Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912


Donald Keene - 2002
    Before long, the shogun surrendered to the emperor, a new constitution was adopted, and Japan emerged as a modern, industrialized state.Despite the length of his reign, little has been written about the strangely obscured figure of Meiji himself, the first emperor ever to meet a European. Most historians discuss the period that takes his name while barely mentioning the man, assuming that he had no real involvement in affairs of state. Even Japanese who believe Meiji to have been their nation's greatest ruler may have trouble recalling a single personal accomplishment that might account for such a glorious reputation. Renowned Japan scholar Donald Keene sifts the available evidence to present a rich portrait not only of Meiji but also of rapid and sometimes violent change during this pivotal period in Japan's history.In this vivid and engrossing biography, we move with the emperor through his early, traditional education; join in the formal processions that acquainted the young emperor with his country and its people; observe his behavior in court, his marriage, and his relationships with various consorts; and follow his maturation into a "Confucian" sovereign dedicated to simplicity, frugality, and hard work. Later, during Japan's wars with China and Russia, we witness Meiji's struggle to reconcile his personal commitment to peace and his nation's increasingly militarized experience of modernization. Emperor of Japan conveys in sparkling prose the complexity of the man and offers an unrivaled portrait of Japan in a period of unique interest.

Manila, My Manila


Nick Joaquín - 1990
    The city's poet laureate--whose entire body of work sings of Manila as Homer sang of Troy and Virgil of Rome--complied with a will. The firstedition of Manila, My Manila (1990) was distributed exclusively to the city's schools. This hardcover gift edition finally brings Joaquin's celebration of his beloved city to readers throughout the world.

The Coastwatchers (Illustrated): Operation Ferdinand and the Fight for the South Pacific


Eric A. Feldt - 2019
    Author Eric Feldt led Operation Ferdinand, part of the build-up to the Normandy landings, in which the Coastwatchers, by this time on the US Navy's payroll, played a critical role. His intimate knowledge of Ferdinand, and his familiarity with the Coastwatchers of the Pacific islands, provides a unique perspective on this little known but important chapter of military history.

Humble Heroes, How The USS Nashville CL43 Fought WWII


Steven Bustin - 2010
    It started like a Hollywood thriller, secretly transporting from England $25 million in British gold bullion, delivered to the ship in unguarded bread trucks, a pre-war “Neutrality Patrol” that was really an unofficial hostile search for the far bigger and more powerful German battleship Prinz Eugen, and sneaking through the Panama Canal at night with the ship’s name and hull number covered for secrecy. Now, with the ship bulging with an unusual load of fuel and supplies, in the company of a large fleet quietly passing under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the crew was about to learn of their latest (but not last) and most improbable adventure yet as the captain made an announcement that would change the war and their lives forever, “We are going to Tokyo!”. Over three years, scores of battles and hundreds of thousands of ocean miles later, the Nashville and her crew had earned 10 Battle Stars, served from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the Aleutians to the Yangtze River, as McArthur’s flagship and suffered heavy casualties from a devastating kamikaze attack. Tokyo Rose reported her sunk, repeatedly. Earlier, with goodwill trips that included France, England, Scandinavia, Bermuda and Rio de Janeiro, the new, sleek Nashville built a pre-war reputation as a “glamour ship”. But with war came the secret missions, capturing the second and third Japanese POWs of the war, having a torpedo pass just under the stern, being strafed and bombed by Japanese planes, losing a third of the crew in a single devastating Kamikaze attack, swimming in shark infested waters protected by marines with machine guns, enjoying the beauty of Sydney and her people, planning a suicide mission to destroy the Japanese fishing fleet, and bombarding Japanese troops and airfields across the Pacific. The Nashville crew served their ship and country well. They came from Baltimore row-houses, New York walk-ups, San Francisco flats, Kansas wheat farms, Colorado cattle ranches, Louisiana bayous and Maine fishing towns. Many had never traveled more than 25 miles from home and had never seen the ocean until they joined the service. They were part Irish, part Italian, part Polish and All-American. Battered, burnt and bombed, they made the USS Nashville their home and lived and died as eternal shipmates. Historical narrative enriched with the personal stories of the crew, this is the story of a ship and crew of ordinary men who did extraordinary things.

