Segment 3

Annotation

[Annotators Note: Robert Addison was a member of the US Marine Corps 1st Raider Battalion.]Edson [Annotators Note: US Marine Corps Major General Merritt Edson] had fought against the Japanese in China and he knew where they would be coming from. The ridge pointed right towards the airstrip and the Japanese were trying to retake that airstrip.The difference between the Japanese soldiers and the American Marines is that the Americans had been taught to think for themselves. If the Japanese had thought to probe the American lines they would have discovered that they had nothing on their left flank and could have surrounded them. They just kept hitting them head on. A similar event occured in Europe.Edson kept his men together that night [Annotators Note: Battle of Bloody Ridge also known as the Battle of Edsons Ridge]. On the ridge Addison was right by their artillery forward observer was located and he was able to hear Edson directing artillery all night. The Japanese kept launching banzai attacks on them. If the Japanese got through them they would have been able to retake the airstrip.Addison knocked out a Japanese machine gun position using his mortar. There were Japanese snipers in the jungle. Someone was hit and called for a corpsman. When the corpsman, Bobby Smith, ran past Addison a sniper killed him. The Japanese also had large hand grenades. Addison saw one land right by him but it rolled down the hill without exploding. The morning after the battle Addison must have fired 100 rounds of mortar ammunition.During the night Japanese ships shelled their positions on the ridge. The shells fired by the ships sounded different than shells fired by artillery.The Japanese had artillery pieces up in the hills. They called one of them Pistol Pete.The next morning they were relieved by the 5th Marine Regiment and went back to the coconut grove in the trucks that had brought the 5th Marines. Thee had been some parachutists [Annotators Note: 1st Marine Parachute Battalion] attached to them for the battle. Addison thought they did well. They had been one of the first units to experience a banzai attack. It did not surprise them. They expected it. The Japanese were good fighters. 

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