100 books like History of United States Naval Operations in World War II

By Samuel Eliot Morison,

Here are 100 books that History of United States Naval Operations in World War II fans have personally recommended if you like History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Two-Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War

Barrett Tillman Author Of When the Shooting Stopped: August 1945

From my list on WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific.

Who am I?

Like all Boomers, I grew up in the shadow of “The War.” My parents, relatives, and others participated in World War II to various extents; all were affected by it. Therefore, I absorbed the Pacific Theater early on. My father trained as a naval aviator, and among my early TV memories is the 1950s series Victory at Sea. My mother coaxed me early on, and an aunt was an English teacher, so I began learning to read before kindergarten. In retrospect, that gave me extra time to start absorbing the emerging literature. Much later I helped restore and flew WW II aircraft, leading to my first book.

Barrett's book list on WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific

Barrett Tillman Why did Barrett love this book?

President Franklin Roosevelt commissioned Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison to write the definitive history of the U.S. Navy in WW II, and Morison produced an epic 15-volume series between 1947 and 1962. 

Despite more recent research it is richly detailed, elegantly written, and remains a standard source. The Two-Ocean War, Morison’s 1963 one-volume condensation covering all theaters of operations, was among the books that piqued my interest in the subject. It is particularly valuable in describing the Pacific island campaigns as well as the war at sea.

By Samuel Eliot Morison,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Two-Ocean War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1963, this classic, single-volume history draws on Morison's definitive 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. More than a condensation, The Two-Ocean War highlights the major components of the larger work: the preparation for war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the long war of attrition between submarines and convoys in the Atlantic, the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, the long grind of Guadalcanal, the leapfrogging campaigns among the Pacific islands, the invasion of continental Europe, the blazes of glory at Leyte and Okinawa, and the final grudging surrender of the…


Book cover of The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II

William L. McGee Author Of The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville, Pacific War Turning Point

From my list on World War II in the Pacific.

Who am I?

William L. McGee is an award-winning World War II Pacific war historian. His writing career has spanned six decades — three of them in marketing and sales in the broadcasting industry. He is a WWII veteran of the Pacific theater and an atomic veteran of Operation Crossroads, the postwar atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946.

William's book list on World War II in the Pacific

William L. McGee Why did William love this book?

Published in 2000, this reference book makes previous chronologies of the Navy at war out-of-date. My co-author and wife, Sandra McGee, uses this chronology to create social media posts, such as “On this day…” or “75 Years Ago Today…”.

By Robert J. Cressman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ten years after the close of World War II, the U.S. Navy published achronology of its operations in the war. Long out of print, the work focused onwhat were then defined as critical and decisive events. It ignored a multitudeof combat actions as well as the loss or damage of many types of U.S. shipsand craft-particularly auxiliaries, amphibious ships, and district craft-andentirely omitted the U.S. submarine campaign against Japanese shipping, Thisgreatly expanded and updated study, now available in paperback with anindex, goes far beyond the original work, drawing on information from morethan forty additional years of historical research and writing.…


Book cover of Ships for Victory: A History of Shipbuilding under the U.S. Maritime Commission in World War II

William L. McGee Author Of The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville, Pacific War Turning Point

From my list on World War II in the Pacific.

Who am I?

William L. McGee is an award-winning World War II Pacific war historian. His writing career has spanned six decades — three of them in marketing and sales in the broadcasting industry. He is a WWII veteran of the Pacific theater and an atomic veteran of Operation Crossroads, the postwar atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946.

William's book list on World War II in the Pacific

William L. McGee Why did William love this book?

This hefty 881-page book covers in detail the story of the greatest shipbuilding program in America’s history. When America entered WWII in December 1941, I was chomping at the bit to get in the action, but I had to wait a year until I turned seventeen. I applied for a job at the Kaiser Shipyard in Vancouver, Washington, and trained to be a welder on the big ships.

By Frederic Chapin Lane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ships for Victory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During World War II, America's shipbuilding industry, mobilized under the U.S. Maritime Commission, set records of production that have never been equaled. Given the daunting task of building ships faster than they were being sunk, shipbuilding firms across the country found new ways to increase their efficiency and scale of production. Huge new shipyards were built, a labor force of 640,000 was employed, and over 55 million deadweight tons of ocean-going ships were delivered, including the famous Liberty and Victory ships. First published in 1951, Ships for Victory chronicles this remarkable wartime program in magisterial detail: the development of revolutionary…


Book cover of Naval Institute Guide to Naval Writing

William L. McGee Author Of The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville, Pacific War Turning Point

From my list on World War II in the Pacific.

