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On May 7 and 8, 1942, fast carrier task forces from the United States and Imperial Japanese met in combat for the first time in the Battle of the Coral Sea. A strategic victory for the U.S. despite the loss of the carrier Lexington, the battle blunted the Japanese drive on Port Moresby, a valuable Allied air base on the island of New Guinea. Lundstrom offers a detailed analysis of the fundamental strategies employed by Japan and the U.S. in the South Pacific from January to June 1942, the efforts of Adm. Ernest J. King to reinforce the area in spite of Roosevelt’s Europe First grand strategy and Adm. Chester Nimitz's aggressive plans to fight in the Coral Sea. Now in paperback, The First Pacific Campaign provides a superb overview of the crucial first six months of the naval war in the South Pacific.
John B. Lundstrom is Curator Emeritus of History at the Milwaukee Public Museum where he has worked since 1967. He is the author of five books, including Black Shoe Carrier Admiral, The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign and coauthor of Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O'Hare.
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