2021 The 2021 discount fall of Japan sale

2021 The 2021 discount fall of Japan sale

2021 The 2021 discount fall of Japan sale
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Decent Quality Book in good condition, Scond Printing - Sept 1967, Original dustjacket($6.50), Moderate wear, Pages and text are clean and unmarked
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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
916 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Clem
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good History Lesson
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019
I’m not really an expert on the history of warfare, but the idea of fighting a war with a country who refuses to surrender, even when their nation is utterly destroyed, seems ridiculously implausible. Imagine a country that no matter how devasted the landscape, how... See more
I’m not really an expert on the history of warfare, but the idea of fighting a war with a country who refuses to surrender, even when their nation is utterly destroyed, seems ridiculously implausible. Imagine a country that no matter how devasted the landscape, how starving the children, and how utterly hopeless everything is around them, they choose to continue to fight until literally every citizen is dead. Such was the way of Japanese thinking during the second World War. By 1945, they had essentially ‘lost’ but refused to give up. It wasn’t until the United States dropped two newly developed atomic bombs on two different major Japanese cities that some in this torn nation finally came to their senses and realized that ‘surrendering’ just might be the best option.

I always thought it was basically the whole country that realized surrender was the only viable option, but William Craig’s excellent account tells us otherwise. I must say how surprised at how many in power in Japan were against this idea. While hundreds of thousands of women, children, and elderly were literally burned to death or succumbed to painful radiation sickness, many in Japan’s upper echelon still couldn’t fathom the idea of capitulation to the Allies.

Fortunately, it seems like the calmest head in Japan prevailed - the Emperor Hirohito. This was a man who was literally revered as a god. Very few in Japan ever even saw the man, nor heard his voice, but if there was a procession where he was being chauffeured through the city, the entire city would stop and reverently bow their heads in submission. So when the people finally hear from their iconic head of state that it’s time to end the conflict, most obey. Again, most.

This book really does an excellent job detailing the events that lead up to the dropping of the bombs as well as the immediate aftermath. Contrary to what I’ve always believed, once the bombs were dropped, there was still plenty of negotiating and haggling back and forth between the obvious loser and winner. We read of several coup attempts within Japan after the Emperor’s decision, as well as lots of hari-kari by a lot of Japanese leaders. How would you feel if you were a failed general who had ‘second thoughts’ of suicide only to have your loving wife humiliate you and berate you into killing yourself? Such was the mindset of the country of the time. Bizarre indeed; especially if this was the country you were fighting.

In addition, we also read about the liberation of the American POWs during the time (many held in neighboring China). Again, not an easy task as most of the captors had no idea the war was over and simply couldn’t entertain the notion of defeat. You might think that if you had a loved one being held as a prisoner of war that you had cause to rejoice as the armistice was being signed. This book shows us it wasn’t that simple. We also sadly read about many prisoners who were killed by the Japanese at the conclusion of the conflict for no other reason than the fact that the Japanese guards were angry and humiliated; so they though nothing of torturing and killing a few more prisoners.

Although this book doesn’t explicitly state it within the pages, it did reinforce the fact that as horrible as the bombings were, they were necessary in terms of saving Allied lives. One gets the feeling that had the bombs not been dropped, the war would have continued for several more years, and more people probably would have perished – including the Japanese. Such is the calamity when war is fought (and it was also initiated) by such an obstinate nation.

The only overall disappointment for me was the fact that the book ended before the occupation by Douglas MacArthur and the American army really took hold. It gives me optimism to see just how magnanimous the nation of the Unites States was once war ended. The Japanese were (rightly) petrified of their occupiers, yet Douglas MacArthur ensured that that the people of Japan would be treated with dignity and respect. It’s also refreshing to see how quickly the U.S. and Japan became friendly towards each other shortly after the war concluded, and the relationship has basically stayed intact to this day. Sadly, you don’t read any of that here. As I write this review at the conclusion of 2019, it really sickens me that so many people bitch about the history of the United States without ever bothering to read a history book.

