In June 1944 the attention of the nation was riveted on events unfolding in France. But in the Pacific, the Battle of Saipan was of extreme strategic importance. This is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic engagements of World War II. The conquest of Saipan and the neighboring island of Tinian was a turning point in the war in the Pacific as it made the American victory against Japan inevitable. Until this battle, the Japanese continued to believe that success in the war remained possible. While Japan had suffered serious setbacks as early as the Battle of Midway in 1942, Saipan was part of her inner defense line, so victory was essential. The American victory at Saipan forced Japan to begin considering the reality of defeat. For the Americans, the capture of Saipan meant secure air bases for the new B-29s that were now within striking distance of all Japanese cities, including Tokyo.
Why did the Allies embark on an attack with so many disadvantages? Making extensive use of primary sources, Adrian Lewis traces the development of the doctrine behind the plan for the invasion of Normandy to explain why the battles for the beaches were fought as they were.
Although blame for the Omaha Beach disaster has traditionally been placed on tactical leaders at the battle site, Lewis argues that the real responsibility lay at the higher levels of operations and strategy planning. Ignoring lessons learned in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters, British and American military leaders employed a hybrid doctrine of amphibious warfare at Normandy, one that failed to maximize the advantages of either British or U.S. doctrine. Had Allied forces at the other landing sites faced German forces of the quality and quantity of those at Omaha Beach, Lewis says, they too would have suffered heavy casualties and faced the prospect of defeat.
!--copy for pb reprint:BR"The fullest study of the planning for the cross-channel invasion we have. . . . No future student of Omaha Beach . . . will be able to ignore this book."--iNaval History/iBRBR"This clearly written, carefully argued and well-researched account offers a still-valid lesson in the importance of communication up and down the chain of command, and on bravery."--iPublishers Weekly/iBRBR"A major contribution to our understanding of the assault on Omaha Beach."--iJournal of Military History/iBRBRTracing the development of the doctrine behind the plan for the invasion of Normandy, Adrian Lewis reveals why the battles for the beaches were fought as they were. He examines the decisions made at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels as well as the personalities of and relationships between key decision makers to explain how the plan for swift victory at Omaha Beach went terribly wrong and turned into the bloodiest of the Allied invasions.BR--
An engrossing compendium of high-seas military disasters
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.
Now Bobby C. Blair and John Peter DeCioccio tell the story of this campaign through the eyes of the 81st Infantry to offer a revised assessment. Previous accounts of the battle have focused on the 1st Marines, all but ignoring the 81st Infantry Division's contributions. Victory at Peleliu demonstrates that without the army's help the marines could not have succeeded on Peleliu.
Blair and DeCioccio have mined the 81st Division's unit records and interviewed scores of veteran participants. The new data they offer challenge the orthodox view that the 81st Infantry merely mopped up an already broken enemy. Allowing their interviewees to tell much of the story, the authors also give a human face to a brutal battle.
Although American efforts in the Palau Islands proved largely unnecessary to ultimately defeating the Japanese, the lessons learned on Peleliu were crucial in subsequent fighting on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The 81st Infantry's contributions are now part of that larger story.
This book examines the nature and character of naval expeditionary warfare, in particular in peripheral campaigns, and the contribution of such campaigns to the achievement of strategic victory.
Brown-, Green-, and Blue-water Fleets: The Influence of Geography on Naval Warfare, 1861 to the Present
From riverine operations in the American Civil War and China in the 1860s to the major fleet engagements of the World Wars, plus more recent naval actions in the Falklands/Malvenas War and Gulf War, Lindberg and Todd methodically show how geography has shaped the strategy, tactics, and tools of naval warfare. Alfred T. Mahan was perhaps the first naval professional to recognize and acknowledge fully the influence of geography on navies and naval warfare. Many of his principles of seapower were inherently geographical and influenced both what kind of naval force a state would possess and how it would be utilized. In the time that has passed since Mahan made his observations, naval warfare and navies have experienced major technological changes, yet geographical factors continue to exert their influence on how navies fight, how they are structured, and the design of the ships that they deploy.
After providing a comprehensive review of geostrategic theory and its application to naval warfare, the book is organized by major operational environments in which such warfare occurs--the high seas, littoral regions, and inland waterways. Lindberg and Todd illustrate how such geographical factors as distance, location, surface, and subsurface conditions influence naval operations, including fleet-to-fleet engagements, amphibious assault, coastal defense, logistical support, and riverine actions. A separate chapter takes an in-depth look at the ways in which geography influences navies themselves with issues such as primary mission type, force structure development, and ship design. Through the use of historical case studies, this volume applies long held geographical concepts to fundamental naval theories and practices to illustrate just how pervasive geography's influence has been during the past 140 years.
Pacific Blitzkrieg closely examines the planning,
preparation, and execution of ground operations for five major invasions in the
Central Pacific (Guadalcanal, Tarawa, the Marshalls, Saipan, and Okinawa). The
commanders on the ground had to integrate the U.S. Army and Marine Corps into a
single striking force, something that would have been difficult in peacetime,
but in the midst of a great global war, it was a monumental task. Yet, ultimate
success in the Pacific rested on this crucial, if somewhat strained,
partnership and its accomplishments. Despite the thousands of works covering
almost every aspect of World War II in the Pacific, until now no one has
examined the detailed mechanics behind this transformation at the corps and
Sharon Tosi Lacey makes extensive use of previously untapped primary
research material to re-examine the development of joint ground operations, the
rapid transformation of tactics and equipment, and the evolution of command
relationships between army and marine leadership. This joint venture was the
result of difficult and patient work by commanders and evolving staffs who
acted upon the lessons of each engagement with remarkable speed. For every
brilliant strategic and operational decision of the war, there were thousands
of minute actions and adaptations that made such brilliance possible.
examines the Smith vs. Smith controversy during the Saipan invasion using newly
discovered primary source material. Saipan was not the first time General
“Howlin’ Mad” Smith had created friction. Lacey reveals how Smith’s blatant
partisanship and inability to get along with others nearly brought the American
march across the Pacific to a halt.
Pacific Blitzkrieg explores the combat
in each invasion to show how the battles were planned, how raw recruits were
turned into efficient combat forces, how battle doctrine was created on the
fly, and how every service remade itself as new and more deadly weapons
continuously changed the character of the war. This book will be a must read
for anyone who wants to get a behind-the-scenes story of the victory.
“Pacific Blitzkrieg is not only a major contribution to our
understanding of the Pacific War, but is also a delight to read. Lacey
demolishes the belief, widely held among students of the Pacific War, that a
deep gulf lay between the Marine Corps and the Army. In every respect Pacific Blitzkrieg is what one should
expect from a scholarly book: well researched, well argued, and coherent.”—Williamson Murray, coauthor of A War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World
“This is a
significantly fresh approach in that it goes beyond the Army-Marine
controversies best exemplified by ‘Smith versus Smith.’ It does so by
explaining their genesis in institutional and personal terms, then showing how
both services marginalized the controversies during the war, in the interest of
resolving the real problem: crossing the central Pacific with minimum
cost and maximum effectiveness.”—Dennis
E. Showalter, author of Hitler’s
Panzers and Patton and Rommel
“Pacific Blitzkrieg is an exceptional analysis of U.S. joint
amphibious operations against Japan during World War II. Lacey clearly
demonstrates that despite the heat of the Smith versus Smith controversy during
the invasion of Saipan, in fact U.S. Army and Marine units and commanders
cooperated far better than the published historical record to date suggests. A
must read for current and future joint force commanders and their staffs.”—Peter R. Mansoor, author of The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of
American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945