Academic journal article Military Review

ALASKA'S HIDDEN WARS: Secret Campaigns on the North Pacific Rim

Academic journal article Military Review

ALASKA'S HIDDEN WARS: Secret Campaigns on the North Pacific Rim

Article excerpt

ALASKA'S HIDDEN WARS: Secret Campaigns on the North Pacific Rim, Otis Hays, Jr., University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 2004, 174 pages, $19.95.

Early in World War II, the isles of the North Pacific Rim were seen by both the Japanese and the United States as key strategic footholds between Asia and North America. Each side feared an island-hopping invasion that could be launched in either direction via the Aleutians. The Americans quickly realized the importance of intelligence outposts in the region and set up a security perimeter to monitor activity. The Japanese set up positions to defend against potential American attacks.

Although combat in the Aleutians would be limited to the early stages of the war, the United States maintained a facade of activity in the region by moving troops, changing security plans, and launching occasional aerial attacks into Japanese territory. Duty was monotonous for U.S. forces on the ground, but the illusion was convincing to the Japanese. It also kept Japanese forces occupied while U.S. forces moved toward the Japanese mainland from the south.

In Alaska's Hidden Wars: secret Campaigns on the North Pacific Rim, Otis Hays, Jr., tells the story of the North Pacific campaign from several perspectives. He illuminates the experiences of aviation crews who conducted deceptive attacks and braved the freezing, unforgiving seas only to be ignored as attention, opportunities, and rewards went to their colleagues in other theaters. …

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