I’ve stated this in many of my reviews of books about history, that I think the real problem many young people in the United States have, is that they’re clueless how barbaric that most of the nations on the planet have been throughout recorded history. They’re quick to demonize the United States for things such as Christopher Columbus and slavery, but they seem to be unaware that evil has basically existed in every culture since the dawn of time. This doesn’t mean that the United States (or any country) should get a ‘free pass’ when looking at its past sins, but it does mean that people should give all ancestors of the world a bit of a break since all countries have been creatures of their own culture. Japan was certainly no exception.

An excellent history book that gives the novice a bit of perspective of how the world really is, was, and in many ways, has gotten a whole lot better.
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Roger J. BuffingtonTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The last word on the Japanese decision to surrender in 1945
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2016
This piece contains essentially anything and everything the reader will want to know about the final weeks of the Pacific War and the run-up to Japan''s tortured decision to surrender. As such it is fascinating, and the fact that this book is very well-written makes it hard... See more
This piece contains essentially anything and everything the reader will want to know about the final weeks of the Pacific War and the run-up to Japan''s tortured decision to surrender. As such it is fascinating, and the fact that this book is very well-written makes it hard to put it down.

The book notes a number of fascinating themes. Firstly, the Japanese emperor had a lot more power than he admitted to in the post-war era. The notion that Hirohito did not have a direct hand in planning Japan''s aggression is simply incorrect. And when Hirohito decided to surrender, Japan surrendered.

Secondly, and most fascinating to me, is the odd political structure of World War Two Japan. Essentially the military constituted the controlling branch of government, and civilian rule was largely, although not completely, subordinate to it. But it goes even further than that, and to the American reader (or for that matter, the modern Japanese reader) it gets weirder than that. For within Japan''s military, especially the Army, there was a strange culture of insubordination. Relatively junior officers posed a continuing threat of assassination against senior officers and Japanese politicians who they deemed to be insufficiently aggressive or militant. Thus any peace faction within the military-government complex within Japan was in constant danger of elimination by assassination. Given the legendary savage discipline within the Japanese military it seems odd that this kind of indiscipline would exist in the military, but exist it did.

This book brings out the fact that the Japanese government prior to the end of the war was a complex web of competing forces and interests, and it was very difficult for it to reach a consensus on a matter so momentous, and which so cut against the grain, as the decision to surrender. Here, the Japanese government can be seen to be a study in dysfunctionality, because rarely or never has a country been so thoroughly vanquished as was Japan in 1945. To the modern reader the decision to surrender seems obvious. But at the time reaching such a decision, even in the face of the threat of continuing atomic bombing (and even more deadly conventional bombing) was almost beyond the capability of Japan''s government.

This is an excellent well-written piece about a fascinating subject. Highly recommended. RJB.
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Larry T. Rouse
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent Treatment of Events
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2017
I have read three versions of these events, The abridged Time - Life version, the Japanese were just misunderstood John Toland version, and this one. This is insightful, well-researched, and in many ways more compelling than what has been written before. By devoting an... See more
I have read three versions of these events, The abridged Time - Life version, the Japanese were just misunderstood John Toland version, and this one. This is insightful, well-researched, and in many ways more compelling than what has been written before. By devoting an entire book to the last days of the Pacific War, William Craig is able to look in detail at the various personalities, their attempts at sending out peace feelers to the Allies, and their dilemma at trying to keep their efforts from the radical elements in the military and government.

