If the US Marines gave birth to a legend in the `halls of Montezuma' in the mid-nineteenth century, when they captured Mexico City under the leadership of General Winfield Scott, they added glorious lustre to it with their heroism and victories against the Japanese in World War II. For this vivid, foxhole view of the Marines' war, Richard Wheeler draws extensively on frontline eyewitness accounts of Marines and combat journalists, backing up their stories with official US action reports and captured Japanese materials. First published in 1983, the book has earned praise as a popular, one-volume history of all the battles fought by the Marine Corps in the Pacific campaign.
The book describes in fascinating and exciting detail the heroic defence of Wake Island against an overwhelming enemy assault force. It traces the long bloody battle for Guadalcanal that brought the Marines their first victory and gave America and its allies control of the strategically important Soloman Islands. It follows the painful, island-by-island counter-attack towards the Japanese homeland when the Marines distinguished themselves at such places as Bougainville, Saipan, Tarawa, Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Here are the remarkable exploits of the Marines holding off Japanese assault waves at Heartbreak Ridge, storming across coral reefs, and struggling up the slopes of Mount Suribachi to raise the Stars and Stripes. Some sixty-five photographs enhance the book, which is now available in paperback for the first time.
Richard Wheeler is a Marine veteran of the Pacific campaign and the author of Iwo and The Bloody Battle for Suribachi, among other books. He lives in Pine Grove, PA.