Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal Quotes.

1. "To give advice to a tyrant was to suggest his fallibility and offer oneself as a scapegoat should things go wrong."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

2. "Lee knew that the key to victory lay not only in terms of engineering or mathematics, but in a crew’s ability to adjust psychologically to the unexpected."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

3. "Lieutenant Pat McEntee in the Atlanta witnessed it: a Wildcat closing fast on a Betty from behind. The fighter was evidently out of ammunition, for its driver resorted to an unusual tactic. Down came his landing gear. Down went his airspeed. It looked to McEntee as if he was trying to set his ship down on the bomber’s broad back. And he did—again and again, and again, with sledgehammer impact. He literally was pounding the enemy into the sea with his wheels. The bomber pilot had no escape. If he tried to pull up, it only increased the force of the impacts. Any evasive turn was easily matched by the agile fighter. The only course open led down. But before the Jap could make a decision, something snapped under the pounding and the bomber plunged beneath the waves of Savo Sound."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

4. "sluice gate. Then they opened the door and opened the hatch"
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

6. "The pressures of command were clearly weighing on him. He had insufficient authority, but he was no longer sure he wanted more of it."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

7. "When transports carrying survivors of the Battle of Savo Island finally returned home, the men were sent to quarantine, removed from public circulation. They had stories to tell that Admiral King would be quite happy not to see in the newspapers. Some five hundred survivors of the Astoria, Vincennes, and Quincy were held under virtual house arrest in a barracks that had been constructed on Treasure Island for the 1939 World’s Fair. Marines were detailed to prevent the sailors from leaving. Don’t you say one word about the battle, they were told."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

8. "Ten days before the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, a plan circulated briefly, never to be executed, providing for the creation of a surface attack group under Fletcher’s cruiser boss, Rear Admiral Carleton H. Wright, drawing the battleship North Carolina, the heavy cruisers Minneapolis, San Francisco, New Orleans, Portland, and Salt Lake City, the Atlanta, and four destroyers into a single fighting force should the Japanese fleet come within gun range. Those ships were finally reckoned too valuable to spare in missions other than antiaircraft defense."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

9. "Halsey was neither a genius nor even a working scholar in any academic or technical field, but he had a quality of brilliance that may have been even more important in a combat capacity. He was, it was said, brilliant in common sense. He knew that battles and wars were won not principally with well-drafted paperwork or subtle diplomacy or high materials and engineering ratings aboard ship, but by something quite simple and direct: placing ordnance on target. He knew, working backward from there, that the quality of the mind and spirit of the men distributing that ordnance was at least as important as the mechanical state of the weapons themselves. And he knew that small and simple acts, trivial in themselves but intangibly powerful, raised and perfected that quality; sometimes those things were as prosaic as showing up and listening to people."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

10. "Admiral King saw the need to relearn his trade from the ground up. He understood that in the art of war, amateurs talk tactics but professionals talk logistics."
- James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

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