This work concentrates exclusively on the fighting between the American and Japanese aircraft carriers, examining how strategies were planned and carried out on both sides. Presented are the stories of the USS Hornet, which launched the B-25s of James Doolittle's daring raid of Tokyo in 1942; the USS Yorktown, which suffered fierce attacks during the Battle of Midway; the USS Lexington, which refueled and rearmed Hellcats during the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot; the USS Enterprise, the leader of a motley assortment of cruisers and destroyers left to hold a very precarious line in the campaign for Guadalcanal; and the Japanese battleship Yamato, sacrificed for a suicide mission against 900 aircraft bombers.
Koburger argues that the many battles that constituted the campaign for the Solomons were the key to victory in the Pacific for the U.S. Navy--not the battle of the Coral Sea or the Battle of Midway. Segments of the campaign--Guadalcanal, New Georgia, and Bougainville--have been written about extensively. But never before has the entire campaign been put together so lucidly and interpreted so well. The descriptions of the naval battles make for compelling reading. Even in World War II, Koburger argues, the important naval struggles took place in the narrow seas.
Sea of Thunder climaxes with the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the biggest naval battle ever fought, over four bloody and harrowing days in October 1944. We see Halsey make an epic blunder just as he reaches for true glory; we see the Japanese navy literally sailing in circles, torn between the desire to die heroically and the exhausted, unacceptable realization that death is futile; we sail with Commander Evans and the men of the USS Johnston into the jaws of the Japanese fleet and exult and suffer with them as they torpedo a cruiser, bluff and confuse the enemy -- and then, their ship sunk, endure fifty horrific hours in shark-infested water.
Thomas, a journalist and historian, traveled to Japan, where he interviewed veterans of the Imperial Japanese Navy who survived the Battle of Leyte Gulf and friends and family of the two Japanese admirals. From new documents and interviews, he was able to piece together and answer mysteries about the Battle of Leyte Gulf that have puzzled historians for decades. He writes with a knowing feel for the clash of cultures.
Sea of Thunder is a taut, fast-paced, suspenseful narrative of the last great naval war, an important contribution to the history of the Second World War.
"The Battle of Leyte Gulf was an extremely unusual battle. It was unusual on five separate counts that are so obvious that they are usually missed. It was unusual in that it was a series of actions, not a single battle. It was unusual as a naval battle in that it was fought over five days; historically, naval battles have seldom spread themselves over more than one or two days. It was unusual in terms of its name. This battle involved a series of related actions subsequently grouped together under the name of just one of these engagements, but in fact none of the actions were fought inside Leyte Gulf.... More importantly, it was unusual in that it was a full-scale fleet action fought after the issue of victory and defeat at sea had been decided, and it was unusual in that it resulted in clear, overwhelming victory and defeat." -- from Chapter One
The Battle of Leyte Gulf -- October 22-28, 1944 -- was the greatest naval engagement in history. In fact the battle was four separate actions, none of which were fought in the Gulf itself, and the result was the destruction of Japanese naval power in the Pacific. This book is a detailed and comprehensive account of the fighting from both sides. It provides the context of the battle, most obviously in terms of Japanese calculations and the search for "a fitting place to die" and "the chance to bloom as flowers of death." Using Japanese material never previously noted in western accounts, H.P. Willmott provides new perspectives on the unfolding of the battle and very deliberately seeks to give readers a proper understanding of the importance of this battle for American naval operations in the following month. This careful interrogation of the accounts of "the last fleet action" is a significant contribution to military history.
This edited collection covers three main topics: the Japanese navy before World War II, prewar diplomacy and politics, and Japanese naval operations and policy during the war. The documents include diary extracts and candid, short monographs written by high-ranking Japanese officers immediately after the war. They shed new light on the vast naval buildup before the war, the development of the navy's operational concepts for war with the United States, the organization and tactics of aircraft carrier forces, and the failure of Japanese submarine operations. No World War II library will be complete without this important volume.
O'Hara refutes the widely held notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor rendered surface warfare obsolete. He offers readers details of U.S. naval actions barely mentioned in other histories to demonstrate how U.S. battleships, cruisers, and destroyers played a decisive role at critical junctures in the war and made significant contributions to the Allied victory. He also documents the performance of weapon systems, shows how doctrine developed, and examines the role played by new technologies. Numerous maps, tables, and charts enhance the text.
A cautionary tale relevant to today s Navy, this book illustrates how swift adaptability and intellectual honesty were fundamental to the Navy s success against Japan. Its underlying premise is that in a conflict against conventional or asymmetric enemies, the United States cannot assume to hold title to the same virtues demonstrated by its Navy three generations past. Instead, those lessons must be constantly studied and validated in the face of postwar mythologies, lest they be forgotten.
Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1660--1783) was one of the most influential books on military strategy in the first half of the 20th century. A core text in the naval war colleges of the United States, Britain, and Japan, Mahan's book shaped doctrine for the conduct of war at sea. Adams uses Mahan's ideas to discuss the great Pacific sea battles of World War II and to consider how well they withstood the test of actual combat. Reexamining the conduct of war in the Pacific from a single analytic viewpoint leads to some surprising conclusions about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the recapture of the Philippines, and the submarine war. Naval historians and armchair strategists alike will find much food for thought in these engrossing pages.
This is the compelling story of the most exciting and decisive battles fought under harsh Arctic conditions during the Second World War. Each battle is described in detail, with discussions of the various weapons and strategies that led to victory or defeat, and an analysis of how the battle affected the overall course of the war. The failure of early attempts to supply the Soviets with vital mat DEGREESD'eriel would eventually give rise to tensions among the Allies that would continue long after the end of the war, and would ultimately lead to the Cold War. Despite the fears of many men on both sides that they were being sacrificed for political expediency, their brave and heroic actions became an integral part of the war effort for each coalition.
The Arctic was a difficult and costly theater where battle was often characterized by massive convoys and lurking U-Boats. Some of the worst weather in history hit the Arctic in the midst of the war, making the elements as tough an opponent as any human enemy. The enormous scope of the war, combined with political and economic limitations to restrict the available resources of both sides. Evans's access to recently declassified documents and his use of the personal accounts and reflections of the men who fought there sheds an entirely new light on this often-neglected theater.
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.