In this superbly crafted history of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, Joe Alexander chips away the crust of legend and reveals a glittering story more compelling than myth. Edson's Raiders is a powerful narrative that explains what made Merritt Edson one of the greatest leaders ever to wear the eagle, globe, and anchor. It is packed with individual accounts more vivid than fiction of raiders in fevered, hallucinatory battles in the South Pacific jungles. For anyone who wants to find out what it really took for Americans to win World War II, this is an eye-opener. For anyone looking for timeless lessons of US Marine Corps small unit battles, this is a must read. Hard cover. 368 pages, with b/w photos and maps.
This is the story of the remarkable men of 1st Marine Raider Battalion, known by the name of its founding commander, the legendary jungle fighter Merritt A. "Red Mike" Edson. Edson's Raiders provided the vanguard of a U.S. Marine Corps experiment with special lightly-armed, mobile "commando" units in the Pacific. From 1942 to 1943, these highly trained volunteers fought seven critical battles in the Solomon Islands--with names like Tulagi, Tasimboko, the Matanikau River and the Dragon's Peninsula. They were desperate, bloody affairs fought against some of the most experienced jungle fighters in the Japanese empire. Twenty-four Raiders fought with such valor that they had ships named in their honor, all but one posthumously. Joseph Alexander provides an abundance of first-person accounts from Edson to such hard-nosed NCOs as Angus Goss, Walter Burak, and Anthony Palonis. His portrayal of the Raiders' defense of Guadalcanal's Henderson Field along an elevation known ever since as Edson's Ridge, shows why that three-day conflict became an indisputable touchstone of Marine Corps history.
Joseph Alexander is a retired U.S. Marine colonel with twenty-nine years of service as an assault amphibian officer. He is the author of the award-winning Utmost Savagery, among other books.
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