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The Pacific War Papers: Japanese Documents of World War II [Kindle Edition]

Katherine V. Dillon , Donald M Goldstein , Donald M. Goldstein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Pacific War Papers is an annotated collection of extremely rare Japanese primary-source documents, translated into English, that provides an invalu-able resource for historians and students of World War II. These naval and diplomatic documents come from the collection of the late Gordon Prange, the eminent scholar of Pearl Harbor, who obtained them from Japanese naval leaders while working for the Military History Section of the American forces that occupied Japan. Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon have assembled this collection so that these important documents are not lost to history. The editors also provide expert commentary to introduce and explain the importance of the materials. This book forms the companion volume to The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans (Brassey’s, Inc., 1993), which Goldstein and Dillon also edited. Most of the documents published here are not available anywhere else, with many translated for the first time.

This edited collection covers three main topics: the Japanese navy before World War II, prewar diplomacy and politics, and Japanese naval operations and policy during the war. The documents include diary extracts and candid, short monographs written by high-ranking Japanese officers immediately after the war. They shed new light on the vast naval buildup before the war, the development of the navy’s operational concepts for war with the United States, the organization and tactics of aircraft carrier forces, and the failure of Japanese submarine operations. No World War II library will be complete without this important volume.

Editorial Reviews


"THE PACIFIC WAR PAPERS is a trove of vital information on the last frontier of World War II in the Paciffic--the organization, planning, and strategy of the Imperial Japanese Navy. No serious student of that theater should be without it." --James D. Hornfischer, author of THE LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS

About the Author

The late Katherine V. Dillon, Donald M. Goldstein and the late Gordon W. Prange created numerous World War II classics, including At Dawn We Slept; Miracle at Midway; and God’s Samurai: Lead Pilot at Pearl Harbor (Brassey’s, Inc., reprint 2003). They also collaborated with historian J. Michael Wenger on several books, including The Way It Was: Pearl Harbor-The Original Photographs (Brassey’s, Inc., 1995); Rain of Ruin: A Photographic History of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Brassey’s, Inc., 1995); and The Pearl Harbor Papers.

Donald M. Goldstein is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, a professor of public and international affairs, and a best-selling author. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2144 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1574886339
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; 1 edition (April 30, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CWJ7NW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,093 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The last ore from the Prange mine June 14, 2008
This is the second volume of the unpublished research papers of the late Gordon Prange, the pre-eminent American historian of the Pearl Harbor attack. Working papers are not usually published, but the situation is not usual.

Navies generate vast quantities of documents, but many of the Japanese papers were destroyed during the war or deliberately right at the end. Prange was a historian on the staff of the Supreme Allied Commander after the peace, and he was able to get Japanese officers, notably Chihaya Masataka, to collect remaining records and interview survivors.

These papers were used in "At Dawn We Slept" and other books. Prange was notoriously dilatory about finishing a book. His associates Goldstein and Dillon have made a cottage industry out of repackaging the papers Prange left.

That's not unheard of, but "The Pearl Harbor Papers" (1993) and this volume presumably take it about as far as it can go.

The most interesting and important document in this volume is the diary of Ambassador Nomura for the last half of 1941. It appears that Nomura has been overpraised by American historians as a peacemaker and a reasonable man.

Part of the diary of Marquis Kido also holds interest. He appears to have been one of the few levelheaded men in Japan at the time, or perhaps this is just an artifact of the reserve of the high-placed courtier.

Statements by Admirals Ozawa and Kondo do nothing to dispel the notion that they did not know what they were doing.

The editors say that these documents will serve "scholars and buffs." Mere buffs are not likely to make it through the whole volume, though serious students will be instructed.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Source Material for a Lot of Books May 18, 2005
It seems that the release of secret, or at least previously unknown, documents about World War II will never end. At least not in our lifetimes. These documents were collected by Gordon Prange while working for the Military History Section of the American forces that occupied Japan. Afterwards Prange with the assistance of Goldstein and Dillon wrote several books on World War II.

In this book, Goldstein and Dillon have collected various papers from various Japanese sources. These included the C-in-C of the Japanese Navy to Naval Commander Chihaya who worked for Prange in Japan and wrote several essays on the war.

As you would expect the quality of the documents quoted here vary from excellent to rather terse. Admiral's Kondo's report on the sinking of the Repulse and the Prince of Whales says simply "...our planes succeeded in catching the enemy fleet in sight off Kuantan just through a slit in the clouds. And they succeeded in sinking them!" On the other hand he tells what he and the rest of the second fleet were doing at the time.

These are the original documents, or as close as we will get, they are the basis for a lot of the books written on the war. It's interesting to see what the people involved were thinking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pacific War Papers July 27, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives me more insight into the Japanese mind-set as to how they thought they could make peace w/ the U.S. after Pearl harbor let alone win the Pacific War. I would recommend it.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Pacific War Papers: Japanese Documents of World War II provides any collection serious about World War II coverage with an annotated collection of rare Japanese primary-source documents translated into English. While this won't be a pick for your casual history collection, it's an invaluable, unique addition for any more serious holding: these documents come from the collection of the late Gordon Prange, scholar of Pearl Harbor, who obtained them from Japanese naval leaders while working for the Military History Section of the American forces that occupied Japan. It's quite simply a 'must' for any in-depth World War II holding.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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