Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 (Vol. 1) (Pacific War Trilogy): War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941–1942

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2012 - History - 597 pages
"On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss, a blow that destroyed the offensive power of their fleet. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative. This dramatic narrative, relying predominantly on eyewitness accounts and primary sources, is laced with riveting details of heroism and sacrifice on the stricken ships and planes of both navies. At the war's outset, Japan's pilots and planes enjoyed a clear-cut superiority to their American counterparts, but there was a price to be paid. Japanese pilots endured a lengthy and grueling training in which they were disciplined with baseball bats, often suffering broken bones; and the production line of the Zero-- Japan's superbly maneuverable fighter plane--ended not at a highway or railhead but at a rice paddy, through which the planes were then hauled on ox carts. Combat losses, of either pilots or planes, could not be replaced in time to match the fully mobilized American war machine. Pacific Crucible also spotlights recent scholarship that revises our understanding of the conflict, including the Japanese decision to provoke a war that few in their highest circles thought they could win. Those doubters included the flamboyantly brilliant Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto, architect of the raid on Pearl and the Midway offensive."--Publisher's website.
 

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User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

This is top-rate historical literature. It may not have quite the smooth narrative flow that Shelby Foote had for his legendary, The Civil War: A Narrative trilogy, but, if this is just the first of ... Read full review

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User Review  - waldhaus1 - LibraryThing

A friend told me about this book a couple of years ago. I'm sorry now it took me so long to get to it. The reader has the sense as Walter Cronkite used to say: you are there. The section on code ... Read full review

Contents

List of Maps
xi
The Pacific 1942 2
2
Chapter One 7
7
Mahans WorstCase Scenario 11
11
Chapter Two
34
December 10 1941
56
Chapter Three
63
Principal Ports and Naval Bases of Japan
121
Chapter Eight
269
April 18 1942
297
Chapter Nine
302
Japanese Plan to Take Port Moresby
321
Chapter Ten
323
May 14 1942
331
May 78 1942
357
Chapter Eleven
373

Chapter Four
124
December 11 1941
144
Chapter Five
161
U S Australian Lifeline 1942
183
Chapter Six
199
February 1 1942
218
Chapter Seven
233
JanuaryFebruary 1942
253
Chapter Twelve
403
Advance on Midway and Aleutians May 24
407
Track Charts June 4 1942
451
Epilogue
471
acknowledgments
493
bibliography
543
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About the author (2012)

Ian W. Toll is the author of Twilight of the Gods, the New York Times bestseller The Conquering Tide, Pacific Crucible, and Six Frigates, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and the William E. Colby Award. He lives in New York.

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