The Bismarck Episode


Russell Grenfell - 1948
    British morale was low. The sinking of the Bismarck was a matter of life and death. But before the British could engage her, they had to find her. The British Admiralty received a report that two large German warships had been seen steaming northward through the Kattegat, between Denmark and Sweden. Six days later the shattered hulk of the Bismarck turned bottom up and disappeared beneath the waves a few hundred miles from Brest. In those six days an awe-inspiring drama played itself out. The history of this terrible chase is a story of ups and downs, hopes and anxieties, bitter disappointment and miraculous recovery — a marvellous picture of naval action. In addition the battle is illuminated by comments on strategy and tactics that every reader can appreciate. Praise for Russell Grenfell: "Captain Grenfell has both the background and literary ability to bring the whole dramatic story brilliantly alive" - San Francisco Chronicle "A remarkably lucid account" - Time Magazine "Thoroughly rewarding" - New York Times "Full of dramatic interest" - Times Literary Supplement Russell Grenfell (1892-1954) was promoted to Lieutenant a few years after he first went to sea. Having served on battleships, he was appointed to command destroyers. Prior to his retirement, he served as senior commander at the Royal Naval Staff College in Greenwich. Grenfell authored many naval books, including Main Fleet to Singapore, Nelson the Sailor and Unconditional Hatred.

Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy


John Prados - 2016
        As Allied ships prepared for the invasion of the Philippine island of Leyte, every available warship, submarine and airplane was placed on alert while Japanese admiral Kurita Takeo stalked Admiral William F. Halsey’s unwitting American armada. It was the beginning of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf—the greatest naval battle in history.   In Storm Over Leyte, acclaimed historian John Prados gives readers an unprecedented look at both sides of this titanic naval clash, demonstrating that, despite the Americans’ overwhelming superiority in firepower and supplies, the Japanese achieved their goal, inflicting grave damage on U.S. forces. And for the first time, readers will have access to the naval intelligence reports that influenced key strategic decisions on both sides.   Drawing upon a wealth of untapped sources—U.S. and Japanese military records, diaries, declassified intelligence reports and postwar interrogation transcripts—Prados offers up a masterful narrative of naval conflict on an epic scale.

They Flew Hurricanes


Adrian Stewart - 2006
    Many pilots, including Douglas Bader, thought it was superior to the Spit--but together they saved Britain from Nazi invasion and possible defeat.Adrian Stewart has produced a gloriously atmospheric and nostalgic book capturing the spirit of these great aircraft and the pilots who flew them. It tracks the aircraft as it was developed and improved, and follows it to the many theaters of the war where it saw service. Among the lesser-known are Burma and hazardous convoy protection in the Arctic and Mediterranean, flying from makeshift carriers. This book will fascinate specialist aviation historians and those who enjoy a rattling good war story, and includes a superb selection of rare photographs.

The Last Zero Fighter: Firsthand Accounts from WWII Japanese Naval Pilots


Dan King - 2012
    All are veterans of the pivotal battles of the Pacific War including; the sinking of the USS Panay, Nanking, Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Rabaul, Port Darwin, the Indian Ocean Raid, Ceylon, Midway, Guadalcanal, Marshall Islands, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the advent of the Kamikaze in the Philippines, the home defense, and the dropping of the atomic bomb. Approximately, 78 photos are included (many from the veterans' own albums), in addition to 9 original maps and illustrations. The book also includes an introduction to the Japanese pilot training system for both officers and enlisted men. Each pilot is followed from the time he joined the Imperial Japanese Navy until war's end. They explain in their own words why they joined the navy, what they thought about the war, about the aircraft they flew, how they felt about their friends and their former adversaries. The interviews were conducted in Japanese by the author, who is a linguist and Pacific War historian who spent 10 years living in Japan.

Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945


C.A. Bayly - 2004
    It provided scores of soldiers and great quantities of raw materials and helped present a seemingly impregnable global defense against the Axis. Yet, within a few weeks in 1941-42, a Japanese invasion had destroyed all this, sweeping suddenly and decisively through south and southeast Asia to the Indian frontier, and provoking the extraordinary revolutionary struggles which would mark the beginning of the end of British dominion in the East and the rise of today's Asian world.More than a military history, this gripping account of groundbreaking battles and guerrilla campaigns creates a panoramic view of British Asia as it was ravaged by warfare, nationalist insurgency, disease, and famine. It breathes life into the armies of soldiers, civilians, laborers, businessmen, comfort women, doctors, and nurses who confronted the daily brutalities of a combat zone which extended from metropolitan cities to remote jungles, from tropical plantations to the Himalayas. Drawing upon a vast range of Indian, Burmese, Chinese, and Malay as well as British, American, and Japanese voices, the authors make vivid one of the central dramas of the twentieth century: the birth of modern south and southeast Asia and the death of British rule.

Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa


Joseph H. Alexander - 2015
    Smith and his principal staff officers of the 2d Marine Division, Vice Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commanding the Central Pacific Force, flew to New Zealand from Pearl Harbor. Spruance told the Marines to prepare for an amphibious assault against Japanese positions in the Gilbert Islands in November. The Marines knew about the Gilberts. The 2d Raider Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson had attacked Makin Atoll a year earlier. Subsequent intelligence reports warned that the Japanese had fortified Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll, where elite forces guarded a new bomber strip. Spruance said Betio would be the prime target for the 2d Marine Division. General Smith's operations officer, Lieutenant Colonel David M. Shoup, studied the primitive chart of Betio and saw that the tiny island was surrounded by a barrier reef. Shoup asked Spruance if any of the Navy's experimental, shallow-draft, plastic boats could be provided. "Not available," replied the admiral, "expect only the usual wooden landing craft." Shoup frowned. General Smith could sense that Shoup's gifted mind was already formulating a plan. The results of that plan were momentous. The Tarawa operation became a tactical watershed: the first, large-scale test of American amphibious doctrine against a strongly fortified beachhead. The Marine assault on Betio was particularly bloody. Ten days after the assault, Time magazine published the first of many post-battle analyses: Last week some 2,000 or 3,000 United States Marines, most of them now dead or wounded, gave the nation a name to stand beside those of Concord Bridge, the Bon Homme Richard, the Alamo, Little Big Horn and Belleau Wood. The name was "Tarawa."

Okinawa: The History of an Island People


George H. Kerr - 1958
    strategic defense. Ninety percent of all U.S. military forces in Japan are located on Okinawa, one of the Ryukyu Islands, and it was through these troops that the martial art of karate was exported to the U.S.In Okinawa: History of an Island People, noted Eastern affairs specialist George Kerr recounts the fascinating history of the island and its environs, from 1314 A.D. to the late twentieth century. The histories of Japan, Okinawa and the entire Pacific region are crucially intertwined so the study of this fascinating chain of islands is crucial to understanding all of East Asia. First published in 1958, this edition features a new introduction and appendix by Okinawa history scholar Mitsugu Sakihara, making this the most comprehensive resource on the small, vital, and intriguing island of Okinawa.

Burma Victory: Imphal and Kohima, March 1944 to May 1945


David Rooney - 1992
     In 1942, following their lightning strikes on Pearl Harbor and Hong Kong, the Japanese invaded Burma. British forces were rapidly driven out, following a swift and total defeat. The British and Indian forces retaliated with limited offences and with mixed results. The Japanese advance continued, driving victoriously for the domination of Asia. Then came the Japanese attack of Imphal and Kohima, starting one of the most ferocious campaign of the war. Burma Victory portrays the “forgotten war” and the Allied fight to push the Japanese out of Burma. David Rooney – who saw war service in India and West Africa – tells the story of the campaigns of the new Fourteenth Army, under the command of the remarkable General Slim. Rooney captures the ebb and flow of battle and the roles of Wingate, Stilwell and the Chindits. In doing so, he offers a new analysis of the role of airpower and highlights the influence of British, American, Japanese and Chinese thinking at the highest level. Burma Victory is essential reading for anyone interested in General Slim, the Second World War and how defeat can be turned into victory. Recommended reading for fans of Max Hastings, Antony Beevor and Andrew Roberts.

Operación Valkiria


Jesús Hernández - 2008
    Olbricht already has more than 200 recruits in different levels of German society, including in the intelligence and counterintelligence divisions of the military. The objective is to eliminate Hitler, Göring, and Himmler, neutralize the SS, and install a provision government that would try to make peace with the West and stop the war.

