Clash of Titans: World War II at Sea

Walter J. Boyne, Author
Walter J. Boyne, Author Simon & Schuster $27.5 (384p) ISBN 978-0-684-80196-4
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-684-83914-1
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4516-8514-5
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Boyne writes about naval surface warfare during WWII with fervid enthusiasm. The war at sea was undeniably the most far-reaching conflict ever, but Boyne insists it was also ``the most fascinating period in the history of naval warfare.'' His narrative supports the contention admirably as he conveys the full import of the campaigns at sea, showing how each was inextricably intertwined with land and air operations. He explains, for instance, how the U.S. Marines' campaign in the Solomons was part of a complex series of naval confrontations remembered as ``Guadalcanal,'' and how the big guns of the American fleet off the Italian coast decisively preserved the American beachhead at Anzio. Boyne elaborates on subjects usually ignored, such as the Allied and Axis mine-laying campaigns, which were phenomenally effective: naval mines sank more than 200 surface warships and thousands of merchant vessels between 1939 and 1945. He is refreshingly outspoken, referring to the ``savagely aggressive'' American counterattack in the Pacific and the ``utter blindness'' of Japanese strategic thinking. It is hard to imagine any account that could render more incisively the difference between the contending navies and the reasons for Allied domination in the end. (June)
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