Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943

Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 Review

An engrossing, epic history of the US Army in the Pacific War

"Out here, mention is seldom seen of the achievements of the Army ground troops," wrote one officer in the fall of 1943, "whereas the Marines are blown up to the skies." Even today, the Marines are celebrated as the victors of the Pacific, a reflection of a well-deserved reputation for valor. Yet the majority of fighting and dying in the war against Japan was done not by Marines but by unsung Army soldiers.

John C. McManus, one of our most highly acclaimed historians of World War II, takes readers from Pearl Harbor—a rude awakening for a military woefully unprepared for war—to Makin, a sliver of coral reef where the Army was tested against the increasingly desperate Japanese. In between were nearly two years of punishing combat as the Army transformed, at times unsteadily, from an undertrained garrison force into an unstoppable juggernaut, and America evolved from an inward-looking nation into a global superpower.

At the pinnacle of this richly told story are the generals: Douglas MacArthur, a military autocrat driven by his dysfunctional lust for fame and power; Robert Eichelberger, perhaps the greatest commander in the theater yet consigned to obscurity by MacArthur's jealousy; "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell, a prickly soldier miscast in a diplomat's role; and Walter Krueger, a German-born officer who came to lead the largest American ground force in the Pacific. Enriching the narrative are the voices of men otherwise lost to history: the uncelebrated Army grunts who endured stifling temperatures, apocalyptic tropical storms, rampant malaria and other diseases, as well as a fanatical enemy bent on total destruction.

This is an essential, ambitious book, the first of two volumes, a compellingly written and boldly revisionist account of a war that reshaped the American military and the globe and continues to resonate today.

Title:Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943
Edition Language:English

    Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 Reviews

  • Steve

    I read very little of the United States Army's involvement in the Pacific War during World War II. The Army fought certain battles in the Pacific, But more was written about the United States Marine's...

  • Eric Wishman

    John C. McManus' Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 provides a different perspective of war in the Pacific Theater which is typically dominated by Navy/Marine accounts (at l...

  • Craig Pearson

    McManus is an excellent writer and through extensive research has crafted a detailed and enjoyable read about the history of the Army in the Pacific conflict. This book does not tell the full story of...

  • Casey Wheeler

    The author has written  books detailing World War II  with this one addressing  the role the Army played in during the first half of the war. It is well researched and written and is an interesting...

  • Zeb Kantrowitz

    This is not just a war history, it contains the opinion of the author of each of the generals (from all sides) who fought the battles in the Pacific Area of Operations. He starts by describing the mil...

  • Ron

    When most readers think of World War II in the Pacific Theater, they think of Pearl Harbor, Midway, and Guadalcanal which star the US Navy and Marines. But the war would not have been won with out the...

  • Peter Goodman

    “Fire and Fortitude: the US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943,” by John C. McManus (Caliber, 2019). There are loads of books, and movies, about the American war in Europe, the US Navy in the Paci...

  • Anne Morgan

    Reading about World War II generally begins with the European theater: Normandy, the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk, etc. For Americans, Pearl Harbor may be as far into the Pacific theater as they go. Fur...

  • Nicholas

    Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941 - 1943 by John C. McManus ( Dutton Caliber/Penguin Group; 2019) tells the often-forgotten history of the role of the Army in the Pacific Theate...

  • Ben

    “ Fire and Fortitude” is an informative overview of USArmy land operations in the World War II against Japan from the years 1941-43. As the author, John McManus, points out in his Prologue, while ...