Following the disastrous Java Sea campaign, the Allies went on the offensive in the Pacific in a desperate attempt to halt the Japanese forces that were rampaging across the region. With the conquest of Australia a very real possibility, the stakes were high. Their target: the Japanese-held Solomon Islands, in particular the southern island of Guadalcanal.
Hamstrung by arcane pre-war thinking and a bureaucratic mind-set, the US Navy had to adapt on the fly in order to compete with the mighty Imperial Japanese Navy, whose ingenuity and creativity thus far had fostered the creation of its Pacific empire. Starting with the amphibious assault on Savo Island, the campaign turned into an attritional struggle where the evenly matched foes sought to grind out a victory.
Following on from his hugely successful book Rising Sun, Falling Skies, Jeffrey R. Cox tells the gripping story of the first Allied offensive of the Pacific War, as they sought to prevent Japan from cutting off Australia and regaining dominance in the Pacific.
Read an extract of Morning Star, Midnight Sun
Table of Contents
I. Now What? – Strategic situation in Summer 1942 II. Learning on the Landing – The Invasion of Guadalcanal III. The Sleeping Watch – The Battle of Savo Island IV. Expensive Bait – Battle of the Eastern Solomons V. I am Aoba – The Battle of Cape Esperance VI. Not Quite Midway – Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands VII. Barfight in the Dark – The First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal VIII. The Reckoning Begins – Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal IX. Just When You Think – Battles of Tassafaronga and Rennell Island X. Cartwheeling – Bismarck Sea, Landings on New Georgia and Vella Lavella XI. Guadalcanal – Minus All the Mistakes XII. Anti-Climax – Isolation of Rabaul