Miracle at Midway


Gordon W. Prange - 1982
    Told with the same stylistic flair and attention to detail as the bestselling At Dawn We Slept, Miracle at Midway brings together eyewitness accounts from the men who commanded and fought on both sides. The sweeping narrative takes readers into the thick of the action and shows exactly how American strategies and decisions led to the triumphant victory that paved the way for the defeat of Japan. "A stirring, even suspenseful narrative . . . The clearest and most complete account so far." (Newsday) "Something special among war histories . . . No other gives both sides of the battle in as detailed and telling a manner."(Chicago Sun-Times) "A gripping and convincing account." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Okinawa: The Last Battle


Roy Edgar Appleman - 1948
     The battle for the island of Okinawa would last for the next eighty-two days. Through the course of this dramatic battle over 20,000 Americans would lose their lives and over 75,000 Japanese were killed in one of the bloodiest clashes of World War Two. Okinawa: The Last Battle is a remarkably detailed account of this monumental event by four soldiers who witnessed the action first-hand. They take the reader to heart of the fight explaining the preparations for the invasion, under its codename Operation Iceberg, through to the major conflicts at the beachhead, Ie Shima, breaking through the defenses surrounding Shuri and overcoming the last-ditch counter-offenses of the Japanese. This book is essential reading for anyone interested the Pacific Theater and how the United States Marines and Army were able to overcome the Japanese in the last few months of the war. Corporal Eugene B. Sledge said of the battle: "The Japanese fought to win - it was a savage, brutal, inhumane, exhausting and dirty business." Okinawa: The Last Battle was written by U. S. Army historians who participated in the Ryukyus campaign as members of a group organized to accompany the American forces to the Ryukyus and secure at first hand the materials for a history of their operations. Maj. Roy E. Appleman was attached to the 27th Division, M/Sgt. James M. Burns and Lt. Col. Stevens accompanied the Tenth Army headquarters and Capt. Russell A. Gugeler served with the 7th Division on Okinawa. After the war many of the authors went on to become prominent military historians. Appleman passed away in 1996, Burns in 2014, Stevens in 2001 and Gugeler in 1985. Their work was first published in 1948.

Lightning Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbor


Donald A. Davis - 2005
    It is the true story of the man behind Pearl Harbor---Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto---and the courageous young American fliers who flew the million-to-one suicide mission that shot him down.Yamamoto was a cigar-smoking, poker-playing, English-speaking, Harvard-educated expert on America, and that intimate knowledge served him well as architect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For the next sixteen months, this military genius, beloved by the Japanese people, lived up to his prediction that he would run wild in the Pacific Ocean. He was unable, however, to deal the fatal blow needed to knock America out of the war, and the shaken United States began its march to victory on the bloody island of Guadalcanal.Donald A. Davis meticulously tracks Yamamoto's eventual rendezvous with death. After American code-breakers learned that the admiral would be vulnerable for a few hours, a desperate attempt was launched to bring him down. What was essentially a suicide mission fell to a handful of colorful and expendable U.S. Army pilots from Guadalcanal's battered "Cactus Air Force":- Mississippian John Mitchell, after flunking the West Point entrance exam, entered the army as a buck private. Though not a "natural" as an aviator, he eventually became the highest-scoring army ace on Guadalcanal and the leader of the Yamamoto attack. - Rex Barber grew up in the Oregon countryside and was the oldest surviving son in a tightly knit churchgoing family. A few weeks shy of his college graduation in 1940, the quiet Barber enlisted in the U.S. Army. - "I'm going to be President of the United States," Tom Lanphier once told a friend. Lanphier was the son of a legendary fighter squadron commander and a dazzling storyteller. He viewed his chance at hero status as the start of a promising political career.- December 7, 1941, found Besby Holmes on a Pearl Harbor airstrip, firing his .45 handgun at Japanese fighters. He couldn't get airborne in time to make a serious difference, but his chance would come. - Tall and darkly handsome, Ray Hine used the call sign "Heathcliffe" because he resembled the brooding hero of Wuthering Heights. He was transferred to Guadalcanal just in time to participate in the Yamamoto mission---a mission from which he would never return.They flew the longest over-water fighter mission ever and ambushed and killed Yamamoto. After his death, the Japanese never won another major naval battle. But the victorious American pilots seemed cursed by the samurai spirit of the admiral and were tormented for the rest of their lives by what happened that day. Davis paints unforgettable personal portraits of men in combat and unravels a military mystery that has been covered up at the highest levels of government since the end of the war.

