"Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews" Provided by Rob Jerrard

University of Plymouth Press 2013


Turning the Tide: The Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway
Published in collaboration with Britannia Royal Naval College
Specially commissioned commentary by expert military historians
Turning the Tide is one of a series of previously restricted and classified documents in a new, accessible format
Britannia Naval Histories of World War II - an important source in understanding the critical naval actions of the period
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781841023335
Publishers: University of Plymouth Press
Price: 17
Publication Date: 2013

Publisher's Title Information

On 7 December 1941 at Pearl Habor, the Imperial Japanese Navy delivered a stunning lesson in the effectiveness of carrier aircraft against capital ships. The crippling of the US Pacific Fleet gave the Imperial Japanese Navy almost free rein in that theatre of operations until the turning point -- the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway (1942).The outcome was the first decisive naval victory for the United States Navy with big-gun battleships further eclipsed by carrier aviation. Much of the action in the Pacific became legendary, as the British and American public viewed the newsreels of attacks at Pearl Harbor and the fall of Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore. At Midway, Commander Joseph Rochefort, USN, and his team cracked a Japanese code, which revealed Admiral Yamamoto's plan of attack on Midway Island. Japanese losses were vast and many Japanese airmen who had carried out the attacks at Pearl Harbor would meet their end at the Battle of Midway. TURNING THE TIDE details these key events of the Pacific War and how the battles of Coral Sea and Midway allowed the US to be able to counter the Japanese at Guadalcanal. TURNING THE TIDE is one of a series of previously restricted and classified documents in a new, accessible format. It contains specially commissioned commentary by expert military historians and is published in collaboration with Britannia Royal Naval College. BRITANNIA NAVAL HISTORIES OF WORLD WAR II -- an important source in understanding the critical naval actions of the period.
The outcome was the first decisive naval victory for the United States Navy with big-gun battleships further eclipsed by carrier aviation. Much of the action in the Pacific became legendary, as the British and American public viewed the newsreels of attacks at Pearl Harbor and the fall of Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore.
At Midway, Commander Joseph Rochefort, USN, and his team cracked a Japanese code, which revealed Admiral Yamato's plan of attack on Midway Island. Japanese losses were vast and many Japanese airmen who had carried out the attacks at Pearl Harbor would meet their end at the Battle of Midway. Turning the Tide details these key events of the Pacific War and how the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway allowed the US to be able to counter the Japanese at Guadalcanal.

The Series

Never previously published in this format, documents once stamped 'secret' have been sourced from Britannia Royal Naval College's Library. These include reports and plans drawn up by serving Royal Navy Officers during and immediately after World War II. Britannia Naval Histories of World War II also contain Germany's recorded view of action against the British, with Hitler's comments, as they were typed and filed at the time: the Fuehrer Conferences. Specially commissioned artwork appears on each front cover.

The Author

Captain Rodgaard served for over 41 years with the naval service of the United States, including 12 years as a petty officer and 29 years of commissioned service as a naval intelligence officer. He completed several active duty tours as a reservist, including two years in the Mediterranean on the destroyer escort, USS Courtney, DE-1021. He has also served on navy and joint intelligence tours with Submarine Group 8, Carrier Group 4, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the J2 Defence Intelligence Agency, Commander Submarines Mediterranean, the US European Command and the Navy Staff. Captain Rodgaard completed four years of active service with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency as a senior collection officer and strategist. As a civilian, Rodgaard has been employed as a contract intelligence analyst with the National Reconnaissance Office, the Central Intelligence Agency, the United States Air Force U-2 Programme and the Defence Intelligence Agency. He is a published author and a contributor to several TV programmes in the Discovery Channel's Unsolved History series. He was the US Naval Institute's Author of the Year 2000 and is a frequent contributor to the Institute's Naval History magazine. He co-authored the only biography of Commodore Charles Stewart USN, the most successful fighting captain of the USS Constitution. Rodgaard has a BA in History and Political Science, a Masters in Political Science, and is a graduate of the United States Naval War College. He is married to Judith Pearson, PhD from Kansas City, Missouri. His two children are intelligence officers. In retirement, Rodgaard has taken over as lead author of TS Venomous. His public speaking engagements in the UK have included the South West Maritime History Society, the Society for Nautical Research at SS Great Britain in Bristol and at a Society for Nautical Research Centenary Conference in Glasgow. His speaking engagement venues in the US have included the home of USS Stewart at Seawolf Park, Galveston, Texas and the US Navy Museum, Washington.

Review

Was 'The Battle of Midway' "The Turning point of the Pacific". Many say it was, yet the Japanese continued to try to secure more strategic territory in the South Pacific, and it would take several more months of hard combat before the United States moved from a state of naval parity to one of increasing supremacy.

Midway was the Allies first major victory against the Japanese, however it was the cumulative effects of the Coral Sea battle and Midway which reduced Japan's ability to undertake major offensives. In addition Midway paved the way for the landings on Guadalcanal, and the prolonged attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, both of which finally allowed the Allies to take the strategic initiative and swing onto the offensive for the rest of the Pacific War. Midway was a success in that it bought the United States valuable time until the first of the new Essex-class fleet carriers became available at the end of 1942. Essex was commissioned 31st Dec 1942. Three more followed in 1943. USS Oriskany C-34 can be seen in the film, 'The Bridges of Toko RI'. She did serve at Korea. The movie was filmed aboard the USS Oriskany (CV-34 and the USS Kearsarge (CV-33). For any naval enthusiast this book which is one of a series is worth adding to your library.

Rob Jerrard

More Details on the University of Plymouth Website

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