The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 (Vol. 2): War in the Pacific Islands, 1942–1944

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 21, 2015 - History - 688 pages

A New York Times Bestseller

"A beautiful blend of history and prose and proves again Mr. Toll’s mastery of the naval-war narrative." —Wall Street Journal

This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War—the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944—when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan's far-flung island empire like a "conquering tide," concluding with Japan's irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries, leaving wounds that even victory could not heal.

Often overlooked, these are the years and fights that decided the Pacific War. Ian W. Toll's battle scenes—in the air, at sea, and in the jungles—are simply riveting. He also takes the reader into the wartime councils in Washington and Tokyo where politics and strategy often collided, and into the struggle to mobilize wartime production, which was the secret of Allied victory. Brilliantly researched, the narrative is propelled and colored by firsthand accounts—letters, diaries, debriefings, and memoirs—that are the raw material of the telling details, shrewd judgment, and penetrating insight of this magisterial history.

This volume—continuing the "marvelously readable dramatic narrative" (San Francisco Chronicle) of Pacific Crucible—marks the second installment of the Pacific War Trilogy, which will stand as the first history of the entire Pacific War to be published in at least twenty-five years.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - waldhaus1 - LibraryThing

While at times it seemed to bog down in details it continued to engage the listener with a perspective both intimate and insightful. I particularly enjoyed the insights into Japanese society and the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - msaucier818 - LibraryThing

Ian Toll is one of my favorite writers of history. His book Six Frigates on the founding of the United States Navy rans of one of my all timers. This book is the second of what will be a trilogy ... Read full review


List of Maps
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Seven
August 8 1942
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
November 2023 1943
Chapter Thirteen
February 17 1944
Chapter Fourteen

July 1942
Chapter Eight
August 7 1942
Chapter Nine
June 15 1944
Authors Note and Acknowledgments

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Ian W. Toll is the author of Pacific Crucible, and Six Frigates, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and the William E. Colby Award. He lives in San Francisco and New York.

Bibliographic information