Press Release: Attack on Pearl Harbor

A New Perspective on Pearl Harbor Revealed . . .

With the 70th anniversary of the seminal battle at Pearl Harbor upon us, we at Casemate are proud to mention that this year we published an entirely new look at the battle, which has filled in many of the mysteries, dispelled many of the myths, and has doubtless given us a greater understanding of the surprise attack that suddenly drew America into World War II.

For this we are grateful to Alan D. Zimm (author of the blog post below), a former US Navy commander and current military operations analyst based at Johns Hopkins University for his book: ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR:  Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions.

The first full-fledged work by a modern US Navy analyst examining the battle from the Japanese point of view, this book is full of expert insights, down to the flights of individual torpedo planes as they soared in against Battleship Row.

Though the attack proved tactically successful in the end, Dr. Zimm establishes how the supposed excellence of Japanese planning in fact resulted in a free-for-all above our Pacific Fleet at harbor, and that the Japanese were fortunate to escape from their own confusion.

Once smoke billows were in the air, the second wave of Japanese dive-bombers had no idea what they were aiming at, even as they crossed paths with their own fighter formations or torpedo bombers, the latter whom were sent in too late, thus made easy prey for alerted US gunners. The renowned Japanese Zero fighters simply roamed above the fray, looking for targets of opportunity like Sioux Indians wanting to count coup. Meantime the bomber formations wasted much of their ordnance on a supply ship they thought was a carrier.

If not for a few lucky hits—specially the one on Arizona—the attack could have completely misfired. And it certainly would have had America’s main naval base in the Pacific not utterly failed to provide at least 10-minutes’ warning of an attack that incrementally approached from 2,000 miles away.

It has become customary to describe the US victory at Midway as “lucky”—but in this book Alan Zimm confirms once and for all that Pearl Harbor the Japanese were even more so.

A selection of the Military Book Club, and a great success with readers, we’re happy to recommend our recent release, ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR, as perhaps the best new book on the subject this year. Gratefully, professional reviewers have agreed:

 “An engrossing study, particularly for those considering themselves well-read on the topic…. it is even more interesting for those with ample knowledge of events in World War II’s Pacific Theater of Operations leading up to, on, and following December 7, 1941. For a variety of reasons, including the provocative nature of many of Zimm’s fact-built arguments, this reviewer does not hesitate to recommend.”

—GLOBE AT WAR

 “It is not often that one can say that an outstanding book transforms our knowledge of a well-known event but this can be said of Alan Zimm’s Attack on Pearl Harbor…. sets straight the record of a key historical event…essential reading.”

—NAVY NEWS (UK)

 “…examines every aspect of the attack and uses operations research techniques to critique the planning and performance of the Japanese forces and compare the results with expectations.”

—SEA POWER

 “Zimm’s conclusions will remain definitive for the foreseeable future.… So, by all means, reread Gordon Prange’s At Dawn We Slept, but definitely read Alan Zimm’s Attack on Pearl Harbor for a fuller and more up-to-date understanding of an event that changed history and continues to fascinate.”

—MICHIGAN WAR STUDIES REVIEW

 “…uses modern methods of operational analysis to determine exactly how the Japanese planned and executed the great raid…a worthy, useful analysis…”

—NAVAL HISTORY

 “An interesting analysis of the strategy and tactics involved. Instead of ‘the most daring and brilliant naval operations of all time,’ Zimm demonstrates that the Japanese carrier strike force did not plan the attack very well, nor did they train effectively for it… an interesting new look at this opening gambit in the Pacific Theater of World War II.”

—THE PAST IN REVIEW

 “For seven decades, conventional wisdom has extolled the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as brilliant in its planning and execution. Alan D. Zimm’s masterful analysis topples that pillar of Pacific War history.”

—WORLD WAR II magazine

While remembering the sacrifice and gallantry of our service members during the Pearl Harbor attack, Casemate is proud to continue to explore the exact details of the battle, not leaving them shrouded in myth, but with ever-new and expert analyses of what our brave sailors and soldiers endured.

Our appreciation is also extended to author Alan Zimm, whose painstaking research has made an entirely new—and perhaps most accurate of all—perspective on this seminal battle possible.

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