The Coral Sea 1942



Campaign 214

Available from

The campaign series is a set of books, which provides its readers with accounts of history’s greatest conflicts. These books detail the command strategies and tactics battle experiences of the opposing forces throughout crucial stages of the campaign is being followed. Two new books that have been released in the campaign series deal with crucial battles that occurred during World War II. The first is a naval battle in the second is a land battle.

Campaigns 214

The Coral Sea 1942, written by retired USN Cmdr. Mark O. Stille and illustrated by John White’s, and tells the story of this important and unique Pacific war battle. The battle of Coral Sea is unique in that it was the first battle in which enemy fleets never came within sight of one another. Instead aircraft launched from carrier decks were sent out to attack the enemy ships with bombs and torpedoes.

Campaigns 214, the Coral Sea, 1942 is a 96 page book divided into nine Sections. Section 1 provides the reader with an explanation of the origins of the campaign and places the battle into its historical context. Chapter 2 is devoted to the chronology of the events leading up to the battle. This section provides you with it day by day and sometimes hour by hour look at the events that were occurring leading up to the battle.

The third section of the book discusses the opposing commanders. Here we are given an insight into the background of the Japanese and the American commanders who participated in this battle. There are also numerous photographs of the different commanders in this section. The next section discusses the opposing fleets. It starts out by looking at the Japanese carrier force and the different classes of carriers that were in the Japanese fleet. Also discussed are the IJN carrier air defense and the carrier air groups. Similar information is provided for the American forces. Of special interest are the orders of battle which details the opposing ships that took part in the battle.

The next section of this book is titled Opposing Plans. Here both the Japanese and the American battle plans are detailed. You gain insight into the strategic and tactical goals that were on the commanders minds leading up to the battle. It is quite a bit of useful information in 10 pages dedicated to this section in the book. You will thoroughly enjoy reading what was on the commanders minds as they maneuvered their fleets for battle.

The next section is the largest section of the book is titled Battle of the Coral Sea. In this section there are numerous maps, pictures and 3-D charts to aid our understanding of the events that took place at the battle. The details provided in this section bring the battle to life as a reader immerses himself into the events that took place on those days. The color maps, and 3D charts, really enhance the explanation of the battle.

The next section is titled the aftermath. Here, this section begins by telling us at the battle of Coral Sea was a strategic American victory and a tactic defeat. It goes on, by providing a more in-depth explanation of these facts so that the reader can truly understand the results that occurred.

Further reading, and the index are the final two sections of this book. As with all Osprey titles. The book is well-written and professionally illustrated.