** During 1943, the importance of destroyers in the Pacific War became clear. The fierce night battles fought in the shallow waters of the Solomons were both a technological and a tactical struggle between the destroyer forces of the U Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy. Early destroyer engagements had seen the IJN dominate proceedings, combining superior training and tactics with the advantage of the Type 93, the most capable torpedo in the world. The US Navy, however, had the benefit of radar and, by 1943, aggressive commanders like Arleigh Burke who could take the fight to the Japanese. **
** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released USN Destroyer vs IJN Destroyer – The Pacific 1943 as Number 48 in their Duel series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are black and white photographs, color illustrations, color maps, informational charts and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-623-3. As the title states, the book details the United States Navy (USN) destroyers and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyers in the Pacific in 1943 during World War II.
- Design and Development
- The Strategic Situation
- Technical Specifications
- The Combatants
- Statistics and Analysis
The text in the book is well written and contains many excellent details. Mark Stille has gone to great lengths to research the US Navy (USN) and Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyer actions in the Pacific in 1943 and provides a very well written and accurate history of ships and their actions. The text and the accompanying photographs are in a correct chronological order and are well written. Mark Stille covers the incident from the before, during and after very well and covers the important areas required to provide a well narrated and informative history of a subject in the form of the “who, what, when, where, and why” in regards to both the American and Japanese actions. Stille has included individual profiles of key individuals as well as personal accounts from both the Japanese and American viewpoints. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the text. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. Anyone interested in the battles between the US Navy and Japanese Imperial Navy destroyers in the Pacific in 1943, World War II American or Japanese naval actions, World War II Pacific warfare and military history in general will find this book very informative and interesting and a worthwhile read.
The battles discussed are:
- The Battle of Vella Gulf
- The Battle off Horaniu
- The Battle of Vella Lavella
- The Battle of Cape St. George
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
There are a total of 58 black and white photographs featured in this volume. There are no color photographs featured in this volume. The majority of the photographs are excellent and will help the military naval modeler as well as navy and World War II enthusiasts. However there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark which is typical for some of the photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason as well as the fact that the photographs are close to 70 years old. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. One thing that I was appreciative of with the photographs is that a good majority of them are not the same old overused photographs that tend to turn up. It is always nice to see the lesser known photographs. Mark Stille has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are of the US Navy and Japanese Imperial Navy destroyers in the Pacific in 1943 and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. Some of the photographs are action scenes and I think that this helps to add the realism, seriousness and intensity and the importance of the clashes between the destroyers of these two great navies.
Some of the various destroyers other items of interest are:
- US Mark 15 torpedo
- US Mark 15 torpedo mount
- Japanese Type 93 surface-launched torpedo
- USS Mahan
- US Mark 33 fire-control director
- US Mark 30 5in/38 mount
- Japanese Type B twin 5in gun mount
- USS Nicholas
- IJN Yukikaze
- Japanese twin-horn Type 22 radar
Some of the key American and Japanese Naval Personnel shown and profiled are:
- Captain Arleigh Albert Burke USN
- Captain Hara Tameichi IJN
The American destroyer classes shown and profiled are:
The Japanese destroyer classes shown and profiled are:
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
There are 7 color illustrations by illustrators Ian Palmer and Giuseppe Rava that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:
- IJN Armament
- USN Armament
- USN Radar Screen
- IJN Binocular View
- USS Charles Ausburne
- HIJMS Yugumo
- IJN Onami being struck by US torpedoes
There are 5 color maps included in this volume. They are of:
- The Central and Northern Solomon Islands
- The battle of Vella Gulf, August 6-7, 1943
- The battle off Horaniu, August 18, 1943
- The battle of Vella Lavella, October 6, 1943
- The battle of Cape St. George, November 25, 1943
THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS...
There are 4 informational charts included in this volume. They provide information on:
- A US to Metric conversion chart
- American and Japanese destroyer-launched torpedoes
- 5in/38 gun on Mark 30 mount
- 5in/50 3rd Year (1914) gun
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place in the accompanying photographs because, as with the text, they describe the “who, what, when, where, and why”. They detail things such as the specific ships shown, ship class, key individuals, locations as well as what has happened in the scene shown. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
This book was provided by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
All in all I am very pleased with the book. It examines the United States Navy (USN) destroyers and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyers in the Pacific in 1943 during World War II very well. With its wealth of relevant photographs, nicely done illustrations and well detailed maps this book will appeal to anyone interested in the United States Navy (USN) destroyers and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyers in the Pacific in 1943 during World War II, World War II American or Japanese naval actions, World War II Pacific warfare and military history in general will find this book very informative and interesting and a worthwhile read and will be a welcome addition to one’s personal reference library. Osprey Publishing continues to release many great titles such as this one and I would have no hesitation to add more of their books to my personal library, nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
The American Heritage Picture History of World War II
American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc.
World War II Day by Day
An Illustrated Almanac 1939-1945
World War II
Octopus Books Limited
The Military History of World War II
Consultant Editor: Barrie Pitt
The Military Press
Osprey web site:
USN Destroyer vs IJN Destroyer
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Amazon web site with an inside search of this title:
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