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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
From May through November of 1942, thousands of U.S. marines battled tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers for control of Guadalcanal, a small but strategic Pacific island. For the U.S., it represented a gateway to the western Pacific. For the Japan ese, it was a foothold on the doorstep of Hawaii. Neither side could afford to let the other control it. Both were willing to pay a high price.
And both did. The U.S. lost almost 7,000 men on land and sea, with another 8,000 injured. The Japanese lost 25,000 men, half from combat, the other half from disease and starvation. The eventual U.S. victory was seen as a turning point in the war in the Pacific as it was the first significant push forward the U.S. land forces enjoyed. As Admiral Halsey remarked: "Before Guadalcanal, the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours."
THIS IS GUADALCANAL uses original combat photographs to tell the story of the fight for the island from beginning to end. Both the preparation for and the aftermath of jungle warfare are shown with the stark brutality they carried with them: men spending days living in holes in the ground and others meeting their deaths in the swampy lagoons of battle. And since much of the fight for Guadalcanal revolved around outlasting the opposition — and keeping your own troops supplied — the battles around and above the island, on the sea and in the air, are also documented. These naval battle shots, of Japanese fighters and torpedo planes skimming across the ocean's surface toward mortally wounded U.S. carriersorplanes diving straight down to smash into a ship's deck, are some of the most powerful in the book. They show the scope of the destruction and portray the helplessness of the men trapped on the ships by showing the complete assaults that sank the massive vessels.