The Great Pacific War
The Great Pacific War was a 1925 novel by Hector Charles Bywater which discussed a hypothetical future war between Japan and the United States. The novel accurately predicts a number of details about the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Bywater was a naval correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph.
In The Great Pacific War, the war begins with a Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Formosa and Korea. Japan then stages a surprise attack which results in the nearly complete destruction of the Panama Canal, by exploding a freighter full of explosives in the Gaillard Cut. The novel features numerous accurate predictions, such as:
- a large role in the conflict for aircraft carrier-based aircraft,
- suicidal tactics by Japanese aviators,
- an island-hopping strategy as the U.S. retakes the Pacific.
In Infamy, John Toland states that Isoroku Yamamoto was in the U.S. in 1925 and might have read the New York newspapers' reviews of this book. The book was translated into Japanese and read by senior officers of the Japanese Imperial Navy.
Admiral James O. Richardson warned Franklin Roosevelt about the danger of too many ships of the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor on 8 October 1940, one month before election; the President ignored his warning and replaced him early next year.
Bywater died in August 1940, before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
- William H. Honan (December 1970) "Japan Strikes: 1941", American Heritage, vol. 22, no. 1, pages 12-15, 91-95.
- Honan, W. H. (1991), Visions of Infamy: The untold story of how journalist Hector C. Bywater devised the plans that led to Pearl Harbor, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-08332-7
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