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The Battle of Tassafaronga

By Russell Syndnor Crenshaw
2010, Naval Institute Press
ISBN 159114146X
Paperback, 228 pages


The Battle of Tassafaronga, fought November 30, 1942, was the fifth and last major night surface action of the Guadalcanal campaign. In it, a powerful American task force intercepted eight Japanese destroyers on a mission to deliver supplies to troops ashore but, in a stunning reversal, lost three heavy cruisers damaged and one sunk to enemy torpedoes. Lacking the facts needed to understand what had happened, American commanders criticized only their own destroyers before returning their focus to the war ahead. Not until more than half a century later did the author, the destroyer Maury's gunnery officer during the battle, undertake a detailed analysis and critique. This book is his report: a revelation of complex factors that under other circumstances might have led to an even more devastating defeat.

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