Congratulations to The Literary Group International and their author, James Hornfischer, for securing a spot on The New York Times best-seller list with Neptune’s Inferno. The novel is Hornfischer’s most recent work of non-fiction about events in the Pacific war. This time, he follows the fighting between the Japanese and American-Australian naval ships during the Guadalcanal campaign in 1942.
While much has been said about the ground forces, Marines, and Army troops who fought and secured the island’s only airfield against several attacks, there is perhaps less said about (and much to be learned from) the war fought on the surface of the surrounding ocean. The American navy had made an early mistake, withdrawing their carriers after depositing the ground troops on the island, which led to the subsequent loss of several ships during a surprise Japanese raid. From that point on, the Americans had to deal with Japanese ships with longer-ranged, more powerful torpedoes, and often failed to take advantage of their own superior radar capabilities.
Hornfischer details all of the encounters, giving his readers an inside look at the tactics and the men who designed them, using letters and documents recovered from the war. Neptune’s Inferno is the definitive account of the Guadalcanal naval war. Those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them, so check out Hornfischer’s latest and avoid the fate of less savvy commanders.