Early Pacific Raids 1942

The American Carriers Strike Back

Early Pacific Raids 1942 cover

Early Pacific Raids 1942

The American Carriers Strike Back

In stock
£15.29 RRP £16.99 Website price saving £1.70 (10%)


A fascinating exploration of how between February 1 and March 10, 1942, three small US task forces launched several unexpected raids across the Japanese defensive perimeter in the Central and South Pacific.

After the devastating Japanese blows of December 1941, the Allies found themselves reeling with defeat everywhere in the Pacific. Although stripped of his battleships and outnumbered 10:3 in carriers, the US Navy commander-in-chief Admiral Ernest J. King decided to hit back at Japan's rapidly expanding Pacific empire immediately, in an effort to keep the Japanese off-balance.

On February 1, 1942, Vice Admiral Bill Halsey led the US Pacific Fleet carriers on their first raid, using high-speed hit-and-run tactics to strike at the Japanese, at a time when most of the Japanese carrier fleet was in the Indian Ocean. Halsey's aggressive commitment inspired its American participants to invent the mythical “Haul Ass With Halsey” club. The last of the 1942 US carrier raids in March 1942 would form a defining moment in the Pacific War, prior to a new phase of high-seas battles between the opposing fleets.

This superbly illustrated book documents for the first time in a single volume this little-known but important World War II naval campaign. The fabulous illustrations, including maps and colour artworks, bring to life the US air and naval raids on the Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Rabaul, Wake Island, Marcus Island, and Lae and Salamaua in northern New Guinea.

Table of Contents

Pearl Harbor and aftermath, December 7–10, 1941
Failed Wake Island relief, December 14–23
Yamamoto's Submarine Offensive against Hawaii and the US West Coast, December 1941
Reforming the US Pacific Fleet 1941–42
Reinforcing the Central and South Pacific
United States
United States
Marshalls–Gilberts raid orders of battle, February 1, 1942
United States
Commander Michimune Inaba's I-6 torpedoes Saratoga, January 11, 1942
US Pacific Fleet carrier plans, January 1942
Operation R: the Japanese invasion of Rabaul and Kavieng, January 20–23, 1942
Brown's aborted Task Force 11 raid against Wake, January 23, 1942
Halsey and Fletcher raid the Marshalls and Gilberts, February 1, 1942
US Pacific Fleet strategy, February 1942
Japanese carrier actions, February 1–19, 1942
Action off Bougainville, February 20, 1942
Halsey's Task Force 16 raids Wake Island, February 24, 1942
Halsey strikes Marcus Island, March 4, 1942
Shokaku and Zuikaku redeploy to defend the Home Islands
The Japanese invasion of Lae and Salamaua, March 8, 1942
Brown and Fletcher strike Lae and Salamaua, March 10, 1942

Product details

Published 22 Jun 2023
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472854872
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Colour illustrations throughout, including battlescene artworks, maps, 3D diagrams and photographs.
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Campaign
Short code CAM 392
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Brian Lane Herder

Brian Lane Herder graduated with a BA in History f…


Adam Tooby

Adam Tooby is an internationally renowned digital…


Book Vote

Tell us what titles you would like to see published by Osprey, then vote for your favourites in our monthly book vote!

Related Titles

Sign up for Osprey membership for access to thousands of plane profiles, maps, battle scenes and more. Plus up to 30% off website purchases

Free UK delivery for orders £30 and over