From the editor
It was the brutal six-month slugging match, marked by extraordinary levels of suffering and horror, that helped turn the tide of World War II in the Pacific – prompting one Japanese general to call it ‘no longer merely a name of an island’ but ‘the name of the graveyard of the Japanese army’.
The Battle of Guadalcanal, from August 1942 to February 1943, was fought out across three dimensions, with US and Japanese air, land, and sea forces all intensively involved. For those fighting desperately on the ground in remote, jungle-clad territory, additional hazards included hunger, tropical disease, mosquitos, and even crocodiles.
In our cover story, timed to mark the 80th anniversary of this landmark campaign, Graham Goodlad analyses the action that finally brought a halt to Japanese expansion in the Far East.
Elsewhere, in our latest two-part special, Chris Bambery traces the history of the Spanish Civil War, and reveals how its longest and bloodiest engagement, the Battle of the Ebro, paved the way for ultimate Republican defeat.
Also in this issue, Peter Burke considers the many ways that misunderstandings, arrogance, and lack of knowledge have affected events on the battlefield, from Balaclava to Vietnam; Stephen Roberts reappraises the ‘murder of Evesham’ on 4 August 1265, a battle that changed the course of English history; and Tim Newark takes to the high seas to examine the fine line between piracy and privateering sailed by two notorious buccaneers in the 17th and 18th centuries.
And finally, Taylor Downing celebrates the return of a movie classic by delving into the military history behind Casablanca.
We hope you enjoy the issue!