PDF or EBOOK (The Rising Sun The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936 45) ß John Toland

To carve out of the demand for an unconditional surrender was that the Emperor would retain his status and by implication not be charged with war crimesSo how active was Hirohito in the war planning According to Toland he was very much involved from the beginning and had far than symbolic influence over his cabinet ministers and military Could he have simply forestalled a war by telling them not to go to war Maybe While political assassination was common it seems unlikely that anyone would have dared laying a hand on His Majesty himself And according to the cabinet meetings and private conferences Toland describes ven the most zealous Japanese leaders felt unable to proceed without getting a final say so from the Emperor So if Hirohito had been resolutely against a war it seems likely that the militarists would have had a much harder time getting oneAt the same time Hirohito was in many ways bound by his position Traditionally the Emperor did not make policy he simply approved it He wasn t supposed to veto anything or offer his opinion he was just supposed to bless the decisions that had already been made Hirohito specially later in the war departed from this tradition than once shocking his advisors by taking an active role or asking uestions during ceremonies that were supposed to be mere formalitiesPersonally he seemed to be a rather uiet studious man who would have been much happier as a scholarly sovereign and not the Emperor of an xpansionist The Accidental Beauty Queen empire He possessed a genuine if abstract concern for the Japanese people and this motivated him later to accept surrender andven put himself in the hands of the Allies whatever they might decide to do with himAlmost certainly he also had no direct knowledge of Japanese atrocities So Hirohito was no Hitler Still neither was he the uninvolved innocent that it became politically xpedient to portray him as after the warHideki Tojo on the other hand the Minister of War and Prime Minister who was tried and xecuted as a war criminal probably deserved it Initially lukewarm about going to war with the US he became a zealous prosecutor of the war as well as an increasingly megalomaniacal one who seized and authority for himself uashed all dissent and most damningly towards the nd when most Japanese leaders were seeing reality and talking about terms of surrender was one of the hold outs who insisted Japan should fight to the nd Along with a few other generals who were willing to see Japanese civilians take up bamboo spears and die by the millions fighting off an Allied invasion Tojo deliberately prolonged the fighting well after it was obvious to all that Japan was finished I think it is not unfair to say that he caused hundreds of thousands of needless deaths on both sidesDid we have to drop the bombToland spends only a little time in the last few chapters talking about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the decision leading up to the use of the atomic bomb on Japan This is another very loaded historical uestion in which there are people with strong opinions on both sides Some have argued that the US didn t need to use the bomb Japan was already negotiating surrender and that we did for reasons ranging from racism to a desire to demonstrate them as a deterrent to the Soviet Union Others claim that Japan was fully willing to fight to the last spear carrying civilian and that the atomic bombs saved millions of lives on both sides by preventing the need for an invasionEntire books have been written about this subject and Toland as I said does not try to dig into it too deeply but he does represent much of what the Americans and Japanese were thinking and saying at the time The case he presents would suggest that the truth unsurprisingly is somewhere in betweenYes the Japanese knew they were going to have to surrender and were already trying to negotiate an honorable peace But it s not at all clear that it was the dropping of atomic bombs I was surprised to learn the Japanese actually knew what they were and indeed Japan had already started its own nuclear program though it hadn t gotten very far that convinced the holdouts to agree to an unconditional surrender At the time the atomic bombs did not seem all that impressive to them they were already willing to ndure horrific casualties and the firebombing of Tokyo had killed many people than died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki It was likely the declaration of war by the Soviet Union when Japan had been hoping the Russians would help them negotiate peace that was the deciding factor The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki just drove home their inevitable defeatCould we have gotten an unconditional surrender when we did without the atomic bombs We will probably never know But only a few people at the time really appreciated what new ra had been ushered in harry truman interestingly said afterwards and continued to Truman interestingly said afterwards and continued to that he gave very little thought to the decision to use the bombs and felt no moral angst about it Indeed two bombs were being prepared for use when the Japanese finally did surrenderIf you want one volume that covers the ntire span of the war against Japan I think this monumental work by John Toland leaves very little out and I highly recommend it to WWII historians However I also ncourage interested readers to then seek out the recent works by Ian Toll who devotes pages to the