Military history

Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who took on the Japanese in America’s hour of need: Vice Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, who took command of the faltering South Pacific Area from his aloof, overwhelmed predecessor and became a national hero; the brilliant Rear Admiral Norman Scott, who died even as he showed his command how to fight and win; Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, the folksy and genteel “Uncle Dan,” lost in the strobe-lit chaos of his burning flagship; Rear Admiral Willis Lee, who took vengeance two nights later in a legendary showdown with the Japanese battleship Kirishima; the five Sullivan brothers, all killed in the shocking destruction of the Juneau; and many others, all vividly brought to life.

The first major work on this essential subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It cuts through the smoke and fog to tell the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives. This is a thrilling achievement from a master historian at the very top of his game.

Prologue: Eighty-two Ships

Part I. Sea of Troubles

Chapter 1: Trip Wire

Chapter 2: A Great Gray Fleet

Chapter 3: The First D-Day

Chapter 4: Nothing Worthy of Your Majesty’s Attention

Chapter 5: Fly the Carriers

Chapter 6: A Captain in the Fog

Chapter 7: The Martyring of Task Group 62.6

Chapter 8: Burning in the Rain

Part II. Fighting Fleet Rising

Chapter 9: A New Kind of Fight

Chapter 10: The Tokyo Express

Chapter 11: A Function at the Junction

Chapter 12: What They Were Built For

Chapter 13: The Warriors

Chapter 14: The Devil May Care

Chapter 15: The Visit

Chapter 16: Night of a New Moon

Chapter 17: Pulling the Trigger

Chapter 18: “Pour It to ’Em”

Part III. Storm Tide

Chapter 19: All Hell’s Eve

Chapter 20: The Weight of a War

Chapter 21: Enter Fighting

Chapter 22: “Strike—Repeat, Strike”

Chapter 23: Santa Cruz

Chapter 24: Secret History

Chapter 25: Turner’s Choice

Chapter 26: Suicide

Chapter 27: Black Friday

Chapter 28: Into the Light

Chapter 29: The Killing Salvo

Chapter 30: Death in the Machine Age

Chapter 31: Point Blank

Chapter 32: Among the Shadows

Chapter 33: Atlanta Burning

Chapter 34: Cruiser in the Sky

Chapter 35: Regardless of Losses

Part IV. The Rhundering

Chapter 36: The Giants Ride

Chapter 37: The Gun Club

Chapter 38: The Kind of Men Who Win a War

Chapter 39: On the Spot

Chapter 40: The Futility of Learning

Chapter 41: Future Rising

Chapter 42: Report and Echo

Chapter 43: The Opinion of Convening Authority

Chapter 44: Ironbottom Sound + Photo Insert

Ships and Aircraft Types of the Guadalcanal Campaign

Naval Battles of the Guadalcanal Campaign

Source Notes


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