...as it is still quite useful, although like any work 40 years old, it is not free from all errors. (Many mistakes may be said to be innocent in the sense that they originated in the IJN sources themselves, and were simply factual errors--certainly not deliberate falsifications. Others show up in track charts, in which Dull--or others helping him (?)--have misread difficult kanji
for various warship's names...Some of these honest mistakes have, unfortunately, led to a fair amount of confusion over the years, although most have now been cleared up, I believe.)
In any case, as a general guide the book retains much value.
So, Dull's work here is in translating & editing the most authoritative IJN sources then available more than anything else. Those main sources were
1) the microfilmed reels of original IJN official docs (such as one may now access online at JACAR)--a primary source, and
2) the massive BKS/Senshi Sosho series (also recently digitized now & made available online)-a secondary source...
By the standards of 1978 this was a novel & detailed study of the Imperial Navy's battle history, but in today's info-saturated, data-drunk era, it would not seem quite as granular, I suspect.
Certainly nothing like SHATTERED SWORD
, which was published 27 yrs later...but this volume covers the Pacific War as a whole, and not just one battle. As such, a number of engagements which Dull covers may feel hasty & brief, but no author has unlimited license on the size of the book he/she produces...
Nonetheless, warts & all, IMHO it is still well worth having. Especially at current low costs.
Below in the 2019 "Midway" movie film critique thread, mention was made by writer of a scholarly book which has not been mentioned here, to this knowledge, as a valuable source for big-picture knowledge of the Pacific War (and additional on Midway).
Professor Paul Dull's [1911-1981] (A Battle History of) The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945 , USNI, 1978, is in this opinion, well worth having on the shelf of students of the Pacific War.
Copies are available on the "A" place for as little as $5 and change.
As the work is based on Professor Dull's (USMCR) work in US Naval Intelligence during the War, material from about 200 rolls of IJN microfilm rolls, it presents a "real time, as the Allies' enemy saw the Pacific War," viewpoint.
Because the 402 pp volume covers the whole 1941-45 period, it provides additional IJN-origin data much broader than Shattered Sword .
'Many of you read it?