World War II US Fast Carrier Task Force Tactics 1943-45

Published: January 27th, 2020     
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Cover
Author: Brian Lane Herder
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci PhD - IPMS# 33549
ISBN #: 9781472836564
Other Publication Information: Pages: 64, Softbound
Price: $20.00
Product / Stock #: Elite 232

Brian Lane Herder is a WW2 naval enthusiast and legislative librarian for Kansas state government. Adam Hook did the illustrations and Martin Windrow is the Series Editor.

You get a 9.75 X 7.25 inches size paperback book with ten sections. You get 8 full-page, full color Plates (illustration by Adam Hook), 18 full color photos (most not seen before), 25 B&W photos (most not seen before), 7 tables/diagrams. The full color Plates visualize tactics of fleet deployment and attacks, and are the highlight and main reason for reading this book. Almost every page has a photograph or is an illustration, making this book an easy read with eye-catching visuals. Some of the photographs are in color and most have sharp detail. Most photos appear to be presented for the first time. The prose is easy to follow and efficient.

This book gives details on how the United States Navy took command of the Pacific theatre of war, especially the Central Pacific. We have all read many accounts of the actions, but this book offers something different - the way the US Navy pulled off fielding and wielding an overwhelming war machine never seen before or since. The level of detail is sufficient but not heavy - a tone conducive to grasping what made the US Navy unstoppable.

The emphasis is on the operational tactics, which might sound boring but is ultra-important to win wars. The point is made very well that the US Navy adapted quickly, uniquely and wisely to craft a new way to conduct war. The US Navy borrowed British gizmos and war experience, AA guns from Sweden, and home-brewed even more technical aids, setting up a strong scientific base for staying ahead of the technology war. Command organization, fighting tools, but most of all the behind-the-scenes logistics, communications, decisions, training and battle tactics are what this book (literally) illustrates. Tables and very informative illustrations visualize how lessens were learned, analyzed and applied to train and enact how war was waged to win. Praise to the people involved was rightly given that allowed new ideas and hard-earned experiences to be rapidly absorbed, disseminated and used with effect in battle. The human element was explained enough to understand why the US Navy achieved superiority.

Although this book does not give details on the planes, ships and men of the fleet, and is not a battle history, and is not something helpful for building models, it does explain how the US Navy produced a relentless attack on the Japanese that was unprecedented. The contribution of the service side (oilers, ammunition ships, supply ships and forward bases) was as or more important than the fighting ships, planes and men. You learn how to attack opposing fleets and island strongholds. You learn how to rotate assets for maximum effect on the enemy. You learn how to keep the command and organization of an enormous endeavor highly organized and lethal.

The illustrations and tables are a highlight of this book and bring the words to life. Finally, it is easy to see how ships, attacks and plane formations were finely honed to work effectively against the enemy.

Summary

This book reviews the how-to for making the US Navy an unstoppable force. These subjects are seldom covered in other books concerning the Pacific War. Its brevity is actually sufficient to get understanding of what was accomplished without bogging down in inane details and footnotes. The illustrations are educational and clear. An easy read and something to refer to many times in the future. Like the US Navy Carrier war, this books assaults and wins telling how victory was achieved.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing & IPMSUSA for the review copy!

Figures

  • Figure 1: Front cover of World War II US Fast Carrier Task Force Tactics 1943-45 paperback by Brian Lane Herder.
  • Figure 2: Back cover of Carrier Task Force Tactics.
  • Figure 3: One of the many illustrations - this shows how planes were received after a strike so that maximum efficiency with safety allowed rapid turnarounds or deployments.
  • Rear Cover
    Rear Cover
  • Sample Plate
    Sample Plate

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