SOUTH PACIFIC CAULDRON

WORLD WAR II’S GREAT FORGOTTEN BATTLEGROUNDS
By ALAN REMS























hile the Pacific War has been
widely studied by military
historians and venerated in popular
culture through movies and other
media, the fighting in the South
Pacific theater has, with few
exceptions, been remarkably
neglected. Worthy of remembrance
no less than Wake Island, Leyte Gulf,
and Tarawa are the great unsung
battlefields of Buna, Shaggy Ridge,
and the Driniumor River on New
Guinea, the torpedo-infested waters
off New Georgia, and the deadly skies
over Rabaul and Wewak.
Authoritative yet written in a highly readable
narrative style, South Pacific Cauldron is the first
complete history embracing all land, sea, and air
operations in this critically important sector of the
oceanic conflict. South Pacific operations are covered
in detail, including the little-known, final Australian
campaigns that continued until the Japanese surrender.
Based on the author’s archival research, the long-
suppressed story about the death of a leading Marine
Corps general at his headquarters is revealed, as is the
subsequent cover up sanctioned by Admiral Halsey.
Also examined are the issues faced by the segregated
Army in employing African-American troops in
combat.

Author Alan Rems breathes life into the major
figures of the South Pacific campaigns, including
brilliant and imperious Gen. Douglas MacArthur,
audacious and profane Adm. William “Bull” Halsey,
and bibulous and indelicate Australian general
Thomas Blamey. No less interesting are others that
will be mostly new to readers, many from the
Japanese side, including indomitable generals Noboru
Sasaki and Hatazo Adachi. The experiences of the
individual fighting men are captured in accounts of
actions for which the Medal of Honor, Victoria Cross,
and other decorations for valor were conferred.

South Pacific Cauldron’s story is enhanced
with sixteen maps and forty-two photographs, many
rarely seen, that were carefully chosen from official
American and Australian sources. The book includes
a detailed chronology to put the widely separated
operations in context and a detailed bibliography for
additional reading on the subject.

—A BOOK FOR REVI EW—
W

NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS BOOK NEWS







Advance Praise for South Pacific Cauldron ~

“South Pacific Cauldron is a first-rate
account of the brutal and important fighting
that occurred in the Solomon Islands and
New Guinea during World War II. By
examining the campaign from the American,
Australian, and Japanese perspectives, Alan
Rems provides military history buffs with a
fine starting point for the overlooked military
operations in one of the world’s most hostile
environments.”
—STEPHEN R. TAAFFE, author of Marshall
and His Generals: U.S. Army Commanders in
World War II and MacArthur's Jungle War:
The 1944 New Guinea Campaign




“For decades the history of the Guadalcanal
campaign has dominated the South Pacific
literature available to new generations of
readers. But there was much more to the
fighting in that area, as Alan Rems
demonstrates in this well-researched history
of a major theater of World War II. The
fighting against a determined Japanese enemy
was complicated by the command issues
involving not only American interservice
cooperation, but also those with Allies,
notably Australia. Air and sea power were
valuable contributors to the capture of island
after island and to eventual victory.”
—PAUL STILLWELL, naval historian and
author of The Golden Thirteen: Reflections of
the First Black Naval Officers and Submarine
Stories: Recollections from the Diesel Boats


ALAN REMS, a retired CPA, has been a regular contributor to Naval History magazine since
his first writing effort earned the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2008 Author of the Year award. He
lives with his wife, a retired newspaper managing editor, in Centreville, Virginia.


SOUTH PACIFIC CAULDRON: WORLD WAR II’S GREAT FORGOTTEN BATTLEGROUNDS
By Alan Rems
Publication date: 15 May 2014 │312 pp., 42 photos, 16 maps, notes, bibliography, index.
Hardcover: $38.95 │ £29.50
ISBN: 978-1-61251-471-0 │ History • World War II │ eBook edition also available.

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