy fought the Imperial Japanese Navy to a draw, but at a cost of more than 4,500 sailors. More American sailors died in these battles off Guadalcanal than in all previous US wars, and each side lost 24 warships. On land, more than 1,500 soldiers and Marines died, and the air war claimed more than 500 US planes. Japan's losses on the island were equally devastating--starving Japanese soldiers called it "the island of death." But when the attritional struggle ended, American Marines, sailors, and airmen had halted the Japanese juggernaut that for five years had whirled through Asia and the Pacific. Guadalcanal was America's first major ground victory against Japan and, most importantly, the Pacific War's turning point. Published on the 75th anniversary of the battle and utilizing vivid accounts written by the combatants at Guadalcanal, along with Marine Corps and Army archives and oral histories, Midnight in the Pacific is both a sweeping narrative and a compelling drama of individual Marines, soldiers, and sailors caught in the crosshairs of history.
Publisher: Boston, MA :, Da Capo Press,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780306824593
0306824590
Characteristics: xxi, 356 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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looper46
Oct 27, 2017

Very good book about the battle---went on and on as Japanese forces kept re-inforcing troop levels and US forces not as strong as thought, and under supplied, as well as mal-nourished and under armed. Constant rebuilding of airstrip and daily bombings and causalities contributed to low morale. Mainly due to Japanese underestimating US troops ("effeminate and cowardly") and suicidal charges were the the US troops able to hold this vital island early in the war. Good piece of history, if you are interested.

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