Fire In The Sky: The Air War In The South Pacific


Eric M. Bergerud - 1999
    Despite operating under primitive conditions in a largely unknown and malignant physical environment, both sides employed the most sophisticated technology available at the time in a strategically crucial war of aerial attrition. In one of the largest aerial campaigns in history, the skies of the South Pacific were dominated first by the dreaded Japanese Zeros, then by Allied bombers, which launched massed raids at altitudes under fifty feet, and finally by a ferocious Allied fighter onslaught led by a cadre of the greatest aces in American military history. Utilizing primary sources and scores of interviews with surviving veterans of all ranks and duties, Eric Bergerud recreates the fabric of the air war as it was fought in the South Pacific. He explores the technology and tactics, the three-dimensional battlefield, and the leadership, living conditions, medical challenges, and morale of the combatants. The reader will be rewarded with a thorough understanding of how air power functioned in World War II from the level of command to the point of fire in air-to-air combat.

Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles As Seen Through Japanese Eyes


Tameichi Hara - 1961
    Originally published as a paperback in 1961, it has long been treasured by World War II buffs and professional historians for its insights into the Japanese side of the surface war in the Pacific. The book has been credited with correcting errors in U.S. accounts of various battles and with revealing details of high-level Imperial Japanese Navy strategy meetings. The author, Captain Tameichi Hara, was a survivor of more than one hundred sorties against the Allies and was known throughout Japan as the Unsinkable Captain. Called the workhorses of the navy, Japanese destroyers shouldered the heaviest burden of the surface war and took part in scores of intense sea battles, many of which Captain Hara describes here. In the early days of the war victories were common, but by 1943, the lack of proper maintenance of the destroyers and sufficient supplies, along with Allied development of scientific equipment and superior aircraft, took its toll. On April 7, 1945, during the Japanese navy s last sortie, Captain Hara managed to survive the sinking of his own ship only to witness the demise of the famed Japanese battleship Yamato off Okinawa. A hero to his countrymen, Captain Hara exemplified the best in Japanese surface commanders: highly skilled (he wrote the manual on torpedo warfare), hard driving, and aggressive. Moreover, he maintained a code of honor worthy of his samurai grandfather, and, as readers of this book have come to appreciate, he was as free with praise for American courage and resourcefulness as he was critical of himself and his senior commanders. The book s popularity over the past forty-six years testifies to the author s success at writing an objective account of what happened that provides not only a fascinating eyewitness record of the war, but also an honest and dispassionate assessment of Japan s high command. Captain Hara s sage advice on leadership is as applicable today as it was when written. For readers new to this book and for those who have read and re-read their paperback editions until they have fallen apart, this new hardcover edition assures them a permanent source of reference and enjoyment.

The Fall of Japan


William Craig - 1967
    The people were not told the truth, and neither was the emperor. Japanese generals, admirals, and statesmen knew, but only a handful of leaders were willing to accept defeat. Most were bent on fighting the Allies until the last Japanese soldier died and the last city burned to the ground.   Exhaustively researched and vividly told, The Fall of Japan masterfully chronicles the dramatic events that brought an end to the Pacific War and forced a once-mighty military nation to surrender unconditionally.   From the ferocious fighting on Okinawa to the all-but-impossible mission to drop the 2nd atom bomb, and from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s White House to the Tokyo bunker where tearful Japanese leaders first told the emperor the truth, William Craig captures the pivotal events of the war with spellbinding authority. The Fall of Japan brings to life both celebrated and lesser-known historical figures, including Admiral Takijiro Onishi, the brash commander who drew up the Yamamoto plan for the attack on Pearl Harbor and inspired the death cult of kamikaze pilots., This astonishing account ranks alongside Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day and John Toland’s The Rising Sun as a masterpiece of World War II history.

Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa


Joseph H. Alexander - 1995
    Gen. Mike Ryan, USMC (Ret.) Navy Cross recipient Green Beach, TarawaOn November 20, l943, in the first trial by fire of America's fledgling amphibious assault doctrine, five thousand men stormed the beaches of Tarawa, a seemingly invincible Japanese island fortress barely the size of the Pentagon parking lots (three-hundred acres!). Before the first day ended, one third of the Marines who had crossed Tarawa's deadly reef under murderous fire were killed, wounded, or missing. In three days of fighting, four Americans would win the Medal of Honor. And six-thousand combatants would die.Now, Col. Joseph Alexander, a combat Marine himself, presents the full story of Tarawa in all its horror and glory: the extreme risks, the horrific combat, and the heroic breakthroughs. Based on exhaustive research, never-before-published accounts from Marine survivors, and new evidence from Japanese sources, Colonel Alexander captures the grit, guts, and relentless courage of United States Marines overcoming outrageous odds to deliver victory for their country."Without a doubt the best narrative of the struggle ever produced."--Richard B. Frank, Author of GuadalcanalA MAIN SELECTION OF THE MILITARY BOOK CLUB Winner of the 1995 General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Award, awarded to the year's best nonfiction book pertinent to Marine Corps HistoryWinner of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Outstanding Writer of the Year, presented by the Navy League of the United StatesWinner of the Roosevelt Naval History Prize, awarded by the Naval War College

