Bloody Ridge and Beyond

Bloody Ridge and Beyond

A World War II Marine’s Memoir of Edson’s Raiders in the Pacific

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780425273005
  • 368 Pages
  • Berkley
  • Adult


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 coauthor 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
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