Pacific Thunder

The US Navy's Central Pacific Campaign, August 1943–October 1944

Pacific Thunder cover


A thorough and compelling investigation of the Central Pacific campaign in World War II that saw the US Navy progress from the edge of disaster to the brink of victory, from Guadalcanal to the recapture of the Philippines.

On 27 October 1942, four 'Long Lance' torpedoes fired by the Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo exploded in the hull of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8). Minutes later, the ship that had launched the Doolitte Raid six months earlier slipped beneath the waves of the Coral Sea. Of the pre-war carrier fleet the Navy had struggled to build over 15 years, only three were left: USS Enterprise, which had been badly damaged in the battle of Santa Cruz; USS Saratoga (CV-3) which lay in dry dock, victim of a Japanese submarine torpedo; and the USS Ranger (CV-4), which was in the mid-Atlantic on her way to support Operation Torch.

For the American naval aviators licking their wounds in the aftermath of this defeat, it would be difficult to imagine that within 24 months of this event, Zuikaku, the last survivor of the carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor, would lie at the bottom of the sea. Alongside it lay the other surviving Japanese carriers, sacrificed as lures in a failed attempt to block the American invasion of the Philippines, leaving the United States to reign supreme on the world's largest ocean.

Now publishing in paperback, this is the fascinating account of the Central Pacific campaign, one of the most stunning comebacks in naval history, as in just 14 months the US Navy went from the jaws of defeat to the brink of victory in the Pacific.

Table of Contents

List of Maps

CHAPTER ONE: Torpedo Junction
CHAPTER TWO: Forging the Sword
CHAPTER FOUR: First Contact
CHAPTER FIVE: Butch is Down!
CHAPTER SIX: The Spruance Haircut
CHAPTER SEVEN: Gibraltar of the Pacific
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Captain from Hell
CHAPTER NINE: Lifeguards
CHAPTER TEN: Operation Forager
CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Marianas Turkey Shoot
CHAPTER TWELVE: The Mission Beyond Darkness
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The Iwo Jima Development Corporation
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Halsey's Rampage
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The Battle of the Formosa Sea
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: The Battles of Leyte Gulf
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: No Rest for the Weary


Product details

Published Oct 19 2017
Format Ebook (Epub)
Edition 1st
Extent 296
ISBN 9781472821850
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 2 x 16pp black and white plates
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has been a published write…


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