[Review] Japanese Carriers and Victory in the Pacific , 2021, Stansfeld, M.

The premise of the book is an early Mutsu Incident gives Yamamoto and the carrier faction the means to shift ship construction from battleships and carrier-convertible ships to fleet and light carrier units after 1937. The core of the books looks at what was done OTL, what shipyard capacity was available, and what might have been possible to build given a few general assumptions (i.e., as-is slipways, as-is displacement tonnage, as-is fitting out time) with the ship production re-arranged to zerg rush carriers for 41/42 to beat the Essex swarm. The alternate timeline(s) presented in the latter chapters is simply dreadful.

At the core of the book is an interesting premise that could make an excellent ATL. However, the authour is unsuited to delivering it. Digressions abound and there is not enough consideration of what are the implications of building so many additional carriers. Can aircraft production be scaled up? Can pilot training be scale up? Fast fleet oilers will compete for slipway space and are never mentioned. Nor are the many escorts that would be needed. The author has the carriers gallivanting around the western Indian ocean for much of his ATL and some back of the envelope would suggest they are burning about 30% to 45% of the IJNs entire fuel budget every month. My own feeling having read the book is that the plan would have imposed further resource constraints on Japan that would have left its new carriers sitting at anchor for want of POL, planes, and pilots.

TLDR: Buy 25 quid worth of beer and have a conversation with a few like minded souls. It will be more productive and cost the same as the book.