9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2004
Unconditional Defeat: Japan, America, And The End Of World War II by Thomas W. Zeiler is a brief yet vivid military history of the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, looking closely at the issue of unconditional surrender while taking into account the viewpoints of those who risked life and limb in the conflict. A blunt survey that does not soften the brutal realities of war in the slightest, nor excusing the worst atrocities committed on both sides, Unconditional Defeat is an excellent and seminal addition to World War II military history reference collections and reading lists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2013
This is a short and readable book about the Pacific War. The focus is on the end of the war -- from November 1943 to September 1945. Seems to me that the author could easily have included a chapter or two about the first two years of the war, but it is what it is.
The book is almost purely operational history - what battles were fought, and where, why, and how they were fought. There is a little discussion of higher American political strategy - mostly during the discussion of the China theater - but the primary focus is on the fighting.
Although there are endnotes to each chapter, there are not a lot of them. The author relies on well-known secondary sources and the Army and Marine official histories.
If you have read a lot of books about the Pacific War, this might not hold a lot of interest for you, although you won't find anything terribly objectionable in it. If you are new to this area of history, it is not a bad place to start.