South Pacific Cauldron: World War II's Great Forgotten Battlegrounds

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Overview


While the Pacific War has been widely studied by military historians and venerated in popular culture through movies and other media, the fighting in the South Pacific theater has, with few exceptions, been remarkably neglected. Worthy of remembrance no less than Wake Island, Leyte Gulf, and Tarawa are the great unsung battlefields of Buna, Shaggy Ridge, and the Driniumor River on New Guinea, the torpedo-infested waters off New Georgia, and the deadly skies over Rabaul and ...
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South Pacific Cauldron: World War II's Great Forgotten Battlegrounds

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Overview


While the Pacific War has been widely studied by military historians and venerated in popular culture through movies and other media, the fighting in the South Pacific theater has, with few exceptions, been remarkably neglected. Worthy of remembrance no less than Wake Island, Leyte Gulf, and Tarawa are the great unsung battlefields of Buna, Shaggy Ridge, and the Driniumor River on New Guinea, the torpedo-infested waters off New Georgia, and the deadly skies over Rabaul and Wewak.

Authoritative yet written in a highly readable narrative style, South Pacific Cauldron is the first complete history embracing all land, sea, and air operations in this critically important sector of the oceanic conflict. South Pacific operations are covered in detail, including the little-known, final Australian campaigns that continued until the Japanese surrender. Based on the author's archival research, the long-suppressed story about the death of a leading Marine Corps general at his headquarters is revealed, as is the subsequent cover up sanctioned by Admiral Halsey. Also examined are the issues faced by the segregated Army in employing African-American troops in combat.

Author Alan Rems breathes life into the major figures of the South Pacific campaigns, including brilliant and imperious Gen. Douglas MacArthur, audacious and profane Adm. William "Bull" Halsey, and bibulous and indelicate Australian general Thomas Blamey. No less interesting are others that will be mostly new to readers, many from the Japanese side, including indomitable generals Noboru Sasaki and Hatazo Adachi. The experiences of the individual fighting men are captured in accounts of actions for which the Medal of Honor, Victoria Cross, and other decorations for valor were conferred.

South Pacific Cauldron's story is enhanced with sixteen maps and forty-two photographs, many rarely seen, that were carefully chosen from official American and Australian sources. The book includes a detailed chronology to put the widely separated operations in context and a detailed bibliography for additional reading on the subject.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"South Pacific Cauldron is a first-rate account of the brutal and important fighting that occurred in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea during World War II. . . . Alan Rems provides military history buffs with a fine starting point for the overlooked military operations in one of the world's most hostile environments." —-Stephen R. Taaffe, author of Marshall and His Generals
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612514710
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2014
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 159,727
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Alan Rems, a retired CPA, has been a regular contributor to Naval History magazine since his first writing effort that earned the U.S. Naval Institute's 2008 Author of the Year award. He lives with his wife, a retired newspaper managing editor, in Centreville, Virginia.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    This is a masterfully researched account of little-known battles

    This is a masterfully researched account of little-known battles.  It follows American, Australian, New Zealander, and Japanese leaders and their forces in full-bodied accounts.

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