Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941

Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941

4.0 25
by Ian W. Toll
     
 

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“Both a serious work of history . . . and a marvelously readable dramatic narrative.”—San Francisco ChronicleOn 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

Overview

“Both a serious work of history . . . and a marvelously readable dramatic narrative.”—San Francisco ChronicleOn 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.Once again, Ian W. Toll proves himself to be a simply magnificent writer. The result here is a page-turning history that does justice to the breadth and depth of a tremendous subject.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“The research is thorough, the writing clear, and the narrative flow exemplary...it is difficult to think of a recent book on this subject that is of such consistently outstanding value.”
LibraryJournal.com
“Well documented—albeit from previously published materials—and well written. Experienced World War II history buffs may bypass if they feel no need to read another retelling of this phase of the Pacific War, but nonspecialists and general readers will want to consider it.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393343410
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
11/26/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
83,661
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Pacific Crucible 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully told story with viewpoints from both sides. It was fascinating to have the Japanese view as well as the American. Having served in the Navy I was surprised by the Japanese approach to damage control and the lack of plan and training. I read 6 Frigates, enjoyed it, Mr Toll has been added to my list of favorite story tellers along with David McCullough, Shelby Foote, Stephen Ambrose and Jean Edward Smith
sainthelenaislandman More than 1 year ago
A spectacular book by one of America's finest naval historians.  This beautifully written and meticulously researched history of the run-up to WWII from both sides of the Pacific is thrilling and extraordinarily educational.  A must read.
Rob0NY More than 1 year ago
Before I get to the content, the nook version is TERRIBLE if you are reading on the ap. Instead of foot notes, there is hot linked text. WHile it's easy to avoid clicking by accident  on an actual nook, I read most of the book on the nook ap and was constantly being vaulted into the end notes. Total hassle and the ap even froze up on occasion. Rotten UX. But.... The book is totally worth the trouble. Toll does an outstanding job taking you through strategy and the key personalities on each side and then diving right into the action with riveting detail.  The result is both highly informative and a page turner.  Definitely gave me a great feel for what was already somewhat familiar ground as well as raised some new ideas. I strongly recommend the content and Toll is to be commended for an amazing job.
rickr2d2 More than 1 year ago
This writer's eloquence on the Pacific War in WWII is the equivalent of Shelby Foote's writing on the Civil War. The book reads like a novel and gives an enormous amount of info on the critical first two years of the war. Any true understanding of the respective cultures should start with this book. It clearly and cogently explains the planning as well as the environment that the US and Japan worked in to create the the course of events that culminated with Pearl Harbor and Midway. A terrific read.
Niz More than 1 year ago
This is a very well written and engaging story of the early years of the Pacific Campaign. Ian Toll's story telling is comparable to Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough, two of my favorite story tellers.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable but Conquering Tide better read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Same rules, same vote stuff. Just change date and topic. Thetheme is to write one diary entry, has to be funny.
In-Quest More than 1 year ago
The author covers Pearl Harbor, December 7 1941 through the Battle of Midway, June 4-7 1942. As the books title indicates this six month period was a severe, searching test or trial for the US Navy in the Pacific. We took a lot of punishment but we handed out some to. The Japanese tested our metal and found out we were not going away like they had hoped. Well done Navy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book provides an excellent account of the political and military actions and strategy from both the Allied and Japanese prospective. It points out how blunders and brilliant maneuvers on both sides eventually effected the final outcome of the war.
PDBentz More than 1 year ago
I found Pacific Crucible an informative and well paced read. While there are numerous books regarding individual aspects of the battles from Pearl Harbor through Midway, this book provides a great overall look at the first crucial days of the Second World War in the Pacific. Toll provides enough background information to allow the reader to feel well informed on events from both sides of the conflict.
JohnMcLellan More than 1 year ago
A must read to understand the WWII Pacific war.