The Do-Or-Die Men: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion at Guadalcanal

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The gripping true account of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion -- from its formation and training to its heroic baptism under fire in the battles of Tulagi and Guadalcanal.
No campaign in World War II was undertaken with as many shortcomings as Operation Watchtower -- the invasion of Guadalcanal in the summer of 1942. Rushed into action with little training, virtually no enemy intelligence, and using equipment left over from World War I, the gutsy-but-green men of the 1st Marine Division and its attached units were thrown headlong into what would become one of the bloodiest battles of the war.
During almost four trying months of constant shelling, bombing, and ground attacks, the 1st Marine Division defied all the odds and somehow managed to beat the hardened Japanese troops at their own game. No campaign in World War II was conducted with as much ferocity. No campaign saw such sustained violence on land, at sea, and in the air. And no other campaign hung in the balance for so long -- to finally be won by the unrelenting courage of a group of American heroes who never gave up the fight.
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About the author

George W. Smith is a former sports writer for The Hartford Courant, having retired in 1995 after twenty-five years of service. He has written two other books, The Siege at Hue and Carlson’s Raid, which was selected as a Military History Book-of-the-Month Club selection. He lives in West Hartford, CT.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 25, 2003
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780743490375
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Military / General
History / Military / United States
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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June 6, 1944 was a pivotal moment in the history of World War II in Europe. On that day the climactic and decisive phase of the war began. Those who survived the intense fighting on the Normandy beaches found their lives irreversibly changed. The day ushered in a great change for the United States as well, because on D-Day, America began its march to the forefront of the Western world.

By the end of the Battle of Normandy, almost one of every two soldiers involved was an American, and without American weapons, supplies, and leadership, the outcome of the invasion and ensuing battle could have been very different.

In the first of two volumes on the American contribution to the Allied victory at Normandy, John C. McManus (Deadly Brotherhood, Deadly Sky) examines, with great intensity and thoroughness, the American experience in the weeks leading up to D-Day and on the great day itself. From the build up in England to the night drops of airborne forces behind German lines and the landings on the beaches at dawn, from the famed figures of Eisenhower, Bradley, and Lightin' Joe Collins to the courageous, but little-known privates who fought so bravely, and under terrifying conditions, this is the story of the American experience at D-Day. What were the battles really like for the Americans at Utah and Omaha? What drove them to fight despite all adversity? How and why did they triumph? Thanks to extensive archival research, and the use of hundreds of first hand accounts, McManus answers these questions and many more.

In The Americans at D-Day, a gripping narrative history reminiscent of Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day, McManus takes readers into the minds of American strategists, into the hearts of the infantry, into hell on earth.

Impressively researched, engrossing, lightning quick, and filled with human sorrow and elation, The Americans at D-Day honors those Americans who lost their lives on D-Day, as well as those who were fortunate enough to survive.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

“A literary tour de force that is destined to become one of the . . . definitive works about the battle for Guadalcanal . . . [James D.] Hornfischer deftly captures the essence of the most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war.”—San Antonio Express-News

The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in stunning cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the Japanese in America’s hour of need. The first major work on this subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It tells the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives.

Praise for Neptune’s Inferno

“Vivid and engaging . . . extremely readable, comprehensive and thoroughly researched.”—Ronald Spector, The Wall Street Journal

“Superlative storytelling . . . the masterwork on the long-neglected topic of World War II’s surface ship combat.”—Richard B. Frank, World War II

“The author’s two previous World War II books . . . thrust him into the major leagues of American military history writers. Neptune’s Inferno is solid proof he deserves to be there.”—The Dallas Morning News

“Outstanding . . . The author’s narrative gifts and excellent choice of detail give an almost Homeric quality to the men who met on the sea in steel titans.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Brilliant . . . a compelling narrative of naval combat . . . simply superb.”—The Washington Times



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