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The bitter six-month struggle for control of Guadalcanal in the South Pacific during World War II matched the US Marine Corps against the Imperial Japanese Army in a campaign that would test both sides to the limit. In this book the realities of prolonged warfare in an unforgiving environment are documented in photographs, specially commissioned artwork, official reports, and first-hand accounts, offering a glimpse of infantry combat in World War II's Pacific Theater.

The toughness of American Marines was sorely tested by Japanese troops willing to lay down their lives in Banzai charges and desperate last stands across the Pacific in World War II. This book offers key insights into the tactics, leadership, combat performance, and subsequent reputations of six representative USMC and IJA infantry battalions pitched into three pivotal actions that determined the course of the campaign for Guadalcanal at the height of World War II.

Mountainous and covered in tropical jungle, Guadalcanal is the largest of the Solomon Islands. During World War II its location - dominating vital lines of communication and supply between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand - made it a key strategic objective for both sides in the escalating struggle for the South Pacific region. Between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 it was the setting for a series of bitter battles between the advancing Japanese forces and those of a resurgent United States and its allies, in the Allies' first major offensive against the Japanese.

Spearheading the Allied effort to take and hold Guadalcanal, the US Marine Corps played a key role in the back-and-forth land battles for this vital island, while their adversaries, the garrison troops of the Imperial Japanese Army, strove to counter the Allies' offensive moves. From the initial US landings that took the Japanese by surprise to the savage battles of Tenaru, Edson's Ridge, Henderson Field, and Mount Austen, the campaign tested the infantrymen of both sides to the limit, with tropical diseases, supply problems, hostile terrain, and poor weather all adding to the horrors of close-quarter combat.