Given my fascination with both naval warfare and history this gripping narrative of seldom discussed part of the Guadalcanal offensive struck gold. The author, James D. Hornfischer manages to combine the historical facts with an exiting story in a similar way to the brilliant Stalingrad by Antony Beevor.

As the title implies the book focuses on the naval operations surrounding the invasion of Guadalcanal. However it also does a fair job at describing the build up to both the pacific conflict and the reasons for launching a campaign against Guadalcanal. It describes a point in the pacific war where the U.S infantry forces where forced to rely on a navy which had little to no resources and that crumbled under the might of the Japanese navy. The book follows the U.S navy through this low points and sticks with it until the massive American industrial complex with the help of some spectacular naval action managed to turn the tide in the pacific.

I really enjoyed the way the book connects the historic naval focus of midway and pearl harbor to the infantry focus of the Guadalcanal invasion. This book should really be on your reading list if you have any interest in the pacific theater of the second world war.