Osprey's I Will Run Wild


Thomas McKelvey Cleaver


Osprey Publishing


$30.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 320 pages, hardbound, ISBN: 978-1-4728-4133-9

Those of you who have been with Modeling Madness.com will be familiar with Tom Cleaver's articles. Tom is foremost an author and a very good one. He has produced a number of military history books that have all been critically acclaimed.

This particular volume is subtitled 'The Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Midway', and it covers all of the important events during that time. The title comes from a quote by Isoru Yamamoto who was the commander in chief of the Japanese Navy. He'd been the naval attaché in Washington and knew what war with the United States would mean. When asked how Japan would fare in a war with the West he stated that 'I will run wild for the first six months. After that there is no guarantee'. His prediction was pretty much spot on.

The book starts off with a background of the situation leading up to the Pacific War. It provides an interesting background on some of the players in the events to follow. This is followed by chapters on Wake Island, the Philippines, Malaya, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, the Doolittle Raid, Coral Sea and Midway. Each of these events is well covered without going into too much detail.

As much as anything the book concentrates on the people involved as much as the event itself. This is what really makes this book shine. The author has been able interview a number of the people involved as has relied on other interviews to inject the sort of human touch that makes this such a readable book. His ability to tell a story is quite evident and no where does the book lag or suffer from the sort of dry factual prose that one can get from other history books.

The book includes a well thought-out selection of photographs for illustration and overall, makes for a 'must have' book. Even if you thought you knew a lot about the subject, you will learn new things. A book for everyone and one that has my highest recommendation.

October 2020

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