Academic journal article Military Review

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944

Academic journal article Military Review

The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944

Article excerpt

THE CONQUERING TIDE: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944

Ian W. Toll, WW. Norton & Company, New York, 2015, 656 pages

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For readers interested in the broad historical aspects of the war in the Pacific during World War II, The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 is the perfect companion. Ian Toll has hit a home run, and The Conquering Tide distinguishes him as this generation's Samuel Eliot Morison. For World War II or naval history fans, this book is a must read and would be a great addition to their library.

The Conquering Tide highlights a well-synchronized mix of battles fought in the air, land, and sea throughout the Pacific from 1942 to 1944. Toll repeatedly allows the reader to get a sense of what it was like sitting in the cockpit of an airplane during an air-to-air engagement, bounding along a sandy beach during an amphibious landing, or feeling the fear as a torpedo approaches a ship you are serving on. Toll's detail regarding the interservice rivalries of the Navy and Army, not just within the American armed forces but also within the Imperial Japanese forces, leaves the reader feeling irritated at the inability for these services to work together as a team for a common cause.

As he writes of the war's progression and America gaining footholds, Toll expands upon how American service leaders improved their integration, particularly in their usage of air assets, while the Japanese leaders continued to lose momentum and were unable to integrate their air force, navy, or army forces to achieve needed victories. …

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