Recapture of Guam: 1944 Battle and Liberation of Guam (WW2 Pacific Military History Series Book 6)

This is one in a series of books on the Pacific Theater in World War II and if the others are done as well as this one then it's a series definitely worth reading. It does for me raise a question which I'll get to in a moment.

The book ccvers the bombardment aspect of the attack which was a standard procedure where you blasted the enemy with shells from ships and bombs from planes. The idea, of course, was to soften up the enemy so the invasion could take place with less opposition.

Here's where the question comes in. The bombardment did not kill as many Japanese soldiers as had been hoped, making the invasion more difficult than planned. There were lots of cave defenses and lots of enemy pillboxes. The cave defenses proved to be a deadly weapon in the enemy's arsenal, something which seemed to not change and was especially violent during the invasion of Iwo Jima.

I have yet to find one single book that addresses this issue and explain why no one ever seemed to realize that this would be a continuing problem and that something definitve needed to be done.

Anyhow, back to this book. The book goes into details of the Japanese forces and their deployment, Japanese counterattacks, banzai charges, numbers of dead in specific battles, the suicide of Japanese soldiers (which I've never figured out. I thought the purpose of their forces was to kill as many Americans as possible. You can't kill any Americans if you jump off a cliff. Wasn't to die fighting, facing the enemy the ultimate proof of Bushido?)

The book points out how many of the Japanese officers were killed and how the Japanese forces were eventually dealt with. It also points out just why the Allies invaded the island in the first place: to make places where B-29s could launch their attack on the Japanese home islands, a procedure which made it's major contributions on Iwo Jima (so damaged B-29s could land) and on Tinian (where the B-29s that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan were based.)

A well done book and I look forward to reading others in the series.