The ‘Perfect Enemy’
William R. Walsh
In regards to James M. Scott’s worthwhile article on the Pacific submarine campaign (“America’s Undersea War on Shipping,” December, pp. 18–26), Japan was, indeed, the “perfect enemy.” Despite well-earned antisubmarine-warfare (ASW) experience in World War I in the Mediterranean, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) did not develop or conduct an effective ASW program in World War II until it was much too late. The IJN’s sole myopic focus was on the “decisive fleet battle” when the U.S. Navy was supposed to blindly steam into the western Pacific to save Guam and the Philippines.