Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943

Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943

An engrossing, epic history of the US Army in the Pacific War"Out here, mention is seldom seen of the achievements of the Army ground troops," wrote one officer in the fall of 1943, "whereas the Marines are blown up to the skies." Even today, the Marines are celebrated as the victors of the Pacific, a reflection of a well-deserved reputation for valor. Yet the majority of...

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Title:Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943
Author:John C. McManus
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Edition Language:English

Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 Reviews

  • Ron

    When most readers think of World War II in the Pacific Theater, they think of Pearl Harbor, Midway, and Guadalcanal which star the US Navy and Marines. But the war would not have been won with out the US Army. Fire and Fortitude tells the story of the US Army in the Pacific from the time of Pearl Harbor to the beginning of the march on Japan.

    John McManus divides the book in two sections - Onslaught and Turnabout. In Onslaught, the reader finds chapters on the Pearl Harbor attack, the invasion an

    When most readers think of World War II in the Pacific Theater, they think of Pearl Harbor, Midway, and Guadalcanal which star the US Navy and Marines. But the war would not have been won with out the US Army. Fire and Fortitude tells the story of the US Army in the Pacific from the time of Pearl Harbor to the beginning of the march on Japan.

    John McManus divides the book in two sections - Onslaught and Turnabout. In Onslaught, the reader finds chapters on the Pearl Harbor attack, the invasion and fall of the Philippians, the war in China and Australia, and a chapter on the prisoner of war (POW) camps. In Turnabout, the reader sees the US Army and its Allies striking back in New Guinea, Guadalcanal (the US Army played a crucial role there), Burma, China, and the invasion of Makin where the Army fared better than the Marines at Tarawa. There is also another chapter on the changing conditions at the POW camps in Philippians and Japan.

    John McManus has done a credible job of presenting the role of the US Army in the Pacific Theater of WWII. He works to provide details from both combat and other aspects of Army life. It is interesting that he provides details on the US Army POWs in the Pacific. The book breaks off abruptly after the Makin invasion, but that is due to the scope of the book. In tone Fire and Fortitude reminds the reader of the Official Histories put out by the US Army that are available in US Government Repositories. But if you are looking for a one volume introduction to the role played by the US Army in the early part of WWII, Fire and Fortitude will work.

    Thanks Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title.

  • Craig Pearson

    McManus is an excellent writer and through extensive research has crafted a detailed and enjoyable read about the history of the Army in the Pacific conflict. This book does not tell the full story of the Army in the Pacific, jusdt through 1943. With some tightening of biographies and some reduction of personality conflicts I think this coulod have told the story of the whole war. I do not understand why no maps were included. Fire and Fortitude gets a 4.5 for not being perfect.

  • Casey Wheeler

    The author has written  books detailing World War II  with this one addressing  the role the Army played in during the first half of the war. It is well researched and written and is an interesting read. He points out, as many authors have, the self-centered ineptitude of Douglas McArthur which caused a much higher loss of life than necessary in the demise of the Phillipines. I found the section about americans in Austraila an interesting chapter in dealing with understanding the english languag

    The author has written  books detailing World War II  with this one addressing  the role the Army played in during the first half of the war. It is well researched and written and is an interesting read. He points out, as many authors have, the self-centered ineptitude of Douglas McArthur which caused a much higher loss of life than necessary in the demise of the Phillipines. I found the section about americans in Austraila an interesting chapter in dealing with understanding the english language as used by the Aussies. He also describes the problems the Austrailians had in understanding those soldiers from the deep south.

    I recomend this book for those looking for a better understanding of the role the Army played in the war with Japan during the first half of the conflict.

    I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

  • Anne Morgan

    Reading about World War II generally begins with the European theater: Normandy, the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk, etc. For Americans, Pearl Harbor may be as far into the Pacific theater as they go. Further reading generally focuses on the Navy and sea battles. So I was very interested to read John C. McManus' Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 and learn more about the early Pacific war and the army.

    Spoiler alert: for readers like me who know very little going in, Fire a

    Reading about World War II generally begins with the European theater: Normandy, the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk, etc. For Americans, Pearl Harbor may be as far into the Pacific theater as they go. Further reading generally focuses on the Navy and sea battles. So I was very interested to read John C. McManus' Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 and learn more about the early Pacific war and the army.

    Spoiler alert: for readers like me who know very little going in, Fire and Fortitude is not the book for you. After reading the "Prologue" I almost decided not to continue reading the book. Written as if a college professor is giving a lecture, it put me off the author and made me worry the book was going to be written in the same style: McManus seems to want to show the reader that he knows his military history and compares World War II Pacific army work with both historic and modern day situations. He 'talks' down to the reader, trying to impress them (one assumes) with his knowledge and the introduction to the book and its topics felt almost secondary to me.

    If you can make it past the prologue and still want to read the book, the writing style at least gets better. There are fewer comparisons to situations past and future to distract from the present of the 1940s. Beginning at Pearl Harbor and going to Makin in 1943, McManus provides carefully researched minute details to make the reader feel as if they are experiencing every hardship alongside the soldiers. For anyone wanting to find out about the intense miseries of jungle warfare, this is your book. From marches along ridges to the psychological terror of being in foxholes at night, Fire and Fortitude had you covered. It makes you wonder how anyone experiencing it (on both the American and Japanese side) came out even halfway sane.

    What Fire and Fortitude didn't do was give you the bigger picture of the Pacific theater. When you do get some of the overall plans and decision making from the generals, it quickly gets buried again in the tiny details. I know I read about McArthur's experiences in the Philippines and why he was obsessed with returning there after evacuating, but after a few chapters I was so bogged down in minutiae that I couldn't remember his reasons for the rest of the book. As much as I appreciated the miseries that the soldiers went through, I could have handled fewer of the repetitious details of those miseries on every island fight and more of the big picture on why they were fighting on the islands to come away with a better understanding of the war in the Pacific.

    Overall, Fire and Fortitude is not a book for a reader new to the Pacific theater. From ship tonnage to what each soldier carried to the specific divisions and regiments who went to different places, this is a book for historians who already know an enormous amount about this theater and are looking for even more details. For the beginner, like me, McManus spends so much time focusing on the details that the bigger picture is completely lost on you. Because of this, I found the book an ordeal to get through, and not an author I would go back to for future reading.

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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