The First South Pacific Campaign: Pacific Fleet Strategy, December 1941-June 1942

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9780870211850: The First South Pacific Campaign: Pacific Fleet Strategy, December 1941-June 1942

On May 7 and 8, 1942, fast carrier task forces from the United States and Imperial Japanese met in combat for the first time in the Battle of the Coral Sea. A strategic victory for the U.S. despite the loss of the carrier Lexington, the battle blunted the Japanese drive on Port Moresby, a valuable Allied air base on the island of New Guinea. Lundstrom offers a detailed analysis of the fundamental strategies employed by Japan and the U.S. in the South Pacific from January to June 1942, the efforts of Adm. Ernest J. King to reinforce the area in spite of Roosevelt’s Europe First grand strategy and Adm. Chester Nimitz's aggressive plans to fight in the Coral Sea. Now in paperback, The First Pacific Campaign provides a superb overview of the crucial first six months of the naval war in the South Pacific.

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On May 7 and 8, 1942, fast-carrier task forces from U.S. and Imperial Japanese navies met in combat for the first time in the Battle of the Coral Sea. A strategic victory for the United States in spite of the loss of the carrier Lexington, the destroyer Sims, and the fleet oiler Neosho, the battle blunted the Japanese drive on Port Moresby, a valuable Allied air and naval base controlling the western Coral Sea and northern Australia.

John B. Lundstrom offers a detailed analysis of the fundamental strategies employed by Japan and the United States in the South Pacific from January to June 1942, including Japanese equivocation regarding advances in the South Pacific and the vigorous actions of Adm. Ernest J. King to reinforce the area in spite of the presidential decision to concentrate American efforts in Europe to defeat Germany.

Writing in a clear, concise, and readable style, Lundstrom combines strategic insight and careful scholarship with previously untapped source materials to present a book that provides a superb overview of the first six months of the naval war in the South Pacific. First published in 1976, The First South Pacific Campaign is essential reading for a full understanding the Pacific Fleet’s strategy before the Battle of Midway.

John B. Lundstrom is the author of several books, including Black Shoe Carrier Admiral, The First Team, and The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign. He is the recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, the Hook Contributor’s Award, and the Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

About the Author:

John B. Lundstrom is Curator Emeritus of History at the Milwaukee Public Museum where he has worked since 1967. He is the author of five books, including Black Shoe Carrier Admiral, The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign and coauthor of Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare.

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