GUADALCANAL: Decision at Sea
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea is a full-blown examination in vivid detail of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 13 15, 1942, a crucial step toward America’s victory over the Japanese during World War II.
The three day air and naval action incorporated America’s most decisive surface battle of the war and the only naval battle of this century in which Ameri¬can battleships directly confronted and mor¬tally wounded an enemy battleship. This American victory decided the future course of the naval war in the Pacific, indeed of the entire Pacific War. Hammel has blended the detailed historical records with personal accounts of many of the officers and enlisted men involved, creating an engrossing nar¬rative of the strategy and struggle as seen by both sides. He has also included major new insights into crucial details of the battles, including a riveting account of the American forces’ failure to effectively use their radar advantage.
Originally published in 1988 as the concluding volume in Eric Hammel’s series of three independent books focusing on the Guadalcanal campaign and exploring all the elements that made it a turning point of the war in the Pacific, Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea lives up to the high standards and expectations that have marked this author’s many historical books and articles.
Praise for Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea and Eric Hammel
“Hammel’s description of surface tactics, naval gunnery, and what happens when the order to abandon ship is given is vivid and memorable.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Hammel’s] detailed and fast-paced chronicle includes a number of incidents and anecdotes not found in the more prosaic official histories.” —Sea Power
“Meticulously well-researched and scholarly, but still readable. Author Hammel presents an interesting account of the three-phase battle with frequently gripping ship-by-ship, plane-by-plane, blow-by-blow narratives laden with many human-interest vignettes from both sides.” —The Hook
“[Hammel] mixes action with his history, the result being a highly readable story difficult to put down.” —Riversie Press-Enterprise
“Hammel’s painstaking reconstruction affords not only a wealth of strategic and tactical detail but also a full measure of critical judgements. . . . a kaleidoscopic but invariably intelligible accounts of key actions . . .” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hammel does not write dry history. His battle sequences are masterfully portrayed.” —Library Journal
Hammel has written the most comprehensive popular account to date of what was essentially the first major counteroffensive against the Japanese in World War II and exposes controversial aspects often passed over. He discusses at length, for example, the poor intelligence-gathering efforts of the Marines before the Guadalcanal landing, the temporary abandonment of the First Marine Division by the Navy, and the meddling of Admiral Kelly Turner in the tactical deliberations of Marine Gen. A. A. Vandergrift. Although Hammel vividly describes the air and naval battlesequal in importance to the ground operationshe focuses on the hard-pressed Marine infantrymen and gives a good account of the heroics of individuals now regarded as legendary in the Corps, such men as "Manila John'' Basilone, ``Red Mike'' Edson and ``Chesty'' Puller. Hammel is author of The Root: The Marines in Beirut. Photos. Military Book Club main selection.