Midnight in the Pacific: Guadalcanal – the World War II Battle That Turned the Tide of War
by Joseph Wheelan
Da Capo Press, 2017
August 7th of this year marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, which was launched in an almost unplanned scramble in the summer of 1942, mainly out of US Admiral Ernest King’s ferocity to strike a blow against the Imperial Japanese Navy. King (the subject of an excellent biography by Thomas Buell called Master of Sea Power) warned that unchecked Japanese victories in the Pacific imperiled the all-important shipping lanes between the US West Coast and Hawaii and Australia. When King and Admiral Chester Nimitz learned of Japanese plans to construct an airfield on the island of Guam, the die was cast: they sent in the Marines.