Thursday, November 28, 2019

Review of "Pacific Island Bastions of the United States," by Herold J. Wiens

Review of

Pacific Island Bastions of the United States, by Herold J. Wiens 

Four out of five stars

 This is a broad overview of the islands in the Pacific that are now part of the fundamental defensive perimeter of the United States. It opens with a history of the islands, from their first inhabitants, and followed by the arrival of the European colonizers and controllers. The actions of Japanese expansion in World War I and II follow, and that section concludes with the ascendency of the United States as the dominant naval power.

 The next section deals with the geography of the Pacific Islands, from how rainfall is generated by the mountains to how climates throughout the Pacific are determined by the prevailing ocean currents. The dynamic forces that create the currents and the trade winds are also briefly covered. The last chapter deals with the role of island fortresses in the age of nuclear arms and missiles capable of delivering them thousands of miles with an error of at most a few miles.

 A great deal of blood and treasure was expended over control of the islands in the Pacific, arguably the most per acre of land acquisition in history. This book is a solid, if brief history of those conflicts and why they took place.

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