He never addresses the question of if the bomb was necessary to end the war, but instead provides the information and lets the readers reach their own conclusions. In this way, he succeeds and clearly demonstrates that the question is not as cut and dried as proponents on either side would have us believe.
20 people found this helpful
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Andy Glass
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Revelation!
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2016
This book was a revelation! When I spotted the deal on amazon, it looked interesting, as I enjoy WWII history. But talk about over-delivering. I thought it would be primarily about the dropping of the bomb and the days before and after. It was, but so much more. Craig does... See more
This book was a revelation! When I spotted the deal on amazon, it looked interesting, as I enjoy WWII history. But talk about over-delivering. I thought it would be primarily about the dropping of the bomb and the days before and after. It was, but so much more. Craig does an excellent job of delivering a complete story that included the political and military situation leading up to and after the bombs were dropped. He also delivers chilling detail about not just people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their ordeal, but situations that happened well away from the bomb sites as the Japanese army and it''s leaders faced the end of the war, and the treatment of Allied POWs and special forces behind the lines. The book, of course, ends with the story of the surrender documents, which was a drama in and of itself. Overall, this was one of the best books on the end of the war in the Pacific that I''ve ever read - highly recommend!
21 people found this helpful
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Bond, James Bond
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of a very few absolutely indispensable books on WWII. This is one of the elite of the elite.
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2017
I either never realized, or lost sight of the fact while reading, that this book has been in print many years and has always been held in high regard. Hence, while I was reading it, I was constantly doing the hand-to-forehead thing, saying to myself, "My God, this thing... See more
I either never realized, or lost sight of the fact while reading, that this book has been in print many years and has always been held in high regard. Hence, while I was reading it, I was constantly doing the hand-to-forehead thing, saying to myself, "My God, this thing is incredible! It''s a masterpiece!" Well, yeah, as it turns out: Duh! It is, James. Welcome aboard!

Interestingly, granting that much, there really isn''t a lot more to say about The Fall of Japan except that I can''t see how any student of WWII could fully understand the Japanese perspective--the motivations and machinations that inspired their actions throughout the whole war, not only during the endgame--without having read this book. At the same time, of course, it also fills out the picture somewhat as to various decisions made by Allied commanders, who were more aware of some of this than your average civilian, even if still in the dark (at the time) regarding much of it as well. Simply put, this book adds all the much-needed color to your likely black-and-white picture of the Japanese mind during WWII--not just some color, but all of it. It gives a full, breathtaking view that can only be appreciated after the last word is read.

I really can''t think of what else to say, except, "Read this book." If you have any interest at all in the subject matter, your thirst can never be sated without it. It''s just a fascinating read from cover to cover, well worth any amount of time invested in it.
13 people found this helpful
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Deejay
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The WWII Japanese psyche turned inside out
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2020
This book was a fascinating day-by-day account of the torturous steps that Japan and its leaders had to tread to end the war. Intellectually they knew they were defeated, but emotionally it was an alien, unacceptable concept. Japan had never known defeat, much less a... See more
This book was a fascinating day-by-day account of the torturous steps that Japan and its leaders had to tread to end the war. Intellectually they knew they were defeated, but emotionally it was an alien, unacceptable concept. Japan had never known defeat, much less a conqueror in its history. The population was terrified of the idea of a foreign occupation, due to the propaganda of the military government, and by their own knowledge of what Japan itself had done to populations and countries the imperial troops had occupied. The Japanese could only assume that the Allies would do to Japan what Japan had done to China, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines and the other lands they had seized. The average citizen was stunned when the occupation did not fit that image. After Emperor Hirohito''s radio broadcast to his people announcing that, "...the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan''s advantage..." General MacArthur ordered the Japanese to send a delegation to Manila to receive his instructions for the actual surrender and the beginning of the occupation. This is the most interesting part of the book in my opinion. It contains a detailed description of General Kawabe''s mission to the Philippines to learn from the Americans what was to be expected of the Japanese prior to, during, and after the actual surrender and in the first phase of the occupation. If you''re a student of history and the second world war, this book is fast paced, information packed, and a very good read.
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F. Moyer
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazon description created expectations far higher than realized
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2019
The Amazon description gushes about this book: “exhaustively researched”, “virtually faultless”, “vividly told”, “masterfully chronicles”, “spellbinding authority“, “astonishing account”. From my perspective, that description is way over-selling this book.... See more
The Amazon description gushes about this book: “exhaustively researched”, “virtually faultless”, “vividly told”, “masterfully chronicles”, “spellbinding authority“, “astonishing account”. From my perspective, that description is way over-selling this book.

