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The Elusive Enemy

* An exploration of the evolution of U.S. intelligence concerning the combat capabilities of the Imperial Japanese Navy and its air arm during the interwar period and the Pacific War Ford contends that the US Navy could not accurately determine the fighting efficiency of Japan's forces until it engaged them in actual battle conditions over an extended period. As the conflict progressed, the Americans were able to rely on a growing array of intelligence material, including POWs, captured documents and specimens of captured enemy weapons. These sources often revealed valuable information on the characteristics of Japanese equipment, as well as some of the ideas and doctrines which governed how they carried out their operations. Firsthand observations of the Japanese navy's performance in battle were the most frequently used source of intelligence which enabled the US Navy to develop a more informed assessment of its opponent. The Elusive Enemy aims to explain how American perceptions concerning the Japanese navy evolved during the conflict, with a particular focus on the role of intelligence. It also seeks to introduce a new perspective on the question as to why the U.S. Navy carried out its campaigns during the Pacific War in the manner that it did.
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About the Author

Douglas Ford holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in International History from the London School of Economics, and currently teaches military history at the University of Salford. He has published Britain's Secret War against Japan, 1937-45 as well as over a dozen scholarly articles on British and U.S. intelligence during the Pacific War


"Carefully researched and prepared...Intelligence gathering is an arcane and secretive activity, as the author describes, and is usually hidden from and little mentioned by historians. So, in the mix of factors that lead to success in war, it is often inadequately recorded. Mr. Ford has done a brilliant job in correcting that unbalanced record as far as the Pacific war is concerned." -- Work Boat World

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