This is a review of the Osprey Publishing LTD book Tora! Tora! Tora! – Pearl Harbor 1941
by author Mark E. Stille and illustrators Jim Laurier and Tim Brown.
BODY OF THE TEXT
On December 7, 1941 the Japan an attack on the US Military forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Japanese wanted to cripple in the United States Naval fleet stationed there. Due to specific incidents before the attack the Japanese were able to make their main attack with surprise and without opposition. The attack led to losses of men and materials for both the Japanese and United States. America declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941 and entered World War Two as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor which President Franklin D, Roosevelt called “A date which will live in infamy”.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Tora! Tora! Tora! – Pearl Harbor 1941
as Number 26 in their Raid series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs, color illustrations, color maps, informational charts and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-509-0. The book examines and discusses the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mark E. Stille made the following dedication:
Dedication – This book is dedicated to my college professor, Gordon W. Prange, who remains the preeminent scholar on Pearl Harbor.
- Initial Strategy
o The Great All-out Battle Strategy
o Yamamoto Enters the Picture
- Early Planning
o Combined Fleet vs. Naval General Staff
- The Plan
o The Training Program
o Japanese Air Group Employment
o The Attack Plan in Detail
o The Submarine Plan
- The Raid
o The Approach
o The Battle Opens
o The Attack Inbound
o The Firsts Attack Force
o The Torpedo Attack
o The Horizontal Bombing Attack
o Agony on Battleship Row
o Attacks Against Airfields
o The Saga of the Midget Submarines
o The Second Attack Force
o Attack of the Dive-bombers
o More Attacks Against Airfields
o The American Air Response
o The US Navy Response
- The Accounting
o American Losses
o Japanese Losses
o The Military Impact
o The Operational Level
o The Follow-up Controversy
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Stille covers the attack on Pearl Harbor very well and goes into great detail in all of the actions taken before during and after the attack. Anyone interested in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor or the military war machines of Japan or the United States during the opening stages of World War Two will find this book very informative and interesting and should detail and answer any questions that the reader may have. The experienced Pearl Harbor enthusiast or the new student of this infamous day in history will appreciate this well written text.
There are a total of 50 black and white photographs and 3 color photographs throughout the book. The majority of the photographs are nice clear, centered and focused images, however there are a few that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the blurry photographs is of no fault of the author and do not take anything away from the book. There are a few of the photographs that were new to me as I had not seen them before in any other publication. This is always a nice feature. However a majority of the photographs are well known photographs that have been used time and time again in other publications. To defend this there are not that many films and photographs that were taken on that famous day in history. So any authors of this subject will find it difficult to find unknown and unused photographs. However, as with the quality of some of the photographs, this does not take anything away from this excellent book.
THE COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS
There are 9 color illustrations and maps which are very well done by illustrators Jim Laurier and Tim Brown.
The color illustrations and maps are of the following:
- Primary Defense Installations and Air Order of Battle on Oahu (map)
- 6 Japanese aircraft (see provided scan)
- The Japanese Attack Plan (map)
- Route of the First Carrier Striking Force (map)
- Pearl Harbor ship locations, 0755hrs, December 7, 1941 (map)
- First Attack Wave Against Targets In Pearl Harbor 0750-0811HRS, December 7, 1941 (map)
- Battleship Row attack
- USS Ward engaging a Japanese midget submarine
- Second Attack Wave Against Targets In Pearl Harbor 0848-0920HRS, December 7, 1941 (map)
THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS
There are 4 informational charts throughout the book that are very well done, nicely detailed and provide important and interesting information for the data minded reader. The data covered is in regards to:
- Organization of Pearl Harbor Attack Force
o First Attack Force (First Wave) (Commander Fuchida Mitsuo)
o Second Attack Force (Second Wave) (Lieutenant Commander Shimazaki Shigekazu)
- First Carrier Striking Force (Hawaii Operation)
- List of Ships Sunk or Damaged
- Japanese Aircraft Losses by Carrier and Type
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations well. They go into detail discussing things such as specific ship names, individuals, locations, times and aircraft, ship and submarine types. As I read through the captions I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains a very well researched and written text and captions as well as very detailed and informative maps. It details the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.