Author(s): Marlin Groft
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. Wave after wave of attacking Japanese soldiers were repelled by the Raiders, who knew that defeat and retreat were simply not possible options. But in the end, the defenders had prevailed against the odds. "Bloody Ridge and Beyond" is the story of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, which showed courage and valor in the face of overwhelming numbers, as told by Marlin Groft, a man who was a member of this incredible fighting force.
"Whitey Groft was there, and it shows in every line of" Bloody Ridge and Beyond: A WWII Marine's Memoir of Edson's Raiders in the Pacific". Written with acclaimed war historian (and "New York Times" bestselling author of" A Higher Call") Larry Alexander, this account of the fight for Tulagi, of the hellish night-fighting defense of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal and afterward reads like an American Iliad--epic yet excruciatingly personal, riveting, and authentic in every detail."--Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of "Gates of Fire and The Lion's Gate" "If you want a story of courage in the face of fear, intense fighting despite overwhelming odds, and brotherhood in the midst of horrific warfare, then this book is for you. Whitey Groft went through what no man should ever need to endure. He recounts his story with grit and poignancy, and he pulls no punches in describing the horror he encountered during WWII. This book is unflinching, descriptive, and comprehensive. A must-read."--Marcus Brotherton, author of "Shifty's War" "In a world obsessed with comic book heroes, we forget that real supermen once hacked through jungles, paddled through swamps, and fought eyeball to eyeball for our freedom. They were called "Marine Raiders," and Marlin Groft was one of them. Vivid and powerful, his story leaves you reaching to tip your cap."--Adam Makos, "New York Times" bestselling author of "A Higher Call"
Marlin F. Groft was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1939 to 1941, and then became a silk-screen printer in a textile factory. He joined the U.S. Marines after Pearl Harbor and, following boot camp, he volunteered for the 1st Marine Raider Battalion under Lt. Col. Merritt A. Edson, and served with that unit until its dissolution. Assigned to the 29th Marine Regiment of the newly formed 6th Marine Division, he served beyond the end of the war, seeing duty in China until the end of 1945. Groft and his wife, Vivian, live in a Lancaster County retirement community. Larry Alexander is the author of the "New York Times "bestselling biography "Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers" and the coauthor (with Adam Makos) of" A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II," another" New York Times" bestseller. He is also the author of "Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II "and" In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battlefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth." Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for Lancaster newspapers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for nearly twenty years and has won numerous state-level awards for excellence in journalism.