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Halsey's Bluff Paperback – August 16, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Fleet actions, especially modern ones in which the fleets can be miles apart and in which aircraft dominate, are hard to describe and, for the reader, they can often be hard to follow. Mr. Schweikart actually handles the big naval battles well, partly by simplifying his descriptions of them. He provides many high level discussions among the admirals of both sides to explain the strategy each side is pursuing, which provides most of the human interest of the book. But he also gives the readers some glimpses of filmmaker John Ford with his camera on Midway, Henry Kaiser finding faster ways to build ships for the Navy, and a Japanese spy in Honolulu.
There are too many small departures from actual history to say this is a typical "alternate history", but that is still probably the closest genre. It is a well written, immersive book that combines the making of naval strategy during WWII in the Pacific, with an exciting finish.
Halsey's Bluff centers largely on the Battle of Midway that didn't happen, but very likely could have happened. Instead of the "Miracle at Midway" in June 1942, the U.S. and Japanese carrier fleets battle to something of a draw, but with the enemy's Midway invasion force left unhindered. Midway is overrun, the U.S. carrier fleet is in a shambles, and little stands between the mighty Imperial Japanese Navy and Hawaii or even America's west coast. With scant fleet units at their disposal, Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and Spruance come up with a desperate gamble that can only succeed if the renowned supreme commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet can be snookered into a trap. It is a fascinating tale, with nonstop action that keeps the reader turning page after page until the very end.
This review is based on an early copy of the book, which unfortunately suffers from an inordinate number of typographical or structural errors that should have been fixed with a final proofread. Because of that, I rate the copy that I've seen at four and a half stars, which this system displays as five. However, the author advises that the publisher allows post-publication edits to a released book, so anyone buying Halsey's Bluff after reading this can expect the bulk of such errors to have been fixed. And in any case,they won't bother the casual fan of wartime history novels, who can expect a thoroughly captivating read.
The scenario is very simple. After Pearl Harbor, things develop in a subtly different manner. I will not belabor the details but they are fun to spot. Students of this period of history will pick up on many different details. But even relative newcomers to this period of history will spot differences, and enjoy the story.
This one is highly recommended and I am hoping for a sequel. RJB.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really wanted to like this book, but the prose is not mesmerizing or the story line believable. Nice try though.Published 1 month ago by D. Michael Sanford
Well known story with a great twist and look at what might have beenPublished 3 months ago by Ted S.
What really changed? The battle was still won by the USN, just in s different location in a rather unlikely overwhelming fashion. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bill Zerafa
Interesting premise, accompanied by good writing. Pretty good editing too, which can be challenging with some of the e-books ive read in this genre.Published 5 months ago by al tresvant