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Naval Battles of the Second World War (Hardback)

Pacific and Far East

Maritime > Naval Military Photographic Books WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Japan & the Pacific Front

By Leo Marriott
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 120 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399098984
Published: 8th June 2022



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The Second World War was a truly global conflict and maritime power played a major role in every theatre of operations. Land campaigns depended on supplies transported by sea, and victory or defeat depended on the outcome of naval battles. So Leo Marriott’s highly illustrated two-volume account of the struggle sets naval actions in the wider strategic context as well as giving graphic accounts of what happened in each engagement.

This second volume concentrates on the epic struggle between the Americans and the Japanese in the vast expanses of the Pacific where for almost four years a great maritime campaign ebbed and flowed and some of the most famous naval battles of the conflict took place. The first part of the book covers the period from Pearl Harbor to Midway while the second covers the long and bloody campaign in the south-west Pacific where the US Navy honed its skills and turned a bloody defeat into a hard-won victory. The final section focuses on naval operations during the American advance across the central Pacific up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf – the greatest naval battle ever fought. Included are other actions involving the Royal Navy which, after early setbacks, would go on to play a major supporting role alongside the US Navy in the Pacific

This concise but wide-ranging introduction to the naval war emphasizes the sheer scale of the conflict in every sea and shows the direct impact of each naval battle on the course of the war.

"Accompanied and enhanced by a well-chosen series of contemporary photographs, the battle descriptions and historical contexts contained in these two volumes (Naval Battles of the Second World War: The Atlantic and the Mediterranean) provide an respectable introduction to the tactical naval fighting that took place during the Second World War."

Nautical Research Journal Volume 68 (2023)

Profusely illustrated with historic black-and-white photography, "Naval Battles of the Second World War: Pacific and Far East" is informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a thirteen page Appendix (List of Warships), a one page Selected Bibliography, and a two page Glossary and Abbreviations list. Informed and informative, "Naval Battles of the Second World War: Pacific and Far East" is an ideal and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library World War II Naval Military History and Naval Military Strategy collections.

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Midwest Book Review

Without question, if you have an interest in naval warfare, particularly that of World War Two, then this is an essential book for your collection and reference.

Jon Sandison

A thorough account of the major naval battles in the Pacific and Far East during the second world war.

Books Monthly

This book is a very useful summary of the Pacific War, presented in a simple uniform format, with links to further reading. As such, it is an easy-to-digest introduction to a very complex aspect of warfare in World War Two. The book is divided into three parts, with introductory summaries to explain the overall strategies of the combatants. For a novice to the topic, this sets in context the bewildering detail that often accompanies histories of this theatre of war.

The American Navy was severely wrong-footed by Pearl Harbour, but recovered to defeat the Japanese in major fleet actions that spanned the Pacific. The book covers nineteen major engagements, with the battle of Leyte Gulf further split down into four lesser parts. Each battle summarises the dates, ships that took part and a background as to why the engagement took place, followed by the action itself. This format is easy to follow, and the maps supplement the text well. The book is well-supplied with photographs, but surprisingly there is no list of photographs for quick reference.

Two pages of glossary and abbreviations occupy the front of the book and an appendix gives a list of all warships mentioned in the text. The Author has resisted the temptation to include every ship down to destroyers in the larger battles, and the summaries of action benefit from this restraint. The text itself is delivered in a style that is a pleasure to read. As someone with an interest in the topic, but with no desire to devote vast amounts of time to gain understanding beyond the broad outlines, I found this book to be very useful indeed.

Chris Kemp

Review as featured in

Highlight: 'An excellent and concise look at sea warfare in the Far East.'

The Armourer

"Marriott has produced a work that introduces the general reader to an often overlooked part of the Second World War at sea and which gives the specialist researcher bearings to further studies."

Australian Naval Institute

I enjoyed all the facts and details along with many good photographs and I especially enjoyed the appendix at the back of the book listing all the warships involved I would recommend this book and enjoyed it slightly more than the first but only because I knew less about the Pacific war.

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The History Fella

The book is eminently readable, and the author has a noteworthy track record over many years including a review of the Essex class aircraft carriers.

ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

As featured in

Family Tree

This is a really good read. Together with a companion volume every major naval action of the Second World war is covered. Necessarily the coverage is brief for example the battle of the Atlantic has five pages of text, but every entry is supported with photographs and a map. The author’s intention was to produce a basic guide and in this he has succeeded superbly. For those whose appetites have been whetted the selected bibliography guides them to more extensive descriptions of the battles.
This is a perfect introduction for anyone new to this field but the ‘old hands’ can still get a lot from it. We highly recommend Leo Marriott’s book.

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Clash of Steel

A very useful summary/introduction to the Pacific naval battles which delivers a very clear description of events and is very well supported by sketch maps and images. Having read this, one is eager to find more detailed accounts.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Leo Marriott

Leo Marriott has written numerous books on aviation, naval and military subjects including Treaty Cruisers, Catapult Aircraft, Jets at Sea, Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954, Early Jet Bombers 1944-1954, Early Jet Fighters 1944-1954: The Soviet Union and Europe, Essex Class Aircraft Carriers 1943-1991 and Naval Battles of the Second World War: The Atlantic and the Mediterranean. He is now retired after a fifty-year career as an air traffic controller. Apart from aviation and naval history, his other interests include sailing, photography and painting.

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