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Guadalcanal
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About the Author

Richard B. Frank was born in Kansas in 1947. He served for almost four years in the United States Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam as an aerorifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. He is the author of Guadalcanal.

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In his outstanding first book, a Vietnam veteran and lawyer establishes Guadalcanal's decisive place in the history of World War II. The Guadalcanal campaign was ``triphibious,'' combining air, land, and sea elements. Though the Japanese were surprised by the United States counterattack, forces in the theater were balanced so closely that the outcome was by no means certain. Frank evaluates the adversaries' strengths and weaknesses, stressing in particular the shortcomings of the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Army. He argues convincingly that Guadalcanal was the turning point in the Pacific--not least because it proved that the U.S. armed forces could meet their enemy in adversity and prevail. Recommended for all World War II collections.-- D.E. Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs

On August 7, 1942, the Marines landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon islands, in the first major American offensive of the Pacific war. Days later, after the Japanese had sunk four cruisers of the escorting U.S. fleet, Admiral Robert Ghormley withdrew his ships from the area, leaving the Marines exposed to ground attack. Thus began one of the most decisive campaigns in history--lasting six months, comprising seven major naval engagements and including exhilarating victory. According to Frank, a former captain in the 101st Airborne, the campaign saw more sustained violence--by sea, land and air--than any other in WW II. Based partly on new translations of official Japanese accounts, recently declassified radio traffic records, diaries and other fresh sources, the book is a definitive critical account of strategic and tactical developments on both sides, examining command decisions and revealing in detail the realities of battle as experienced by marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors. This highly readable rendering of the critical campaign in the Pacific is first-rate military history. History Book Club, BOMC alternate. (Dec.)

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