James H. Hallas
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811738439, $34.95, HC, 592pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The World War II story of the Battle of Saipan has it all. Marines at war: on Pacific beaches, in hellish volcanic landscapes in places like Purple Heart Ridge, Death Valley, and Hell's Pocket, under a commander known as "Howlin' Mad". Naval combat: carriers battling carriers from afar, fighters downing Japanese aircraft, submarines sinking carriers. Marine-army rivalry. Fanatical Japanese defense and resistance.
A turning point of the Pacific War, in "Saipan: The Battle That Doomed Japan in World War II" journalist and military historian James Hallas reconstructs the full panorama of Saipan in a way that no recent chronicler of the battle has done. In its comprehensiveness, attention to detail, scope of research, and ultimate focus on the men who fought and won the battle on the beaches and at and above the sea, it rivals Richard Frank's modern classic Guadalcanal.
Critique: The definitive military history of the Battle of Saipan, "Saipan: The Battle That Doomed Japan in World War II" is an essential, core addition to community and academic library World War II Pacific Theatre collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of military history buffs that "Saipan: The Battle That Doomed Japan in World War II" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.33).