Midnight in the Pacific: Guadalcanal--The World War II Battle That Turned the Tide of War


Joseph Wheelan - 2017
    offensive of World War II began with no fanfare early August 7, 1942. But, before it ended six months later with the first U.S. land victory, Guadalcanal was a household name. There, marines faced bloody banzai attacks in the stifling malarial jungles while the U.S. sailors and pilots battled Japanese air and sea armadas day and night. The all–in battles consumed thousands of men, hundreds of planes, and dozens of warships and— stopped the Japanese Juggernaut. Guadalcanal was the Pacific War's turning point.Published on the 75th anniversary of the battle, Midnight in the Pacific is both a sweeping narrative and a compelling drama of individual Marines, soldiers, and sailors caught in the cross–hairs of history.

The Divine Wind: Japan's Kamikaze Force in World War II


Rikihei Inoguchi - 1958
    Captain Rikihei Inoguchi served as senior staff officer to Vice Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, who initiated Japan's kamikaze attacks against American ships in the Philippines. Commander Tadashi Nakajima was flight operations officer for the 201st Air Group, which organized the first kamikaze special attack corps. Nakajima later served on the staff of the air fleet that launched suicide attacks against the American fleet around Okinawa. These two eyewitnesses to events surrounding the kamikaze operations provide many insights into the motivations and feelings of both the leaders and pilots of the kamikaze units.Inoguchi and Nakajima first published their account in Japanese in 1951 under the title Kamikaze Tokubetsu Kogekitai (Kamikaze Special Attack Forces), and the U.S. Naval Institute published the first English translation in 1953. Roger Pineau, a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the co-author of several books about the war in the Pacific, reorganized the original text, retranslated some sections, and added footnotes for the version published in 1958. His thorough research, thoughtful editing, and accurate translations produced a book that for several decades has been both popular with a wide audience and valuable to historians. The 1958 version also contains a five-page preface written by Inoguchi and Nakajima in December 1957. Both Bantam (1960) and Ballantine (1968) published paperback versions that were reprinted several times, and the book has been translated to several other languages.The Divine Wind covers the kamikaze operations from October 19, 1944, the date of the formation of the first kamikaze special attack corps, to the end of the war. Inoguchi and Nakajima divide up the chapters between them, so some chapters cover the same events from each author's individual perspective. The book's events follow a rough chronological order, with Part One covering the "Birth of the Kamikaze" in which both authors participated. Parts Two and Three cover the special attack units in the Philippines and Taiwan, respectively. Part Four details the last-ditch efforts of Japan's military to launch suicide assaults against the American fleet surrounding Okinawa. The last part gives Inoguchi's reflections on the decision to use suicide tactics to wage war against the United States, and the last chapter of this part contains several letters from kamikaze pilots.

The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan


James Scott - 2013
    From the thrill of a torpedo hit on a loaded freighter to the terror of depth charge attacks that shattered gauges and sprang leaks, The War Below vividly re-creates the camaraderie, exhilaration, and fear of the brave volunteers who took the fight to the enemy’s coastline. Scott recounts incredible feats of courage—from an emergency appendectomy performed with kitchen utensils to the desperate struggle of sailors to escape from a flooded submarine trapped on the bottom—as well as moments of unimaginable tragedy, including an attack on an unmarked enemy freighter carrying 1,800 American prisoners of war. The casualty rate among submariners topped that of all other military branches. The war claimed almost one out of every five subs—and a submarine crewman was six times more likely to die than a sailor onboard a surface ship. But the submarine service accomplished its mission; Silversides, Drum, and Tang sank a combined sixty-two freighters, tankers, and transports. So ravaged from the loss of precious supplies due to the destruction of the nation’s merchant fleet were the Japanese that by the war’s end hungry civilians ate sawdust while warships lay at anchor due to lack of fuel and pilots resorted to suicidal kamikaze missions. In retaliation, the Japanese often beat, tortured, and starved captured submariners in the atrocious prisoner of war camps.Based on more than 100 interviews with submarine veterans and thousands of pages of previously unpublished letters and diaries, The War Below will let readers experience the battle for the Pacific as never before.