American commanders as well and talks about some of the political issues among the Allies that Toland treats briefly as well as going into ven detail about individual battles An pic account of the Japanese war Toland tells the story from many different perspectives from the Emperor and his aides to the lowly soldier trapped in Guadalcanal It is all here the prelude to Pearl Harbour to the finale of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Many aspects are of interest the Japanese were continually obsessed with striking the fatal knock out blow At Pearl Harbour they believed they had accomplished that They tried again at Midway Tarawa to be held for one thousand years Saipan and on and on They This Forsaken Earth even believed they could destroy thenemy on the Japanese mainland Another aspect is the ferociousness of the combatants who refused to surrender and viewed suicide as the honourable way to leave life There were always substantially Japanese deaths than American ones in most of the conflictsJohn Toland s varying montages of the agony of battles of prisoners of war of the victims of fire bombing are all very poignant The build up to the attack on Pearl Harbour and the frustration and miscues on both sides is very well told The The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) end with the Potsdam Proclamation that was completely rejected by the Japanese government followed by the dropping of the atomic bombs well documents the legacy of the warsnding I feel at times that Mr Toland is too lenient with Hirohito s performance he could have prevented Pearl Harbour and the subseuent Japanese onslaught in Asia The Japanese had signed the Tri partite Pact with Hitler and Mussolini and this was ill received by the Anglo American democracies This was somewhat overlooked by Mr Toland Nevertheless this book is a great accomplishment and presents the war with all its detailed planning from the Japanese viewpoint Shigenori Togo had just arrived at the Palace grounds Stars shone brilliantly It was going to be a fine day The Foreign Minister was immediately ushered into the Emperor s presence It was almost at the xact moment that Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomurawas supposed to see Secretary of State Cordell Hull Togo read President Roosevelt s message and the proposed draft of the Emperor s reply The Emperor approved the reply and his countenance Togo thought reflected a noble feeling of brotherhood with all peoples The spacious plaza outside the Sakashita Gate was deserted and as Togo drove away the sole noise in the city was the crunching of gravel under the car tires His mind was far away in a few minute one of the most momentous days in the history of the world would begin John Toland The Rising Sun The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936 1945 4 Stars This is probably one of the best one volume history of the Pacific war that I have read It doesn t make the mistake of beginning with Japan s war with the West but starts with the positioning before the Marco Polo bridge incident It mixes the military campaigns and battles with the politics at home This includes detailed accounts of the political and military manoeuvring of the Japanese leaders with the Prime Minister and the Emperor There is a lot of depth here which continues woven through the narrative of the war right up to the surrender of Japan This is balanced with the view from the Allies albeit in less detail This is heavily slanted toward US participation which is understandable but also covers the UK Australia and New Zealand The Soviet Union is also covered here in both the The Soviet Union is also covered here in both the and spionage aspects "As Well As The History Of The "well as the history of the interaction pre WW2 right through to the Campfire end game when the Soviets attacked The atomic bomb attack descriptions are terrifying and captivating Following Toland s use of first person accounts I feltmpathy for the people at ground zero and yes he made them feel like people not statistics The contrast between the survivors matter of fact sounding descriptions and the horror of what they went through was confronting At times it was frustrating when I wanted detail but remembering this is a 1 volume history I realised I wasn t being fair This perspective change will always be an issue when you have read detailed accounts of campaigns and are re approaching it from a broader perspective I just had to adjust my point of view Winner of the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for General Non Fiction this book covers the War in the Pacific from a Japanese perspective Extensive well researched and readable covering the timeframe from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and NagasakiAfter the Japanese invasion in Manchuria the book starts of with the fforts of the American ambassador and the Foreign Minister of Japan to try to prevent war due to the boycot that the Western powers have stablished It is painful to see read how the good intentions are hampered by ignorance impatience and indignation on the American side and militairy Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars extremism on the Japanese side Inevetibly this flows into the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbour and the conseuent campaignWhat struck me was the underestimation of the Japanese of the Western powers the wishful thinking of the generals and admirals Seeking the decisive battle it happened time and time again that the Japanese thought they had destroyed thenemy fleets and their