Tables; Figures; Foreword; A Note on the End of an Era; Acknowledgments; Introduction; What Created Success?; Strategic Culture; Relevance of the Study;
1. Preparing for War: Naval Education Between the World Wars; Introduction; Studying "The Right Stuff"; Study, Gaming, and Wartime Reality; The Naval Air Debate; The Carrier Debate; The Debate over Doctrine; War Plans; Implications for the War against Japan; Preparing for War; The United States Naval Academy and Strategic Culture; "Everybody Works but John Paul Jones"; Sound Military Decision; Strategic Culture in the Wartime Navy.
Conclusion2. The Battle of the Coral Sea; Japanese Opening Moves and Plans; Japan's Forces in the Pacific Area; The Situation in the Pacific in the Summer of 1942; Japanese Plans and Preparations; The American Plan; Operational Imperatives; The Tulagi Invasion; Prelude to the Main Action; The Main Action; Coral Sea in Retrospect: Conclusions;
3. The Battle of Midway; Opening Phases; The Situation in the Pacific in the Late Spring of 1942; The Commander and His Opponent; Japanese Preparations; Decisions vs. Intelligence; How the Plans Played Out.
Prelude to Action in the Aleutians and at MidwayInformation Available to the Japanese Commander; Japanese Force Deployments; Information Available to the American Commander; American Command Relations; Aleutian Phase of the Operation; Midway Preliminary Action; Naval Air Station Midway 4 June Operations; Nagumo's Attack on Midway; Midway Carrier Action of 4 June 1942; Clash of Titans; Operations of the Hornet Air Group on 4 June; Operations of the Enterprise Air Group on 4 June; Operations of the Yorktown Air Group on 4 June; Recapping the Action; The Inevitable Japanese Counterattack.
Death of the Kido ButaiJapan's Contemplated Night Action; Operations of 5 June; Operations of 6 June; Operations of 7 June; Midway in Retrospect: Conclusions;
4. The Fight for Guadalcanal: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons; Strategic Reappraisal; The Fight for Guadalcanal; Choosing a Commander; The Battle of Savo Island; Where Is Task Force 61? All the World Wonders; The Battle of the Eastern Solomons; Carrier Battle of 24 August 1942; Retirement from the Area and Aftermath; The Battle of the Eastern Solomons in Retrospect; Conclusions; Epitaph;
5. The Battle of Santa Cruz.
The Battle for GuadalcanalPrelude to the Battle of Santa Cruz; Evidence of a Japanese Offensive; The Battle of Santa Cruz; The U.S. Carrier Strike; The Japanese Strikes; Results of the Battle; Continued Surface Action in the Solomons; Battle of Santa Cruz in Retrospect: Conclusions;
6. Battle of the Philippine Sea; Japan's "Absolute National Defense Line"; SLOCs to Victory Secured; MacArthur on a Roll; The U.S. Debate on Strategy; Executing the Combined Chiefs' Strategy; Central Solomons and New Britain: The Second Phase; Numbered Fleets; Operation "Elkton" and the Dual Advance on Rabaul.
A longtime professor at the Naval War College who once directed strategic and long-range planning for the Navy and Marine Corps in Europe considers the transformation of the U.S. Navy from a defensive-minded coastal defense force into an offensive risk-taking navy in the very early stages of World War II. Noting that none of the navy's most significant World War II leaders were commissioned before the Spanish-American War and none participated in any important offensive operations in World War I, Douglas Smith examines the premise that education, rather than experience in battle, accounts for that transformation. In this book, Smith evaluates his premise by focusing on the five carrier battles of the second world war to determine the extent to which the inter-war education of the major operational commanders translated into their decision processes, and the extent to which their interaction during their educational experiences transformed them from risk-adverse to risk-accepting in their operational concepts. His book will interest students of the Pacific War, naval aviation, education, and leadership. About the Author Douglas V. Smith is Professor of Strategy and Head of the Strategy and Policy Division at the U.S. Naval War College. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, and Naval War College, and holds a Ph.D. in military history from Florida State University. (source: Nielsen Book Data)