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Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942by Ian W. Toll
Synopses & Reviews
On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.
Ian W. Toll's dramatic narrative encompasses both the high command and the "sailor's-eye" view from the lower deck. Relying predominantly on eyewitness accounts and primary sources, Pacific Crucible also spotlights recent scholarship that has revised our understanding of the conflict, including the Japanese decision to provoke a war that few in the country's highest circles thought they could win. The result is a page-turning history that does justice to the breadth and depth of a tremendous subject.
"Prize-winning freelance naval historian Toll (Six Frigates) chronicles one of the U.S. Navy's finest performances of WWII in this page-turning narrative of the months following the devastating attacks on Pearl Harbor. Eyewitness accounts and extensive research in American and Japanese print and archival sources combined with Toll's storytelling abilities make this an approachable and compelling read in a genre typically reserved for military historians. More than mere battle plans and fighter plane model numbers, Toll's take on the fight in the Pacific is imbued with a sensitivity to detail and individuals, as evidenced by his moving account of the disembarkation of Admiral Fitch and his crew from the sinking USS Lexington at the Battle of the Coral Sea, which saw ice cream being served as the boat burned and men awaiting rescue swam in the warm waters below. But Toll does not pander to sensationalism: his incisive scholastic efforts also shed light on Japanese motives for entering a war that many in the high command considered unwinnable. Revealing and poignant, Toll's latest deftly navigates the rough waters of the Pacific struggle with flying colors. Illus. and maps." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
Drawing on primary sources and accounts of eyewitnesses, this detailed narrative of the early period of the war in the Pacific during WWII gives background on the Japanese side of the conflict, describing Japanese society of the period and comparing the technological advancements of the American and Japanese navies. Reflecting current scholarship on the Japanese decision to start the war, the book focuses on key leaders and their decisions and motivations. Day-to-day life on-board American warships is also described. The book is illustrated with a wealth of b&w historical photos and maps. Toll has written a previous book on naval military history. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The planning, the strategy, the sacrifices and heroics—on both sides—illuminating the greatest naval war in history.
About the Author
Ian W. Tollhas been a Wall Street analyst, a Federal Reserve financial analyst, and a political aide and speechwriter. Six Frigatesis his first book. He lives in San Francisco, California.
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