Casemate's American Armor in the Pacific
|$24.95 MSRP from Casemate|
128 pages, softcover, over 100
photos and illustrations. 7x 10 inches.
When it comes to tank operations during WWII, the vast majority of us think about Europe, Russia, or North Africa. However, there was also tank warfare in the Pacific, albeit not on the scale of Europe. There are several reasons for this. One is that Japan did not put all that much effort into building up its armored forces. During the wars with China, what they had was more than effective. It wasn't until the battles with the Soviets in Manchuria that the abilities of their equipment came into doubt.
Secondly, the majority of the fields of battle were on fairly small islands without a lot of maneuver room. This made tank to tank battles fairly small events. Thirdly, Japanese armor by 1942 was obsolete at best compared to the rest of the world. They never did build an effective tank in any sorts of numbers at all. This meant that the US M4 Sherman was very much the king, able to destroy any Japanese tank it came across. Even the smaller light tanks, which were totally ineffective in Europe were effective against Japanese armor in the Pacific.
Finally, the Japanese high command really did not know how to effectively use the assets they had and often used them piece-meal or as static defenses. It isn't to say there were not commanders who did not know how to use tanks, it is that often their advice was ignored. This resulted in the Japanese armor force being fairly quickly decimated when it was met in battle.
This book covers the use of tanks in the Pacific by both the US Army and the USMC. It covers the various campaigns from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima in some detail when it comes to the use of tanks. There are a goodly number of first person accounts and the author has done a good job of researching for this book. When you include the superb selection of photos, maps and profiles, you have an excellent look at one of the lesser known aspects of WWII in the Pacific.
All and all, this is a great title not only for those who are fairly well steeped in the subject, but for tyros as well. Highly recommended.
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