Guadalcanal: Starvation Islandby Eric Hammel
GUADALCANAL Starvation Island Eric Hammel The Japanese defeats at Midway and Guadalcanal decided the outcome of the Pacific War. Guadalcanal was the classic three-dimensional campaign. On land, at sea, and in the air, fierce battles were fought with both sides stretching their supplies and equipment to the breaking point. The campaign lasted six months, involved nearly one million men, and stopped Japanese expansion in the Pacific. When the campaign began on August 7, 1942, no one on either side quite knew how to conduct it, as Eric Hammel shows in this masterly account. Guadalcanal: Starvation Island corrects numerous errors and omissions in the official records that have been perpetuated in all the books previously published about the campaign. Hammel also draws on the recollections of more than 100 participants on both sides, especially the enlisted men at the sharp end. Their words bring us into the heart of the battle and portray the fighting accurately, realistically, and powerfully. Guadalcanal: Starvation Island follows the men and the commanders of this decisive World War II campaign in an integrated, brilliantly told narrative of the desperate struggle at sea, on land, and in the air. ================================= Praise for Guadalcanal: Starvation Island and Eric Hammel “A comprehensive history of the Guadalcanal Campaign . . . [and] a well balanced account. Well written and fast moving.” —Marine Corps Gazette “Hammel has written the most comprehensive popular ac¬count to date . . . and exposes controversial aspects often passed over,” —Publishers Weekly “Hammel takes the reader behind the scenes and details how decisions were made . . . and how they impacted on the troops carrying them out. He tells the story in a very human way.” —Leatherneck Magazine “A splendid record of this decisive campaign. Hammel offers a wealth of fresh material drawn from archival records and the recollections of 100 odd surviving participants. . . . A praise¬worthy contribution to Guadalcanal lore.” —Kirkus Reviews “Hammel’s ability to reveal both the immediacy and the hu¬manity of war without judgment or bias makes all his books both readable and scholarly. —San Francisco Chronicle “Hammel does not write dry history. His battle sequences are masterfully portrayed. —Library Journal
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I loved this book. What really got me was the breakdown into the lower levels of command of the units, particularly the 1st Marine Raiders. Many times, the battle accounts are at the company level or lower. And the author doesn't leave out the air and sea battles going on simutaneously. There also are some great maps and pictures to help you understand the terrain and battle better. I would recommend this book to anyone who's serious on learning about the Battle of Guadalcanal and feeling what the the men who fought there went through.
"Starvation Island" is the definitive book on Guadalcanal. When read in context with "Decision at Sea" and "The Carrier Battles" the full impact of this first strike against Imperial Japan becomes evident. The men of the First Marine Division now rank in history with other elite units who were drawn into desperate do or die last stands for their countries. The First Marine Division emblem is now and forever emblazoned with the preeminent constellation of the southern hemisphere that of the Southern Cross, it was under this constellation that this battle was fought. Also, inscribed is the name that will forever be coupled with Marine Corps lore that of Guadalcanal on its big Red One. "Guadalcanal: Starvation Island" will not disappoint its reader!