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.
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Truckman
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Truckman » 30 Aug 2018 20:10

cstunts wrote:
26 Apr 2016 16:49
Has anyone read Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II by Jeffrey Cox?

I have it. Caveat lector.

It would be an acceptable introduction for the layperson, but highly unreliable as a source to use for research or to quote.

FWIW
I disagree...I used quite a bit of the material in researching my own book...Much was his own opinion, but verifiable data still remains...And opinion is what drives writers to write...History is always someone's opinion of what really happened...

Also FWIW... :wink: ...Ben

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by wdgysin » 29 Sep 2018 20:55

Senshi Sosho Vol 26 The Operations of the Navy in the Dutch East Indies and the Bay of Bengal is now available for open access downloading or hardback ordering here:
https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/65910

Senshi Sosho Vol 3 The invasion of the Dutch East Indies, the previous published volume is available here:
https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/35184

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Eugen Pinak » 01 Oct 2018 20:54

wdgysin wrote:
29 Sep 2018 20:55
Senshi Sosho Vol 26 The Operations of the Navy in the Dutch East Indies and the Bay of Bengal is now available for open access downloading or hardback ordering here:
https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/65910

Senshi Sosho Vol 3 The invasion of the Dutch East Indies, the previous published volume is available here:
https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/handle/1887/35184
Note, that both books are part of official Japanese history of WW II.

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Wellgunde
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Wellgunde » 06 Oct 2018 21:19

Thanks for the update, Eugen. Has anyone had any problems downloading Vol. 26? The download URL seems to be incomplete. Vol 3 downloads without problems.
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Eugen Pinak » 08 Oct 2018 08:51

Wellgunde wrote:
06 Oct 2018 21:19
Thanks for the update, Eugen. Has anyone had any problems downloading Vol. 26? The download URL seems to be incomplete. Vol 3 downloads without problems.
I've downloaded it several times without any problem from URL above.
If you want, I can send it to you.

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Wellgunde » 15 Oct 2018 08:33

Thanks Eugen. Please send it to me. When I clicked on the save/open link it didn't come up with a URL ending in a valid file type.
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Eugen Pinak » 16 Oct 2018 09:44

Wellgunde wrote:
15 Oct 2018 08:33
Thanks Eugen. Please send it to me. When I clicked on the save/open link it didn't come up with a URL ending in a valid file type.
See my e-mail.

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by CuriousGorge » 31 Dec 2018 07:01

Hello everyone, I'm new here! Great site - I read this whole thread, because I have an interest in the subject from a very specific point of view, and I'd like some book recommendations. Like I said, I read this whole thread and have not found anything that covers *exactly* what I am looking for.

With that intro, here's what I am searching for. I am looking for the JAPANESE perspective on the Pacific War, as it progressed from start to finish. Now, there are some great recommendations, and some books I have read myself, which cover (1) the leading up to the war period *before* Pearl Harbor (2) individual engagments, such as Midway, Guadalcanal etc. (3) the very end leading to surrender. What I can't find is something that would cover the *entire* WWII engagement from the Japanese point of view. What I am looking for more exactly is how the Japanese perceived the various developments and how these developments modified their plans and informed their views of how to fight the war. How did they change their approach, following f.ex. Midway, and what was the discussion like, and what they perceived as the "lessons learned" (obviously, there were different factions and different lessons learned by all concerned), why did they do what they did next and how did they react to the next encounter and "lessons learned" and so on. Who in Japan was keeping track of the big picture of the relative strategic strenghths of Japan vs the allies and how did they decide on the plans to deal with those new realities and so on. There is plenty of such detailed perspectives from the U.S. point of view - but no comprehensive treatment from the point of view of the Japanese that I can find.

So I am hoping that folks here can recommend a book that would explore the war in the pacific from the Japanese point of view as the war unfolded and the reactions and policy course setting and corrections as the conflict unfolded from start to finish. Thank you in advance!

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Mostlyharmless » 04 Jan 2019 18:31

A possibility for a book seeing the war from a fairly high level Japanese officer is Fading Victory by Ugaki Matome which is reviewed at http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaz ... oks/ugaki/

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by CuriousGorge » 06 Jan 2019 00:49

Thank you, Mostlyharmless for that recommendation and link. Apparently, it's not an easy read, according to the link, but it's a valuable perspective - a more "ground-level" look, not necessarily from a higher vantage point. What I found fascinating is precisely what I said in my first post: how did the Japanese perspective on the war change over time - and in the link, the Vice Admiral seems shockingly oblivious to the strategic realities:

"He writes of his strong disagreement with the Japanese government's peace initiatives. Despite Japan's continuing military defeats, the Allied fleet approaching the home islands, and the dropping of two atomic bombs, Ugaki never reveals any thoughts of surrender in his diary. On August 11, 1945, he writes (p. 659):

Even though it becomes impossible for us to continue organized resistance after expending our strength, we must continue guerrilla warfare under the emperor and never give up the war. When this resolution is brought home, we can't be defeated. Instead, we can make the enemy finally give up the war after making it taste the bitterness of a prolonged conflict."

I mean, it explains a lot! Here is someone at a fairly high level in the military - Vice Admiral - who ought to be well aware of the realities of the balance of forces, and yet, he somehow thinks that after the U.S. has gone through the tremendous sacrifice in lives and materiel to get to this point, somehow they'd be put off by stragglers in a guerilla fight that could not last more than a few months at most, given that the Japanese island would soon be starving! I mean, that's mind boggling.

What in the world! He was representative of a big portion of the Japanese military (and society!) that not only was absolutely clueless about the relative strengths of the adversaries in a long-term conflict. No wonder they decided that attacking the U.S. was somehow a viable long term idea. And parathentically this reality puts a lie to the proposition you hear sometimes that the U.S. should have just demonstrated the atomic explosions for the Japanese brass and they'd fold, so no need to actually drop the bombs - NO! Many had no intention of folding even *after* Hiroshima, which necessitated Nagasaki - and some (like Ugaki!) not even after Nagasaki. Those bombs were an absolute necessity.

Furthermore, Ugaki's conviction that the U.S. would give up in the face of determined opposition has been a source of miscalculation for generations now - it underpinned the whole Japanse idea of confronting WWII - the constant conviction that the U.S. would just give up, because they "can't take it" cant take casualties etc. It led to the start of the war, and to the terrible prolongation of it.

In fact it's such a persitent myth, that it's actually extremely dangerous as it tempts aggressors to attack convinced the U.S. will give up - the latest is the quote from another naval officer, this time Chinese just a few days ago:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/inno ... 791aa26e0f

Quote:

"“What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” Admiral Lou declared.

He said the loss of one super carrier would cost the US the lives of 5000 service men and women. Sinking two would double that toll.

“We’ll see how frightened America is.”

That is a super dangerous myth. It leads to miscalculations in starting wars that get out of hand - exactly as what happened to Japan during WWII - they attacked, because they thought the U.S. would not be able to take casualties.

This is a recipe for WWIII.

I can only hope that cooler heads prevail - which did not in Japan. Will China learn from history, or are we all doomed to another war - perhaps last on this planet that can support a civilization?

Anyhow, thanks for the recommendation, and I'm still open for recommendations as outlined in my initial post here. Thanks in advance!

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