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The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal: Exploring the Ghost Fleet of the South Pacific [Hardcover]

Robert D. Ballard , Rick Archbold
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (Oct 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446516368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446516365
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 22.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 815,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

This volume contains photographs, period paintings by war artists, plus a host of full-colour maps, charts and diagrams. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The work of Dr Robert D. Ballard knows no bounds and is truly inspirational to those of us who read of his exploits and seek to emulate his standards with much lesser shipwrecks.
Once again, just as soon as I took delivery of "The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal" I knew I had a 5 Star Book in my hands and, once again, I found nothing within it's 220 pages to make me take away any of those stars.
This book will stand the test of time as a literary work and outstanding account of one of the major naval battle zones of the Pacific in WW2. There are modern photographs including a number taken from the air, historic photographs (American, Australian, Japanese and local) of the places, the personalities, the ships, aircraft and soldiers, some incredible paintings of the night actions that took place, pictures of Ballard's crew as they go about their work and his advanced equipment being deployed and used. There is also a picture of a very young John F. Kennedy in his PT-109.
The first underwater pictures are enough to make the heart stop for just a moment as you realise this man Ballard has done it again - not once, but in this case several times. Commencing with the 9,850 ton Heavy Cruiser HMAS Canberra (the "A" stands for Australian) we no sooner see the first underwater photographs of this once magnificent ship - which went down fight in the opening minutes of the Battle of Savo Island, then we turn the page to find a 3-page open-out spread of Ken Marschall's painting of the entire wreck.
On the opposite side of that 3 page spread is another equally outstanding painting of USS Quincy followed by her own set of underwater photographs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FIVE BIG STARS........ 10 Oct 2014
By gary
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very good. Gives an account of the naval engagement and has incredible pictures. Five BIG stars .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on the warships lost in Iron Bottom Sound 15 Sep 2001
By "weirdo_87" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Between August 1942 and February 1943, a land-sea and air battle was waged for an island in the south pacific called Guadalcanal. The six-month long battle for the island would be one of the definitive battles of the war. It was also one of the costliest. Thousands of Allied and Japanese soldiers died. And a channel north of the island had so many ships go down there that it was renamed Iron Bottom Sound.
It is possible that more men died in the waters off Guadalcanal then on the island itself. But for many years, most of the ships were out of reach to divers and eventually were all but forgotten. Then, in 1992, Oceanographer Robert Ballard, who had found the Titanic and the Bismarck, decided to explore the area using the latest in technology. It is quite an experience to see a past battlefield on land like Normandy, Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg or Guadalcanal itself. But the battlefields were obviously cleaned up afterward and don't look the way they did when the battle concluded. But time knows no boundaries in Iron Bottom Sound. The paintings by Ken Marshall and the photographs show many of the ships still upright on the ocean floor; Their guns and torpedo tubes still trained outward as if firing at a long gone enemy. But some of the ships are not so beautifully preserved. The Battleship Krishima, for example, lies upside down in two pieces on the ocean floor. And the Destroyer Barton is broken in half and lying on its side from two torpedoes. Nevertheless, most of the ships appear ready to rise up and continue fighting.
Lavishly illustrated and with a detailed text, The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal will make a welcome addition to the collection of any War, Naval or Shipwreck enthusiast (If you can find a copy that is).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Done 20 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
From stunning photographs of the wrecks, to nicely detailed accounts, to beautiful paintings depicting the wrecks as they are today, to art from people who fought over a half century ago, this book is a wonderful account of the naval war in "Iron Bottom Sound" (Gudalcanal). Exciting. Poignant. You can feel for the poeple who were caught in the battles. I've read this book cover to cover twice, and highly recommend this text for the historian and general reader alike.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible journey through a graveyard of lost ships. 23 Sep 2004
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The work of Dr Robert D. Ballard knows no bounds and is truly inspirational to those of us who read of his exploits and seek to emulate his standards with much lesser shipwrecks.

Once again, just as soon as I took delivery of "The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal" I knew I had a 5 Star Book in my hands and, once again, I found nothing within it's 220 pages to make me take away any of those stars.

