(author of the superb Six Frigates) starts with a horrific narrative of
Pearl Harbor, goes through the savage learning curve of the Battle of
the Coral Sea (this was all a new kind of warfare) and climaxes with a
spectacular account of Midway. In-depth portraits of the major players
add an exciting dimension to the great naval duel.
— From Pacific Crucible
The planning, the strategy, the sacrifices and heroics—on both sides—illuminating the greatest naval war in history.
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.