Academic journal article Military Review

No Bended Knee

Academic journal article Military Review

No Bended Knee

Article excerpt

NO BENDED KNEE by Merrill B. Twining. Edited hy Neil Carey. 206 pages. Presidio Pre., Novato, CA. 1996. $21.95.

This book was written by General Merrill B. Twining, US Marine Corps, Retired, 50 years after the Ist Marine Division's relief on Guadalcanal. It is based primarily on the memoirs of this outstanding Marine and his role in this classic battle, which many believe was the turning point of World War II in the Pacific.

A small island in the Solomon chain, Guadalcanal was the site of the first major Allied offensive campaign in the Pacific Theater. As Twining so ably points out, the outcome was certainly in question for several months for the 1st Marine Division, the principal Allied unit in this campaign.

After Pearl Harbor, the fall of the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Wake, Midway and Guam Islands, the United States and its allies were reeling and off-balance against the Japanese. Faced with an ever-growing threat of losing Australia and New Zealand, Admiral Ernest J. King planned to halt the Japanese advance toward New Guinea by striking at Guadalcanal. The 1 st Marine Division, commanded by Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, was assigned this task. As a staff officer during the division's darkest days on Guadalcanal, the author was able to interact with top officials as well as the young Marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers who ultimately decided the outcome on the "canal. …

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