The Japanese called it the centipede. The northern part of Lunga Ridge, a narrow grass-covered rise that looked like an insect from the air, overlooked a coastal plain. In the center of that plain was Henderson Field, the vital home of the Cactus Air Force and the prize of the Guadalcanal campaign. Whoever commanded the ridge commanded the airstrip. In September 1942, the ridge was the scene of a bloody, three-day battle for control of Henderson Field.
In Bloody Ridge, the first book written exclusively on this battle, historian Michael S. Smith has utilized a treasure trove of primary and secondary sources on both sides of the Pacific.