[[caption-width-right:250: 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 [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin US Navy in World War II]][[note]]Technically, it's not an ''official'' history. See below.[[/note]]. 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:

* [[BadassArmy Badass Navy]]: The US Navy obviously. Other navies as well, perhaps, but this is naturally the focus of the work.
* BigBadassBattleSequence: Several naturally.
* BadassBookworm: Samuel.
* BigBookOfWar: And a whopping ''[[UpToEleven fifteen]]'' of them, in fact.
* RealLife/CoolBoat: Several. It wouldn't be a history of the US Navy without them, both Allied and Axis.
* DatedHistory: 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.
* DeadpanSnarker: The author several times.
* {{Doorstopper}}: Every single volume is a doorstoper. And yes folks that's right, it has a whole volume ''[[UpToEleven for the index]]''. And even the "short summary" The Two Ocean War ''is still'' a doorstopper.
* {{Eagleland}}: ''Strong'' case of Type 1.
* EarthIsABattlefield: It's UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, so this is on par the course of the books.
* EpicShipOnShipAction: Played straight in the Pacific Theater, with several surface engagements between US and Japanese ships taking place between 1942 to as late as 1944.
** Averted in the Atlantic, where the Germans refuse to deploy their highly valued battleship ''Tirpitz'' against the US Navy's brand new ''Iowa'' and ''South Dakota''-class ships.
* FatherNeptune: 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 FatherNeptune. Several of the sailors and officers he meets are this as well.
* FlauntingYourFleets: 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.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: The author
* IntrepidReporter: The author
* IslandBase: Many, many, Japanese ones, several of which the Americans take due to their vital locations.
* MustHaveCaffeine: Or as the author says, "The navy could probably win a war without coffee but it wouldn't like to try."
* NavalBlockade: Done successfully by the US Navy and Army Air Force on Japan by early 1945, where submarines, air attacks, and mine-laying ships and planes manage to almost completely cut off the Japanese mainland from the rest of their empire.
* PatrioticFervor: Naturally to be expected from a '40s-'50s New Englander.
* PurpleProse: Morison was a man of his time and heavily influenced by the classics
* RatedMForManly: Gender equality was not even a consderation in the mid twentieth century
* SemperFi: The USMC naturally is mentioned in several entries, due to their involvement in several land battles the Navy supported.
* SmallReferencePools: Information about Axis actions and intentions is sometimes lacking or inaccurate due to the scarcity of primary source materials.
* StuffBlowingUp: Ships mostly, but there's also planes and artillery shells.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: By 1944, this becomes the US Navy's MO against the dwindling Japanese Navy.
* TropeCodifier: One of the first UsefulNotes/WorldWarII naval histories and still referenced. If World War II naval history was [[SeriousBusiness a religion]] then this would be its [[SacredScripture "Bible".]]