Challenge for the Pacific: The Bloody Six-month Battle of Guadalcanal
In August 1942, after suffering a series of humiliating defeats, inflicted by a nation not much bigger than California, the Allies seized the initiative in their first offensive of the Pacific War. Nicknamed "Operation Shoestring", this unprecedented joint-services campaign involved brutal ground fighting, air combat, and naval clashes, including two carrier battles. For six months Allied and Japanese forces fought night and day in a ferocious struggle for possession of a tiny ramshackle airfield in the middle of the malarial, pest-ridden jungle of a little-known island called Guadalcanal.
Robert Leckie, a decorated machine-gunner and scout with the First Marine Division, fought on Guadalcanal. His own experiences as well as those of other combatants -- both Allied and Japanese -- add immeasurably to the impact of this sweeping narrative. Leckie describes how the exceptional tenacity and courage of ordinary men transformed a campaign of uncertain outcome into one of the most decisive Allied victories of the war, a military triumph that, against formidable odds, decimated Japan's navy and air force, forever shattering her grand strategy and the myth of Japanese invincibility.