SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Book recomendations on WW2 in the pacific

1219 views
32 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Vancouver, the "wet coast"
Book recomendations on WW2 in the pacific
Posted by castelnuovo on Monday, July 01, 2019 4:16 PM

I read tons of books about WW2 in Europe, but Pacific was quite unknown to me. Sure, I know about Iwo Jima and Okinawa, but haven't read much about the Pacific war. Finnished "Never Call Me a Hero" and I am about to finish "Shattered Sword". Two ecellent books that opened a whole new area of interest.

So I am looking for more Pacific war books, air, sea, under sea and land.

Any recomendations are much appreciated. Smile

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Monday, July 01, 2019 4:56 PM

I recently read "The Battle of Midway" by Craig Symonds, which is by far the best account of the events leading up to and the campaign itself that I have enjoyed. Symonds is a Distinguished Professor of American Navel History at the USNA; he combines his extensive knowledge of sea operations with the personal narratives of the officers and pilots into a fascinating and factual record.

Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-539793-2

If fiction is more your interest, "The Thin Red Line" is a good book and a pretty good movie.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, July 01, 2019 5:04 PM

So many, so little time.

I recently read "Stay The Rising Sun", the engagement and sinking of the USS Lexington and more broadly the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Very well written book.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Monday, July 01, 2019 5:10 PM

Stafford's "The Big E" is a good history of Enterprise's (CV-6) operations based on interviews and memories of those on her.  For some short stories of several submarines, "The Silent Service" by Chambliss.  Couple of books out there on Wahoo (SS238), and Richard O'Kane wrote a good one as well.....Morton's XO on Wahoo, later skipper of Tang and POW guest of the Japanese.

Samuel Elliot Morrison's books are a pretty definative look at the Pacific.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, July 01, 2019 5:31 PM

Pig Boats by Theodore Roscoe-A nice account on the exploits of US submarines.

Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita, and the Battle of Manila-by James M. Scott

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, July 01, 2019 5:34 PM

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire.

by John Toland

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, July 01, 2019 6:53 PM

GMorrison

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire.

by John Toland

 

Very good,very expansive,really touches on a lot of stuff,but doesn’t overwhelm you,a great overview Yes

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, July 01, 2019 6:59 PM

Flags of our fathers and Flyboys both by James Bradley. 

Thanks,

John

GAF
  • Member since
    June, 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Monday, July 01, 2019 9:34 PM

Here's a few that are good reads.

"Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942 - 1945" by Barrett Tillman.

Has an interesting summary at the end that goes against a lot of the common knowledge for results of the air campaign presented by a lot of historians.

"The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" by James D. Hornfischer.

Excellent account of the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the heroic stand of Taffy 3.

"At War With the Wind" by David Sears.

History of the fight against the Kamikaze.  A good overview of the men who fought.

"Halsey's Typhoon" by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.

A little told story of a disaster that befell the US Navy due to weather and poor communications.

"Pacific Crucible" by Ian W. Toll.

Good overall history of the early part of the war in the Pacific from 1941 to 1942.

 

That should get you started!

Gary 

  • Member since
    December, 2018
Posted by Ted4321 on Monday, July 01, 2019 10:27 PM

Lightning Strike by Donald A. Davis. 

The story about the assassination of Yamamoto. 

T e d

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Monday, July 01, 2019 10:52 PM

One of the pilots who claimed that kill grew up and returned to Culver, OR.  He also flew a P80 under both bridges in the Crooked River Gorge a few miles from there.  Rex Barber.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, July 01, 2019 11:04 PM

In fiction, one of the best is James Jone's From Here to Eternity.

I'm very fond of that writer; this was his first major novel and probably his best.

The movie is very good as well, as is the TV adapt with William DeVane as Sgt. Warden.

  • Member since
    February, 2013
Posted by tomwatkins45 on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 6:36 AM

Ian Toll's Pacific Crucible and The Conquering Tide are excellent, as are James Hornfischer's The Fleet at Flood-Tide and Neptune's Inferno.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:13 AM

There is the official naval history of WW2, by Samual Elliot Morrison but I forget the exact title.  There is a paperback version.  It covers the war in the pacific in great detail.

I cannot find my copy- try amazon and enter his name and that should bring up his books.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:54 AM

Found the 15 volume set and individual volumes on Amazon, but seem to recall there was a two book set back in the 60's specifically on the Pacific. Hardbound in maroon/wine and about 2 inches thick each.

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Vancouver, the "wet coast"
Posted by castelnuovo on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 12:02 PM

Thank you all, great suggestions and most of the books are available in the local library.

Cheers...

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 2:36 PM

GMorrison

In fiction, one of the best is James Jone's From Here to Eternity.

I'm very fond of that writer; this was his first major novel and probably his best.

The movie is very good as well, as is the TV adapt with William DeVane as Sgt. Warden.

