On August 7, 1942, a scant nine months after Pearl Harbor, the Marine Corps struck back against Japan on a small island half a world away: Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands. The stakes were high. The Japanese had been running roughshod across Asia and the Pacific and even into the Indian Ocean. If the Marines failed in the Solomons, New Guinea would almost certainly fall, mortally threatening Australia.
The victory of the 1st Marine Division at Guadalcanal, told here in pictures for the first time, ranks with the most heroic, dramatic, and enduring of military history. The six-month long Guadalcanal campaign was by far the longest and most complicated operation the Marines faced in the Pacific War. It began with the weapons and tactics of the Marine Corps 1918 combat in France and ended with the revised weapons and tactics that would sweep aside the Japanese defenders of numerous formidable bases all across the wide Pacific--bringing the United States armed forces to total victory in the Pacific in World War II.
This book is a fitting tribute to the men who sacrificed so much in winning this first stepping stone on the path to Tokyo Bay and victory over Japan.
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Eric Hammel is a critically acclaimed military historian and author of more than thirty combat and pictorial histories, including several on U.S. Marine operations in World War II and Vietnam, such as Pacific Warriors: The U.S. Marines in World War II, Iwo Jima: Portrait of a Battle, and Marines in Hue City: A Portrait of Urban Combat, Tet 1968. He lives in Northern California.
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