July 07, 2009

Guadalcanal by Richard B. Frank

The other day I’ve finished “Guadalcanal” by Richard B. Frank. I won’t go into the details of the book – Guadalcanal should be familiar to most wargamers, at least in broad strokes. I would however like to recommend this book to anybody with interest in the Pacific theatre of World War II and especially to people that wargame this period.

There are several reasons for my unreserved praise of this book. First of all, it gives a very detailed account of all aspects of the campaign – land combat, struggle in the air and clashes at sea. Second, it is based on primary sources of both sides and gives equal space to American and Japanese side. Furthermore, Frank narrative is very rich in detail, but remains very accessible.

From wargamer’s perspective, this book is a dream – there is a lot of material for scenarios of all possible kinds – control of Guadalcanal was contested at land, sea and in the air and ferocity of that struggle was equally intense regardless of the location. What’s even more important, Frank provides both the maps and orders of battle for both major clashes and minor incidents. And as a final cherry on the top, he also gives us excellent descriptions for all commanders involved in the campaign.

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