A review of The Great Pacific War
by Hector C. Bywater (1884 - 1940):
This book was one of the remarkable books to hit the shops in 1925; the problem was that this would not be recognized until at least 1944. Unlike the unfortunate writers charged with the task of reviewing the novel, the author, Hector C. Bywater, was something of a clairvoyant, and was able to spell out how the war between Japan and the United States would unfold; the contested islands and the American victory. He wrote that the war would commence with a Japanese surprise assault, he recognized the importance that naval aviation would play and he predicted the Kamikaze attacks. Some elements of the war he did not predict, such as Hiroshima, but in 1945, after the smoke had cleared and the bodies were buried, many were amazed to pick the book up and read how much he got right.
This poor, anonymous reviewer had no patience for the book, listing a number of reasons why the U.S. Navy was ill-equipped to defeat the Japanese and believed that island-hopping was highly improbable. Amazon outlined the the book just so:
"This blow-by-blow fictional account of a war between the United States and Japan was a forerunner to the actual events, written 16 years before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Author Hector C. Bywater, the world's leading naval authority at the time, prophesied a Japanese surprise attack on U.S. naval forces in the Pacific; simultaneously invading the Philippines and Guam. Recognizing their limits, Japan restrains from any attempt to capture Hawaii."
Unlike Mr. Bywater, the senior command of the U.S. Navy reached similar
conclusions in 1923, but they thought the war wouldn't go terribly well for them.