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One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa
     

One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa

4.4 18
by John Wukovits
 

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The riveting true account of the first American offensive in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

In November 1943, the men of the 2d Marine Division were instructed to clear out any token Japanese resistance on the Pacific island of Betio and return to their waiting ships. But when the Marines landed, the surviving Japanese

Overview

The riveting true account of the first American offensive in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

In November 1943, the men of the 2d Marine Division were instructed to clear out any token Japanese resistance on the Pacific island of Betio and return to their waiting ships. But when the Marines landed, the surviving Japanese poured out of their protective subterranean bunkers—and began one of the most brutal and bloody battles of World War II.

For three straight days, attackers and defenders fought over every square inch of sand in a battle with no defined frontlines, and where there was no possibility of retreat—because there was nowhere to retreat to. It was a clash that would leave both sides stunned and exhausted, and prove both the fighting mettle of the Americans and the fanatical devotion of the Japanese.

Drawn from new sources, such as participants’ letters and diaries and exclusive firsthand interviews with survivors, One Square Mile of Hell is the true story of a battle between two determined foes, neither of whom would ever look at the other in the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Naval historian John Wukovits writes about the bloody Tarawa fight as though he had gone ashore with the Marines...a worthy memorial to the Marines who fought there.”—Herman Wouk

“This fast-paced chronicle of courage is a must read.”—Lt. Col. Oliver L. North

“The best book I have ever read about the battle for Tarawa….His vivid account of this horrific amphibious campaign is must reading for all Marines and World War II history buffs.”—Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin, USMC (Ret.), author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper

“In this remarkable book, we smell the sulfurous stink of artillery, hear the impact of bullets into flesh, and taste the bitterness of blood....We owe a debt to Wukovits for reminding us of the American heroes who gave every ounce of their strength and courage to kick open the gate to Tokyo.”—Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451221384
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/07/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
235,872
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

Herman Wouk
Wukovits writes as though he had gone ashore with the Marines...a worthy memorial to the Marines who fought there.
Jack Coughlin
best book I have ever read about the battle for Tarawa.(Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin, U SMC (Ret.), author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper)
Oliver L. North
This fast-paced chronicle of courage is a must read. (Lt. Col. Oliver L. North)
From the Publisher

Wukovits writes as though he had gone ashore with the Marines...a worthy memorial to the Marines who fought there. (Herman Wouk)

This fast-paced chronicle of courage is a must read. (Lt. Col. Oliver L. North)

The best book I have ever read about the battle for Tarawa.(Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin, U SMC (Ret.), author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper)

Meet the Author

John Wukovits is a military expert and an authority on U.S. history in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He is the author of Pacific Alamo: The Battle for Wake Island, as well as several military biographies and many articles for such publications as WWII History, Naval History, World War II, The Journal of Military History, The Naval War College Review, and Air Power History.

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One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a masterful presentation that integrates a huge amount of detailed personal information into the actual events as they unfolded. This flows very well and at the same time the historical progression of events is portrayed. This removes any doubt about the glamour of combat and without any question gives a vivid accounting of what these men faced as they waded ashore across the coral reef against withering fire seeing friend after friend killed. You are there in the amphibious tractor landing on the beach or facing the unknown going over the log seawall. The Japanese soldier was a tenacious enemy that asked for no quarter and none was granted. These events can be told now without any dilution, but America of November 1943 would have had a hard time swallowing the truth about the brutal and savage nature of this battle. The horrific conditions that battle places humans against each other is graphically described in a number of scenarios. An interesting accounting of some of the participants post battle is given. The losses experienced in this battle were staggering. You feel the weight of this as you become engaged with the personalities in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written account of the Tarawa battle. Intense descriptions of combat interlaced with personal accounts will leave you feeling like you are right there, and wishing you were not. A no holds barred, thoughtful, informative read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
excellant book is worth reading, you never hear much about the pacific, mst people talk the german end. When you read this you will see it was just as bad if not worse for these guys
RAR1 More than 1 year ago
Amazing book, amazing battle. I had heard my father talk about it a little, Wukovits referenced him 4 times in the book, and I remember some of the other names there. Just wished I had read the book before he passed on to meet those old buddies........and how he talked about New Zealand! I could have asked about a few questions, the rougher memories were tucked way back. He did talk a lot more about Saipan/Tinian than Tarawa, where he actually was shot. Tarawa must have been just that much worse.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A good discussion of the technical aspect mixed in with personal accounts which give an taste of what it must have been like to be there. A good and informative read.