Monday, May 17, 2010


Reading first hand accounts of battles is a two edged sword. On the one hand the author has a unique insight into what went on, but on the other can get bogged down in the minutiae of what they did. Robert Leckie in Challenge For The Pacific. The Bloody Six-Month Battle of Guadalcanal never falls into the second of these problems.
As a marine of the First Marine Division Leckie was in the thick of the fighting on Guadalcanal, but he never lets that overpower his enthralling description of the campaign. Leckie gives equal time to Japanese and American Admirals as well as marines and Japanese infantrymen as he builds his detailed picture of what happened in this crucial campaign of the Pacific War.

Overall this book was an amazing read. Leckie has a deft hand and is able to let the facts speak for themselves but is also not afraid to let a dry humour come through as well. After finishing this book I felt that I had learnt a lot about the battle and now realise why it was such a big deal.

(On a separate note viewers of The Pacific may recognise the name Robert Leckie, or 'Lucky' as he was called by his squad mates, as being one of the main point of view characters in the series.)

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