Posted on 2019-11-04, by selverine.
By a veteran of Lt. Col. Merritt A. Edson's battalion, and author of the Dick Winters biography Biggest Brother and coauthor of A Higher Call
On the killing ground that was the island of Guadalcanal, a 2,000-yard-long ridge rose from the jungle canopy. Behind it lay the all-important air base of Henderson Field. And if Henderson Field fell, it would mean the almost certain death or capture of all 12,500 marines on the island . . .
But the marines positioned on the ridge were no normal fighters. They were tough, hard-fighting men of the Edson's Raiders; an elite fighting unit within an already elite U.S. Marine Corps. Handpicked for their toughness, and submitted to a rigorous training program to weed out those less fit, they were the Marine Corps's best of the best.
For two hellish nights in September 1942, about 840 United States Marines—commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Merritt Austin "Red Mike" Edson—fought one of the most pivotal battles of World War II in the Pacific, clinging desperately to their position on what would soon be known as Bloody Ridge.
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