Japan’s final defeat was forced by airpower once the necessary (and hard-fought) island airbases could be captured. And so this book starts with the firebombing of Japanese cities and the two A-bomb drops. But the majority of this book is about the Japanese leaders deciding upon the necessity to surrender while simultaneously trying to stave off the very real threat of revolt by members of their own military. That aspect of history is one I’d not read about before and so was informative – but also a bit difficult to read as most of the names were of Japanese people I’d not known about before. And, no, I did not feel it was “vividly told”.

A small part of the book was about the brave souls who parachuted into Japanese prisoner-of-war camps in China soon after Japan’s surrender was announced. In some cases, the Japanese camp guards had not yet gotten news of Japan’s surrender. A very interesting aspect, though only briefly covered. Still, the story of John Birch’s death was told (but only over a page or two).

Bottom line: Japan trained their soldiers, seamen and flyers into a fight-to-the-death mindset against a feared and hated enemy. This book is about the consequences of that training once Japan tried to then get those same people to stop fighting and accept surrender. Could have been “vividly” told, but was not.
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Mal Warwick
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
There was nothing simple and straightforward about Japan''s unconditional surrender
Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2021
Few people today wonder what led to Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II. The United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Emperor caved. Job done. But of course the reality was far more complex. And the outcome was anything... See more
Few people today wonder what led to Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II. The United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Emperor caved. Job done. But of course the reality was far more complex. And the outcome was anything but certain.

Twenty-two years after the war ended, American historian William Craig revealed how that decision came about. He dug into hidden documents and spoke with dozens of those who played pivotal roles at the time both in Japan and the US. Day-by-day, and often hour by hour, Craig reconstructed the events that unfolded in Tokyo as the Empire of Japan pondered the Allies’ inflexible demands. He focused on the fateful days between August 9, 1945, when Fat Man detonated over Nagasaki, and August 15, when Emperor Hirohito radioed a message to Switzerland accepting the Allied terms of surrender. The story Craig tells in The Fall of Japan is at once compelling, disturbing, and illuminating. This book is a stellar example of how history can shine a bright light underneath the surface myths and reveal the messy human reality of the past.

What really led up to Japan’s unconditional surrender

Emperor Hirohito (1901-89) was universally revered as a god by the Japanese people. Small wonder, then, that readers three-quarters of a century later might assume that all the man had to do was snap his fingers for the government to do his bidding. But that was far from the truth. Centuries earlier, during the shogunate of the Edo period (1600–1868), powerful warlords had sharply curtailed the emperor’s power. Although he was nominally restored to supreme power during the Meiji period (1868–1912), it was former samurai rather than the emperor who exercised real power.

Hirohito’s role was largely ceremonial

By the time Hirohito ascended to the throne in 1926, he was expected to observe the government and remain silent. Although controversy continues to surround his role in launching and prosecuting World War II, William Craig’s account makes clear that Hirohito quietly supported the military throughout the conflict. Only in the darkest days of August 1945 after nuclear weapons fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union attacked the Japanese army in Manchuria did the emperor understand the end was truly at hand. But when he and members of his court and cabinet began to maneuver behind the scenes to move toward peace, the military pushed back. Japan’s unconditional surrender? Unthinkable!

Diplomats struggled to reach a peace agreement

As Craig notes, “While the new American President grappled with the problems of impending victory in the Pacific, and while the new Japanese Premier endeavored to construct some workable alternatives to absolute defeat, diplomatic and intelligence personnel of both nations were engaged in desperate, yet hopeful, schemes for ending the conflict quickly.” Yet their hopes foundered on the shoals of resistance by Japan’s military. And the military overshadowed the civilians in what was known as “the Big Six, Japan’s ‘inner cabinet,’ formally named the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War.” The war cabinet, in other words.

The military was fanatically committed to continuing the war

Ever since the renegade Kwantung Army attacked Chinese troops in the Mukden Incident in 1931, the Japanese military had been in the driver’s seat in Tokyo. For fourteen years, the army and navy dominated government policy, often in bitter conflict with each other. Of the two, the army was, if anything, more powerful. But the power dynamics were complex. Within both services, there were senior officers (most notably the late Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto) who recognized the suicidal folly of attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor.

