An eye-opening, pathbreaking account of the onset of the Asia-Pacific War, by the acclaimed author of Downfall and Guadalcanal. In 1937, the swath of the globe east from India to the Pacific Ocean enclosed half the world’s population, all save a fraction enduring under some form of colonialism. Japan’s onslaught into China that year unleashed a tidal wave of events that fundamentally transformed this region and killed about twenty-five million people. From just two nation states with real sovereignty, Thailand and Japan, and two with compromised sovereignty, China and Mongolia, the region today encompasses at least nineteen major sovereign nations. This extraordinary World War II narrative vividly describes in exquisite detail the battles across this entire region and links those struggles on many levels with their profound twenty-first-century legacies. Beginning with China’s long-neglected years of heroic, costly resistance, Tower of Skulls explodes outward to campaigns including Singapore, the Philippines, the Netherlands East Indies, India, and Burma, as well as across the Pacific to Pearl Harbor. These pages cast penetrating light on how struggles in Europe and Asia merged into a tightly entwined global war. They feature not just battles, but also the sweeping political, economic, and social effects of the war, and are graced with a rich tapestry of individual characters from top-tier political and military figures down to ordinary servicemen, as well as the accounts of civilians of all races and ages. In this first volume of a trilogy, award-winning historian Richard B. Frank draws on rich archival research and recently discovered documentary evidence to tell an epic story that gave birth to the world we live in now.
tower of skulls a history of the asia pacific war volume i july 1937 may 1942
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The first book in a new three-volume history of the Asia- Pacific War, by the acclaimed author of Downfall and Guadalcanal.
The respected British military historian H. P. Willmott presents the first of a three-volume appraisal of the strategic policies of the countries involved in the Pacific War. Remarkable in its scope and depth of research, his thoughtful analysis covers the whole range of political, economic, military, and naval activity in the Pacific. This first volume comprehensively covers events between December 1941 and April 1942, concluding with the Doolittle Raid on April 18. When published in hardcover in 1982, the book was hailed as an eloquent portrayal of great empires on trial that no one should miss. Willmott's stimulating and original approach to the subject remains unmatched even today.
A battlefield history of the pivotal World War II campaign at Guadalcanal draws on Japanese Defense Agency accounts and recently declassified U.S. radio intelligence to recreate the six month air, land, and sea battle
Historian Ronald H. Spector, drawing on declassified intelligence files, an abundance of British and American archival material, Japanese scholarship and documents, and the research and memoirs of scholars, politicians, and the military men, presents a thrilling narrative of American war in the Pacific. Spector reassesses U.S. and Japanese strategy and offers some provocative interpretations. He shows that the dual advance across the Pacific by MacArthur and Nimitz was less a product of strategic calculation and more a pragmatic solution to bureaucratic, doctrinal, and public relations problems facing the Army and Navy. He also argues that Japan made its fatal error not in the Midway campaign but in abandoning its offensive strategy after that defeat and allowing itself to be drawn into a war of attrition. Combining impeccable research with electrifying detail, Spector vividly recreates the major battles, little-known campaigns, and unfamiliar events of this brutal 44-month struggle. He reveals that the U.S. had secret plans to wage unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan months before Pearl Harbor and demonstrates that MacArthur and his commanders ignored important intercepts of Japanese messages that would have saved thousands of lives in Papua and Leyte. He skillfully takes the reader from top-secret strategy meetings in Washington, London, and Tokyo to distant beaches and remote Asian jungles with battle-weary GIs. Throughout, Spector contends that American decisions in the Pacific War were shaped more often by the struggles between the British and the Americans, and between the Army and the Navy, than by strategic considerations. Revealing what really happened in the course of a conflict that ended with the most deadly air raid ever, this contribution to WWII history adds a new dimension to our understanding of the people and forces that determined its outcome.
In the five months after Pearl Harbor, the Imperial Japanese Navy won a string of victories in a campaign to consolidate control of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. In June of 1942, Japan suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Midway and was never again able to take the offensive in the Pacific. Bringing fresh perspective to the battle and its consequences, the author identifies Japan’s operational plan as a major factor in its Navy’s demise and describes the profound effects Midway had on the course of the war in Europe.
The war in the South Pacific in its entirety has remained remarkably neglected by historians. This is the first comprehensive narrative history covering all land, sea and air operations in the theater to the end of World War II. While Guadalcanal is familiar to most Americans and the Kokoda Trail is well known to Australians, the war in the South Pacific includes many now forgotten operations that deserve to be well remembered. Also, significantly, the official Australian history of World War II correctly observed that Australia’s part in the Pacific war is barely mentioned in American histories. This volume finally brings the major Australian contribution to the fore, recognizing too the valuable part played by New Zealand forces in the Solomons campaign. The dramatis personae could hardly be improved upon, including brilliant and imperious General Douglas MacArthur, audacious and profane Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, and bibulous and indelicate Australian General Thomas Blamey. No less interesting are many others that will be mostly new to readers, many from the Japanese side, including indomitable generals Noboru Sasaki and Hatazo Adachi. As for the fighting men, many of their stories are captured in accounts of the actions for which they were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Victoria Cross, and other decorations for valor. Three chapters are of special interest. Based on the author’s archival research, Chapter 10 tells through confidential correspondence the remarkable story of the death of the top Marine general in the Pacific and its cover-up sanctioned by Halsey. Chapter 23 concerns the first African-American ground troops in combat and tells how the performance of one company on Bougainville resulted in a reversal of that policy. Chapter 26 involves Blamey’s questionable decision to eradicate the isolated Japanese forces, forcing his Australian militia to risk their lives knowing their sacrifices could make no difference in the outcome of the war.
"First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Viking."--Title page verso.
Based on huge research and scores of interviews, this book offers an unforgettable and richly illustrated narrative of the military action that took place in Moscow during 1941; telling portraits of Stalin and his generals, some apparatchiks, some great commanders. It also traces the stories of individuals, soldiers, politicians and intellectuals, writers and artists and dancers, workers, schoolchildren and peasants. Click here to visit the author's website.
In the Pacific War's early years, Japanese air power was dominant. The only way for the Allies to defeat their enemy was to know it. This made the task of maintaining productive intelligence gathering efforts on Japan imperative. Establishing Technical Air Intelligence Units in the Pacific Theatre and the Technical Air Intelligence Center in Washington DC, the Allies were able to begin to reveal the secrets of Japanese air power through extensive flight testing and evaluation of captured enemy aircraft and equipment. These provided an illuminating perspective on Japanese aircraft and aerial weapon design philosophy and manufacturing practice. Fully illustrated throughout with a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, Mark Chambers explores Allied efforts to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Japanese air power during the war years, and how this intelligence helped them achieve victory in the Pacific.