Old Friends, New Enemies. The Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy: Volume 2: The Pacific War 1942-1945: The Pacific War, 1942-45 Vol 2

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9780198201502: Old Friends, New Enemies. The Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy: Volume 2: The Pacific War 1942-1945: The Pacific War, 1942-45 Vol 2

This is a scholarly account of the Royal Navy participation in the Pacific War. It concludes the late Arthur Marder's two-volume history of the Royal Navy and the imperial Japanese Navy in the decisive years 1936-1945. Before his death, Arthur Marder completed the first six chapters, and the second volume of this work has been completed by Mark Jacobsen and John Horsfield. It picks up the story at the nadir of British naval fortunes, and follows the Royal Navy's role from 1942 to the Japanese surrender in August 1945. Marder retells the story of how Allied naval defences crumbled in the Dutch East Indies, culminating in the Battle of the Java Sea. Concentrating on the role of HMS Exeter, Marder drew upon the experiences of participants in the action to write a fresh account of the part played by Royal Navy Units in the disaster. The book offers a critical assessment of Churchill's role in shaping the British war effort. Churchill opposed sending a major fleet to the Pacific; the authors detail the protracted struggle of the Chiefs of Staff to change his mind. Not until 1945 was a full scale British Pacific Fleet ready to take its place alongside the great American fleets assembled to attack the Ryukyu Islands immediately south of Japan. "Old Friends, New Enemies" draws on both British and Japanese sources to give an account of the two navies in World War II. It makes full use of hitherto unpublished personal accounts by participants, and emphasizes the key personalities who shaped events in these momentous years.

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Product Description:

This first scholarly account of the Royal Navy in the Pacific War is a companion volume to Arthur Marder's Old Friends, New Enemies: Strategic Illusions, 1936-1941 (0-19-822604-7, OP). Picking up the story at the nadir of British naval fortunes - `everywhere weak and naked', in Churchill's phrase - it examines the Royal Navy's role in events from 1942 to the Japanese surrender in August 1945.

Drawing on both British and Japanese sources and personal accounts by participants, the authors vividly retell the story of the collapse of Allied defences in the Dutch East Indies, culminating in the Battle of the Java Sea. They recount the attempts of the `fighting admiral', Sir James Somerville, to train his motley fleet of cast-offs into an efficient fighting force in spite of the reluctance of Churchill, who resisted the formation of a full-scale British Pacific Fleet until the 1945 assault on the Ryukyu Islands immediately south of Japan.

Meticulously researched and fully referenced, this unique and absorbing account provides a controversial analysis of the key personalities who shaped events in these momentous years, and makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the Pacific War.

This book also appears in the Oxford General Books catalogue for Autumn 1990.

Review:

' bears all the marks of his very individual scholarship and style ... narrated Britain's imperial decline - with devotion and skill in combining research, narration, and analysis which have seen no contemporary rival' Anthony Verrier, Financial Times

` ... Mark Jacobsen and John Horsfield deserve to be congratulated on what they have accomplished.' Christopher Thorne, TLS

` a splendidly even-handed account ... This book bears out Peter Kemp's accolade, introducing the previous volume: he called Marder "the supreme historian".' The Economist

' both grasp of detail and clarity of narrative are again features of this new book, in all its sections ... the three authors between them have provided a helpful survey of relevant developments in the Japanese camp' Times Literary Supplement

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