Academic journal article Military Review

THE WAR WITH JAPAN: The Period of Balance May 1942-October 1943

Academic journal article Military Review

THE WAR WITH JAPAN: The Period of Balance May 1942-October 1943

Article excerpt

THE WAR WITH JAPAN: The Period of Balance May 1942-October 1943, H.P. Willmott, Scholarly Resources Inc., Wilmington, DE, 2002, 180 pages, $60.00.

This is the first in a planned series of books called Total War: New Perspectives on World War II, whose purpose is to provide brief, accessible, affordable, and tightly focused studies on the vital aspects of World War II.

December 1941 to May 1942, a period of one success after another for the Japanese Empire, was a time of one incredible defeat after another for the Allies. However, the june 1942 battles on the Coral Sea and on Midway Island represented the first campaign battles for which the Japanese had not planned before the outbreak of war. Willmott contends that the Japanese, having achieved their prewar objectives in stunning fashion, were at a strategic impasse. The Allies, haven taken stunning losses, were also in a quandary as to what strategy to employ. Willmott uses the analogy of the strategic initiative in May-June 1942 to a gun lying in the street, available to either side to pick up and use.

Examining the campaigns in the Solomons and New Guinea and the battles for Guadalcanal, Coral Sea, and Midway, Wilmott argues that the Imperial Navy and the U. …

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