The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944

Author:

Paperback, Pages: 688

Genres: History, War, World War II, Nonfiction

Language: English

Reads: 64

Downloads: 3856

Rating: Rated: 2110 timesRate It

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944
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Book Description

The devastation of Pearl Harbor and the American victory at Midway were prelude to a greater challenge: rolling back the vast Japanese Pacific empire, island by island.

This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War—the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944—when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japans far-flung island empire like a conquering tide, concluding with Japans irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries, leaving wounds that even victory could not heal.

Often overlooked, these are the years and fights that decided the Pacific War. Ian W. Tolls battle scenes—in the air, at sea, and in the jungles—are simply riveting. He also takes the reader into the wartime councils in Washington and Tokyo where politics and strategy often collided, and into the struggle to mobilize wartime production, which was the secret of Allied victory. Brilliantly researched, the narrative is propelled and colored by firsthand accounts—letters, diaries, debriefings, and memoirs—that are the raw material of the telling details, shrewd judgment, and penetrating insight of this magisterial history.

Reviews
  •    Mezikree Kupfus
    2020
    Ian Toll is one of my favorite Naval History authors. I've now read three of his book and they are all 5 star books.

    This is the second book in a three part series on the Pacific Theater during World War 2. It starts off shortly after the Battle of Midway and ends shortly after the conquering of Saipan. In essence the meat of the Pacific Campaign.

    I forget whom Toll is quoting, but anybody who served in the Pacific after 1944 experienced a different scenario than those who served there before hand. Between 1942 and 44, the Pacific was a meat grinder. The United States bore the brunt of the responsibility for containing Japan.

    While Japan had been hurt at Midway and started fighting a defensive battle, the final results were not assured. There were several key battles that could have shifted the balance of power back to Japan.

    One of those battles was the Battle of Savo Island.

    The United States had started a major military campaign in Guadal Canal. This campaign would last for months and would establish Admiral King's strategy in the Pacific.

    In the early days of the battle, a Japanese Admiral Mikawa lead a small fleet of 8 ships in a night time raid of the waters around Savo Island. The US had over 23 ships (including 6 heavy cruisers) in the area. Mikawa's ships slipped past the America patrol boats and surprised the American Fleet. As the Japanese had surprise and better night tactics, the Japanese inflicted heavy damages on the Americans. 4 of the 6 heavy cruisers were lost in one of the biggest battles of surface ships in the Pacific. The Japanese fleet escaped with minor damages.

    What the Japanese didn't realize is that had they pressed the attack, then they could have sunk or destroyed a number landing ships that were heavily loaded with supplies. These supplies and ships arguably made the difference at Guadal Canal. Mikawa chose to withdraw because he feared the US Carrier Planes would be able to pursue and destroy his fleet. What Mikawa didn't know is that the US Carrier force was out of position and could not engage.

    Had Mikawa destroyed the transports, King's strategy may have never been developed and a different approach might be been used.

    There were other battles, but Guadal Canal was of particular interest to me. In part, because of General Alexander M Patch's involvement. I went to Alexander M Patch American High School, so when I see his name I pay attention.
    Reply

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