Who am I?

William L. McGee is an award-winning World War II Pacific war historian. His writing career has spanned six decades — three of them in marketing and sales in the broadcasting industry. He is a WWII veteran of the Pacific theater and an atomic veteran of Operation Crossroads, the postwar atomic bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946.

William's book list on World War II in the Pacific

William L. McGee Why did William love this book?

Every military historian and-or editor needs this manual on their bookshelf. My editor’s preference for my books is to use both the Naval style as well as writing out military acronyms or abbreviations for the convenience of the reader.

By Robert Shenk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Naval Institute Guide to Naval Writing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the premier Guide to Professional Writing in the naval services and has been the standard guide for writing in the naval services for almost two decades.

Features of the new edition:

* New edition is has been updated and revised.
* Contains a new chapter on"Writing Naval Emails" based on interviews with naval professionals, and also based on the best civilian guidance
* Guides readers on the use of naval emails and the internet in relation to all manner of naval documents.
* Explores"do's" and "don'ts" on writing emails, and on use of computer aids to writing in…


Book cover of I Saw The Fall Of The Philippines

Kathryn J. Atwood Author Of Women Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival

From my list on Pacific Theater of World War II.

Who am I?

Kathryn J. Atwood’s young adult collective biographies on women and war have garnered multiple book awards. She has been seen on America: Facts vs. Fiction; heard on BBC America; published in The Historian and War, Literature & the Arts; and featured as a guest speaker at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, and the Atlanta History Center.

Kathryn's book list on Pacific Theater of World War II

Kathryn J. Atwood Why did Kathryn love this book?

The Philippine resistance of WWII was, in my opinion, the most admirable resistance organization of the war, whether European or Pacific. In fact, resistance among the Philippine people was so widespread, that the Japanese occupiers were almost correct in assuming any civilian they encountered was a resister on some level. Carlos Romulo, a Philippine aide de camp to General MacArthur and a hero to his countrymen, gives his personal account of the war in this excellent memoir.

Book cover of Song of Survival: Women Interned

Kathryn J. Atwood Author Of Women Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival

From my list on Pacific Theater of World War II.

Who am I?

Kathryn J. Atwood’s young adult collective biographies on women and war have garnered multiple book awards. She has been seen on America: Facts vs. Fiction; heard on BBC America; published in The Historian and War, Literature & the Arts; and featured as a guest speaker at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, and the Atlanta History Center.

Kathryn's book list on Pacific Theater of World War II

Kathryn J. Atwood Why did Kathryn love this book?

A little-known aspect of the Pacific War was the imprisonment of Allied civilians. While these Japanese-run prison camps were not deliberate death machines, as were the Nazi-run concentration camps, large numbers of women and children died of starvation and disease there, or at least had their health permanently ruined. Many stories would come out of these camps, both horrific and inspiring. Perhaps the most brilliantly creative story of the latter category was the vocal orchestra, a group of imprisoned women who sought to recreate symphonic music with their voices. Colijn’s memoir was made into the film, Paradise Road.

By Helen Colijn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Song of Survival as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thrown into the whirlwind of dark forces unleashed with the onset of World War II, a young woman, Helen Colijn, her sisters, and father flee the oncoming Japanese army. Helen Colijn's account of her wartime experiences is a window into a largely overlooked dimension of World War II -- the imprisonment of women and children in Southeast Asia by the Japanese and how these prisoners of war responded to their dire circumstances. The conditions were terrible. Food was scarce; medicine unavailable. Held in captivity for three and a half years, more that a third of the women in Helen's camp…


Book cover of General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War

James Ellman Author Of MacArthur Reconsidered: General Douglas MacArthur as a Wartime Commander

From my list on World War II in the Southwest Pacific.

Who am I?

I am an author and investor living in windward Oahu who has had a lifelong interest in military history ever since I read a biography of Alexander the Great when I was 12 years old. I have written several books including Hitler’s Great Gamble and MacArthur Reconsidered. For my next project I have transcribed, compiled, and edited 1,100 of General Douglas MacArthur’s daily communiques issued by his Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) headquarters from 1942-45. This collection will be published by McFarland in 2024.

James' book list on World War II in the Southwest Pacific

James Ellman Why did James love this book?

Similar to Eichelberger, few today know the name of General George Kenney who commanded the Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) from the 1942 defense of Papua New Guinea to the surrender of Japan.

Again, MacArthur’s need to dominate all headlines from his military theater explains the relative obscurity of his field generals. But Kenney’s story, related in his own words, should not be overlooked.

