This engrossing book looks at the war with Japan, focusing on this "period of balance" between American and Japanese forces. The War with Japan explains how the battles fought in the Coral Sea in May and off Midway Islands in June 1942 represented the first engagements that were not the result of decisions made by the Japanese before the outbreak of war. Both the U.S. and Japanese had to consider their next moves in a strategic situation that was much like a gun lying in the street: it was there for either side to pick up and use.
But between February and October 1943, the Americans gained a critical edge when the U.S. Navy took delivery of the first of the massive warships that were to carry the fighting to the Japanese home islands. After November 1943, this strong U.S. fleet-built during the period of hostilities-outfought the Japanese navy. The War with Japan explores all these aspects of Japanese defeat.