War in the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay

Overview

Historian Harry Gailey offers a fresh one-volume treatment of the vast Pacific theater in World War II, examining in detail the performance of Japanese and Allied naval, air, and land forces in every major military operation. The War in the Pacific begins with an examination of events leading up to World War II and compares the Japanese and American economies and societies, as well as the chief combatants' military doctrine, training, war plans, and equipment. The book then chronicles all significant actions - ...
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War in the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay

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Overview

Historian Harry Gailey offers a fresh one-volume treatment of the vast Pacific theater in World War II, examining in detail the performance of Japanese and Allied naval, air, and land forces in every major military operation. The War in the Pacific begins with an examination of events leading up to World War II and compares the Japanese and American economies and societies, as well as the chief combatants' military doctrine, training, war plans, and equipment. The book then chronicles all significant actions - from the early Allied defeats in the Philippines, the East Indies, and New Guinea; through the gradual improvement of the Allied position in the Central and Southwest Pacific regions; to the final agonies of the Japanese people, whose leaders refused to admit defeat until the very end. Gailey gives detailed treatment to much that has been neglected or given only cursory mention in previous surveys. The reader thus gains an unparalleled overview of operations, as well as many fresh insights into the behind-the-scenes bickering between the Allies and the interservice squabbles that dogged MacArthur and Nimitz throughout the war.

A widely praised Pacific War historian--and author of The Liberation of Guam--draws on his extensive knowledge and new scholarship to shape this detailed treatment of the war against Japan, carefully examining the close interaction between naval, air, and land forces in every military operation. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor climaxed half a century of rivalry with the U.S. in the Far East. Early in this impressive history of the Pacific theater, Gailey ``Howlin' Mad'' vs. the Army thoroughly examines the roots of the conflict, the buildup of the U.S. armory during a period of isolationism and complacency and the more methodical Japanese military preparations. In the unfolding narrative of the 1941-45 conflict itself, Gailey addresses operational areas often neglected by historians, such as the central and northern Solomons campaigns and the bloody confrontation at Peleliu. He offers a fresh interpretation of the great naval battle of Midway, a turning point of the war, the use of Australian troops in New Guinea-a campaign he calls ``an unnecessary offensive that did little more than showcase the valor and determination of the Australian soldier''-and the U.S. Army/Marine Corps dispute on Saipan. Finally, he describes preparations for the dreaded invasion of the Japanese home islands, during which the planners simultaneously tried to create strategies to make it unnecessary. Gailey has written a solid account of the Pacific war. Illustrations. Apr.
Library Journal
In this comprehensive one-volume history, Gailey attempts to chronicle the entire Pacific conflict, starting with an examination of the events leading up to World War II and a comparison of Japanese and American societies, economies, military doctrines, and planning. This discussion is crucial to an understanding of the events that follow. The book covers all the significant actions of the Pacific theater, from the early Allied defeats to the last Japanese death throes, candidly discussing the behind-the-scenes Allied bickering and backbiting as well as the Japanese emperor's refusal to involve himself in daily governmental decisions, thereby needlessly prolonging the war. Also discussed here are the relative merits and shortcomings of the training and equipment of all sides. Numerous multivolume works exist on this subject, but as a single-volume work this ranks with John Costellos's The Pacific War LJ 12/1/81. Recommended for all collections.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L.
Booknews
Gailey (history, San Jose State U.) details the performance of Japanese and Allied naval, air, and land forces in every major military operation in the Pacific theater in WWII. He examines the events leading up to the war; compares the Japanese and American economies and societies, war plans, and equipment; and chronicles actions from the early Allied defeats in the Philippines to the final agonies of the Japanese people. Contains b&w photos and maps. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Gilbert Taylor
An informative historian of the whole war, Gailey positions his" work to redress campaigns he believes the field overlooks. In truth, almost every firefight and battle has been chronicled by someone (Gailey himself holds the brief in "The Liberation of Guam", 1988), but it does seem that ground warfare in the northern Solomons, New Guinea, Peleliu, and the Philippines has gotten short historical shrift. Though reduced to rear area nuisances by island-hopping and fast carrier forces, these places remained scenes of brutal battle. Some fighting, such as Australia's 1945 offensives in New Guinea, was strategically pointless because most of Japan's ships had been sunk and her cities destroyed in air raids of near-nuclear magnitude. While highlighting the war's absurd theaters, Gailey capably and laconically narrates the course and consequences of its meaningful fighting (the carrier battles, submarine campaigns, amphibious assaults, etc.), and the reader starting with zilch knowledge of the war will close knowing the essence of the big picture. An overview compatible with most libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780891414865
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Pages: 534
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 Roots of Conflict 1
Ch. 2 Isolationism and Complacency 29
Ch. 3 Japanese Military Preparations 53
Ch. 4 The Day of Infamy 71
Ch. 5 The Japanese Tidal Wave 101
Ch. 6 Java, Coral Sea, and Midway 133
Ch. 7 The Guadalcanal Ordeal 173
Ch. 8 The Tide Turns: New Guinea and Bougainville 209
Ch. 9 Plan Orange Executed 247
Ch. 10 Victory in New Guinea 271
Ch. 11 The Marianas Secured 301
Ch. 12 Return to the Philippines 337
Ch. 13 Advance to Luzon 375
Ch. 14 The Noose Tightens: Iwo Jima and Okinawa 407
Ch. 15 The Killing Time 447
Ch. 16 Unconditional Surrender 477
Selected Bibliography 499
Index 509
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