Islands of Destiny

Islands of Destiny

The Solomons Campaign and the Eclipse of the Rising Sun

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451414823
  • 432 Pages
  • NAL
  • Adult


The Battle of Midway is traditionally held as the point when Allied forces gained advantage over the Japanese. In Islands of Destiny, acclaimed historian and military intelligence expert John Prados points out that the Japanese forces quickly regained strength after Midway and continued their assault undaunted.

Taking this surprising fact as the start of his inquiry, he began to investigate how and when the Pacific tide turned in the Allies’ favor. Using archives of WWII intelligence reports from both sides, Prados offers up a compelling reassessment of the true turning in the Pacific: not Midway, but the fight for the Solomon Islands.

Combat in the Solomons saw a series of surface naval battles, including one of the key battleship-versus-battleship actions of the war; two major carrier actions; daily air duels, including the aerial ambush in which perished the famous Japanese naval commander Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku; and many other hair-raising exploits. Commencing with the Allied invasion of Guadalcanal, Prados shows how and why the Allies beat Japan on the sea, in the air, and in the jungles.


“A fresh and compelling account of the true turning point of the Pacific War.”—Evan Thomas, New York Times Bestselling Author of Ike’s Bluff and Sea of Thunder

“Authoritative…Islands of Destiny serves as a powerful reminder of the geography, the strategy, and the ferocity of the Solomons campaign.”—The Wall Street Journal

Islands of Destiny is essential reading for anyone interested in the Pacific War.”—World War II

“Even casual readers of World War II history will find [Islands of Destiny] engaging, and they will likely agree that the author makes a strong case for his revisionist assessment. A well-crafted addition to the canon of World War II military histories.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[Prados] argues that Guadalcanal and the Solomons campaign, not Midway, were the Pacific War’s true turning point. His use of Japanese primary sources is especially impressive. Imperial Navy figures, often treated as ciphers, regain their humanity in this author’s sympathetic hands.”—San Diego Union-Tribune