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Top Customer Reviews
Despite its size however this book fails to provide any real detail. Most of the coverage is of the naval campaign and little or no time is spent describing the weapons and tactics of the opposing armies. Similarly there are very few quotes or first hand accounts from those who fought in the war. Occasionally there is a snippet of detail, such as the stench of rotting vegetation on Guadalcanal but this does not even begin to describe the horrendous experience of fighting there.
Some effort is made to describe the numerous wartime conferences between the Allied leaders as a necessity of understanding the way the Pacific War was fought. Political considerations dictated the resources available. But there are very few descriptions of the weapons, vehicles and aircraft used, their relative strengths and weaknesses.
The focus is very much on the Allied perspective which is fairly common but no effort seems to be made to describe the psychology of the Japanese nation and the soldiers it produced. The Pacific War was one of the most brutal wars ever fought due to the inherent racism displayed by both sides. At no point does John Costello really address this except to say that the Japanese soldiers brutal training produced brutal soldiers.
All in all this book does provide a good introduction to the subject of the Pacific War but for a book of this size I really expected a lot more. Perhaps this is best read in conjunction with another author - Laurence Rees or Max Hastings perhaps, who really deal with the issues involved and not just the basic facts.
The book is good on the politics, on the commanders' rivalries - not spun out, but factual and to the point; but mainly this is about the military struggle, after the first 128 pages. My only complaint was a lack of maps, which I later discovered are all at the very end in my edition (Collins, 1981) - and not listed in the contents!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superb... it's a well known story but this telling is loaded with little nuggets of information that are a delight. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Roger
"The Pacific War" tells, in about 700 pages, the story of the Allied war against the Japanese, from the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 to the destruction of... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Globe-trotter
This is a very informative book. The historic reasons for the conflict between Japan and USA is extensively described, even the early history in the 19th centuri. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2012 by Maxgrafing