Packed with vivid firsthand observations, this multivolume account of naval activities during World War II applies a seaman's eye to the technique of a professional historian.
With the approval of President Roosevelt, esteemed military historian Samuel Eliot Morison was commissioned in the Naval Reserve with the sole duty of preparing a full, accurate, public record of the war at sea. Morison had access to records of all naval activities, afloat and ashore, and to official documents, and was given authority to discuss them with all naval personnel concerned. He visited the various theaters of war, served on eleven combat ships, and took part in several amphibious operations and surface engagements with the enemy.
Offering the immediacy of events as they unfold, Morison's record conveys the urgency of planning and preparations, the excitement of battle, exultation over hard-won success, and sorrow for fallen comrades. Along with firsthand experience and oral testimony, his account makes use of official documents including the German Admiralty Records that were seized after the war.
Through a skillful counterpoint of perspectives, Morison provides a clear and detailed view of American efforts to keep transport lanes open, German reluctance to allocate major resources to the war at sea, and the influence on strategy of what each side thought the other capable of. Published in fifteen volumes, Morison's history is generously illustrated with maps, charts, and candid photographs that intensify the reader's sense of being in the middle of the action.
The Rising Sun in the Pacific, 1931-April 1942 chronicles the difficult early months of the campaign in the Pacific, detailing thenavy's reverses at Wake Island, in the Philippines, and along the Malay Barrier.