The book refutes the widely-held notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor suddenly rendered surface combatants obsolete and that aviation and submarines dominated the Pacific War; it demonstrates that the battleships, cruisers and destroyers made major contributions to America’s victory and played decisive roles at critical junctures.
The U.S. Navy against the Axis offers a cautionary parable relevant to today’s Navy. It demonstrates how swift adaptability and intellectual honesty were fundamental to the Navy’s success against Japan. The book’s underlying premises is that we cannot assume that in a conflict against conventional or asymmetric enemies, the nation holds title to the same virtues demonstrated by the Navy three generations past. Instead those lessons need to be constantly studied and validated in the face of postwar mythologies, lest they be forgotten.
Taking this surprising fact as the start of his inquiry, he began to investigate how and when the Pacific tide turned in the Allies’ favor. Using archives of WWII intelligence reports from both sides, Prados offers up a compelling reassessment of the true turning in the Pacific: not Midway, but the fight for the Solomon Islands.
Combat in the Solomons saw a series of surface naval battles, including one of the key battleship-versus-battleship actions of the war; two major carrier actions; daily air duels, including the aerial ambush in which perished the famous Japanese naval commander Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku; and many other hair-raising exploits. Commencing with the Allied invasion of Guadalcanal, Prados shows how and why the Allies beat Japan on the sea, in the air, and in the jungles.
As Allied ships prepared for the invasion of the Philippine island of Leyte, every available warship, submarine and airplane was placed on alert while Japanese admiral Kurita Takeo stalked Admiral William F. Halsey’s unwitting American armada. It was the beginning of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf—the greatest naval battle in history.
In Storm Over Leyte, acclaimed historian John Prados gives readers an unprecedented look at both sides of this titanic naval clash, demonstrating that, despite the Americans’ overwhelming superiority in firepower and supplies, the Japanese achieved their goal, inflicting grave damage on U.S. forces. And for the first time, readers will have access to the naval intelligence reports that influenced key strategic decisions on both sides.
Drawing upon a wealth of untapped sources—U.S. and Japanese military records, diaries, declassified intelligence reports and postwar interrogation transcripts—Prados offers up a masterful narrative of naval conflict on an epic scale.
Six months after Pearl Harbor, the seemingly invincible Imperial Japanese Navy prepared a decisive blow against the United States. After sweeping through Asia and the South Pacific, Japan’s military targeted the tiny atoll of Midway, an ideal launching pad for the invasion of Hawaii and beyond. The United States Navy would be waiting for them. Thanks to cutting-edge code-breaking technology, tactical daring, and a huge stroke of luck, the Americans under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz dealt the Japanese navy its first major defeat of the war. Three years of hard fighting remained, but it was at Midway that the tide turned. This vivid, in-depth bestseller is the first book to tell the story of the epic battle from both the American and Japanese sides. In Miracle at Midway, Gordon W. Prange, Donald M. Goldstein, and Katherine V. Dillon show how America won its first and greatest victory of the Pacific war—and how easily it could have been a defeat.