World War II in the Pacific is often seen as a conflict between American and Japanese forces, with the importance of the British Pacific and East Indies Fleets often overlooked by all. Yet, by VJ-day they had more than 600 ships and nearly a quarter of a million men — British, Australian, New Zealanders, Indians, Canadians and South Africans.
Recovering from the tremendous blow that they had been dealt during the initial Japanese attacks they had earned the respect of their American allies, learning, supporting and working in conjunction with them to turn back the Japanese tide.
John Winton uncovers some of the epic moments of the Royal Navy’s service in the Far East, from the air strikes on the Palembang oil refineries to the capture of Rangoon and the sinking of Haguro, the daring penetrations of Singapore, Saigon and Hong Kong harbours by midget submarines to the attack on the Japanese home islands with Halsey’s Third Fleet.
‘a tale worth telling, and one worth reading. … a book that should be read by every student of World War II in the Pacific, and of the Royal Navy.’ Warship International
‘…a remarkable book’ Nautical Magazine
‘John Winton has marshalled his facts superbly, with the accent all the time of the people and personalities involved.’ Navy News
‘For its honesty and clarity (and also for the thread of wit and the incisive use of the significant anecdote) his book deserves a place on the same shelf as Stephen Roskill, whose style and high quality have set an admirable standard by which such books must be judged’. The Observer
‘It is a brave story of hardy men and good ships, large and small, and of the surmounting of many formidable difficulties, both administrative and technical.’ Nottingham Guardian Journal