Exhilarated by savaging the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, The Japanese Navy moves quickly to seize the rich mineral resources of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies.
Two U.S. Asiatic Fleet lieutenants join the unequal struggle on the sea and in the air. Frank Rhea flies a floatplane off the old cruiser, U.S.S. Marblehead: scouting, spotting fall of gunshot and attacking submarines. Jack Sewell commands the Gunnery Department of an equally ancient World War I destroyer: directing gun and torpedo attacks against warships and aircraft.
Hold Back the Sun is laced with surface, aerial, and ground combat, scorched earth actions by the Dutch to deny their oil riches to Japan, accelerated wartime romance, and heroic efforts to save wounded sailors from the Japanese.