D-Day and Beyond: The Things Our Fathers Saw—The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation-Volume V


Matthew A. Rozell - 2019
    At my home, the mailman would walk up towards the front porch, and I saw it just as clear as if he's standing beside me—I see his blue jacket and the blue cap and the leather mailbag. Here he goes up to the house, but he doesn’t turn. He goes right up the front steps. This happened so fast, probably a matter of seconds, but the first thing that came to mind, that's the way my folks would find out what happened to me. The next thing I know, I kind of come to, and I'm in the push-up mode. I'm half up out of the underwater depression, and I'm trying to figure out what the hell happened to those prone figures on the beach, and all of a sudden, I realized I'm in amongst those bodies!” —Army demolition engineer, Omaha Beach, D-Day Dying for freedom isn’t the worst that could happen. Being forgotten is. — “My last mission was the Bastogne mission. We were being towed, we're approaching Bastogne, and I see a cloud of flak, anti-aircraft fire. I said to myself, ‘I'm not going to make it.’ There were a couple of groups ahead of us, so now the anti-aircraft batteries are zeroing in. Every time a new group came over, they kept zeroing in. My outfit had, I think, 95% casualties.” —Glider pilot, D-Day and beyond Maybe our veterans did not volunteer to tell us their stories; perhaps we were too busy with our own lives to ask. But they opened up to a younger generation, when a history teacher taught his students to engage. — “I was fighting in the hedgerows for five days; it was murder. But psychologically, we were the best troops in the world. There was nobody like us; I had all the training that they could give us, but nothing prepares you for some things. You know, in my platoon, the assistant platoon leader got shot right through the head, right through the helmet, dead, right there in front of me. That affects you, doesn’t it?” ” —Paratrooper, D-Day and beyond As we forge ahead as a nation, do we owe it to ourselves to become reacquainted with a generation that is fast leaving us, who asked for nothing but gave everything, to attune ourselves as Americans to a broader appreciation of what we stand for? This is the fifth book in the masterful WWII oral history series, but you can read them in any order. — “Somebody asked me once, what was the hardest part for you in the war? And I thought about a young boy who came in as a replacement; the first thing he said was, ‘How long will it be before I'm a veteran?’ I said, ‘If I'm talking to you the day after you're in combat, you're a veteran.’ He replaced one of the gunners who had been killed on the back of the half-track. Now, all of a sudden, the Germans were pouring this fire in on us. He was working on the track and when he jumped off, he went down, called my name. I ran over to him and he was bleeding in the mouth… From my experience before, all I could do was hold that kid’s hand and tell him it’s going to be all right. ‘You'll be all right.

Island Victory: The Battle of Kwajalein Atoll


S.L.A. Marshall - 1982
     This was the first time the Americans had penetrated the “outer ring” of the Japanese Pacific sphere. From now until the end of the war the combined forces of the Navy, Marine Corps and Army would island hop their way to the Japanese mainland. Yet, the Battle of Kwajalein Atoll, particularly on the island of Roi-Namur where there were only 51 survivors of the original 3,500 garrison left, gave the Americans an insight into the fierce resistance that the Japanese would put up over the remaining months of the war. Drawn directly from the testimonies of several hundred infantrymen, Island Victory provides insight into what it was like to feel the heat of battle on the beaches of those Pacific islands. "Written accounts of war simply do not get any closer to the actions and feelings of those [who] were there. Island Victory is a highly recommended, 'must read' book." — The Midwest Book Review "The real value of Island Victory lies in the unadorned words of these soldiers, recorded so openly and methodically by Marshall after the battle. . . . The Kwajalein victors interviewed so painstakingly by Sam Marshall provide a priceless candor and authenticity, the emotional testimonies of young men still flushed with adrenalin, guilt, and relief." — Joseph H. Alexander, Journal of Military History S. L. A. Marshall was a chief U.S. Army combat historian during World War II and the Korean War. He had served on the border with Mexico during the Pancho Villa Expedition before serving in France during World War I. He wrote over thirty books about warfare. Island Victory was first published in 1944. Marshall passed away in 1977.