The First South Pacific Campaign
Pacific Fleet Strategy December 1941–June 1942
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.