A Guadalcanal Bibliography

As is the case with all long marches, they must begin with a single first step. Guadalcanal was that first step. The long march was to Tokyo and it's about to begin again. At dawn the Marines will hit the beach and secure the airfield there. If all goes well it will be renamed Henderson field. If the Americans continue to have their way eventually all tthe islands known as the Solomon Islands will be theirs. Command either the Japanese or American land, sea and ground forces and rewrite the history of this critical struggle.
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A Guadalcanal Bibliography

Post by timerover51 » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:20 am

The is a bibliography of books that I have found useful in studying the campaign in the Solomon Islands in WW2. It is not exhaustive, but represents those which I have found valuable enough to purchase. A couple of other useful works in general on the Pacific War are The Campaigns of the Pacific War and Interrogations of Japanese Officials, both done by the US Strategic Bombing Survey. For useful maps and orders of battle, you cannot beat the US Marine Corps monographs and histories, and the US Army Official History Series. One other extremely useful work is The Handbook on Japanese Military Forces, for which Louisiana State University Press has issued an excellent reprint.

Guadalcanal Bibliography

The Campaign for Guadalcanal, by Jack Coggins: A superbly illustrated work covering the air, land, and naval fighting for the island of Guadalcanal.

Guadalcanal: The First Offensive, by John Miller: Good coverage of the land fighting including both the Marines and the Army. Official History.

The Guadalcanal Campaign, by Major John Zimmerman: Focuses on the fighting by the Marines of the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions with attached units.

The Struggle for Guadalcanal, by Samuel E. Morrison: Near official history of the US naval operations during the Guadalcanal campaign.

Breaking the Bismarck Barrier, by Samuel E. Morrison: Covers the naval operations throughout the remainder of the campaign against Rabaul, including the landings in the Admiralty Islands.

Shots Fired in Anger, by Lt. Col. John George: Personnel account of some of the Guadalcanal fighting by the 132nd Infantry Regiment, along with his service with Merrill’s Marauders in Burma. Includes a superb analysis of Japanese infantry weapons and equipment by an expert in small arms.

Cartwheel, the Reduction of Rabaul, by John Miller: Official History of US operations to isolate Rabaul, including campaigning in New Guinea, on the island of New Britain, and working the way up the Solomon Island chain. Includes much information on Japanese actions and thinking, and also covers assistance given by the British Commonwealth troops from Fiji and New Zealand.

Isolation of Rabaul, by Shaw and Kane: Official US Marine Corps history of the Solomon Island campaign following the Japanese evacuation of Guadalcanal. Excellent details on combat, Japanese and American strategic thinking, and operations on the island of New Britain. Includes a large section on air operations in the neutralization of Rabaul from Bougainville.

Marines in the Central Solomons, by Major John Rentz: US Marine Corps monograph covering Marine operations in the New Georgia island group.

Bougainville and the Northern Solomons, by Major John Rentz: US Marine Corps monograph covering operations in the Northern Solomon Islands.

The Campaign on New Britain, by Hough and Crown: Another of the Marine Corps monographs covering the campaign on New Britain. Includes a terrific analysis of jungle vegetation by a US forestry expert.

A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, by Paul Dull: A history of Pacific naval operations from the Japanese standpoint.

Kogun, the Japanese Army in the Pacific War, by Hayashi and Coox: Written by a member of the Imperial General Staff, this provides an extremely useful view into Japanese Army strategic thinking and operations during the war, as well as events leading up to the war.

I hope that those on the forum may find these useful in better understanding how to approach the game. I also spent 15 days in the Solomon Islands in May of 2002, in the New Georgia island group area, so I can draw on personal experience. If you wish to know what I was doing there, see the following items. The National Geographic TV special, The Search for PT-109, or the book Collision with History, The Search for PT-109.

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Post by mambo4 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:06 pm

I picked up Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle by Richard B. Frank, and I have yet to read a more thorough account of the campaign form both sides, top to bottom. Very detailed, to the point of being rather dry at times. But generally a good read if you're interested.

Guadalcanal Diary is of course the classic journalistic account.

For imagery, you can't beat Guadalcanal: The U.S. Marines in World War II: A Pictorial Tribute by Eric Hammel. there are some great pics in there, including a very compelling shot of the sinking of the hornet...

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Post by timerover51 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:56 am

Frank's work is outstanding, but I was looking more at the campaign as a whole, as that is what the game covers, not just the fighting on Guadalcanal. Tregaski's work is classic, with the only thing I can think of comparable from the journalistic standpoint being Sherrod's Tarawa.

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Re: A Guadalcanal Bibliography

Post by timerover51 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:33 pm

It is possible to download the entire US Army in World War 2 History series in PDF format from the US Army Center for Military History.

http://www.history.army.mil/html/booksh ... saww2.html

Another website where is it possible to access a very large number of histories for World War 2 is the Hyperwar site.


This has links to the Marine Corps Official Histories as well as other sources. The Site covers all of World War 2.

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Re: A Guadalcanal Bibliography

Post by Caractacus » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:34 pm

Nice titles, nice links. Thank you!

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