The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II
Carl Boyd & Akihiko Yoshida

Prior to reading this book, my knowledge of Japanese submarines was very poor. I had read about the Japanese midget submarines at Pearl Harbour and I had a cursory knowledge about Japanese aircraft-carrying submarines. Other then that, I knew very little about the subject. I therefore found it very interesting to read this book which provided me with more insight of the Japanese World War II submarine warfare.

Boyd and Yoshida start the book with the background of the Imperial Japanese Navy and its submarines. The necessary history before 1941 is given and the different types of submarines are briefly described. What I feel is lacking in the opening chapters is basic sketches of the submarine types. The lack of illustrations is, in my opinion, a recurring shortcoming in the book. I for one would have preferred to see more then the 19 photos and 14 maps that is actually included in it.
Following the introductory chapters, Boyd and Yoshida continue with the different submarine operations during the war. Here the maps mentioned earlier, comes in handy. It’s easy to follow the course of events even if the stories sometimes only receive one or two pages.

At the end of the book the reader finds an appendix covering general battle instructions as well as details and organization for different phases of the war. Of great interest is also the summary of the submarines fate and the information about key members of the submarine force.
I enjoyed reading the book and learned much about the subject that was unknown to me. I can therefore recommend it to readers that are new to the subject.

(Reviewed by Simon O.)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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