Pacific Thunder

Pacific Thunder

The US Navy's Central Pacific Campaign, August 1943–October 1944

General Military
  • Author: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 19 Oct 2017
  • Number of Pages: 296
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About this Product

On 27 October 1942, four "Long Lance” torpedoes fired by the Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo exploded in the hull of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8). Minutes later, the ship that had launched the Doolitte Raid six months earlier slipped beneath the waves of the Coral Sea. Of the pre-war carrier fleet the Navy had struggled to build over 15 years, only three were left: Enterprise, that had been badly damaged in the battle of Santa Cruz; USS Saratoga (CV-3) which lay in dry dock, victim of a Japanese submarine torpedo; and the USS Ranger (CV-4), which was in mid-Atlantic on her way to support Operation Torch.

For the American naval aviators licking their wounds in the aftermath of this defeat, it would be difficult to imagine that within 24 months of this event, Zuikaku, the last survivor of the carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor, would lie at the bottom of the sea. Alongside it lay the other surviving Japanese carriers, sacrificed as lures in a failed attempt to block the American invasion of the Philippines, leaving the United States to reign supreme on the world's largest ocean.

This is the fascinating account of the Central Pacific campaign, one of the most stunning comebacks in naval history as in 14 months the US Navy went from the jaws of defeat to the brink of victory in the Pacific.

Biographical Note

Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has been a published writer for the past 40 years, with his most recent work being the best-selling The Frozen Chosen, a history of the 1st Marine Division and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, published by Osprey Publishing in 2016. He is also a regular contributor to Flight Journal magazine and the author of Aces of the 78th Fighter Group and F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat Aces of VF-2, as well as Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Saga of Carrier Air Group 15 and The Bridgebusters: The True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Group. During his 30 years as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he wrote the cult classic The Terror Within and worked as a supervising producer on a number of TV and cable series. He served in the US Navy in Vietnam.


List of Maps
CHAPTER ONE: Torpedo Junction
CHAPTER TWO: Forging the Sword
CHAPTER FOUR: First Contact
CHAPTER FIVE: Butch is Down!
CHAPTER SIX: The Spruance Haircut
CHAPTER SEVEN: Gibraltar of the Pacific
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Captain from Hell
CHAPTER NINE: Lifeguards
CHAPTER TEN: Operation Forager
CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Marianas Turkey Shoot
CHAPTER TWELVE: The Mission Beyond Darkness
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The Iwo Jima Development Corporation
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Halsey's Rampage
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The Battle of the Formosa Sea
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: The Battles of Leyte Gulf
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: No Rest for the Weary

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