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Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947 MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (September 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400169089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400169085
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,805,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Giangreco, a longtime former editor for Military Review, synthesizes years of research in a definitive analysis of America's motives for using atomic bombs against Japan in 1945. The nuclear bombing of Japan, he concludes, was undertaken in the context of Operation Downfall: a series of invasions of the Japanese islands American planners estimated would initially cause anywhere from a quarter-million to a million U.S. casualties, plus millions of Japanese. Giangreco presents the contexts of America's growing war weariness and declining manpower resources. Above all, he demonstrates the Japanese militarists' continuing belief that they could defeat the U.S. Japan had almost 13,000 planes available for suicide attacks, and plans for the defense of Kyushu, the U.S.'s initial invasion site, were elaborate and sophisticated, deploying over 900,000 men. Japanese and American documents presented here offer a chillingly clear-eyed picture of a battle of attrition so daunting that Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall considered using atomic and chemical weapons to support the operation. Faced with this conundrum, in Giangreco's excellent examination, President Truman took what seemed the least worst option. 44 b&w photos, 12 maps. (Oct. 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"A chillingly clear-eyed picture of a battle of attrition so daunting that Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall considered using atomic and chemical weapons to support the operation." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

More About the Author

D. M. Giangreco, served as an editor at Military Review, US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for 20 years. Giangreco has lectured widely on national security matters. An award-winning author of 12 books on military and sociopolitical subjects, he has also written extensively for various national and international publications and news agencies. Giangreco was awarded the Society for Military History's 1998 Moncado Prize for his article "Casualty Projections for the US Invasions of Japan, 1945-1946: Planning and Policy Implications." Giangreco also won the Gerard Gilbert Award (1988 France and Colonies Philatelic Society) for his book Roosevelt, de Gaulle, and the Posts, and his article "The Truth About Kamikazes," was the principal nomination of US Naval Institute, Annapolis, for the Association of Naval Aviation's award for Best Article of 1997 on Naval Aviation. Giangreco's work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Russian (pirated), Japanese, and Chinese. His most recent books are, Dear Harry on the correspondence of "Everyday Americans" with the Truman White House (2000), Artillery in Korea: Massing Fires and Reinventing the Wheel (2003), the Eyewitness series for Barnes & Noble Books -- Eyewitness D-Day (2004), Eyewitness Vietnam (2006), Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008), and most recently, Hell to Pay (2009), and The Soldier from Independence (2009).

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Every poorly constructed arguement of the revisionists is demolished with facts.
Terry Sofian
In fact, this book was so well written I wanted to stay up at night and finish reading it, something that seldom happens with history books.
Gary Bartz
The book also talks about Japanese Armies and how they returned to the Japanese islands to prepare for the invasion.
Gordon Ewasiuk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy reading about WW11 and war strategy especially interests me.

D.M. Giangreco is a respected writer and has a deep knowledge of his subject. He has written an impressive account of what the United States planned to do had the war not ended when it did.

America planned an enormous invasion of Japan. The book gives us inside details of how both sides prepared for this invasion. Operation Downfall, as it was called, would have made D-Day look minute. Had the bombs not been dropped that ended the war, what would have happened, as described in this book, would have changed the course of history. It would have shed much more blood and the war been a much larger and deadlier war than it was.

If you ever questioned the correctness of the decision to drop the Atom bomb that ended the war, reading this book is likely to change your mind. That turned out to be a wise decision. The alternative would have been almost unthinkable --- yet it was going to happen between 1945 and 1947 as described in this book.

It has been said that Japan was trying to surrender in 1945. This book lays that, and other myths to rest. If you're interested in WW11 and if you want to know the truth about its end and the plans that were in place to demolish the enemy had it not ended as it did, when it did, you'll want to read this book. It's a valuable resource and a most interesting read.

Highly recommended.

- Susanna K. Hutcheson
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83 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Terry Sofian on October 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The morality of the U.S. use of atomic weapons to end World War Two has been argued about since news of the destruction of the two Japanese cities was reported. In the current atmosphere of revisionist history this event and the men who decided to perform it have been castigated and defamed. This book sets the record of events leading up to that decision straight and provides the primary source material to show how the bombs came to be dropped. It also takes a very close look at events that did happen after the war ended (such as weather) and others that did not but might have (such as the assault landings on the Japanese Home Islands). The author describes how that informtion is important and how it would have affect the conflict in Japan. He quotes extensively from sources on both sides of the war. It is amazing to me that our current intellectuals have been so critical of American leaders who publically stated their remorse over the destruction of innocent human life in the form of citizens of a nation we were at war with, while giving a pass to the leaders of that nation who were entirely willing to sacrifice 20,000,000 of their own civilians to get a better deal in the treaty to end the war.

Every poorly constructed arguement of the revisionists is demolished with facts. No the Japanese military leadership was not about to surrender. No the invasion would not have been a walk over. No the horrific casualty projections were not made up after the war as a post facto justification for using the atomic weapons. Yes the civilians in Japan would have suffered even more in the event of a long drawn out blockage or even worse if the invasions had go in.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By James Meek on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Japanese-fluent American with an intense interest in the history of WWII in the Pacific, and of the war-end period in particular, I had long been frustrated by the unavailability of any definitive analysis of the Japanese preparations for defense against the invasions that might have been needed to end the war on terms acceptable to the democracies, and of the expectations of America's leaders regarding the casualties the invasion forces would incur.

Although I haven't time now to write the fuller review this excellent book so richly deserves, I am compelled to at least take the time to give it my very highest acclaim as a book that every serious student of the war-end period absolutely must read.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bartholomew TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has spurred considerable public and historiographical debate over the necessity of doing so to end the war with Japan and obviate the need for an invasion of the Japanese mainland. Much of the debate centers on the ethics and morality of bombing civilian targets with weapons of mass destruction balanced against the loss of military and civilian deaths in a prolonged conflict. Giangreco enters into the fray with "Hell to Pay", a carefully researched and well written book that dials down the emotionally charged rhetoric that usually pervades the topic. "Hell to Pay" isn't polemical in nature, but it does seek to counter recent revisionist scholarship that has been dominating the historiographical debate.

Giangreco puts forward a vast amount of information from both American and Japanese archives, including recently declassified documents and other observations missed or overlooked by previous scholars. Giangreco smartly shifts focus away from the usual Amero-centric guilt issue and takes into account Japanese perspectives on the issue, and more specifically, their own predictions as to the casualties they expected to incur during an American invasion. Giangreco discusses familiar themes, such as America not wanting a Russian invasion of Japan and the resultant joint occupation as was the case in Germany and Austria, the much debated forecast that America would suffer casualties in the millions, and other themes. But Giangreco introduces a new perspective - that Japan expected the death of 20 million as a result of the American invasion, and that they would engage in a fanatical scorched earth policy of fighting to the last man, heedless to the deaths of civilian non-combatants.
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