Completing the Meiji Restoration that heralded the dawn of a new era for both Japan and Asia, the island nation found itself thrust into the modern world, a world of industry and conquest. Flexing its new muscles, the burgeoning power soon came to blows with the regional power that for centuries dominated the area politically and culturally: China. Also seeking to modernize in the wake of Western exploitation, China struggled to adapt to the changing times, doing everything it could to maintain a balance between modernity and tradition. Japan found that balance, and, with its new industry desperate for raw materials, looked to the peninsula of Korea for new markets and resources. China, in contrast, refused to strike such a balance, adopting a veneer of modernity while maintaining the status quo, both domestically and with regards to Korea. For decades Korea existed as a protectorate of China, paying homage to the mighty Chinese dynasties while minding its own business as best it could. However, sensing weakness in the former regional power after being defeated by the Europeans during the Second Opium War, escalating tensions over Korea between the old power of China and the new power of Japan led to the First Sino-Japanese War. In its first modern war, the modernized Japanese empire went to war against the dominant power in the region, and though interested Western powers favored China, Japan won the day, claiming Korea as their conquest and permanently upsetting the balance of power in the region. The conflict paved the way for the future Empire of Japan and the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. Though both nations modernized, and China far outweighed Japan in terms of men and materiel potential, the island nation handily won its first modern war. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/116920/bk_acx0_116920_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The samurai are among the most iconic warriors in history. The fighting elite of feudal Japan, they have played a dominant role in the country´s life for over 1,000 years. Even today, a century and a half after the rule of the samurai has formally ended, they remain a powerful symbol of martial might, and the embodiment of the stoic warrior. Like the knights who fought in Europe during the same era, the samurai were a feudal aristocracy. Militarily, politically, socially, and economically, they were the most powerful, the most influential, and the most privileged members of society. Though not all samurai were equal in power and status, they were almost always better off than the rest of Japanese society. The word samurai, meaning ´´those who serve´´, indicates the foundation upon which their power was built. As a feudal society, medieval Japan was shaped by a hierarchy of land ownership and its associated obligations. Most samurai held their land for a more senior overlord, to whom they owed military service. That overlord owed service to his overlord, and so on up the hierarchy, which allowed the most powerful lords to raise great armies. A proud and dominant force, the collective dominance of the samurai arose from a dedication to service. Such service also created the opportunity for revolt, as a lord with enough loyal followers might try to usurp his master, and battles for land and power between competing samurai factions dominated Japanese history for centuries as a result. The wealth of the samurai not only led to their role as leaders but as a hard-hitting military elite as well, mostly because they could afford the armor, weapons, and horses that gave them an edge in battle. Supported by the labor of the people who lived on their lands, they were also able to spare the time to train for war, something for which young men of the samurai class were prepared from an early age. The Samurai: The History and Legacy of Japan’s 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jim D. Johnston. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/106791/bk_acx0_106791_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The subtle art of propaganda campaigns directed against one´s enemies has been a feature of war since ancient times. However, its potential for mass psychological impact created a new paradigm with the invention of modern electronic communications. Every nation involved in the Second World War, whether of the Allies or Axis, possessed an agency devoted to the mission of demoralizing and misleading the enemy, and virtually all artistic genres participated. Japanese propaganda was not a new invention to be used only against the United States. While the US lacked any international audience, preaching mostly to its own, Japan disseminated propagandistic material throughout all the Asian countries it eventually intended to conquer. In the years leading up to World War II, an intense study led by the Japanese government delved into the details of American culture and customs, particularly those dear to men of fighting age. Both countries, at one time or another, assaulted the Chinese world image as represented by ´´yellow monkeys´´, or the ´´yellow peril.´´ Both the US and Japan made excellent use of the ´´war poster´´, but among the most striking was an American-created image of a naked white woman slung over the shoulder of a Japanese officer, as if the entire American nation would be raped if the empire was allowed to prevail. By 1945, Japanese animation was in full swing, producing films such Momotaro: Sacred Sailors. American officers are portrayed as bulbous idiots as the noble Japanese seamen save the island. By the end of the war, the US instructed all copies to be destroyed, but one mysteriously survived. An American citizen stranded in Japan as an enemy alien during the war, Iva Toguri was a regular broadcaster on what became an ongoing thread of what she saw as entertainment for American sailors and their counterparts. The Japanese, generally unable to speak English with the necessary accuracy, sought to cause emotional fatigue among 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/096604/bk_acx0_096604_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
