Literature / History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_two_ocean_war_tp.jpg
And this is just the abridged version.
Several authoritative writers—including Richard Frank, Rick Atkinson and Ian W. Toll—are at work on trilogies about that war. But only Morison will ever be, in Baldwin’s words, “a modern Thu­cydides.”
James Hornfischer, author of Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Neptune's Inferno.

This is the history of the US Navy in World War IInote . It was written by the historical scholar Samuel Eliot Morrison and sponsored by the US government at the authors suggestion. It contains information based on interviews conducted in several theaters as well as actual service as what is now called an "embedded reporter" in several units.

The full series is a fifteen volume set. A summary is also published called The Two Ocean War for those who wish to go to less effort. The whole series is written in a magisterial style and gives encyclopedic information about the war. To this day it has not become dated and is still respected by military historians as the go-to book for naval warfare. Its one major shortcoming—poor and/or inaccurate information about the Axis side, due to a lack of primary sources—is gradually being addressed by a later generation of scholars, as documents are uncovered and translations become available.

The volumes are:
The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939 - May 1943
Operations in North African Waters, October 1942 - June 1943
The Rising Sun in the Pacific, 1931 - April 1942
Coral Sea, Midway, and Submarine Actions, May 1942 - August 1942
The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942 - February 1943
Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942 - 1 May 1944
Aleutians, Gilberts, and Marshalls, June 1942 - April 1944
New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944 - August 1944
Sicily - Salerno - Anzio, January 1943 - June 1944
The Atlantic Battle Won, May 1943 - May 1945
The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944–1945
Leyte, June 1944 - January 1945
The Liberation of the Philippines: Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944–1945
Victory in the Pacific, 1945
Supplement and General Index

And the abridgement
The Two Ocean War

Tropes include:

  • Badass Navy: The US Navy obviously. Other navies as well, perhaps, but this is naturally the focus of the work.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Several naturally.
  • Badass Bookworm: Samuel.
  • Big Book of War: And a whopping fifteen of them, in fact.
  • Dated History: Morison's personal loyalty to the US Navy and close proximity to the actual events meant he either did not have access to or give sufficient credit to Axis primary sources, some of which did not resurface until years after the war. As a result he was sometimes forced to treat US Navy suppositions about enemy actions and intentions as fact and some of those assumptions have not withstood the test of time. This is especially apparent in his account of the Battle Off Samar which is obviously colored by his evident contempt for Admiral Kurita and cannot be reconciled with the action reports of the Japanese ships involved. By and large though he managed to get things right if he had good sources.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The author several times.
  • Doorstopper: Every single volume is a doorstoper. And yes folks that's right, it has a whole volume for the index. And even the "short summary" The Two Ocean War is still a doorstopper.
  • Eagleland: Strong case of Type 1.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: It's World War II, so this is on par the course of the books.
  • Father Neptune: Morrison already liked sailing before the war, and personally sailed to several places researching earlier books. Even if that were not the case no one could spend as much time doing hands on research as the author did without ending up as a Father Neptune. Several of the sailors and officers he meets are this as well.
  • Flaunting Your Fleets: and not just any fleet but the largest and most powerful ever assembled: by late 1944 the US Pacific fleet alone outnumbered and outgunned every other navy in the world put together.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: The author
  • Intrepid Reporter: The author
  • Must Have Caffeine: Or as the author says, "The navy could probably win a war without coffee but it wouldn't like to try."
  • Patriotic Fervor: Naturally to be expected from a '40s-'50s New Englander.
  • Purple Prose: Morison was a man of his time and heavily influenced by the classics
  • Rated M for Manly: Gender equality was not even a consderation in the mid twentieth century
  • Semper Fi: The USMC naturally is mentioned in several entries, due to their involvement in several land battles the Navy supported.
  • Small Reference Pools: Information about Axis actions and intentions is sometimes lacking or inaccurate due to the scarcity of primary source materials.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Ships mostly, but there's also planes and artillery shells.
  • Trope Codifier: One of the first World War II naval histories and still referenced. If World War II naval history was a religion then this would be its "Bible".
  • Yanks With Carriers, Battleships, Cruisers, and Destroyers: Of course, given that it's a history of the United States Navy at war.
  • World War II: Duh. While the main focus is, of course, in the Pacific, the Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters also get some focus in their respective books.

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