Book review

This remarkable memoir tells the compelling story of the near-mythic British district officer who helped shape the first great Allied counteroffensive. Scottish-born and Cambridge-educated, Martin Clemens managed to survive months behind Japanese lines in one of the most unfriendly climates and terrains in the world. After countless partisan and spy missions, in 1942 he emerged from the jungle and integrated his Melanesian commando force into the heart of the 1st Marine Division's operations, earning the unfettered admiration of such legendary Marine officers as Vandegrift, Thomas, Twining, Edson, and Pate. The book is based on a journal Clemens kept during the war and might well be the last critical source of analysis of the Solomon's campaign. His eyewitness accounts of harrowing long-distance patrols and life on the run from shadowy Japanese intelligence operatives and treacherous islanders are unmatched in the literature of the Pacific War. First published in 1998, the story is essential and enjoyable reading.

Alone on Guadalcanal: A Coastwatcher's Story (Bluejacket Books) by Martin W. Clemens

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Martin W. Clemens
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