This book will stand the test of time as a literary work and outstanding account of one of the major naval battle zones of the Pacific in WW2. There are modern photographs including a number taken from the air, historic photographs (American, Australian, Japanese and local) of the places, the personalities, the ships, aircraft and soldiers, some incredible paintings of the night actions that took place, pictures of Ballard's crew as they go about their work and his advanced equipment being deployed and used. There is also a picture of a very young John F. Kennedy in his PT-109.

The first underwater pictures are enough to make the heart stop for just a moment as you realise this man Ballard has done it again - not once, but in this case several times. Commencing with the 9,850 ton Heavy Cruiser HMAS Canberra (the "A" stands for Australian) we no sooner see the first underwater photographs of this once magnificent ship - which went down fight in the opening minutes of the Battle of Savo Island, then we turn the page to find a 3-page open-out spread of Ken Marschall's painting of the entire wreck.

On the opposite side of that 3 page spread is another equally outstanding painting of USS Quincy followed by her own set of underwater photographs. As the story of Guadalcanal continues, so we find more details of US and Japanese successes and losses and the trials and tribulations endured by the forces of both sides as the author carefully draws us towards that part in the overall series of battles that will bring us to his next discovery and Ken Marschall's next incredible painting - the USS Monssen.

With more underwater photographs of yet more of the "Lost Ships of Guadalcanal," and yet more paintings by Ken Marschall, the author skilfully brings the reader both to the end of the series of battles and to the end of his own journey of discovery. Whilst not one of the greatest works of art within the book, one of my favourite paintings is found on p.200. This is an aerial picture of the entire area called "Iron Bottom Sound" - painted as though the water had been removed and showing the location of no fewer than 13 warships, one aircraft and two beached freighters. As part of the caption states ".... that makes this one of the greatest submarine battlefields." Yes it is, and in this book it was all brought back to life by Dr Robert D. Ballard.

An excellent book by any standards.

NM
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview, Short on Archeology 18 Nov 2004
By Pardus Amicus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I will say that like most of Ballard's books this is nicely laid out; good sized and with excellent photographs & drawings.

Most of the book is taken up by short histories of the various battles that make up the 'Guadalcanal Campaign.' This didn't leave much room for the exploration of the wrecks themselves which gives you a rather rushed feeling despite the good background history.

Perhaps this would have been even better as an expanded two volume set.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A keystone in every maritime library 27 Aug 2001
By T. Whigham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Bob Ballard discovered the Titanic in the mid 1980's using cutting-edge underwater technology. For this book, he turned that skill and knowledge to lead an expedition to examine the wrecks of one of the bloodiest naval battles of World War II, one so full of death and destruction that veterans of the battle gave the waters of Gualdalcanal the nickname of "Iron Bottom Sound" because of the number of ships and aircraft that lay underwater. Guadalcanal was the linchpin of American and Japanese military strategy for control of the south Pacific islands. The Americans controlled the airfield, but the Japanese controlled the island and the waters around it. The Japanese couldn't resupply its army because of attacks to its freighters by Allied aircraft and the Americans couldn't resupply its airfield because of attacks to its fleet of ships. In one single battle in the pitch-black darkness of night, the mighty Japanese fleet engaged a weaker American destroyer group where American guns were aimed by radar and Japanese guns were aimed by looking for the flashes from the American weapons. The American fleet was destroyed but it was a Pyhric victory because the Japanese supply ships failed to reach the starving Japanese troops on the island. Dr. Ballard does a remarkable job of capturing both the essence of the battle and the essence of underwater archeology to create a wonderful book filled with full-color pictures of the wrecks and period black-and-white pictures of the war. He also includes the fantastic paintings and maps in the style that has adorned his other books to show how the wrecks would look if there was absolute clarity underwater and with a "God's Eye". This book is one of the better ones I've found that deal with the ships of Guadalcanal and underwater archeology. I've noticed copies adorning the workbenches of many model-ship builders (including mine). Its a great gift idea and sure to please anyone interested in great battles, maritime history, WW2, underwater exploration, or tales of bravery (by those who fought and those who study the ocean).
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