Joseph Alexander was a retired colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps, with 29 years� service as an assault amphibian officer. He commanded a company in Vietnam, served five years at sea with amphibious task forces, and graduated with distinction from the Naval War College. Prior to retirement he served as chief of staff of the 3d Marine Division in the western Pacific.

Alexander wrote six books, including Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa; The Battle History of the U.S. Marines; and Edson�s Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II. He was Naval Institute Author of the Year in 1996 and Naval History Author of the Year in 2010. He served as scriptwriter and on-screen authority for 28 military documentaries for cable television networks. He was the principal historian and writer on the exhibit design team for the construction and expansion of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Articles by Joseph Alexander

National Archives

The 'Old Breed' Girds for Battle

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
April 2010
Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) provides a history of the 1st Marine Division, starting with their inception during World War II in the Pacific Theater.
Courtesy of HBO

Real Marines Behind HBO's The Pacific

By Colonel Jon T. Hoffman, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired), Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Greeley Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) and Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
April 2010
A look at the biographical information of the real people behind the main characters featured in the HBO miniseries "The Pacific.",",","Y
Art Collection, national museum of the marine corps, triangle, va

A Bloody Proving Ground

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
December 2008
The Marine Corps amphibious doctrine was put to the test when the Pacific Fleet opened a second front in the war against Japan.
National Archives

Across the Reef: The Assault on Betio

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
December 2008
During 76 hours of vicious fighting the 2d Marine Division wrested control of Tarawas Betio Island from an enemy that fought virtually to the last man.
U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive

An Enduring Legacy

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
December 2008
Although photos and press accounts of Tarawa shocked wartime Americans, the battle ultimately burnished the Marines reputation for heroism.
Okinawa

Hellish Prelude at Okinawa

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
April 2005
The strategy 60 years ago is to seize Okinawa as a staging ground for the invasion of the Japanese mainland. It comes at a painfully high price.
KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL/JOHN ALLI

Remembering the Forgotten War

By Colonel Joseph Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
April 2000
Historians, veterans, and government officials gather at a McCormick Tribune Foundation/U.S. Naval Institute conference for a 50th anniversary debate over the causes, operations, and ramifications of the Korean War.
ARTWORK BY TOM LEA, COURTESY OF THE U.S. ARMY CENTER FOR MILITARY HISTORY

What Was Nimitz Thinking?

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
November 1998
One of the most controversial operations of World War II in the Pacific was the 1944 invasion of Peleliu. A military historian has analyzed the circumstances and the personalities involved ...

Books by Joseph Alexander