Sweltering through the weekend without A/C (they're supposed to be here today) I spent two hours (I saw it twice through) watching a fascinating presentation by naval historian Norman Friedman on the subject: "'Visualizing a Future War: Wargaming at Newport and the Pacific War' was a portion of “Endgame: August 1945 in Asia and the Pacific,” a symposium hosted by the Institute for the Study of Strategy and Politics."
Here's his bio from the U.S. Naval Institute.
This presentation not only tells you specifics about the strategy and tactics of the Pacific naval war, but is very thought-provoking about the importance of war gaming ahead of conflict that is realistic enough to force you to think through and overcome the challenges. This is especially true of thinking through to the end state that you want to accomplish. The Japanese, Friedman points out, did not do the same sort of war gaming as we did, and consequently failed to anticipate things like battle wastage of ships and pilots (leading them to face critical shortages of both quite early on) as well as failing to learn how to maximize battle damage repair, how to speed up the deck turn-around time on carriers, etc. But most importantly was their strategic failure to grasp the consequences (and clearly state them) of what the end state they sought was and whether it was attainable. Lessons here for all of us, students of history and future combatants as well.