 

All of James Jones trilogy novels are great- From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line, and Whistle. Semi autobiographical with the same four central characters under different names in each of the three novels. 

Incredible Victory by Walter Lord, At Dawn We Slept & Miracle at Midway by Gordon Prange, and Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides are excellent reads as well. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 5:57 PM

stikpusher
All of James Jones trilogy novels are great- From Here to Eternity, The Thind Red Line, and Whistle. Semi autobiographical with the same four central characters under different names in each of the three novels. 

You are absolutely correct Stik...all 3 of them were outstanding books.

Jeff

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 5:58 PM

This is a great thread. I have written down the titles of books I need to get my hands on and read.

Jeff

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 10:39 PM

A few more to add... The Utmost Savagery, by Alexander, about the battle of Tarawa; Guadalcanal by Eric Hammel; Oba, The Last Samurai by Don Jones; Get Yamamoto by Burke Davis.... and at least two of the wartime classics- Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted Lawson, and Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaski.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 1:49 AM

Ghost Soldiers and A Helmet For My Pillow are good ones too

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    December, 2018
Posted by Ted4321 on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 11:57 AM

Yeah this is a great thread.  I'm very interested in the books about Guadalcanal as my grandfather served there.  Every once in a while he would talk about it.  

I marked the thread as a favorite. 

Thanks guys. 

T e d

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 1:37 PM

John Lundstrom's "First Team" books, about US naval aviation in the first six months of 1942, are excellent books to read.   They are, "The First Team", "The First Team:  The Guadalcanal Campaign", and "The First South Pacific Campaign:  Pacific Fleet Strategy, December 1941-June 1942".  I learned about Lundstrom from reading "Shattered Sword".  Parshall and Tully credit Lundstrom with inspiring the line of questioning and research that led them to publish their book.

I'll second James Hornfisher's books, too:  "Neptune's Inferno" covering the naval combat in the Guadalcanal campaign; "The Fleet at Flood Tide" covering the Mariannas campaign to the end of the war; and "The Last Stand of the Tin-Can Sailors" on the Battle off Samar.  That story should be made into a movie.

I also recommend, "In Harm's Way", by Doug Stanton, about the sinking of the Indianapolis.

Reading the Lundstrom books, especially, filled in gaps in what I knew previously about the Pacific War.  It's almost as if the focus in so much of what we read as kids lead one to think that we go from Pearl Harbor, to the Coral Sea and Midway, and Guadalcanal, and then all of a sudden, the Mariannas Turkey Shoot happens, then Leyte Gulf, and then Hiroshima and the deck of the Missouri.  There's a lot in between that didn't get as much coverage, generally speaking.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 1:39 PM

stikpusher

...Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted Lawson, and Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis.

 
Yes, those were favorites of mine, when I was a kid!  I took them out of the school library so often the librarian almost told me to keep 'em.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 3:58 PM

stikpusher
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted Lawson

I loved that book Stik. Great selection to read!

Jeff

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Southeast Kentucky
Posted by The Drifter on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 4:03 PM

the Baron
John Lundstrom's "First Team" books, about US naval aviation in the first six months of 1942, are excellent books to read.   They are, "The First Team", "The First Team:  The Guadalcanal Campaign", and "The First South Pacific Campaign:  Pacific Fleet Strategy, December 1941-June 1942".  I learned about Lundstrom from reading "Shattered Sword".  Parshall and Tully credit Lundstrom with inspiring the line of questioning and research that led them to publish their book.

Brad,

Thank you for posting this. I was told about this series of books and forgot about it until I saw your post. I'm going to hunt these down. Are they in paperback?

Jeff

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 4:48 PM

Here is a few from my stacks.

The Fleet the Gods Forgot: The U.S. Asiatic Fleet in World War II by. W.G. Winslow. Covers the early months of the war.

Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors by James D. Hornfischer. The Houston was sunk at the Battle of the Sunda Srait, her survivors would then be sent to work on Burma-Thailand Railway, made famous in Bridge Over the River Kwai.  The author of The Fleet the Gods Forgot was an officer on USS Houston.

The books that started it off for me were Midway by A.J. Barker and Baa Baa Black Sheep by Greg "Pappy" Boyington. I still have them but haven't read them since I was a kid.

Hope this helps and enjoy.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Thursday, July 04, 2019 1:04 AM

For the Aleutian Campaign, you want Brian Garfield's Thousand Mile War; and John Haile Cloe's The Aleutian Warriors and Top Cover For America.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, July 04, 2019 1:33 AM

Hello!

I'm a bit surprised that nobody mentioned it earlier, but I would like to recomment the book "With the old breed" by E.B. Sledge - a very good account of an infantryman's struggle in very hard fights on Peleliu and Okinawa.

Have a good read!

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Thursday, July 04, 2019 6:37 PM

E.B. Sledge's book was a reference used in Ken Burns' The War and the mini-series The Pacific. 

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.