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Blazing Star, Setting Sun: The Guadalcanal-Solomons Campaign November 1942–March 1943

av Jeffrey R. Cox

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351701,073 (4)Ingen/inga
A masterful account of a vital four months in the bloody battle for the Pacific, giving fresh insights into the Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign, a key turning point in both the PacificTheater and the wider Second World War. From popular Pacific Theater expert Jeffrey R. Cox comes this insightful new history of the critical Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign at the height of World War II. His previous book,Morning Star, Rising Sun, found the US Navy at its absolute nadir with the fate of theEnterprise,the last operational US aircraft carrier at this point in the war, unknown. This new volume completes the history of this crucial campaign, combining detailed research with a novelist's flair for the dramatic to reveal exactly how, despite missteps and misfortunes, the tide of war finally turned. By the end of February 1944, thanks to hard-fought and costly American victories in the first and second naval battles of Guadalcanal, the battle of Empress Augusta Bay, and the battle of Cape St George, the Japanese would no longer hold the materiel or skilled manpower advantage. From this point on, although the war was still a long way from being won, the American star was unquestionably on the ascendant, slowly, but surely, edging Japanese imperialism towards its sunset. Jeffrey Cox's analysis and attention to detail of even the smallest events are second to none. But what truly sets this book apart is how he combines this microscopic attention to detail, often unearthing new facts along the way, with an engaging style that transports the reader to the heart of the story, bringing the events on the deep blue of the Pacific vividly to life.… (mer)
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In many respects the Solomons campaign embodies the inflection point in the Second World War in the Pacific. With Japan’s offensive momentum disrupted by the battle of Midway, the two sides slugged it out in the southwest Pacific in late 1942 and early 1943 on nearly equal terms. Over time, though, the reversal of the experience gap and the growing impact of American industrial power combined to check Japanese plans in the region and begin the slow push towards their home islands.

Given the number of books that have already been written about this campaign, the question must be asked why another is needed. Jeffery Cox’s contribution possesses a number of merits. Foremost among them is the detailed reconstruction it provides of the oftentimes confused naval battles that took place around the islands. These descriptions inform Cox’s often pointed critiques of the people involved on both sides of the battle. In this respect Cox doesn’t leave the reader in any doubt as to what he thinks of his subjects and their responsibility for events.

Yet these assets don’t suffice to explain why Cox felt that another book was needed. His accounts of the battles draw heavily upon the many other works that have already been written about them. There is no original research and little effort to incorporate anything in the way of primary source records. It’s a classic case of an author who went into a room full of books and exited with one more. If Cox brought to that task an exceptional storytelling gift this might have offset this matter, but instead he often gets in the way of his own narrative with efforts at witty asides which typically fall flat. These detract from rather than add to his narrative efforts.

The result is a book that doesn’t really distinguish itself from the ones that preceded it. For anyone new to the subject it provides a useful survey of the naval clashes in the waters surrounding the Solomon Islands. But for those who have already read some of the other excellent works already available about the campaign Cox’s book contains nothing fresh or revelatory. In this respect it is less an addition to our knowledge than Cox’s explanation and commentary on it, one that does little more than provide a careful summary of the battles that defined the shift in Allied and Japanese fortunes in the war in the Pacific. ( )
  MacDad | May 24, 2021 |
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A masterful account of a vital four months in the bloody battle for the Pacific, giving fresh insights into the Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign, a key turning point in both the PacificTheater and the wider Second World War. From popular Pacific Theater expert Jeffrey R. Cox comes this insightful new history of the critical Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign at the height of World War II. His previous book,Morning Star, Rising Sun, found the US Navy at its absolute nadir with the fate of theEnterprise,the last operational US aircraft carrier at this point in the war, unknown. This new volume completes the history of this crucial campaign, combining detailed research with a novelist's flair for the dramatic to reveal exactly how, despite missteps and misfortunes, the tide of war finally turned. By the end of February 1944, thanks to hard-fought and costly American victories in the first and second naval battles of Guadalcanal, the battle of Empress Augusta Bay, and the battle of Cape St George, the Japanese would no longer hold the materiel or skilled manpower advantage. From this point on, although the war was still a long way from being won, the American star was unquestionably on the ascendant, slowly, but surely, edging Japanese imperialism towards its sunset. Jeffrey Cox's analysis and attention to detail of even the smallest events are second to none. But what truly sets this book apart is how he combines this microscopic attention to detail, often unearthing new facts along the way, with an engaging style that transports the reader to the heart of the story, bringing the events on the deep blue of the Pacific vividly to life.

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