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The Pacific War: 1941-1945
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The Pacific War: 1941-1945

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  13 reviews
John Costello's The Pacific War has now established itself as the standard one-volume account of World War II in the Pacific. Never before have the separate stories of fighting in China, Malaya, Burma, the East Indies, the Phillipines, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Aleutians been so brilliantly woven together to provide a clear account of one of the most massive ...more
Paperback, 800 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published 1981)
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This is a very nice general treatment of the war in the Pacific. I recommend it for someone wanting a very general intro to the Pacific theater that covers most all of the topic. I do have to criticise the edition, though. There are a couple places where entire lines of text are missing, times when directions are reversed (e.g., it'll say they moved north from X to Y, then you look at the map and see that Y is south of X), sometimes arrows denoting movements black-out relevant place names on map ...more
As the other reviews say, this is the best one-volume review on the overall Pacific Theater of WWII, covering the causes of the Japanese attacks, the American responses, both militarily and politically, as well as the reasons for various decisions and operations.
Gerry Germond
This puppy's big, but comprehensive. Since it begins even before Commodore Perry's "visit" to Japan in 1853, the first four or five chapters were a bit of a slog for me, but, once into the war proper, I found the accounts to be easy to follow. I always wish for more maps, but there are more here than I have found in other books. I appreciate the book's helping me to finally sort out all the naval actions that took place, and what was going in in 1943. The text covers what happens, but I found li ...more
Andrew Lowry
A good accessible book to what was a huge war spanning the largest battle field in history. The author blends the political, grand strategic, strategic, operational and even tactical aspects of this war to help the reader understand the reasons for many decisions and errors. The book shows the vital importance of code breaking and radio traffic monitoring to the Allied (particularly American) success and the influence of Churchill on Roosevelt and therefore US decisions.

After reading the accoun
Greg Gates
This book contains a Reader's Digest version of each battle in the Pacific War.
"The secrecy that was so essential for the Japanese to pull off the centerpiece of their Second Operational Phase was to be peeled away to reveal that its main objective was not the central, nor the south Pacific area. The first clues to this had emerged in the intercepted signal traffic of March 4, 1942, when the designator mentioned as AF was identified tentatively as Midway." (page 291)

Read about the Battle of Midway in the chapter titled CALCULATED RISK.

Good book. I have a strong interest in the subject, so the book flowed well for me. He's hard on MacArthur, but he does give credit to his brilliance. Recommended for anyone who wants an interesting overview of the Pacific theatre.
Bit of a slog, actually. Perhaps because there is so much already out there on this subject. Very complete... Great detail on the significance of signals and code- breaking. Costello is obviously not a big MacArthur fan.
A nice book for a big picture of the Pacific War during WWII, though I got lost from time to time for all the names.
Doc Shaqua
Good starter book to get overview of WW II in Pacific.
Robert Barone
top notch history book
Very in-depth.
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