Academic journal article Aerospace Power Journal

Bloody Ridge: The Battle That Saved Guadalcanal: A Memoir

Academic journal article Aerospace Power Journal

Bloody Ridge: The Battle That Saved Guadalcanal: A Memoir

Article excerpt

Bloody Ridge: The Battle That Saved Guadalcanal: A Memoir by Michael S. Smith. Presidio Press (http://www.presidiopress.com/catalog/new/ BloodyRidge.htm), P.O. Box 1764, Novato, California 94948, 2000, 288 pages, $27.95 (hardcover).

In July 1942, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to eject the Japanese from the Solomon Islands in an effort to turn the tide of Japanese expansion in the Pacific Ocean. The chosen target was Guadalcanal. Early on the morning of 7 August, Rear Adm Richmond K. Turner's Task Force 62, consisting of over 80 ships, executed Operation Watchtower. Maj Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift's First Marine Division took the Japanese garrison by surprise, overrunning Henderson Field, the island's landing strip. Outnumbered by at least three to one, the marines withstood a series of determined assaults on a ridge just one mile from the field. After battle reinforcements arrived, the process of slugging it out for the rest of the island began. Michael Smith's book is the tactical story of that battle, known as Bloody Ridge.

Bloody Ridge, which relies on many reports, letters, and previous books, is an adequate treatment of the subject but has several shortcomings. …

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