THE FLEET At FLOOD TIDE: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945
One of America's preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts by Americans and Japanese alike, here is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the U.S. invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it triggered.
With its thunderous assault into Japan's inner defensive perimeter, America crossed the threshold of total war. From the seaborne invasion of Saipan to the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, to the largest banzai attack of the war and the strategic bombing effort that led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marianas became the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender with consequences that forever changed modern war.
These unprecedented operations saw the first large-scale use of Navy Underwater Demolition Teams; a revolution in the fleet's ability to sustain cross-hemispheric expeditionary warfare; the struggle of American troops facing not only a suicidal enemy garrison but desperate Japanese civilians; and the rise of the U.S. Navy as the greatest of grand fleets. From the Marianas, B-29 Superfortresses would finally unleash nuclear fire on an enemy resolved to fight to the end.
Hornfischer casts this clash of nations and cultures with cinematic scope and penetrating insight, focusing closely on the people who rose to the challenge under fire: Raymond Spruance, the brilliant, coolly calculating commander of the Fifth Fleet; Kelly Turner, whose amphibious forces delivered Marine General Holland Howlin Mad Smith s troops to the beaches of Saipan and Tinian; Draper Kauffman, founder of the Navy unit that predated today s SEALs; Paul Tibbets, who created history s first atomic striking force and flew the Enola Gay to Hiroshima; and Japanese warriors and civilians who saw the specter of defeat as the ultimate test of the spirit.
From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring and deeply humane account of World War II s world-changing finale. Advance praise for The Fleet at Flood Tide
This is a masterful account of the barbaric last year of the Pacific War, combining original scholarship, engaging prose, excellent historical judgment, and empathy for the soldier, to explain why defeating the Japanese proved so costly and how American military forces performed so effectively and, in the end, humanely. The Fleet at Flood Tide is, quite simply, popular and scholarly military history at its best. Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture, senior fellow in classics and military history, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
We have here a carefully researched and well-written account of key stages and events in the final portion of the war in the Pacific that includes a careful look at the Japanese side as well as the American. The campaign in the Marianas and the background and reality of the atomic bomb are exceptionally thoughtfully presented. Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, professor emeritus of history, University of North Carolina"
A fabulous book about the war in the Pacific and the sacrifices made by all of the service men and women. Beginning with Saipan and leading you to the end of the war with Japan, and along the way the author provides memories of some of the individuals, either by letters, diary made possible by family, and sometimes by the actual person. This gives you the reader a better feel for what was going on at the time. It still amazes how the Marines continued to storm the beaches even after seeing the comrade in arms down, and yet they would still keep coming and attacking until the island was taken. How after numerous banzai attacks the training of the sailors would kick in to save the ship, and then later grieve for the ones they lost. Another part of the book that got me was that from June of 44 to the end of the war that is when the military in the Pacific and Europe lost over One million personal of the one million and a quarter that was lost for the entire war. Shocking for me because my father was with the 82nd Airborne during that time. I also remember him telling me that after Germany surrendered that they were gearing up to go to the Pacific to invade Japan, and the day the first bomb was dropped they were actually getting reading to board planes to leave when they got the message of the first bomb. Everyone in Europe was happy because as he put they were tired of fighting, still would have. This goes along with the authors talking to people from that time and the cost of lives that were projected at the time. The author goes into detail with this and the making of the bomb. I found this to be a very thorough and fascinating book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com