Pearl Harbor 1941: The Day of Infamy

Author Carl Smith
Publisher Osprey Publishing
ISBN 1-84176-390-X
Reviewed By Guest Reviewer Andrew Nguyen
Review Date 23 Jul 2009

The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was one of the most important events in the history of the modern world. Though a successful military operation, it would eventually result in the defeat of Japan and her Axis partners as it brought an enraged United States into World War II. Since that momentous day, many books have discussed all aspects of the attack.

Not surprisingly, Osprey Publishing, a company that deals with writing and publishing books about military history, would soon join in when in 1999 it released, as its 62nd book in the campaign series, its own book about the Pearl Harbor attack. Written by Carl Smith, it summarized the lead up to and the actual attack as it happened. In 2001 and as part of the 60th anniversary of the attack, Osprey published an updated version of the book. In the 2001 version of the book, it had updated and revised information, which had not appeared in the book’s 1999 release. This included 3-d pictures about the USS Arizona as well as the planes used by the Imperial Japanese Navy and a page dealing with the pilot uniform worn by Japanese pilots on that fateful day. In addition, the 2001 version of the book also had a CD with more information about the Pearl Harbor attack. However, Osprey discontinued the CD when it re-released the book in 2005.

The book proceeds in the standard format that Osprey Publishing uses when working on books dealing with battles throughout history.

With a large number of impressive photos, maps, paintings, and 3-d images, the book gives a broad overview of the lead-up to the attack, the event itself, and a small section dealing with the aftermath. After the main section dealing with the attack has concluded, the book has a section each dealing with bibliography and then appendices that overview the forces available on both sides on that day.

With 96 pages, the book accomplishes its goal of a broad overview of the attack impressively well. Still though, it is only broad summary and if one wants to learn about the attack, one should look up the others books that are listed in the bibliography as well, particularly the works of Gordon W. Prange.

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