This book presents a detailed evaluation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the operational and tactical level. It examines such questions as: Was the strategy underlying the attack sound? Were there flaws in planning or execution? How did Japanese military culture influence the planning? How risky was the attack? What did the Japanese expect to achieve, balanced against what they did achieve? Were there Japanese blunders? What were their consequences? What might have been the results if the attack had not benefited from the mistakes of the American commanders?
The book also addresses the body of folklore about the attack, supporting or challenging many contentious issues such as the skill level of the Japanese aircrew, whether midget submarines torpedoed Oklahoma and Arizona, as has been recently claimed, whether the Japanese ever really considered launching a third wave attack, and the consequences of a “3rd wave” attack against the Naval Shipyard and the fuel storage tanks if it had been executed.
In addition, the analysis has detected for the first time a body of deceptions that a prominent Japanese participant in the attack placed into the historical record, most likely to conceal his blunders and enhance his reputation.
The centerpiece of the book is an analysis using modern Operations Research methods and computer simulations, as well as combat models developed between 1922 and 1946 at the U.S. Naval War College. The analysis puts a new light on the strategy and tactics employed by Yamamoto to open the Pacific War, and a dramatically different appraisal of the effectiveness of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Dr. Alan D. Zimm is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he heads a section in the Aviation Systems and Advanced Concepts Group. He is a former officer in the US Navy, completing his service as a Commander, and holds degrees in Physics, Operations Research, and Public Administration with a concentration on Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning.
Volume I provides a comprehensive analysis of carrier developments and warfare in the first half of the twentieth century, and examines the advances that allowed the carrier to replace the battleship as the dominant naval weapons system. Polmar gives particular emphasis to carrier operations from World War I, through the Japanese strikes against China in the 1930s, to World War II in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, and Pacific theaters. It begins with French inventor Clément Ader’s remarkably prescient 1909 description of an aircraft carrier. The book then explains how Britain led the world in the development of aircraft-carrying ships, soon to be followed by the United States and Japan. While ship-based aircraft operations in World War I had limited impact, they foreshadowed the aircraft carriers built in the 1920s and 1930s. The volume also describes the aircraft operating from those ships as well as the commanders who pioneered carrier aviation.
Aircraft Carriers has benefited from the technical collaboration of senior carrier experts Captain Eric M. Brown and General Minoru Genda as well as noted historians Robert M. Langdon and Peter B. Mersky. Aircraft Carriers is heavily illustrated with more than 400 photographs—some never before published—and maps.
Volume II, which is forthcoming from Potomac Books in the winter 2006-2007 (ISBN 978-1-57488-665-8), will cover the period 1946 to the present.
In chapters covering both the history of air power and specific types of aircraft (fighters, bombers, reconnaissance and auxiliary planes), "Military Aircraft, 1919-1945" introduces key theorists and designers, describes important changes in technology and production, and recreates spectacular episodes from Pearl Harbor to the London Blitz to the Enola Gay. Readers will see the dramatic impact of the first generation of modern military aircraft on land and sea. They will also see how the expansion of war to the skies brought economic opportunity to some home fronts, and looming terror and devastation to others.
Lieutenant Commander Takashige Egusa was one of the Imperial Japanese Navy's most skillful and influential dive-bomber pilots. He led an attack force against Pearl Harbor, calmly circling his special flame-red Aichi dive bomber before selecting his target. Assaults on the deadly gun batteries of Wake Island followed, as well as air support for the invasion of Ambon. Badly burned at Midway, Egusa returned to duty, only to be killed on his final mission. As one Japanese officer said, "He was the 'God of Dive-Bombing.'" Fully placed in historical context and backed by a wealth of detail from archives, family records, photographs, and memories of contemporaries, the full story of Egusa's bravery, leadership qualities, and illustrious career comes to life.
From a North American standpoint, Zero Fighter makes a number of highly interesting points, having been written for the Japanese market. For example, North Americans are generally not aware of the success of the Zero fighter or of its significance in Japanese minds. Both the superiority of the aircraft in the early stages of the Pacific War and the great stature of Jiro Horikoshi as an aircraft designer (he is to Japan what the designer of the Spitfire is to the U.K.) will come as a revelation to most readers here.
Also completely unknown to most North American readers is the story of the transport section at the Nagoya Aircraft Works. This information is woven nicely into the book, and has a great deal to say about the startling quality of Japanese wartime industry: rigid in many ways, while producing a plane of brilliant originality. The book is a moving picture of the patience of the Japanese in the face of adversity, but perhaps most important, Zero Fighter>/i> is Japanese. It is not often that a Japanese book is encountered here that divulges intimate knowledge about such a fascinating subject. There is significant value in this as we enter an era in which the Japanese and American people must share and respect the other's cultural point of view.
From the days of the Spanish Armada to the modern age of aircraft carriers, battles have been bungled just as badly on water as they have been on land. Some blunders were the result of insufficient planning, overinflated egos, espionage, or miscalculations; others were caused by ideas that didn't hold water in the first place. In glorious detail, here are thirty-three of history's worst maritime mishaps, including:The British Royal Navy's misguided attempts to play it safe during the American Revolution The short life and death of the Imperial Japanese Navy The scuttling of the Graf Spee by a far inferior force The sinking of the Nazi megaship Bismarck "Remember the Maine!"—the lies that started the Spanish-American War Admiral Nelson losing track of Napoleon but redeeming himself at the Nile The ANZAC disaster at Gallipoli Germany's failed WWII campaign in the North Atlantic Kennedy's quarantine of Cuba
Chock-full of amazing facts and hilarious trivia, How to Lose a War at Sea is the most complete volume of nautical failures ever assembled.