VICTORY AT SEA by James F. Dunnigan

VICTORY AT SEA

World War II in the Pacific

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A successful one-volume encapsulation of a vast number of the elements of a tremendous war waged on land, on sea, and in the air. Dunnigan and Nofi (Victory and Deceit, p. 193, etc.) stress strategy over tactics in outlining the events of the Pacific war. They follow with analyses of orders of battle; technical descriptions of ships, aircraft, weapons, landing craft, and other equipment; as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each military unit; many charts and maps further clarify the text. The authors evaluate policies, politics, conspiracy theories, and rumors that ran rampant in the Pacific theater. They argue that the long-term cause of the war was the merciless aggressive militarism of Japan since 1870, explaining how the Japanese thought of themselves as the ``elder brothers'' of other Asians, an attitude that met resistance from Japan's Asian victims, such as China and Korea. Dunnigan and Nofi point out that Japan's military machine was useless without oil, and when the American oil embargo was imposed in 1941 it was believed that Japan would be virtually disarmed and unable to continue its aggression. Instead, Japan thought of itself as a victim of the West and considered the attack on Pearl Harbor as an act of self-defense (ideas that, according to the authors, are still taught in Japanese schools). An easy-reference ``who's who'' and gazetteer, as well as a chronology of the war in the Pacific neatly wrap up a long and complicated story. This should be useful as a concise reference for both modern students and general readers, since it conveys many technical and little-known facts in a spare, readable narrative style. A worthy addition to WW II history.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-05290-8
Page count: 576pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995




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