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Attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2016 Title Attack on Pearl Harbor
Author Bert Kinzey, Rock Roszak Publisher Detail & Scale Aviation Publications
Published 2016 ISBN N/A
Format 470 pages, electronic (iBook and Kindle) MSRP (USD) $15.99


Many, years ago, Revell included specially-produced historical titles with selected kit releases to add value and historical context to their kits. One such title was a monograph entitled 'Attack on Pearl Harbor' which was the 'Reader's Digest abridged' coverage of that tragic day on 7 December, 1941. The title was so well done that the USS Arizona Foundation requested a reprint as shown in the comparison table below. The problem with print titles for many authors is the need to edit down their work to fit within a given page count.

When Detail and Scale (Bert Kinzey's excellent aviation reference series) transitioned to electronic publishing, the limitations for publishing were greatly reduced and we've seen abbreviated titles that appeared in print suddenly expand by an order of magnitude when they were reissued in electronic media. The result is a far more useful reference for a fraction of the cost! Some of the advantages to electronic media include:

  • You can use menu hyperlinks to jump straight to a section of interest
  • You can expand photos and drawings to full-screen
  • You can zoom in on details in photos and drawings for a closer look
  • You can search for specific text within the title
  • You can bookmark items of interest
  • You can highlight and annotate the book with your own notes

This comparison sums up nicely how the original Attack on Pearl Harbor expanded from 80 to 470 pages and significantly more content as well.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Book

While many of us know of the events surrounding the Japanese Attack, did you know that the man named as Pacific Fleet Commander would be fired by President Franklin Roosevelt when he opposed the movement of the Pacific Fleet from the west coast to Pearl Harbor? Did you know that the US Navy successfully conducted a mock attack of Pearl Harbor with three aircraft carriers in 1938? Did you know that the Japanese attack would have been far more successful had Admiral Nagumo authorized the third wave of air attacks that would have destroyed the fuel reserves at Pearl? This expanded edition drills down into the events leading up to December 7th, the commanders on each side, the ships and aircraft, and the results as shown in the coverage below.

Attack on Pearl Harbor BookAttack on Pearl Harbor Book

Coverage includes:

  • Why Pearl Harbor?
  • The Japanese Plan
  • The Commanders
  • Japanese Aircraft Carriers
  • Japanese Supporting Ships of the Hawaiian Operation
  • Japanese Aircraft
  • Japanese Weapons
  • US Navy Names Ships at Pearl Harbor and Senior Commanders
  • US Navy Ships of the Pacific Fleet Not at Pearl Harbor
  • The First Shots - Fighting the Midget Submarines
  • The Air Attack
  • US Aircraft
  • US Losses, Damage, and Recovery
  • Japanese Losses
  • Japanese Mistakes
  • The Awakened Giant
  • Pearl Harbor Today

It is interesting to read the insights provided in this title including those of Admiral Yamamoto who had attended university in the US. He knew that Japan would not win a prolonged war with the US should it have the time to put its industrial capacity to work. When the Japanese embassy failed to deliver its declaration of war to the US on time, the attack on Pearl Harbor went from a pre-emptive strike to an cowardly sneak attack. When the US aircraft carriers weren't at Pearl that morning, Admiral Nagumo decided to 'get out of Dodge' to avoid a counterattack. As devastating as the attack on Pearl Harbor was, it could have been far worse, and rather than being demoralizing, it simply infuriated the Americans, especially with the subsequent attacks on Wake and Midway Islands to remove the forward presence of US forces in the Pacific.

Attack on Pearl Harbor BookAttack on Pearl Harbor Book

The modeler will also value this title as the excellent color profiles contained inside help decode the various color bands and markings carried by the aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service during that timeframe. Coverage of the camouflage and armament will also be very useful.

Head over to Amazon or the iTunes Store and order a copy. This technology is also truly instant gratification as the title will download to your tablet on completion of your purchase.

For more information about this and other titles, visit their website.

Definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Detail & Scale for this review copy.