Dan Cowden's Reviews > History of US Naval Operations in WWII, 15 Vols

History of US Naval Operations in WWII, 15 Vols by Samuel Eliot Morison
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's review
Dec 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, military, literature

Although it has occasionally been proven wrong about its facts, Morison's 15-volume History of US Naval Operations in WWII is still considered the definitive work on the whole subject; certainly no one else has attempted to replicate both the depth and the breadth of this work.

Largely compiled from official reports during and directly following the war, it suffers from the limitations of those sources and that timeline. Many of the reasons why things happened were still classified when Morison wrote (such as the intercepts which led to the Americans knowing about the Japanese attack on Midway in advance) and some judgments were made without the benefit of perspective (Morison later regretted his harsh treatment of Short and Kimmel for Pearl Harbor and concluded that they had received a raw deal).

Despite its flaws, this remains one of the standard works on the subject, and can be found in the bibliography of nearly every following book dealing with the US Navy in WWII.

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