The Elusive Enemy: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Fleet

The Elusive Enemy: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Fleet

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by Douglas Ford
     
 

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In this exploration of U.S. naval operations and intelligence-gathering efforts, Douglas Ford introduces a new perspective on the clash between the United States and Japan in the Pacific. At the outset of the war, the U.S. Navy could not accurately determine the fighting efficiency of Japan’s Imperial Navy and land-based fighting forces. As the capabilities

Overview

In this exploration of U.S. naval operations and intelligence-gathering efforts, Douglas Ford introduces a new perspective on the clash between the United States and Japan in the Pacific. At the outset of the war, the U.S. Navy could not accurately determine the fighting efficiency of Japan’s Imperial Navy and land-based fighting forces. As the capabilities designed to improve intelligence gathering evolved, technology, ingenuity, and sheer luck often combined to produce useful, but incomplete, information. Only through combat over an extended period of time, Ford demonstrates, did the U.S. Navy actually identify the capabilities of its adversary. The intense combat produced a trove of information obtained from prisoners, captured weapons, and documents, and firsthand accounts of American naval personnel often provided some the most actionable intelligence of the war.

In recent years, a large number of documents related to intelligence activities during World War II has been declassified and made available in U.S. and British archives. As a result, a steady flow of work on the subject has emerged. However, much of the work on intelligence has focused on signals decrypts and clandestine operations. The subject of qualitative intelligence about the performance and fighting capabilities of the Imperial Japanese Navy has remained largely unexplored. The Elusive Enemy fills that void. As a historical case study, it demonstrates how intelligence plays a critical role in influencing the conduct of warfare and the manner in which threat perceptions influence international relations. It also serves as an explanation of cultural factors and their subsequent influence on U.S. and Japanese military practices. Finally, it is an innovative explanation of American perceptions regarding the Japanese during a critical period of history. Such a comprehensive examination of the impact of intelligence on the conduct of various campaigns is without parallel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Carefully researched and prepared…Intelligence gathering is an arcane and secretive activity, as the author describes, and is usually hidden from and little mentioned by historians. So, in the mix of factors that lead to success in war, it is often inadequately recorded. Mr. Ford has done a brilliant job in correcting that unbalanced record as far as the Pacific war is concerned.” — Work Boat World

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612510651
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
10/15/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Douglas Ford: Douglas Ford holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and teaches military history at the University of Salford, UK. He is also the author of Britain’s Secret War against Japan, 1937–45, and over a dozen scholarly articles on British and U.S. intelligence during the Pacific War. He resides in Manchester, England.

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The Elusive Enemy: U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Fleet 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jaredbarnhard More than 1 year ago
i will preface this by stating I hold a BA in U.S. History and I am not a history "buff" but a real historian. I did not enjoy this book at all. The author writes with a good academic style but with little apparent academic knowledge of the actual events in detail. Ford points out that japanese fighters were hard to deal with because of their maneuverability but never espouses on his point. He points out how fighters engines would stall or how they would slow down to make tight turns in combat, anyone with any sort of aviation knowledge knows that these statements are falsehoods. Airplanes are not cars Mr. Ford. Ford repeats several statements throughout the work about how the Japanese were good at night fighting or how the American navy failed to develope countermeasures to enemy moves. Yet Ford never tells us why. Ford also makes the mistake of assuming the enemy operates in the same manner as the U.S. There is little in this book about American cise breaking efforts or the direct results from them. A perfect example of this would have been the AAF ambush of Yamamoto in 1943 or the effect of intelligence on the outcome of the Battle of Midway. In short, the first chapter is ok but the rest is rubbish. Go read something by Bob Leckie, Eric Bergerund, or Samuel Elliot Morrison.