carriers only to find them still active after Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life each battle After Midway Japan was doomed but it seemed not to be realised by the Japanese Army and NavyThe book uotes severalye witness accounts of Japanese soldiers mainly focussing on the battle of Guadalcanal Okinawa and the Philippines Other than the title might suggest this is not a study of the fall and decline of the Japanese Crazy Love empire but a war account Forxample the American successes against the Japanese merchant fleet is only sparsely mentioned while in my Annual Editions: Technologies, Social Media, and Society eyes this was one of the deciding factorsFor someone who needs a good introduction for the War in the Pacific this is a good introduction and highly reccomended For someone already well known with the aspects of the Pacific War this book may have reuirend some depthLet me finish with a uote by Japanese general Kawabe after he witnessed the respect the Americans showed him after the Japanese defeatIf human beings were to sincerelyxercise justice and humanity in their relations with one another the horrors of war in all likelihood could be avoided and ven if a war unfortunately broke out the victor would not become arrogant and the suffering of the losers would be alleviated immediately A truly great cultural nation in the first reuisite35 stars Mammoth history of Japan s involvement in the Second World War Toland seeks to mulate the sweep if not the ditorial tone of Shirer s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich mixing high level cabinet deliberations and diplomacy with. E war in the Pacific Toland crafts a riveting and unbiased narrative history In his Foreword Toland says that if we are to draw any conclusion from The Rising Sun it is “that there are no simple lessons in history that it is human nature that repeats itself not history?. The Rising Sun The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936 45This book xplores Japan s involvement in World War II It focuses upon the Pacific theater and upon battles the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and finally it Black Heart, Red Ruby explains in detail why it took so long for the Japanese to surrender All related to the Japanese involvement is covered in detail It is not hard to follow because it written in a narrative voice projecting the views thoughts and words of those who fought both Americans and Japanese What is difficult is the slaughter Slaughter on both sides mind you I felt it was balanced neither pro Western nor pro EasternKeep in mind that I should be able to read a book from start to finish that so closely follows battle after battle is pretty darn amazing This is proof that it somehow was able to keep my attention It was clearven to me someone who shies away from books focused upon military battles and thus scarcely knows military terms You follow in detail Pearl Harbor the Bataan Death March the fall of Singapore Midway Guadalcanal Saipan the Battles of Leyte Gulf Okinawa and Iwo Jima Other battles too but those named are covered in great detail You learn the Pacific Islands If you listen to the audiobook you must dig up your own maps but that is really no problem It would have been nice if a word or two were added about the location of the particular islands When it gets to the Battles of Leyte Gulf there are so many islands and so many fleets that I went to Wiki to get the movements on paper The reason why you can follow these battles is that the soldiers speak and joke and talk to the reader Some change their mind you follow their thoughts I did wonder sometimes how in the world the author got this information This is supposedly non fiction Letters Survivors stories afterwards This is not xplained in an afterword or introduction Maybe the printed book has notes Harakiri now this is xemplified many many times in the text This is a concept difficult to understand for Westerners You need umpteen New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood examples of particular individuals and situations to begin to understand the shame coupled with defeat in Eastern mentality I understand better but not completely I am very glad I chose this book Well worth the time andffort invested I personally think it is a book better read on paper than listened to There are so many names and details to absorb Maybe you are fluent in Japanese names but I am not My audiobook was narrated by Tom Weiner Even if he does a good job I would have preferred a snail s pace What did I like best Maybe learning why it took so long for Japan to surrender What do I think on closing the book There should be strong controls on the military Mistakes were made on both sides On Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey every side and by all parts I learned a lotOne thing The author s wife is Japanese and the book received the Pulitzer Prize for general non fiction in 1971 With a Nobel prize winning book John Toland accomplishes telling the Japanese side of WWII The 1930 s were an interesting time in Asia Japan had anxploding population and no natural resources They also had a very dangerous nemy in Communist Soviet Union threatening her Japan s solution laid in Northern China s Manchuria They occupied Manchuria asily because China was too weak to defend it Japanese business moved in and Japanese populated it Manchuria provided a number of benefits to Japan They included not only a territory to ЯED expand into but also had some natural resources More importantly however it was a buffer between the