Axis History Forum

This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations and related topics hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research, Christoph Awender's WW2 day by dayand Christian Ankerstjerne’s Panzerworld.

Skip to content

If you found the forum useful please consider supporting us. You can also support us by buying books through the AHF Bookstore.

What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
Hosted by Hisashi & Peter H.

What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Postby David C. Clarke on 07 May 2005 02:45

Hi Guys, let's start a list of basic reading for Japan in WWII ! :D :D :D

Here are two:

"A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II" by Paul Dull
"Guadalcanal" by Richard Frank

Don't be shy, list any book that you think is good!!

Best,
~Akira


********************
[Added by the staff]

If you buy through the below links you not only get the books you want but you also support the forum while shopping!
* AHF Bookstore
* Amazon.com (UK, Germany)
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby Keltixx on 07 May 2005 08:55

Two of interest to me. In fact, they intrigued me enough to look more closely at the Japanese Military in WWII.

"Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific"
"Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific"

Both by Eric M. Bergerud

Although both are heavily weighted toward the Allies (assume available English language sources have something to do with this, Bergerud does try to give equal weight to the Japanese side. Both are also cracking good reads and good thematic history.

I second "Guadalcanal" by Richard Frank as a superb reference.

I wish more Japanese records and books were translated into English. I know there is a wealth of material to be read.

FYI - I have some information on Japanese paratroop forces in WWII, some of which I have already posted in other areas of the Forum. Would be glad to try to post other bits as needed. This is from a book I work on about airborne ops and units of WWII.

Finally, David/Akira - read your post in the Lounge about why you are leaving that area, the constant bickering and nationalistic trivia/trash. Wish you were not going, understand why you are, and have stopped reading a lot of posts myself. Glad you are here, looking forward to learning more about the topic.

Ciao - Jeffrey
User avatar
Keltixx
Member
Romania
 
Posts: 39
Joined: 08 Aug 2004 09:37
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Postby Richard Hedlund on 07 May 2005 09:26

The Second World War in the Far East; by H.P. Willmot. Covers the entire war from China to the nukes. Quite good book.

/Richard
User avatar
Richard Hedlund
Member
Sweden
 
Posts: 540
Joined: 27 Oct 2004 16:15
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby David C. Clarke on 07 May 2005 18:58

Hi Jeffrey! Well, look at it this way, at least for the moment, we have an entirely new section of the Forum to mold into what we want it to be. Hopefully we will avoid the unecessary flame wars and "political " controversies. A few more good books, primarily from the Allied viewpoint:

"The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign" by John Lundstrom
"The Barrier and the Javelin" by H.P. Willmott
"Empries in the Balance" by H.P. Willmott
"Warpath: A Short History of the 345th Bombardment Group"
"Combined Fleet Decoded", by John Prados

Richard, do you know if these two Willmott books are a part of "The Second World War in the Far East" or are they seperate titles"?

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby David C. Clarke on 07 May 2005 19:09

And some more general reference material:

"Reluctant Admiral", by Hiroyuki Agawa
"Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1800-1945", by Hansgeorg Jentshura, Dieter Jung and Peter Mickel
"Japanese Naval Vessels at the End of World War II", by Shizuo Fukui
"Japanese Aircraft of World War II", by Rene Francillon
"Fading Victory", by Matome Ugaki
"Kaigun", David Evans and Mark Peattie

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby Miha Grcar on 07 May 2005 19:16

Akira-san, I don't know what you think about memoirs, but this one is essential: Saburo Sakai - Samurai! Enjoyed it very much!

best regards,
Miha / Nibelung
User avatar
Miha Grcar
Member
Slovenia
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: 20 Aug 2004 09:19
Location: Slovenia, Europe

Postby David C. Clarke on 07 May 2005 19:33

Hi Miha!!!! Damn good to see you!! Yes, Saburo Sakai's memoirs are excellent. I have one for you:

"Japanese Destroyer Captain" by Tameichi Hara

I believe that he was the only Japanese Destroyer Captain to write his memoirs and this is a classic like Sakai's.

I really hope you hang out here. :D :D :D

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby David C. Clarke on 07 May 2005 19:49

Another good book whose impact on the study of the Sino-Japanese War can't be under-estimated:

"The Rape of Nanking", by Iris Chang

One note, much of what has been written in English about the IJN is in articles in specialized publications. It will take me some time to complie them.

In the meantime, please don't hesitate to add books to this list, even if you feel they might be controversial. Our intent on this Board should be not to shy from controversy, but to deal with it objectively and civily like the true researchers we all aspire to be.

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby Keltixx on 07 May 2005 20:10

I do not know how I could have forgotten "Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939"
by Alvin D. Coox. Definitive, well written.

"Burma: The Longest War 1941-1945" by Louis Allen. Allen both fought in the conflict and is a Japanese linguist. A lot of Japanese sources used. Very good. May have to start rereading it again soon.

I have not read the following and solicit thoughts before I part with my hard earned yen. :)

"Nomonhan" by John Colvin - reviews are not that good.

"The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905" by Geoffrey Jukes

Thoughts on the above?

I also think it is wise not to ignore fiction to sometime gain an understanding of a time and a people...to some extent.

Bridge on the River Kwai, both the Pierre Boulle (sp?) original novel and the movie are good and I think fair to the Japanese.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Director Nagisa Oshima, left a hell of an impact on me the only time I saw it. I never plan to see it again, but I do suggest it...once.

