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Attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2010 Title Attack on Pearl Harbor
Author Bert Kinzey Publisher Military Aviation Archives
Published 2010 ISBN 978-0-9844665-0-4
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


Military Aviation Archives is a new publisher that pairs up a notable author with a talented artist. Author Bert Kinzey has been writing terrific monographs about aircraft and specific historical subjects for years. It was Kinzey that created the modeler's essential title series 'Detail & Scale' where his concise writing style provides the reader with a quick grasp of the essential details of a given topic. Rock Roszak is an artist whose body of work is definitely growing but has had the 'knack' for some time. You can see the art he contributed to Cybermodeler Online of the B-29 atomic bomber 'Bocks Car'.

The first title from this new publisher is entitled Attack on Pearl Harbor and if it looks familiar, an earlier version was included in a Revell kit several years ago. Before you shrug this title off as yet another one of the hundreds of titles on the subject, take note that in Bert Kinzey's concise style, this title provides you with more information that most of the tomes 'out there' and does so in very few pages (and a decent price as well).

Take a look at the table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • The Japanese Plan
  • Japanese Aircraft Carriers
  • Japanese Aircraft
  • US Named Ships Present at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
  • The First Shots & Fighting the Midget Submarines
  • The Air Attack
  • US Aircraft
  • US Losses and Damage
  • US Ships Lost and Damaged
  • Japanese Mistakes
  • Japanese Losses
  • The Awakened Giant
  • Pearl Harbor Today

What's interesting in this concise presentation is the summary of each of the ships that were either damaged or destroyed in the attack. Each ship is presented in its own summary with before, during, and after photos which really bring home the heroic efforts to reconstitute the shattered fleet in the months that followed that attack. One interesting topic is USS Nevada, the only battleship to get underway during the attack but didn't get away. Despite the skipper's best efforts, he wound up drawing lots of attention from the second wave of dive bombers and decided to beach his damaged ship before the Japanese could succeed in using Nevada to block the entrance into Pearl.

This book is well illustrated with period photographs as well as nice color profiles and illustrations of the Japanese and American aircraft and ships. The title also brings out some interesting facts such as USS Ward, an aging WWI destroyer that had been recommissioned in January 1941 and while on patrol that fateful morning, attacked and sank the Japanese midget submarine attempting to enter the harbor. Three years later to the day, USS Ward was struck by a kamikaze and sunk, and its captain was the same man at the helm who sank that midget sub three years earlier.

This is a well-written and nicely illustrated book that will provide an interesting and concise look at the events and aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is also good to see that Bert Kinzey is running his own publishing company again and look forward to seeing what's coming off the press next!

My sincere thanks to Military Aviation Archives for this review sample!