Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa

Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa

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by Joseph H. Alexander
     
 

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"The first complete and definitive account of the Battle of Tarawa."

—Maj. Gen. Mike Ryan, USMC (Ret.)

Navy Cross recipient

Green Beach, Tarawa

On November 20, l943, in the first trial by fire of America's fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, five thousand men stormed the beaches of Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely

Overview

"The first complete and definitive account of the Battle of Tarawa."

—Maj. Gen. Mike Ryan, USMC (Ret.)

Navy Cross recipient

Green Beach, Tarawa

On November 20, l943, in the first trial by fire of America's fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, five thousand men stormed the beaches of Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely the size of the Pentagon parking lots (three-hundred acres!). Before the first day ended, one third of the Marines who had crossed Tarawa's deadly reef under murderous fire were killed, wounded, or missing. In three days of fighting, four Americans would win the Medal of Honor. And six-thousand combatants would die.

Now, Col. Joseph Alexander, a combat Marine himself, presents the full story of Tarawa in all its horror and glory: the extreme risks, the horrific combat, and the heroic breakthroughs. Based on exhaustive research, never-before-published accounts from Marine survivors, and new evidence from Japanese sources, Colonel Alexander captures the grit, guts, and relentless courage of United States Marines overcoming outrageous odds to deliver victory for their country.

"Without a doubt the best narrative of the struggle ever produced."

—Richard B. Frank, Author of Guadalcanal

A MAIN SELECTION OF THE MILITARY BOOK CLUB

Winner of the 1995 General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Award, awarded to the year's best nonfiction book pertinent to Marine Corps History

Winner of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Outstanding Writer of the Year, presented by the Navy League of the United States

Winner of the Roosevelt Naval History Prize, awarded by the Naval War College

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Alexander, a retired Marine officer and established scholar, uses a broad spectrum of fresh Japanese and American sources to present a gripping narrative of one of the bloodiest battles of WWII in the Pacific theater. At Tarawa in the Kiribati (formerly Gilbert) islands, ``uncommon valor was a common virtue'' on both sides. But this account is more than battle history. Alexander interprets Tarawa as a military test bed, a validation of the concept of amphibious assault against defended positions. The Marines and the Navy made mistakes but learned from them. Without the experience gained at Tarawa, America's path across the central Pacific would have been longer and bloodier, according to the author. Tarawa was a psychological landmark as well. The savage, close-quarters fighting and high casualties helped solidify the grim determination in the U.S. to prevail over the Japanese. Illustrations. Military Book Club main selection. (Sept.)
Booknews
The Battle of Tarawa in November 1943 left 6,000 dead in an area the size of the Pentagon and its parking lots. Drawing on primary sources, new translations of Japanese documents, and interviews with survivors, the author describes the bloody conquest by the newly created Central Pacific Force, the first trial-by-fire of America's fledgling amphibious assault doctrine. Includes b&w photos and drawings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441788634
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
7
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Alexander was 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 wrote 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 served as scriptwriter and on-screen authority for 28 military documentaries for cable television networks. He was the principal historian and writer on the exhibit design team for the construction and expansion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

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