The U.S. Navy against the Axis tells the story of the U.S. Navy's surface fleet in World War II with an emphasis on ship-to-ship combat. The book refutes the widely-held notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor rendered battleships obsolete and that aviation and submarines dominated the Pacific War. It demonstrates how the surface fleet played a decisive role at critical junctures. It was crucial to America's ultimate victory and its story holds many lessons for today's Navy and the nation as a whole.
The U.S. Navy against the Axis describes how swift adaptability and intellectual honesty were fundamental to the Navy's success against Japan. The underlying premise is that the nation cannot assume that in a conflict against conventional or asymmetric enemies, it holds title to the same virtues the Navy demonstrated three generations ago. Instead those lessons need to be constantly studied and affirmed in the face of postwar mythologies, lest they be forgotten.
|Publisher:||Naval Institute Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
VINCENT P. O'HARA is an independent scholar and the author of eleven books and many articles. He is the Naval Institute 2015 Author of the Year for his most recent work, Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory. O'Hara holds a history degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Chula Vista, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An excellant survey and analysis of how the surface forces of the USN performed in the war against Japan (mostly), with success being attributed not just to weight of metal and superior logistics, but to a willingness to be self-critical in regards to doctrine and operations. In this respect the battle off Samar becomes the USN's masterpiece of the war, as an unexceptional formation of basically auxiliary vessels is able to inflict savage damage on the remaining elite force of the Imperial Japanese Navy due to better doctrine and training.O'Hara ends his book on the plea that the need remains for honest self-criticism as a foundation of success, as compared to the example of how the IJN squandered its advantages due to the failure to rise above stereotypical thinking and self-serving assumptions.
The technical capability overviews, the maps and the battle descriptions make it an exciting book. "The U.S. Navy against the Axis" is outstanding, once one accepts its titular limitations. It sounds a bit strange for international ears to read that "the war was now fifteen months old" at the end of 1943. While the book concentrates on the US war effort, some acknowledgment that the US arrived late to the party would have helped enlighten some US readers to the wider world. Some context on the early British-German experience with the passing dinosaurs, the cruisers and other big ships carrying big guns, as well as some information about the overall sum of surface battle missions would have been helpful as well. The author also underplays the enormous re-supply and logistics differential between Japan and the US. The book makes a great case for the importance of first class technology (torpedoes, radar), air dominance and trained leadership crews. Dominating in two out three of this factors allowed the Japanese navy to perform far above expectations. The US countered the Japanese by a) materially swamping them and b) by not playing the surface battle game. Planes and submarines meant the end of the big surface fleets. Recommended.
As an ebook the reader cannot read the charts, of which there are many in this book. The content is fair, but incomplete without use of the charts. Wasted my money.