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Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) [Paperback]

Mark Stille
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

20 Sep 2012 Campaign (Book 247)
Despite myth, the Japanese carrier force was not destroyed at Midway but survived to still prove a threat in the Pacific Theater. Nowhere was this clearer than in the battle of Santa Cruz of October 1942. The stalemate on the ground in the Guadalcanal campaign led to the major naval forces of both belligerents becoming inexorably more and more involved in the fighting, each seeking to win the major victory that would open the way for a breakthrough on land as well. The Japanese were able to gain a tactical victory at Santa Cruz and came very close to scoring a strategic victory, but they paid a very high price in aircraft and aircrew that prevented them from following up their victory. In terms of their invaluable aircrew, the battle was much more costly than even Midway and had a serious impact on the ability of the Japanese to carry out carrier warfare in a meaningful manner.

Frequently Bought Together

Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) + The Naval Battles for Guadalcanal, 1942: Clash for Supremacy in the Pacific (Campaign)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (20 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849086052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849086059
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 18.3 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"If you want insight into an operation that has not really had that much "press," and you want a fascinating read, then this is the book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I'm sure you will as well."
- Scott Van Aken", Modeling "Madness (November 2012)

."..provides a fine history of the carrier battle of 1942 and tells how the Japanese carrier force was not destroyed at Midway, but was rebuilt in time to join the Guadalcanal campaign."
- James A. Cox", The Midwest Book Review

""Artwork by Howard Gerrard, campaign maps and 80 historic photographs complement this superlative account."
- Rachel E. Veres, (July 2013)

About the Author

Mark E. Stille (Commander, United States Navy, retired) received his BA in History from the University of Maryland and also holds an MA from the Naval War College. He has worked in the intelligence community for 30 years including tours on the faculty of the Naval War College, on the Joint Staff and on US Navy ships. He is currently a senior analyst working in the Washington DC area. He is the author of numerous Osprey titles, focusing on naval history in the Pacific. He is also the author of several wargames.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER
Of the three Osprey "Campaign" titles on carrier battles during Pacific War written by Mark Stille this is the one I liked the most ("Coral Sea" and "Midway" were also good by the way).

As all the Osprey "Campaign" books this one begins with the presentation of general strategic situation in the Pacific before Guadalcanal campaign, follows with the point on opposing commanders, forces and plans, and only then describes the campaign itself. This book describes also the carrier battle of Eastern Solomons, which took place on 24 August 1942, two months before Santa Cruz - this smaller fight, which was an American victory, cost Japanese dearly as they stupidly lost light carrier "Ryujo" (in almost the same way as they wasted "Shoho" in Coral Sea battle). Nagumo would miss badly this little carrier and her 35 planes in October battle...

Mark Stille describes the battle of Santa Cruz with great detail and his account is a great read. He praises the Japanese for their performance and their success in making a perfectly coordinated bomb and torpedo attack on USS "Hornet", but shows also that lack of discipline and of sound tactical judgement of some of their officers cost them a lot. He concludes very clearly that Santa Cruz, although very costly for the Japanese, was nevertheless won by Nagumo - but he also mercilessly proves that Yamamoto wasted this victory and all the sacrifices made by Japanese pilots were ultimately vain.

Author shows also clearly the less than stellar performance of Americans, who put in the air almost one hundred planes but of which only ten managed to both find and actually attack Japanese carriers...

Illustrations are excellent, including the three color plates.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third carrier duel of 1942 26 Oct 2012
By Dave History Student TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is the third carrier duel of 1942 that Mr Stille has campaigned. The first occurred in the Coral Sea in May and of course at Midway the following month.
In his introduction the coverage of these two earlier duels are quickly covered to provide background information and to set the stage for the final carrier battle of the year though there will be plenty of other naval action around Guadalcanal. The author spends time not only on the actual engagements but also on the planning of those battles as well as the key officers propagating all three battles. Numerous officers are covered but Yamamoto, Nagumo are key on the Japanese side while Halsey, Fletcher and Kinkaid have the most influence on the American side. During this introduction and throughout the book, you'll have brief insights as to what drives each of these key people.

After the discussion of officers, an excellent critique of the opposing fleets, listing the arsenals of both sides is given; it's the second largest chapter in the book and culminates with Orders of Battle. The chapter was very good, making it easier for the reader to follow the hour by hour coverage of the carrier battle.

By the time the Campaign starts, the reader will have a good understanding of who was involved, what ships and planes were involved as well as the locations of the different carriers and the difficulties of finding and destroying those carriers. The campaign is 53 pages long and provides an hour by hour overview of the battle. Not only was this chapter of battle events enlightening, the author's analysis of the events and more importantly of the officers added to the overall effectiveness of the book. Mr Stille was critical of the over aggressive Halsey and less so on Fletcher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Osprey publication 3 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some very good and extremely well-informed reviews. For what it is worth here are my thoughts on the book.
Yamamoto spoke no more than the truth when he said that Japan's hope for victory in this [upcoming] war was limited by time and oil. 1942 - It was important that the Japanese naval forces hoped to be involved conclusive defeat U.S. naval forces, especially carrier forces – as so far the Pacific war had been waged primarily by carrier groups. The opposing forces never actually seeing each other. The result was a close run thing. This Osprey publication shows, the reader how crucial this battle was in the scheme of things. The way, in which the battle ebbed and flowed, included are excellent pictorials, there are useful and well-illustrated maps. Over all exceptional facts based narrative that deserves 5 stars. For those interested in Pacific war this is must read.
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