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Santa Cruz 1942

Santa Cruz 1942 Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review July 2013 Title Santa Cruz 1942
Author Mark Stille Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781849086059
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $21.95

Book Review

In Osprey's Santa Cruz 1942, author Mark Stille highlights one of the two carrier engagements during the pivotal battle for Guadalcanal.

As with other Osprey campaign series books, Stille begins the first half discussing the Japanese and US navies.  Following a brief introduction and chronology, Stille describes the rival naval forces' commanders, fleets and plans.

Stille deftly highlights the struggle for control in the second half.  The author thrusts readers, hour by hour, into the intense battle between four Japanese and two US carriers.  Although a Japanese victory, Santa Cruz proved the last time Japan's carrier force could challenge America's on equal terms.

Stille concludes with an aftermath analysis and bibliography.  For those longing for further reading, the back cover offers additional Osprey titles – including Midway 1942 (see the Cybermodeler review).

Artwork by Howard Gerrard, campaign maps and 80 historic photographs complement this superlative account.

Although this publication precedes Osprey's The Naval Battles for Guadalcanal 1942 (see my July 2013 Cybermodeler review), I suggest reading the latter title first as an overview.

Only one minor quibble – Stille lists Japanese commanders' surname first.  A nomenclature explanation would greatly aid novices.

Heartily recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!