The second volume of Hammel's Guadalcanal trilogy, this covers two relatively unknown carrier confrontations in the South Pacific in 1942: the battle of Santa Cruz, a technical victory for the Japanese, and the battle of the Eastern Solomons, a draw. Although most of the tight narrative is concerned with tactical operations, Hammel keeps the strategic goals of both sides in clear view. By the end of the book, it is also obvious why he argues that the battle of Midway, widely regarded as the beginning of the end for the Japanese, should be replaced as such in World War II annals by the Marine landing on Guadalcanal. The book includes informative sections on the development of aircraft carriers, the difference between American and Japanese fighter doctrine (plus appraisals of opposing hardware), the effect of a momentarily ""defeatist attitude'' by the U.S. command which led to a crisis in the land campaign on Guadalcanal, and a bold reappraisal of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander in chief of the Combined Fleet, whom the author calls one of the most overrated characters in modern military history. Photos. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987 Release date: 09/01/1987 Genre: Nonfiction
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