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A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945

by Paul S. Dull

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1832108,557 (3.98)3
The first non-Japanese language battle history of the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II to recount the war in the Pacific as the Japanese saw and officially recorded it.
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A very useful blow by blow account of the naval war in the Pacific, especially of the phase of Japanese expansion. The first 19 chapters take you to the end of 1943. Three short chapters more take you to the end of the war. It is, as the title says, truly a 'battle' history, only concerned with engagements between surface ships. Within those parameters, it is highly recommended. ( )
  CharlesFerdinand | Apr 5, 2010 |
Be mindful of the subtext
"A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy" will make a fine and intellectually stimulating addition to a military history collection. A veritable compendium of surface naval engagements that have been revisited by Mr. Dull using Japanese-language sources, it is not, however, the most comprehensive source of information and insight about the role of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War. Other sources, for instance, that greatly complement this book include "Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941" and Prange's seminal books on Pearl Harbor and Midway.

The book has some noticeable quirks too for the non-initiated. For instance, was there ever a pink-painted Japanese cruiser? The book does not dwell on the minutiae of the warships involved, so it is rather surprising to encounter an odd little detail such as the cruiser Haguro's paint scheme.

What makes the book especially valuable to me is the subtext: the Japanese Navy had in essence intensely prepared for the wrong war to fight. Deeply absorbed in the Mahan doctrine of the decisive naval battle--a principle that emphasized destroying an enemy fleet in a grand engagement that effectively ends the conflict--Nihon Teikoku Kaigun was, by the outbreak of the Second World War, ready to confront the US fleet within the context of a short yet decisive campaign. Then, after helping Japan secure access to the mineral resources of Southeast Asia, the navy would have been instrumental in safeguarding the perimeter of the newly-won oceanic empire.

It didn't quite turn out that way. As Dull's book elucidates in meticulous detail, the Japanese Navy was forced to fight practically to the last ship. Having lost the initiative midway through the conflict, a once-powerful armada that helped subdue one-third of the globe was to all intents and purposes wiped out by the end of the war.

(Posted in Amazon.com, November 8, 2003) ( )
1 vote melvinsico | Oct 29, 2006 |
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Wikipedia in English (121)

10th Area Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

1st Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

2nd Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

4th Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

5th Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

6th Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

Japanese cruiser Kako

Japanese cruiser Kashii

Japanese cruiser Kashima

Japanese cruiser Katori

Japanese cruiser Kinu

Japanese cruiser Kinugasa

Japanese seaplane carrier Nisshin

Kaju Sugiura

Kakuji Kakuta

Kiyohide Shima

Kiyoto Kagawa

Koli Point action

The first non-Japanese language battle history of the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II to recount the war in the Pacific as the Japanese saw and officially recorded it.

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