There were powerful battles on Guadalcanal with the First Marines' Division being bombarded by thousands of Japanese trying to overtake them and secure the airstrip for their purposes as the Japs tried to move towards Australia and conquer that continent. The Japs were ruthless and brutal. They were mostly young rural kids who were brutalized by their commanders and told they should die for their country and their emperor. They are relentless and savage. It takes amazing resilience to fight them off. You never know when they'll attack. They use trickery against the Marines and attack when the Marines least expect it. One of the key marines in the battles was Sergeant John Basilone (played by Jon Seda) who killed hundreds of Japanese fighters with his machine gun and even went out in the open and killed some more with his handgun.
The Marines, without support from the Navy, secured Guadalcanal and moved on to Australia on Christmas Eve 1942 to start preparing for more invasions in the South Pacific. There was a lot of brutality in the battle. Basilone's best friend, Rodriguez, was killed in the nighttime battle. Very moving and sad.
The main characters got back on the boats headed to Australia, and were told they were considered heroes back home; that all major newspapers were writing about them. They were stunned.
This is a powerful drama. I highly recommend it. Makes you appreciate these men of incredible courage in the Pacific theater. A lot was written about D-Day, but not as much about the Pacific. This is a story that has needed to be told for years.
Sunday Nights, 8 p.m., on HBO.