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Battling in the Pacific: Soldiering in World War II

Susan Provost Beller

Non-Fiction (Series)

Ages 12 and up

Lerner, 2008, 978-0-8225-6381-5

  If you visit Hawaii one of the places to visit is Pearl Harbor. In the harbor there are two ships which represent the beginning and the end of the American participation in the Pacific theatre of WWII. There is the wreck of the USS Arizona which Japanese fighters sank on December 7th, 1941. And there is the USS Missouri on which the Japanese gave their formal resignation on September 2, 1945. Located just half a mile apart these two ““bookends” of war” represent a conflict which had a profound effect on much of the world.

  The war in Europe began in September of 1939 but despite requests for assistance, the Americans stayed resolutely neutral. They did not want to get involved in yet another European conflict. The Americans had enough on their plate trying to maintain a cordial relationship with Japan. This was not easy because the Japanese were eager to expand their empire and this put a great deal of strain on the relationship between the two countries. Indeed, by 1941 leaders in both America and Japan felt that a war between the countries was “inevitable.” Japanese diplomats went to Washington to discuss the situation with representatives of the American government.

  At the same time as these talks were taking place Japan was preparing to strike a crucial American target, and on December 7th, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The following day a shocked and angry President Roosevelt asked Congress to approve a declaration of war against Japan which they agreed to. Soon after, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. America was now part of the conflict which came to be called World War II

  With great skill the author of this book shows her readers what took place in the Pacific from 1941 to the day of the Japanese surrender in 1945. In addition to the main text the author has written numerous additional articles which provide readers with interesting pieces of background information. These include the story of the Navajo Code, a description of Tokyo Rose, and a description of what it was like to land a plane on an aircraft carrier. After reading this book readers may find that they have a new respect for the American military men and women who fought under such grueling conditions against an enemy who was hard to understand and who was determined to win whatever the cost.

  This book is full of annotated period photographs, maps, and more

  This is one of the titles in the “Soldiers on the Battlefront series.” Other books in the series include titles which describe the siege of the Alamo, soldiering in the Revolutionary War, and soldiering in World War I.



Battling in the Pacific


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