Among the civilian leadership, too, opinion was divided. But as fighting raged across the Pacific, the dissenters remained quiet. A succession of Prime Ministers were forced to bow to the will of the Army, not least in fear of their lives if they contradicted the generals. And when the emperor consulted privately with members of his cabinet during the final months of the war, virtually all advised continuing to fight. Only one urged a negotiated settlement—even though unconditional surrender alone was on the table.

Only when all hope was lost did Hirohito speak out

Meanwhile, the US Army and Navy continued island-hopping ever closer to Japan’s home islands. By the time Okinawa fell in July 1945, it was clear to all but the most fanatic military officers that defeat was certain. But it was the fanatics who called the shots. Even after the two atomic bombs were dropped and the Soviet Union entered the war, the top leadership was sharply divided. The six-member war cabinet split down the middle, three against three. And the three who resisted either were “zealots, who still believed surrender a worse fate than death,” or feared retribution from younger officers. Eventually, Hirohito succumbed to pressure from members of his family and the peace faction in the cabinet and broke nearly a century of precedent to speak out for peace. Against all odds, Japan’s unconditional surrender became inevitable.

Hirohito informed the war cabinet that “I have studied the terms of the Allied reply and . . . I consider the reply to be acceptable. . . I cannot endure the thought of letting my people suffer any longer. . . At this point, the Emperor broke down” in tears, Craig reports. “Instead of rising to bow before the Emperor, most sat crying into their hands. Two men slid onto the floor. On elbows and knees, they cried uncontrollably.” But their devotion to the emperor prevailed.

The leadership, even the most fanatic militarists, acceded to his wish for a settlement—but the opposition in much of the officer corps remained steadfast. And fanatic junior officers—colonels, majors, captains—organized first one coup attempt, then another. Craig follows their activities almost hour by hour during those fraught six days from the sixth through the fifteenth of August. They came perilously close to assassinating the leaders of the peace faction, kidnapping Hirohito, and closing off all hope of dealing with the Allies.

“The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage”

Fanatic younger officers rampaging through the Imperial Palace failed to find the phonograph record of the emperor’s message to the people of Japan announcing the surrender. But it was a close call. And they did murder one of the most powerful members of the cabinet. Others in the leadership committed suicide, unable to face the reality of surrender or consumed by guilt over the loss. Finally, however, the Japanese people heard Emperor Hirohito’s high-pitched voice on the radio for the first time ever, declaring that the war was over.

Even the words Hirohito spoke reflected the deep divisions within the empire’s leadership—and his own ambivalence—as well as a cultural bias against directness. “The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage,” he announced, “while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest” and thus “we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.” Not only did Hirohito avoid using the word “surrender.” He also failed to acknowledge that by accepting the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, he was bowing to the inevitability of Japan’s unconditional surrender.

Why the Japanese resisted unconditional surrender

Fear of being accountable for war crimes

For most Americans, the historical memory of atrocities in World War II centers on the Holocaust. But there was no lack of depravity in the Pacific region. In the Rape of Nanking (December 1937 to January 1938), between 50,000 and 300,000 Chinese died during those six weeks. Japanese commanders released their troops to wreak havoc in other Chinese cities as well. Tens of thousands more died. And Japanese soldiers inflicted the same sadism and brutality on the nearly 140,000 Allied military personnel they captured in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

“By the time the war was over,” the British site Forces War Records reports, “a total of more than 30,000 POWs had died from starvation, diseases, and mistreatment both within and outside of the Japanese Mainland.” But none of this was unknown to either the military or the civilian leadership in Tokyo. And it was fear of being held to account for these crimes against humanity that played a leading role in Japan’s ferocious resistance to unconditional surrender even when all hope of victory was long gone.

