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Storm Landings: Epic Amphibious Battles in the Central Pacific

Overview


The Pacific War changed abruptly in November 1943 when Admiral Chester Nimitz unleashed a relentless 18-month, 4,000-mile offensive across the Central Pacific, spearheaded by fast carrier task forces and U.S. Marine and Army assault troops. The sudden American proclivity for amphibious frontal assaults against fortified islands astonished Japanese commanders, who called them "storm landings" because they differed so sharply from the limited landings of 1942-43.

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Storm Landings: Epic Amphibious Battles in the Central Pacific

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Overview


The Pacific War changed abruptly in November 1943 when Admiral Chester Nimitz unleashed a relentless 18-month, 4,000-mile offensive across the Central Pacific, spearheaded by fast carrier task forces and U.S. Marine and Army assault troops. The sudden American proclivity for amphibious frontal assaults against fortified islands astonished Japanese commanders, who called them "storm landings" because they differed so sharply from the limited landings of 1942-43.

This is the story of seven epic assaults from the sea against murderous enemy fire--Tarawa, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Each risky battle enhanced the U.S. capability to concentrate overwhelming naval force against a distant island and literally kick down the front door. While the assault forces learned priceless operational lessons from each landing, so did the Japanese. The ultimate U.S. victory in the seven "storm landings" came at the total cost of 100,000 killed and wounded. The survivors faced the prospect of even bloodier future beachheads against mainland Japan.

Award-winning historian Joseph Alexander relates this extraordinary story with an easy narrative style bolstered by years of analyzing U.S. and Japanese battle accounts, personal interviews with veterans, and his own amphibious warfare experience. Abounding with human-interest stories of colorful "web-footed amphibians," his book vividly portrays the sheer drama of these naval battles whose magnitude and ferocity may never again be seen in this world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In Storm Landings [Alexander] combines diligent research (much of it in Japanese sources) with a vivid writing style…Casual readers will enjoy the book and serious students will not be disappointed."

-- The Journal of Military History

"Joseph Alexander's concise volume is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of warfare in the Pacific. It deserves to find a wide readership among both military historians and the public at large."

-- The Northern Mariner

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591140177
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 952,609
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Joseph Alexander is a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps, with 29 years' service as an assault amphibian officer. He commanded a company in Vietnam, served five years at sea with amphibious task forces, and graduated with distinction from the Naval War College. Prior to retirement he served as chief of staff of the 3d Marine Division in the western Pacific.

Alexander has written six books, including Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa; The Battle History of the U.S. Marines; and Edson's Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II. He was Naval Institute Author of the Year in 1996 and Naval History Author of the Year in 2010. He has served as scriptwriter and on-screen authority for 28 military documentaries for cable television networks. Since 2001 he has been the principal historian and writer on the exhibit design team for the construction and expansion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Colonel Alexander and his wife Gale reside in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Prologue: Rags to Riches 1

Chapter 1 Cracking a Tough Nut 9

Chapter 2 Pacific Proving Ground 23

Chapter 3 Turning Point at Tarawa 40

Chapter 4 The Marianas: Storming the "Absolute National Defense Sphere" 62

Chapter 5 Sharpening the Amphibious Ax 86

Chapter 6 Bloody Peleliu 104

Chapter 7 Iwo Jima: Storming Sulfur Island 126

Chapter 8 Okinawa: Amphibious Capstone 149

Chapter 9 Collision Course: The Planned Invasion of Kyushu 172

Epilogue: Parting Shots 193

Appendix: Ten Unforgettable Amphibians 201

Textual Notes 209

Notes on Sources 223

Bibliography 225

Index 233

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