The second part of H. P. Willmott's classic three-volume history of
the war in the Pacific, this work tells how Japan arrived at a
situation in which war with the United States was the only means of
ensuring long-term security and resolving her immediate problems of
access to raw materials and of an unwinnable war in China. Totally
balanced in presentation, the book also explains the basis of
Allied miscalculations and provides explanations of the defeats
that overwhelmed American, British, and Dutch forces throughout
Southeast Asia in a little more than three months. Willmott argues
that it was Japan's concentration and economy of force that
contributed to its success in that early campaign. It was a later
decision to disperse forces over a large area, he says, that
resulted in Japan's loss of the Coral Sea and Midway battles and
ultimately the entire war. The book's stunning assessment of those
battles offers insights and interpretations that continue to be
discussed, twenty-five years after it was first published.
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