Munda Trail Turning the Tide a

Eric M. Hammel, Author Crown Publishers $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56972-6
The New Georgia campaign, part of the WW II struggle for the Solomons chain in the Pacific, was concerned chiefly with the capture of the Japanese airfield at Munda. On the American side, most of the fighting was done by the inexperienced troops of the Army's 43rd Division, commanded in turn by Major-Generals John Hester and John Hodge. After a two-month campaign in the summer of 1943, the heavily outnumbered and outgunned Japanese were forced to retreat. Hammel, author of many military histories, writes here of a relatively uninterest ing campaign, one with unimaginative tactics on both sides and with piecemeal commitment of U.S. forces. About the only feature that distinguished the campaign was widespread ``combat fatigue,'' a condition which, according to Hammel, was first defined and diagnosed at New Georgia. And unlike other historians, he fails to note that the level of leadership and soldiering alike was so poor during the early part of the campaign that demoralization was inevitable. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 298 pages - 978-0-380-71458-2
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-935553-38-3
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