The Invasion of Guadalcanal & the Battle of the Eastern Solomons
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons was history's third carrier clash. A collision of U.S. Navy and Imperial Navy carriers in the wake of the invasion of Guadalcanal-whose airfield the United States desperately needed and the Japanese desperately wanted back-the battle was waged at sea and over Guadalcanal's besieged Marine-held Lunga Perimeter on August 24, 1942.
Based upon the first half of Eric Hammel's acclaimed 1987 battle narrative, Guadalcanal: The Carrier Battles, and in large part upon important new information obtained from both Japanese and American sources, Carrier Clash unravels many of the mysteries and misconceptions that have veiled this complex battle for more than a half century.
Beginning with detailed descriptions of the history of the aircraft carrier, the development of carrier-air tactics, the training of carrier pilots, and numerous operational considerations that defined the way carrier battles had to be fought, Carrier Clash takes the reader into the air with brave U.S. Navy fighter pilots as they protect their ships and the Guadalcanal invasion fleet against determined Japanese air attacks on August 7 and 8, 1942. After he sets the stage for the August 24 Battle of the Eastern Solomons, author Hammel puts the reader right into the cockpits of U.S. Navy Dauntless dive-bombers as they dive on the Imperial Navy light carrier Ryujo-and hit the ship with 500-pound bombs! Once again, in this strange tit-for-tat battle, U.S. Navy Wildcat fighter pilots must defend their ships against an onslaught by Imperial Navy Val dive-bomber pilots determined to sink the U.S. carriers, or die trying. Hammel's coverage of the bomb damage to the USS Enterprise and subsequent fire-fighting and rescue efforts by her crew are especially compelling.
Carrier Clash is the definitive combat history of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, history's third battle (of only five) between American and Japanese aircraft carriers.
Critical Acclaim for Carrier Clash: The Invasion of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, August 1942:
The Bookwatch says: Carrier Clash takes the reader into the air with brave U.S. Navy pilots . . . [It] is an important contribution to the military history of World war II's battle for control of the Pacific.
The Book World says: Carrier Clash is a stark revelation of a complex encounter.
Military Magazine says: Mr. Hammel presents the entire battle in a clear, easy-to-follow manner while interjecting interesting views of the [Battle of the Eastern Solomons] as seen by the participants on both sides.
Military Review says: The book is loaded with great charts (maps), order of battle, and other hard to find details. Although Hammel describes the land and surface ship battles, his forte is his vivid descriptions of the aerial dogfights during the [Guadalcanal] invasion and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons.
Canadian Military History says: Eric Hammel continues his tradition of exciting, well crafted books on the Pacific War with this account of the carrier battles that accompanied the American landings on Guadalcanal. . . . There is no denying that this is a cracking good read and an excellent companion to Hammel's other books on the Guadalcanal Campaign.
Sea Power says: Acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel presents a landmark history of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons . . . Drawing on newly declassified information from U.S. and Japanese sources, and on numerous other archival sources, Hammel brings a fresh perspective to the outcome of the war as a whole. . . . [He] describes with precision and insight the key events in the Guadalcanal/Eastern Solomons campaigns, the strategic implications of the battle, and the impact on the overall battle plans of both adversaries.