Saturday, October 06, 2012

"The Battle For Tinian: Vital Stepping Stone in America's War Against Japan" by Nathan N. Prefer from Casemate Publishers.


Mr. Prefer has written an outstanding book on the battle for Tinian.  While only 240 pages, it is an excellence examination of the battle and planning. Persons interested in World War Two in the Pacific will enjoy its direct and easily understood style. The author is a master communicator. I highly recommend the book. Not only is it the tale of how to plan and execute a battle, it is a model on how to write the history of a battle.

The author starts the book with an historical overview of the Mariana Islands giving the background by placing in context why we are the based on the whereabouts, topography, and military significance. We learn why this location is so important to both the Japanese and the United States.

We look at the Battle for Tinian through the scope of the Battle for Saipan. The planning of the battle, the lessons learned, and the future implications of the education received are enduring.  

The author does an excellent job of describing the Japanese stronghold on Tinian down to both their defenses and leadership issues. The unfolding of the decision-making process of the US in selecting the landing sites is a lesson in leadership by itself.

The photographs and simple maps added to the book. Sometimes simple is better. I found myself repeatedly referring back to the maps to locate landing sites and follow the action. The way Mr. Prefer narrated the daily actions and events on landings, attacks, counterattacks had me feeling as if I were there. It was able to touch my emotion through his writing.

He does an extraordinary job pulling it all together and summarizing the campaign. The inclusion of the appendixes with key leadership, causality information, information of the ships, citations, battle orders add significant value to the work. The bibliography will help the serious student or scholar in their further study as will the excellent indexing of the book.

Nathan N. Prefer and Casemate Publishers have hit a home run with the book. Like the order of battler for Tinian, they both have set the example of how book on a battle should be written.