Showa: A History of Japan, 1939-1944

As the title indicates this volume covers Shigeru and Japan from just before their attack on Pearl Harbor on through 1944 when Japan was on the defensive and losing the war. As with the first volume some sections concern specific events while others cover Shigeru and his family although some of the sections include events and how Shigeru was involved in them.

Japan sets up a government in China. The Tripartite Pact is discussed along with Japan's plan to overcome the ABCD, American, British, Chinese and Dutch interests in Asia. Japan decides to attack Pearl Harbor despite Yamamoto's warning that he can only guarantee Japanese sea victories for around six months to a year.

An odd section shows FDR actually happy over Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor since it allows the U.S. to go to war against Japan.

Other things discussed include the capture of Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island and the Dutch East Indies. Then the book covers the Doolittle Raid on Japan which didn't do much damage but did shake up the people and the government.

The Battle of Corregidor is covered and then the turning point battle, the battle of Midway where the Japanese Navy suffered a major defeat, one which they never really recovered from. The events then lead to American invasions and victories including the Solomon Islands, Palau, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Makin and the Central Pacific region.

One of the major American accomplishments during the war was the assassination, basically, of Admiral Yamamoto.

While all this was going on Shigeru had gotten his draft papers, ended up in the military, was regularly slapped and beaten by his superiors, was constantly hungry and ended up falling off a cliff which was the only thing that saved his life since American bombers took out the rest of the group he had been serving with by bombing their camp.

Along with the other books in this series this one is a must-have.

Main Index
Japan main page
Japanese-American Internment Camps index page
Japan and World War II index page