Battle 360 (2008– )
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Bloody Santa Cruz 

The Japanese Guadalcanal invasion fleet engages Task Force 61 spearheaded by the Enterprise and Hornet. For the American forces it is a defensive battle as wave after wave of Japanese ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Himself - TOPGUN Graduate (as Commander Alan Pietruszewski US Navy Ret.)


The Japanese Guadalcanal invasion fleet engages Task Force 61 spearheaded by the Enterprise and Hornet. For the American forces it is a defensive battle as wave after wave of Japanese planes bombard the American carriers and eventually destroy the Hornet. But the attack decimates Japan's dwindling core of experienced pilots and two American dive bombers manage to find and destroy a Japanese aircraft carrier. Written by David Foss

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Release Date:

21 March 2008 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The narrator repeatedly refers to various types of ships armament as "rifles". For example, "5 inch rifles". Ships' weapons are never called rifles, they are called guns. In military parlance, a rife is a shoulder fired weapon operated by a lone individual. Any weapon system the requires a crew of two or more to operate is always called a gun. See more »

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Attrition on Both Sides.
23 April 2014 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

While the US Marines were fending off Japanese attacks on Guadalcanal in 1942, the Japanese mistakenly assumed that the Marines had been defeated. The next step was the elimination of the US Navy in the waters around Santa Cruz Islands.

The Japanese outnumbered, outplaned, and outgunned the US forces -- four aircraft carriers to two of ours, for instance, the Hornet and the Enterprise.

The CGIs are impressive. The historical details appear to be accurate and informative, the reminiscences of the surviving participants are as moving as always, and just enough details of the battle are presented to give the viewer a proper overall grasp of events.

Yet, as usual, the images are deliberately fogged and splattered with irrelevant noise. If one of the talking heads is speaking, storm clouds seem to roil in the background and there are moments when the Enterprise appears to be sailing through a blizzard. There are distracting WHAMS on the sound track resembling those that might be heard on a child's video game.

And the narration is usually accurate, but it's delivered with the frenzy of an announcer at a high school football game. "The last sight this son of the Empire will see is the old Chicago piano firing away." I'd thought we'd gotten through that after seventy years.

The younger talking heads, Navy and Marine officers, are hardly an improvement. "We never run away from a fight." (Why not?) The model seems to be that of a schoolyard brawl that bears little resemblance to a chess game. But that kind of braggadocio is rare, though it misleads the viewer. "The battle was a disaster for the Japanese," says one commentator. It's a pretty one-sided judgment.

Here's a more balanced excerpt from Wikipedia: "After an exchange of carrier air attacks, Allied surface ships were forced to retreat from the battle area with one carrier sunk and another heavily damaged. The participating Japanese carrier forces, however, also retired because of high aircraft and aircrew losses plus significant damage to two carriers. Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk and damaged, the loss of many irreplaceable, veteran aircrews would prove to be a long term strategic advantage for the Allies, whose aircrew losses in the battle were relatively low and could be quickly replaced. The high cost of the battle for the Japanese prevented their carrier forces from further significant involvement in the Guadalcanal campaign."

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