CORAL SEA, MIDWAY AND THE SUBMARINES: April 1942 -- August 1942 by Samuel Eliot Morison


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A brief period- but these months marked the turning point in the battle of the Pacific. This is Morison's third volume of the projected 13 volume official naval reserve war history. The order has been upside down, chronologically; this overlaps the second published, The Battle of the Atlantic, and precedes the first publication, Operations in North African Waters. But each of the three demonstrates Morison's ability to make good reading (albeit largely for those concerned) of what might have been dry as dust official papers,- ships logs, naval reports, Cincpac data, and so on. The sense of being behind the scenes is livened by his access to Japanese papers as well as American, so one follows first one strategy, then the other. Coral Sea was memorable as the first great battle between carriers. The American forces paid there the penalties of carelessness and poor discipline; the Japs paid the penalty of laxness regarding sources of information and inflexibility of plan and dispersion of forces. It was a Japanese victory, but left them weaker; a strategic victory for the United States, laying the groundwork for Midway. Midway was a ""victory of intelligence, bravely and wisely applied"". The corner was turned. There is some space given to the Aleutians- a good deal of the first year of submarine warfare in the Pacific, the disappointments here, and the accomplishments. The text carries through, in meticulous almost blow-by-blow detail, up to the Battle of Savo Island.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1949
Publisher: Little, Brown (AMP)