Soviet Union and Japan itself China s fear of further Japanese aggression led their weak governmental military forces to combine with the government s innernemy the Chinese Communist forces in a joint ffort against JapanSoon menacing Chinese forces fired on the Japanese at the Marco Polo Bridge Japan retaliated thrashing the Chinese forces and occupying vast Chinese territory including Nanking However some poorly disciplined Japanese soldiers unbeknown to their Commander General Jwane Mastui raped murdered and massacred as many as 300000 Chinese civiliansWith this background the book gives us a good detail of the history of AmericanJapanese relations They began in 1853 when Mathew Perry s ships pulled into Tokyo Bay with a letter from President Milliard Fill asking Japan to open its "doors to American goods Good relations continued with America s support for Japan in the Russo " to American goods Good relations continued with America s support for Japan in the Russo War American Investment Bank Kuhn Loeb and Co financed much of the war for Japan And in 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace prize for brokering the nd of the Russo Japanese War Also in doing so saved Japan from The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs economic collapse However the Japanese people were never told by their government of their pendingconomic collapse due to the Cost Of The War So They Correspondingly Held The US of the war so they correspondingly held the US because the war was stopped while Japan was clearly winning Now back to the story Japan had taken control of Northern China Manchuria and Vietnam where she had a place to populate her growing citizenry As a result America instituted restricting Moreno exports to Japan Oil was the main restrictedxport In fact Japan received 100% of its oil from the USA Without oil Japan could not maintain its Monsieur Pain expanding territory Japan had also partnered with Germany and Italy because she feared an Anglo Saxon takeover of the World by America and England She also correctly held the view that the West held her to a double standard specifically because of her race What Japan meant was that England had colonies in the Caribbean Central America andlsewhere America had taken Texas and California from Mexico as well as annexing Hawaii and the Philippines Yet Japan had no right to A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author expand Japan had intensively prepared for the Pearl Harbor attack They also tried to avoid attacking America through diplomacy However combinations of forces worked against a diplomatic solution First FDR s Secretary of State Cordell Hull did not trust the Japanese Second America s friendship with England and Japan s alliance with Germany did not bode well for the Japanese England had already been at war with Germany at the time of Japan s attempted diplomacy Third Japanese atrocities committed against the Chinese provided a less sympathetic American government Fourth bad translations of messages turned sincere attempts at reconciliation into belligerently viewed intelligence In addition Japan had been running out of oil so the longer they waited for a diplomatic solution the dire their situation gotWith those conditions Japan s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941 was very successful from their point of view They had killed 2403 Americans sunk 18 ships and destroyed 188 planesWhen Winston Churchill found out he immediately called President Roosevelt When the President confirmed Winston hung up went to bed and had a good night sleep America was now in the war England was now savedThe war in the Pacific did not start out well for the Allies America and England First the Japanese stunned the English with a victory at the Battle of Singapore In 7 days Japan inflicted upon England their largest surrender in their very active military history That followed with a Japanese Sea victory at Java an island south of Borneo The Allies luck changed with the Battle of Midland The Allies learned of the coming Japanese attack and planned a brilliant counter by surprising Japan with a bombing raid on Japan s homeland This was planned and implemented by James Doolittle This attack shook Japan s air of invincibility The Allies triumphant victory followedAs the war went on America saw victories Long lasting military heroes such as Douglass MacArthur Bull Halsey and Chester Nimitzmerged as a result Mr Toland vividly describes the atrocities of all of the major battles with spine chilling accuracy The fact that the Japanese belief that surrender was worse than death was something that only made their state worse Mr Toland describes the compassion American soldiers had on Japanese prisoners of war Feeding nursing and treating their captives with respect were the typical American prison camp norms When America developed the Atomic bomb it was calculated that using it would What If end the war and save thousands of lives However leaflets dropped on Japan about the dire conseuences that America s new weapon would bring were ignored And still after the A bomb was dropped on Hiroshima they refused to surrender The second bomb dropped on Nagasaki would finally and reluctantly convince Japan to capitulate At the surrender ceremony MacArthur gave an absolutely brilliant speech which left the Japanese newspaper Nippon Times to say a new Japan which will vindicate our pride by winning the respect of the world I generally avoid histories of WWII Injoy history immensely but between Hollywood the History Channel and the vast array of fictions