7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 1998
This book has come in "under the radar" and is one of the best-kept secrets of recent WW2 aviation literature. Eric Hammel has done priceless work in collecting an oral history of the air war in the Pacific. I've read it three times and it's every bit as much fun as informative as it ever was. From the pathetic equipment at Pearl Harbor (a beat-up P-36 with only one loaded .30-caliber) through the immortal battles of the Solomons, New Guinea, the Central Pacific, the Marianas, Iwo and Okinawa, to ultimate victory over Japan, this is an outstanding work that ranks with "Samurai!", "Baa Baa Black Sheep", and "God Is My Co-Pilot". Current military management MUST read this, especially the part about how woefully unprepared we were, and see if anything looks familiar about today's military. Take it from me-- I've studied the Pacific War all my literate life, and I've found some stinker books, but this is a gem.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2000
A truly great book. I recommend it for anyone, not just history enthusiasts. The first hand accounts are well written and bring the stories to life. Equally as good is Hammel's other book, ACES AGAINST GERMANY.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 1999
This book is about the many pilots that fought for the US navy in the pacific Theatre.Many of which were very young but would die for their country!It talkes about their experiences of there first kills and becoming aces, shootings down zeros,and betty bombers and imperial japenses crusiers of all sorts in the pacific. Pilots talk about their experiencs in the battles of Pearl harbor,Midway,Port Moresby,Guadalcanal,Rabaul,Lyete Gulf,and Okinawa. Fly with 1st Lt. Jim Swett as he nails 7 bandits out of the sky with his F4F wildcat. Fly with pilots in their warhawks,wildcats,lightnings,Thunderbolts,mustangs,and corsairs agaist the 1 of the best navys in the world.Another book i want is Aces against germany but they dont print it anymore!Buy ACES AGAINST GERMANY and listen to the stories told by are heroes of ww2.The men that kept us free,the men that kept the axis from taking over the world,the men that died for us! Now id like to salute all the men that died for us in ww2 thanx guys! -HEAVEN BELONGED TO GOD.THE SKY BELONGED TO AMERICA'S ACES.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2001
In Aces Against Japan, military historian Eric Hammel provides the reader with riveting first-person accounts from thirty-nine American fighter aces who fought their way across the bloody skies of the Pacific and East Asia from December 7, 1941 through the final air battles over Japan in August 1945. An effective interviewer, Hammel presents fascinating and informative air-combat tales and anecdotes from the men who were their. Vivid, superbly presented, Aces Against Japan is enthusiastically recommended reading for all military buffs and a very welcome addition to any World War II history collection or reading list.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 1999
Reading about the Pacific airwar in the recent novel, The Triumph and the Glory, sparked an eager interest in me in the topic and prompted me to order this book. I found "Aces Against Japan" great reading, filled with gripping accounts of action from the men who fought the air war against Imperial Japan. If you are interested in WWII aerial combat this book is for you!
on September 27, 2012
Aces Against Japan is another superb book from Eric Hammel and Pacifica Military History.
This time the author brings us on the Pacific Theater of War where we can see through eyes of fighter pilots how tough it was to defeat Japan.
Aces Against Japan is especially interesting for Polish and European readers as for us the main opponent in World War II was Hitler with his Nazi Germany. Pacific is treated not so thoroughly as the fighting on the continent.
We get to follow the fighting path of 39 aces who helped to defeat Imperial Japan. The first episode is connected with Pearl Harbour - a milestone point in the Pacific which started the US machine rolling with enormous speed towards victory both in Europe and in Pacific.
The reader has some maps at his hand thanks to which he can locate each story. Additionally the author translates abbreviations used by pilots to a language understood by everyone. This is very helpful as pilots and soldiers have their own slang which sometimes can be difficult for civilians
The stories are sorted chronologically so we can see how the Americans where fighting back through the whole period of war against Japan.
This is a must have for all military aviation enthusiast connected with war in the Pacific.
on August 23, 2014
It takes something for me to contribute a 'review' (like I'm qualified) of someone else's work. That said, and however...
WWII Pacific Theater, Naval/USAAF Aviation Operations? Buy this book.
Eric Hammel has nailed the short story format of several pilot's scenarios in the Japanese theater of operations. I write these words admitting that I've probably 'read them all' and would highly recommend anyone wanting to read of Pacific Air Operations pick up this book.
The really interesting thing to me as an aviation geek, is the fact that (165 gal. drop tanks on a particular model) (Rendova is about 330 degrees true from their last reported position) etc., are what make Military History/facts/books so very interesting. The details are spot on. I'd actually fire up Google Earth to see the different areas of operations as described in Mr. Hammel's meticulously researched book. Kudos to you Mr. Hammel.
If you're tired of the typical "Ace sprayed the fleeing Nips with his 40 calibre machine cannons" kind of ilk...you'll really, really, like this book. BUY IT. Details are accurate, writing is concise and interesting. Highly recommended.
Cmdrpiffle, Santa Cruz Ca.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2001
The war in the Pacific was a bloody confrontation for the resolution of opponents and the straining combat environment. Flying under such pressure was undeniably a great feat and sustaining a proper level of operational capability was a superb example of airmanship. In this book all aspects of air combat come alive with the intriguing personal tales of the pilots who served in this theater. Each account reveals the insight of lifestyle, tactics and training that led to amazing results in aerial battles. From their personal experience, it is possible to catch the feelings the pilots had about their machinery, climate and combat methods before actually flying the missions in their harsh frontline.
Beatifully written, this volume is really easy to read, even if some accounts disclose a predilection to be stylish or glorifying from time to time.
on February 6, 2015
I really enjoy Mr. Hammel's series about the American Aces. Each individual story is tells you something and you can trace the path of the war in the stories. The stories themselves are fantastic, it is not just short and sweet about saw fighter, I shot at enemy, he crashed the end. The stories themselves are detailed and interesting. But the part of these books which sets it apart from many other collections of personal stories is that you get the story of each pilot both before and after his experience. I enjoy seeing the path the pilots took to get to be come pilots and their wartime experiences before their story begins. And I really enjoy to see what happened to them after. I'm surprised at home many after the war just quit and went back to a "regular" job, but also in the amount that continued to make their career in the service. Great stories!
on December 7, 2013
No one writes about air combat as well as Eric Hammel, he has a gift for taking the reader right into the cockpit, where they can feel the adrenaline and sweat.
In his Aces series, he has collected the first-person accounts of WWII Aces, while providing the historical context for each story. In the first volume he presents the stories of 40 Pacific Aces.
These books helped ignite my love of Military History. A must read for anyone interested in air combat.