Book Review: Violet Lightning: A Blueprint for Japanese Victory in the Pacific, 1941–1942

by John Eric Vining

Reviewed by Raymond Refoen, author, Micronesia’s Never-Forgotten Island


                Wow!  What a book!  I finished reading Violet Lightning yesterday and have wondered about several of the same questions addressed in the book:

                –Why did the Japanese attack Midway instead of attacking Pearl Harbor again to destroy the oil depot and dry docks?

                –Why didn’t the Japanese try to destroy the Panama Canal?  I thought using commandos delivered by submarine to blow up the Culebra Cut had a reasonable chance of success.

                –Why did the Japanese persist in their attempts to retain Guadalcanal when the battle was costing them so much?

                –And why, after the success of the German U-boats in World War I, didn’t the Japanese use the interwar period to build up a much larger submarine force?


                Violet Lightning is a book history enthusiasts like me will enjoy reading. It’s one of those books students of history living five hundred years from now will find interesting.