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A slender overview of carrier battles in the Pacific during World War II

USN Carriers vs IJN Carriers: The Pacific, 1942 - Mark Stille

Numerous books have been written about World War II in the Pacific, from introductory overviews to detailed analyses of individual battles. Mark Stille's book definitely fits in the first category, as he provides a short (80 pages) analysis of the respective U.S. and Japanese carrier forces during the first year of the conflict. To that end, he offers a series of slender chapters comparing the two sides in a variety of areas, from carrier design to pilot training and doctrine. While there may be little that is new to those familiar with the naval conflict, it draws out some useful points by virtue of its comparative approach. It's a quick read, and one ideally suited for the reader with a newly discovered interest in the conflict seeking to understand the course of the war at a time when the two carrier fleets were fairly evenly matched and when such relatively minor factors such as pilot training schedules and anti-aircraft fire techniques could decide a battle one way or the other.