I conservatively estimate I've read about 100 books on WWII and this is one of the best on carrier operations in the Pacific. The authors do a wonderful job weaving strategy with combat stats and individual air combat stories in a general narrative. They also do a good job explaining evolution of weapons and tactics during the war. My only complaint is the relatively narrow focus: the book ends with the destruction of Japanese naval air power in June '44. The battle of Leyte Gulf and the subsequent Kamikaze attacks are merely footnoted. The authors also could have delved deeper into the personalities (especially from the Japanese perspective) of the men devising tactics and strategy as the strategic balance of naval power tipped from the "gun club" to air power. Not a book for beginners -- those new to WWII history would be better off starting with one of the many of the excellent overviews of the entire Pacific war. But for a history buff like me, this book was a real pleasure.
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