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Days of Infamy (Pearl Harbor) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: Pearl Harbor (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451460561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451460561
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alternate-history master Turtledove (Ruled Britannia) presents a starkly realistic view of what might have been had the Japanese followed the bombing of Pearl Harbor with a land invasion and occupied Hawaii. U.S. airman Fletch Armitage, held in a POW camp under horrifying conditions (the Japanese never signed the Geneva Convention), keeps hope alive even as he slowly starves. His ex-wife, Jane, keeps her head down in occupied Wahiawa, tending her assigned garden plot and hoping she won't be raped. Fisherman Jiro Takahashi, a native Japanese, welcomes the Rising Sun in Hawaii, but his sons, who consider themselves American, aren't so sure, even though the white Americans begin treating Japanese-Americans with contempt, particularly those who act as translators for the invaders, further widening the racial divide and increasing tensions. As the Japanese strengthen their hold on the islands, each side comes to grudgingly accept the courage of the other, despite the cultural chasms that separate them. The Americans vow to retake the islands, setting the scene for a final showdown that pits mastermind Commander Genda and maneuverable Zero airplanes against American strategy that includes technology the Japanese lack: radar. A less than neatly wrapped-up ending leaves room for a sequel. With an emphasis on tactics and warfare technology, this exciting, well-researched alternate history will please history buffs and SF fans alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Turtledove's latest twist on history has the Japanese invading Hawaii in December 1941. It recalls most closely Ruled Britannia (2002), except that this book is almost certainly the first volume of another WWII alternate history. The strategic consequences of the U.S. being backed up against its own West Coast, with most of its navy's aircraft carriers sunk, are too extensive to be dealt with in one novel, and one viewpoint character, Joe Crosetti, is training as a naval aviator for the battles to come. But as usual, Turtledove provides an extensive range of characters, civilian and military, of both sides and all ranks. Minoru Genda and Mitsuo Fuchida, both real historical Japanese officers, perform with their expected brilliance. On the other hand, Corporal Shimizu rides ashore in a landing barge and gives a grunt's-eye view of the Japanese army, whose motto is, quite understandably, "Hard work!" U.S. artillery officer Fletcher Armitage and his wife, Jane, were on the verge of divorce when the balloon went up and are now even more thoroughly separated as he labors in a POW camp, and she survives off her turnip patch. Oscar van der Klerk goes from surf bum to amateur spy, and the fishermen of the Takahashi family are divided, father Jiro favoring the Japanese occupiers, and his sons, who considered themselves Americans, disgruntled, to say the least. Demanding, irresistible, and magisterial--to say the very least. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

Customer Reviews

While he nowhere actually says so (and therefore, I don't think I'm giving anything away) expect a Japanese implosion in future books.
Gary M. Greenbaum
One division, even with air superiority and naval gunfire...was not going to beat two dug in divisions defending their own base of supplies.
Amazon Customer
First, he mostly avoids the embarrassing sex scene (there is one, but it's not too bad and it actually builds a character a little bit).
David Roy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gary M. Greenbaum on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Harry Turtledove posits another alternate history, this one, if Pearl Harbor had been more carefully planned and followed up with an invasion of Hawaii. The Japanese take advantage of the surprise to land troops and, with the help of air superiority (since most US planes were knocked out on December 7), take control of the islands. The US is not going to take this lying down, and gears up to fight back . . .

As usual, carefully researched, and with the expected variety of viewpoints, from Japanese commanders to US soldiers to civilians caught in the middle. These characters are often very solid, though sometimes less so (the Japanese fisherman seems like something out of a Japanese version of "Flower Drum Song"!)

Things progress through months of occupation and food shortages on the island, and conclude with a climactic sea battle, the equivalent of Midway (the first real carrier-to-carrier battle). It's Turtledove's look at how the war would have progressed if the Japanese had had Hawaii as an advance base, rather than the US.

Although this book is marked as a "novel" on the front cover, and two of Turtledove's stand-alone books are reviewed on the back cover, this is clearly part 1 of at least a three (most likely four) part series. Several of the US characters (flyboy trainees, for example) never see combat. At least three Japanese characters mull over the question of how they can defeat a country so wealthy that even their trivial leavings make things easier for the occupiers. If one believes Turtledove's foreshadowings (and when he's so blatant, I'm inclined to believe him) the answer will be--they can't.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Laurence R. Mcaneny on June 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Any adolescent who has read one book about Pearl Harbor should be able to tell something about the tremendous logistical and political difficulties the Japanese Navy faced at the beginning of the Pacific Campaign, and the incredible risks they ran in mounting a raid, let alone an invasion. So when I picked this book up, I hoped to find some clever scheme by which the Japanese might have handled those problems. No such luck. The logistics of attack are never discussed: the scarcity of oil, the scarcity of troops, the lack of a fleet train, the lack of specialized amphibious ships, the vulnerability involved in operating at the extreme limits of supply range.... Similarly, the intense political conflict between army and navy is glossed over. Mr. Turtledove simply ignores all military reality and proceeds directly to the humiliation of stereotyped Americans suffering under occupation. The result is a book with a completely implausible and juvenile premise.

Here is the planning scene: Genda bops in to see Yamamoto and says: "Say, as long as we are attacking Pearl, how's about landing a division of troops!" Yamamoto responds: "Neat idea, lets use two divisions." Genda: "But how will we get the Army to agree?" Yamamoto: "Leave that to me." And that is it. No discussion of the fact that Yamamoto was appointed to the fleet command so that young Army officers would not assassinate him. No hint that Yamamoto had less influence with Tojo than Ghandi. No expression of Army derision at the idea of diverting two of the eleven divisions used in Operation Iai from the effort to take over Dutch oil fields (the reason for the war) to a strategic side-show. No discussion of where to get the 50+ transports needed to carry such a force, or the fuel to operate and escort them.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on July 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Days of Infamy (2004) is the first novel in the Pacific War series. On December 7, 1941, Japanese carrier planes attacked the US installations at Pearl Harbor. They sank all the US battleships in the Pacific and destroyed most of the Army Air Corps planes at Hickam Field. They could not sink the three carriers stationed at Pearl Harbor since these ships were at sea.

In this novel, the Japanese send a third wave of planes to bomb the tank farms and repair facilities. Then the Japanese army lands on the north shore of Oahu. Since the Japanese carrier planes are supporting the invasion, the nearby US carriers send planes to protect US troops; then the Japanese planes find the US carriers and sink or disable all three.

The US army fights back as best it can, but is disorganized, outnumbered, and then defeated in detail. Eventually most of the soldiers surrender to the Japanese. Of course, the Japanese consider surrender to be dishonorable and set out to work the prisoners to death. By the way, Fletcher Armitage is an artillery officer in the US Army, not an aviator.

The Japanese army takes Oahu and then the rest of the nearby islands. The Japanese set up an occupation government under Army command. They punish infringement of their orders with death; the high school principal is beheaded for keeping a radio despite Japanese orders to turn it in to the occupying troops.

The Japanese now have a forward base within flying boat range of the continental US. They bomb Los Angeles and other sites and fly recon on the west coast. Their biggest problem is the US use of radar, which they don't yet have despite positive advances in their laboratories.
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