by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
After the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, America declared war on the country of Japan. Over the next four years, the Americans and Japanese fought a horrific and brutal island-hopping campaign, as well as battles on the sea and in the air. There were several major conflicts, with America being the ultimate victor. These battles brought about a new age of warfare, and forever changed the face of how nations fought, as well as changing the face of the world.
Osprey Publications has released The Road To Victory: From Pearl Harbor To Okinawa as a hardback covering the struggle between America and Japan. Sections by various authors cover the major battles, with the overall editor Professor Robert OíNeill.
The hardcover book is made up of 272 pages. Included with the text are black & white photographs, color map illustrations, and detailed captions.
Foreword & Introduction
Pearl Harbor by Carl Smith
Coral Sea by Mark Stille
Midway by Mark Stille
Guadalcanal by Joseph Mueller
Tarawa by Derrick Wright
Marshall Islands by Gordon L. Rottman
Peleliu by Jim Moran and Gordon L. Rottman
Leyte Gulf by Bernard Ireland
Iwo Jima by Derrick Wright
Okinawa by Gordon L. Rottman
The book is well-written and extremely detailed. The contributing authors each did an excellent job of covering the various battles, including the principal action, along with incidents relating to the outcome. Anyone interested in the major battles of the Pacific during World War Two will find this book very informative and interesting and a wonderful reference book.
There are approximately 214 black & white and color photographs throughout the book. The photos contained in this book will prove to be a valuable asset to the military historian, as well as the military scale modeler. Several of them can be used as the basis for various scale modeling projects from small vignettes to larger dioramas. They cover a wide range of American and Japanese subjects, such as ships, submarines, landing craft, aircraft, armor, weapons (both large guns and small arms), uniforms and fortifications.
I havenít seen a majority of the featured photographs before and I was pleased with this. I definitely consider that a bonus, as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser-known photographs as opposed to the same old over-used photos that many books tend to contain. The range of images includes posed scenes to action, with the majority of them nice, clear, centered and focused images. Some have an out-of-focus look to them, and some appear to be too dark. This is probably because they are actually stills taken from films.
There are a variety of armor, aircraft, ships, and other subjects seen and discussed throughout the book. Some of these are:
the USS Nevada
Japanese midget submarines
Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 00 "Zero"
US Navy SBD Dauntless
US B-25 Mitchell
Japanese heavy cruiser Myoko
US Douglas Devastator
Japanese Zeke 52 fighter
US Marine LVT
US M3A1 light tank
Japanese Type 95 tank
US M4A2 Sherman tank
USS Dace submarine
US B-29 Superfortress
US D-18 bulldozer
US landing craft, tank Mk 6 (LCT)
THE COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS:
There are 12 color maps provided for the reader, and they are very well-done. Each accompanies the battle that is being discussed, and while simplistic in nature, yet they help the reader see the actions that took place. There is a key to military symbols provided in the book that helps the reader to decipher the symbols on the maps.
The captions are well-written, and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs. They discuss various things shown in the photos, such as the location, what is taking place, the uniforms and weapons shown as well as the armor, ship, aircraft and other such equipment shown.
As I read through the book, I didnít notice any spelling or grammar errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone, however, it is something that I take notice of and pass on in my findings. I feel that if the text is well-written, then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing.
All in all, I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference with well-written text, and contains many interesting photographs and detailed captions. It thoroughly covers American involvement in the major battles of the Pacific, and I would have no hesitation to recommend this book to others, as it will be a welcome addition to oneís personal military reference library.
Thanks to Osprey Publications for providing this review copy. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here on Armorama when you make your purchase.
Decisive Battles of World War II edited by Brigadier Peter Young (Bison Books Ltd)
World War II Day by Day: An Illustrated Almanac 1939-1945 by Donald Sommerville (Dorset Press)
WWII Time-Life Books: History of the Second World War by the Editors of Time-Life Books, Foreword by Eric Sevareid (Prentice Hall Press)
The American Heritage Picture History of World War II by C.L. Sulzberger (American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc.)
The Military History of World War II consultant editor: Barrie Pitt (The Military Press)
World War II by Ronald Heiferman (Octopus Books Limited)
The Second World War by Martin Gilbert (Owl Books)
Great Campaigns of World War II coordinating editor J. B. Davies (Exeter Books)