War With Japan

Overview

Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was the beginning of the United States' battle with Japan during World War II. In the months following the attack, Japan was successful in a series of victories throughout Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Then, from May 1942 to October 1943, the Japanese and the United States engaged in a series of fierce clashes in the Southwest Pacific. Both the U.S. and Japanese forces were evenly matched, and their troops fought one another to exhaustion. This engrossing ...

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Overview

Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was the beginning of the United States' battle with Japan during World War II. In the months following the attack, Japan was successful in a series of victories throughout Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Then, from May 1942 to October 1943, the Japanese and the United States engaged in a series of fierce clashes in the Southwest Pacific. Both the U.S. and Japanese forces were evenly matched, and their troops fought one another to exhaustion. This engrossing book looks at the war with Japan, focusing on this "period of balance" between American and Japanese forces. The War with Japan explains how the battles fought in the Coral Sea in May and off Midway Islands in June 1942 represented the first engagements that were not the result of decisions made by the Japanese before the outbreak of war. Both the U.S. and Japanese had to consider their next moves in a strategic situation that was much like a gun lying in the street: it was there for either side to pick up and use. H. P. Willmott examines the conflict in this context. The campaigns that raged in the lower Solomons and along the Kakoda Trail for control of eastern New Guinea, along with the ferocious battles in the Coral Sea and off Midway Islands, were the turning point of the war in the Pacific. The fight for control of Guadalcanal saw the Imperial Navy and U.S. Navy fight one another, and themselves, until they were completely spent. But between February and October 1943, the Americans gained a critical edge when the U.S. Navy took delivery of the first of the massive warships that were to carry the fighting to the Japanese home islands. After November 1943, this strong U.S. fleet-built during the period of hostilities-outfought the Japanese navy. The War with Japan explores all these aspects of Japanese defeat. This fascinating probe into the war with Japan is ideal for all readers who are interested in military history and World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

World War II History
[Willmott's] narrative is lean and informative, his reasoning sound, and his research impeccable.
Military History Of The West
Willmott...does an excellent job of clearly delineating and explaining the complex series of events from the Battle of the Coral Sea through the grueling campaigns in the Solomans and New Guinea. The author's style is clear and easy to read, maps are both plentiful and appropriately scaled, and the author manages to depict complex events fully without bogging down in excessive detail.
World War II
Thought-provoking, argumentative, controversial, and guaranteed to make a reader re-evaluate existing accounts of naval, air, and ground operations in the South and Southwest Pacific between May 1942 and October 1943.
Thomas W. Zeiler
H. P. Willmott addresses a critical juncture of the Pacific War—a roughly eighteen-month period when victory turned on the skills, planning, and adjustments of the protagonists. He weaves a fascinating argument—that Japan faced defeat, but the means and dimension of that defeat were not a foregone conclusion. That shrewd judgment, one self-evident but one that historians have not adequately focused upon in previous studies, provides a convincing interpretation that underpins this well-written and accessible book.
W. Spencer Johnson
A must-read for the student of military and naval history and strategy and anyone interested in understanding the road to America's greatness and the unimaginable risks and sacrifices that marked that journey.
Haruo Tohmatsu
A splendid narrative with analytical depth. Willmott challenges the common perception of the war in the Pacific: the real change of tide did not occur as early as Coral Sea or Midway, or as late as the fall of the Marianas and the Philippines. The most crucial period was between February and October 1943. The Japanese failure and the American success in fully mobilizing human and material resources during this new stage were decisive. Willmott convincingly unfolds this theory by letting every minute detail paint the larger picture of this gigantic struggle.
World War II Magazine
Thought-provoking, argumentative, controversial, and guaranteed to make a reader re-evaluate existing accounts of naval, air, and ground operations in the South and Southwest Pacific between May 1942 and October 1943.
Booknews
Willmott (war and society, De Montfort U.) has written extensively on modern naval and military subjects. Here he focuses on that period after the US entry into World War II forced Japan to widen its previous continental focus in Asia to encompass the entire Pacific Ocean. He demonstrates how the two forces fought each other to exhaustion in a series of fierce island battles, but how the train of Japanese victories had already run out of steam. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842050333
  • Publisher: Sr Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Total War Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,148,194
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

H. P. Willmott is senior research fellow at the Institute for the Study of War and Society, De Montfort University, and visiting lecturer at Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 I The Gun in the Street Chapter 2 Appreciating the Situation Chapter 3 The American Situation and Plan of Campaign Chapter 4 The Battle of the Coral Sea, 5-8 May 1942 Chapter 5 The Battle of Midway, 4-6 June 1942 Chapter 6 Strategic Choices and New Realities Part 7 II The Campaigns in Eastern New Guinea and the Lower Solomons Chapter 8 Seizing the Initiative, 21 July-18 September 1942 Chapter 9 Battle, 18 September-13 November 1942 Chapter 10 Decision, 26 October-31 December 1942 Part 11 The New Realities Chapter 12 The Imbalance of Exhaustion, 1 January-15 November 1943

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