Eagle Against the Sun
Ronald H. Spector

This book describes the war between USA and Japan in 1941-45 mainly from the US side (in fact almost completely). It covers all theaters where USA have been involved in Asia in their struggle against the Japanese.

The book begins with a description of the pre-war plans from both side along with their tactics and training methods. The war plans were clearly focused on the battle fleets and with the goal of a final and decisive clash between them. Consequently, the winner of this battle would win the war. This battle had to take place in the Central Pacific but the history had proved that this view was false and completely out of date. The introduction of the aircraft carrier had to have a major impact on the war in the Pacific.

Then the 7th December came and the USA were brutally drawn into the war. From this point, the author try to give a general description of the operations (New Guinea, Central Pacific Islands, China, Burma, Philippine and many other are covered). Do not look here for detailed operational descriptions. Only overviews are given and more attention is paid to the relations between the different commanders (at a high level) and the different services (army, navy, airforce and marine).

This book is a good starting point to somebody interested in the American operations in the Pacific. However, it is completely done from an American perspective. If you expect to learn more about the Japanese, this is not the right book.

I personally found some chapters of this book difficult and painful to read; probably because I am not so much interested in American operations in the Pacific. I would have love to learn more about the Japanese but I guess it was not the intention of the author which was, I think, to give the most complete and credible overview of the American war in the Pacific during WWII. He succeeded fairly well.

The book has 561 pages and contains few pictures. The maps provided are of poor quality.

(Reviewed by Olivier Palardy)

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