By Martin Clemens
This outstanding memoir through the near-mythic British district officer and coastwatcher who assisted in shaping the 1st nice Allied counteroffensive within the Pacific warfare is a compelling actual event tale in keeping with a magazine Martin Clemens stored through the battle. while, it will possibly good be the final severe resource of study of the Solomons crusade. good-looking, articulate, and brave, the Scottish-born, Cambridge-educated Clemens controlled to outlive years in the back of jap traces in a single of the main unfriendly climates and terrains on the planet. After many partisan and undercover agent missions, in 1942 he emerged from the jungle and built-in his Melanesian commando strength into the center of the first Marine Division's operations, incomes and the unfettered admiration of now-legendary Marine officials like Vandegrift, Thomas, Twining, Edson, and Pate. His particular standpoint, fleshed out from designated diary entries, presents a revealing - no longer regularly flattering - portrait of the Solomons crusade and the Marines who directed it.
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Additional info for Alone on Guadalcanal: A Coastwatcher's Story
In addition, the division was really untrained above the battalion level, and it lacked one whole reinforced infantry regiment (the 7th Marines), which had been sent earlier to defend Samoa. The conferees urged Ghormley to see MacArthur and at least get the Joint Chiefs to lengthen the preparatory period. One immediate task that faced the Marines was to learn as much as possible about the Solomons. ”8 Vandegrift and Thomas returned to Wellington to start the awesome task of preparing their division for an amphibious assault, but they dispatched Goettge to Melbourne to learn as much about the Solomons as possible.
If Japan retained Guadalcanal, she could send planes to subdue the New Hebrides, while her navy occupied the islands. New Caledonia could then be neutralized and all shipping routes between Australia and America cut. Important centers, vital to the war effort, would come under aerial attack, and the position would be extremely grave. The only way of preventing this debacle, and the division of the Allies, was the occupation of Guadalcanal. No mean venture, this. Owing to the tragic losses in Malaya, and Britain’s entire preoccupation with the European theater of war, no troops were available for this dangerous task.
Since the Tulagi landing looked (and was) the most immediately difficult, given the defenses of the 3d Kure Special Naval Landing Force, Vandegrift assigned Rupertus his toughest infantry, the 1st Raider Battalion (Lt. Col. Merritt A. Edson), the 1st Parachute Battalion (Maj. Robert H. Williams), the 1st Battalion, 2d Marines (Lt. Col. Robert E. Hill), and the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines (Lt. Col. Harold E. Rosecrans). Since Admiral Turner would not release the two remaining battalions of the 2d Marines (a regiment borrowed from the 2d Marine Division) to the 1st Marine Division, Vandegrift had only five infantry battalions to land on Red Beach, the landing site east of the Lunga River.