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The Guadalcanal campaign began with an amphibious assault in August 1942 - the US's first attempt to take the fight to the Japanese. It quickly escalated into a desperate attritional battle on land, air and sea, and by the time the Japanese had evacuated the last of their forces from the island in 1943, it was clear that the tide of the war had turned. The previously inexorable Japanese advance had been halted, and the myth of Japanese invincibility shattered. The fighting brought into sharp relief several crucial weaknesses of Japanese strategic planning and war economy, while the US was able to hone its Marine forces into the finest of points - ready for the devastating island-hopping campaign that would bring the war to Japan's doorstep. In this new study of the campaign, Pacific War expert Mark Stille draws on both US and Japanese sources to give a balanced and comprehensive account of a crucial, brutal conflict.
Analyzing the three Japanese attempts to retake the island in the face of ferocious, and ultimately successful, American resistance, this book shows how the battle was won and lost, and how it would affect the outcome of the Pacific War as a whole.