“This book is an attempt to correlate the first two years of the Pacific war, to put events in their proper
“Much of the material contained was gathered firsthand, as a correspondent for the New York Times, at sea and ashore with the navy, the marines, and the army, from Christmas Day, 1941, to the conclusion of the Aleutian campaign in August, 1943.
“Where events portrayed were not actually participated in, the information has been gleaned from official records or from conversations with the men who took part in them.
“No effort has been made to present this war as anything but what it is, the ultimate insanity of civilization. All of war is hard work, much of it is boring, a fact to which any man will attest who has taken part in one. But the exigencies of war also bring out in many men traits you would not know they had—patience under pressure, cheerfulness under great difficulty, stoicism under pain, raw courage in the face of terrible danger. An effort has been made to tell that too.
“Here then is the record as one reporter saw it, a record written in blood and sweat, of the first two years of the wax in the Pacific.
“There are many reasons, of course, for writing a book. The principal reason for writing this one is this: that the men with whom I shared some of the hardships and some of the dangers deserve to have their story told, and told as objectively and factually as I can tell it. If they believe that I have made an honest effort to do that and have achieved some success, that will be satisfaction enough for ‘the correspondent from the Times.’”