"The Story of Japan's rise and fall as a great power is well known, as is the design history of her warships. This book, a reprint of the award-winning 1997 hardback, has a greater compass, using the scarce Japanese records to study how and why a recently feudal nation came to challenge the United States. Evans and Peattie offer a full, rounded history of the IJN as a fighting force in the decades before the Second World War. The authors trace foreign and indigenous influences on strategy and tactics in detail." — Warship 2014
One of the great spectacles of modern naval history is the Imperial Japanese Navy's instrumental role in Japan's rise from an isolationist feudal kingdom to a potent military empire stridently confronting, in 1941, the world's most powerful nation. Years of painstaking research and analysis of previously untapped Japanese-language resources have produced this remarkable study of the navy's dizzying development, tactical triumphs, and humiliating defeat. Unrivaled in its breadth of coverage and attention to detail, this important new history explores the foreign and indigenous influences on the navy's thinking about naval warfare and how to plan for it. Focusing primarily on the much-neglected period between the world wars, two widely esteemed historians persuasively explain how the Japanese failed to prepare properly for the war in the Pacific despite an arguable advantage in capability. Maintaining the highest literary standards and supplemented by a dazzling array of charts, diagrams, drawings, and photographs, this landmark work provides much important information not available in any other English-language source. Consciously avoiding the Eurocentric bias of conventional military scholarship, David Evans and Mark Peattie make a unique contribution to naval historiography that will be prized by serious historians and casual readers alike and that promises to spark debate within the academic community.