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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third carrier duel of 1942
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...
Published on 26 Oct 2012 by Dave History Student

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Santa Cruz 1942
This is a basic account, but I think it is accurate. This I feel is really a starter, before moving on to FIRST TEAM.
Published 17 months ago by ROSS WOOD


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third carrier duel of 1942, 26 Oct 2012
This review is from: Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) (Paperback)
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. The over confidence of Yamamoto and others in the IJN were shown to precipitate poor planning that would cause excessive losses in these three campaigns.

Included with this campaign were eight maps that showed fleet movements and locations, several colored action scenes and a hour by hour chronology. There was also a fine gallery of photos showing key people, the carriers and other ships involved and action scenes of planes attacking enemy carriers. These photos clearly will help the reader visualize the actions on that fateful day in late October, 1942.

This campaign shows that even after the disastrous losses at Midway, the Japanese still had the determination and means to inflict damage on the US Navy. It also shows US determination and courage to engage a superior enemy force so soon after Pearl Harbor when the Pacific fleet was at its weakest. This trilogy of carrier campaigns plus the author's Raid on Pearl Harbor will go far to bring the reader up to speed on many of the opening events of the Pacific War. All of these campaigns are highly recommended to anybody having an interest in the early months of the Pacific War when the US began its response to stem Japanese Imperialism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent description of Nagumo's dearly paid victory against Kinkaid, 4 Jan 2013
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) (Paperback)
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. The "expressionist" style of Howard Gerrard drawings is better adapted to naval engagements than land battles and the result is pretty pleasant to contemplate. Color plates show "Zuiho" being hit by a surprise attack of two Dauntless from USS "Enterprise" on a reconnaissance mission, USS "Enterprise" under attack by planes from "Junyo" and the burning abandoned wreck of USS "Hornet" being finished by Japanese destroyers during the night after the battle. All three plates are pretty impressive.

Bottom line, this is one of the best recent Osprey "Campaign" titles. To buy, read and keep. Enjoy!
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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
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Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) (Paperback)
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The battle won by a phantom fleet's reinforcements, 20 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) (Paperback)
The Battle of Santa Cruz deserves a study as great as the many that have in recent years re-explored the Battle of Midway. Instead we have had three very competent slight studies inclusive of this one. I feel it was a mistake to have lost a lot of page space to the preceding carrier battle of the Eastern Solomons. However, we finally learnt a few more facts about the "phantom fleet" that the Japanese first dreamed up in 1930 with the order to build the Taigei as a fleet auxiliary easily convertible to a carrier (in the event Ryuho), then forgot about in the excitement over new battleships but re-activated as war began in Europe as a means of maintaining a balance with the US in carriers. In this department a fine picture of Zuiho exercising her Santa Cruz function as a dedicated air defence carrier but sad not to see Junyo, the famous carrier converted on the stocks from a fast passenger liner design -- except from a considreable distance and more or less bows on. For that matter we have still to see a book on the 'phantom fleet', a phenomenon of the Pacific War neglected by almost every author except usually to disparage the ships concerned, despite the Japanese depending upon two of them to win the battle.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Downwards,ever downwards,towards Reality!, 9 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) (Paperback)
This 1942 Solomon Islands battle,part of the Guadalcanal campaign,does'nt seem to get a lot of attention in terms of the various terrible confrontations that occurred in that area in Americas ultimately successful attempt to protect Australia and New zealand from Japanese aggression and develop them as a springboards for regaining the south west Pacific. Yet it was important,because it demonstrated to the Japanese,that regardless of short term losses,America with its unbeatable industrial power,was determined to destroy Japan,and avenge the atrocious behavior of its armed forces in the Pacific,China,and at Pearl Harbour.
The account of this battle,and the other battles surrounding the Solomons and the New Guinea theatre,remember,Guadalcanal itself was a British "possession"at the time,should be studied against the backdrop of Britains failure to honour the guarantees given by,amongst other political luminaries,Churchill,that Australia and New Zealand,would be fully protected against any Japanese aggression by British armed forces in return for those countries sending their troops to fight the German forces in Africa and Europe. This failure led to "Anzac"forces being acrimoniously withdrawn from Europe and returned to the Antipodes to join the Americans in the defence of their home countries,and in my view,started the process of gradual disenchantment that continues to exist,between Britain,new Zealand, and particularly Australia,to the present time. Of course,nobody wants to talk about this stuff in Britain today,we adore our heroes and they can do no wrong,no matter how sordid and inept their behavior actually was at times,but there are still a lot of people and their descendants around,who not only lost their loved ones,but for whom this particular battle,represented an important ,and indeed, desperate step, in the preservation of their freedom,at the time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Santa Cruz 1942, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) (Paperback)
This is a basic account, but I think it is accurate. This I feel is really a starter, before moving on to FIRST TEAM.
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Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign)
Santa Cruz 1942 (Campaign) by Mark Stille (Paperback - 20 Sep 2012)
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