Til the Last Bugle Call: A Novel of U.S. Marines On Guadalcanal

IPS Books
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 Til the Last Bugle Call

A Novel of U.S. Marines On Guadalcanal

 Eric Hammel

Just out of high school, Al Rosen, a seventeen-year-old Philadelphian, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in order to sidestep the pitfalls of recent orphanhood. By August 1942, after four years in uniform, Corporal Rosen was leading a light machine gun squad when fate chose him to become the first American servicemen to fire shots in the Guadalcanal Campaign, America’s first offensive in World War II. Then, for six terrible months of alternating hot combat action and stretches of restive inactivity, Rosen and his fellow Marines in Company B confronted—and learned how to overcome—fear and terror and sorrow and a host of life’s other harshest tests and their many lessons. They learned to stand tall, to serve proudly, to resist fiercely, and to attack mercilessly. Some, like Rosen, by dint of aptitude and courage, advanced in rank and status. Others fell by the wayside to strange and terrible tropical diseases, to the mind-numbing heat and humidity, to bone weariness, to malnourishment, to chance, to their own human failings.

Til the Last Bugle Call is a fictional yet deadly accurate portrait of American fighting men, of U.S. Marines, from the earliest days of their Pacific War confrontation with Japan’s victorious legions, in a battle and a war none of them really knew how to fight. Eric Hammel, author of fifty non-fiction military history books, five of them covering all facets of the Guadalcanal Campaign, precisely captures the innocence of these young men at the cutting edge of the early Pacific War, then follows them as they overcome immense obstacles on their way to becoming confident combat veterans ready to take on new challenges farther along the bloody road to victory.

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Publisher
IPS Books
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781890988708
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Coming of Age
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Guadalcanal: Starvation Island

 Eric Hammel

 The Japanese defeats at Midway and Guadalcanal decided the outcome of the Pacific War. Guadalcanal was the classic three-dimensional campaign. On land, at sea, and in the air, fierce battles were fought with both sides stretching their supplies and equipment to the breaking point. The campaign lasted six months, involved nearly one million men, and stopped Japanese expansion in the Pacific.

 When the campaign began on August 7, 1942, no one on either side quite knew how to conduct it, as Eric Hammel shows in this masterly account. Guadalcanal: Starvation hand corrects numerous errors and omissions in the official records that have been perpetuated in all the books previously published about the campaign. Hammel also draws on the recollections of more than 100 participants on both sides, especially the enlisted men at the sharp end. Their words bring us into the heart of the battle and portray the fighting accurately, realistically, andvery powerfully.

Guadalcanal: Starvation Island follows the men and the commanders of this decisive World War II campaign in an integrated, brilliantly told narrative of the desperate struggle at sea, on land, and in the air.

***

Praise for Guadalcanal: Starvation Island and Eric Hammel

“A comprehensive history of the Guadalcanal Campaign . . . [and] a well‑balanced account. Well written and fast moving.”  —Marine Corps Gazette

“Hammel has written the most comprehensive popular ac­count to date . . . and exposes controversial aspects often passed over,”  —Publishers Weekly

“Hammel takes the reader behind the scenes and details how decisions were made . . . and how they impacted on the troops carrying them out. He tells the story in a very human way.”  —Leatherneck Magazine

“A splendid record of this decisive campaign. Hammel offers a wealth of fresh material drawn from archival records and the recollections of 100‑odd surviving participants. . . . A praise­worthy contribution to Guadalcanal lore.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“Hammel’s ability to reveal both the immediacy and the hu­manity of war without judgment or bias makes all his books both readable and scholarly.  —San Francisco Chronicle

“Hammel does not write dry history. His battle sequences are masterfully portrayed.  —Library Journal

The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.
 
Bilbao, Spain
 
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
     As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
     Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
 
Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.
The first Saturday in October 1973: A traditional Jewish Sabbath in Israel. It is also Yom Kippur, and the Israeli Defense Force is preparing to observe the holiest of the Jewish holy days.

 Meanwhile the Syrian army, the greatest achievement of the modern Syrian state, is massed on the Golan Heights. Together with newly arrived Soviet‑made equipment, 1,200 main battle tanks, 1,000 armored personnel carriers, 1,000 artillery pieces, and more than 100 mobile antiaircraft missile carriers are ready to strike in a lightning‑swift offensive that will drive to the sea and cut Israel in two.

 Duel for the Golan, the first book to be written on this aspect of the Yom Kippur War, is based on interviews with the participants from both sides of the fighting. As such it remain a compelling and powerful account of one of the greatest tank battles fought since World War II. It also provides the first in-depth analysis of exactly how and why an inferior number of Israeli defenders was capable of inflicting one of the greatest defeats in modern military history upon awe‑inspiring Arab armored forces.

 Here are the intimate details of tank-against‑tank fighting, whether it be during retreats, in ambushes, or on the attack. Here are the stories of incredible courage and individual initiative as the Israeli defenders strive to contain the unexpected Syrian assault. During the 100‑hour battle that saved Israel, every Israeli tank that was committed to the Golan fighting was hit by hostile fire at least once, and some commanders had five or six tanks shot out from under them.

 By the end of the war only a few days later, Israeli forces had counterattacked and advanced to where their artillery could hit the Damascus International Airport and other strategic targets with pinpoint accuracy. The Syrian army was virtually destroyed in the field, as were contingents from other Arab states such as Iraq and Jordan. How these remarkable turns of battle occurred is deftly laid out. This revealing account of a battle that changed the history of the Middle East is especially relevant today as tensions in the region increase once again.

