WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 80 SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
Books Highlight Aircraft Carriers,
Cruisers, World War II Raids
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
“NO ONE AVOIDED
DANGER:” NAS Kaneohe
Bay and the Japanese Attack
of 7 December 1941
By J. Michael Wenger, Robert J.
Cressman and John F. Di Virgilio.
Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute
Press, 2015. 208 pp. $34.95
‘THE MOST DANGEROUS
MOMENT OF THE WAR:’
Japan’s Attack on the Indian
By John Clancy. Havertown, Pa.:
Casemate Publishers, 2015.
208 pp. $32.95
The Japanese sweep of the Pacific
in December 1941 and early 1942 struck not only Pearl
Harbor but other allied naval and air bases stretching
from Hawaii to Ceylon. Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay,
Hawaii, was struck by Japanese naval aviators at the same
time Pearl Harbor was being attacked and the seaplane
base and its PBY aircraft were hit badly. The authors
of “No One Avoided Danger” go into exhaustively
researched detail of the U.S. and Japanese personnel in
the action to produce a highly personal account.
The British facilities in Ceylon were hit hard in April
1942 by aircraft from five Japanese carriers, which sank
two cruisers, an aircraft carrier, two destroyers, a corvette
and 24 merchant ships. In “The Most Dangerous Moment
of the War,” the author gives a well-detailed account of
the raid, which badly stung the Royal Navy but which the
Japanese failed to exploit to a strategic advantage.
TORCH: North Africa and the
Allied Path to Victory
By Vincent P. O’Hara. Annapolis,
Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2015.
384 pp. $49.95
The first U.S. offensive in the
European theater in World War II
was Operation Torch, the invasion
of North Africa. The action involved
U.S. naval air, surface and amphibious action against
the navy and air force of Vichy France, which governed
Morocco and Algeria. The author credits the operation
with forging U.S.-U.K. amphibious cooperation, bring-
ing France back on the side of the Allies and, ultimately,
being crucial in routing the German Afrika Corps.
The Illustrated History of
the World’s Most Important
By Michael E. Haskew. Minneapolis:
Zenith Press, 2016. 240 pp. $40.00
There are a few large-format histories of aircraft carriers or their individual classes, but this one is a visual feast with its vast
array of photographs — many in color — and paintings
that depict the crews, aviators, builders, ships and aircraft
that made the carrier the largest and most sophisticated
weapon platform in history. Surrounding the chronological history, the photos and other art are well-chosen to
give the reader or browser a rich appreciation of carriers
over their century of operations.
By Angus Konstam. Oxford, U.K.
Osprey Publishing, 2015.
48 pp. $17.95
Canada, Australia and New Zealand
deployed their navies during World
War II in support of the U.K. Royal
Navy and fought alongside the U.S. Navy. This well-illustrated monograph covers the history and technical details
of six Australian, three New Zealand and two Canadian
cruisers that variously fought in the Mediterranean and
Southwest Pacific, including the chase of the German
pocket battleship Graf Spee; against the Italian Navy at
Cape Spada, Crete; and against the Japanese Navy at
Sunda Strait and Savo Island. The cost was heavy: three
of the Royal Australian Navy cruisers were lost to enemy
action within an 11-month period, along with nearly
1,600 of their crews. n
Seapower does not review works of fiction or self-published books.