Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle” as Want to Read:
Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  451 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The battle at Guadalcanal--which began eight months to the day after Pearl Harbor--marked the first American offensive of World War II. It was a brutal six-month campaign that cost the lives of some 7,000 Americans and over 30,000 Japanese.This volume, ten years in the writing, recounts the full story of the critical campaign for Guadalcanal and is based on first-time tran ...more
Paperback, 800 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Penguin Books (first published 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Guadalcanal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Guadalcanal

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 866)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Frank wrote the Definitive account of the battle.
What many contemporary readers don't realize is that
the campaign included some of the largest ship to ship battles in history. Unbelievable heroism. I gave this to my uncle who was a participant and he recalled watching the ship battles at night off the coast in iron bottom sound. This book is one of the best executed history books ever written.
Jan 20, 2013 Joseph rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are into numbers and detail
This book contains tons of detail. If you are into detail this is the book for you. But, for me, the book almost devolves into minutiae. I checked this book out of the library for three weeks, then renewed it for another three weeks. The reason I checked it out is that I am researching Guadalcanal to try and gain a better understanding of what it was like for my father who fought on Guadalcanal as an enlisted man with the 25th ID. The book gave me some detail and if you want to know how the batt ...more
Sorry for using this tired phrase, but in this case it is completely justified - if you are to read a single book about Guadalcanal campaign, then this is the book you want to read. It is very detailed, comprehensive and yet readable account of a World War II campaign that was as decisive as it was unique. There are many reasons why I think this is superior choice on this topic - Frank covers all aspects of the campaign - land, sea and air. Just that fact alone makes it a rarity. Also, the book ...more
e.West Smith
An amazing piece of scholarship on what was America's first counter-thrust against the Empire of Japan. Exhaustively researched, Mr. Frank's account of the conflict in late 1942 highlighted the hubris of the IJN and IJA as they first dismissed, then underestimated and finally reacted too late. Great read for aficionados of the Pacific War.
I read this, breaking into my books to read because I am staying away from reading When the Magisterium Intervenes, and because I started to read FRank'sDownfall (which led me to other books on the end of WWII in the Pacific, more about which later) which led me to read this book on Guadalcanal because Franks is really a very good researcher.

I am old enough to barely remember this battle, the long, brutal turning point of the Pacific War.

I now read about the events, not as heroism, although hero
Roger Burk
Like the dust jacket says, this is the definitive history of the Guadalcanal campaign, from the bold and even foolhardy American seizure of an airfield at the tip of Japanese expansion in the southwest Pacific to the brilliantly planned and executed Japanese withdrawal of their last skeletal survivors six months later. The campaign is an epic of hardship, determination, and perseverence in American military history, but how much greater were the hardship, suffering, and perseverence of the Japan ...more
Tom Clancy said of Frank's book that it will surely become the standard history of the U.S. Navy's most important campaign. After having read it, I tend to agree with him, although I'd be tempted to add that is was perhaps one of America's armed forces most important campaign ever, arguably the true turning point of the Pacific war.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone wishing to acquire an articulate, well researched view of the campaign. Frank digs deep into American and Japanese sources
Feb 24, 2008 Patrick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of scholarly military history
This is perhaps the best campaign history I have ever read. It is the equal of the best Civil War campaign histories by Catton and Stephen Sears, which for me are the best researched and literary books available on specific American military campaigns. Frank does a superb job of establishing the background that resulted in thousands of men fighting over this obscure little island in the South Pacific. He then does an equally fine job of detailing the various maneuvers of the Japanese and America ...more
Urey Patrick
This is a "must" read for anyone interested in the War in the Pacific - the opening chapter dealing with the strategies and influences affecting Japan and the US leading up to the war, and the closing chapter reflecting on the Guadalcanal campaign alone make it worthwhile. Guadalcanal was one of the most significant events of WW II - in the space of eight months following Pearl Harbor, the US bombed Tokyo - fought Coral Sea and reversed Japanese expansion - fought Midway and changed the course o ...more
Eric Smith
It took me a little less than four years to finish this book. Why? Because it is so detailed and step-by-step through a nightmare campaign during world war 2. The authors tracks every ship and every regiment - almost every company - as they slog it out in a bloodbath of horror called the Guadalcanal Campaign. The book vibrates with definitive reporting, tables, maps, and reporting of facts. It also makes clear the brutal and genocidal nature of the fighting in the Pacific. I had a hard time gett ...more
Joe Owen
IN-Depth history of the Battle of Guadalcanal from the US and Japanese strategy and warfare. The land, sea, and air battles are analyzed and reviewed. This is not for the beginner who doesn't know anything about the battle. It is for those who are familiar about the history and want to learn about the battle in-depth.
Ron Spiegelhalter
The battle plods and the author simply reports. Could have been better had he found a device that maintains the reader's interest in the dragged out battle of assimilation early in the Pacific theater that is Guadalcanal.
In the summer of 1942, the US had been defeated at almost every turn by the Japanese. With the Germany first strategy, it was no sure thing that america's limited resources could defeat the Japanese who had run rampant. The Japanese had no yet been defeated on land. This book is an excellent account of the battle on land and sea that raged from August 1942 through early 1943. The Japanese fought capably and fanatically and it was a near thing but the americans also fought well and eventually wer ...more
Frank's book is easily the single best volume on the Guadalcanal campaign, weaving together the holy trinity of air, naval and land to provide a complete and extremely well-written and detailed account. Essential for anyone interested in World War II in the Pacific.
Matthew Phelps
The definitive account by far. Not a light undertaking, but it's definitely for you if you want in-depth analysis and play-by-play accounts drawn from original documents on both the American and Japanese sides.
Fredrick Danysh
Guadalcanal was one of the early battles of World War II to retake the Pacific region from the Japanese. The fierce struggle was a test for Aallied military might and tactics.
Excellent and comprehensive history of the grueling conflict in this remote tropical jungle island. I doubt any survivor of the campaign came out of it whole.
Christopher Dell
I want to give it a two because it was a chore to read, however, due to the exhaustive research and the detail it is a 5. "Definitive" is an understatement.
Gary Phillips
The epitome of a campaign study. Meticulously researched, thoughtful, detailed yet accessible to a general audience.
Patricrk patrick
Covers the land, sea and air campaign from both sides as the source material allows. Very much worth the read.
Partially read it years ago. Plan to go back and read again.
Billy Collins
very good coverage of this US victory in the pacific
Mar 12, 2009 Kevin added it
Tons of information. Good read.
Ben marked it as to-read
May 29, 2015
Carson marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Beth marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
Douglas Gillespie
Douglas Gillespie marked it as to-read
May 28, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 28 29 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa
  • A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
  • The Battle of Kursk
  • Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific
  • Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
  • Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan
  • Decision in Normandy
  • One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa
  • The Pacific War: 1941-1945
  • The Two-Ocean War
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War
  • Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
  • Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944--The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War
  • Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War
  • Midway: the Battle That Doomed Japan
  • It Never Snows in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944
  • Why the Allies Won
Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire MacArthur What If? 2: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (What If, #2)

Share This Book