Employing his day-to-day wartime notes, the press officer and historian of the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal interweaves his own story with the bigger history of this bitter air-ground-sea battle.
Guadalcanal was a pivotal World War II battle in the Pacific theater—a hotly contested struggle between the Japanese and American forces for possession of a small airstrip on a beautiful but blood-soaked atoll of the Solomon Islands. History has confirmed that the island campaign was both symbolically and strategically the turning point of the Pacific war. Following their defeat here, Japan, which had been on the offensive since Pearl Harbor, would move into defensive position and the United States would assume the offensive, never to yield it until the end of the war.
As a press officer in the Marine Corps Reserve, Merillat was particularly well positioned to record the military action, in both the command headquarters and on the front lines. His combat memoir offers on-the-spot reportage of the beachhead assault by marines in August 1942; the Allied loss of four cruisers in sea battles with Japanese torpedo planes; the ground action at the Battle of Bloody Ridge; the four Japanese counteroffensives and repulsions; the American victory following six exhaustive months; and, afterward, the island’s conversion into a major Allied base of operations.
The New York Times claimed, “The diary . . . is pure gold. The mind is snapped back to times when the most important thing in the world seemed to be four or five hours of uninterrupted sleep, a hot meal or perhaps a single day or night without bombing or shelling.” This paperback reissue will bring a World War II standard back into print for veterans groups and active-duty personnel, WWII historians, and the general reading public.
|Publisher:||University of Alabama Press|
|Edition description:||1st Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
A Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, a graduate of the National War College, and a Sterling Fellow at Yale Law School, Herbert Christian Merillat has had a varied career in international affairs as a writer, lawyer, government official, and administrator. He is author of eight books, including Land and the Constitution in India and The Gnostic Apostle Thomas.