Fear that the emperor would be deposed

But most accounts single out another concern that motivated the resistance to unconditional surrender among the Japanese leadership. To their minds, the imperial dynasty represented twenty-six hundred years of Japanese history. It was unthinkable that ending the war might bring that dynasty to an inglorious end. Even the most determined members of the peace faction in Japanese diplomatic circles emphasized the importance of preserving the emperor’s role in their overtures to the Allies through neutral Switzerland and Sweden.

But the root cause of the resistance was fanaticism

In the final analysis, however, it was fanaticism, pure and simple, that lay at the foundation of the resistance to surrendering. For the overwhelming majority of Japanese soldiers and sailors, and particularly so for the officers, abject devotion to the Bushidō warrior’s code caused them to reject reality. One of the primary values in the samurai life was loyalty and honor until death, never defeat, capture, and shame. For several years, ever since the tide of battle began to shift against them, thousands of Japanese soldiers at a time had ended their lives in suicidal charges against entrenched American forces. And the pace of these insanely self-destructive tactics increased in the final months of the conflict. Beginning in October 1944, a total of 3,800 kamikaze pilots willingly went to their deaths in suicidal attacks on American warships.

A rich source of insight and perspective

The Fall of Japan is an abundant source of insight and perspective on the final weeks of World War II in the Pacific. Although the author’s emphasis is on the struggle inside Tokyo during the critical six days that led up to Japan’s unconditional surrender, he relates many other aspects of the story in telling detail.

The fateful role of the American Air Force

Craig traces the emergence of the US Army Air Force as a central player in the war’s endgame. He details the firebombing strategy of General Curtis Lemay (1906-90) that killed far more Japanese than both the atomic bombs. Craig characterizes the firebombing of Tokyo as “the most ferocious holocaust ever visited on a civilized community.” The bombing there destroyed over 250,000 buildings, flattened almost sixteen square miles, and killed more than 100,000. Later, he follows the development of the plan to drop the atom bomb, dogging the footsteps of the crews of the B-29s through weeks of training and then on their fateful runs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His shattering accounts of the consequences for the people of those two doomed cities call to mind John Hersey’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporting in his 1946 book, Hiroshima.

Continuing resistance by Japanese soldiers

Even after the emperor’s message was broadcast, fanatic soldiers and sailors continued to act as though the war had not ended. Some rounded up captured B-29 pilots and summarily executed them. Others murdered their own colleagues who refused to join in continuing efforts to undermine the surrender. “Both in Japan and on the fringes of the Empire,” Craig reports, “trouble continued to plague the attempts at orderly surrender.” American soldiers pressed into the OSS to advance the American occupation of Japanese POW camps found themselves taken prisoner by camp commandants who doubted the authenticity of reports about the surrender. And the American soldiers who were first sent to Japan landed in fear of their lives. The Japanese officers sent to welcome them were fearful, too, that some deranged soldier might open up on them with a semi-automatic weapon.

About the author

Historian and novelist William Craig (1929-97) wrote two espionage thrillers as well as two widely respected nonfiction works about World War II. As his bio at the back reveals, “he interrupted his career as an advertising salesman to appear on the quiz show Tic-Tac-Dough in 1958. With his $42,000 in winnings—a record-breaking amount at the time—Craig enrolled at Columbia University and earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in history.” The Fall of Japan was the first product of his education.
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Top reviews from other countries

S. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An excellent account of a rarely-discussed aspect of WW2 history.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2019
This is the first proper account I''ve read of the last few days of Japan''s war against the world. It''s difficult now to fully understand the fanaticism, greed and stupidity of Japan''s leaders in the 1930''s. But this book goes a long way in helping to explain the peculiar...See more
This is the first proper account I''ve read of the last few days of Japan''s war against the world. It''s difficult now to fully understand the fanaticism, greed and stupidity of Japan''s leaders in the 1930''s. But this book goes a long way in helping to explain the peculiar aspects of Japanese history and culture that led up to them trying to dominate the whole of Asia in a brutal spree of invasion, murder, rape and theft. Their extraordinary machine of exploitation took a great deal of persuading and military might on the Allies'' part to dismantle, with the two atomic weapons as the climax. Even then, as this book reveals in great detail, the Japanese military establishment might still have fought on, to the death of every Japanese, rather than suffer the humiliation of surrender. It''s an exciting and awesome story and one that should be told in every school in my view. I thoroughly recommend this book. An unputdownable read!
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docberg
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is possibly being pedantic but prevents it being a true War History in the classical sense but accepting this it is still a
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2016
I was engrossed by this book which reflected the huge amount of research carried out. My only criticism is that the author has popularised it by describing conversations that nobody could know of. eg Between a Japanese General and his wife about their potential ritual...See more
I was engrossed by this book which reflected the huge amount of research carried out. My only criticism is that the author has popularised it by describing conversations that nobody could know of. eg Between a Japanese General and his wife about their potential ritual suicide and terms such as "his sweaty palms". This is possibly being pedantic but prevents it being a true War History in the classical sense but accepting this it is still a great read.
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Mark J. Fitzpatrick
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2009
harrowing and insightful chronicle of the fall of an Empire Japans self belief spilled viciously into a deluded arrogance and this made their collapse all the more brutal. Fascinating account of the wrangling that went on in the Japanese State prior to surrender and the...See more
harrowing and insightful chronicle of the fall of an Empire Japans self belief spilled viciously into a deluded arrogance and this made their collapse all the more brutal. Fascinating account of the wrangling that went on in the Japanese State prior to surrender and the descisive military action that led to it.
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George Summerfield
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Face Off, Indeed!
Reviewed in Canada on November 5, 2019
In Japan, before and during WWII, a matter of having and displaying honour (or “saving face”) was everything. Yet, this form of honour was wrong, and insidious by western standards. The Japanese were brutal beyond compare to Westerners. Even though the Nazi’s too were as...See more
In Japan, before and during WWII, a matter of having and displaying honour (or “saving face”) was everything. Yet, this form of honour was wrong, and insidious by western standards. The Japanese were brutal beyond compare to Westerners. Even though the Nazi’s too were as brutal, and the Gestapo were considered to be without compassion or honour; would the U.S. have ever dropped a nuclear weapon on an unsuspecting European city, to hasten the end of the war? No! Not even doubtful! Long before VJ Day, the Japanese did not realize that regardless (or because of) their Code of Bushido; A surprise attack on Pearl Harbour, torture & brutality to POWs, and the flagrant disrespect for life (use a Kamikazes) had lost them face for all time. Even the honourable way out (Hari Kiri) was seen as a coward’s exit. Yet, this book shows that some Japanese in high places tried vigilantly to end the senseless slaughter; albeit, not until the nukes were used on two cities & they believed that many more cities could be inflicted with the same destructive power. Some Japanese knew that the war with the U. S. never should have been initiated/instigated; others knew that with the sinking of their aircraft carriers at the Battle of Midway, they could never win. Continuing after this point was a ‘loss in face’; and flagrant disrespect for lives as yet to be lost. Why Face Off? Because there was no face left to lose in Aug 1945 - they had already lost all that they might have salvaged long before.
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Gordup
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
So much I didn''t know until I read this book.
Reviewed in Canada on January 26, 2017
There was so much I didn''t know about the war with Japan. I didn''t know a thing about the second plane and crew that atom-bombed Nagasaki or how brutal the Japanese soldiers really were to American POW''s. I didn''t know that Pearl Harbor was a mistake made by a couple of...See more
There was so much I didn''t know about the war with Japan. I didn''t know a thing about the second plane and crew that atom-bombed Nagasaki or how brutal the Japanese soldiers really were to American POW''s. I didn''t know that Pearl Harbor was a mistake made by a couple of naval officers who didn''t agree with their superiors regarding the attack but gave the order anyway. This book is full of stories and facts that the average reader wouldn''t know about without reading it. William Craig has done a good job. The many Japanese names of the officials involved in the last days of their country confused me. I couldn''t keep them straight for the life of me. I had to keep backtracking to reacquaint myself with them. Other than that small item, well written and very informative. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Mr. Craig.
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