A fascinating exploration of how between February 1 and March 10, 1942, three small US task forces launched several unexpected raids across the Japanese defensive perimeter in the Central and South Pacific.
After the devastating Japanese blows of December 1941, the Allies found themselves reeling with defeat everywhere in the Pacific. Although stripped of his battleships and outnumbered 10:3 in carriers, the US Navy commander-in-chief Admiral Ernest J. King decided to hit back at Japan's rapidly expanding Pacific empire immediately, in an effort to keep the Japanese off-balance.
On February 1, 1942, Vice Admiral Bill Halsey led the US Pacific Fleet carriers on their first raid, using high-speed hit-and-run tactics to strike at the Japanese, at a time when most of the Japanese carrier fleet was in the Indian Ocean. Halsey's aggressive commitment inspired its American participants to invent the mythical “Haul Ass With Halsey” club. The last of the 1942 US carrier raids in March 1942 would form a defining moment in the Pacific War, prior to a new phase of high-seas battles between the opposing fleets.
This superbly illustrated book documents for the first time in a single volume this little-known but important World War II naval campaign. The fabulous illustrations, including maps and colour artworks, bring to life the US air and naval raids on the Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Rabaul, Wake Island, Marcus Island, and Lae and Salamaua in northern New Guinea.
Read an extract of Early Pacific Raids 1942
Table of Contents
ORIGINS OF THE CAMPAIGN Pearl Harbor and aftermath, December 7–10, 1941 Failed Wake Island relief, December 14–23 Yamamoto's Submarine Offensive against Hawaii and the US West Coast, December 1941 Reforming the US Pacific Fleet 1941–42 Reinforcing the Central and South Pacific CHRONOLOGY OPPOSING COMMANDERS Japanese United States OPPOSING FORCES Japanese United States Marshalls–Gilberts raid orders of battle, February 1, 1942 OPPOSING PLANS Japanese United States THE CAMPAIGN Commander Michimune Inaba's I-6 torpedoes Saratoga, January 11, 1942 US Pacific Fleet carrier plans, January 1942 Operation R: the Japanese invasion of Rabaul and Kavieng, January 20–23, 1942 Brown's aborted Task Force 11 raid against Wake, January 23, 1942 Halsey and Fletcher raid the Marshalls and Gilberts, February 1, 1942 US Pacific Fleet strategy, February 1942 Japanese carrier actions, February 1–19, 1942 Action off Bougainville, February 20, 1942 Halsey's Task Force 16 raids Wake Island, February 24, 1942 Halsey strikes Marcus Island, March 4, 1942 Shokaku and Zuikaku redeploy to defend the Home Islands The Japanese invasion of Lae and Salamaua, March 8, 1942 Brown and Fletcher strike Lae and Salamaua, March 10, 1942 AFTERMATH THE BATTLEFIELDS TODAY SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
Jun 20 2023
Colour illustrations throughout, including battlescene artworks, maps, 3D diagrams and photographs.