This landmark study was first published in English by the Naval Institute in 1955. Widely acknowledged for its valuable Japanese insights into the battle that turned the tide of war in the Pacific, the book has made a great impact on American readers over the years. Two Japanese naval aviators who participated in the operation provide an unsparing analysis of what caused Japan´s staggering defeat. Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the first air strike on Pearl Harbor, commanded the Akagi carrier air group and later made a study of the battle at the Japanese Naval War College. Masatake Okumiya, one of Japan´s first dive-bomber pilots, was aboard the light carrier Ryujo and later served as a staff officer in a carrier division. Armed with knowledge of top-secret documents destroyed by the Japanese and access to private papers, they show the operation to be ill-conceived and poorly planned and executed, and fault their flag officers for lacking initiative, leadership, and clear thinking. With an introduction by an author known for his study of the battle from the American perspective, the work continues to make a significant contribution to World War II literature. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Terence Aselford. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/navy/000008/bk_navy_000008_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Hell to Pay is a comprehensive and compelling examination of the many complex issues that encompassed the strategic plans for the proposed American invasion of Japan. U.S. planning for the invasion and military occupation of Imperial Japan began in 1943, two years before the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In its final form, Operation Downfall called for a massive Allied invasion - on a scale dwarfing D-Day - to be carried out in two stages. In the first stage, Operation Olympic, the U.S. Sixth Army would lead the southernmost assault on the Home Island of Kyushu preceded by the dropping of as many as nine atom bombs behind the landing beaches and troop concentrations inland. Sixth Army would secure airfields and anchorages needed to launch the second stage, Operation Coronet, five hundred miles to the north in 1946. The decisive Coronet invasion of the industrial heartland of Japan through the Tokyo Plain would be led by the Eighth Army, as well as the First Army, which had previously pummeled its way across France and Germany to defeat the Nazis. These facts are well known and have been recounted - with varying degrees of accuracy - in a variety of books and articles. A common theme in these works is their reliance on a relatively few declassified high-level planning documents. In contrast, Hell to Pay examines the invasion of Japan in light of the large body of Japanese and American operational and tactical planning documents unearthed by the author in both familiar and obscure archives, as well as postwar interrogations and reports that senior Japanese commanders and their staffs were ordered to produce for General MacArthur´s headquarters. Hell to Pay brings to light the political and military ramifications of the enormous casualties and loss of material projected by both sides in the climatic struggle to bring the Pacific War to a conclusion through a brutal series of battles on Japanese soil./ 1. Language: English. Narrator: Danny Campbell. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/001633/bk_tant_001633_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In this concise account of why America used atomic bombs against Japan in 1945, J. Samuel Walker analyzes the reasons behind President Truman´s most controversial decision. Delineating what was known and not known by American leaders at the time, Walker evaluates the options available for ending the war with Japan. In this new edition, Walker incorporates a decade of new research - mostly from Japanese archives only recently made available - that provides fresh insight on the strategic considerations that led to dropping the bomb. From the debate about whether to invade or continue the conventional bombing of Japan to Tokyo´s agonizing deliberations over surrender and the effects of both low- and high-level radiation exposure, Walker continues to shed light on one of the most earthshaking moments in history.Rising above an often polemical debate, the third edition presents an accessible synthesis of previous work and new research to help make sense of the events that ushered in the atomic age. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Eric Martin. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/015845/bk_tant_015845_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The World War II in the Pacific Series tells the story of Iwo Jima and the long war in the Pacific, the people who affected its direction, and the many places that suffered from war yet survived and went on to prosper in peace. From General MacArthur and President Truman to Emperor Hirohito, the key players in the Pacific Theatre are profiled. Learn about aircraft carriers and the development of fission weapons; gain a deeper understanding of the Bataan Death March and the decision to use the atomic bomb; and hear about places including Guam, the Marshall Islands, and, of course, Iwo Jima.The editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica have created a collection of over 80 articles that tells the story of the Pacific Theatre of World War II, providing context and explaining the circumstances surrounding the pivotal battle for Iwo Jima. You will learn about the events that led up to the battle, the effect it had on the remainder of the war, and much more. Encyclopaedia Britannica explores the events, places, and people involved, in order to give you a more thorough understanding of the significance of that historic flag-raising.In this edition, the editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica examine the battles and events on the Pacific Front. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Peter J. Fernandez. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/brit/000050/bk_brit_000050_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The thrilling story behind the American pilots who were secretly recruited to defend the nation’s desperate Chinese allies before Pearl Harbor and ended up on the front lines of the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.Sam Kleiner’s The Flying Tigers uncovers the hidden story of the group of young American men and women who crossed the Pacific before Pearl Harbor to risk their lives defending China. Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of 1941 using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. In the wake of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, this motley crew was the first group of Americans to take on the Japanese in combat, shooting down hundreds of Japanese aircraft in the skies over Burma, Thailand, and China. At a time when the Allies were being defeated across the globe, the Flying Tigers’ exploits gave hope to Americans and Chinese alike.Kleiner takes listeners into the cockpits of their iconic shark-nosed P-40 planes - one of the most familiar images of the war - as the Tigers perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese. He profiles the outsize personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg ´´Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot until he was shot down and became a POW; Emma Foster, one of the nurses in the unit who had a passionate romance with a pilot named John Petach; and Madame Chiang Kai-shek herself, who first brought Chennault to China and who would come to visit these young Americans. A dramatic story of a covert operation whose very existence would have scandalized an isolationist United States, The Flying Tigers is the unforgettable account of a group of Americans whose heroism changed the world, and who cemented an alliance between t 1. Language: English. Narrator: Stephen Graybill. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/peng/003969/bk_peng_003969_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.