Billy Leon's Reviews > Attack on Pearl Harbor: Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions

Attack on Pearl Harbor by Alan Zimm
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May 23, 12

Read from May 02 to 18, 2012

This was a hard book to review. Basically it comes down to two columns. The first column would be content. I think Zimm raises some very interesting questions and blows away some previously held beliefs with argument that is on point, well supported, and critically thought out. The author raises several key points and explains why they are valid and why others are not quite convincingly. From this point I enjoyed the book very much, and now view characters such as Yamamoto, Nagumo, Fuchida and others in sort of a different light. The impression left that the Imperial Japanese Navy comes across as a collection of bungling idiots that succeeded in severely damaging the United States Pacific Fleet just on the basis of luck and ineptitude on the part of the high command of the Army and Navy I don't feel really gives either side their due respect. The US Navy felt certain that Pearl Harbor was untouchable by torpedo attack and that if the Japanese were to hit us, they would have struck the Philippines. The fact that they were able to solve the "torpedo" problem and approach Pearl Harbor in secrecy in my mind makes them more than just a collection of inept zealots.
The Army and Navy were content in the fact that the base was not on the menu of the Japanese strategists. Information from Washington supported this belief. Of course the attack in itself was a rude awakening and a reminder that we did not necessarily have the Japanese all figured out.
The other part of the book was the editing. It was wrought with typographical errors. One here or there is acceptable, but this book has them in excess. It strikes me at times as nothing more than a published rough draft. They acted as speed bumps and interrupted the flow of the intended writing. I thought the content of the book was interesting and thought provoking, while the editing struck me as third rate if it was edited at all.
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