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  • Published: 1 November 2016
  • ISBN: 9780451473769
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

The Battle For Hell's Island



A remarkable story of grit, guts, and heroism, The Battle for Hell’s Island reveals how command of the South Pacific, and the outcome of the Pacific War, depended on control of a single dirt airstrip—and the small group of battle-weary aviators sent to protect it with their lives.

ovember 1942: Japanese and American forces have been fighting for control of Guadalcanal, a small but pivotal island in Japan’s expansion through the South Pacific. Both sides have endured months of grueling battle under the worst circumstances: hellish jungles, meager rations, and tropical diseases, which have taken a severe mental and physical toll on the combatants. The Japanese call Guadalcanal Jigoku no Jima—Hell’s Island.

Amid a seeming stalemate, a small group of U.S. Navy dive bombers are called upon to help determine the island’s fate. The men have until recently been serving in their respective squadrons aboard the USS Lexingtonand the USS Yorktown, fighting in the thick of the Pacific War’s aerial battles. Their skills have been honed to a fine edge, even as injury and death inexorably have depleted their ranks. When their carriers are lost, many of the men end up on the USS Enterprise. Battle damage to that carrier then forces them from their home at sea to operating from Henderson Field, a small dirt-and-gravel airstrip on Guadalcanal.

With some Marine and Army Air Force planes, they help form the Cactus Air Force, a motley assemblage of fliers tasked with holding the line while making dangerous flights from their jungle airfield. Pounded by daily Japanese air assaults, nightly warship bombardments, and sniper attacks from the jungle, pilots and gunners rarely last more than a few weeks before succumbing to tropical ailments, injury, exhaustion, and death. But when the Japanese launch a final offensive to take the island once and for all, these dive-bomber jocks answer the call of duty—and try to perform miracles in turning back an enemy warship armada, a host of fighter planes, and a convoy of troop transports.

A remarkable story of grit, guts, and heroism, The Battle for Hell’s Island reveals how command of the South Pacific, and the outcome of the Pacific War, depended on control of a single dirt airstrip—and the small group of battle-weary aviators sent to protect it with their lives.

  • Published: 1 November 2016
  • ISBN: 9780451473769
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

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Praise for The Battle For Hell's Island

A fabulous, memorable re-creation of how the war was experienced . . . The Battle for Hell’s Island will definitely appeal to anyone with an interest in the carrier wars of World War II

America in WWII

Stephen L. Moore offers what will soon be ranked a major military classic among the past half century’s torrent of books on the Pacific War . . . Not only does The Battle for Hell’s Island highlight new information and examine eyewitness accounts, vignettes and reminiscences hitherto unavailable, the text is a tome of fresh insights and re-evaluated interpretations . . . A major, first-rate, authoritative contribution to the literature of WWII

Leatherneck

Moore’s battle descriptions are gripping . . . [An] important, illuminating book . . . The Battle for Hell’s Island brings vital new insights into how America and its Allies advanced from shellshocked defenders to powerful victors in the Pacific War

The Dallas Morning News

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