and histories this war has been done to death I would guess the reason for this is that it is still in our living memories it was the last war with a clear line between good and The Exhaustion Breakthrough evil and because it was readily captured by contemporary visual media and preserved for us to seeveryday Having said that I still occasionally pick up a WWII history if it has something that piues my interest The last WWII book to really do that for me was James Bradley s Flyboys which I thought was the fairest treatment of the war in the Pacific I had read up until now I found this book a Pulitzer Prize winner of some time ago thanks to reading a review by another GR friend thanks Matt The POV of the book is what caught my interest It is written primarily from the Japanese side of the war After reading Bradley s book I became aware for the first time that there was another side to WWII that I had never heard or read about and it was a legitimate point of view This book promised to increase my knowledge of that aspect of the war so I ordered a copy thanks Unfortunately I was not aware of the size of this tome and I do mean tome It is just short of 1000 pages 877 pages of text and then about another 100 pages of notes bibliography sources and index To put it mildly this is not a book that is The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good easy to get physically comfortable with I wish the author and publisher had considered publishing it in than one volume just for the sake of old bones It also obviously will take a commitment to finish a book of this length but I can t imagine anybody seriously interested in the history of WWII not reading this book Itxpands my understanding of the Japanese culture of that time and the psychology of their people and their military The book also Supplemental Book explains the Japanese motivations for beginning the war This was something that had been hinted at in Bradley s book but was reallyxplored in "detail in this book what really struck me "in this book What really struck me the aspect of WWII as it affected the native populations in the countries where the war was fought I was never aware of the undercurrent of hostility of the native populations for the white colonial governments and military That the Japanese Hark! The Herald Angels Scream entered this war carrying the banner of unity and freedom for Asians and the overthrow of the European overlords was very surprising As a boy growing up in the 50 s I remember the dismantling of the British Empire and how our world maps seemed to changevery year when another country had gained independence I also recall reading about the European double cross of the people of the Middle East after WWI and now was reading that the Asians weren t going to let this happen to them The Asians were really caught in the middle with a choice between the Europeans that treated them with disdain or going with the Japanese who probably weren t going to be much better and maybe worse Fortunately they for the most part opted to back the Allies but they Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners expected to be paid back after the war and that is the subject of another book that I may have to look for It would appear however that what took place in the world during the 50 s andarly 60 s was the result of an antiuated colonial system and outright racism in which the US was a fully participating actor That President Truman rejected the idea of independence for Laos Cambodia Thailand and Viet Nam in favor of restoring French colonial rule came back to bite both. This Pulitzer Prize–winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese mpire from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Told from the Japanese perspective The Rising Sun is in the author?. ,

SUMMARY ´ PDF, Book or Kindle PUB ✓ John Toland


France and the US in the figurative ass Another thing that strikes me about what I have read is how avoidable this war was Of course that isn t really a fair judgment since I am using hindsight But like almost all wars including those we are fighting today they are usually the result of cultural ignorance and an inability to view things from the other side The Japanese under stimated the people of the US and the US under Red River Girl estimated the Japanese and probably all Asian peoples This book is a must read for any student of history or any reader thatnjoys reading about WWII What I would love to now discover is that this author has written a book following the aftermath of this war in the Pacific and what transpired in Asia Some us old La strada delle croci enough know what happened as we lived through it but knowing why things happened as they did would benlightening I guess I ll have to xplore GR and to see if this book or one like it xists Looking for a relatively light read I picked this off the shelves where it had been sitting for years Having read a couple of his other books I was pretty sure that Toland would be interestingIndeed he was The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth even interesting than I hadxpected neither xpecting that this book would be so sympathetic to the Japanese perspective nor that Toland s wife was Japanese No xpert but certainly not unread about the war in the Pacific I was rather blown away by the presentation the other books I d read being very much pro Allies anti AxisAmong the propositions put to the reader by Toland s text are how Japanese policy was substantially independent of that of the other Axis powers and how the Pacific war might well have been