US Marine vs. Japanese Infantryman - Guadalcanal 1942–43

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Gordon L. Rottman
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 80 Pages.
Product / Stock #
Combat 8
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site

US Marine versus Japanese Infantryman: Guadalcanal 1942–43 is the eighth volume in Osprey’s Combat series and the first dealing with an American fighting force in WWII. Fortunately, this volume deals with the US Marines. There are never enough references covering the USMC, so this volume is a welcome release.

This new book deals with the Marines fighting the Japanese infantry during the Guadalcanal campaign. However, it only deals with the first three months of the Marine’s involvement, concentrating on the three main battles that occurred during the three months: the Battle of the Tenaru in August, the Henderson Field attack in September and finally the Matanikau counteroffensive in October.

The book is 80 pages. Although it is full of clear, crisp black-and-white photographs, most of the images will be familiar to anyone who has researched the battle for Guadalcanal. The book also has several clear color images of various pieces of equipment and weapons as well as color illustrations of both a Marine rifleman and a Japanese infantryman. These will be helpful for painting figures. Additionally, the book has color maps that illustrate each campaign being discussed. The tables at the end of the book include complete orders of battle for both sides.

I found the comparison of the opposing sides interesting as well as informative. The chapter “Analysis” discusses the lessons learned by both sides and how the battle for Guadalcanal changed the way each side fought for the rest of the war.

I have been interested in Guadalcanal since I was stationed on the USS Guadalcanal LPH-7 in 1969, so anytime I see a book about the ‘Canal, I feel a need to read it. This book did not disappoint; I enjoyed reading it and found the maps interesting and helpful. The color illustrations and color images of the Japanese equipment were really helpful as well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Marine Corps history in World War II. It is especially welcome because of the information about the Japanese fighter; it’s information that is not easy to find. I enjoyed the read and look forward to new releases in this series.

My many thanks to Osprey Publishing for providing this book and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to read and review it.


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