As the Pacific War approached a crescendo, the clashes between swarming US Navy carrier aircraft, and the gigantic Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Yamato-class battleships became symbolic of the fortunes of the two nations. They also served as a metaphor for the profound changes in naval technology and doctrine that the war had brought about. The two opposing forces were the most powerful of their kind - the Japanese Yamato and Musashi were the biggest most heavily armored and armed battleships ever built, while US carrier aviation had evolved into a well-oiled, war-winning machine. With detailed analysis of the technical features of the opposing war machines and a gripping account of the fighting itself, this vividly illustrated work presents views from the cockpits of US Navy Divebombers, and down the sights of IJN anti-aircraft guns, during two of the most dramatic naval engagements ever fought. After proving at Pearl Harbor that even the mightiest battleships were vulnerable to air attack, the Japanese would be forced to re-learn the lesson as the American Helldiver and Avenger bomber crews battered and eventually sunk the last remaining jewels of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Never again would a surface fleet be the dominant power at sea.
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Mark E. Stille (Commander, United States Navy, retired) received his BA in History from the University of Maryland and also holds an MA from the Naval War College. He has worked in the intelligence community for 35 years including tours on the faculty of the Naval War College, on the Joint Staff and on US Navy ships. He is currently a senior analyst working in the Washington DC area. He is the author of numerous Osprey titles, focusing on naval history in the Pacific. Gareth Hector is a digital artist of international standing as well as an aviation history enthusiast. Gareth completed the battlescene artwork and cover artwork. Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives in New Hampshire. He attended Paier School of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, from 1974-78, and since graduating with Honours, he has been working professionally in the field of Fine Art and Illustration. He has been commissioned to paint for the US Air Force and has aviation paintings on permanent display at the Pentagon.
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