The Japanese Navy in World War II...


...In the Words of Former Japanese Naval Officers,  from Naval Institute Press


Title: The Japanese Navy in World War II

Edited by: David C. Evans

Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-59114-568-4

This is an updated second edition of this book first published back in 1986, this new edition holds five additional sections to add to the original twelve.  The key to it that these are a series of accounts from Japanese navy officers of WW2 who were directly involved in the historic actions of the Japanese Navy during the war.  Some successful, some not so.  The secret to it is that the memories of these officers were captured on paper during the 1950, while their memories of the war were still fresh.  In so many historical works that tend to be written by the victor, with the bias that can introduce.  Rather than try to simply use factual events to try and work out what happened, what those leaders were thinking and the tactics they were using, so much better to get it direct from the men themselves.

What we get is the Japanese viewpoint on the Pearl Harbour operation, along with the aerial attack itself.  Then it moves on to the aerial offensive against the Philippines, Operations in the Indian Ocean, the Battle of Midway and then the Struggle for Guadalcanal and the Battle of Savo Island.  There is more of course, including the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the failure of Japan's anti-submarine warfare, their own submarine tactics, the Kaiten and the action of the Kamikaze plus an account of the sinking of the huge battleship, the Yamato. from the radar officer on board.

This paperback book holds these accounts in over 500 pages and makes for fascinating reading, giving a valuable insight into the wartime service of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during WW2, the tactics and strategy they employed as well as a record of events.  A valuable resource for anyone interested in the war in the Pacific.

Thanks to distributor Pen and Sword for this review copy.