US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1942-45
Contributor: Andrew Nguyen
Review Date: 8 Oct 2009
Even before Pearl Harbor, the US Navy was already gearing up for war with a huge naval-buildup. Amongst the buildup were several ships that became the first Essex class carriers. Then during the war's early stages, construction on the Essex class carriers moved into high gear as the US Navy ordered more to replace losses and build up its strength. At the same time, they also converted several light cruisers into Princeton class carriers to help replace the losses on the pre-war carriers. When they joined the fleet, an enormous strike force began to take shape, a force that functioned as the main battering ram as the US Navy took the war to the shores of Japan itself.
Written by Mark Stille, who had written several previous books for Osprey, the 130th title in Osprey's New Vanguard series covers the two carrier classes that formed the main striking power of the US Navy during the later years of the war in the Pacific, the Essex class fleet carriers and Independence class light carriers.
For those that have read Mark Stille's earlier book that dealt with the prewar aircraft carriers, you know what to expect here. In addition to the usual contents, there is a chronology of the operations that the US carrier task forces embarked upon, which lasted from 1943 until the end of the war.
Though it only has a limited number of pages, the book does its job well in describing the Essex and Independence class carriers. There are also many photographs and paintings of the carriers while either on a regular cruise or in combat actions. In all, a good book from Osprey to read for those interested in US carriers and their operations. In fact, one can consider this Part 2 in relation to Stille's earlier book about the US pre-war carriers.
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945