avoided had the US State Department another secretary at the time Other contentious positions taken by the author include a rather critical portrayal of MacArthur and a rather positive one of Emperor Hirohito Roosevelt and Ambassador Grew come across well Rumors that Roosevelt knew beforehand of the Japanese intention to attack Pearl Harbor are discountedMost particularly however I liked how Toland used and defined a number of Japanese terms and Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, expressionsmploying this as one means to get at the Japanese mindset something few in the US government or military understoodLike the original Tora Tora motion picture coproduced by citizens of both countries or like Clint Eastwood s recent diptych on one battle of the war this book is unusually balanced and is to be highly recommendedNow I just have to find the second volume as this one nds with Guadalcanal arguably the turning point of the Pacific War I have since found this dition a combination of both volumes and have given the first volume of the other The West Transformed edition away to a Japanese friend for her reactions This is the third big book on the Pacific War I have read recently Ian Toll s first two books of a planned trilogy Pacific Crucible and The Conuering Tide were a magnificent historical account of the war from both sides So given that this book covers much the same ground though it was written mucharlier I will do a lot of comparing with Toll s books though I think Toland s book is ually good and you will not find it at all repetitive to read both authorsAs thick as this book is it s only one volume whereas Ian Toll is writing three whole volumes on the ntire war in the Pacific Thus while Toll devotes a great deal of attention to the politics and individual political and military leaders on both sides of the conflict The Rising Sun as its title indicates focuses mostly on Japan Naturally the planning and personalities on the American and British and later Chinese and Soviet sides are mentioned but mostly only inasmuch as they were pitted against their Japanese counterpartsOne of the things most striking about Toland s narrative is that he lays out all the blunders that were made by both Japan before during and after the war These margins where the rrors occurred and where history could have been changed are one of the things I find most interesting in non fiction histories when competently xamined Let s start with whether or not war was inevitableDid we have to go to war with JapanThe basic historical facts are well understood the Japanese wanted a colonial Paper Chasers empire and Europe and the US didn t want them to have one When the Japanese invaded China the US put an oilmbargo on them This would inevitably strangle the Japanese The Complete Polly and the Wolf economy as for all its rising technical prowess Japan remained a tiny resource impoverished island So the Japanese pretty much had no choice but to give up their ambitions or go to war We know which one they choseThe uestion for historians is whether or not this could have been avertedIan Toll seems to think that war was inevitable the Japanese and the West simply had irreconcilable designs But John Toland seems to notxactly argue but present a great deal of vidence that miscommunication and misfortune had as much to do with Japan and the US being put on a collision course as intransigence Of course Japan was never going to give up their desire to be a world class power which means there was no way they would have accepted the restrictions imposed on them forbidding them fleets or territory on a par with the West Whether the West could have been persuaded to let Japan take what it saw as its rightful place at the grown ups table is debatable But in the first few chapters of The Rising Sun John Toland describes all the negotiating that went on between Japanese and American diplomats The Japanese were split into factions just as the Americans were Some wanted peace no matter what some were hankering to go to war and really believed their jingoistic propaganda that the spiritual ssence of the Japanese people would overcome any nemy But most Japanese leaders from the Imperial Palace to the Army and Navy were realistic and knew that a war with the US would be at best a very difficult one So there were many frantic talks including backchannel negotiations among peacemakers on both sides when it became apparent that Secretary of State Henry Stimson and Prime Minister Hideki Tojo were not going to deescalateThere were a number of tragedies in this situation Sometimes the precise wording of some of the phrases used in Japanese or American proposals and counter proposals were mistranslated resulting in their being interpreted as inflexible or disingenuous than they were intended causing both sides to mistrust the other Sometimes communications arrived interpreted as inflexible or disingenuous than they were intended causing both sides to mistrust the other Sometimes communications arrived There was also a lot of particularly labyrinthine political maneuvering on the Japanese side where political assassinations were commonplace at that time and the position of the Emperor was always ambiguous Toland apparently interviewed a very large number of people and read first hand accounts and so is able to reconstruct many individual talks ven with the Emperor himself putting the reader in the Imperial throneroom as Hirohito consults with his ministers and then in telegraph offices where communiues are sent from Pookie-Pie: A Sweet Bedtime Story embassies back