And finally, "Rising Sun Victorious: The Alternate History of How the Japanese Won the Pacific War" by Peter G. Tsouras (Editor) is fun to start conversations, either with friends or in your own mind. :D

Ciao for now - Jeffrey
User avatar
Keltixx
Member
Romania
 
Posts: 39
Joined: 08 Aug 2004 09:37
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Postby daveh on 07 May 2005 21:01

KOGUN: THE JAPANESE ARMY IN THE PACIFIC WAR: SABURO HAYASHI, In collaboration with ALVIN D. COOX

can be found at:
http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/utm/kogun.txt

Osprey publishing have produced a number of titles worth looking at including:

Japanese Pacific Island Defences
Japanese Army 1931-45: 2 vols
OOB Japanese Army in WW2: Conquest of the Pacific 1941-2
various Campaign books on Island Battles in the Pacific

planned publications include:
Japanese Infantryman 1937–45:Sword of the Empire (Warrior 95)

Nafziger Collection has published
The Japanese Order of Battle in WW2 in 3 volumes by John L Underwood
Japanese Armoured Units in WW2 by John L Underwood

The US WW2 Intelligece Handbook on Japanese Military Forces is available..with all the associated faults of such works.
daveh
Member
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 1368
Joined: 11 Feb 2003 18:14
Location: uk

Postby David C. Clarke on 08 May 2005 04:04

Hi DaveH! Continuing on the Osprey list, the following booklets are decent:

"B-29 Hunters of the JAAF", by Koji Takaki & Henry Sakaida
"Mitsubishi Type 1 Rikko 'Betty' Units of WWII", by Osamu Tagaya
"Japanese Army Air Force Aces 1937-45", by Henry Sakaida
"Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45", by Henry Sakaida

Softcovers by other companies are:

"Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)", by Robert Peczkowski (Mushroom Model Publications)
"Mitsubishi G4M Betty", by Martin Ferkl (Revi Publications)
"Mitsubishi Ki-46 Dinah", by Martin Ferkl (Revi Publications)

In terms of hardcover books, one not to be missed is:

"Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in World War II", by Ikuhiko Hata and Yasuho Izawa

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby David C. Clarke on 08 May 2005 04:21

And three naval books, all hardcover:

"Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1904-1945", by Norman Polmar and Dorr Carpenter
"The Japanese Submarine Force And World War II", by Carl Boyd and Akihito Yoshida
"The Japanese Merchant Marine in World War II", by Mark Parillo

Just a note here, neither the Boyd book nor the Parillo book, in my humble opinion, are of the quality of the Polmar book. However, the Parillo book is one of the very, very few books on the Japanese Merchant fleet. The Boyd book suffers by comparison to the Polmar book, but it is operational in scope, whereas the Polmar book concentrates more on design aspects of the types of submarines.

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

RE: What Books Do You Think Are Essential About WWII Japan.

Postby Robert Rojas on 08 May 2005 05:16

Greetings to both brother David C. Clarke and the community as a whole. Well Ushijima-san, in reference to your introductory posting of Sunday - May 07, 2005 - 3:45am, old Uncle Bob-a-san would like to offer the following two unorthodox works of literature gravitating on the culture and politics of Dai Nihon. The first work of literature is entitled as SHINTO: The Unconquered Enemy. The author is Robert O. Ballou and the publisher is The Viking Press of New York. The publishing year is 1945! This literary work ostensibly examines Japan's doctrine of racial superiority and world conquest with selections from Shinto texts. The second work of literature is entitled as TOJO: The Last Banzai. The author is Courtney Browne and the publisher is Holt, Rinehart and Winston of New York. The publishing year is 1967. This literary work ostensibly examines the life and times of Imperial Japan's last military shogunate - Hideki Tojo. It also provides a political backdrop of the methods by which nationalists and extremist groups of military officers can control the destiny of a country. Old yours truly will contribute other works of literature in the future, but I thought I'd offer a bit of political history in lieu of the usual military history. ENJOY! Well, that's my two cents worth on the subject - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you a copacetic day over in the land of the Rising Sun.

MAY THE EMPEROR LIVE FOR ONE THOUSAND YEARS!

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob-a-san :) :wink: 8)
User avatar
Robert Rojas
Member
United States
 
Posts: 1693
Joined: 19 Nov 2002 04:29
Location: Eugene - Oregon - U.S.A.

Postby David C. Clarke on 08 May 2005 05:36

Thank You Uncle Bob-a-san, your contribution is quite welcome. More than that, you make an excellent point and one so obvious that I am ashamed to say that I hadn't thought of it. It is of course essential to understand the culture and politics of Japan and a listing merely of works of military history would not accomplish that goal. My offering on this subject is the following two books;

"Japan's Imperial Conspiracy", by David Bergamini
"Japan At War: An Oral History", by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook

I bid you a good night sir and extend my thanks for expanding both our list and our horizon.

Best,
~Akira
User avatar
David C. Clarke
Member
United States
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:17
Location: U.S. of A.

Postby Andy H on 08 May 2005 11:45

'A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy' 1941-1945 by Paul S Dull. Published by Naval Institute Press,

Andy H
User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
United Kingdom
 
Posts: 13431
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Next

Return to Japan at War 1895-1945

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 1 guest