In this provocative history, James B. Wood challenges the received wisdom that Japan's defeat in the Pacific was historically inevitable. He argues instead that it was only when the Japanese military abandoned its original strategic plan to secure resources and establish a viable defensible perimeter that the Allies were able to regain the initiative and lock Japanese forces into a war of attrition they were not prepared to fight. The book persuasively shows how the Japanese army and navy had both the opportunity and the capability to have fought a different and more successful war. If Japan had traveled that alternate military road the outcome of the Pacific War could have been far different from the ending we know so well-and, perhaps a little too complacently, accept.
James B. Wood is Charles Keller Professor of History at Williams College.
Introduction: Pacific War Redux Chapter 1: Going to War Chapter 2: Losing the War Chapter 3: Winning the War Chapter 4: Missing Ships Chapter 5: Sunk! Chapter 6: A Fleet-in-Being Chapter 7: The Battle for the Skies Chapter 8: The Army in the Pacific Conclusion: The Road Not Taken