S3E34: The Environmental Impact of WWII in the Pacific Theatre—with Ian W. Toll, author of The Pacific War Trilogy

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Much has been written about the European Theater in World War II.

But the war in the Pacific Theater was the largest naval war ever fought. It covered the entire breadth of the Pacific Ocean, and much of the fighting took place in remote, wild environments.

How did the conflict impact those environments heretofore untouched by the outside world? And what about the Indigenous peoples who lived there?

Ian W. Toll is the author of Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy and the Pacific War TrilogyPacific Crucible, The Conquering Tide, and Twilight of the Gods.

On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Ian joins Ross to explain how airbases were built on hundreds of Pacific islands during WWII and describe how the scale of development radically and irrevocably changed the ecosystems there.

Ian discusses how hundreds of shipwrecks from WWII have the potential to turn into environmental disasters at any time and weighs in on what we can do to avoid a modern-day war in the Pacific—and why it’s crucial.

Listen in for Ian’s insight on the logistical prowess of the US to ramp up shipbuilding during WWII and find out why Admiral Halsey ranked the bulldozer among the five most important weapons of the Pacific War.

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Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy by Ian W. Toll

Ian W. Toll’s Pacific War Trilogy

Patrick O’Brian

Test Ban Treaty

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge

The Pacific

Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener

Alfred Thayer Mahan

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