War history at its best- readable coverage, and the unusual combination of objective reporting, enough personality to show one the man behind the words, and a sense of pace and drama. This is the story of the ground forces in the Pacific War, those forces too often bypassed in the more spectacular recording of the achievements of the Navy, the Marines, the Air Forces. The ""hard way back"" would have been longer and harder- had it not been for the Buna campaign and ultimate victory, the Sunananda campaign, the fight for Euon Peninsula, Nollandia, the bloody and bitter Battle of the Caves at Bisk, the Leyte campaign and the 52 D-days between the taking of that island and the Japanese surrender. The islands involved the relatively new Eighth Army in a virtually new kind of warfare of which little has been told. Kichelberger's one specific criticism of General MacArthur is directed against his public relations policy in announcing victories when a first phase has been accomplished, and applying the phrase ""mopping up"" to the bitter struggle the troops are still engaged in. And much of the ground force story is the story of these ""mopping up"" operations. There are chapters not directly concerned with military operations; there are comments on Australian-American relations; on Mrs. Roosevelt's memorable and heartening trip. There are tributes to officers and fighting men throughout. There are bits about interim ""rest"" periods. But the whole is a panoramic view of the immense contribution of the ground forces to war, and island occupation. This is more than twice the length of the S.E.P. serial and a vital (and at this moment an indispensable) record of an important phase of the Pacific story.