In his meticulously researched book, "Execute Against Japan:" The U.S. Decision to Conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, Joel Ira Holwitt reconstructs development of the U.S. submarine fleet and policies for its use during World War II and explains why this move was illegal.
In a review written by Richard B. Frank (author of Downfall and Guadalcanal), World War II Magazine called "Execute Against Japan" a "splendid work. . . the first comprehensive account of its
Pick up a copy of World War II Magazine to read the review in its entirety.
"From the nation's founding, 'freedom of the seas' ─ the right of civilian vessels to ply the oceans without interference by belligerents ─ constituted a bedrock principle of American foreign policy. At 5:51 p.m. Eastern time on December 7, 1941, Adm. Harold Stark, chief of naval operations, issued an order that reversed that right: 'Execute against Japan Unrestricted Air and Submarine Warfare.' In 'Execute Against Japan' Joel Ira Holwitt, a U.S. Navy submariner delivers an impressive account of how Stark formulated that order, which authorized American submarines to attack merchant vessels without warning, and in doing so, proved critical to their success. . . "
Joel Ira Holwitt