He was arguably the most innovative and successful air commander of the WWII. He demanded aggressiveness from his pilots, mounted .50-caliber machine guns onto pretty much anything that could fly and insisted on implementing the dangerous but deadly tactics of parachute fragmentation bombing on land and mast-height and skip-bombing against Japanese shipping at sea.  

By George C Kenney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked General Kenney Reports as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

General Kenney Reports is a classic account of a combat commander in action. General George Churchill Kenney arrived in the Southwest Pacific theater in August 1942 to find that his command, if not in a shambles, was in dire straits. The theater commander, General Douglas MacArthur, had no confidence in his air element. Kenney quickly changed this situation. He organized and energized the Fifth Air Force, bringing in operational commanders like Whitehead and Wurtsmith who knew how to run combat air forces. He fixed the logistical swamp, making supply and maintenance supportive of air operations, and encouraging mavericks such as…


Book cover of Wingmen

Lance Ringel Author Of Flower of Iowa

From my list on gay male historical romances grounded in time.

Who am I?

I was never a little boy who played soldier. But when I was 13, I read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and developed a lifelong fascination (unusual for an American) with the First World War. Decades later, having achieved a happy life as a gay man, I started to wonder during the debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: What would life have been like for two soldiers in the Great War who fell in love? So, I traveled to the battlefields and cemeteries of France, and to the Imperial War Museum in London, and read anything and everything I could about WW1. And then I wrote Flower of Iowa.

Lance's book list on gay male historical romances grounded in time

Lance Ringel Why did Lance love this book?

When Wingmen was published in 1979, there had been nothing else quite like it: a war novel, very well researched, with plenty of action and adventure… plus a romance between two men at its center. Those feelings emerge, in a classic slow burn, between young Ensign Fred Trusteau and the more seasoned Lieutenant Commander Fred Hartigan against the backdrop of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The often-harrowing life of naval aviators is vividly conveyed in action scenes set in places whose names will be familiar to students of WW2 – Wake Island, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Truk. Case has certainly done his homework on the hardware and the military lingo, but what lifts the narrative is the uncertain, unconventional romance between the main characters. What Top Gun could have been.

Book cover of Macarthur's Victory: The War in New Guinea, 1943-1944

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Who am I?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

This book gave me a basic understanding of the New Guinea war into which my father was sent. It gave me the framework with which I could piece together the timeline of my father’s service. It gave me an idea of the progress of the war and a context for all of his military orders, his stacks of correspondence, and all of his photos, long stored away in his Navigation Case.

By Harry Gailey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Macarthur's Victory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A GREAT WARRIOR AT THE PEAK OF HIS POWERS

In March 1942, General Douglas MacArthur faced an enemy who, in the space of a few months, captured Malaya, Burma, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and, from their base at Raubaul in New Britain, threaten Australia. Upon his retreat to Australia, MacArthur hoped to find enough men and matérielfor a quick offensive against the Japanese. Instead, he had available to him only a small and shattered air force, inadequate naval support, and an army made up almost entirely of untried reservists.

Here is one of history’s most controversial commanders battling…


Book cover of The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II

Malcolm H. Murfett Author Of Naval Warfare 1919-1945: An Operational History of the Volatile War at Sea

From my list on Asian theatre in the Second World War.

Who am I?

I lived and taught in Asia for over 30 years and love the place to bits. Leaving Oxford for Singapore may have seemed like a daring adventure in 1980, but it complemented my doctoral research and introduced me to a wonderful set of students who have enriched my life ever since. Asia has a fascination for me that I can’t resist. I have written and edited 15 books on naval and defence themes, much of which have been set in the Asian continent. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the past 25 years, I am also the editor for the series Cold War in Asia. 

Malcolm's book list on Asian theatre in the Second World War

Malcolm H. Murfett Why did Malcolm love this book?

This book doesn’t have a catchy title and sounds rather pedestrian, but we are told never to judge a book by its cover and in this case it’s true about the title as well! Mark Parillo’s magisterial thesis taught me a great deal about why the Japanese lost the Pacific War. He explains why they stubbornly refused to convoy their merchant fleet even when, by failing to do so, they were aiding the enemy’s cause. Japan needed to import most of its war material, but once the US submarine campaign began to decimate the ships that were bringing in those vital supplies in 1944-45 the game was essentially up. Therefore, a case can be made that the war was effectively lost before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

By Mark P. Parillo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Making extensive use of Japanese and U.S. sources, including wartime intelligence reports from the National Defense Archives in Tokyo and recently declassified U.S. documents, this book examines the reasons for Japan's failure to protect its merchant fleet.


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