to WashingtonToland doesn t definitively state that war could have been avoided because it s still not clear what mutually agreeable concessions might have been made byither side but what is clear is that both Japan and the US could see that war was looming and neither side really wanted it At least initially veryone xcept a few warmongers in the Japanese military did verything they could to avoid itUnfortunately diplomatic fforts were for naught and the Emperor was ventually persuaded to give his blessing to declare warAdmiral Yamamoto knew very well that Japan had no hope of winning a prolonged war which was why when war happened and he was put in charge of was why when war happened and he was put in charge of Japanese fleet he planned what he hoped would be uick devastating knock out punches Pearl Harbor and Midway that would sink the US back on its heels and persuade the Americans to negotiate an honorable peace before things went too farThis was unlikely after Pearl Harbor Nobody on the Japanese side seemed to realize just how pissed off America would be by this surprise attack though the unintentionally late formal declaration of war delivered hours after the attack when it was supposed to have been delivered just prior certainly didn t help But it was a forlorn hope after the debacle at Midway in which aided by superior intelligence from broken Japanese codes the US fleet sank four Japanese carriers Many military historians grade Yamamoto poorly for this badly xecuted offensive which rather than delivering a knockout punch to the US fleet proved true his prophecy that The Americans can lose many battles we have to win very single oneThe bulk of the book covers the war itself including all the familiar names like Guam Guadalcanal Wake Island Corregidor Saipan Okinawa Iwo Jima Toland does not neglect the British defense of India the tragic fate of Force Z which blundered on ahead to its doom despite lack of air cover and thus heralded in the new reality that air power ruled above all and the multi sided war in China in which communists and nationalists were alternately fighting ach other and the Japanese with both sides being courted by the Allies Any military history will cover the battles but Toland describes them vividly My First Kitten especially the first hand accounts from the men in them the misery and terror and also the atrocities like the Bataan Death March and the miserable conditions of POWs taken back to JapanOne of the thingsvident in many of these battles was just how much is a roll of the dice Human Seeds of the Spirit 2000 error weather malfunctioninguipment pure luck over and over snatched defeat from the jaws of victory or vice versa Inevitably the US had to win they simply had men Pin-Up euipment resources The Japanese began going hungry almost as soon as the war began while the Allies initially kicked all over the Pacific because they were caught off guard began pouring men and ships and often most importantly food well fed troops into the theater Still individual battles often turned on whether or not a particular ship was spotted or whether torpedoes hit Luck seemed to favor the Americans often than not but I found Toland s descriptions particularly informative in recounting how little details aboutuipment and the human factor decisions made by individual commanders and how the willingness to take risks or an unwillingness to change one s mind often determined the outcome of a fightWho were the war criminalsTwo of the other big uestions I find most interesting about World War II are the ones that will probably never be answered satisfactorilyFirst was Emperor Hirohito a war criminalI was in college in 1989 when Emperor Hirohito properly known as the Showa Emperor died I had a friend who was a Japanese xchange student She was grief stricken All of Japan mournedThere is a particular narrative I heard growing up It is one that was pushed heavily by the Japanese from approximately the moment the decision was made to surrender until about the time Hirohito died According to this version of history Hirohito was a figurehead a puppet of Japanese military leaders He had no real decision making power and any active resistance on his part would have led to his being killed Thus he was not responsible for the war or any of Japan s war crimes he was an innocent born to assume a hereditary throne and assume a position of purely symbolic importanceI was a little shocked when I read an article in some British tabloid denouncing Hirohito upon his death and cheering that the war criminal was now in hellYet while neither view is strictly accurate it is certainly complicated than the sanitized version that was accepted for so long This sanitized version was in fact produced in part by the US particularly Douglas MacArthur from the moment the war nded as a deliberate strategy To Secure Faster Japanese secure faster Japanese and reconciliation It was predicted that trying Hirohito as a war criminal as about one third of the American public wanted to do at the time would have resulted in widespread guerrilla warfare and the need for a much longer and active occupation of the Japanese homeland When the Japanese finally began negotiating terms of surrender one of the sticking points the one thing they tried. ?s words “a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind told as it happened muddled Loyal to His Lies ennobling disgraceful frustrating full of paradox”In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading up to and culminating in th.

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