First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign: Naval Fighter Combat from August to November 1942

Naval Institute Press
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From huddled command conferences to cramped cockpits, John Lundstrom guides readers though the maelstrom of air combat at Guadalcanal in this impressively researched sequel to his earlier study. Picking up the story after Midway, the author presents a scrupulously accurate account of what happened, describing in rich detail the actual planes and pilots pitted in the ferocious battles that helped turn the tide of war. Based on correspondence with 150 American and Japanese veterans, or their families, he reveals the thoughts, pressures, and fears of the airmen and their crews as he reconstructs the battles. These are the stories of the Wildcat and Zero fighters, and the Dauntless, Avenger, Betty, Kate, and Val bombers. Lavishly illustrated with drawings, maps, and photographs, this fresh look at the campaign set a standard for aviation histories when first published in 1994.
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About the author

John B. Lundstrom is Curator Emeritus of History at the Milwaukee Public Museum where he has worked since 1967. He is the author of five books, including Black Shoe Carrier Admiral, The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign and coauthor of Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Jun 11, 2013
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Pages
626
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ISBN
9781612511658
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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“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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