HISTORICAL SOURCE MATERIAL

Reading:

"The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway", by John B. Lundstrom (1984) Naval Institute Press.

The author covers the Battle of the Coral Sea vividly and in extraordinary detail in 130 pages. Strongly recommended.

"The Second World War in the Far East", by H.P. Willmott.

The coverage of Coral Sea is brief (at pages 89-92), but this distinguished historian acccurately captures the strategic importance of Coral Sea.

"A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1941-1945), by Paul S. Dull (1978) Naval Institute Press.

American naval historian Professor Dull concludes his brief account of the battle with the strange comment: "It is difficult to say who won the battle of the Coral Sea" (at page 129). Professor Dull fails to place this battle in its correct historical context and fails to relate its outcome to achievement or non-achievement by the United States and Japan of their respective strategic aims in 1942. He incorrectly states (at page 116) that Operation MO (the capture of Port Moresby and Tulagi) was a Japanese Army initiative when it was in fact an initiative of Navy General Staff. The failure of the Japanese Operation MO at Coral Sea was a devastating blow to Japan's strategic aims in the Pacific in 1942. If Professor Dull could not appreciate that Coral Sea was a vital strategic victory for the Allies, then this probably explains his inability to determine who won the battle.

"The Longest Battle: The War at Sea 1939-45", by Richard Hough (1986) Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

This history of the war at sea in World War II contains a brief and accurate account of Coral Sea by a distinguished British historian (pages 162-173). Hough describes Coral Sea as being a "strategic American victory".

CORALINDEX