Few Marines have had more impact on the Corps's history than Pete Ellis, and none have been more controversial. This biography of the brilliant yet troubled Marine disputes many long-accepted but unsubstantiated accounts of his life and death.
Lieutenant Colonel Earl Hancock"Pete" Ellis was a United States Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, and author of Operations Plan 712: Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia, which became the basis for the American campaign of amphibious assault that defeated the Japanese in World War II. Ellis' prophetic study helped establish his reputation as one of the forefront of naval theorists and strategist of the era in amphibious warfare, foreseeing the imminent attack from Japan leading to the island-hopping campaigns in the Central Pacific. Earl Ellis became the Marine Corps' first spy whose death under mysterious circumstances on the island of Palau became enclosed in controversy. Numerous conspiracy theorists alleged that Ellis was assassinated by Japanese military authorities; however, detractors of such theories note that Ellis was known to have a severe drinking problem and likely died from an alcohol-related illness.
Ellis's legacy is fully examined by the authors, who searched through family papers, fitness reports, Japanese sources, and interviewed eyewitnesses to solve the mysteries of his tragic life.
About the Author
Dirk Anthony Balendorf is a professor at the University of Guam and the author a dozen books. Merrill L. Bartlett, a Marine Corps officer for twenty years, has written many books on naval history. He lives on Vashon Island, WA.