MARINES ON IWO JIMA

A Pictorial Record

Eric Hammel

Volume 1: 310 Photos

Volume 2: 357 Photos

Even in as bloody and bluntly violent a war as Americans encountered in the Pacific, Iwo Jima, the ultimate expression of death and mayhem, stands out. It was in a class by itself, a meatgrinder smashed by a blunt instrument at exceedingly high cost. Relying upon a purely attritional strategy of “defend and die,” Iwo's Japanese commander oversaw the construction of thousands of concrete bunkers, pillboxes, blockhouses, and other fighting positions as well as multistory underground command centers and barracks, some as deep as seventy-five feet.

By D-day, February 19, 1945, most of these formidable defenses had been interconnected by eleven miles of underground passageways. Manning these positions were twenty-three thousand Japanese army and navy troops, many of them elite veterans of combat in the Pacific and China. Hundreds of mortars, artillery pieces, and rocket tubes had been painstakingly preregistered, allowing them to hit virtually any spot on the island with their first shot.

The defenders had bonded into a brotherhood born of the hardship they endured building bunkers and underground passageways in the extreme heat laced with sulfurous fumes of the volcanic island. In the words of one Japanese soldier, Iwo “was an island of sulfur, no water, no sparrow, no swallow.” Beyond that, each defender took an oath to fight to the death, to give no ground for any reason.

Following a seventy-four-day air and naval bombardment that the American high command believed had put the bulk of the Japanese defenders at least temporarily out of action, two veteran regiments of the 4th Marine Division alongside two regiments of the newly formed 5th Marine Division—eight battalion landing teams in all—led  the way toward the island. Aircraft, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers pummeled ground targets near and far from the landing beaches. As the first wave of Marine-laden amphibian tractors climbed ashore, nearby gunboats fired hundreds of rockets to suppress enemy fire.

Nothing happened. There was no return fire. No Japanese fired at the ships offshore, nor at the oncoming waves of amphibian tractors, nor at the Marines, who were surprised to learn as their feet touched down that all of southern Iwo Jima was covered in a thick mantle of black volcanic ash that offered no purchase for their feet or their shovels.

Shortly, when the nearly eight thousand newly landed Marines had stopped along the shoreline to regroup, every Japanese gun and mortar within range opened fire on the exposed invaders. The gunfire did not die for thirty-four of the bloodiest days of the Pacific War.

Marines On Iwo Jima: A Photographic Record is an enhanced and expanded ebook edition of the hardcover and trade paperback book entitled Iwo Jima: Portrait of a Battle. The much larger book requires that it be presented in two volumes, each with more than three hundred photos.

 

As VietnamÍs former imperial capital, Hue occupied a special place in the hearts of the Vietnamese people. Over decades of conflict, it had been spared the terrible effects of war. But that all changed on January 31, 1968, the eve of Tet„the lunar new year, VietnamÍs most important national holiday Tet had previously been marked by a mutual ceasefire, but this time the celebrations and hopes for a happy new year were shattered. All of South Vietnam erupted in a cataclysm of violence as the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong launched a massive military and political offensive. The American embassy in Saigon came under siege and VietnamÍs ancient capital city was captured nearly in its entirety. The only forces immediately available to counterattack into Hue were two Marine infantry companies based ten miles south of the city. For the next four weeks, as the world looked on, fewer than two thousand U.S. Marines fought street by street and building by building, with virtually no air support, to retake the symbols of HueÍs political and cultural importance. It was savage work. Ground gained was often measured in yards, with every alley, street corner, window, and garden adding to the butcherÍs bill. In the end, the Marines retook the city, but scores of Americans and thousands of Vietnamese civilians died there. This pictorial is a testament to their will and their sacrifice. The Vietnam War is often pictured as a jungle conflict, punctuated by American troops fighting in rural hut-filled villages. But in the 1968 Tet Offensive, the war spilled out of the jungle into the streets of Hue City. The battle for Hue became one of the most important of the war, a month of grueling house-to-house fighting through buildings and around civilians. Marines In Hue City documents the intense urban combat in Hue with many never-before-published photographs, including more than one hundred in full color.
The concept behind fractal geometry is extremely difficult to explain . . . but easy to see and enjoy. Eric Hammel, a professional author of military history books, is unable to explain fractals in a way that will be clear to anyone else, but most mathematicians canÍt explain fractals in language most people can understand. The simplest explanation is that fractals are graphic representations of high-order mathematical formulas that repeat patterns to infinity.
DonÍt get hung up on the math. ItÍs really all in the seeing. Volume 1 of Eric HammelÍs Fractal Dimensions is filled with one hundred examples representing many types of fractals. The differences between and among fractal artists using the same array of fractal-generating software is the same as the differences between and among all portrait artists or between and among all landscape artists using oil paint, chalk, watercolors, charcoal, even fingers. It all comes down to the unique mindÍs eye the artist brings to the game and what he does to improve or transform the art once the fractal-generating software has been sufficiently exploited.
For all that, all a lay person really needs to appreciate fractals in their infinite varieties is a collection of fractal art to peruse, to get lost in for awhile, and their own preferences for art. No two fractal artists will see or exploit the same fractal formula the same way. What we offer here is simply what one fractal artist has been able to see, and what he alone decided he wants to share.
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