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USN Carriers vs IJN Carriers: The Pacific 1942

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ISBN-10: 1780967888
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780967882
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on December 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
The epic duel in the Pacific Ocean in 1942 between the carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Kido Butai (Mobile Force) and the carriers of the United States Navy makes for dramatic history and this story is told with great verve and insight by Commander (ret.) Mark Stille. USN Carriers vs IJN Carriers is the sixth volume in Osprey's new Duel series and readers need not fear that this is a repackaging of material from other Campaign and New Vanguard series titles. Rather, this volume provides a fresh look at four carrier vs. carrier battles (Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz) in 1942, fought when the odds were fairly even and in the context of two rival weapon systems. Both the graphics and text were highly engaging and I would strongly recommend this volume for readers interested in the Second World War in the Pacific.

The initial section on design and development focuses on carrier doctrine, carrier design and carrier construction programs for both the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. Herein, the author notes that the U.S. carriers were aided by earlier introduction of air-search radar, heavier anti-aircraft armament, better damage control and larger air wings. On the other hand, the Japanese opted for smaller aircraft with longer range, but otherwise the author views their carriers as generally inferior technically to their main U.S. counterparts. Color plan forms of the USS Enterprise and the IJN Zuikaku are included. The Strategic Situation section outlines the U.S. Navy's vulnerabilities after Pearl Harbor and the effort to mass a sufficient number of carriers to oppose the Kido Butai at a favorable moment. In the technical specifications section, the author details the U.S.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Shakespeare VINE VOICE on March 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before 1942, US naval doctrine was dominated by the battleship. After Japan's Pearl Harbor air raid, the US Navy was forced to rely primarily on carrier operations.

Mark Stille's "USN Carriers vs IJN Carriers: The Pacific 1942" is a concise, clearly written analysis of these naval forces and their operations.

In "Design and Development", Cmdr Stille presents the carrier doctrine, design, and construction used by the US Navy and IJN. Both navies realized that destroying the enemy's aircraft carriers was the first goal, before the enemy battle fleet could be attacked.

The US Navy maintained that their entire air group must be launched at one time, and designed its carriers with this goal in mind. US Navy carriers had to be fast enough to keep up with the fleet and large enough to handle powerful four squadron air groups. The defensive armor was deemed not as important as having numerous, effective anti-aircraft guns.

Cmdr. Stille, also author of USN Cruiser vs IJN Cruiser: Guadacanal 1942 (Duel), explains that the IJN required aircraft and ships that were designed for very long- range operations.

Unlike the US Navy, the IJN concentrated carriers for mutual protection and for mass concentration of air groups. "In general, Japanese carrier design stressed speed and aircraft capacity."

The IJN circumvented the Washington Naval Treaty, "during the 1930s, by creating a shadow fleet of merchant ships and auxiliaries designed to be easily converted into carriers during the war.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Thus far my exposure to Osprey 'Duel' titles has been minimal; two titles. I rate my experience as one miss (P-51 vs. FW 190) and one hit (Firefly vs. Tiger). Mark Stille's volume on U. S. and Japanese carriers however is definitely another hit and stands as an example of what the series can/should be.

Stille reviews the history and development of U.S. and Japanese carriers from their early beginnings, culminating in the four crucial engagements in 1942. His book is almost a primer on the subject, clearly and concisely examining each part of the equation - philosophy/doctrine, ship design, aircraft design, training, etc. - before bringing all the elements together in his descriptions of those aforementioned battles. (I would have liked a bit more on U.S./Japanese attack tactics but that's just me).

Other would-be 'Duel' authors should peruse Stille's book before setting pen to paper. The book reads wonderfully well, distilling down such a huge topic into an 80-page paperback. The photographs, charts, graphs and maps - some of which made especially for this volume - are all quite useful in helping the reader understand the subject.

Bottom line: a super job, well worth the $17.95 price tag. I only hope other 'Duel' titles are as good. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton on July 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
From the full page biopic of Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher USN, we learn that this man was in charge of the US carrier force at Midway - not Spruance! Now that really is a revealing snippet of information and one which I shall now research more fully. On page 49 we have similar coverage of Vice Admiral Nagumo IJN, from which we are reminded he was in overall charge of Japanese carrier forces during three of the four carrier battles of 1942. We also learn he was an indecisive commander who never seized the initiative. Altogether, Nagumo is exposed as a man with no expertise in aviation warfare, had never previously served on board an aircraft carrier, had no vision of the war and was given this vitally important appointment purely on seniority. Was it Shakespeare who said; "Everything comes to those who wait!"

This is a book which, as the title suggests, provides an assessment of the US and Japanese carrier forces of 1942. We have a comparison of the ships - statistic by statistic, of the aircraft - by speed, weapons, role and range, of the men and, of course, of the commanders who made it all happen.

The author is a retired US Navy Commander who served on latter-day carriers and, therefore, understands the subject as well as any. The artwork, which plays an important part in explaining and portraying so much detail, is from some of the leading maritime artists in the business. The historic photographs include ships, aircraft, action and some of the men who took part, are as comprehensive as one might expect to find. Altogether, therefore, this is an informative book which is all the more remarkable for containing so much information in such a small space.

Of interest to the casual reader, serious historian and also those who seek relevant detail for making accurate models.

NM
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