Guadalcanal by Eric Hammel
Decision at Sea

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Synopsis

GUADALCANAL
Decision at Sea

The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
November 13–15,1942

Eric Hammel

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 brilliantly 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.” —Riverside 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
 

About Eric Hammel

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Eric Hammel is a critically acclaimed military historian and author of more than thirty combat and pictorial histories, including several on U.S. Marine operations in World War II and Vietnam, such as Pacific Warriors: The U.S. Marines in World War II, Iwo Jima: Portrait of a Battle, and Marines in Hue City: A Portrait of Urban Combat, Tet 1968. He lives in Northern California.
 
Published June 13, 2009 by Pacifica Military History. 505 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Guadalcanal

Kirkus Reviews

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His klaeidoscopic but unfailingly comprehensible text shifts rapidly among many points of interest, from tart force command posts through the cockpits of scout planes on patrol, the mounts of antiaircraft batteries that constitute a vessel's last line of defense against bomb or torpedo attacks, a...

Sep 01 1987 | Read Full Review of Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea

Kirkus Reviews

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Hammel, author of two well-received books on the Marines in Lebanon (The Root) and Korea (Chosin), here turns to Guadalcanal, providing a splendid record of this decisive campaign in WW II's Pacific theater.

Mar 01 1987 | Read Full Review of Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea

Kirkus Reviews

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This final volume in Hammel's trilogy provides a splendid record of the hard-fought battles that raged around Guadalcanal during the early stages of the Allies' WW II campaign against Japan.

Oct 01 1988 | Read Full Review of Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea

https://www.mca-marines.org

It was a joyful sight when 19 F4F Wildcat aircraft from Marine Fighting Squadron 223 and 12 SBD Dauntless dive bombers from Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron 232 landed on the packed earthen runway.

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