In the early morning hours of 9th August 1942, a Japanese task force moved into the Solomon Islands and unleashed a barrage of shells and torpedoes on US and Allied naval ships, sinking four cruisers and killing more than 1,000 sailors. In examining every aspect of this story, Denis and Peggy Warner tell a tale of Japanese mastery of surprise, night fighting and unbelievable unpreparedness and bungling on the part of the Allies. This book answers many questions about the disaster that have never before been addressed. The Warners verify that an Australian pilot on the morning of 8th August spotted the approaching Japanese fleet and radioed a warning. Why, then, did Samuel Eliot Morison in his official history of the naval war state that the pilot failed to break radio silence? Why did Admiral Fletcher pull his protective carrier force away from the area of the battle a short time before it took place? Why was a junior officer on the USS Quincy dismissed as hysterical when he identified scout planes as Japanese? Why did the results of the "informal inquiry" into the disaster remain classified until 1981? This book answers these, and other, questions.