American Heritage History of the American Revolution


Bruce Lancaster - 2014
    . . . Bruce Lancaster's text is terse, rapid, lucid, and dramatic . . . filled with the color and excitement of a grim and bloody war." – The New York Times The American Heritage History of the American Revolution is the complete chronicle of the Revolutionary War told in full detail. Lancaster starts his story with an examination of colonial society and the origins of the quarrel with England. He details the ensuing battles and military campaigns from Lexington and Concord to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, as well as the tense political and social situation of the new nation. The American Heritage History of the American Revolution details the birth of America with insight and depth.

Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941


David C. Evans - 1997
    Years of painstaking research and analysis of previously untapped Japanese-language resources have produced this remarkable history of the navy's dizzying development, tactical triumphs, and humiliating defeat. Unrivaled in its breadth of coverage and attention to detail, this important new study explores the foreign and indigenous influences on the navy's thinking about naval warfare and how to plan for it. Focusing primarily on the much-neglected period between the world wars, David C. Evans and Mark R. Peattie, two widely esteemed historians, persuasively explain how the Japanese failed to prepare properly for the war in the Pacific despite an arguable advantage in capability.

The Lions of Iwo Jima


Fred Haynes - 2008
    Marines. Combat Team 28, 4500 men strong, trained for a full year, landed on the black sands of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, and raised the flag atop Mount Suribachi after four days of ferocious combat. Major General Fred Haynes USMC (Ret'd), then a young captain, is the last surviving officer in CT28 intimately involved in planning and coordinating all phases of the Team's fight on Iwo Jima. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped documents, personal narratives, and letters, in addition to more than 100 interviews with survivors, Haynes and Warren recapture in riveting detail what the Marines of Combat Team 28 experienced, placing particular emphasis on the Team's ferocious struggle to break through the main belt of the Japanese defenses to the north, and reduce the final pocket of resistance on the island in Bloody Gorge. "The Lions of Iwo Jima "offers fresh interpretations of the fight for Suribachi, the iconic flag raising photo, and the nature of the campaign as a whole, and helps to answer the essential questions: Who were these men? What accounts for their extraordinary performance in battle?

We Will Not Go to Tuapse: From the Donets to the Oder with the Legion Wallonie and 5th SS Volunteer Assault Brigade 'Wallonien' 1942-45


Fernand Kaisergruber - 2016
    However, it also ventures far beyond the usual soldier's story and approaches a travelogue of the Eastern Front campaign, seldom attained by the memoirs of the period. His self-published book in French is highly regarded by Belgian historian and expert on these volunteers Eddy de Bruyne, and Battle of Cherkassy author Douglas Nash. This book merits attention as the SS volunteer equivalent of Guy Sajer’s The Forgotten Soldier, a bestseller in the USA and Europe. By comparison, Kaisergruber’s story has the advantage of being completely verifiable by documents and serious historical narratives already published, such as Eddy de Bruyne’s For Rex and for Belgium and Kenneth Estes' European Anabasis.Until recent years, very little was known of the tens of thousands of foreign nationals from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain who served voluntarily in the military formations of the German Army and the German Waffen-SS. In Kaisergruber’s book, the reader discovers important issues of collaboration, the apparent contributions of the volunteers to the German war effort, their varied experiences, their motives, the attitude of the German High Command and bureaucracy, and the reaction to these in the occupied countries. The combat experiences of the Walloons echoed those of the very best volunteer units of the Waffen-SS, although they shared equally in the collapse of the Third Reich in May, 1945.Although unapologetic for his service, Kaisergruber makes no special claims for the German cause and writes not from any postwar apologia and dogma, but instead from his firsthand observations as a young man experiencing war for the first time, extending far beyond what had been imaginable at the time. His observations of fellow soldiers, commanders, Russian civilians and the battlefields prove poignant and telling. They remain as fresh as when he first wrote some of them down in his travel diary, ‘Pensées fugitives et Souvenirs (1941–46)’. Fernand Kaisergruber draws upon his contemporary diaries, those of his comrades and his later work with them while secretary of their postwar veteran's league to present a thoroughly engaging epic.

The Game Of The Foxes


Ladislas Farago - 1971
    This book is ostensibly about German espionage, but the political history includes a great deal of information that will startle many readers. Here you can read the hidden & disgraceful facts that led up to the incredible slaughter of WWII.IntroductionThe halcyon daysBritain in focusThe foxes go to warThe foxes in AmericaThe spies on embassy row"This is a new war"Twilight of the foxesBibliographyIndex