9 best books about the Pacific War
1. 1941, by Eri HottaJapan’s decision to launch a war against the United States is masterfully recounted in Eri Hotta’s Japan: 1941 (Knopf Doubleday, 2103). Few of the Japanese warlords who launched the war thought they could win a protracted fight against America’s vast industrial machinery and human resources. But they hoped a crushing defeat at Pearl Harbor would lead the Americans to sue for peace and end the economic embargo that threatened to strangle Japan’s expansionist designs on Asia. It was a grievous miscalculation.
2. Rape of Nanking, by Irish ChangChina’s role in World War II is almost forgotten today. But as many as 20 million Chinese died in the conflict, more deaths than the US, Japan, Great Britain, and Germany combined. The Japanese barbarity towards Chinese civilians was remarkable even by the standards of the worst war in history. The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang (Basic Books, 1997) is the story of the massacre that followed Japan’s 1937 capture of that city. In just four days, some 200,000 dallas cowboys outlet people were slaughtered. A few historians have criticized the book for inaccuracies, but Chang dramatically increased attention of the horrific event and China’s role in the conflict.
3. Dawn We Slept, by Gordon PrangeHistorian Gordon Prange spent more than 35 years studying the attack on Pearl Harbor but died before publishing the results. Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, Easton Press, 1981) is still the best account of how the war started. The book analyzes the attack in detail and answers a question that has long puzzled historians: How could the US have been caught so unprepared? Readers may cheap driving schools in south jersey not agree with the conclusion that US commanders on the scene were inattentive but the depth of the research makes a compelling case.
4. at Midway,’ with Gordon Prange with Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine DillonIn April 1942, the US learned that Japan planned to invade Midway Island and, in doing so, hoped to lure the battered American fleet into battle so they could finish it off. Instead, planes from American aircraft carriers found and sank four Japanese carriers. The crushing defeat marked the end of Japan’s expansion in the Western Pacific. Prange’s other major contribution to the literature on the Pacific War is the wide ranging study Miracle at Midway (by Gordon Prange with Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, McGraw Hill, 1982).
5. Victory, by Clay BlairWhile aircraft carriers played a central role in the Pacific, the majority of Japanese ship losses came at the hands of US submarines. Lippincott Co., 1975) is a comprehensive review of the role played by the “silent service.” Written with candor and verve, Blair details the accomplishments of individual submarines as well as the more controversial aspects of the undersea war such as the faulty torpedoes that hampered the Americans early in the war.
6. of Passage: Reflections of a World War II Aviator, by Samuel HynesAmong the many young Americans who found themselves fighting in the Pacific was 18 year old Samuel Hynes from Minnesota who became a Marine pilot and flew more than 100 missions. While focused entirely on his own experiences, this story surely reflects what it was like for a generation of young men who, in his words, “Grew up on active duty.”
7. of Our Fathers, by James BradleyDislodging Japanese troops from cheap jersey hijabs their island fortresses was cheap cheapnbajerseys.me oakland raiders jerseys a ferocious and bloody undertaking. Iwo Jima is particularly notable in this regard of the 20,000 Japanese troops stationed on the atoll, all but 200 died because they preferred death to surrender. James Bradley’s Flags of Our Fathers (with Ron Powers, Bantam Books, 2000) focuses on the famous flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. But it also illustrates how the savage fighting affected the American soldiers who fought there after they returned home. Unsparing and deeply moving, Bradley’s book reminds us that post traumatic stress syndrome was a serious if little recognized danger long before it had a name.
8. The Battle for Japan, 1944 1945, by Max HastingsBy the summer of 1944, it was clear that Japan would be defeated. The only question was how long it would take and how many lives would be lost. British military www cheapjerseys us historian Max Hastings’s Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944 1945 (Knopf, 2007) summarizes the multi faceted land, air, and sea engagements of the war’s last year and the death and devastation that ensued. A single fire bombing of Tokyo in March 1945, for example, killed around 100,000 people and destroyed 16 square miles of the city. Hastings reviews the still controversial decision to drop the atomic bombs and www.cheapnbajerseys.me argues in forceful and compelling fashion that doing so ultimately saved lives.