Some of you who followed HBO’s The Pacific will recall the first part of the Mini Series’ heroes’ trials and tribulations was the war in Guadalcanal island—a huge fight between the starving US Marines and the worst-off Japanese Imperial Army.
This 2011 book (James D. Hornfischer’s Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal) details the several titanic battles between US Navy and the Japanese Imperial Navy that were fought at the same time in the waters off Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands.
Here’s an excerpt:
At Guadalcanal from August through November, the Japanese saw for the first time the terrifying aspect of the American nation resolved to total war and bent to slaughter. The Imperial Japanese Navy, well blooded, seemed to lose some of its will to fight. In the decades before the outbreak of the war, Japan came to the negotiating table in Washington and again in London out of a conviction of its matériel inferiority to the Western navies. Despite its fleet’s achievement in the early stages of the war, a powerful current within the IJN cast it as an underdog against the United States. It compensated for the perceived inferiority through a dedication to training and esprit de corps. After Guadalcanal, pessimism was preeminent again. Not until October 1944—and not in any of the significant amphibious invasions that took place from Tarawa to Peleliu—did Japan again commit heavy surface forces to battle. The reason appears to be the shattering effect of the Guadalcanal defeat on morale.