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The U.S. Navy against the Axis tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet in World War II with an emphasis on ship-to-ship combat. It advances the thesis that the fleet’s role in America’s ultimate victory was more crucial than commonly realized and that it holds many lessons for today’s Navy and the nation as a whole.
The book refutes the widely-held notion that the attack on Pearl Harbor suddenly rendered surface combatants obsolete and that aviation and submarines dominated the Pacific War; it demonstrates that the battleships, cruisers and destroyers made major contributions to America’s victory and played decisive roles at critical junctures.
The U.S. Navy against the Axis offers a cautionary parable relevant to today’s Navy. It demonstrates how swift adaptability and intellectual honesty were fundamental to the Navy’s success against Japan. The book’s underlying premises is that we cannot assume that in a conflict against conventional or asymmetric enemies, the nation holds title to the same virtues demonstrated by the Navy three generations past. Instead those lessons need to be constantly studied and validated in the face of postwar mythologies, lest they be forgotten.