The War We Almost Lost
by Arthur A. Edwards

"The Japanese bombs and torpedoes pulled us together like nothing else could. We were finally in this together. The failure to attack our west coast was probably Japan’s biggest mistake of all."

When Europe was embroiled in the Second World War, America was doing its best to stay out of it. There was deep division along political, religious, and racial lines, and an isolationist policy seemed to be the country’s best fit. Many prominent Americans openly supported Germany in the 1930s. When Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, everything changed. However, Japan didn’t capitalize on its advantage and left multiple important and valuable military assets on the west coast of the U.S. intact. This was likely the biggest of several blunders by their military. Subsequently, both the United States and Germany also made mistakes during the war that cost lives, dictated the outcome of military battles, and influenced the ultimate outcome of WWII.

Edwards’ nonfiction title is a look at the strategic blunders made by numerous countries during the war and how the rapidly changing advances in military technology shifted its course. He uses hindsight to speculate on what might have happened if those mistakes weren’t made and points out those that he determines were most influential. The author’s personal knowledge on the subject is clearly presented, although the work would have benefited from the inclusion of direct references in support of its ideas. Edwards' writing is clear and easy to read, and it is here that he is at his best. He is able to state in plain language key points relating to the historical events of the period and support his conclusion with easily understood rhetoric. Those interested in the history of the era and the military tactics of the countries involved will find this book an engaging read, giving them lots to think about and discuss with like-minded individuals.

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