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THE GREAT PACIFIC WAR

A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN-JAPANESE CAMPAIGN OF 1931-33

by

HECTOR C. BYWATER

ASSOCIATE OF INST. NAV. ARCH., ASSOCIATE MEMBER OF

U.S. NAV. INST. AUTHOR OF "SEA POWER IN THE PACIFIC"

"The Great Pacific War" was a novel by Hector C. Bywater which discussed a hypothetical future war between Japan and the United States. The novel accurately predicts a number of details about the Pacific Campaign of World War II.


Bywater was a naval correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph.

In The Great Pacific War, the war begins with a Japanese invasion of Manchuria
, Formosa and Korea.  Japan then stages a surprise attack which results in the nearly complete destruction of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. 

The novel features numerous other accurate predictions, such as:

1. a large role in the conflict for aircraft carrier-based aircraft
2. suicidal tactics by Japanese aviators, and
3. an island hopping strategy as the U.S. retakes the Pacific.



"Infamy" by John Toland; Toland states that Isoroku Yamamoto was in US in 1925 and might have read NY book review on this book.  Admiral Richardson warned Franklin Roosevelt the danger of too many fleet in the Harbor on 8th of October,1940, one month before election, which the President disregarded and replaced him early next year.

 



 

ALTHOUGH this book portrays the course of an imaginary war between the United States and Japan, it has not been written to support the view that such a conflict is either close at hand or inevitable. No doubt there are elements of danger in the immigration controversy, while further causes of friction may attend the growth of American commercial enterprise in the Far East. For the moment, however, the Pacific horizon is fairly free from clouds. But if war between the two nations is happily improbable, it remains a contingency that cannot be dismissed as wholly impossible.

In a previous volume, Sea Power in the Pacific, I discussed at some length the formidable problems of strategy that would confront the United States in the event of hostilities with Japan. To naval officers the peculiar character of those problems had, of course, long been evident, but their recital appears to have aroused considerable interest among the public at large. To develop the theme further it was necessary to have recourse to the medium of fiction.

In the present book I have sought to demonstrate that, notwithstanding the handicaps of distance and, on America's side, the want of naval stations in the western area of the Pacific, means might still be found of establishing contact between the main belligerent forces and thus forcing matters to a decisive issue. It is often averred that war between the United States and Japan is out of the question, if only because their respective fleets, divided as they are by thousands of miles of ocean and with no intermediate bases of supply, could never get sufficiently close to engage. This, however, is probably a delusion, as I have endeavoured to show.

In foreshadowing the strategic moves and countermoves of the supposititious campaign, it has been my aim to keep well within the bounds of reasonable possibility, and not to sacrifice reality for the sake of dramatic effect. It would have been easy, for example, to bring the Japanese battle fleet to Hawaii, or even to the American seaboard. I might even have conveyed whole Japanese army corps to San Francisco and allowed them to overrun the Pacific Slope. But to do BO would have been to expose the narrative to the well-merited ridicule of informed critics.

Service readers may take exception to the account of the Bonins expedition, on the ground that so foolhardy an undertaking would never for a moment commend itself to the merest tyro in naval strategy. I submit, however, that the enterprise in question would be no more hazardous and unsound than certain operations which were seriously advocated by professional strategists during the world war of 1914-18. Moreover, at a time of national crisis any scheme which promises to achieve major results at small cost must inevitably make a strong appeal to political leaders, who have not infrequently been known to sanction military operations in the teeth of the best professional advice.

Particulars of the American and Japanese combatant forces are based upon the latest and most reliable information from both countries. Japanese submarines are designated in accordance with the new system promulgated by the Imperial Navy Department in November, 1924. The descriptions of islands, harbours, and channels, in common with all other topographical details, have been carefully checked, nor has the influence of weather conditions in certain regions of the Pacific escaped attention. Most names of merchant ships appearing in the text are actually borne by vessels now afloat. The account of cruiser and submarine raids on commerce has been compiled with due regard to existing trade routes and sea traffic. In fine, no effort has been spared to ensure technical accuracy throughout the narrative.

All persons named in the book, whether American or Japanese, are fictitious, no attempt having been made to draw individuals "from the life."

I am indebted to Mr. Francis E. McMurtrie, a co-editor of "Fighting Ships," the well-known naval annual, for valuable aid in the preparation of this story. His wide knowledge of maritime affairs was placed unreservedly at my disposal, and it is due to his practical interest that the original plan of the book was extended to include chapters descriptive of the trade war and other subsidiary but instructive operations beyond the principal zone of hostilities.

I have only to add that, to the best of my knowledge, this book constitutes the first attempt that has been made to forecast the progress of a future naval war in the Pacific from the "Western point of view, though at least two Japanese works on the same subject have appeared within recent years.

Hector C. Bywater.




 

CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION
II. JANUARY-MARCH, 1931
III. MARCH, 1931
IV. MARCH, 1931
V. MARCH, 1931
VI. MARCH-APRIL, 1931
VII. APRIL, 1931
VIII. APRIL-MAY, 1931
IX. JUNE-JULY, 1931
X. AUGUST-SEPTEMBER, 1931
XI. OCTOBER-DECEMBER, 1931
XII. DECEMBER, 1931-JANUARY, 1932
XIII. DECEMBER, 1931-JANUARY, 1932
XIV. FEBRUARY-MARCH, 1932
XV. MARCH-APRIL, 1932
XVI. APRIL-JUNE, 1932
XVII. JUNE-AUGUST, 1932
XVIII. AUGUST-OCTOBER, 1932
XIX. OCTOBER-NOVEMBER, 1932
XX. NOVEMBER, 1932
XXI. NOVEMBER, 1932-MARCH, 1933

 

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