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USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship: The Pacific 1942–44

USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship: The Pacific 1942–44 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2017 Title USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship: The Pacific 1942–44
Author Mark Stille Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 9781472817198
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $20.00


During the Russo-Japanese war, formations of Imperial Japanese Navy battleships proved pivotal in crushing two Russian fleets. IJN admirals thereafter envisaged, in author Mark Stille's words, "the power of the battle line as the final arbiter of a naval clash".

But that never happened again.

In World War II, carriers displaced battleships as the principal means of maritime force projection. And only two battleship-vs-battleship actions occurred in Pacific fighting.

Now Stille recounts those engagements in USN Battleship vs IJN Battleship – 83rd installment in Osprey's "Duel" range.

Subtitled "The Pacific 1942–44", the slim, 80-page study follows the publisher's proven prescription.

Contents commence with background notes on every USN and IJN battleship class – including design, development, deployment, and technical specifications. "Combatants" comments also respectively recap each navy's tactics and training.

Coverage hits crescendo with accounts of battleship duels at Guadalcanal in 1942 – and in the Surigao Strait in 1944. Stille's narrative clearly chronicles the course of each clash. And his notes on gunnery effectiveness proved particularly provocative.

Further analytical remarks, selected bibliography, and index neatly wrap things up. Unfortunately, the absence of annotations complicates further reader research.

Osprey's lavishly illustrated effort sports photos, maps, action paintings, color profiles, and technical drawings. Tables, extended captions, camouflage comments, and biographies also enhance the effort.

Lots of great stuff here. Consider Stille's succinct study a compact, convenient introduction to WWII American and Japanese battleship fleets.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!