The Conquering Tide


The devastation of Pearl Harbor and the American victory at Midway were prelude to a greater challenge: rolling back the vast Japanese Pacific empire, island by island.

This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War―the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944―when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan's far-flung island empire like a "conquering tide," concluding with Japan's irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries, leaving scars that even victory could not heal.

“A beautiful blend of history and prose and proves again Mr. Toll’s mastery of the naval-war narrative, carrying the reader smoothly from the marble halls of Washington to the Pacific’s gritty, red-stained beaches.” (Jonathan W. Jordan - Wall Street Journal)

“A gripping narrative of the central Pacific campaign…. Toll is strong on the operational details of battle, but he is no less skilled at presenting something that is frequently missing from military histories, a well-rounded depiction of the home front on both sides.” (Walter R. Borneman - New York Times Book Review)

“A riveting account of how the U.S. clawed its way back from defeat against initially unstoppable Japanese air, land and sea invasion forces after Pearl Harbor.... Toll offers a masterly guide to naval warfare and decision-making in Tokyo and Washington. He captures the brutish, all too often short life on deck and in the foxholes. This is military history at its best. Bring on volume three!” (Lionel Barber - Financial Times)

“In The Conquering Tide, Ian Toll takes his place as one of the great storytellers of war. He is equally vivid and commanding describing landing on a carrier at night, making grand strategy in Washington, and brawling in a bar in Australia. Toll is a master; he is writing for the ages.” (Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder and Ike's Bluff)

“In his masterly narrative, Ian Toll brings clarity and a stinging immediacy to America's long, bitter climb up the island ladder that led to Japan. This is maritime history at its best and most accessible, told with a verve that will leave the reader wondering how such a long book could have sped by so quickly.” (Richard Snow, author of Iron Dawn and A Measureless Peril)

“A lucid and learned exposition of the grand chess match between high commanders in the middle years of the Pacific War, vividly evoking the grit and gristle of its many horrors and triumphs. Ian W. Toll is a superb historian whose writing appeals to both the head and the heart.” (James D. Hornfischer, author of Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal)

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© 2015 by Ian W. Toll