Blazing Star, Setting Sun: The Conclusion of the Guadalcanal–Solomons Naval Campaign of World War II

 BLAZING STAR, SETTING SUN                      JEFFREY R. COX

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, had found the US Navy at its absolute nadir and the fate of the Enterprise, 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.

PAT'S REVIEW


Here in the third book the author, Mr. Cox goes through with the continuing battle that is taking place on Guadalcanal between the Marines and Japanese forces. The struggles that each side has with terrain, weather, plants, animals, and mostly disease. The disease part took a toll on both sides and was something that neither side was prepared for. Even after all of the deaths and they would still be trouble with this fact.
The author goes into the battle at sea and the loss of our Destroyers and the men who served on them, the lack of communication between them, and also how the Japanese tactics were actually better. You do see that the fight during the day had begun to even out as had the battle in the skies. By the end of this battle which ran from August 42 to February 43, the Japanese were losing more and more experienced flyers and not being able to replace them.
You also find out about a meeting between the powers that took place in Casablanca that when reading about the European conflict it was decided how they were to attack Germany, first Sicily, Italy then a cross channel landing onto France. When I have read about it before it never spoke about the Pacific battle. Here the author gives you what was said and what was fought for by the Navy and the fight and struggle to save Australia, and the other Islands as well as returning to the Philippines.
You are also given an honest look into the command of MacArthur who I have always thought should have been held accountable for his disobeying of direct orders and allowing 35 B-17s, 53 107 P-140s, and three P35s all because he did not follow orders and have the planes spread out. He also left just left men and women in the Philippines and Corregidor. Anyway, he gets far too much credit for doing nothing except criticize weather the Navy, or the men serving under him but will take credit in front of the press.
Sorry back to the book as you get towards the end of the battle and past all of the infighting between everyone you get a story of the B-17s and skip bombing. General Kenney’s finally being able to use it and setting up the Japanese at what would be known as the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Where the success was the loss of 8 transports, 4 destroy sank and 20 fighters along with over 2890 dead for the Japanese. The Allies lost 2 bombers, 4 fighters, and thirteen men. The code breakers were able to set up this attack and the Japanese gave up New Guinea. This turned out to be a huge success for the Allies for even the bombs that did not hit a ship but landed close blew apart beneath it therefore each ship was a total loss. Later a Japanese Officer said that this was a far greater loss than even Guadalcanal for it change a lot of their plans.
What is always great about reading this author’s book is that I feel like I am learning history that was not taught to me. Yes, I knew about the war in the Pacific but I had never heard of skip bombing and the effect it had. Once again a very good book and very much worth the read. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com


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