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The Fast Carriers: The Forging of an Air…

The Fast Carriers: The Forging of an Air Navy

by Clark G. Reynolds

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564320,897 (4.09)2
Based on official records, personal interviews, private diaries, and an impressive array of published works, this classic study offers a complete record of the heated debates that took place over the concept of the fast carrier and the U.S. Navy's metamorphosis from a battleship-oriented to a carrier-centered fleet during World War II. The battle of the air admirals, such as Mitscher, Towers, Radford, and the Shermans, to gain control of the fleet from the battleship admirals, in the midst of war, is nowhere told more fully or with such an insider's grasp of personalities involved with the changing naval strategy. Clark G. Reynolds's thorough analysis of fast carrier operations takes the reader from the war rooms in Washington to the flight decks in the Pacific with ease and excitement. It is his willingness to pass critical judgment on personalities and events, and his ability to communicate clearly the bureaucratic squabbles and the fight against the foreign enemy, that puts this book far aboveany other work in its field. Now, twenty-four years after its first publication, The Fast Carriers remains essential reading for naval professionals and historians - evidence of its strong scholarship and enduring value in the face of a naval strategy again in flux. Illustrated with more than 90 photographs and completed with a dramatis personae, extensive appendixes, chapter notes, and bibliographic essay, this reprint introduces a new generation of readers to a frank and thoughtful study of the genesis of the carrier fleet.… (more)

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I'm a nut about aircraft carriers and the war in the South Pacific, and I think this is the best book I've ever read on the subject. The author starts with the development of fast carriers in the 20's and 30's, then talks about the early days of World War II when both the Japanese and American navies knew they had a powerful offensive weapon, didn't quite know how to use it. He finishes with America's success in developing carrier task forces and Air Admirals. If you are interested in this subject, you can't do better than this in one volume. ( )
  ramon4 | Sep 17, 2016 |
Probably the best overall treatment of the development and use of U.S. Navy carriers in World War II. ( )
1 vote ControvichLibrary | Feb 21, 2016 |
The gold standard of naval history as regards aircraft carrier warfare in the Pacific theatre. There is a useful level of technical uses of the ships, and good biographical sketches of the principal commanders on the USN side. If one couples this book with the excellent H.T. Lenton handbook "American Battleships , Carriers, and Cruisers', a great deal of operational detail confusion is open to analysis. Into the bargain, the author has a high level of writing skill. If anyone had done so well for the IJN I'd be a very happy reader. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 23, 2013 |
Excellent book about the evolution of the fast carriers, the air navy and the men in command. For a 1968 edition, it is incitful about the flaws of 2 of the "heroes", Slew McCain and Bull Halsey. Vignettes at the beginning and summaries at the end pinpoint the skills, ineptitudes,"gun room" prejudices, failures and successes of the major actors in this fast evolving aspect of WW2. Balanced and generally supportive review re: the role of the Royal Navy in the Pacific. I look forward to the 2008 edition to see what changes 40 yrs of documentation and analysis bring to the then 28 year old author. ( )
  jamespurcell | May 30, 2008 |
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A small high-speed carrier alone can destroy or disable a battleship alone. A fleet whose carriers give command of the air over the enemy fleet can defeat the latter.
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